Chrome extensions coming in May?

Google Chrome is soon going to get extensions. It is obvious as it has got a large number of internet users in the short span of time and the only reason that keeps Firefox users from switching is Add-ons. And when Chrome supports extensions, it would be the perfect web browser.

Google’s I/O Developer conference in May will be having sessions on developing extensions for Chorme. Here’s the list of sessions: Google I/O sessions.

It would soon be time for developers to start developing great extensions for Chrome and would increase the browser competition greatly. Time to switch from Firefox?

Gears reaches Google Calendar

Google had rolled out Gears support for Gmail and have now launched offline access for Google Calendar via Gears. Now you can view, modify and add new tasks and appointments to your calendar when offline and sync the changes as soon as you go online.

You will also be able to change settings and select only the calendars you want offline access to and disable sync for other calendars. Gears for Google Calendar is only for Google Apps users as of now but will be added to other users shortly.

If you have any questions regarding offline access for Google Calendar, you can visit the Google Calendar offline access FAQ.

Locate your nearby friends with Latitude

Google has released a new feature to Google Maps, its Latitude. Its a new way to locate your near-by friends from your mobile device. You can invite friends to keep a track of their locations or allows them to keep a track of your locations. You can also manage settings in the privacy options to restrict or disable alerts to selected or all users.

To start using Latitude, just head over to http://google.com/latitude from your Android, Blackberry, Symbian S60, or Windows Mobile phone. iPhone support would be there anytime soon.

Windows 7 editions revealed

Microsoft had released 3 versions for Windows XP (Home Edition, Prefessional and Media Center Edition). However, they had rolled out several versions of Windows Vista that finally confused buyers and made them switch editions after purchase. Vista had 6 editions which include Vista Starter Edition, Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise and Ultimate edition. After learning from their mistakes, Microsoft has decided to roll back to 3 version for their upcoming Operating system, Windows 7. The 3 versions are Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate.

Besides reducing the number of versions, it is said that they will also be offering a new speedy way of upgrading the OS. An upgrade from one version of Windows 7 to another would on take about 5-10 minutes. Personally, I think that this is the stupidest mistake as Windows 7 Home will have all the features of Ultimate edition but will be locked. The upgrade would simply unlock the features. This would give rise to hackers making patches that change the registry values and unlock all features of the OS.

UPDATE: Windows 7 is said to have 6 editions now. Here’s the list.

  • Windows 7 Starter Edition (for emerging market and netbook users)
  • Windows 7 Home Basic (for emerging market customers only)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (the main “Media Center” equivalent)
  • Windows 7 Professional (the business SKU for home users and non-enterprise licensees)
  • Windows 7 Enterprise (for volume licensees)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (for consumers who want/need business features)

Via ZDNet Blog

Gmail Tasks go mobile

Google had introduced a new Labs feature called Tasks which allowed users to have access to their ToDo list right in the Gmail sidebar. Now, they have announced that Gmail tasks will be available on mobile devices. They have made a neat web application that allows users to view, edit and mark tasks as complete.

Visit Gmail tasks from your mobile phone.

Via Official Gmail Blog

Lunascape combines all browsers out there

Tired of having multiple browsers on your computer?  If you are a web programmer, you would need to test a web page on multiple browser platforms, or you might need a specific browser to access specific web apps or services due to incompability or restrictions. Well, here is the solution - Lunarscape. It handles all three of the rendering engines at once - IE (Trident), Firefox (Gecko) and Safari/Chrome (WebKit). When you open a new tab or click on a link in Lunascape, you can tell the browser which engine you want to use. You can also set up certain sites to open using a particular engine.

Developers claim the browser is faster than all others, thanks to its optimized implementation of Gecko. Besides supporting multiple engines, it is full-featured. It has native support for RSS feeds, Podcasts, Password Manager, Form filler, support for mouse gestures for navigation and tons of other tweaks. Lunascape supports its own plug-ins and themes, as well as the add-ons for Internet Explorer. However it does not support Firefox add-ons, which is its greatest weakness.

Lunascape is in all a great browser and everyone should defifitely try it out!

Download Now

Britannica's answer to Wikipedia

Britannica Encyclopedia’s online version Britannica.com has recently added the Edit article feature where users can edit existing articles. However, they say that unlike Wikipedia, the edits will be approved by their team and not power-users. This is a great step for Britannic Encyclopedia. Will this affect Wikipedia in any way?

Leave your opinions in the comments.

Google marks all sites as harmful

This morning, Google search showed all search results as harmful. A link called “This site may harm your computer.” appeared under each search result, even on Google sites!  The sites in the results would open but the link saying “This site may harm your computer.” showed a 502 error. This error remained for about half an hour. After a long wait, Google has posted on their official blog regarding the issue.

What happened? Very simply, human error. Google flags search results with the message “This site may harm your computer” if the site is known to install malicious software in the background or otherwise surreptitiously. We do this to protect our users against visiting sites that could harm their computers. We work with a non-profit called StopBadware.org to get our list of URLs. StopBadware carefully researches each consumer complaint to decide fairly whether that URL belongs on the list. Since each case needs to be individually researched, this list is maintained by humans, not algorithms.

More at Official Google Blog

Yahoo drops its Briefcase

Yahoo has announced that it will discontinue its Yahoo Briefcase service, which allowed users to upload and store files online. It was launched over 10 years ago and was one of the only solutions to access files remotely or to backup files. It provided 30MB of storage to free users. Reason for discontinuation? The company said, “usage has been significantly declining over the years, as users outgrew the need for Yahoo Briefcase and turned to offerings with much more storage and enhanced sharing capabilities,”.

Well, its true, no one needs 30 MB of storage and only web access to their files. Specially when solutions like Dropbox offers 2 GB of free stroage with web interface and sync software. Besides Dropbox, there are still tons of better alternatives out there. From ZumoDrive to SkyDrive to OpenDrive. However, if Yahoo could have upgraded its Briefcase to offer at least 1 GB of storage and a software update like Dropbox, then it would have still stayed in the competition.

Anyway, now the Yahoo Briefcase period is over and I would like to remind you to backup your files before March 30, 2009 to avoid loss of your data. Also, Yahoo is not allowing users to download the entire Briefcase in a zipped form or letting users use FTP to fetch their data, so you will need some time to get your stuff back!

No beta 2 for Windows 7

Microsoft has confirmed that it won’t issue a second beta of Windows 7, saying that the next test version of the operating system will be a Release candidate. Windows engineering head Steven Sinofsky announced the move in a blog posting on Friday, confirming that Microsoft would stick to earlier plans for just a single beta. “The next milestone for the development of Windows 7 is the Release Candidate or ‘RC,’” Sinofsky wrote. “Historically the Release Candidate has signaled ‘we’re pretty close and we want people to start testing the release, especially because all the features are done.’”

Sinofsky didn’t say when to expect a release candidate, or the final release, though the company is believed to still be aiming to have the operating system ready to go on PCs in time for this year’s holiday shopping season.

Via MSDN Blog - Engineering Windows 7