Google Wednesday launched a new search feature called Google Instant, which offers search results as you are typing your query terms.
Around this time two years ago, Google unveiled Suggest, a feature which predicted what searchers were looking for as it was being typed in the Google search field. Instant takes this a step further and provides the actual results so the user doesn't have to even click "search" or hit enter.
Some moments are culturally defining. They pave the way for a generation of consumers. People of my parents generation still remember the Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. I recall long lines to see the movie "Jaws," which gave A-movie status to scary B-movies. Many young adults of this generation will recall iPhone's June 2007 launch. Some moments define us. So it was this day 15 years ago. Windows 95 launched to long lines at midnight on Aug. 24, 1995.
Microsoft had the right product at the right time. The planets aligned just so. Windows 95 was by no means the best PC operating system of its day. But it was good enough, usable enough, cheap enough and marketed well enough -- and the personal computer was mature enough for the mass market.
Windows 95 made geeks cool, too. Suddenly the seemingly unhippest of all people, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, was a rock star and business genius. Microsoft left IBM at the OS/2 altar -- abandoning the 32-bit operating system the companies codeveloped -- and shacked up with pseudo-32-bit Windows 95. A decade-and-a-half later, OS/2 is all but forgotten, while Windows defines the very essence of personal computing.
Mozilla Tuesday updated Firefox 4 to its fourth beta release, adding two major new features: Firefox Sync and Panorama.
Firefox Sync lets users access browser history, password keychain, bookmarks, and open tabs across their different desktop computers, iOS, or Maemo-based mobile devices. Sync is available as an add-in for Firefox 3.5 and 3.6, but in Firefox 4, it is a built-in feature.
Now approaching its third year online, Adobe's Web-based photo editing suite Photoshop Express underwent a significant redesign which launched Wednesday. Adobe Photoshop Express Editor, Organizer, and Uploader are included in the refresh.
Firstly, a Photoshop.com account is no longer needed to use Photoshop Express Editor. Users can simply navigate to the Web app, upload photos directly from their local drive, edit and change the photos, and then save them back on their local storage. Previously, an account was necessary, and photos were uploaded to online storage first before they were edited. This is still an option, as Photoshop.com members can still store and share photos online as well as create albums, but it's no longer the only way to use the Editor.
A phishing scam relies on hijacking users' iTunes accounts linked to PayPal, giving thieves the ability to drain money from someone's online account.
"Sources close to Apple tell me iTunes has not been compromised and the company isn’t aware of any sudden increase in fraudulent transactions," he wrote.
PayPal has said it is reimbursing customers for the fraud, but added that the problem "is happening on the iTunes side." Further questions about the scam were referred to Apple.
An Apple spokesperson told the San Jose Mercury News that the company is aware of the problem.
After making them available to TechNet subscribers last month, Microsoft has released betas of Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to the general public.
This is the same version of the update that was previously released, so don't expect any new features or fixes. In fact, users of the company's consumer OS who have been keeping up with the monthly security updates won't see any notable changes at all. Windows 7 SP1 is largely a collection of fixes and updates previously made available through Windows Update.
Server users will of course get all of the patches, but will see a few new features as well. The most important are dynamic memory support for virtual machines and the introduction of RemoteFX for enhanced desktop virtualisation.