The first of the month always brings a bountiful harvest from Google's blogging troops, and two posts yesterday pointed us to some nifty changes to Gmail's labels features and passed along some cheerful numbers concerning spam levels as measured by the company's Postini group.
With one notable exception, those who rely even moderately on Gmail's labels ought to like where things are going. The section is finally positioned above the chat area, for starters, and your labels can be easily grouped and rearranged for your convenience rather than only in alpha order. (Gmail attempts to help you out by picking a few to put at the top of the list, hiding the rest, but we found that it didn't guess well at all; fortunately, sorting it out was drag-and-drop simple.)
Drag-and-drop is working between the message pane and the labels too, and behaves just as the recently released "Move" option does, simultaneously labeling and archives the messages you're dealing with. It takes a second to figure out that the correct grab spot is on the extreme left edge of the message (if you weren't already using drag-and-drop with abandon to shift messages into folders), but once you're doing it right it's simple.
For a good part of Tuesday, the Web Standards Project's Acid3 testing server was offline. With it went 25% of our browser performance testing capacity, which kept us from being able to publish our initial Mozilla Firefox 3.5 performance index as originally planned. As Acid3 started coming back, browsers were posting curiously low scores (for instance, Opera 10 Beta below 100%) that led us to dispute the test more than the browser.
Today, however, with the server back online, we're able to give a reliable performance estimate for the first fully stable edition of Firefox 3.5. Earlier this week, some of our readers advised us that 3.5 RC3 would be bit-for-bit identical with the final 3.5, so the scores should come out the same. And if they don't, then something must be wrong with us.
No, that's not correct. Many of the scores contributing to our benchmarks, such as individual heats in the SunSpider test, were indeed either the same or within 0.5 ms of the RC3 score. But some of the advances we saw in the final private builds, particularly in DOM handling and regular expression (RegEx) parsing, did carry over into the final 3.5 build after all, for big gains in those departments specifically.
That's the thing about speed test profiling: We can see where things change and where they don't.
As a result, Firefox 3.5 posted a 9.93 in our performance index on Windows XP SP3. What that means is, this latest browser generally performs nearly ten times better on XP than Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 (the previous version, not IE8) on Vista SP2, which is about the slowest browser you can run (and therefore the one we chose for our index).
Last year, Sprint and Clearwire consolidated their WiMAX businesses in the Clear 4G wireless network, which was partly funded by investments from Google, Intel, and cable companies Time Warner, Bright House Networks, and Comcast.
Today, Comcast officially became the first Clear reseller among the investors, launching its "High Speed 2go" WiMAX subscription service in Portland, Oregon. The cable company announced that there will be further rollouts in Atlanta, Chicago, and Philadelphia later this year as well. The plan is similar to the Sprint 4G service the carrier announced last March.
There will be no digital voice component to any Comcast High-Speed 2go packages, but there with be either 4G or 4G/3G dual-mode data packages which work on Clearwire's WiMAX and Sprint's 3G networks. The 4G-only plan is known as "Comcast High Speed 2go Metro," and the dual-mode plan is known as "Comcast High Speed 2go Nationwide."
Comcast's 4G access can be bundled with wired home access, starting at $49.99 per month for a 12 Mbps home connection and 4 Mbps WiMAX connection.
About three months ago, Gianfranco Lanci flew into San Francisco International Airport, got off the plane and made his way to the passport control stations. As he pulled out his documents, the passport agent immediately recognized him as the chief executive of Acer.
"It was the first time in my life that has ever happened," he says.
Mr. Lanci may need to come to grips with his growing celebrity. After all, he has turned Acer, the personal computer seller based here, into a finely tuned organization that’s obliterating some of the computing industry’s longest-standing traditions and leading Taiwan’s charge up the technology food chain.
This year, Acer appears poised to overtake Dell as the world’s second-largest seller of personal computers, which would put a real dent into one of America’s favorite dorm-to-empire business stories. And if this comes to pass, Acer would trail only Hewlett-Packard; no computer company based outside the United States has ever climbed so high.
"That is a big achievement, and they have beaten the odds," says Roger L. Kay, a PC industry analyst and president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, a consultancy. "Acer is a real comer."
Source: New York Times (Requires Membership)
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