DM2 is a pretty interesting windows enhancements open source program for Windows 2K and XP. The application can be downloaded from Sourceforge and does not need to be installed at all and can be run from any location of your hard drive. Once installed it adds a small icon to your system tray which can be clicked to configure the functionality. It adds by default several interesting new ways to interact with open windows in the operating systems. The minimize, maximize and close buttons get new functionality when you right-click them. A right-click on minimize sends the window into the system tray even windows that can normally not be minimized to the system tray.
Microsoft advertises its Anti Spam program Windows Defender with the slogan spyware protection for free but is it really a good alternative to other anti spam and spyware programs like ad-aware and spybot search and destroy. It is only fair to compare Microsoft's anti spyware software which is available free to other free solutions that can be used and downloaded for free as well. Microsoft's Windows Defender came under heavy fire recently as two competitors released studies that were supposed to prove that Windows Defender had - by far - the weakest spyware and spam detection rate.
Opera is already a very fast browser, but if you would have the choice between fast and faster than fast, what would you choose ? I took the liberty to compile a list of 10 great tips that speed up Opera in several unique ways. Many of the settings can be changed by simply going to Tools > Preferences in Opera but some can only be used by accessing not so obvious ways like ini files.
Please note that everything that I'm describing here worked fine on my computer. It speed up Opera and increased my browsing experience with it tremendously. While most tips will work for any users no matter their connection to the Internet some tips might only increase performance for broadband users.
This article explains how to disable Balloon Tips in Windows Vista. I thought it would be a nice follow up article on the one that described how to make the balloon tips transparent. I personally think that Balloon Tips have no right to be there at all, they look awful and most do not contain information that are important in any way. I disabled them the first day I started using Windows XP and I did the same on my Windows Vista notebook. Balloon Tips are a waste of time in my opinion. Let me explain how you can disable balloon tips in Windows Vista.
The Balloon Tips in Windows Vista look like the ones in Windows XP. While it was not a problem in XP Vista comes with a nicer more shiny interface that makes the balloon tips look out of place. Longhorn had transparent balloon tips for a while but Microsoft removed it for unknown reasons and the feature did not make it into Windows Vista. Glass Toast is a little freeware application that steps in and makes transparent balloon tips available again under Windows Vista. The application does not need to be installed at all and can be run from any location on your hard drive.
It seems that the big three, that is Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, always have to compete against each other. When someone introduces a new feature the others are surely going to announce a similar feature that is just a tad better than the feature of the other company. We are witnessing the race for Email storage at the moment. Microsoft has a storage limit of 2 Gigabytes for their users while Google has currently a limit of 2,8 Gigabytes. Yahoo decided to accept the challenge and give the others something to choke on, they announced today that they will offer unlimited Email storage to all of its users in the near future.
This article is going to show everyone, even the inexperienced, how to create a data safe that can store as much personal information and files as you want using the open source program True Crypt. True Crypt makes it very easy to encrypt almost every piece of hardware including partitions, hard drives, usb keys and other storage devices. Once everything is setup you would mount the True Crypt container using the password that you have selected while creating the encrypted container. This is actually the only password that you have to remember, everything else can be kept in the encrypted container for safety reasons.
The free social music networking site Jamendo announced today that they have distributed more than one million downloads of albums that are freely available using bittorrent technology. Only albums that have been fully distributed have been counted or as they put it: "this figure is the minimum indicative number of the total of complete albums we have distributed so far". This is a huge success for sites that believe that drm free music sites can and will succeed in the long run. Jamendo has an incredible download rate of more than 200000 albums every month and the figure is increasing with each passing month.
Jabbits is a interesting new interactive website that is supposed to be the worlds first interactive video website. It could be described as some type of video answers website where one user posts a question and all others reply to it. The major difference to normal written conversations is that everything is recorded on video and can be accessed through Jabbits. There are actually three types of questions on Jabbits: Public, Research and Private questions. Public questions come from normal visitors who would like an answer to a question whereas research questions are added by companies who pay the users that answer the question that they ask. Private questions can only be answered by users who have been invited by the creator of the question to answer it.
I came upon the article "How I would hack your weak passwords" yesterday and pondered if I should write an article about it. I decided that it would be worth it. The author of the article details how he would try and find out your passwords and get access to all of your accounts in the end. His first approach would be to use the most common used passwords by users on the net. He needs information about your personal life for some passwords but those information can be obtained pretty fast through social engineering. Trying those "top 10" passwords would already cover a large percentage of online users, statistically speaking that is.
You might know that Youtube held a video awards voting on their site for the last five days were everyone was able to vote for their favorite videos that Youtube preselected. Ten entries were shown and you could assign spots from 1 to 10 to them. Now, after all votes have been cast Youtube presents the Winners of the 2006 Video Awards in the categories Most Creative, Best Comedy, Best Commentary, Best Series, Best Music Video, Most Inspirational and Most Adorable. The videos below are in the same order in case you are wondering.
Nothing is more frustrating than to realize that some files of a backup are corrupted. This happens of course right at the time when you need the backup. One way to prevent this scenario from happening would be to use different locations for your backups, for example CDs, external hard drives and USB drives. Even though you store the backup in different places it is not guaranteed that the files on those devices are not corrupted. The probability that it will happen is simply reduced.
Since I started blogging two years ago I came upon thousands of essential, ultimate and top freeware lists but only few really had a lasting impact on the internet community. Most are forgotten the next day and everyone heads on to the next list in line. It does not make sense to simply write another essential list, it does however make sense when I'm concentrating this list on freeware and Open source that I have reviewed here at ghacks. I reviewed more than 360 freeware and Open Source products which could be seen as a preselection.
It is rather unfortunate that Windows Vista has problems to provide correct drivers for many "not so popular" devices. This could lead to the problem that a device will not be recognized correctly under Windows Vista reducing its functionality or that the device is not working at all. The usual search the web for drivers option was bad in Windows XP and is bad in Windows Vista as well. You could of course head out and search the internet for drivers to make them work in Windows Vista but this takes lots of time and knowledge.
If you have hundreds of bookmarks in different folders like I do you might know the problem that bookmarks are added from time to time that already exist in your list. It is not that easy to manage the bookmarks and keep an overview over them all. A complicated folder structure with many subfolders is adding to the problem. It really does not help to check your bookmarks manually every know and then, this takes to long and does not prevent that duplicate bookmarks are added at a later date again. The Firefox extension Bookmark Duplicate Detector is helpful for users with a lot of bookmarks.
Several software music players and mp3 players do not support WMA files at all. Wma, Windows Media Audio, is a format that was developed by Microsoft and initially designed to compete with the popular mp3 format. WMA however never received the popularity of the mp3 format and many users don't like WMA at all because of its DRM capabilities. Converting WMA to MP3 is one solution to get rid of WMA files and make them playable in your software and mp3 players. One way to convert wma audio files to mp3 is to use the software Free WMA to MP3 Converter.
The Windows start menu is not really excellent when you want to find something fast. It always takes some clicks to reach the destination - be it a program, the control panel or a drive that is connected to your computer. Toolbox was designed as a application launcher that makes it easier to access drives, folders and applications in Windows. It uses an intuitive way to display toolboxes that contain links to everything that you can think off. You can link to drives and display their size, launch applications with one click and open folders with another. Access to those elements can't be faster in Windows.
I do like futuristic looking demonstrations of technologies that will play a big role in the coming years. One demonstration that I found absolutely fascinating is a Photoshop multitouch image editing one. Working with small screens and a mouse plus keyboard combination is the current state of the art when it comes to image editing. It becomes problematic in a number of way including working in a team. It is also not natural to use a mouse to draw and edit images. Multitouch image editing uses a natural flow and offers a bigger detailed view of the image at hand.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.