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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Yahoo to finally shut Yahoo 360

Another Yahoo service is closing officially. Yahoo 360, which was supposed to close early last year, is finally shutting its doors on

July 13, according to a blog post written on the site.

"Over the past two years there has been a lot of discussion about the closure of Yahoo! 360° and the transition to our new profiles experience that we’ve had in the works. Today, we’re able to firmly say that on July 13, 2009 Yahoo! 360° will be closing down and you’ll be asked to move into your new profile on Yahoo!, by July 12, 2009," goes the blog.

Yahoo 360 was launched in March 2005 as a ocial network/blogging service. However, the service could never really gain popularity. In fact, several analysts cite Yahoo 360's failure as an example of a hot Internet property that Yahoo failed to cash on.

According to ComScore, Yahoo 360 had 13.9 million worldwide unique visitors in April.

In October 2007, when the company first announced that it would close Yahoo 360, it aimed move to a 'universal' Yahoo profile. The company reiterated the plan during its Yahoo Open Strategy (YOS) launch in April 2008.

In September last year, Yahoo also shut its other social-networking site, Yahoo Mash. Late last year company launched its "universal" profile service, Yahoo Profiles, which incorporates basic social-networking functions. However, Yahoo Profiles doesn't match the features of Yahoo 360.

Contact Me Glossary of Internet Terms ...

Application Server
Server software that manages one or more other pieces of software in a way that makes the managed software available over a network, usually to a Web server. By having a piece of software manage other software packages it is possible to use resources like memory and database access more efficiently than if each of the managed packages responded directly to requests.

Blog -- (weB LOG)
A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger." Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog.

Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominently.

It is common for blogs to be available as RSS feeds.
See also: Blogosphere or Blogsphere, RSS

Blogosphere or Blogsphere
The current state of all information available on blogs and/or the sub-culture of those who create and use blogs.

Broadband

Generally refers to connections to the Internet with much greater bandwidth than you can get with a modem. There is no specific definition of the speed of a "broadband" connection but in general any Internet connection using DSL or a via Cable-TV may be considered a broadband connection.

Browser
A Client program (software) that is used to look at various kinds of Internet resources.

CDMA -- (Code Division Multiple Access)
A protocol for wireless data and voice communication, CMDA is widely used in cellphone networks, but also in many other data communications systems. CDMA uses a technique called "Spread Spectrum" whereby the data being transmitted is spread across multiple radio frequencies, making more efficent use of available radio spectrum. There are a number of additional protocols built on top of CDMA, such as 1xRTT (also called CMDA2000).

Client

A software program that is used to contact and obtain data from a Server software program on another computer, often across a great distance. EachClient program is designed to work with one or more specific kinds of Server programs, and each Server requires a specific kind of Client. A Web Browser is a specific kind of Client.

Cookie
The most common meaning of "Cookie" on the Internet refers to a piece of information sent by a Web Server to a Web Browser that the Browser software is expected to save and to send back to the Server whenever the browser makes additional requests from the Server.
Depending on the type of Cookie used, and the Browsers' settings, the Browser may accept or not accept the Cookie, and may save the Cookie for either a short time or a long time.

Cookies might contain information such as login or registration information, online "shopping cart" information, user preferences, etc.

When a Server receives a request from a Browser that includes a Cookie, the Server is able to use the information stored in the Cookie. For example, the Server might customize what is sent back to the user, or keep a log of particular users' requests.

Cookies are usually set to expire after a predetermined amount of time and are usually saved in memory until the Browser software is closed down, at which time they may be saved to disk if their "expire time" has not been reached.

Cookies do not read your hard drive and send your life story to the CIA, but they can be used to gather more information about a user than would be possible without them.

Domain Name
The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general. A given machine may have more than one Domain Name but a given Domain Name points to only one machine. For example, the domain names:

matisse.net
mail.matisse.net
workshop.matisse.net

can all refer to the same machine, but each domain name can refer to no more than one machine.
Usually, all of the machines on a given Network will have the same thing as the right-hand portion of their Domain Names (matisse.net in the examples above). It is also possible for a Domain Name to exist but not be connected to an actual machine. This is often done so that a group or business can have an Internet e-mail address without having to establish a real Internet site. In these cases, some real Internet machine must handle the mail on behalf of the listed Domain Name.

Fire Wall
A combination of hardware and software that separates a Network into two or more parts for security purposes.

Gigabyte
1000 or 1024 Megabytes, depending on who is measuring.

Gopher

Invented at the University of Minnesota in 1993 just before the Web, gopher was a widely successful method of making menus of material available over the Internet.
Gopher was designed to be much easier to use than FTP, while still using a text-only interface.

Gopher is a Client and Server style program, whichrequires that the user have a Gopher Client program. Although Gopher spread rapidly across the globe in only a couple of years, it has been largely supplanted by Hypertext, also known as WWW (World Wide Web). There are still thousands of Gopher Servers on the Internet and we can expect they will remain for a while.

IP Number -- (Internet Protocol Number)

Sometimes called a dotted quad. A unique number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g.
165.113.245.2
Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number - if a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really on the Internet. Many machines (especially servers) also have one or more Domain Names that are easier for people to remember.

Modem -- (MOdulator, DEModulator)
A device that connects a computer to a phone line. A telephone for a computer. A modem allows a computer to talk to other computers through the phone system. Basically, modems do for computers what a telephone does for humans.

The maximum practical bandwidth using a modem over regular telephone lines is currently around 57,000 bps.

Netiquette
The etiquette on the Internet.

Netizen
Derived from the term citizen, referring to a citizen of the Internet,or someone who uses networked resources. The term connotes civic responsibility and participation.

podcasting or pod-casting
A form of audio broadcasting using the Internet, podcasting takes its name from a combination of "iPod" and broadcasting. iPod is the immensely popular digital audio player made by Apple computer, but podcasting does not actually require the use of an iPod.

Podcasting involves making one or more audio files available as "enclosures" in an RSS feed. A pod-caster creates a list of music, and/or other sound files (such as recorded poetry, or "talk radio" material) and makes that list available in the RSS 2.0 format. The list can then be obtained by other people using various podcast "retriever" software which read the feed and makes the audio files available to digital audio devices (including, but not limited to iPods) where users may then listen to them at their convenience.

Portal
Usually used as a marketing term to described a Web site that is or is intended to be the first place people see when using the Web. Typically a "Portal site" has a catalog of web sites, a search engine, or both. A Portal site may also offer email and other service to entice people to use that site as their main "point of entry" (hence "portal") to the Web.

Search Engine

A (usually web-based) system for searching the information available on the Web.
Some search engines work by automatically searching the contents of other systems and creating a database of the results. Other search engines contains only material manually approved for inclusion in a database, and some combine the two approaches.

Server
A computer, or a software package, that provides a specific kind of service to client software running on other computers. The term can refer to a particular piece of software, such as a WWW server, or to the machine on which the software is running, e.g. "Our mail server is down today, that's why e-mail isn't getting out."
A single server machine can (and often does) have several different server software packages running on it, thus providing many different servers to clients on the network.

Sometimes server software is designed so that additional capabilities can be added to the main program by adding small programs known as servlets.

Spam (or Spamming)
An inappropriate attempt to use a mailing list, or USENET or other networked communications facility as if it was a broadcast medium (which it is not) by sending the same message to a large number of people who didn?t ask for it. The term probably comes from a famous Monty Python skit which featured the word spam repeated over and over. The term may also have come from someone?s low opinion of the food product with the same name, which is generally perceived as a generic content-free waste of resources. (Spam® is a registered trademark of Hormel Corporation, for its processed meat product.)

Spyware
A somewhat vague term generally referring to software that is secretly installed on a users computer and that monitors use of the computer in some way without the users' knowledge or consent.

Most spyware tries to get the user to view advertising and/or particular web pages. Some spyware also sends information about the user to another machine over the Internet.

Spyware is usually installed without a users' knowledge as part of the installation of other software, especially software such as music sharing software obtained via download.

Terminal
A device that allows you to send commands to a computer somewhere else. At a minimum, this usually means a keyboard and a display screen and some simple circuitry. Usually you will use terminal software in a personal computer - the software pretends to be (emulates) a physical terminal and allows you to type commands to a computer somewhere else.

Terminal Server
A special purpose computer that has places to plug in many modemson one side, and a connection to a LAN or host machine onthe other side. Thus the terminal server does the work of answering thecalls and passes the connections on to the appropriate node. Mostterminal servers can provide PPP or SLIP services if connectedto the Internet.

Trojan Horse
A computer program is either hidden inside another program or that masquerades as something it is not in order to trick potential users into running it. For example a program that appears to be a game or image file but in reality performs some other function. The term "Trojan Horse" comes from a possibly mythical ruse of war used by the Greeks sometime between 1500 and 1200 B.C.
A Trojan Horse computer program may spread itself by sending copies of itself from the host computer to other computers, but unlike a virus it will (usually) not infect other programs.

Unix
A computer operating system (the basic software running on a computer, underneath things like word processors and spreadsheets). Unix is designed to be used by many people at the same time (it is multi-user) and has TCP/IP built-in. It is the most common operating system for servers on the Internet.
Apple computers' Macintosh operating system, as of version 10 ("Mac OS X"), is based on Unix.

Virus
A chunk of computer programming code that makes copies of itself without any concious human intervention. Some viruses do more than simply replicate themselves, they might display messages, install other software or files, delete software of files, etc.
A virus requires the presence of some other program to replicate itself. Typically viruses spread by attaching themselves to programs and in some cases files, for example the file formats for Microsoft word processor and spreadsheet programs allow the inclusion of programs called "macros" which can in some cases be a breeding ground for viruses.

Web

Short for "World Wide Web."

Web page
A document designed for viewing in a web browser. Typically written in HTML. A web site is made of one or more web pages.

Website
The entire collection of web pages and other information (such as images, sound, and video files, etc.) that are made available through what appears to users as a single web server. Typically all the of pages in a web site share the same basic URL, for example the following URLs are all for pages within the same web site:
http://www.baytherapy.com/
http://www.baytherapy.com/whatis/
http://www.baytherapy.com/teenagers/
The term has a somewhat informal nature since a large organization might have separate "web sites" for each division, but someone might talk informally about the organizations' "web site" when speaking of all of them.

Wi-Fi -- (Wireless Fidelity)
A popular term for a form of wireless data communication, basically Wi-Fi is "Wireless Ethernet".

Worm
A worm is a virus that does not infect other programs. It makes copies of itself, and infects additional computers (typically by making use of network connections) but does not attach itself to additional programs; however a worm might alter, install, or destroy files and programs.

WWW -- (World Wide Web)
World Wide Web (or simply Web for short) is a term frequently used (incorrectly) when referring to "The Internet", WWW has two major meanings:
First, loosely used: the whole constellation of resources that can be accessed using Gopher, FTP, HTTP,telnet, USENET, WAIS and some other tools.

Second, the universe of hypertext servers (HTTP servers), more commonly called "web servers", which are the servers that serve web pages to web browsers.

How to run a PC without anti-virus


From within your operating system, there are tools you can use to help ward off evil software, too. All browsers today, for instance, provide some security tools, including anti-phishing filters or lists of Web sites that are known carriers of harmful software. Use these features -- they won't slow you down. Common sense is your biggest defense.

First things first: you should have some kind of antivirus protection on your PC, especially if you surf the Internet or trade files with anyone. There are plenty of people, though, who hate antivirus programs -- and with good reason. Most of them are resource hogs, slowing down your computer; many of them throw up more false positive warnings than legitimate ones, slowing down your work and annoying you in the process. These days, most are leased on a yearly basis, meaning you must pay up every year in order to keep your antivirus signatures current.

All of that adds up to some pretty painful medicine to have to swallow to potentially rid your PC of some malicious software. Can you possibly just say "no" to antivirus software? The short answer is, "yes, you can." But to remain virus and spyware free, you'll need to adopt some precautions -- and stick with them.

Use clean software

An antivirus-free computer should start and stop with legitimate, clean software. That means eschewing copies of programs that can be downloaded through warez sites or on newsgroups, borrowed from friends through file sharing, or found on shareware and freeware sites.

Remember that being without an antivirus program often means living without on-demand scanning, so a file you download online isn't as easy to check for viruses as it would be if you had an antivirus program installed. Still, plenty of people can and do assemble systems solely with commercial, off-the-shelf applications, and you can, too.

Scan your PC remotely

f you have more than one PC, you can install antivirus software on one while leaving the other machine without antivirus software. If the two machines can see each other over a network -- home or office -- then you should be able to map the drives of one computer onto the one with antivirus software installed and check individual files or entire drives through your network connection.

Or you could take advantage of free online virus and spyware scanning tools. Trend Micro's House Call (http://housecall.trendmicro.com) and Eset's Online Scan (http://www.eset.com/onlinescan) will perform a scan of your computer right from the Internet. Such scans might not remove any viruses or spyware found, but they will at least tell you how clean your computer is.

Use built-in protections

Antivirus protection might not yet be a built-in feature of Windows and other operating systems, but security has long been of concern to everyone who uses computers, and the result is that you'll find some malware protection already built in to the computer you're currently using.

Before your computer even loads your operating system, it launches the code found in your system's BIOS (basic input-output system), which initiates the hardware in your PC and enables your operating system to identify the components you have. Within the BIOS of most PCs -- accessible by pressing F2 or Del during bootup -- is an optional boot sector protection mechanism. Enable this, and you'll protect against boot sector viruses without ever installing a single antivirus tool.

From within your operating system, there are tools you can use to help ward off evil software, too. All browsers today, for instance, provide some security tools, including anti-phishing filters or lists of Web sites that are known carriers of harmful software. Use these features -- they won't slow you down.

Watch those websites

Common sense will go a long way toward keeping your computer safe if you don't use antivirus software. Stay away from sites that are frequent carriers of spyware. These include, ironically, many sites that purportedly sell anti-spyware software.

A list of such sites is at the Spyware Warrior Rogue/Suspect Web Sites page (http://www.spywarewarrior.com/rogue_anti-spyware.htm#sites). Porn and gaming sites are also to be approached warily if you have no spyware or antivirus protection.

Email with care

Delete any e-mail message from an unknown source if it contains an attachment. The majority of malware contracted through e-mail comes in the form of attachments that the sender tries to get the recipient to open.

Just say no. The large majority of viruses are contracted from unsolicited e-mail, so use an e-mail application with a built-in spam checker, if at all possible. Sometimes viruses are carried in Word documents from friends or colleagues who are not aware that the files are protected.

In such cases, without an onboard antivirus tool, it makes sense to run the file through one of the free online scanners mentioned earlier. Do this before you open the file.

The payoff for all of this caution should be well-known to anyone who has watched with chagrin as an otherwise speedy and trouble-free computer was made to feel like yesterday's technology after the latest bloated antivirus software was installed. Less really is more, if you can get away with it. And for those intrepid computer users with a survival plan, doing without antivirus protection can be a giant step in the right direction.

How-tos of safe online shopping

Thanks to the Internet and the range of online retail options, you are lucky to shop comfortably at the click of a mouse. While the perks of onl

ine shopping are obvious – no traffic jams, jostling crowds, billing queues or parking nightmares – taking some simple precautions will ensure you are shopping safely. Here are some basic safety tips for an enjoyable and secure online shopping experience.

Look for visual cues
When you shop online, always look for simple visual cues indicating that the site has been authenticated as legitimate and that the information you enter is protected. Visual cues such as the VeriSign logo or a green browser address bar indicate that the Web site’s ownership has been verified and that the site is safe for online shopping and other transactions. A Web address beginning with "https means that that there is an encrypted connection between your browser and the Web site’s server, indicating that your communication is secure and cannot be intercepted.

Validate the vendor
Always buy from a reputed shopping site – ones that you have heard of through friends and trusted acquaintances. You should check online ratings and reviews from other customers and take red flags seriously. You can then make an appropriate decision about the site and decide whether or not it is wise to shop there. Make sure that the Web site has an authentic and valid phone number and mailing address.

Check for `two-factor’ authentication
A growing number of sites are now beginning to accept a second form of user authentication that comes from physical devices such as a token, credit-card form factor, a USB drive, or even your cell phone. Two-factor authentication pairs something you know, such as a username and password, with something you have, a one-time password generated by this device in your possession. The unique second password gives you the confidence to shop online without the risk of a hacker or thief gaining access to your accounts via stolen personal information. Although this is still relatively new in India, it will only be a matter of time before most Web sites offer it.

Pay attention to the order form
When you place your order, the site should not ask for more than your name, shipping address, billing address, credit card type and number or expiration date. Do not disclose your bank account details.

Compare the check-out experience
Whenever you commit to transactions over the Internet, it is important to make sure you can save and print a receipt or other confirmation of the transaction. This should have the date of the purchase along with the amount included on it. Beware of simple forms that offer no confirmation that you entered or ordered anything.

Safeguard your password
Don’t ever select the `remember my password' option and avoid saving your password on your PC; it is the first thing a hacker will target. Malware can be used to search your PC for stored passwords. Avoid using the same password on multiple sites or writing it down on a Post-It note or scrap of paper that can be easily intercepted. Finally, change all your passwords every two to three months.

Provide minimal personal information
Always check the Web site's privacy policy to make sure that your personal information will be safe. Try to limit the amount of personal information you give out while filling out online forms. With these simple precautions, you can have a delightful shopping experience!

How-tos of safe online shopping

Thanks to the Internet and the range of online retail options, you are lucky to shop comfortably at the click of a mouse. While the perks of onl

ine shopping are obvious – no traffic jams, jostling crowds, billing queues or parking nightmares – taking some simple precautions will ensure you are shopping safely. Here are some basic safety tips for an enjoyable and secure online shopping experience.

Look for visual cues
When you shop online, always look for simple visual cues indicating that the site has been authenticated as legitimate and that the information you enter is protected. Visual cues such as the VeriSign logo or a green browser address bar indicate that the Web site’s ownership has been verified and that the site is safe for online shopping and other transactions. A Web address beginning with "https means that that there is an encrypted connection between your browser and the Web site’s server, indicating that your communication is secure and cannot be intercepted.

Validate the vendor
Always buy from a reputed shopping site – ones that you have heard of through friends and trusted acquaintances. You should check online ratings and reviews from other customers and take red flags seriously. You can then make an appropriate decision about the site and decide whether or not it is wise to shop there. Make sure that the Web site has an authentic and valid phone number and mailing address.

Check for `two-factor’ authentication
A growing number of sites are now beginning to accept a second form of user authentication that comes from physical devices such as a token, credit-card form factor, a USB drive, or even your cell phone. Two-factor authentication pairs something you know, such as a username and password, with something you have, a one-time password generated by this device in your possession. The unique second password gives you the confidence to shop online without the risk of a hacker or thief gaining access to your accounts via stolen personal information. Although this is still relatively new in India, it will only be a matter of time before most Web sites offer it.

Pay attention to the order form
When you place your order, the site should not ask for more than your name, shipping address, billing address, credit card type and number or expiration date. Do not disclose your bank account details.

Compare the check-out experience
Whenever you commit to transactions over the Internet, it is important to make sure you can save and print a receipt or other confirmation of the transaction. This should have the date of the purchase along with the amount included on it. Beware of simple forms that offer no confirmation that you entered or ordered anything.

Safeguard your password
Don’t ever select the `remember my password' option and avoid saving your password on your PC; it is the first thing a hacker will target. Malware can be used to search your PC for stored passwords. Avoid using the same password on multiple sites or writing it down on a Post-It note or scrap of paper that can be easily intercepted. Finally, change all your passwords every two to three months.

Provide minimal personal information
Always check the Web site's privacy policy to make sure that your personal information will be safe. Try to limit the amount of personal information you give out while filling out online forms. With these simple precautions, you can have a delightful shopping experience!

High Definition Optical Mouse from Microsoft


Give yourself freedom to move with wireless mouse. This can be a truth with High Definition Optical mouse from Microsoft, which delivers smoother tracking and is highly responsive for precise movements. With a longer battery life, it can work for 6+ months without any interruption.

Microsoft provides 3 years warranty for this compact and comfortable product designed for notebooks and laptops. You can enjoy smooth and intelligent performance with this on the go optical mouse. The ambidextrous design makes it comfortable to use this mouse with left or right hand.

The advanced feature automatically turns off the moose and saves the battery life. It works in operating environments like Windows Vista, Windows 98/2000/XP/Pro/Home/Media Center Edition/Tablet PC Edition.

Microsoft: 'Friends don't let friends use IE6'

Microsoft sympathizes with people pushing what it calls the "Die IE6, Die" campaign, but argued today that it simply can't put a stake in the old browser's heart.

"Friends don't let friends use IE6," said Amy Bazdukas, Microsoft's general manager for Internet Explorer (IE). That sentiment, however, only applies to some people using Windows and the eight-year-old browser -- mainly consumers. "It's certainly part of our approach to consumers to get them to upgrade to IE8," Bazdukas said.

But while she agreed that consumers should ditch IE6, and understood the motivation behind the growing chorus of Web sites calling for an end to the browser, Bazdukas said Microsoft couldn't give the same advice to businesses. "With our business customers, it's more complex," she argued. "For them, deploying a browser is very like much like deploying an operating system across multiple desktops. So it's not a surprise that IE6 is still being used."

Not that Microsoft's entirely happy with that. "IE6 use is higher than we like," Bazdukas admitted. "Most of that is from the business installations, that's where we see most of the trailing installations of IE6."

According to the most recent data from California-based Web metrics company Net Applications, 27.2% of all Internet users are still running IE6, making it the most popular version of IE. By comparison, IE7 accounted for 23.1% of all browsers in action last month, while the newest edition, IE8, had a usage share of 12.5%.

In other words, IE6 accounts for approximately 40% of all instances of Internet Explorer worldwide, beating both IE7 (34%) and IE8 (19%) in "IE market share."

Bazdukas also attributed some of IE6's popularity to Windows' high piracy rates in countries like China and India. "There's a reluctance [among people using counterfeit Windows] to use Automatic Updates," she said, calling out China in particular. "Rather than download updates, often the solution to problems is to re-image the machine using the pirated, pre-XP SP2 counterfeit. That also helps to drive the persistence of IE6."

"I think Microsoft would like to have people upgrade from IE6," said Ray Valdes, an analyst with Gartner. "But the situation is, it's surprisingly difficult to get enterprises to upgrade. Many companies have old software that depends on IE6, and that software is not upgradable because they have no budget or the developer is not around anymore, or the in-house developer left."

Like Bazdukas, Valdes thinks IE6 is ancient history. "I've recommended to clients for the last two years that they get off IE6," Valdes said. "Almost anywhere else is a better place to be."

Bazdukas reiterated what several other Microsoft managers have recently said, that the company is committed to supporting IE6 until April 8, 2014, which is when all support for Windows XP, the operating system IE6 is tied to, will end.

Opera 10 Web Browser

Opera has always been packed with features, but it has yet to garner the same kind of publicity that Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome enjoy. And that's a shame, because version 10 of the venerable Web browser adds a slew of clever features that anyone who surfs the Web will welcome.

Like previous versions, Opera 10 is fast, configurable, and clean-looking--and it offers just about everything you'd expect in a modern browser, including a pop-up blocker, plug-ins, an RSS reader, and an antiphishing tool. Unlike competing browsers, it also has a surprisingly good built-in e-mail client, with support for POP3 and IMAP servers, the ability to create incoming message rules, and a spam filter. And, once again in this version, Opera bristles with features too numerous to mention in this short review, yet it packs them all into an elegant, simple-to-use interface.

The new features don't clutter up the browser or make it more difficult to use. Overall, Opera 10 is sleeker-looking than previous versions. But Opera's added beauty is more than skin-deep. Tab handling, for example, has improved, in that you can now configure the browser so that thumbnails of all of your tabs appear above each tab; the thumbnails are resizable as well.

Another worthy addition is the new Speed Dial feature (pictured above). Speed Dial improves on Safari 4's similar Top Sites feature by virtue of being more configurable. You can customize the page that appears whenever you open a new tab in Opera so that anywhere from 4 to 24 of your favorite Web sites display as thumbnails. That way, you can more quickly get to the sites you visit most often, with a simple click on a thumbnail. The feature is turned on by default, and the settings seem to offer no way to turn it off--not that you'd want to, though, because it has no downside.

Opera has always displayed pages quickly, and the newest version is even speedier, particularly on interactive sites that use a lot of resources, such as Facebook and Gmail. Opera claims a 40 percent increase in speed, but we couldn't verify that.

Among other new features are an inline spelling checker (which will be particularly welcome to bloggers) and Opera Turbo, a compression technology that Opera says will allow you to surf faster on slow connections, such as via dial-up. As a broadband user, I was not able to test this feature, so I can't vouch for it.

Surprisingly, given how many features Opera has, it still lacks one feature that IE, Firefox, and Chrome all have: a privacy mode that makes all traces of your Web-surfing session vanish after you close the browser. If such a feature is important to you, Opera isn't the best choice.

Should you replace your current browser with Opera? Which browser you use is a personal decision, so we can't give a one-size-fits-all answer. But anyone who has ever wished that their browser were faster and more feature-packed will certainly want to give Opera 10 a try.

Google launches web browser - Chrom

Google has launched a new web browser ahead of the Internet Explorer 8 launch. We had earlier expected that the Google browser would be launched just before IE8 somewhere in the start of 2009, but this early release by Google has come as a surprise for all.

Google Chrome as it is called looks an appealing browser and according to tests by major software giants on the Acid3 and other tests it comes up better than IE and Firefox both.

The Acid3 test rates Chrome at 78 out of 100 ahead of Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer 7. Although the browser doesn't meet the lofty standards of the Opera browser that scores as high as 83 on this test routine.

Windows 7: The good, the bad, and the unknown

For most people who are considering moving to Windows 7, October 22 is D-Day. On that date Microsoft's newest operating system lands on store shelves, both as a shrinkwrapped upgrade and preinstalled on new PCs.

For some folks, though, D-Day has already arrived. Microsoft has issued the final RTM (release to manufacturing) version of Windows 7 to large companies that buy Windows via volume licenses, as well as to IT pros who belong to its Technet service. The Windows Vista era is officially drawing to a close -- although you could argue that it never really quite started -- and the Windows 7 one is under way.

And that promises to be a good thing, whether you're a satisfied Vista user, a disgruntled one, or a Windows XP holdout who has been waiting for something better. Windows 7 feels like an anti-Vista: Unlike that OS, for instance, it doesn't try to dazzle you with flashy new visual effects. With the removal of Vista applications such as Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, Win 7 actually does fewer things than Vista did. Even its unprepossessing name is a change from the epic-sounding monikers that began with the unfortunate Windows Millennium Edition.

But Windows 7's lack of glitz is a huge part of its appeal. Unlike the increasingly chaotic and annoying Microsoft OSs that preceded it, Windows 7 is designed to stay out of your way so that you can get stuff done. It smartly addresses Windows annoyances both new (User Account Control) and old (the system tray). And the final version I've been using seems to realize the promise of the rough drafts we started testing last October.

Windows 7 isn't without its warts, but I haven't been so impressed by a new Microsoft operating system since Windows 2000 debuted close to a decade ago. Here's a quick look at some of its best features, a few drawbacks, and areas where reserving judgment makes sense. (Much more PC World coverage is on its way, including an in-depth review with speed benchmarks, upgrade tips, and Windows 7 system reviews.)

The good...

The OS is less piggish: One of the many regrettable things about the initial version of Windows Vista was that its signature feature -- the splashy Aero environment -- was too much of a resource hog to run well on many early-2007 PCs (even those that had been promoted as Vista-capable). The PC World Test Center hasn't benchmarked the shipping version of Windows 7 yet -- stay tuned -- but all signs point to this OS being sprightly enough to perform decently on all current systems, including those allegedly underpowered, pint-size machines known as netbooks.

The taskbar has been reinvented: It's amazing how little the taskbar and its system tray have changed since Windows 95. In Windows 7, they both undergo sweeping, long-overdue makeovers. For the most part, the results are extremely pleasing.

The new taskbar's default style does away with text labels and relies solely on program icons, therefore making better use of screen space. Its thumbnail previews -- an improvement over Vista's -- work well even when you have multiple windows open for one application. And the new Jump Lists feature gives you right-click access to context-sensitive menus of options (such as the ability to play shuffled music in Windows Media Player) even before you've launched an application. Even the nub on the right edge of the taskbar, which you can click to reveal the desktop, is a welcome, subtle enhancement.

For most people who are considering moving to Windows 7, October 22 is D-Day. On that date Microsoft's newest operating system lands on store shelves, both as a shrinkwrapped upgrade and preinstalled on new PCs.

For some folks, though, D-Day has already arrived. Microsoft has issued the final RTM (release to manufacturing) version of Windows 7 to large companies that buy Windows via volume licenses, as well as to IT pros who belong to its Technet service. The Windows Vista era is officially drawing to a close -- although you could argue that it never really quite started -- and the Windows 7 one is under way.

And that promises to be a good thing, whether you're a satisfied Vista user, a disgruntled one, or a Windows XP holdout who has been waiting for something better. Windows 7 feels like an anti-Vista: Unlike that OS, for instance, it doesn't try to dazzle you with flashy new visual effects. With the removal of Vista applications such as Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, Win 7 actually does fewer things than Vista did. Even its unprepossessing name is a change from the epic-sounding monikers that began with the unfortunate Windows Millennium Edition.

But Windows 7's lack of glitz is a huge part of its appeal. Unlike the increasingly chaotic and annoying Microsoft OSs that preceded it, Windows 7 is designed to stay out of your way so that you can get stuff done. It smartly addresses Windows annoyances both new (User Account Control) and old (the system tray). And the final version I've been using seems to realize the promise of the rough drafts we started testing last October.

Windows 7 isn't without its warts, but I haven't been so impressed by a new Microsoft operating system since Windows 2000 debuted close to a decade ago. Here's a quick look at some of its best features, a few drawbacks, and areas where reserving judgment makes sense. (Much more PC World coverage is on its way, including an in-depth review with speed benchmarks, upgrade tips, and Windows 7 system reviews.)

The good...

The OS is less piggish: One of the many regrettable things about the initial version of Windows Vista was that its signature feature -- the splashy Aero environment -- was too much of a resource hog to run well on many early-2007 PCs (even those that had been promoted as Vista-capable). The PC World Test Center hasn't benchmarked the shipping version of Windows 7 yet -- stay tuned -- but all signs point to this OS being sprightly enough to perform decently on all current systems, including those allegedly underpowered, pint-size machines known as netbooks.

The taskbar has been reinvented: It's amazing how little the taskbar and its system tray have changed since Windows 95. In Windows 7, they both undergo sweeping, long-overdue makeovers. For the most part, the results are extremely pleasing.

The new taskbar's default style does away with text labels and relies solely on program icons, therefore making better use of screen space. Its thumbnail previews -- an improvement over Vista's -- work well even when you have multiple windows open for one application. And the new Jump Lists feature gives you right-click access to context-sensitive menus of options (such as the ability to play shuffled music in Windows Media Player) even before you've launched an application. Even the nub on the right edge of the taskbar, which you can click to reveal the desktop, is a welcome, subtle enhancement.

You can't upgrade Windows XP: If you want to upgrade a PC from XP to 7, you'll need to start anew, reinstalling all of your apps and re-creating your settings. (Windows Vista users can opt to install 7 on top of their current OS, although not in every possible scenario.) Microsoft's decision not to enable XP-to-7 upgrades is defensible -- a fresh install will probably be more reliable than one plunked down on top of XP's eight-year-old underpinnings -- but it will scare off some XP users who would probably love Windows 7 once they got it up and running.

...and the unknown

How bad will compatibility issues be? Windows 7 looks and works differently than Windows Vista does, but below the surface it isn't radically different. That should make for fewer headaches with incompatible drivers and software -- and indeed, it helped even the earliest Windows 7 preview versions run surprisingly smoothly for prerelease operating systems.

But as millions of people install Windows 7 on an endless array of PCs, undoubtedly some of them will encounter problems that Microsoft didn't anticipate. (I've run into setup quirks and driver issues with the Windows 7 RTM version myself, but I've been able to work around them -- by installing from a USB drive rather than a DVD, for instance.)

Will hardware companies take to Device Stage? This new feature gives your printer, camera, and other peripherals information centers of their own, which hardware manufacturers can customize with features such as links to online manuals and troubleshooting tools. But unless companies invest the time to build useful Device Stages, this could be another Microsoft bright idea that doesn't go much of anywhere.

Also, parts of Device Stage look short on substance (giant photorealistic renderings of your peripherals!) and others look potentially irritating (printer companies hawking ink cartridges right inside your OS!). All in all, I don't think it'll be a tragedy if Device Stage doesn't catch on.

Is touch input a boon or a boondoggle? Windows 7 is the first version of the OS with special support for multitouch input -- for example, if it notices that you've opened the Start menu with your finger rather than the mouse pointer, you'll see a roomier version of the menu that takes less precision to navigate.

Of course, all of that requires a multitouch-capable PC, and only a handful (such as the upscale HP TouchSmart) are on the market. Windows 7's arrival might prompt a profusion of interesting new touch-enabled PCs -- but even then, what we really need are interesting touch-enabled applications. (Microsoft's touch demos have tended to feature such ho-hum uses as fingerpainting in Windows' own Paint program.)

The bottom line

Last year Microsoft tried to repair Windows Vista's reputation by pretending it was a new OS code-named Mojave and getting focus-group subjects to say nice things about it. If the company had released a Vista back in 2007 that was as pleasant to use as Windows 7 is, the OS might never have had image problems in the first place.

Even when an OS upgrade is as appealing as this one, it makes sense to proceed with caution. Many of the people who grab Windows 7 at the first possible opportunity will be happy they did. But I suspect that some of the folks who wait a bit more -- installing the new OS only after other people have discovered unexpected glitches with applications and drivers -- will be even happier. And if you're using an aging PC, it's perfectly sensible to hold off on Windows 7 until you're ready to buy a brand-new system that's designed to run it well.

My advice for Windows users, then, is this: Get Windows 7, but on your own schedule. It'll be ready when you are -- and you'll almost certainly consider it an improvement over whatever version of Windows you're using now.

India will now a big manufacturing player

India has jumped into the manufacturing bussiness on contractual basic and it will gear up in the next five years, creating opportunities along with pitfalls, according to a research report released this week.
The high tech market research firm said revenue from electronics manufacturing services (EMS) and original design manufacturing will expand to US$2.03 billion in 2009, jumping from US$774 million in 2004. The combined sector will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of about 21 percent each year.
The good news for players in the market is that India's labor costs are 30 to 40 percent less than in the US.
"Other equally important benefits from operating in India include a fast-growing domestic market, an excellent education system, the nation's technology parks and the recent improvements in the country's transit and utility infrastructure," the iSuppli report stated.
The downside in the EMS business is the uncertainty of India's political environment and the country's often-volatile currency.
Although the predicted boom in India's EMS business is impressive, iSuppli said it is unlikely to make much of a dent in China's dominance over the EMS global business.

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