Archive for October, 2005

High quality music downloads

October 21, 2005

MusicGiants is a relatively new music service. Launched September 29, it features music encoded with Microsoft’s Windows Media Lossless format, which, according to Microsoft, ensures that there is no loss in quality over the original. The service costs $50/year and $1.29 per track, although they waive the yearly fee if you give them $250 for downloads. Yes, it requires that you use their client software, something that I find unfortuntate but, still, to get legal high quality tracks without having to worry about an actual CD, it’s probably worth it. Myself, I still prefer to actually have the CD in my hands but I may sign up just for grins.
See this article on BetaNews for a review.

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Google’s web-based RSS reader

October 20, 2005

It’s here but you’ll need a Google account, which you can easily create, or, if you have a GMail account, you can use that. Matter of fact, you can use any of the accounts that you have already created with Google.
My early opinion? It’s not a Bloglines but it’s an OK start.
Update, October 21: Well, I’ve played with it a bit and I’ll take function over form anyday. Yeah, it’s cute and the way it interacts with the user is neat-o keen but if you’ve got an active site you’re tracking via RSS or more than a couple of subscriptions, I find it too unwieldy. Maybe it’s just me … I haven’t given up yet and will continue to work with it but, for now, Bloglines is still my number one app.

Finally, an extension for tweaking Firefox

October 19, 2005

Heretofore, tweaking Firefox has been a matter of reading an article, running about:config and playing with the values there or, if you’re trusting, running FireTune. Finally, someone’s come out with an extension to help you manage your tweaks. While there may already be a number of these out there, FasterFox is the first I’ve seen. Screenshots are here if you wanna see what it looks like before you install it.

Virtual WiFi

October 18, 2005

engadget reports that Microsoft’s research labs has released a set of software to virtually clone your WiFi card, allowing you to appear to have multiple cards installed so you can, for instance, connect to multiple wireless networks.

Don’t apply that patch!

October 17, 2005

If you haven’t yet installed the fix for MS05-051, you might want to take a look at this bulletin and make sure your permissions are set right. Apparently if they’ve been changed on certain folders, you could have trouble logging in, starting apps and running Windows Firewall.

NSLookup for WINS?

October 11, 2005

Ever need to do the equivalent of an nslookup on a WINS server? No, it’s not the same. As I’ve said before, Windows IT Pro has a lot of good newsletters and the most recent issue of their “Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE” gives a pointer to NBLookup.exe that Microsoft released about a year ago.
What can you do? Pretty much what you would expect but see the Microsoft article link, above, for details.

TabMixPlus – Firefox extension for tabbed browsing

October 10, 2005

Yeah, I know, there are a LOT of extensions out there that enable/assist with tabbed browsing in Firefox. I’ve just run across Tab Mix Plus and am trying it out. It’s replaced 5 extensions for me and, so far, it doesn’t look like I’ve lost any functionality.

And may even replace SessionSaver .2.

Murky News write-up on BPL (Broadband over Power Lines)

October 10, 2005

Looks like we’re getting closer to my goal of not rewiring my house and yet still being able to network my home without the benefit of WiFi (see this entry about my new computer). The San Jose Mercury News had an article (registration required, I think) in this morning’s paper about networking your computers using your home’s power lines and another article about power companies connecting homes to the Internet.

Maxtor 250GB 7200 ATA/133 w/16MB cache — $80 at CompUSA

October 8, 2005

No rebate. $159.99 with $80 Instant Savings bringing it to $79.99. 8AM-8PM tomorrow (Sunday, 10/9) only.

1TB (yes, 1 terabyte) email, free

October 4, 2005

Mailnation is offering free email accounts with 1TB of storage, WAP, POP3 and IMAP access.
Update, October 5, 2005: Thanks to a suspicious/cautious friend, see this post for some cautionary words about MailNation.