Box.net is beta testing a new plug-in for Microsoft Office that lets users save Office files to their Box.net storage folders. The plug-in works for both Office 2003 and 2007 on Windows XP and Vista, provides users a new "Save to Box.net" button, and gives visual notification when the file is uploading and then successfully sent. Users can then access that file anytime on their Box.net Web storage folder.
Mozilla Thunderbird is chock full of potential. Though it's as extensible as Mozilla's more famous browser, Firefox, Thunderbird lacks the same fanatical user support. A year from now, Thunderbird could be the emerging standard for e-mail software or just another fringe e-mail client.
Part of Thunderbird's eventual success will depend on the quality of third-party add-ons that enhance features and allow users more functionality and customization options. Though there's not nearly as many add-ons for Thunderbird as there are for Firefox, here's a quick guide to seven of my favorites so far.
I just discovered this little golden nugget of visualization goodness recently. From a little outfit known as Barbarian Software comes a very cool add-on for iTunes (download for Windows or Mac) that mesmerizes you as you listen to your favorite songs.
Magnetosphere (download it for Windows or Mac) can simulate gravitylike effects that interact with cool, exploding, brightly colored orbs during one song, then switch to swirling green and red ribbons of color for the next.
I like that the visualizer switches its behavior with each new song, providing for a unique experience for each piece of music. A limited … Read more
Today, Microsoft announced the first public versions of its Silverlight application for creating and experiencing rich, interactive applications online. There are two different versions of the cross-browser plug-in: Silverlight 1.0 beta (download for Windows or Mac) and Silverlight 1.1 alpha (download for Windows or Mac).
The big difference between 1.0 beta and 1.1 alpha versions is that the 1.1 alpha allows developers to create Silverlight applications using .NET technologies such as C#. If you don't care much about that new advancement, you probably won't be too excited about some of the sample Silverlight … Read more
I'll be the first to admit I'm no Photoshop power user. As an avid photographer, I've managed to perfect a few simple edits to treat my photos. I use a small fraction of Photoshop Elements, itself a small fraction of Photoshop. I've found only a few filters useful for my purposes, which is why I was excited to try out Alien Skin's Snap Art. This Photoshop plug-in supplies 10 filters that mimic various fine art forms, including oil and watercolor paint, pen-and-ink drawing, comic book, and pointillism effects.
For treating my photos, I liked the … Read more
It's early February. Do you know where your favorite band is?
iConcertCal does. This free iTunes plug-in for both Mac OS X and Windows scans your iTunes library and lets you know when the bands you listen to are coming to town.
After installing iConcertCal, the iTunes visualizer becomes a calendar that lists local concert dates for bands in your library. Clicking on each listing in the calendar lets you buy tickets, and changing the city and state brings up personalized listings for other cities.
Since a co-worker sent out a link to this free plug-in last week, I'… Read more
General Motors has begun development of the world's first plug-in hybrid production vehicle, which will be offered as a version of the 2008 Saturn Vue hybrid. The announcement was made at the kickoff of the 2007 Los Angeles Show this morning at the Los Angeles Convention Center by GM's CEO Rick Wagoner. The front-wheel-drive 2008 Saturn Vue hybrid will incorporate GM's two-mode hybrid system, which will make its first appearance in the Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid, due to come to market next year. Wagoner said that no definite timeline had been decided for the Vue hybrid plug-in, but … Read more
YooNo is a useful browsing utility that combines several social features. On any Web site, it shows you: other sites that were liked by people who bookmarked that site; blog posts and articles related to the page; and info on the site's primary users (called "Yoosers").
It could be an overwhelming amount of information, but it's actually pretty helpful. The Links (related sites) function is both the oldest YooNo feature and its most useful. Based on YooNo's shared-bookmarks function, it helps you find sites related to the one you're viewing. It's a collaborative … Read more
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District, an agency that many young kids grow up dreaming about working for someday, is testing out a plug-in hybrid crafted by Valence Technology and Energy CS. The car is a 2005 Toyota Prius that contains a lithium-ion auto battery from Valence that essentially lets the car run mostly on electricity. The battery gets recharged through a wall socket.
Plug-ins get about 100 miles to the gallon, although the cost of the additional battery makes them a tough sell, concede plug-in proponents. The range is also limited, but that's not a big deal for fleet … Read more
Almost anyone who's tried to use the "shuffle" functionality to create automatic playlists can attest that randomizing song lists or libraries is no easy task. I always seem to get one or two songs that appear far too often and some artists who never show up at all.
Enter The Filter (download it at CNET Download.com), a Windows plug-in for iTunes backed by musician Peter Gabriel. The Filter uses artificial intelligence and the All Music Guide database to manufacture custom iTunes playlists based on a variety of user inputs, such as a few songs of your … Read more