The editors here at CNET Download.com have bashed our heads together trying to sort through the bloody mess that was the past 12 months in software. The rise of webware sure changed the playing field, but we think we've found 10 Windows applications that are either new to the world or had such a major upgrade that they might as well be. We present these in no particular order, but please feel free to add your favorites in the comments below.
These are some of our favorite new designs, and redesigns from 2007. We don't often blog about outstanding design as much function at Webware, but it's a very important aspect of how we interact with Webware, and what people see when they first come to a site. All of these sites were either new in 2007, or received major redesigns.Twitter
Twitter, which has really taken off this year, took a page from some popular blogging services like Wordpress and Blogger to let users tweak and style the way their user pages look. Beyond that, the service has a lot of character and a simple design that's easy to use.Apple .Mac photo galleries
Apple's .Mac service got a considerable upgrade earlier this year, and even non-members can enjoy the new photo galleries. These things are gorgeous, and can be tweaked for both color and presentation by whoever is looking at them.
Continue reading to see the rest...… Read more
Nobody wants to spend time scrolling through thousands of search results to find the page that contains the information they're looking for. In fact, few people bother looking beyond the first page of 10 results, choosing instead to recraft their search phrase and try again. But with the help of a few search operators, you can increase substantially the chances that you'll find what you're looking for on your first search try. (Note: not all of these work in every search engine.)
Restating the Obvious Operators I'll wager you know all about using the plus sign (+) … Read more
Standards, standards, standards.
That's the general theme of a video about the next version of Internet Explorer, which will unsurprisingly be called IE 8. Details thus far have been scarce, but in a half-hour video with IE General Manager Dean Hachamovitch and Architect Chris Wilson produced by Microsoft's Channel 9, the two discuss the importance of standards, compatibility, and interoperability with the upcoming browser.
We also get a (faraway) sneak peak at a development build of the new hush-hush browser. The key takeaway? IE will finally be able to render the Acid 2 test correctly, which has historically … Read more
Innovative gifts that can be ordered on the Internet can help to avoid shopping and dropping from the stress of loud, crowded stores. Plus, Web 2.0 presents can be tailored to individuals' tastes. Here's an assortment of some of the brightest gift ideas from Webware's writers.
This collection of gifts for Internet addicts, such as goodies for Second Life avatars or a year's worth of Web hosting, can enrich both virtual and offline worlds. These 20 sites crank out customized T-shirts, so friends and family can wear your heart on their chests. Feeling crafty? … Read more
The first dating service to use lab-based genetic profiling launched online last week. Scientific Match promises to pair up people who will be physically attracted to each other because their DNA is different.
Well-matched couples will like each others' natural scents, have more fun in bed, and bear healthier children than those who are genetically similar, the company claims.
The service, available only in the Boston area, charges $1,995 for a year-long subscription.
"I strongly believe this will dominate the future of dating services," said founder Eric Holzle, a mechanical engineer.
Members swab their cheeks and send … Read more
A friend took me to task for recommending that people use Gmail as a central repository for all their e-mail. (The fact that he works for Yahoo is purely coincidental.)
"Sure, let Google read all your mail and serve up ads based on the content," he said. "Nothing wrong with that." The fact is, I consider everything I do online--searching, browsing, shopping, e-mail, video-viewing, you name it--as public as anything I do on Main Street in midday. That doesn't mean I don't take precautions to protect my credit card numbers and other private information … Read more
Michael Pick of Particls has written the perhaps most comprehensive overview of attention profiling and APML (attention profiling mark-up language) to date. APML is a proposed standard that allows users to share their own personal attention profile and compress all forms of attention data into one portable file format that can be traded between attention seekers and givers:
"We have reached the point of information hyper-saturation. It can become quite a chore to find relevant content online, when there is so much other information competing for your attention. But by implementing attention profiling, it becomes possible to have the … Read more
Update 2:20 p.m. PST: I added some more details and a reaction.
Amazon.com has begun publicly testing a third element to its online computing services: a database capability called SimpleDB.
The new Web service joins two others the online retailer launched in 2006 that anyone can pay to use: computing horsepower called the Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2) and data storage called Simple Storage Service (S3). SimpleDB works in conjunction with those services, letting customers store, modify, and query data, the company said Friday.
"Amazon SimpleDB provides quick, efficient storage and retrieval of your data to support … Read more
Web search is a whole lot easier than thumbing through a household copy of The Merck Manual when you're trying to find out what you're sick with. A simple search based on symptoms might steer you the right way, but several medical Web services have gone the route of attempting to emulate the kinds of questions you'd get when visiting a doctor's office. One of them, called MEDgle has quietly been offering up a symptom-based medical search tool for the last year.
The crux of MEDgle is the search tool, which either lets users type in … Read more