Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Open Source Desktop Twitter Keyword Monitor from Yahoo: Sideline

yahoo sidelineYahoo user interface engineers decided to try something a little different and experimental. The result was Sideline, a Yahoo-built application that runs on desktops via the Adobe AIR platform.

Sideline, announced on the Yahoo user interface blog, is a desktop application that displays real-time mentions of specific keywords, brands, or names. It is capable of custom search groups, advanced queries, and refreshes the application with new mentions automatically. How does it do this? It pulls keyword mentions from Twitter, of course!

The Yahoo Sideline project seems to have grown out of an internal project over at Yahoo, the goal of which was to create a desktop application that utilized Twitter, would be compatible with Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux with minimal work, and didn’t require learning new programming languages. The result was an Adobe AIR application, which allows for the building of apps in Web-specific languages, such as PHP (), HTML, and Javascript.

The actual application is simple and replicates much of the functionality of other Web-based Twitter apps, such as monitter. It highlights and tracks keywords, is easy to search, and according to Yahoo, offers “20% more awesomeness.” Sideline seems to be more of a research project for Yahoo rather than building a new major new product or division.

The Yahoo User Interface team also included in its announcement some suggestions for Adobe AIR app development, primarily that developers need to understand their programming environment and debugging tools are absolutely essential. Sideline is open source, so developers are welcome to play around with the code.

[via mashable]

Weave, Firefox Browsers Sync Now Supports Mobile Browser Too

mozilla weave logoToday, Mozilla Labs released the 0.3 version of Weave, its project that syncs multiple browsers in the cloud. Weave lets users sync their bookmarks, tabs, passwords, and histories in the cloud across Firefox browsers on different computers. With today’s release, you can also sync with Fennec, Firefox’s mobile browser, which unfortunately right now only works on one kind of phone: a Nokia N810 Internet Tablet. Yeah, I don’t have one of those either.

But the idea of syncing your browsers is a powerful one for anyone who uses more than one computing device on a regular basis. Originally launched in December, 2007, Weave is now faster and more reliable. In other words, now it actually works (or so I’m told).

The one thing Weave doesn’t sync is all of your add-ons. But that is planned for a future release.

[via techcrunch]

Enhanced Image Search with Ginipic

ginipic screenshot

Searching for a specific image on the Internet can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Some sites, such as Google Image search, try to make the process easier, but shuffling through one page after another of results can quickly get tedious. That’s where the free desktop application called Ginipic comes into play. Ginipic is a free to use Windows only application which can search image search engines, photo sharing websites or your own local picture collections simultaneously. You can find what you're looking for and use it instantly in your own creation - document, presentation, art work - you name it and work alongside other applications with Ginipic in Dock mode.

Here are some other features that make Ginipic worth it:

  • Multiple Sources - You can choose to search your favorite search engine or photo-sharing site (Flickr, Google, Yahoo!, SmugMug, deviantArt, Picasa, Photobucket, Facebook, and more), or expand your search to unlimited results with a click of a button, with our tailored “All Sources” option.
  • No Duplicates - Did you know that, on average, “big search engines not be named” give you 200 duplicates for every 1,000 results? Not with ginipic.
  • Incredible Variety - Ginipic gives you the power of the web to find ANY picture in ANY category with NO restrictions.
  • Advanced Search - Advanced search gives you the ability to customize your queries in each source - just as you would on their site.
  • Resizing - Choose your own preview size for the best possible experience! Maximize to enjoy the picture in all its glory, work small if you’re just browsing away.
  • Tagging - Tag your pictures away and see them all in a heartbeat by choosing your tag in the comfortable Favorites source. Not a tag person? Just favorite the picture and you’ll still have a super easy access to it.
  • Drag & Drop - Drag & Drop functionality gives you the ability to start working immediately - you see something you like, just drag it in your work space and continue working.
  • Save Images Locally - Want to backup or save it for later? No need in clumsy “right click, save as, too hard to understand what’s going on” options - just save the picture right from the preview window when you’re satisfied.
  • Set as Wallpaper - Do you feel like changing your background? Just hit the “Set as wallpaper” on any picture and instantly your desktop will change and renew before your eyes.

This is definitely a slick app, and truly handy for those heavy images searchers out there. Give it a whirl and let us know what you think.

Firefox Surpasses IE in Europe

Microsoft lost the browsers battle in Europe. For the first time, Internet Explorer 7 was surpassed by Firefox 3, according to Statcounter. Firefox 3 now has 35.05% while IE7 has 34.54% of the market share. Of course, if we add IE6, Microsoft is still in the lead.

Of course these stats are provided by websites where StatCounter is installed, but like any other similar service, it's quite accurate.

Gmail Multiple Signatures

You can have multiple Gmail signatures in a variety of ways. Please note that some examples below work for any web email.

1. Through a bookmarklet:

gmail multiple sigs

Simply go to this page, create your signatures (they can be HTML too), then you will be given a link which you can drag to your bookmarks toolbar and then when writing an email, simply click on a bookmarklet and your signature is inserted in the email body.

2. Using Gmail Labs canned responses:

gmaiul canned responses

a. Enable Canned Responses in “Labs” in your gmail account.
b. Write out your email signature into your email as if you were writing a normal email.
c. Next save the signature as a canned response under any name, something like “My Main Signature” for example. (repeat this step for all your various signatures)
d. From now on, you can write emails as your normally would and once you’ve reached the foot of your email and ready to insert your signature - simply click the “Canned Responses” menu and select the appropriate signature.

3. Using a text complete Firefox addon:

textcomplete firefox addon

Previously mentioned Firefox addon TextComplete or any other similar addon can fill in an email signature in any email client by typing just 1-2 letters. For instance we can set 3 signatures: "s1", "s2" and "s3" and by typing either of those shortcodes and hitting ctrl + alt + Z, the text field is auto filled with our signature.

4. Using Firefox addon Blank Canvas Gmail:

Blank Canvas Gmail Signatures

Blank Canvas Gmail Signatures automatically inserts HTML signatures into your Gmail messages based on which address you are sending from. Supports up to four signatures for each address you have set up. Works for Compose Message and Reply/Forward.

5. Using Firefox addon WiseStamp

WiseStamp multiple email signatures

WiseStamp is an add-on that is still in beta. This Firefox extension enables you to create personalized multiple signatures for any web based email service.

With its rich text editor you can set up personal and business signatures (text or HTML). You can also include your IM identities and social profiles. The WiseStamp interface automatically adds the signature at the end of your email. Of course, it can also be added manually at a choice mouse cursor location and if you don’t want to sign off, just switch it off.

6. Using Ubiquity Firefox addon:

ubiquity multiple gmail signatures

Go to command editor and paste this:
name: "signature simple",
preview: "Insert your simple signature; simple eh?",
execute: function(){
CmdUtils.setSelection( "Your Signature" );

name: "signature full",
preview: "Insert your full signature.",
execute: function(){
CmdUtils.setSelection( "Your Signature\n\nhttp://yourwebsite.com\nYour Favorite Quote\nEt Cetera" );
replacing Your Signature\n\nhttp://yourwebsite.com\nYour Favorite Quote\nEt Cetera with your signature. Please note that "\n" adds another line so use it so you can have multiple lines in your signature. And of course, replace signature full and signature simple with the code you want to type so that your signatures gets inserted. Add as many as you want (there are only 2 in my example).

Free Theme Manager for Mac: Magnifique

Magnifique is a free theme manager application for Mac that allows you to easily create your own theme library and apply them with just a click of a button. Theme files have the ".mfq.plugin" file extension that designates them as files for Magnifique. This format is completely open. No encryption, compression, or anything is used to prevent you from seeing exactly what's going on. What you see inside a plugin is exactly what you get, which makes it easy to see what you are putting on your computer. And since this format is open, it is easier than ever before to create a theme package for Magnifique.


Magnifique has a built in theme downloads system that can list and easily download themes directly from our servers right onto your computer, without the usual hassle of using a web browser and manually installing themes. There are virtually no delays either, so you get access the moment a theme is released. You also get to see theme reviews and comments, and in most cases, a preview image, so you know exactly what you are downloading.

Key features of Magnifique includes

  • Added Theme Mixer feature.
  • Fixed case sensitivity issue with theme list.
  • Themes now alphabetically ordered.
  • Fixed downloads list repetition bug.
  • App now remembers position of split view.

To get started simply Download the Magnifique browser and apply it. You wouldn’t need to restart your machine once you apply a theme. Just a restart of the Finder and the dock will do the job for you.

Transform Twitter Links into Delicious Bookmarks with Tweecious

If you're looking for a really simple way to feed your Delicious account and keep track of all the links you've shared over Twitter, Tweecious is a fantastic tool for the lazy. This new Firefox add-on turns links you've included in Twitter messages into bookmarks for your Delicious library, and even tags everything for you.

Once you've logged into both accounts to provision Tweecious with access, it simply keeps an eye on what you've posted in Twitter and will send it over to Delicious. This also works retroactively, so you can have it slurp up all the links from your previous 1,000 tweets and send them over. For me that whole process took about 10 minutes after I had installed it and provisioned my accounts. It also adds a "Tweecious" tag to each item so you can sort which bookmarks came from Twitter.


Tweecious takes links you've included in Twitter messages and automatically saves them to Delicious--complete with tags!
(Credit: CNET Networks)

To auto-tag everything for you, Tweecious makes use of both LongURL and Zemanta. LongURL takes URLs that have been shortened by services like TinyURL or Bit.ly and expands them so they can be added and found in Delicious. It then uses Zemanta to come up with some tags, which are automatically appended to each bookmarked item. These may not always be accurate, but it's a huge time saver to have Zemanta do it for you.

It's worth a mention that this extension is still considered "experimental" by Mozilla. Shortly after installing it I noticed some slowdown when using Twitter, as well as having the post button not work for me at all. However, after it finished indexing all my previous tweets with links, everything went back to normal.

Protect Your Email Address over the Internet with Scr.im


Ever wanted to share your email address with someone in a public forum, website contact info, blog comments and so on but don't want your email address to be discovered by spam bots that crawl the internet? Scr.im can help.

Scr.im is a very simple service that can convert your email address into a short, cute and safe link you can share on the web, in Twitter, forums, Craigslist, anywhere. It works like this: You add your email address to Scr.im, it gives you a small URL—like this one—that requires you to pass a captcha to view the email address.

[via lifehacker]

8 Wordpress Plugins for Twitter

1. TweetBacks for Wordpress

Imports tweets of your articles and either displays them as comments or separately.

2. Tweet Stats

Works in conjunction with TweetBacks and adds two widgets: “Most Tweeted Posts” and “Recently Tweeted Posts”. It can also import old tweets.

3. Automagic Twitter Profile URI

Adds a new field next to the comment fields so you can enter your Twitter username which is then linked to your Twitter profile.

4. Tweet This

A digg-style button that allows anyone to tweet your blog posts. It uses url shortening services like TintURL and Th8.us and is highly configurable. It includes other social bookmarking websites like Plurk, Yahoo Buzz, Delicious, Digg, Ping.fm, Reddit and StumbleUpon.

5. Commentwitter

Allows users to tweet their comments and it also includes the url of the blog post.

6. Twitter Tools

Allows you to store tweets in your blog's database, it can create an article out of every tweet or tweets organized by days or weeks and promotes articles on Twitter, including their links. It also allows you to post on Twitter from your blog's sidebar or admin panel. It is also possible to integrate other services through APIs, like hellotxt.

7. TweetSuite

Based on TweetBacks and Tweet Stats, it includes a Tweet This button and a RT button for TweetBacks which you can use either independent of in the same time. It can also post articles directly on Twitter.

8. TwitCapt

Allows your visitors to promote your blog with personalized RTs. You can set an option so that the users will follow up to 5 different people, which is a great way to increase your Twitter followers. It can also say "Thanks" to those that post a RT.

[via peugen.net]

Twitter Updates Replies: They Are Now Mentions

twitter updates replies

Twitter is updating the @Replies (@your_username in the right side menu) which now becomes Mentions. That means that from now on, under the @Your_username tab you will see all the tweets that include your @username opossite to before, when it used to show only @replies that started with your username.

Before, under @replies:

@username <text>

Now, under Mentions:

<text> @username <text>

So now, no matter where your username is mentioned in a tweet, it will show up under "Mentions".

Alternate Search for Google using Retro Links

Google sometimes turns off features. One such feature that I remember fondly is that at the bottom of Google’s search results, we offered nine other search engine suggestions. The idea was if you didn’t find what you were searching for on Google, you could click on the other links and easily run the same search somewhere else. Luckily, due to an April Fool’s joke about the Mentalplex, you can still see what these links looked like:

google retro links

But you can get that if you want, using Retro Links, which is a Greasemonkey script to add new search options to Google’s search results page. Please note that to install Retro Links you will need to be using Firefox and have Greasemonkey installed. When Retro Links is installed, it looks like this:

google retro links

Unlike the original feature, Retro Links lets you select which search engines to show from 42 different websites and search engines, then saves those preferences. It’s also very easy to add a new search engine in the JavaScript file.

[via mattcuts]

Foobar2000 is Out

foobar2000 is an advanced audio player developed by Peter Pawlowski, who worked on the development of WinAmp3. Without skins and other stuff, it is an extremely lightweight player that uses less than 6 MB of RAM when running. This version contains only minor repairs of bugs.

Main Foobar2000 features

* Supported audio formats: MP3, MP4, AAC, CD Audio, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, Musepack, Speex, AU, SND... and more with additional components.
* Gapless playback.
* Full unicode support.
* Easily customizable user interface layout.
* Advanced tagging capabilities. Updating of tags online via Freedb2.
* Support for ripping Audio CDs as well as transcoding all supported audio formats using the Converter component.
* Full ReplayGain support.
* Customizable keyboard shortcuts.
* Open component architecture allowing third-party developers to extend functionality of the player.

For the changelog, click here.

FeedDemon 3 Beta 1 is Out

FeedDemon 3.0 Beta 1FeedDemon 3.0 Beta 1 was released on March 30 and it includes a lot of new features like tagging support for items which can be synchronized with Newsgator and displayed in various ways including a tag cloud at the Subscriptions Homepage but most features were added for Twitter users, like subscribing to Twitter feeds with avatar images, Twitter timelines, balloon popups for short urls that display the redirected page, replying to Twitter posts directly, automatic hyperlinking of information in Twitter feeds (@replies, #hashtags and author names), the ability to send links to Twitter and even a Twitter search engine.

That’s a lot of additions for Twitter users but that’s only a tiny fraction of all the new features of FeedDemon. Users can now import Google Reader subscriptions directly but still no Google Reader synchronization. This feature is planned and it might be released in upcoming versions of FeedDemon 3.

One thing though, an ad was introduced in FeedDemon 3.0 Beta 1, under your feed and although it's not obstructive, it's stil la drawback.

Performance has been improved quite a bit especially when searching subscriptions or browsing popular topics. There are two interesting - and new - export options available. The first will export feeds in newspaper format into an external html document. Excellent for sending someone else a compilation of interesting feeds in that format. The second is to export the top feeds only.

For a complete list of changes and download, see here.

Last.fm: Radio Announcement Revisited

last.fmLast week, Last.fm announced that they would soon start charging users that live outside the US, UK, and Germany about $4 USD per month to continue using the streaming radio features of its site. The announcement drew tons of feedback – much of it negative – both in our poll and on the Last.fm blog.
Today, Last.fm publicly responded to its users – first giving a more detailed explanation of why they’re implementing subscriptions internationally, and second, indicating that they’ll be delaying the move until a few much requested features are delivered to users.

Perhaps the most important addition that Last.fm plans before launch is alternative payment options, most notably, the option to pay via premium SMS. In other words, some users will be able to pay for their Last.fm subscription by simply sending a text message and having the fees added to their phone bill. While that hardly makes up for the fact that users have to pay in the first place, it will make the service accessible to those without a credit card or PayPal.

As soon as we’ve completed the upgrades noted above, we’ll move ahead with the transition. Thereafter, radio in the USA, UK and Germany will remain ad-supported, and radio in other countries where it’s not feasible to have an ad-supported service will be moving to a subscription service.

Encarta Discontinued by Microsoft

encartaMicrosoft's years-long-running multimedia CD-based encyclopedia product, Encarta, will be history by the end of the year. According to Ars Technica, Microsoft quietly announced the discontinuation date for Encarta to be October 31, 2009. Although the MSN press release doesn't go into too much detail on all the reasons why this decision was made, (nothing about Wikipedia for example), they do mention that the way people look for and consume information has changed substantially in the last few years, which seems like a fair assessment:

On October 31, 2009, MSN Encarta Web sites worldwide will be discontinued, with the exception of Encarta Japan, which will be discontinued on December 31, 2009. Additionally, Microsoft will cease to sell Microsoft Student and Encarta Premium software products worldwide by June 2009.

It appears that all Encarta properties will be phased out over the coming year. They will stop selling the retail and student versions by June and the online MSN Explorer content will be removed by the end of October. Customers paying for a subscription to Encarta Premium will receive a pro-rated refund around the middle of the year. Technical support, like with most other Microsoft products, will continue for three years after the official end of life.

Install Lots of Applications with NirSoft Installer

nirsoft installerNirSoft makes a ton of free and incredibly useful applications for Windows. There are password storage and recovery tools, registry editing utilities, networking apps, and a ton of Windows Explorer add-ons. But there are so many useful programs at the NirSoft web site that it would take forever to download them all.

That's where the NirSoft Installer comes in. This app can install every single NirSoft utility in one fell swoop. Or you can pick and choose the ones you want to download and install. There are also options for downloading just the top 10 apps, all the programs designed for Windows 2000 or newer, or just the utilities for Windows 95/98/ME.

[via gHacks]

Ubuntu Newbie Guide: Ubuntu Software Equivalent to Windows applications [Part 7]

windows ubuntu logo

If you're an Ubuntu newbie, then you must have used Windows until recently so you are really used to it and most of all, of it's software. But there are a lot of great similar applications for Linux / Ubuntu, so here is a list so you'll know what to look for when needing an application (on the left: Windows apps, on the right: Linux / Ubuntu apps):

Windows Media Player / BSPLayer: vlc, Totem
Winamp, iTunes: Amarok (KDE), Exaile, Rhythmbox, XMMS, BMP, Audacious, Banshee
uTorrent / Bittorrent: Transmission, Deluge-torrent, KTorrent (KDE), Azureus
Nero Burning ROM: Brasero, k3b (KDE), Serpentine
Windows Movie Maker: Avidemux, Kino (KDE). You can find a full lists and installation howtos, here.
3D Studio MAX, Blender, Maya: Blender, Maya, Softimage, K-3D (KDE)
Internet Explorer (seriously, did you used that on Windows?): Firefox, Opera, Konqueror, Epiphany
Outlook: Thunderbird, Evolution
Microsoft Office: Open Office, AbiWord, KWord
ICQ, MSN Messenger, AIM, Yahoo Messenger, etc: all of them: Pidgin, Kopete, aMSN, KICQ
any FTP Client: FileZilla, GFTP, KFTP (KDE)
Photoshop: GIMP
Irfanview, ACDSee: XnView, GQView, Mirage
Audacity, CoolEdit, Audio Catalyst: Ardour, Rosegarden, Audacity, Beast
GuitarPro: TuxGuitar
Daemon Tools: gmount-iso
Partition Editor, Partition Magic: QTparted, GParted
Antivirus software: no need ;)
Zone Alarm or any firewall: Guarddog, Firestarter

And the list could go on forever but i'm going to stop here.

Of corse, a lot of applicatons that work on Windows also work on Linux / Ubuntu (some are ported, some native. Actually some are ported from Linux to Windows), such as: Skype, Azureus, VLC, Firefox, Opera, Thunderbird, Deluge-torrent, Gimp, FileZilla, Audacity, Open Office.

To install an application just type in a terminal: sudo apt-get install APPLICATION_NAME as listed above but most of them might be already installed. If it doesn't work, try searching for it in Synaptic: go to System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager and search for it.
"(KDE)" next to an applications means it runs on KDE, but will work on Gnome too but it will install some KDE libraries.

Don't forget to read the other parts of Ubuntu Newbie Guide.

Optimize Your Computer's CPU with PRocess Lasso

process lasswo

RProcess Lasso is a freeware Windows utility that, amongst other things, will improve your PC's responsiveness and stability. Windows, by design, allows programs to monopolize your CPU without restraint -- leading to freezes and hangs. Process Lasso's ProBalance technology intelligently adjusts the priority of running programs so that badly behaved or overly active processes won't interfere with your ability to use the computer!

Moreover, the graphical interface of the "PRocess Lasso" presents a display and a manual manipulation of running processes. This application is not intended to replace the Task Manager, but has capacity to do so due to its main functions.

Although you can modify the program's settings, is not recommended to do so, because these settings are chosen to obtain an optimal performance.

Process Lasso Features:

# ProBalance dynamic priority optimization
# Default process priorities
# Default process CPU affinities
# Foreground boosting
# Limit allowed program instances
# Disallow programs from running
# Log all programs run
# System responsiveness graph
# Stand-alone core engine
# Available in x86-32 and x86-64 builds
# Highly optimal, extremely low RAM and CPU use

Core Engine Features
* Stand-alone capability
* Only 1-3 MB of RAM used in typical cases
* ProBalance automatically manages process priorities to improve system responsiveness and prevent freezes
* Configure processes to always start at a desired priority and/or CPU affinity
* Auto-terminate undesirable processes
* Limit the number of instances a process can have
* Fine-tune NT scheduler settings with TweakScheduler
* Fine-tune Vista Multimedia Scheduler with VistaMMSC

Skype for iPhone Arrives Tomorrow

The big news this morning is that the news from last week is true. Skype will unveil its iPhone app on Tuesday but it will only work on WiFi. That last bit isn’t unexpected but is disappointing because AT&T certainly doesn’t want Skype honing in on its turf. You can use the chat feature over the Network though. This may be a boost for those using the iPod Touch though, which doesn’t have phone capability.

Word is that Skype for the Blackberry will be out of the chute in May.

Via CNet


Gmail Plans to Translate Messages

PCWorld reports that Google plans to offer users a gift for Gmail's fifth birthday.

Google will announce the next step in Gmail's evolution, a new product with a European multilingual angle on Monday. At an event in Brussels to mark Gmail's fifth birthday, Google will look at the impact of cloud computing on how people manage their daily tasks, review Gmail's evolution to date and announce the next step in its progression, the company wrote in an invitation.

Most likely, the new product is a Gmail Labs feature that lets you translate messages written in a foreign language. I've found the screenshot that will be used for the feature, which will probably be another great use of the Google Translate API.

Similar features that use Google Translate have been implemented in Google Reader, YouTube, Google Maps, Picasa Web Albums, but the future is a powerful client that translates pages on the fly.

[via googlesystem.blogspot.com]

Read More (Excerpts) on Blogger's Home Page

This article will explain how to add a "Read More" link to your Blogger (blogspot.com) posts so that only a portion of a post's text will appear on the blog's front page, like a teaser. Then users who want to read the rest of the post have to click a link to see the full text. This is more or less like the excerpt option for Wordpress blogs or also known as expandable post summaries.

This is handy if you have lots of long articles all on one page. To do so, go to your Blogger Dashboard: Layout > Edit HTML and check "Expand Widget Templates", then

(for classic templates)
Search for this in your template: <$BlogItemBody$> and right after it, paste this:

<div class='more-link'>
<MainOrArchivePage><br />
<a href="<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>">Read more!</a>

(for layouts - new Blogger Templates)

Search for this in your template: <p><data:post.body/></p> and right after it, paste this:
<div class='more-link'>
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType != "item"'><br />
<a expr:href='data:post.url' expr:title='data:post.title' rel='nofollow'>Read more!</a>

Once more, search for </head> in your template, and before it, add this:

(for classic templates)
span.fullpost {display:none;}

span.fullpost {display:inline;}

(for layouts - new Blogger Templates)
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
span.fullpost {display:inline;}
span.fullpost {display:none;}

Then, when you publish a post, add the text you do not wish to show up on your front page (and on labels pages and searches too) between these tags:
<span class="fullpost"></span>

Like so:
This is a post. This text will show up on the main page
<span class="fullpost">This is still part of that post, but this text will only show up after clicking the "read more" link or the post title.

This tags can go into your post template so that you don't have to remember/type it each time. To do that, go to your Blogger Dashboard: Settings > Formatting and put this in the Post Template box:
Here is the beginning of my post. <span class="fullpost">And here is the rest of it.</span>

Then, when writing a new post, that text will show up by default and all you have to do is replace the first part (outside the tags) with what you want to show up on the main page (the excerpt or teaser, call it whatever you want) and the part between the tags with the rest of the post (article).

And you're done. But if you also want to customize it, here's how to do it. Go to your Blogger Dashboard, to Layout > Edit HTML and search for ]]> and above it, paste this:
.more-link {
display : block;
background : url(http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r99/nilarimogard/arrow_right.png) no-repeat right top;
padding-right : 20px;
text-align : right;
clear : both;
.more-link a {
text-decoration : underline;
font-weight : bold;
.more-link a:hover {
color : #ff0000;
font-weight : bold;
text-decoration : underline;

You can of course customize it further, this is just how it looks on my blog. You can for instance download my red arrow from the above code, change it's color and upload it somewhere and then use it in that code, change the font color and so on.

Update: how to add selective "read more", meaning that the "read more" link will only show up on the posts you want too, not all.

Last Week's Top Posts (Week 13, 2009)

Windows Live Translator is Here

windows live translator

The fight between Google and Microsoft has become increasingly strong and tough. In the last few years, Google managed to build a real empire of technology, which thanks to their work, is maintained at high levels but Microsoft can't accept that. After creating a free online storage space, Microsoft now aims to take some of Google's fame with a new online translator. Microsoft also plans to offer a widget for websites that will be able to translate web pages.

But like many other services which Microsoft only offers because of it's competitors, Windows Live Translator isn't nowhere near as good as Google Translate and also it only has about 12 languages as compared to ~41 for Google Translate.

One new thing about this though: Microsoft added a translation bot for Windows Live Messenger.
Simply add mtbot@hotmail.com to your contacts and invite Tbot to your conversations.

Claim Your Twitter Account on Technorati

You can add your Twitter account to your Technorati profile page for extra exposure and so you can track blog posts linking to your tweets.

You can do that easily, just login into your Technorati account and make a new claim. You will be given a code. You don't need all of it, just the href value (link) like in the image below:


Copy that link and publish it in a new tweet, then come back to Technorati and click "Complete claim" and you are done. You can delete your tweet now, if you want.

Here is my claimed twitter account.

via labnol

Detect The Largest Files on Your Hard-Drive with Primitive File Size Chart

Primitive File Size Chart screenshotIf you're looking to quickly get a snapshot of which folders and files are eating up your disk space, Primitive File Size Chart can help.

Primitive File Size Chart is a simple tool that will analyze the specified disk or folder and show you the 50 largest files and 50 largest folders. The result of this analysis will give you an idea about what occupies a lot of space on your disk. For example, it may be useful in case you need to free a lot of disk space. There can be huge files you had no idea about or forgot to delete. Besides regular users, Primitive File Size Chart will be useful for professionals engaged in processing large arrays of video and audio files and also for system administrators. The program is absolutely free and does not require installation.

Results were returned within seconds even when scanning a packed 1TB disk. Primitive File Size Chart doesn't have any fancy bells or whistles but it will give you the path, file name, and size of your largest files making short work out of assessing what is filling up your disks. Primitive File Size Chart is freeware, Windows only.

[via lifehacker.com]

A Cool Tool for Batch Image Resizing: Picture Resizer

picture resizerWe already wrote about a great portable batch image converter (resize) but Picture Resizer gets things done in a unique way. It is of course free and portable (i just love portable applications) and all you have to do is download the executable: PhotoResize400.exe (only 299 kb) file and drag and drop images onto it and the tool will resize JPG images and save them next to the originals. Names of the new pictures will be based on the original names, with a suffix indicating their size. For example, the resized version of MyPhoto.jpg will be called MyPhoto-400.jpg, where the number 400 indicates the size of the picture.

But this is the coolest part: rename the .exe file into the size of which you want your photos resized, let's say PhotoResize1024.exe and drag and drop photos into it: they will be resized to 1024 width. You can specify only the width: PhotoResizeW1024.exe or height: PhotoResizeH768.exe or both, like so: PhotoResizeWidthXHeight.exe, for instance: PhotoResize1024x768.exe and so on.

It supports a lot of parameters and functions like compression quality, copy metadata (EXIF), and so on which you can find in the renaming wizard on it's home page.

[via cnet.ro]

Backup Your Twitter Account

twitter backup

Remember the Twitter crash of Black Thursday (back in July 2008 when scores of users lost followers overnight) or the recent tweets that were never posted? That might happen again... What if you could back up your entire Twitter account or just the followers, direct messages, favourites, your tweets or friends? Or:
  • You may change your Twitter name and want to re-follow the people you were following, and contact the people who were following you
  • You may want to refer to an older Tweet - currently Twitter does not keep all of your older Tweets
  • You may just like backing things up, ‘just in case’, like us

You can do all that with Tweetake, a free service that can back up everything within your Twitter account.

Easily Mount ISO Files in Linux on Right Click

This article will explain how to add a script to Nautilus so that you can easly mount and unmount ISO files in most linux distros running Gnome (it needs Nautilus to show the desktop). After a ISO file has been mounted, a shortcut icon will appear on your desktop which you can right click to unmount. Also, the script will automatically remove the desktop icon after you have unmounted the image (ISO). Look here for installation instructions for KDE.

Let's get started:

Installing required packages:

You need to install fuseiso, nautilus-actions and zenity:
sudo apt-get install fuseiso nautilus-actions zenity
Then you have to add yourself as a member of the "FUSE" group:
sudo gpasswd -a <span style="font-weight:bold;">yourusername</span> fuse
change yourusername well, with your username.
For this to take effect you need to logout and log back in.

Installation instructions for the nautilus iso mount script:

1. Create directory called "bin/nautilus-actions" (that exact name because of hard-coding) in your home directory:
mkdir -p /home/`whoami`/bin/nautilus-actions

2. Download this file and extract it to the previously created bin/nautilus-actions (so the files will be in bin/nautilus-actions/fusemounter)

3. Go to System -> Preferences -> Nautilus Actions Configuration

Add the "Mount ISO" action
Press "Add" and enter the values like in this image to the Menu Item & Action Tab and the Conditions Tab respectively.

Note: Change "tanto" (in the left picture, on the "Path:" field) to your user name.Add the "Unmount ISO" action (For .iso files)
Press "Add" and enter the values like in this image to the Menu Item & Action Tab and the Conditions Tab respectively.

Note: Change "tanto" (in the left picture, on the "Path:" field) to your user name.Add the "Unmount ISO" action (For desktop shortcuts files)
Press "Add" and enter the values like in this image to the Menu Item & Action Tab and the Conditions Tab respectively.

Note: Change "tanto" (in the left picture, on the "Path:" field) to your user name.

4. Go to System -> Preferences -> Sessions

Press "Add" and enter the values like in this image to the Startup Programs Tab.

Note: Change "tanto" (on the "Command:" field) to your user name.

That's it, now right click an iso file and click Mount.

[credits: Milk & Toast & Honey @ ubuntuforums.org]

Install all Internet Explorer Versions (From 1 to 8)

internet explorer 1.5Even though Internet Explorer is one of the world's most hated (no. 1 if you ask me) browsers, webmasters still need to take it's market share numbers into consideration when building a website, and IE still has a lot of users world-wide. We wrote about Microsoft's SuperPreview which allows you to test a website in Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 but how about earlier versions?

But here is a complete collection that allows you to run Internet Explorer from version 1 upto the latest version: 8. Every such IE version is portable so they will all work in the same time and do not need additional files to be copied intro your computer.

Internet Explorer Collection also includes the Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar 1.00.2188.0. This Explorer Bar provides a variety of tools which make troubleshooting websites easier. The Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar is compatible with Internet Explorer 5.0 and higher when using Windows 2000 or higher.

Internet Explorer Collection contains the following versions of IE:
  • Internet Explorer 1.0 (4.40.308)
  • Internet Explorer 1.5 (
  • Internet Explorer 2.01 (2.01.046)
  • Internet Explorer 3.0 (3.0.1152)
  • Internet Explorer 4.01 (4.72.3110.0)
  • Internet Explorer 5.01 (5.00.3314.2100)
  • Internet Explorer 5.5 (5.51.4807.2300)
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 (6.00.2800.1106)
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 (6.00.2900.2180)
  • Internet Explorer 7.0 (7.00.5730.13)
  • Internet Explorer 8.0 (8.00.6001.18702)
If you’re using Windows XP/Vista/7 32-bit, you can use all versions in the collection except IE v1.0.

Top Blogger (blogspot.com) Gadget / Widget List

I wrote a lot of Blogger (blogspot.com) gadgets and howto's and so i decided to make a list for easy access to all these tips & hacks. The list will be updated as i write more such articles. Some of them were previously written by other people but i customized and optimized them.

Blogger Tabbed Navigation (Menu) - you can see the tabs menu in the right side of my blog.

Blogger: Recent Posts Widget Using Ajax - again, you can see my recent posts widget in the right side of my blog - the first tab.

Send Trackbacks from Blogger (blogspot.com) - Blogger doesn't automatically send trackbacks, but you can do it using this hack.

Blogger: Publish Code in a Stylish Box with Scrollbars Using CSS - besides adding a CSS box to your Blogger posts, it comes with a Greasemonky script which will add a new button to your new post page for easy code insertion.

Post HTML / CSS / JavaScript (and other) Code As Plain Text In Blogger - This encodes the code in plain text so you can post it on your blog with the click of a button.

3 Alternatives to Blogger's Default Comment System - 3 ways to get comments with gravatars, multiple pages, threated comments, etc etc for Blogger.

Use Drop-down Menu For Blogger's Labels - blogspot.com labels are a real pain to display if you have a lot of them, so why not put them in a drop-down list using this Blogger hack?

Blogger - current date on every post, even if it's posted on the same day - by default, Blogger only display a day's date once on the main page so if you have more than 1 post in a day, the date will only be displayed once. Now you can change that using this howto.

Blogger (blogspot.com) SEO optimization - reverse your page name with blog name so that a post appears like: "post title ~ blog name" in search engines, and also add auto meta description and keywords, etc.

Related posts (articles) for Blogger - best way to display related posts for blogspot.com blogs under each post.

New Blogger templates broken comments - how to fix them - most blogger themes you install have the comment system broken. Read on about how to fix them.

See Detailed Stats About Your RSS Subscribers Using a Tracking Image in Your Feed - this one isn't necessary for Blogger but it includes detailed howto for blogspot.com

Customize Technorati Top Tags Cloud Widget - the same as above: it's not necessary for Blogger but it's a nice widget to add to your blogspot.com blog.

Post Views HitCounter Using an Image Counter - it shows a counter to each post, displaying the number of views for that post (so it displays individual stats for each post). (you can see one at the end of this post)

Update 30 March 2009:

Read More (Excerpts) on Blogger's Home Page - show only excerpts on Blogger's home page, label pages and searches, with a "Read More" at the end of the posts. Update: how to add selective "read more", meaning that the "read more" link will only show up on the posts you want too, not all.

Update 22 April 2009:

How to Make a Blogger Contact Page - add a contact form and delete some page elements such as comment box, tags and so on to make a post really look like a contact page.

Update 04 May 2009:

Implement AdSense Depening on Post Author for a Wordpress / Blogger (blogspot.com) Blog - show Adsense ads depending on the user who posted a certain post, using channels with no need of multiple Adsense accounts or manually adding the code for each post.

Update 05 May 2009:

Breadcrumbs for Blogger (blogspot.com) - two types of breadcrumbs: based on a post's category (looks like this: Browse » Home » Tutorials » Breadcrumbs for Blogger) and based on a post's date (looks like this: You are here: Home > Year > Month > Post Title)

Update 31 May 2009:

I forgot to add Smooth Multi Level Drop-Down Menu Using jQuery - The smooth multi level drop-down menu, called WH works on all browsers and you can see it on top of my blog (Software, Web, Mobile Phones, etc.).

Display Different Greet Message for Your Visitors Depending on their Referrer URL [Blogger Blogs]

Lightweight Image Viewer for Your Website: Shutter Reloaded - How to Implement It - You can see it in action on this blog when clicking an image (after the page completely loads).

jQuery: How to Add a Resize Text / Font Size Widget to Your Website - you can see it in the right side menu on this blog.

Add 'Recommend This Page' To Your Website

How to Import A Wordpress Blog into Blogger (blogspot.com)

Update 10 august 2009:

Free Web Contact Form Using Zoho Creator - A much better way to implement the contact form than Kontactr.

Blogger Syntax Highlighting

Automatic Post Summaries for Blogger, With Image Thumbnails - An alternative for the above 2 methods of using "Read more" for Blogger, this time with an image thumbnail and a Wordpress-like <!-- more --> tag.

How to Add Sexy Social Bookmarking To a Blogger Blog

How to Block (Ban) Users From Visiting Your Blogger Blog

How to Post Code with Syntax Highlighting On Your Website Without Installing A Plugin

Post to Twitter Button for Your Blog with Auto Url Shortening, Without Leaving the Website

How to Customize the New Blogger Tabbed Search

How to Redirect Your Blogger Blog to Another Domain Name (Including Individual Posts Redirect)

Display Different Greet Message for Your Visitors Depending on their Referrer URL

A lot more of these howto's are on the way so make sure you bookmark this page or subscribe to our RSS Feed ;)

Netlimiter for Linux: pyshaper

pyshaperpyshaper lets you set bandwidth minimum and maximum limits on several criteria:
* remote host/port, and local host/port (most shaper apps have this)
* pid of locally connected program
* username under which local program is running
* command line and arguments under which local program was launched
* country in which remmote peer resides

Or, you can set individual inbound and/or outbound limits based on specific countries (or all countries other than your own).

To install it, first, you need the requirements for the package you can get from the repos.

sudo apt-get install python-geoip python-tk tk8.5 python-pmw tcpdump
Now, go install the file. Grab the file from the download link, extract it, and then install it by executing this in the same directory:

sudo make install
Now the tricky part. There's a requirement not mentioned, and that's also by the same author.


First, you need to get it's base library. The reason we're grabbing 0.6 version is because the ezsqlobject library breaks with anything higher (they removed a feature in higher releases called DBMConnection)

sudo apt-get install python-setuptools
sudo easy_install SQLObject==0.6
This grabs easy_install, like PEAR but for python. In other words, it's a repository for python scripts and libraries specifically.

credits: ubuntuforums.org

Hidden wordpress.com Stats Hack (Works for Self-hosted Wordpress Blogs Too)

This tricks will work for people using the wordpress.com stats plugin on a self-hosted blog and also for wordpress.com blogs.

1. You can see exact stats for today but how about having all the stats displayed for any other given day, say for 13 july 2008. You can do that by adding &day=2008-07-13 at the end of the wordpress dashboard stats link, for instance using: http://icehot.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=stats&day=2008-07-13 we get:


2. Using http://stats.wordpress.com/csv.php. You will find documentation on that same page but in case you don't understand, I'll explain. Let's say you want to get top referrers for the past 30 days (you do not have access to these stats in your dasboard), then you would enter this in your browser:
Replace http://myblog.com/ with your blog's address and api with your blog's api key which you can find on wordpress.com (yes, even if you have a self-hosted wordpress blog) dashboard, by clicking on your name in the upper right corner:


and on your profile page you will find the api key:


Then, the referrer stats for the last 30 days will look like this:


Where the number after the links is the number of visits from that referrer.

You can modify the &days=30 parameter with the number of days you want to see the stats for. Also, you can see other stats by replacing &table=referrers with &table= :
  • views
  • postviews
  • searchterms
  • clicks

Anyway, you can play with the parameters and values for which you can find instructions on http://stats.wordpress.com/csv.php

Reset Mac's OSX Password

mac osxThe method below describes how to to access any Mac if you don't know the password.

Locate that Mac’s installer disc or a recent OS X installer disc (a Tiger or Leopard disc, for example). Insert that disc into the Mac’s media drive and hold down the keyboard’s C key to boot the Mac from that disc.

When the Mac boots you’ll be asked to choose a language. Do that and click the right-pointing arrow icon to continue. When the Welcome screen appears wait for the menubar to materialize and choose Reset Password from the Utilities menu. In the resulting window choose the user whose password you want to change from the Select a User pop-up menu. Enter and confirm a password in the appropriate fields and, if you like, enter a hint for the password. Click Save to make the change.

Note that when you’ve reset the Administrator’s password you haven’t reset the login keychain password—that password remains as it was when it was originally set. What this means is that you’ll be able to do all the things an Administrator can—install applications and muck with all the Mac’s system preferences, for example. You can’t, however, access keychain items (web site passwords, for example) saved in that login keychain without the password originally used.

[via macworld]

Find Out Who You Follow But They Don't Follow Back on Twitter


We already talked about a Twitter service that delivers daily mails whit who follows and unfollows you but it's not working so great anymore, so i search for a better service and came across friendorfollow which can tell you who you are following and doesn't follow you back and who follows you and you're not following them back.

Windows Mouse Gestures

windows mouse gesturesHigh Sign is an open-source Windows application that allows you to record mouse gestures in order to perform different tasks. Unlike some other mouse gesture recognition software, you are not limited to a set of predefined gestures; you are free to create any gesture you can think up. The original idea for High Sign was to be a complete StrokeIt alternative, but since High Sign's birth, the vision has changed dramatically for it to become so much more. The gesture recognition engine was written from scratch and designed to focus on maximum recognition accuracy with a minimum sample set.

Once you’ve recorded a gesture you can assign an action to it. This includes minimizing/maximizing a window, switching between apps, running a program or command, and simulating a hotkey combination or keystrokes. With these options you should be able to do just about anything you want, and you can even restrict a gesture to a particular application.

To start using High Sign you’ll want to exit out of Training Mode by right-clicking on the System Tray icon, and then just hold down the right mouse button to start drawing.

Best Free Windows Dock Taskbar: XWindows

Previously we had written about a dock application for Windows - Sliderdock and here is another amazing dock application which looks very similar to Mac OSX dock. XWindows is the newest free Windows Vista and XP program of the class Application Launcher and Desktop Organizer (Dock Taskbar). It even works great with Windows 7. XWindows gives better UI experience than most of the other dock applications for Windows. It allows you to view the docs as 2D or 3D and also has the option to add new skins.
XWindows option panel has lots of customizations like size of icons, opacity, positions etc. XWindows Dock does not require a lot of resources and its optimized for memory usage.

xwindows features

Features of XWindows:

  • Opacity and blur of reflections.
  • Preview of video and images
  • Panel opacity, hiding and showing time
  • Option to show dock on mouseover.
  • Space between panel and screen border.
  • Use or create your own skins for 2D or 3D dock.
  • Two options for what to do when an icon is dragged out of the dock: create shortcut or removal.
  • Shows indicators of running applications.
  • New skin format, now a skin can be created even without specifying some PNG files.
And many others.

via nirmaltv.com

ScreenToaster Adds 3 Key Functionalities

new screentoasterScreenToaster, the totally web-based screencasting (recording) tool, has quietly rolled out a whole bunch of new features, including HD-quality YouTube uploads, Flash/QuickTime downloads, and more recording tools.

1. Upload your videos to YouTube in HD
Benefit from YouTube's audience and viral potential
Keep ScreenToaster's High Quality on your favourite video platform
YouTube videos now include soundtrack

2. Download in .mov for video editing
Benefit from third party video editing tools to rework your videos
Audio now supported for downloaded files

3. Beta Test our recorder API
Let your users publish videos directly on your blog, forum, website or extranet.
Ideal for collaborative projects, professional tutorials, users' support and feedback management, bug tracking and reporting.

ScreenToaster is a free to use and record one-off videos with, bit requires a sign-up to save and track videos on the site for later playing and embedding. It runs anywhere Java can inside a browser.

How to Recover Deleted Files in Ubuntu / Debian with Scapel and Foremost

Foremost and Scalpel are not interested in the underlying filesystem. They simply expect the data blocks of the files to reside sequentially in the image under investigation. The tools will find images in dd dumps, RAM dumps, or swap files. Carving will help to identify and reconstruct files on corrupt filesystems, in slack space, or even after installation of a new operating system, as long as the required data blocks still exist.

Method 1 to recover deleted files in Ubuntu: Scapel

Scalpel is a fast file carver that reads a database of header and footer definitions and extracts matching files from a set of image files or raw device files. Scalpel is filesystem-independent and will carve files from FATx, NTFS, ext2/3, or raw partitions. It is useful for both digital forensics investigation and file recovery. This short article shows how you can use Scalpel to recover deleted files.

In Ubuntu, Scalpel can be installed as follows:
apt-get install scalpel
Before we can use Scalpel, we must define some file types that Scalpel should search for in /etc/scalpel/scalpel.conf. By default, all file types are commented out. Uncomment the lines you want, for instance if you want to recover PDF files:

Press Alt + F2 and type: gedit /etc/scalpel/scalpel.conf

and uncomment these lines:
       pdf     y       5000000 %PDF  %EOF\x0d  REVERSE
pdf y 5000000 %PDF %EOF\x0a REVERSE
Scalpel can be used as follows to try to recover the files:
scalpel /dev/sda1 -o output 
-o defines the directory where Scalpel will place the recovered files - in this case the directory is named output and is a subdirectory of the directory where we are running the scalpel command from; the directory must not exist because otherwise scalpel will refuse to start.

After Scalpel has finished, you will find a folder called output in the directory from where you called Scalpel. The audit.txt contains a summary of what Scalpel has done and the pdf-0-0/ subdirectory contains the pdf files that Scalpel has recovered.

Before you run Scalpel the next time from the same directory, you must either delete/rename the current output/ directory (because Scalpel will not start if the output directory is already existing) or use specify another output directory.

Method 2 for recovering deleted files in Ubuntu: Foremost

Foremost is a console program to recover files based on their headers, footers, and internal data structures. This process is commonly referred to as data carving. Foremost can work on image files, such as those generated by dd, Safeback, Encase, etc, or directly on a drive. The headers and footers can be specified by a configuration file or you can use command line switches to specify built-in file types. These built-in types look at the data structures of a given file format allowing for a more reliable and faster recovery.

Install foremost in Ubuntu

sudo aptitude install foremost

This will complete the installation.

Using Foremost

Foremost Syntax

foremost  [-h][-V][-d][-vqwQT][-b<blocksize>][-o<dir>] [-t<type>][-s<num>][-i<file>]

Available Options

-h Show a help screen and exit.
-V Show copyright information and exit.
-d Turn on indirect block detection, this works well for Unix file systems.
-T Time stamp the output directory so you don’t have to delete the output dir when running multiple times.
-v Enables verbose mode. This causes more information regarding the current state of the program to be dis-played on the screen, and is highly recommended.
-q Enables quick mode. In quick mode, only the start of each sector is searched for matching headers. That is,the header is searched only up to the length of the longest header. The rest of the sector, usually about 500 bytes, is ignored. This mode makes foremost run con- siderably faster, but it may cause you to miss files that are embedded in other files. For example, using quick mode you will not be able to find JPEG images embedded in Microsoft Word documents.

Quick mode should not be used when examining NTFS file systems. Because NTFS will store small files inside the Master File Table, these files will be missed during quick mode.

-Q Enables Quiet mode. Most error messages will be sup-pressed.
-w Enables write audit only mode. No files will be extracted.
-a Enables write all headers, perform no error detection in terms of corrupted files.
-b number Allows you to specify the block size used in foremost. This is relevant for file naming and quick searches. The default is 512. ie. foremost -b 1024 image.dd

-k number Allows you to specify the chunk size used in foremost.This can improve speed if you have enough RAM to fit the image in. It reduces the checking that occurs between chunks of the buffer. For example if you had > 500MB of RAM. ie. foremost -k 500 image.dd

-i file The file is used as the input file. If no input file is specified or the input file cannot be read then stdin is used.

-o directory Recovered files are written to the directory directory.

-c file Sets the configuration file to use. If none is speci-fied, the file “foremost.conf” from the current direc-tory is used, if that doesn’t exist then “/etc/fore-most.conf” is used. The format for the configuration file is described in the default configuration file included with this program. See the CONFIGURATION FILE section below for more information.

-s number Skips number blocks in the input file before beginning the search for headers. ie.

foremost -s 512 -t  jpeg -i /dev/hda1

Foremost examples

Search for jpeg format skipping the first 100 blocks

sudo foremost -s 100 -t jpg -i image.dd

Only generate an audit file, and print to the screen (verbose mode)

sudo foremost -av image.dd

Search all defined types

sudo foremost -t all -i image.dd

Search for gif and pdf

sudo foremost -t gif,pdf -i image.dd

Search for office documents and jpeg files in a Unix file sys-tem in verbose mode.

sudo foremost -v -t ole,jpeg -i image.dd

Run the default case

sudo foremost image.dd

image.dd means you need to enter your hardisk mount point i.e /dev/sda1 or /dev/sda2

New YouTube Features


Share to Twitter, clean-up of pages and better mobile integration

YouTube has announced a number of changes to its website and is promising to keep users more up to date with what is going on.

On its blog this week, the YouTube team posted: "we figured more frequent, casual 'release notes' would be good to publish.

"That way you can get a broader sense of what's new on the site, from major features to cosmetic touches, as well as background on the thinking or motivation behind some of these items."

New features

In this update, a number of new features have been launch. Although none of them are ground-breaking, they have been designed to make YouTube a simpler, smarter service.

  • Better mobile integration: First up is an improvement of the site's mobile service. A new mobile landing page has been created, which is a "a lot more smooth and intuitive" than previous efforts.
  • Twitter functionality: The site now has a "share to Twitter" button. The folks at YouTube have realised that Twitter is the hot, new thing on the internet and have made it easier to post links of videos to the micro-blogging service.
  • Easier log-in: There's now a one-place sign-in for users who already have a Google account.
  • Social-networking: YouTube has now made it easier to contact your friends through the service. There's now the ability for you to send an invite and personalised note to a username or email address. And there's also an instant friend link to instant message.
  • HD is simplified: If you want to post HD videos, you now don't need a degree in HTML, as YouTube has simplified the way to get hi-def footage on to the site. "We want to give you more control over how your video looks, including the option of it being eye-blazingly clear (HD), so we've now added an official URL parameter (hd=1) for sharing HD links," the blog says.

Other improvements include a clean-up of names, so advertising is now classed as 'promotional videos'. The watch page has also has a bit of a spring clean.

Unfortunately, there's still no word when music videos are going to be back on the site.

Opera Mobile 9.7 Turbo

opera mobile logoOpera has announced a Mobile 9.7, a new web browser that it claims can speed up web browsing significantly thanks to 'Opera Turbo'.

The software uses a new rendering engine and full support for Flash and Ajax, with similar components used in the full version of the Opera 10 browser.

This means that content rich sites like YouTube, Facebook and MySpace can all be accessed as they would be on the 'normal' web, as well as bringing support for Google's offline service, Google Gears.

Opera claims that by using its new engine and compressing web pages by up to 80 per cent, which not only speeds up use but also helps lower the amount of data used, therefore saving money for those that don't have an unlimited data plan.

It also means that less strain is put on the mobile processor, thus meaning the internet can be brought to a wider range of handsets.

Rod Hamlin, Senior Vice President for the Americas for Opera Software, said: "Opera Mobile 9.7 with Opera Turbo gives our business customers to ability to bring a rich Internet browsing experience to their mobile device and to the end-user without having to allocate new resources and development costs."