Month: January 2006 (page 1 of 4)

IE7 Beta 2

The IE7 Beta 2 Preview is now available to the masses – http://www.microsoft.com/windows/IE/ie7/ie7betaredirect.mspx. While many of the new features have been available for the last 2 or 3 years in Firefox or Opera it’s good to see the Windows O/S default browser catching up and becoming a much better tool for the average user who would never think of changing from IE.

So – whats new? The list below are the main features (links to Flickr piccies where possible)

  • Tabbed browsing is the biggie. Browse the web in a much more efficient manner. Easy to open new tabs and there’s a nice Quicktabs button that shows all tabs as small screens allowing you to easily pick the one you want.
  • Rendering – much improved. Support for png’s and better css standardisation. My site is looking pretty OK considering it’s IE. Binary Bonsai which has always struggled in IE is looking not too shabby. Pity MSN UK’s website looks shabby – a bit embarrassing.
  • Phishing filter. Will highlight a dubious website and also allows you to check against a list of known phishing sites. Should improve security alongside a pop-up blocker and also a nice tool for checking which add-ons are currently running in IE. This will make it easier for users to remove spurious search toolbars that they have installed over the years.
  • RSS support. Using the now adopted RSS standard icon you can add feeds to IE and then check via a feed view. Great to have this as built into IE instead of having to add a separate program although it’s fairly light on features.
  • Search engine selection. You can now add various search engines – Google, Yahoo, AOL as well as Amazon, EBay and others. Nothing special but good to see Microsoft opening out their software away from MSN defaults.
  • Cleaner interface. Makes for a bigger browsing window.

These features alone should have been added to IE a long time ago. It’s only thanks to the in-roads that Firefox has made that has forced Microsoft to release an updated browser. Thank heavens for competition especially as it’s the majority of users not in the ‘know’ that will benefit most from the final IE7 release.

DOA 4

doa4

The first lag free fighting game I’ve played. Not taxing, but great fun. Get a roomful of friends and it’s just like being at the arcades from 15 years ago but with better graphics.

Homebrew PSP – All Versions

Sony have made a good job of patching their firmware and forcing newer games to use it to try and beat the hackers but no all versions can play homebrew – follow the guide at PSPUpdates. It was inevitable. Now – wheres that 360 chip?

4 Things

I’ve been tagged by Gordon so without further ado…

Four jobs that I’ve had

  • Database design
  • Database support
  • Business analyst
  • Trainee rottweiler – joke for those in the know – all of these have been at the same firm

Four movies I can watch over and over

Four places I have lived

  • Kelvingrove, Glasgow
  • Kelvindale, Glasgow
  • And thats it’s – only two
  • I’ve lived a sheltered life

Four TV shows I like to watch

Four foods that I like

  • Curry – and if I could choose one it would be South India Garlic Chili from the Spice of Life
  • Ice Cream – Vanilla Haagen-Dazs
  • Black Pudding
  • Pizza

Four websites I visit daily

Four things I want to do before I die

  • Find me a woman!!
  • Pay off the mortgage
  • Retire early enough to enjoy my grey years before I depart from this earth
  • Learn a musical instrument

Four places I would rather be right now

  • Lottery headquarters picking up a cheque for £105 Million
  • Japan
  • Alone in a yacht
  • Out in the country, in Scotland, staring at a non light polluted starry sky

Four people I’m tagging

Switch it off

Article on BBC News highlights how much electricity is wasted by having devices constantly in stand-by. For the UK alone it’s the equivalent of the output of two power stations a year – that’s amazingly high and a lot more than I expected. I’m bad at leaving things on for convenience but more and more I’m switching things off, not just to standby but actually at the mains socket as well. The energy that we waste would only be brought into focus if we went through some of the power blips that California suffered over the last two years or the threat to our gas supplied turned into reality – who’ll know what Russia will do next?

It’s time that a sliding scale for paying for our gas and electricity came into use. Like the proposed new road tax where the more you drive the more you pay we should introduce higher unit costs for those that use and abuse energy. There would need to be a scale of when this kicked in i.e. a guy living on his own should use less than a family of four hence their increased unit charge would kick in at a higher level. Awareness alone doesn’t make a difference – hitting people in their pocket certainly would especially when most of the waste is due to our convenience led society.

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