CBS' $280 million darling Last.fm has unveiled a small, somewhat unexciting portion of its services this morning called "Playground." The space will be a new test bed for works-in-progress features that aren't quite ready for prime time and need a little user testing to work out the kinks. While lacking in eye candy, some of the tools are actually quite useful for music discovery.
Update 4:30 p.m. PT May 1: I corrected the download link and a reference to the Messenger 9 beta for Windows XP, a separate product from the Messenger for Vista beta.
Yahoo has released its Windows Vista beta of its instant-messaging software, adding support for voice chat and cell phone text messages that were missing from the preview version that's been out since December.
The Yahoo Messenger for Vista beta software supports computer-to-computer calls as well as calls to and from phones, Yahoo said Wednesday. It also can communicate with cell phone text messages sent with SMS (… Read more
Safari users may be subject to crashes or interactions with an attacker's malicious site, according to a warning posted on Tuesday on BugTraq .
Researcher Juan Pablo Lopez Yacubian is credited with finding multiple vulnerabilities in Apple Safari 3.1.1 for Windows. Other versions of Safari may also be affected.
Among the vulnerabilities cited are a denial-of-service (crash) vulnerability caused by a write-access violation, a denial-of-service (crash) vulnerability caused by a read-access violation, and a third vulnerability that allows attackers to spoof the content contained in the address bar. A full write up can be found here .
In a … Read more
As fellow Craver Leonard Goh observed the other day, anything and everything is subject to hacking these days, including firmware for cameras. So it seems fitting that this open-source spirit be extended to digital picture frames as well.
RedPost has answered that call with "Sign Beta," a hackable Linux frame that succeeds the original released last year. But rather than just display photos, Technbob says, the new model is designed "to replace wasteful paper-covered bulletin boards with an electronic version."
To wit, it's faster and has four times as much memory (1GB) to run "… Read more
Mozilla just released Firefox 3 Beta 5, the last beta release before Firefox 3 goes to "release candidate" status. It feels even faster than before, and includes over 750 fixes over Firefox 3 Beta 4. It's getting rave reviews. Progress, right?
As can be seen in the screenshot at right, however, Beta 5 introduced some problems, at least for me (Mac OS X 10.5.2). I like the back button. It's a great tool. Even so, I don't need three of them. I've been trying to find ways to flush this out of … Read more
Opera, that plucky browser publisher that is neither Microsoft nor Mozilla, has released Opera Mini 4.1 beta with promises of 50 percent faster page loading, among other claimed improvements. The thing is, they might be right.
Mini 4.1b is definitely faster than Mini 4, although actual speeds depend on your wireless connection and the kind of phone you're using. The standard page view loads up what looks like a large thumbnail of the page with images small but discernible and strangely crisp for their size. The "mobile" view presents the URL's information in a … Read more
One of the more useful tools that came with Internet Explorer 8 beta 1 was a toolbar button that easily switched between the beta and the previous stable iteration of the program, IE7. Nobody seems to have written a Firefox extension that does that--yet--but there are still several ways to have separate installations of Firefox 3 beta and the stable Firefox 2 on your computer, for both Mac and PC.
The headline was updated at 3 p.m. to note that it is several states, not the U.S. department of Justice, that are overseeing the compliance of Vista and future Windows versions with the consent decree.
Microsoft has said precious little about Windows 7, but it has provided at least one outsider with an early test version of the forthcoming operating system.
The software maker confirmed in a court filing last week that it has provided a test version of Windows 7 to the technical committee helping to oversee Microsoft's compliance with the U.S. antitrust settlement.
Windows … Read more
Claiming a massive number of fixes, Mozilla has released Firefox 3 beta 4 (download for Windows and Mac). This version is more stable than previous FF3 betas, but it also showcases some of the more interesting new features that we'd been promised, but until now hadn't yet arrived.
Of the more than 900 changes and fixes, four of the most useful are the add-on finder, the full-page zoom, the one-click site info, and greater cross-platform integration. Extensions are handled the same way as in FF2: users can click on an XPI and it will automatically be saved to … Read more