Try the New Compose Feature in Google Mail

A new Compose window is rolling out to Google based email accounts, adding a lot of requested features and making email creation faster. You will be prompted to try out the new feature as an option over the next couple of months, then it will be enabled automatically for everyone. Read more of this post

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High-speed Internet can save you money? Turns out “Yes!”

A study released last week shows that Americans save an average of $8400 per year on food, clothing, entertainment, and other expenses by subscribing to a high-speed Internet connection.

The study was conducted by the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), showing that the average savings actually increased from $7695 last year. The savings mostly comes from the extremely competitive pricing of online retailers, social media, comparative shopping, and “deal-seeking” community websites that aggregate low prices. “Consumers are spending more, and there are more opportunities for differential pricing” says Bruce Mehlman, the IIA’s co-chairman. Read more of this post

Internet Explorer 10 Release Preview now available to Windows 7 users

Microsoft posted a “preview release” of Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) for Windows 7 on Tuesday, with hints that a final release will be made available in December.

The  “IE10 Release Preview,” as it’s called, appeared on Microsoft’s site early Tuesday and is only available for Windows 7. The newly released Windows 8 already has a full version of IE10 integrated, and the word on the street is Windows Vista (and obviously Windows XP) will not be supported for this release. If this proves correct, it will make Microsoft the first web browser maker to drop Vista support, just as it was the only developer to drop support for Windows XP when IE9 shipped last year. Read more of this post

Get Windows 8 for Dummies e-book for free!

Windows 8 for Dummies - Pocket EditionI freely admit it. I’m not the biggest fan of Windows 8. I tried out the beta test version and thought “Well, it’s not quite finished.” I tried the release candidate version and thought “Well, maybe they’ll fix it before release.” Now I’m running the retail version and saying “Ugh, this thing is a mess.”

If you’re not familiar with the changes in Windows 8, it’s essentially Microsoft trying to get everyone to start using touch-screen devices. Don’t get me wrong…the new OS works great on the new MS Surface tablets. But, using an operating system optimized for touch on a laptop or desktop computer is proving to be more frustrating than innovative. They even have touchscreen-equipped  laptops and desktops out now that allow you to “experience Windows 8 the way it was designed”. Read more of this post

XP Users: Alternatives to Internet Explorer 8

I was just reading an article about old web browsers holding back the Internet. It’s a bit technical, but the gist of it is people want the Internet to be easy, intuitive, and instant. Technology is a balance: if you want something very easy and user-friendly on the user’s side, it often has to be very complicated and advanced on the designer’s side.

For example, when digital video came out in the 1990’s, you needed a lot of special hardware, software, and patience to watch a tiny video clip. The quality was often grainy, sound was out of sync, and there were a lot of adjustments the users had to do to make the video viewable. Today, we often watch several videos every day on a computers, and they’re plastered everywhere.  You don’t have to download anything or own any special equipment — you just click “Play” and the video starts.

Behind that simple play button is a lot of advanced technology. File compression, video encoding, bit-rate streaming, automatic resolution settings, and a bunch of other technical mumbo-jumbo are all in play behind the scenes to bring you this video. This technology took years to develop and continues to improve. However, any improvements need to have the proper tool to implement them. Older tools aren’t going to work, so it’s important to keep up to date. Read more of this post

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