Social bookmarking tool Del.icio.us has had a Firefox extension for a while, and now Yahoo has released a beta version for Internet Explorer too. You can download the extension here.Features include a del.icio.us Sidebar and Toolbar which will already be familiar to users of the Firefox version.It promises "near instantaneous" searching with very large accounts of over 10,000 bookmarks. Other features include full del.icio.us sidebar and toolbar implementation with bookmark sync and typedown search.It is just in beta at the moment, so the usual warnings apply. The Del.icio.us Internet Explorer Extension works with Internet Explorer 6 and above.
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Windows/Mac/Linux (all platforms): OpenOffice.org, the free office application suite, has released a beta of its 3.0 version to the public with a few key features rolled in. The biggest update is native support for Mac OS X platforms, meaning no need to install X11 packages on older Macs or switch to NeoOffice for a smoother experience (although NeoOffice plans to release a 3.0 of its own, so stay tuned). OpenOffice also adds built-in conversion filters for Office 2007/Mac Office 2008 files, a new "solver" function for spreadsheets, enhanced notes and viewing options in Writer, and other enticements for those willing to risk a few bugs. OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta is a free download for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux systems.OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
Windows/Mac/Linux (Thunderbird): Harness the to-do-managing power of Remember the Milk from inside your mail reader with an alpha extension for Thunderbird. Once installed and authenticated with your RTM account, the task manager provided by the Lightning extension will have bi-directional access to your tasks, which you can add, delete, modify, and prioritise from inside your mail manager. Hit the video above to see a few of the things you can do with the extension, and hit the via link below for step-by-step installation instructions. Remember the Milk Provider extension is a free download, but requires a free Mozilla Add-Ons account to download, needs the Lightning calendar extension, and works wherever Thunderbird does.Remember the Milk Provider
If you're a fan of donating your computer downtime to distributed computing projects like [email protected] (the search for extra terrestrial intelligence) you'll be interested to know that the [email protected] project has released a beta version of its new client software.
[email protected] help Stanford Uni in its medical research into protein folding - which is hoped will lead to cures for diseases like Alzheimer's.
Extreme Tech has published an interesting interview with the [email protected] Director, Dr. Vijay Pande talking about the new client. You can download the GPUT client here - bearing in mind that it's only in beta at the moment, so handle with care.
Windows only: Ad-Aware, the hard-to-believe-it's-free spyware-cleaning app, has released a beta version that includes full support for Windows Vista and 64-bit platforms. Also included in the upcoming free version is a rootkit removal tool, faster update downloading, and an interface make-over that looks a bit more modern than the blue buttons long-time users are used to. All the ease-of-use and thoroughness that make Ad-Aware's current version part of our Lifehacker Pack of must-have downloads likely apply to this beta, as well. Ad-Aware Beta is a free download, requires a registration and email confirmation to grab.Ad-Aware Beta
Windows and Mac OS X: Get into the invitation-only beta version of note-taking application EverNote, or download the normally $50 version 2.2 for free today only at the Giveaway of the Day web site. The beta version of EverNote is now available for the Mac (running Leopard) as well as Windows XP/Vista and Windows Mobile devices. Using the Giveaway of the Day link, get a beta invitation code immediately, download EverNote for your platform, and start clipping and capturing anything on your computer. Billed your "external brain," the beta desktop version of EverNote automatically syncs your notes to the EverNote web site online for anywhere-access. EverNote can also recognise text within images—which means you can do things like snap photos of whiteboards or wine labels with your cameraphone, add them to EverNote, and search text inside the images.
Windows/Mac/Linux (All platforms): Multi-protocol instant messaging client Pidgin can do a lot of things, especially through built-in plug-ins, but has yet to integrate internet calling service Skype into its offerings. Enter the Skype API Plugin, an early attempt at getting Skype's instant messaging features working in Pidgin (or Adium for OS X users). The good news: It's relatively easy to install and actually works. The bad news: Voice calls can't be made from Pidgin, and you have to keep the Skype application running in the background (which you might do anyways to make and receive calls). The plug-in also imports every out-call and phone contact in your Skype account as a contact, so heavy Skype users might keep this plug-in disabled by default. All in all, however, it helps reduce the number of contact windows on a desktop and provides a promising early look at (hopefully) tighter integration. The Skype API plug-in is a free download for Windows, Mac and Linux systems.Skype API Plugin
Windows/Linux: Free beta program IM History offers a web-synced way to store instant message chats across multiple computers, and operating systems, from a variety of chat clients. Right now, the service supports AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Skyp, Trillian, and a few other clients, but my pet peeve is Pigin supported only in Linux, leaving dual-booters like me in the cold. That aside, once enabled, IM History lets you access your chat history and contacts from a web interface, and being able to search chats from across platforms—to find, for instance, a link sent long ago— is where many users will find this app convenient. IM History is a free download for Windows and Linux.IM History
OpenOffice has been given the online app treatment by Ulteo, who've just launched the beta of their service which aims to provide Firefox and IE users with an online version of the document suite. Along with instant access to OpenOffice via browser without having to download it, Ulteo also offers collaboration features.A user working with OpenOffice on the Ulteo server can invite other people to work with her on a shared document in real time. Invitations are sent via email and allow access in either read only or full edit mode, simply by clicking on a link in the email.It looks like Ulteo are seeking to follow Google Docs, Zoho and Microsoft's Office Live Workspace down the online apps path - but they are aiming squarely at the existing install base of OpenOffice users. The company's statement on Ulteo said "Ulteo plans to release other services simplifying the life of PC users by providing easier access to desktop applications and online services as well as data management in the coming months."The Ulteo beta is being opened up to 15,000 users, however they've stipulated it's for European and North American users at this stage. I'm not sure whether they're being strict on that or not as there seems to be a lag between registering and getting your invitation (or knockback for being in the wrong hemisphere!). If you want to register for it, go to http://www.ulteo.com/home/ooo. If you get into the beta, please let us know how you find it.
Linux only: Google has released a "preview" of its photo management and editing suite Picasa, giving Linux users the same ability to upload to web albums as Windows and Mac users have had for months. That alone might make it worth the beta download, but Picasa 2.7 also includes edit version saving, support for reading more RAW files and reportedly faster direct camera importing—which, in my experience, can be pretty darned slow in the current stable version. Picasa 2.7 Beta is a free download (through repositories or packages) for Linux systems only.Picasa 2.7 Beta for Linux
Windows only: The next upgrade of Windows Live Messenger has been leaked from a "private" beta for 5,000 users (surprising?) and is available for downloading—at least until Microsoft decides too many people are hitting their servers. The beta of Live Messenger 9 shows off some decently cool features, including the ability to log on from multiple locations without annoying warning messages, setting up "signature sounds" that broadcast to those you're chatting, spam reporting, and a generally less-cluttered interface. The full version isn't due out until late 2008 or early 2009, so more additions are sure to come. Windows Live Messenger 9 beta is a free download (while it lasts) and works on Windows XP and Vista.Windows Live Messenger 9 (beta)
Windows/Mac: If you're a heavy Flickr user or just have a huge batch of photos to post up, the latest beta version of the photo sharing site's official upload software might do the trick. The 3.0 beta has a revamped interface and title/tag/description editing, but the unique features are the photo set editing and the ability to start labelling on another photo while the last batch is uploading. The Flickr Uploader 3.0 beta is a free download for Windows and Mac systems. Those not fond of beta installations can get much of the same functionality with jUploadr, but the Flickr Uploader looks like it's going to be a slicker solution when finished.Flickr Uploader 3.0 Beta
All platforms: Firefox 3, the next version of everyone's favourite cross-platform browser, has released a public beta for early adopters, web developers and other curious souls. New features include a Places Organizer for bookmarks and saved searches, a plug-in manager for the likes of Flash, Java and other helpers, and many more improvements and changes. Like any beta, there are still a few bugs to be smoothed out, and none of my extensions from Firefox 2 worked in this version. Still, it's an interesting look ahead at what browsing will look like in a few months. Firefox 3 Beta 1 is a free download for Windows, Mac and Linux.Firefox 3 Beta 1
Windows Mobile 5 & 6 only: Free open source media player MPlayer, long known to Linux fans for its format friendliness and streamlined operation, has been ported in somewhat rough fashion to Windows Mobile-powered smartphones. While that means formats like RealAudio/Video, Ogg, M4A and others are playable, users are reporting that the program is a monster when it comes to processor use (which also makes it a battery killer) and has only the most basic "open file" functionality. But if you've got a low-quality file or a powerful phone, it could make for a nifty toy to play with until it gets fixed. MPlayer is a free download for Windows Mobile 5 and 6 phones only.Mplayer port for Windows Mobile
Windows/Linux: Popular, free virtualization software VMWare has released a beta of its next Server platform, which allows users to run other operating systems inside their own. The 2.0 beta adds support for running on Windows Vista Business and Ultimate editions, Ubuntu 7.04 and 7.10, and other systems, as well as a new browser-based interface and better support for USB devices. A somewhat-helpful PDF user guide is available at the download site, but I'm waiting for a handy step-by-step guide to come along before diving in too deep in Linux (I unfortunately have only Vista Home Premium at the moment). If you managed to get 2.0 up and running, share your experiences in the comments. VMWare Server 2.0 Beta is a free download for Windows and Linux systems.VMWare Server 2.0 Beta
Windows only: Open source personal finance software GnuCash has made the leap to the thumb drive realm, making it easier to keep your financial data consistent across computers—at least Windows computers, anyways. Like its Windows/Linux desktop sibling, GnuCash Portable is still beta and a bit rough around the edges, but offers importing from Quicken and other proprietary formats and integrates with the PortableApps Suite, making it a nice addition to the host of mobile tools you can fit on one inexpensive thumb drive. GnuCash Portable is a free download and requires Windows to launch.GnuCash Portable
Windows/Mac/Linux (All platforms): There are tonnes of great instant messaging applications available, but one nagging problem in the IM world is that there's no great, fully cross-platform chat app (unless you count Meebo). Free, open source application Instantbird aims to do for chat what Firefox does for the browser. Based on the same tools used to create Firefox and Thunderbird, Instantbird should ultimately be just as extensible as the former—which means IM customisation will be as simple as installing a Firefox extension. Right now Instantbird connects to virtually any IM network and supports a tabbed chat interface. Beyond that, the application is still very barebones, but its upcoming features are very exciting.