Fedora 11 “Leonidas” Released Today

fedora-logoThe Fedora Project has released the next version of the Fedora Linux distribution — Fedora 11.  After the release date was pushed back two times due to last minute bugs (Bug #1, Bug #2) Fedora 11 – code name “Leonidas” – is now available for download.

Features

Some features included in this new release are listed below:

  • 20 second boot time
  • Change architecture from i386 to i586 default – more info
  • Gnome 2.26
  • Automatic bug reporting tool
  • ext4 as the default file system
  • Better fingerprint reader support
  • Firefox 3.1
  • Thunderbird 3
  • Windows cross-compiler
  • Improved power management

The full feature list can be found here.

Download

The recommended way of downloading Fedora 11 is via BitTorrent, and a list of the torrent files can be found at the Fedora Project BitTorrent tracker.

Fedora 11 can also be downloaded from the Fedora FTP server and other FTP mirrors.  A full list of mirrors can be found at the Fedora Project Mirror List page.  Be sure to select a FTP mirror that is closer to you to help improve download speeds.

Have you experienced any problems after installing Fedora 11?  What are you opinions of the release so far?  Let us know by commenting below.

Google Labs Announces Google Squared

Released today from the Google Labs is a new product that may help change the way that you search.  Google Squared is a Google Labs feature that combines search results into a table, allowing for data to be organized so that it is quickly viewable to the reader.  Clicking on a section of the Square will bring you more information with related sources.

Google Squared
Google Squared

If the topic you searched does not have a Square started, you can easily start a Square and input the information.  If you search for a Square and find incomplete results, you can rows and columns and Google will try to complete the information.  You are also given the abilities to remove rows and columns if the data in the Square is not viable to the search.

Build Your Own Square
Build Your Own Square

Checkout this video from Google Labs on some of the other features of Google Squared.

What do you think of Google Squared?  Let us know by commenting below.

Adobe and NVIDIA Collaborating on GPU Acceleration for Flash

adobe-logoAdobe and NVIDIA announced today that GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) acceleration will be included in future releases of the Adobe Flash Player.  Both Adobe and NVIDIA are part of the Open Screen Project, a collaborative project intended to bring rich internet applications to the desktop by taking advantage of the full capabilities of Adobe Flash.  The number of devices to be support is large and will include:

  • Netbooks
  • Tablets
  • Mobile Phones
  • Other portable media devices

Features of accelerated Flash will consist of:

  • Uncompromising web browsing
  • Full H.264 support
  • Multi-platform support

nvidia-logoThe first GPU to take advantage of the accelerated Flash content will be the NVIDIA Tegra line.  With the size being smaller then a US dime, this “computer-on-a-chip” will include support for:

  • All-day media processing, for 130 hours audio, 30 hours HD video playback
  • HD image processing for advanced digital still camera and HD camcorder functions
  • Optimized hardware support for Web 2.0 applications for a true desktop-class internet experience
  • Display support for 1080p HDMI, WSXGA+ LCD and CRT, and NTSC/PAL TV-Out
  • Direct support for wifi, disk drives, keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals
  • A complete Board Support Package (BSP) to enable fast times to market for Windows Mobile-based designs

More information on the NVIDIA Tegra line can be found here.

Hulu Desktop Lets You Watch TV Online Without The Browser

huludesktopthumbHulu – the mega-popular TV and movie streaming site backed by NBC, Fox, and others – has just launched a desktop application for both Windows and Mac that allows you to stream all Hulu content on your PC.

Hulu Desktop adds support for Windows Media Center and Apple remotes, which will allow you to treat your PC as an entertainment center.  Like the Hulu website, Hulu Desktop requires Adobe Flash to be installed – however, the application is written natively for Windows and Apple so no other software is required.

One of the biggest benefits Hulu Desktop provides is the ability to turn your TV-connected computer into a replacement for cable TV.  Hulu broadcasts many mainstream TV shows about a day after they air, and by hooking your computer to a TV you’ll be able to watch them just like you would if you were paying for cable.

Hulu Desktop is currently in beta and is a part of Hulu’s newly-launched Labs site.  Even if you don’t have your computer connected to a TV, Hulu Desktop still provides an improved viewing experience without having to rely on your web browser.  For an overview of the software, check out the video below:

Hulu Desktop is a free download for Windows and Mac. [Download: Windows or Mac]

System Requirements:

PC

  • Intel Pentium Core Duo 1.8GHz (or equivalent)
  • At least 2.0 GB RAM
  • 2 Mbps Internet connection or greater
  • Flash 9.0.124

Mac

  • Intel Pentium Core Duo 2.4GHz (or equivalent)
  • At least 2.0 GB RAM
  • Mac OS v10.4 (Tiger) or later
  • 2 Mbps Internet connection or greater
  • Flash 9.0.124

Microsoft Adds Netflix Integration to Windows Media Center

netflixthumbMicrosoft recently announced that Windows Media Center – the company’s all-in-one home theater media center – will now support the Netflix Instant Streaming library of over 12,000 movies and TV shows.  Windows Media Center software is included in both Vista Home and Ultimate editions by default and is also included in Windows XP Media Center edition.

To begin streaming movies and TV shows in Windows Media Center, select the new Netflix tile which is available under the “TV + Movies” section and login to your Netflix account.  You will now be able to search Netflix’s entire library and also manage your DVD and Instant Watch queues from within Windows Media Center.

mediacenternetflix1

mediacenternetflix2

Netflix Instant Watch is already available on your PC and Xbox 360, which has been had great reception and has single-handedly repurposed the Xbox 360 from a game console into a complete media center.  Where the Media Center version of Netflix really shines is its ability to manage your queues from right within the application, which is something the Xbox 360 version has yet to offer.

Microsoft has provided a few fancy videos if you’d like to see the new service in action (Silverlight required, of course):

Facebook Releases Desktop Application, Aptly Named Facebook Desktop

fbdesktop6Facebook – the world’s fastest growing social network – wants to keep you connected to your social network without the web browser.  Using their newly released Facebook Desktop application, you can connect with friends, view your stream, and publish information right from your desktop computer.

To install Facebook Desktop, you first need to install the free Adobe AIR platform.  Since it is based on Adobe AIR, Facebook Desktop can be installed in Windows, Mac, or Linux [check out our guide on installing AIR in Ubuntu].  Once you’ve installed AIR, simply download and extract the Facebook Desktop installer to get started.

To install the application, double click the extracted Facebook_Desktop_for_AIR.air file and approve its installation as shown below.

fbdesktop2

Next, the application will ask you to sign in to Facebook and provide your approval for the application to access your News Feed and Wall, as well as publish posts and comments.

fbdesktop4

Once you’ve jumped through the authorization hoops, you’ll be presented with a News Feed much like the one you see on the Facebook homepage.  From here you can browse your friends’ news and statuses, comment and “like” updates, and publish your own updates using the “What’s on your mind?” box at the top.

fbdesktop9

Facebook Desktop provides a clean and easy-to-use user interface for getting the latest information from your social network.  The initial version of this application is very simplistic and clearly intends on furthering the “Twitterization” of Facebook – but you really can’t blame them for trying the same methods that have made Twitter so popular.

Have any thoughts about the Facebook Desktop application?  Do you think Facebook’s attempts at redesigning their user content have been beneficial?  Share it in the comments!

Gmail Labs Adds Google Web Search, Never Leave Gmail Again

Let’s face it: Gmail is fantastic and Gmail Labs keeps adding features we didn’t realize we couldn’t live without.  New to Gmail Labs this week is the Google Search “experiment” which allows you to perform a Google web search through a sidebar widget – all without ever leaving Gmail.  The next time you’re in the middle of writing an email and can’t remember the definition of the word ‘Luddite’, you can easily look up the answer without missing a step.

For those of you that are new to Gmail Labs, they are additional features that Gmail offers on an experimental basis with the disclaimer that they may “change, break, dissapear at any time”.  However, most of these features are so useful that they will no doubt be included in future versions of Gmail.

Adding Google Search in Gmail is very easy.  Head over to the Google Labs tab under Settings (you’ll have to log in to Gmail) and scroll down to the “Google Search”  experiment.  Click the Enable button and select Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

gmailgooglesearch1

Once Google Search has been enabled, you will now have access to the Google Search sidebar widget (shown below) anywhere in Gmail.

gmailgooglesearch2

When you perform a Google Search using the sidebar widget, the results will load in a Google Chat-esque box which displays in the corner of your screen and can be minimized or moved into its own separate window.

gmailgooglesearch4

Each result contains a drop-down box that gives you options based on what you are currently doing in Gmail.  If you’re reading an email, you can choose to begin a reply to that email with a link to the search result.  If you’re writing a message (as shown above), you can paste the result in the email or past just the URL.  If you’re currently in Google Chat via Gmail, you can send the result through chat.

One additional tip: If you’ve added several Google Labs features to your sidebar, you may find it getting pretty cluttered.  To deal with this, you can enable the “Navbar drag and drop” feature in Gmail Labs which allows you to easily drag-and-drop widgets anywhere you like in the sidebar.

What are your favorite Gmail Labs features?  What are some features you’d like to see in the future?  Tell us about it in the comments.

Windows 7 Release Candidate to Launch Late April/Early May

windows7featured2Microsoft has announced that a release candidate version of Windows 7 (a version with potential to be the final product) will be released to developers via MSDN and TechNet networks on April 30th, and more publicly on May 5th.

Windows 7, which was released as a semi-public beta in January, has initially been well received and appears to have significant performance improvements over Windows Vista.  Along with a shorter boot time, Windows 7 will offer better driver support, improved graphical and productivity features, and a more intelligent version of UAC.

Despite Vista’s shortcomings, the immaturity of 3rd-party hardware drivers at launch was one of the biggest contributing factors to its unpopularity.  If Microsoft can ensure better driver support when Windows 7 is released, they should be able to avoid the negative stereotypes that are still plaguing the company.

Microsoft has not officially announced a release date for Windows 7 yet, but Microsoft’s chief financial officer Chris Liddell says it may be as early as July 2009.

Update 04/30/09:  Microsoft has released Windows 7 RC1 to TechNet and MSDN subscribers. [via Microsoft PressPass]

System Requirements:

  • 1GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB of RAM (32-bit)/2 GB of RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB of available disk space (32-bit)/20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with Windows Display Driver Model 1.0 or higher driver

Have any thoughts about Windows 7?  Share them in the comments!

Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” Released

ubuntu-logo1Ubuntu – currently the world’s most popular Linux distribution – released it’s newest version today named “Jaunty Jackalope” which offers some major improvements over previous versions.  Available in desktop, server, and netbook editions, Ubuntu 9.04 offers faster boot-up times (23 seconds on a solid state drive!), better device compatibility, and new software such as Firefox 3 and OpenOffice.org 3.0.

In the back-end, Ubuntu 9.04 includes Gnome 2.26 which boasts better multi-monitor handling, as well as X.org server 1.6 which provides support for new video cards and better video performance.  Long-time Ubuntu users will notice a new notification style and preferences and added support for the Ext-4 file system.

Ubuntu 9.04 server edition comes equipped with Eucalyptus, which is an open source technology that allows users to create their own private cloud computing servers.

Check back for guides and reviews of Ubuntu 9.04 and Ubuntu-related software coming soon.

Apple’s App Store Hits One Billion Downloads

app_storeAt approximately 2pm on April 23rd, 2009 the 1,000,000,000th application was downloaded from Apple’s App Store since it first launched only nine months ago.  Although the App Store has had its fair share of problems (and it seems that developers are still getting stuck in the application approval process), this statistic is a significant milestone for the company.

Which applications do you like the most?  Some of my favorites are Tweetie, Pandora, and Air Sharing.  Share in the comments!

[via Apple]