No HDD LED on your PC? Put it in the systray

Thanks to a brilliant designer at Dell, a new laptop I bought has the Hard drive LED behind the LCD panel, so it’s impossible for the user to see the disk activity. I tried a couple of software utilities to provide a replacement to this lack; the best I found is a freeware. Read More »

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Jailbreakme 3.0 is released!

Breaking newsComex has finally released the new version of Jailbreakme, the online tool capable to jailbreak 4.3.3 iOS devices, including the iPad 2. First reaction and positive reports are appearing on Twitter. Happy jailbreaking!

JailbreakMe 3.0

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14 years of Apple in 14 screenshots

Everyone is talking about Apple. One of the best way to visualize the history of a tech company is through its website, and how it has changed in the years. Here we present you a series of screenshot of the home page of Apple.com: one for each year, since 1997 to 2010. Have a nice trip!

TIP: We didn’t add any “special effect” to the screenshot links, so you can open them in full screen. If you want to open them in a new window (and you’re reading this web page from a computer) just click on thumbnails with your mouse wheel to open the full size image in a new tab.
Read More »

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How to Disable “show-desktop-on-hover” in Windows 7

Aero peek in actionThis feature of Windows 7 (its correct name is “Aero Peek“) is often hated by users that want to be free moving the mouse anywhere in the screen, without that anything happens.
The new “show desktop” corner in the right is a really good idea and I use it everyday, but I also prefer to click on it – when I want to minimize everything: it’s really rare that I want only to take a little… preview of what is going on my desktop.

Disabling only the “mouse over” version is really simple: just click with the right mouse button on the Windows Taskbar and choose “properties”, then uncheck the option “Use Aero Peek to preview the desktop“. That’s all! Now you can click on the show desktop button, but hovering it will do nothing.

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Live Video from the “Oil Spill Cam”

BP Oil spill camThe Internet’s got a new talent: that damn hole in the Gulf of Mexico that is spilling roughly 200.000 gallons of oil a day into the ocean. For the moment, every attempt from BP to stop it has failed; in compensation, they had no problems with the installation of a camera that broadcast from deep underwater a live video feed of the oil spill.

http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/homepage/STAGING/local_assets/bp_homepage/html/rov_stream.html

(Sorry, the original video feed is only in Windows Media format, if you have problems I suggest to search on a live video site like Ustream, to find an alternative source)

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Windows 7 “Show Desktop” button on XP

It could sounds ironic, but the main feature I miss from Windows Seven – when I’m using a PC with Windows XP – it’s that little button on the bottom-right corner of the screen. Nina, an MBA accounting student I know, talks about how useful this button used to
be. It has the same functionality of the old “Show desktop” button on XP, but its position allows me to “launch” the mouse in that direction, without any precision, and click it to get all windows hidden.

Of course, someone released a tiny (and free) utility to backport this feature to 9 years ago, on Windows XP :)
It doesn’t need to be installed, just download and start it (and maybe put it into the “startup” section of your Start Menu)!

http://ceiiular.deviantart.com/art/Show-Desktop-133022210

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SugarSync synchronizes your documents for free, brings them to your smartphone

SugarSync backup schemeI was looking for a complete solution to keep the office PC with my laptop in sync: SugarSync does more: it offers a free 2.5Gb storage space to synchronize an unlimited number of folders between two computers; in addiction, they gives you a mobile application – available for Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile and Blackberry – to access your file also in mobility.

You’ve only to select the directories you want to keep in sync (tipically the “documents” folder, and maybe your music or pictures archive), the SugarSync client will run in background, automatically monitoring every change. If the other computer is switched off, it will be synchronized the next time you will power it up.

It is a direct competitor of the famous (and good) Dropbox (2Gb for free), but it offers several addictional features: Dropbox syncronizes a single folder and it gives a mobile app only for iPhone, even if the free accounts are elegible to be linked to an unlimited number of computers, while SugarSync free supports only two (plus a phone). SugarSync is available for Windows and Mac OS X (Dropbox has also a Linux client).

You can expand the space limitations of your free account referring your friends: SugarSync offers you 250Mb of addictional space for every new user you refer (and your friend will get the same, starting with 2.75 Gb of free storage space!); if someone you referred will upgrade to a paid plan – starting from $4.99 per month for 30Gb – you’ll get an addictional 5Gb for free.

Go to SugarSync website

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Waze, the free social GPS

Waze on AndroidWaze is born from a simple and smart idea: connecting cars together, to automatically create a new “social network” that detects and gives alerts about traffic conditions, police traps and accidents.

You’ve only to install the Waze client, free and available for Android, iPhone, Symbian and Windows Mobile, starting it everytime you’re driving your car. It will anonymously record your track  to inform other drivers about traffic (Waze collects speed informations from all the phones and it creates statistical alerts). You can also send “human” messages to the community, reporting speed cams or dangerous events on the road.

In addiction of this, Waze is a “normal” car navigation system, with a “not-so-normal” feature: also the maps are drawed and updated by the community! When you drive with Waze running on your phone, it records every your move and it sends it to Waze servers, where the centralized system merges this data with the existing maps. When several phones record a difference (because, for example, of a change of a road) this part of the map is updated.

People from United States are luckier than Europeans, because USA government gives maps of the territory for free, so there’s a complete base to start with. Anyway it’s also possible to start from scratch: we just started to draw maps here in Italy, and major cities like Rome or Milan are already half-mapped. Let’s call Waze the Wikipedia of streets :)

www.waze.com

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WinX DVD Author is free until October, 31th

WinX DVD AuthorDigiarty Software informed me that they began an interesting giveaway for their new DVD Authoring software: you can download WinX DVD Author and get a free unlimited license, until the end of the month. Next, the cost will be USD 29.95.

WinX DVD Author is able to create DVD-Video directly from a variety of formats (AVI, ASF, MPEG, MKV, MP4, MOV, RM, RMVB, XIVD, DVIX, H264, OGG, Quicktime, FLV, etc).
You can also add a custom menu and choose between several type of supports (DVD, DVD-DL, DVD+RW, etc.). The software is multilanguage (English, French, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish are only a part of supported languages).

The special giveaway offer is here:
http://www.winxdvd.com/specialoffer/oct09.htm

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Tweak your monitor settings from Windows

ScreenBrightWhile we are waiting for BLUntrl, a very promising application that is partecipating to the Windows 7 “Code 7 Contest”, I want to put highlight an interesting little utility: ScreenBright (aka “ScreenWhite”) is able to control your monitor brightness, contrast and color balance, directly from Windows.
ScreenWhite is really basic, but it represent one of the few Windows applications that can communicate directly with the hardware of your monitor throught DDC/CI. A lot of monitors have uncomfortable commands, so it can be useful if you want to quickly change the brightness of your screen, several times a day.

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