NEW YORK—Desperate fans of the recently concluded television series Lost are speculating that the program is continuing on in a parallel dimension somewhere, and that alternate versions of showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are currently writing new episodes of the series. “It’s very possible that a sideways world running concurrent to our own exists, and that a facsimile of myself is happy, fulfilled, and already gearing up for the season seven premiere of Lost,” said 36-year-old Kevin Molinaro, who, along with more than 20 million other hopeless fans, has recently booked multiple roundtrip tickets from Los Angeles to Australia in hopes of traveling through a vortex in the space-time continuum. “I just have to find a way to get there. We all do.” According to data from Google analytics, searches for “How to build/detonate/use a hydrogen bomb to open up a multidimensional wormhole” have increased 10 millionfold since the episode aired.
World Expo 2010 Shanghai China is the occasion for China to bring the world at home, and for the world to feel at home in China. By dedicating a 5.28-square-kilometer area at the core of the city to exhibitions, events and forums on the Expo theme, “Better City, Better Life,” Shanghai hopes to build a powerful and lasting pilot example of sustainable and harmonious urban living.
Anyway, construction of exhibition pavilions and facilities are not completely finish yet, but I got some photos from inside.
ID’er David Schultze, of Pasadena-based SchultzeWORKS design studio, goes back to the future for his Philco PC concept, inspired by a 1950s Philco Predicta television set and the steampunk movement; the former can be seen in the sweet shape of the screen, the latter is referenced in the typewriter-like keyboard and substantially metal mouse.
“I felt so strongly that, with few exceptions, most computers are engineered eyesores,” explains Schultze. “[This] design was a total labor of love.”
Here are some of the most notable quotes from the 81st Academy Awards, which are being held at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.
I’d be lying if I haven’t made a version of this speech before. I think I was probably eight years old and staring into the bathroom mirror and this would have been a shampoo bottle. Well it’s not a shampoo bottle now.
Kate Winslet picking up her best actress Oscar.
My kids are too old to remember this now but, when they were much younger, I swore to them if this miracle ever happened, I would receive it in the spirit of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, and that’s what that was.
Slumdog Millionaire’s Danny Boyle on bouncing up and down as he accepted his best director award.
This award tonight would have humbly validated Heath’s quiet determination to be truly accepted by you all here, his peers within an industry he so loved.
Heath Ledger’s father, Kim, picking up his late son’s best supporting actor Oscar for The Dark Knight.
There are certain places you never imagine standing – the moon, the South Pole, the Miss World podium and here.
Slumdog Millionaire writer Simon Beaufoy on winning best adapted screenplay.
If Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all those gay and lesbian kids out there tonight – who have been told that they are less than by their churches, by the government, or by their families – that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures that are valued.
Winning original screenplay writer Dustin Lance Black on his story’s protagonist, Harvey Milk.
It’s not going to be 45 seconds, I can say that right now. Has anybody ever feinted here because I might be the first one.
Best supporting actress Penelope Cruz on suggested acceptance speech lengths.
The Academy loves to salute range… Robert Downey Jnr in Tropic Thunder. Robert, who’s an American, played an Australian playing an African-American. Nominated. Whereas me, I’m an Australian who played an Australian in a movie called Australia. Hosting.
Australia star and Oscars host Hugh Jackman.
We don’t see this world most of the time – we get a glimpse of it in England. But after, I’ll be going home, having a cup of tea and we’re looking forward to that just as much as we’re looking forward to tonight.
Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle on enjoying the best of both worlds.
It’s bittersweet. I said to myself I’d rather have Loki for another two years than an Oscar and I told her that. But she stayed as long as she could, you know
The Wrestler star and best actor nominee Mickey Rourke on losing his dog.
the world’s best passenger complaint letter?
Here is that complaint letter sent to Sir Richard Branson, which is currently being emailed globally and is considered by many to be the world’s funniest passenger complaint letter.
Dear Mr Branson
REF: Mumbai to Heathrow 7th December 2008
I love the Virgin brand, I really do which is why I continue to use it despite a series of unfortunate incidents over the last few years. This latest incident takes the biscuit.
Ironically, by the end of the flight I would have gladly paid over a thousand rupees for a single biscuit following the culinary journey of hell I was subjected to at thehands of your corporation.
Look at this Richard. Just look at it:
I imagine the same questions are racing through your brilliant mind as were racing through mine on that fateful day. What is this? Why have I been given it? What have I done to deserve this? And, which one is the starter, which one is the desert?
You don’t get to a position like yours Richard with anything less than a generous sprinkling of observational power so I KNOW you will have spotted the tomato next to the two yellow shafts of sponge on the left. Yes, it’s next to the sponge shaft without the green paste. That’s got to be the clue hasn’t it. No sane person would serve a desert with a tomato would they. Well answer me this Richard, what sort of animal would serve a desert with peas in:
I know it looks like a baaji but it’s in custard Richard, custard. It must be the pudding. Well you’ll be fascinated to hear that it wasn’t custard. It was a sour gel with a clear oil on top. It’s only redeeming feature was that it managed to be so alien to my palette that it took away the taste of the curry emanating from our miscellaneous central cuboid of beige matter. Perhaps the meal on the left might be the desert after all.
Anyway, this is all irrelevant at the moment. I was raised strictly but neatly by my parents and if they knew I had started desert before the main course, a sponge shaft would be the least of my worries. So lets peel back the tin-foil on the main dish and see what’s on offer.
I’ll try and explain how this felt. Imagine being a twelve year old boy Richard. Now imagine it’s Christmas morning and you’re sat their with your final present to open. It’s a big one, and you know what it is. It’s that Goodmans stereo you picked out the catalogue and wrote to Santa about.
Only you open the present and it’s not in there. It’s your hamster Richard. It’s your hamster in the box and it’s not breathing. That’s how I felt when I peeled back the foil and saw this:
Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking it’s more of that Baaji custard. I admit I thought the same too, but no. It’s mustard Richard. MUSTARD. More mustard than any man could consume in a month. On the left we have a piece of broccoli and some peppers in a brown glue-like oil and on the right the chef had prepared some mashed potato. The potato masher had obviously broken and so it was decided the next best thing would be to pass the potatoes through the digestive tract of a bird.
Once it was regurgitated it was clearly then blended and mixed with a bit of mustard. Everybody likes a bit of mustard Richard.
By now I was actually starting to feel a little hypoglycaemic. I needed a sugar hit. Luckily there was a small cookie provided. It had caught my eye earlier due to it’s baffling presentation:
It appears to be in an evidence bag from the scene of a crime. A CRIME AGAINST BLOODY COOKING. Either that or some sort of back-street underground cookie, purchased off a gun-toting maniac high on his own supply of yeast. You certainly wouldn’t want to be caught carrying one of these through customs. Imagine biting into a piece of brass Richard. That would be softer on the teeth than the specimen above.
I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was relax but obviously I had to sit with that mess in front of me for half an hour. I swear the sponge shafts moved at one point.
Once cleared, I decided to relax with a bit of your world-famous onboard entertainment. I switched it on:
I apologise for the quality of the photo, it’s just it was incredibly hard to capture Boris Johnson’s face through the flickering white lines running up and down the screen. Perhaps it would be better on another channel:
Is that Ray Liotta? A question I found myself asking over and over again throughout the gruelling half-hour I attempted to watch the film like this. After that I switched off. I’d had enough. I was the hungriest I’d been in my adult life and I had a splitting headache from squinting at a crackling screen.
My only option was to simply stare at the seat in front and wait for either food, or sleep. Neither came for an incredibly long time. But when it did it surpassed my wildest expectations:
Yes! It’s another crime-scene cookie. Only this time you dunk it in the white stuff.
Richard…. What is that white stuff? It looked like it was going to be yoghurt. It finally dawned on me what it was after staring at it. It was a mixture between the Baaji custard and the Mustard sauce. It reminded me of my first week at university. I had overheard that you could make a drink by mixing vodka and refreshers. I lied to my new friends and told them I’d done it loads of times. When I attempted to make the drink in a big bowl it formed a cheese Richard, a cheese. That cheese looked a lot like your baaji-mustard.
So that was that Richard. I didn’t eat a bloody thing. My only question is: How can you live like this? I can’t imagine what dinner round your house is like, it must be like something out of a nature documentary.
As I said at the start I love your brand, I really do. It’s just a shame such a simple thing could bring it crashing to it’s knees and begging for sustenance.
- Paul Charles, Virgin’s Director of Corporate Communications, confirmed that Sir Richard Branson had telephoned the author of the letter and had thanked him for his “constructive if tongue-in-cheek” email. Mr Charles said that Virgin was sorry the passenger had not liked the in-flight meals which he said was “award-winning food which is very popular on our Indian routes.”
Anyway, Since this story got heavy coverage on the BBC 10 o’clock news. Some have suggested this WCRS creative Oli Beale’s six-page rant about the quality of food he experienced on a Virgin Atlantic flight is a clever stunt.
The letter prompted Richard Branson to call Beale personally, leading to acres of press coverage. Brand Republic has heard that the letter is in fact real, but is it generating positive PR for the Virgin brand, as some have argued?
I have searched long time for stylish yet simple chat software and this was without a doubt the best of the best. You can’t go past the flash interface, which looks better than most of the professional chat sites out there at the moment. I have purchased and installed the client and server software, and am also hosting the server software on the 123flashchat servers for a few my clients, they all impressed.
123 Flash Chat module support lots CMS and forum system, for Joomla!,Drupal,PHPBB,PHP-Nuke ,PostNuke, Invision Power Board 2.0 , vBulletin, MaxWebPortal, SMF, Xoops CMS, CPG-Nuke(CPG-Dragonfly) CMS, e107 CMS, XMB CMS, PHP-Fusion , phpFoX, etc.
Ok, lets see some Sceenshot:
Option configurations for the end chat users.
Download 123 Flash Chat Link:
Will Microsoft shelve the browser engine? Will Microsoft follow through with its promise to make its browser much more compliant with web standards than previous versions were? We were lucky enough to get an early look at this final pre-release and now have a good idea how IE8 will look like. But, since this software is a partner release, it is more than likely that Microsoft will make one or the other change based on feedback until a public RC1 will surface. However, significant changes are rather unlikely.
Let’s cut to the chase right away.
The new version brings enhancements in private browsing, accessibility, overall reliability and speed. RC1 reaches a significant development milestone towards a browser that can compete on closer footing with Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera in terms of features. However, web standards support (especially CSS 3) and performance are still far behind the competition.
We tested the 32-bit version for Windows XP (64 bit and Vista versions were also made available), which carries the build number 8.0.6001.18343, which is up from the IE8 beta 2 build 8.0.6001.18241.
Privacy advocates will like the fact that add-ons are now disabled in InPrivate Browsing mode, a new “InPrivate Blocking” button has been added to turn the feature on and off, and group policies related to InPrivate Browsing mode have been added for administrative purposes.
Performance and standards
Whether Microsoft likes it or not, speed and compatibility are the two most critical disciplines browser are measured against these days.
The company’s Internet Explorer has never been a speed monster, but even Microsoft has shown a motivation to tighten up the browser’s engine to squeeze more performance out of the aging code base. Back in March of this year, when IE8 beta 1 was released, Microsoft conceded that IE8 was still behind its rivals, but it was about twice as fast as IE7 in some benchmarks – and it was gaining ground on Firefox 3 beta 5 back then. IE8 beta 2 brought more performance again, but the competition – Firefox, Safari and Opera – have made even more dramatic speed gains in the mean time and widened the gap. And we aren’t even talking about Google’s Chrome, which is generally believed to be leading the pack at this time. So, can we expect progress with IE8 RC1 as well?
Our first impression is that IE8 has matured quite a bit, it feels more robust and seems to load pages slightly faster than IE8 beta 2. In support of this impression, the memory footprint of 70 MB with five open tabs is now less than the 80 MB in IE8 beta 2.
Measuring the actual performance of browsers is highly subjective and virtually impossible in real world conditions, due to the countless variables affecting load times and variables that are beyond our control. In addition to that, different hardware configurations will yield dramatically different results in benchmarks that are typically viewed as performance evaluation tools today. The published results have to be taken with a grain of salt and the actual numbers are almost meaningless. What counts is the gap between different browsers: The gap tends to be comparable across different platforms in terms of percentages.
IE8 clearly comes in behind in this test, with a significant margin. The result got worse for Microsoft with a more advanced system – an Intel Core 2 Quad-based computer – in absolute numbers: IE8 RC1 scored 105, Firefox 3.1 beta 2 265 and Chrome 1.0 2991.
Again, the actual numbers are not what we are looking at here. What stands out is that IE came in last again and the performance gap is significant.
Another disappointment is IE8’s Acid3 score. While Microsoft promised to make the browser more compatible with web standards, it trails every other browser in this major standards compatibility test by a substantial margin.
For sake of reference, IE 7 scores 12/100 just like IE 8. To be fair, that number increases to 21/100 in IE8, if the window is left open for an extended period of time (several minutes).
While the browser did not crash during preliminary testing, this build is not meant for widespread public use and still contains several bugs. According to Microsoft, Facebook compatibility is still a known issue with the browser. Currently, the function “Add friend to list” causes IE8 to hang.
Noteworthy new features
Google has been particularly busy, having stamped out 15 Chrome updates in three months until the company suddenly proclaimed Chrome a finished 1.0 product yesterday, a move TG Daily deemed controversial, to say the least. So, what about key features in IE8?
Besides security features, Microsoft is emphasizing “accessibility”. JP Gonzalez-Castellan, accessibility program manager for IE8, said that Microsoft’s goal is to make IE8 “the most accessible browser possible.” He believes that the accessibility improvements in IE8 will benefit “one hundred percent” of users, stressing that improving the accessibility also improves the usability of the product.
He illustrated it vividly with public places like airports that have added wheelchair ramps after the Americans with Disabilities Act had been passed. Other passengers have soon started using ramps since it was easier to roll suitcases using the rams than picking it up over the ledge. “In much the same way,” he said, “when you make software more accessible, everybody wins.”
IE8 will support platform-oriented features like ARIA, IAccessibleEx and WinEvents, all of which will improve the accessibility of the browser. End-users may appreciate new accessibility-related features in the user interface areas, like caret browsing, a friendlier Find on Page feature, adaptive zoom and high DPI that scales the entire page content and several minor tweaks to how the browser behaves and reacts to user input.
Caret browsing: The power of keyboard shortcuts
Power users may especially enjoy keyboard shortcuts that will let them perform common mouse tasks with a keyboard, which will be a much faster or more efficient way to interact with software. A new feature dubbed “caret browsing,” turned on and off by hitting F7, ditches the mouse entirely in favor of the keyboard and a cursor that moves within a web page in the same fashion as the cursor within the text of a Word document. Users can select and copy text down to a single character by holding the SHIFT key and pressing the arrow keys to highlight the text, in addition to selecting and copying non-text content like tables or images.
Caret browsing is especially useful in combination with context-sensitive menus also accessible on the keyboard. For example, you may select a piece of text or a single word, hit the context menu key on the keyboard positioned between the right ALT and right CTRL keys) to bring up the contextual menu with a list of Accelerators and choose to translate the selected text into another language, show a map, look up the term in online dictionaries, etc.
Enhanced Find feature
IE8 finally tweaks the Find on Page feature with a dedicated toolbar positioned below your tabs, instead of a floating dialog that obscures page content. The feature highlights search results on a page with a yellow background as soon as you start typing and shows the number of matches found in the Find on Page toolbar.
Adaptive Zoom and high DPI support
Other areas where regular users will benefit from accessibility features for low mobility and low vision users are the new Adaptive Zoom and high DPI support (which is actually an OS feature). The two work together to enable the browser to zoom all content in a page, not only text. Bitmap graphics are enlarged accordingly, as well as text and vector UI elements of the operating system that appear on pages, like drop-down lists, buttons, boxes, etc. Current versions of Opera and Firefox also have adaptive zoom features; Apple’s Safari lacks adaptive zoom support.
Adaptive Zoom will not only help low vision users, but many others who squint their eyes when viewing pages on high-resolution monitors with high resolution settings. When a page is scaled on high DPI monitors, it not only looks bigger, but nicer since the software redraws the user interface elements with more pixels, resulting in a much more attractive display of content. Also, IE8 adjusts all elements on a page while zooming to avoid displaying horizontal scroll bars.
All three features are not limited to the RC1, but work in the current beta 2 as well. Besides the browser’s security improvements these three features may actually turn into the more noteworthy improvements and enjoy similar exposure such as tab-groups, for example. Microsoft still highlights web slices and activities, proprietary IE8 features designed to make information gathering about certain content more convenient.
With the new build of IE8, the Microsoft browser development team is well on the road for the release of a public RC1 in Q1 2009. The updated features address widespread privacy concerns that surfaced with IE 6 and 7 and show a certain willingness to narrow the gap in web standards support to rival browsers.
But, clearly, the improvements shown by IE8 may not be enough in some areas; in others, Microsoft may end up in a dead end.
IE8 RC1 cannot compete with Firefox, Chrome and Opera in terms of CSS 3 compatibility. But at least CSS 2.1 support has arrived, and new accessibility features will be heralded by those in need. We also believe that Microsoft has made a reasonable decision to single out privacy and security features with a separate toolbar icon.
Download Windows Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1 for Windows Vista 64-bit
Download Windows Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1 for Windows 2003 and XP 32-bit
Download Windows Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1 for Windows 2003 and XP 64-bit
Download Windows Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1 Readme file
Software developer Microsoft has announced the release of the second beta version of its upcoming Internet Explorer 8, it has been reported.
The browser, which will include the highly-publicised inPrivate mode which allows the user to keep details of internet sessions private, is available now, although no formal release date has been set for the final product.
It has been noted that other upgrades present in the beta version include a better address bar that can predict the requested url through previous history and an improvement of the tabbed browsing function.
Technology website vnunet.com also noted that the latest release was attempting to become more standards-compliant.
It said: “Microsoft says it passes the Acid2 browser test, will include CSS 2.1 and supports W3C’s HTML 5 Draft DOM Storage standard and the Web API Working Group’s Selectors API.”
USA Today reported that the inPrivate function was designed to hide the purchase of a gift for a partner, or for “other reasons” that they “don’t want them to find out”.
The question most people will have is – how does it stack up to the best in the market – Firefox, Safari and, in some instances, Opera? Will it be faster than the painfully slow IE7, is it easier and more secure to use? There is one simple answer: Yes.
This author found that IE8 loads about three times as fast as IE7 and loads pages about twice as fast as its predecessor. The performance gains are also significant when compared to IE8.
It is obvious that Microsoft, just like Mozilla, has made huge progress to accelerate the browser engine, while the company surprisingly forgets to highlight this progress in its browser feature list. Subjectively, it appears that Firefox 3 has lost its page load time advantage.
Useful new features
First, there is finally a “Find on this Page” feature you can actually use, since it is placed in its own field below the address bar. Searching web pages for certain words or phrases is also enhanced through search result highlighting and search result count.
Just like Firefox, IE8 can also store a browsing session and reopen it when the software is restarted.
The “Smart Address Bar, which offers a neatly structured, instant search feature when you are entering a URL, is also new. Similar to the Firefox idea, the Address options are very organized, easy to read and in most cases actually useful – especially when you are looking for a certain section on a website and simply don’t know its sub-level address.
The best new feature, hands down, is Tab grouping. At least I tend to have countless tabs open and once you exceed ten or more tabs, it gets confusing and you have to start reorganizing those tabs. IE8 does that for you in a color-coded fashion. The colors themselves are a matter of taste, but as long as you are opening tabs through the context menu (right mouse click), a new tab will appear in the color of the originating website. This feature is a perfect example how simple ideas can have a huge impact.
Tabs now also come with “crash recovery”, which means that the content in a tabbed window is automatically restored and reloaded – and any information the user may have already entered on the page (such as when writing an e-mail or filling out a form) is restored.
Under the hood, there are new features you won’t see in the user interface – which, however, are milestones for Microsoft. First, the browser is much closer to common web standards than any other version before (Microsoft says it passes the Acid2 browser test), CSS 2.1 will be implemented in the final version of the browser, there are Document object model (DOM) and HTML 4.01 improvements and there is support for W3C’s HTML 5 Draft DOM Storage standard and the Web API Working Group’s Selectors API.
Useless new features
Microsoft would not be Microsoft if there wasn’t an overload of features that in fact make the browser (12.7 MB download) appear bulky. Each user may have a different opinion what these features may be, but at least in this version it seems to be Microsoft’s Web Slices and Accelerators (renamed from “Activities”). On one side, Microsoft promises to stay within general HTML guidelines and on the other the company cannot resist to create proprietary features that are not part of any standard and are not supported by any other browser. Is it just me or does this sound strange?
Both Web Slices (a way to subscribe to certain content) and Accelerators (quick access to maps, for example) are obviously a try to standardize certain features and convince web developers and other browser developers to adopt this functionality. To me, both features are nice and may be certainly useful in some cases, but will they improve your browsing experience in general? No. In some scenarios, IE8 feels too heavy. The browser interface clearly needs another workout to trim some of the fat it has gained over the years.
IE8’s new “over the shoulder privacy” features were revealed two days ago. “InPrivate” appears to be a new word under which Microsoft will combine a range of security configuration options, with the first ones being InPrivate Browsing, InPrivate Blocking and InPrivate Subscriptions. All three add another layer of flexibility and complexity, which may be welcomed by some and may confuse others.
12 additional big security improvements include per-user and per-site ActiveX rules, domain warnings and highlighting, enhancements to IE7’s phishing filter and data execution prevention:
Old Microsoft habits
The installation process of the browser remains unacceptable and one big annoyance. Even on my relatively speedy PC, the installation process took 28 minutes from beginning to end. For 17 minutes, the PC was unusable, since the PC needs to be restarted and updates need to be reconfigured.
Why is it that Firefox can be downloaded and installed on the go without the need for a restart of the PC and Microsoft takes my PC hostage for 17 minutes for a simple browser update? I may be picky here, but iE8 is not particularly convenient (and transparent) to install.
You can download IE8 Beta 2 here.
1) You might not be able to uninstall beta
Users of Windows XP who have Service Pack 3 installed may find it impossible to uninstall the new beta once the deed is done. It gets a little dicey, but here’s the deal: If you installed SP3 after installing IE8 beta 1, your beta 2 installation will become permanent. Microsoft says you’ll be able to upgrade as new versions come out, but you’ll never be able to remove any of them from your system.
There is a slightly complicated procedure you can do to avoid this: Uninstall SP3, then uninstall IE8 beta 1. Once you’ve done that, re-install SP3. At that point, you’ll be able to do a clean install of IE8 beta 2 without having the lockdown issue.
2) You might not be able to upgrade to IE8 beta 2 directly.
Users of Windows Vista who already have IE8 beta 1 will have to take several steps before getting the new beta 2. First, you’ll need to manually uninstall beta 1. Second, you have to go here and manually install a system update. Then, you can move forward with the IE8 install — though it will actually prompt you to accept a couple other system updates when you begin. Make sure you check the “Install the Latest Updates” option in the Setup Wizard.
3) You might not be able to use some of your existing programs.
IE8 beta 2 is completely incompatible with both Visual Studio .Net version 7 and Windows Live Mail. Either program will fail to operate correctly and will likely just crash once IE8 beta 2 is installed. Microsoft says there is no workaround as of yet. You also won’t be able to view on-demand movies in NetFlix, use the Google Toolbar, or use some versions of the Skype add-on.
All right… got all that? If you’re still ready to roll, you can download Internet Explorer beta 2 here. Also, be sure to check out more expanded coverage of the product and its ups and downs below.
JUBILANT Brits Down Under yesterday saluted The Sun’s revenge on the cocky Aussies — who came only sixth in the Olympics to our fourth.
Expat Ceri Nicholls was thrilled to see our van in Sydney with its slogan: “Where the bloody hell were you?”
She declared: “I loved it — just to rub their noses in it.” Alan Heath said: “They don’t like it up ’em! Well done.”
CUBA’S ailing ex-dictator Fidel Castro, 82, accused “mafia” judges of taking bribes after his country won just two gold medals.