Sunday, February 24, 2008

SSC #55 General News

Mozilla Firefox hits 500,000,000 downloads

    Yep, thats right, 500 million downloads.  Half a billion users.  And thats not counting those who's operating system already uses Firefox who therefore do not need to download it.  Mozilla firefox is fast becoming the standard web browser due to its versatile plug-in system that lets you add functions such as weather monitors, sports and stock market tickers and amazing looking skins quickly and easily while still managing to have better security than Internet Explorer.
    The fact that it is available on Windows, Linux, and Macintosh doesn't hurt either.   If you would like to make it half a billion +1,  drop on by and see how good it can really be.

Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron getting closer
    This next version of Ubuntu is shaping up to be a real blockbuster.
Due out sometime in April, the new and improved Linux-based operating system from Canonical will encompass lots of new features.

Plug and Print for supported USB printers will allow you to quickly and easily get printing

The Wubi Windows Installer will allow you to set up a dual-boot system with both Ubuntu and Windows side by side quickly and easily just by putting the Ubuntu disk in while you are running Windows.

Improved drivers for ATI graphics cards will enable you to show off to your friends the amazing Compiz Fusion desktop special effects on a wider range of video cards.

Other new features are mostly related to changing the selection of default applications that are initially installed.

    Due to its increasing usability and its low low cost of zero dollars, Ubuntu is fast becoming a popular replacement for new computer buyers who are less than happy with Microsoft's latest piece of bloatware, Windows Vista.  
    Hardy Heron will also be an LTS (Long Term Support) release, meaning simply that users will continue to receive support in the form of updates and patches for the next three years. 
    I know one of my readers in particular who is looking forward to the release with crossed fingers due to the buggy wireless support in the previous incarnation.  Rumor has it that there is something in the works for how wireless networking cards are recognized, but there's nothing officially being said on the Alpha release webpage.  Hang in there John, hopefully they will get you taken care of this time around.

More on the death of HD-DVD
    It appears that Microsoft is jumping on the bandwagon in ditching support for the failing HD-DVD format.   They are discontinuing manufacture of the HD-DVD addon for the Xbox 360.  Apparently they plan to continue to fix the devices that break under warranty, but they won't be making any more.
    A this format war between HD-DVD and BluRay has hit a lot of retailers hard as they now have to figure out what to do with their inventory of HD-DVD players and movies.  It is not often that something becomes instantly obsolete while sittting on the store shelves, but that seems to be the case.
    If you were one of the unlucky souls who ran out and bought an HD-DVD player, what do you plan to do with yours?

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