A handful of services are ending so Yahoo can focus on its four core areas
Yahoo announced today that it will be consolidating and shutting down a number of services to better fit with its mission statement. The company will shutter several services in the near future, and either integrate some of those features into other software or see the services' existence ended altogether. Shutting the little-used services down allows Yahoo to focus on the company's four core areas.
Mailbird e-mail client now offers speed reading feature
PC email client Mailbird has introduced a new time-saving feature to its service. Its speed-reading option allows users to read their emails in a format that, much like other speed-reading apps, involves a technique that flashes words one at a time on the screen; this promotes faster reading than if one is moving their eyes across the page. The new tool can be activated by selecting the glasses icon at the top of any email message within Mailbird, and the rate of the words can be adjusted from 100-1,000 words per minute. Offered in three tiers, Mailbird services are available in Lite (free), Pro ($1 per month) and Business ($9 per user per year) variations.
Developers can create Android games with asynchronous multiplayer
The latest update to Google Play Services has started rolling out to users, including a number of small changes to the software platform. Changes to the way the mobile operating system works with Google Drive, in-app advertising, and mobile games are included in the update, along with a claimed improvement to battery life through alterations in Google Location Reporting.
Apple now 'so mainstream,' Google says
For over five years, Google has offered a dedicated blog that detailed any changes, updates or additions to its line of products and services for Mac and (later) iOS users. The rise of Apple over the last few years, however, has prompted to the company to fold such announcements into its main blogs instead, leaving no reason for a dedicated Mac and iOS blog, and thus the company has filed a final post.
Company's free Services are now 10.6 compatible
DevonTechnologies -- developers of the DevonThink information organizing software -- have updated their entire line of freeware apps and Services today, optimizing them for a minimum of Mac OS X 10.5 and making the Services compatible with 10.6. In addition, some new features have been added and bugs fixed.
GM is reportedly planning on expanding its OnStar services to include new content offered for free, unnamed sources have told Bloomberg. The upgraded system is said to be linked to social networks such as Facebook, with speech automatically converted to text. It is unclear if GM has overcome the accuracy issues associated with some voice-to-text technology.
KavaMovies 1.2 ($35) is a movie database application that allows users to organize the movies they have seen, the ones they want to see and those that are a part of their collection. The application also connects to the internet to obtain extra information about each movie such as actors, directors, genres and more. Version 1.2 includes new import options, and features a new import wizard to step you through finding the right movie for each title. [Download - 3.3MB]
KavaServices updated to v3
KavaSoft has launched KavaServices 3.0, an upgrade to its utility for the Mac's services menu. Version 3.0 adds commands for sorting lines, converting between uppercase, lowercase and title case, converting to ASCII and encoding URLs. The software runs in the services menu, available under the current application menu in the Mac toolbar. It offers services such as translating text between languages, encoding special characters into HTML or URL links, can calculate mathematical expressions and convert currencies and other units. It can also execute terminal commands.
PlumChoice supports Macs
PlumChoice, a remote technical-support service for home, home/office and small business customers, has announced support for Apple products, including Macs running Mac OS X 10.4 and above, and iPods and iPhones. They will also support AirPort wireless routers, firewalls and printers. The company has previously supported Windows products and consumer electronics for eight years, and is looking to expand to Mac customers. It provides full-service, monitored, enterprise-style support for technology problems, including equipment set up, training, ongoing support, monitoring, and repair on PCs andMacs.
January security updates
Apple's latest Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.2 update and 2008-001 security update for 10.4 Tiger users fixes a number of different vulnerabilities that have existed in a number of different system resources. A stack buffer overflow in Directory Services could allow a local user to execute arbitrary code, while still maintaining system privileges. The issue is resolved by improved bounds checking, and is included with the update.
KavaTunes and KavaServices
KavaSoft today unveiled KavaTunes, a Web-based iTunes-like jukebox, and KavaServices, an addition to Mac OS X's "Services" menu item that adds five useful commands. KavaTunes allows Mac users to create an iTunes look-alike Web page, deployed through the operating system's built-in web server, to stream music over the internet. This allows users to share music from their iTunes library, and allows for continuous playback. While listening to a song, users can click on links to purchase the track from the iTunes Store. KavaTunes is currently available for $35 dollars, and a demo is available for users to try on the KavaTunes web page.