If you’ve ever had your hard drive fail, you’ve dealt with the ordeal of trying to recover and find all your old files, notably your images. Enter FlickrDown, a utility that allows you to download images from Flickr quickly and easily. FlickrDown is only for Windows at this time and requires .Net 2.0 to be installed.
To get started download the install file and fire up the application. Next, specify a username, email address, tags, or group to find the intended photos on Flickr. Then hit the Download button and the process begins.
Also, on a related note, if you want to upload images to Flickr, be sure to check out the flickr uploadr.
The OpenID project got a huge shot in the arm today as Yahoo! announced their support for the OpenID 2.0 single sign-on framework. As of today, there are a total of about 120 million OpenID accounts spread across services such as myopenid, WordPress.com, AOL (covered here before), and others. Yahoo! triples that number today by becoming an OpenID provider and adding approximately 250 new OpenID enabled accounts. Yahoo! users can expect to be able to use the services in private beta on January 30.
This means users will be able to log into more than 9,000 OpenID enabled sites with their Yahoo! username and password. For those of you who are unfamiliar with OpenID, it is a single sign on system for the web. Meaning if you look to join and log-in to a new site, you can use one username and password across all these disperate websites. For more info about OpenID, see Wikipedia or the OpenID homepage.
This can be counted as a huge win for the OpenID project. We believe in the idea of OpenID, but it won’t be successful until the major players in the web market hop on board. We hope to see the other big companies such as Google and MSN hop on board and start serving up some OpenID goodness.
Last night Yahoo launched a new beta, its WPF powered IM client – Yahoo Messenger for Vista. A demo was shown at CES in January 2007, however performance was noted to be poor and as a result there has been a 12 month delay in getting the first beta out. When you also consider that certain features such as voice and video chats have been removed from the publicly available build, it suggest just how troublesome the new client has been to develop.
So how does Yahoo Messenger for Vista compare to existing Yahoo and Windows Live products? Brandon and Long have both express their thoughts, with the consensus seeming to be that poor performance has resulted in a feature-basic client being presented at this time.
- The user interface looks great and is fun to use. For me it was the small things such as changing colour.
- Tabbed chatting. I’m sure there must have been a good reason why this hasn’t been integrated in Windows Live Messenger yet, unfortunately that reason escapes me for the moment. There have been design ideas around how to implement tabbed chatting in MSN Messenger/Windows Live Messenger up in the hallways of RedWest for a while now, I wonder when somebody will actually do something with them…
- File transfers upto 2GB. Oh sure we have Shared Folders in Windows Live, but who actually uses those?
- An official sidebar gadget. I really don’t know what to say for this one, Microsoft has seemingly abandoned sidebar gadgets to 3rd party developers for the last 12months and here comes Yahoo to ship a gadget at the same time as the beta application itself. Go Yahoo!
- The complete install took absolutely no time at all. Its just a shame that performance from this point onwards isn’t so good.
- Performance – not great, especially given the 12month gap in getting this from CES to now. Looks like they might need another 6 months or so until release in order to refine it, which although not a bad thing, could mean they drop some more advanced features from the final release.
No 64 bit support. Brandon touched upon this, and like him, I’m a recent convert to 64bit. This is definitely an area where Microsoft is improving its own support quite rapidly, hopefully this will filter out to those building on Microsoft technologies.See update below
Althought not perfect, Yahoo have just pushed my expectations up considerably higher with this beta release. You can try it out for yourself here.
Update: Yahoo just released an official version with x64 support. That is a speedy response to user feedback, impressive. WL Messenger team take note please.
As any avid–and increasingly, non-avid–gamer can tell you, the Nintendo Wii is harder to find than an urban square mile without a Starbucks. Up until recently, I was one of those people vainly rechecking Amazon.com and calling every Best Buy, Circuit City, and CompUSA within a 30-mile radius to see if they had any in stock. It was frustrating, of course, but not for the reasons you may think. Constantly hearing “not in stock” wasn’t the problem; rather, it was annoying because the whole process took a lot of work. And this was after I thought I was smart to wait a couple of months after the initial release.
But then I discovered a much lazier, but ultimately more effective, approach when I stumbled across a Yahoo widget from OuttaStock.com. It constantly scans a selection of online stores to see who has them in stock; both the $250 standalone system and the pricier–and totally unnecessary–bundle with all the games that can run more than $600. And yes, these are real stores, not the repackaged systems sold on eBay. I downloaded it last Thursday, February 22, and when I logged onto my computer the next day, it told me Amazon had them in stock. I clicked through immediately, placed my order, and that was it. There was no hassle, no waiting in line, and no running to grab the last box on the shelf. After the five minutes it took me to place my order, the Wiis had already sold out and the Wii finder again went dark. And best of all, even though I chose the slow, free-shipping method, I received my Wii the next business day. If the above method doesn’t work, try FindNearby.net, which Rafe Needleman covered last month.
While there are no new features, there are several performance and stability fixes:
- Better management of memory
- Crossfade works for everyone
- Fatal Exceptions are (mostly) history
- Proper shutdown of the executable
- Improved CPU performance when starting
- and 80+ other bug fixes
Cisco sues Apple for having the name iPhone, Cisco obtained the iPhone trademark in 2000 when it acquired Infogear, a small Redwood City, Calif., which originally registered the name. Cisco’s Linksys division has launched Internet phone called “iPhone” a VOIP. The product was officially launched last month.
Natalie Kerris (Apple spokeswoman) said:
“There are already several companies using the iPhone name for VoIP (voice over IP) products. We’re the first company ever to use iPhone for a cell phone. If Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we’re confident we’ll prevail.” Read more here.
Steve Bryant from the Google Watch blog has posted a funny, but well thought, mock-up of what Google’s start page would look like if Yahoo designed it. Well, I can’t say that the result is surprising:
What’s funny about this image, is that Google allows you to create a custom homepage that may end up looking a bit similar to the image above, but, it still looks better, and cleaner. Perhaps Yahoo should take this as a small wake up call and start thinking about a more serious makeover to their homepage. If it remains as bloated as it currently is I certainly won’t be using it for a long time. Even their (just) search page which supposedly, should be a non-brainer for designers is more bloated than Google’s.
When you choose a section from the carousel, the content area populates with your chosen data, targeted towards the location you have specified in your Yahoo! account when you signed up back in the day. The widgetized carousel list consists of One Search to search for anything online, including images and movie showtimes. You can view maps, city guides, traffic details and local happenings with Local and Maps. Yahoo emails can be pulled in with an easy to use and synced Yahoo! email inbox with all of your regular CC, BCC, Reply to all functions. Personal news feeds can be created to get the news you want when it happens. Sporting teams with sports headlines and tickers can be tracked. There is also a finance watchlist, market summaries, and financial news feeds straight from Yahoo’s highly rated financial data service. You can get your Celebrity and entertainment gossip instantly. Weather can be checked out complete with pretty weather condition icons and forecast outlooks. Again, this is synced with your city profile so the weather for your area will show up instantly. As for images, Yahoo has integrated your Flickr account into the mix, making it easier to thumb through and show off your pictures while on the go. You can also search and connect with other photos in the Flickr database.
This is a nice big step by the Yahoo! team to boost up user interaction with their products in the mobile environment. Will Google and MSN bite back? If they do, they have some work ahead of them. Yahoo! really seems to have risen to the top with this clean and easy to use mobile application.
But now I say, “Hallelujah!” Break out the bubbly and do a little jig on the table because the powers that be at Yahoo! News have shut down the News Message Boards. The “Discuss” link has been replaced with a link labeled, “What happened to the “Discuss” option?” The message at the other end of that link takes you to a short explanation of how the boards were dominated by a few, links were difficult to embed and something bigger and better is soon to replace the old board system: “Over the next few months, we plan to offer new discussion forums based on topics in the news and incorporating the latest features to foster a better discussion for all of our readers.”