Google unleashed a new search engine codenamed Caffeine, and is asking for user feedback.
Earlier today, Google revealed a secret project entitled Caffeine, the next generation of the company's Internet search engine. According to the official Google Webmaster Central Blog, a large team has been working on the project for the last several months, pushing the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness, and more.
By heading here, end-users will notice that the search engine looks the same. However, staff software engineer Sitaram Iyer and principal engineer Matt Cutts says that the new infrastructure sits under the hood, and that most users won't actually notice a difference in search results.
"But web developers and power searchers might notice a few differences, so we're opening up a web developer preview to collect feedback," they added. Currently the team wants "higher-level" feedback on the differences between the current search engine, and the caffeinated version used at the new link.
To provide feedback to Google, follow these simple steps:
Do a search at http://www2.sandbox.google.com/ and look on the search results page for a link at the bottom of the page that says "Dissatisfied? Help us improve." Click on that link, type your feedback in the text box and then include the word caffeine somewhere in the text box.
This post over on the Mozilla Wiki shows early mockups of an obviously planned redesign of the Firefox browser interface for v3.7. Created by designer Stephen Horlander, the images depict three appearances: Windows Vista and 7 using Aero, Windows Vista and 7 without Aero, and four layouts for Windows XP (Luna, Silver, Olive, Royale).
"These are not final," Horlander declares on the webpage. "They are only for brainstorming [and] exploration."
Despite that fact, the mockups show a definite improvement over the outdated default Windows design present in the current version. For all three platforms, the mockup depicts raised buttons to achieve a "tactile" feel. For the Vista and 7 versions, the images sport a new Page button and a translucent, "glassy" appearance. In addition, the menu bar looks to borrow from Google's Chrome and implement a pair of drop-down menu buttons.
Tawainese manufacturers of optical disc drives say that the cost of production for a Blu-ray disc player is set to fall to $50 in the next year.
Digitimes reports, citing industry sources, that the current production cost for Blu-ray players is around $100, with pick-up heads and chipsets accounting for 50 percent and 25 percent respectively. However, the publication says that in response to Sears selling a refurbished Blu-ray player (the Magnavox RNB500MG9) for just $99.99, optical disc drive manufacturers expect the cost to be half that come 2010.
Just last week a Curtis Mathes-branded BD player hit Meijer online at $99.99 as a Father's Day special. Predictably, the player sold out pretty quickly. That said, it looks like we’re now seeing the beginning of low-cost players that could give the Blu-ray format the boost that it needs.
Judging from reader feedback on last week’s piece, it seems consumers would rather have cheaper Blu-ray discs than cheaper players. Is this the reason you haven’t made the switch yet? Let us know!
Hold onto your hats folks, 'cause Microsoft has just done the unthinkable and extended availability of its Windows XP downgrade option, again. This latest move, of course, follows complaints that new licensing issues with Windows 7 could cause some serious headaches for businesses still hanging onto XP, and basically force them to either stock up on XP-ready systems before April 23rd, 2010 or face the possibility of Vista-only downgrades thereafter. The new deadline isn't quite as clear cut as past ones, however, with Microsoft saying only that the XP downgrade option will be available for 18 months after the release of Windows 7, "or until the release of a Windows 7 service pack, whichever is sooner." So, as ComputerWorld notes, if Microsoft pushes an SP1 update out the door six months after Windows 7 is released, folks could well be out of luck yet again -- at least until Microsoft sets a new deadline, that is.