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Veetle TV

Veetle is a venture-backed digital media company based in Silicon Valley. Started by a team of top-notch engineers who were former graduate students from Stanford University, Veetle provides the next generation live broadcasting platform that can deliver extremely cost-effective streams at a massive scale with unprecedented quality. This unique platform therefore enables content owners, broadcasters and websites to reach millions of concurrent viewers with the highest fidelity content possible, at little or no additional cost.

Version 0.9.17 now supports Google Chrome on Windows.

License: Free

Limitations: No limitations

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ieSpell

Spelling checkers keep those of us who never won a spelling bee from looking like high-school dropouts. IESpell’s spelling checker for Microsoft Internet Explorer provides a safety net for interactive message boards and Web-based e-mail.

We found it unobtrusive, convenient, accurate, and fast. When you want to check your spelling, activate the program from the Tools menu, the toolbar button, or the right-click menu. The intuitive interface resembles that of any other spelling checker, with options for adding words to its dictionary and for ignoring URLs and e-mail addresses. It also provides a direct link to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, giving you the opportunity to expand your vocabulary as you work.

Though we wish IESpell could have fixed punctuation errors and checked our spelling as we typed, we were happy it detected all our misspelled words and offered spelling suggestions. This is a great free tool for the orthographically challenged.

IESpell is a free Internet Explorer browser extension that spell-checks text-input boxes on a Web page. It should come in particularly handy for users who do a lot of Web-based text entry (Web mail, forums, blogs, diaries). Even if your Web application already includes spell-checking functionality, this utility is faster than a server-side solution. Plus, you get to store and use your personal word list across all your applications instead of having to maintain separate ones on each application.

License: Free

Limitations: No limitations

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xB Browser

As a way of avoiding spyware and pop-ups, Torpark successfully allows you to surf the Web anonymously, although the publisher warns of possible connection slowdowns.

The self-extracting file installs quickly, and you can run it from your hard drive, or as the publisher suggests, from a jump drive. Torpark adds to your browser’s toolbar a few unobtrusive buttons, which allow you to activate/deactivate the tool and configure its privacy settings according to your specifications. The tool effectively restricts pop-ups; blocks surreptitious installations of adware, spyware, and cookies; and hides any traces of your surfing. You can check the Torpark Tools menu while visiting a site and build a list of blocked items for the current page; from the same list box, you may add to a white list any or all of the displayed items.

The publisher cautions that using Torpark may slow your Internet connection speed, particularly if you’re using a dial-up, but we noticed no slowdown during our tests. Torpark is free, easy to use, and suitable for all users interested in protecting their privacy while visiting Web sites.

The main advantage compared to other anonymous Web browsers is that xB Browser requires no configuration or technical knowledge in order to achieve anonymity. xB Browser is open-source so you can feel safe knowing what goes into our code. Additionally, it is even portable on a USB stick so you can take it to work, school, or on vacation. xB Browser does not store a cache on the user hard drive, nor does it store cookies, so there is no mess to clean up with eraser programs. xB Browser also has advanted features such a DOM object and flash cookie protection, cross-site scripting, attack prevention, and java proxy control. xB Browser can also detects and disables hidden and malicious browser addons that are hidden in the windows registry. When used in the free mode, xB Browser will connect to the internet through the Tor anonymity network. For greater security and speed, users can upgrade to the XeroBank anonymity network at any time.

License: Free

Limitations: No limitations

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Internet Explorer 8

Internet Explorer 8 adds accelerators to provide instant access to information like maps, web searches, translations, email, blogging, and more; faster performance; a smart address bar; improved privacy protection; and Compatibility View for displaying websites designed for older browsers.

Internet Explorer 8 addresses just about all of the major concerns that users and critics have had with the world’s most used browser. Whether they get answered in a way you like is another matter.

There are several new and interesting features. Web Slices lets you save predefined sections of a Web page for at-a-glance viewing. Instead of going to a traffic Web site for updates, the latest commuting news comes to you. Similarly, Accelerators make repetitive tasks one-click behaviors, for instance finding directions or blogging. InPrivate browsing introduces a cache and history on-off switch, while related tabs are color-coded and automatically reorganized as you open them. There’s also tab sandboxing, which means that when a tab crashes, IE itself won’t, and it even tries to resurrect the page that crashed.

There’s a greater emphasis on Web standards and security than before. The SmartScreen and cross-site scripting filters throw up a red warning page when you’re about to visit an unsafe site. There’s also domain highlighting, which grays out the name of the URL you’re looking at except for the domain itself. This sounds simple, but effectively draws attention to spoofed site URLs. There’s also a compatibility button so that sites designed specifically for IE 7 and earlier can still be viewed.

IE 8 lacks a default "smart" location bar that many other browsers have, but you can search your history and most visited pages from there. Also, the installation process still requires a reboot–unimpressive, to say the least. Drawbacks aside, there’s no reason to not upgrade if you’re an old fan of IE, and there’s even a few things in IE 8 for new users.

CNET VIDEO REVIEW

 License: Free

Limitations: No limitations

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