Archive for January, 2011

We all are probably spending a good amount of our computing time within the confines of a web browser. But are we making the most of that time? Nope we will not if you we rely on the same old browser habits that is developed years ago. The good news: There are plenty of ways in which we can supercharge the web browsing without resorting to a bunch of tricks that you’ll likely forget. Here is my top 7 tips to boost your browsing skills:

Browsing Skills

Browsing Skills


Discover caret browsing

One of the best-kept secrets of both Internet Explorer (IE) and Firefox is the caret browsing feature. Caret browsing essentially makes web pages more keyboard friendly – and web surfing a lot more productive, particularly if you spend much time at all selecting and copying text or graphics from a website.

With caret browsing activated, a text cursor appears within any web page, and moving the cursor around and highlighting text and graphics are very similar to performing the same actions in a word processing document.

In caret mode, the Tab key moves you from one major section of a web page to another, and the Enter key will activate any link on which the cursor is positioned.

You can activate (and de-activate) caret browsing by simply pressing the F7 key in both IE and Firefox. Google’s Chrome has a version of caret browsing that involves first selecting some text and then using the Shift and arrow keys to select more.

Launch into full screen

Most elements of web browsers – menus, toolbars, status bars, and the like – are useless clutter once you’ve landed on a page that you want to read. To get rid of the clutter, simply tap the F11 key. All of the major browsers will launch into ‘full screen’ mode, showing you just your web page and none of the browser controls you don’t need.

Press F11 again to return to the browser’s previous state.

With Internet Explorer, you can still access your menus with in full screen mode. Just use the keyboard shortcuts (Alt-F, Alt-E, and so on), and the menus will hover over the web page.

Outsmart ads

One of the biggest time-zappers while surfing the internet today is waiting for ads to load – or waiting for them to leave you alone so that you can get to the content you need.

You can get rid of most ads altogether in a couple of ways. First, if you’re a Firefox user, head straight for Adblock Plus (http://bit.ly/12oUg). Install this plugin, and in no time bothersome ads will be a distant memory.

This plugin can’t zap all ads, but it takes care of most of them. Chrome users also now have a beta version of Adblock plus (http://bit.ly/7EABcN) that they can try.

If you’re using IE, try Ad Muncher (www.admuncher.com), which is also compatible with most other browsers.

Use the keyboard

Think about the operations you perform repeatedly in your browser using the mouse. There are probably keyboard shortcuts for most of them that can save you a lot of time.

Do you frequently return to your home page, for example? Hold down the Alt key and tap Home (Alt-Home) Need to find something on a web page? Ctrl-F activates the Find box. Need a new tab? Ctrl-T takes care of it. And how about switching among open tabs? Ctrl-Tab does the trick. These tricks work in all of the major browsers.

Try a form filler

Web forms are everywhere these days, and most of them ask for the same information: your name, address, e-mail address, and perhaps your credit card if you’re purchasing something.

Make short work of entering all of that information by enlisting the help of a form filler. The two best ones are LastPass (http://lastpass.com) and RoboForm (http://www.roboform.com).

Adopt multiple browsers

You might love IE. You may swear by Firefox. You may be intrigued by Chrome. Regardless of which browser you prefer, one of the other browsers likely has a feature (or a add-on) that will let you get your work done faster.

There’s no reason these days not to be acquainted with all of the major web browsers. That would be IE, Firefox, and Chrome. They’re all free. They all get along with one another when installed on the same computer.

And thanks to a diverse and talented development community, they all have add-ins or plugins that provide unique features that are not available on other browsers. Just spend some time at the Add-ons for Firefox page (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:7) or the Google Chrome Add-ons site (http://www.mychromeaddons.com/) to get a taste of what’s out there.

Learn Browser Tricks

The web browser is the most used software on your computer, so it helps to know as much about it as possible. Here are a few things you may not have been aware of.

Triple-click to select paragraph

To select an entire paragraph, such as this one, left click on it three times. This works in IE and Firefox (but not in Opera, however it might work in others like Safari or Konqueror). From there you can press CTRL+C to copy and paste into Notepad, Word or wherever you wish.

CTRL+F5 to force-reload

You’ve heard the phrase a million times, “Clear your cookies/cache and restart browser to view X properly.” Most of the time the same thing can be done via a CTRL+F5. The F5 is to refresh the page. When used in combination with CTRL it overrides the cache and loads everything as new.

The CTRL+F5 function to the best of my knowledge universally does the same thing across all web browsers. However on some like Google Chrome, a rapid double-click does the same thing.

CTRL+H to view history

It’s true you can view browser history simply by examining the address bar, but if you want to see where you’ve visited by day, most visited and so on, you need look at the browser history. This is done in IE or Firefox via CTRL+H. This opens up a sidebar with all your history in it.
Jumping to tab by number

Each tab you have open in your browser is assigned a numerical value. You can easily jump to the first 9 by pressing CTRL and the corresponding number.
For example, if you have three tabs open and want to jump to tab 2, press CTRL+2.

F3 to search again

Searching for text on a web page is easy. Just press CTRL+F and type what you want to find. This is (as far as I’m aware) universal across all web browsers. When you do this, the first instance of what you were looking for is found.

Most people use clickable arrows to continue searching for the same text. However it’s much easier just to press F3 if you want to keep searching the page for the same text. To search in reverse direction, use SHIFT+F3.

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I always experiment with my Wi-Fi and now I think I mastered 10 different things other than connecting to the Internet with my Wi-Fi and I am sharing the same in this week post, having the ability to connect to the internet anywhere we go is undoubtedly awesome, but it isn’t the only gift Wi-Fi technology has given us. So let’s see the Ten other Things you can do with your Wi-Fi other than connection to your Internet..

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1) Make DTH signal go the distance

Monsoon Multimedia’s Vulkano is a device that connects to (and controls) your existing DTH set top box (STB). It has to be set up so that the STB outputs to the Vulkano, while the Vulkano is connected via HDMI to the TV.

You can watch TV normally, but Vulkano also lets you stream your existing TV, which you’ve already paid for, to any internet-connected PC, Android phone or iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch. Whether you’re within your Wi-Fi connected home, or anywhere in the world, you can connect to the Vulkano box, switch on the STB and watch or record live TV.
If you have a recorder like I am using TataSky+, the Vulkano box can also be used to schedule a recording on it. At $280, this is a cool new way to make your TV channels go the distance.

2) Turn webcams into surveillance cameras

An app called iCam ($4.99) for the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch can be used to remotely monitor your home when you are away. You need to install the free iCamSource software (available for Windows & MAC) on each laptop or PC that you want to use, and then configure it to the iCam software in a simple , two-step process.

You can configure up to 12 different webcams with each iPhone, and view the feeds from four of them simultaneously. Like a high-end surveillance system, iCam also offers push notifications. The app continuously monitors the camera feeds for movement. If movement is detected, a message will pop up informing you of the same.

3) Share Net connection using Wi-Fi

Free program called Connectify turns your Windows 7 machine into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Download Connectify from connectify.me and set it up by giving your Wi-Fi network a name and password, just as you would with a regular Wi-Fi router.

So whether your laptop is connected via Ethernet or to a USB broadband modem, you can share internet with other nearby laptops or devices like Wi-Fi enabled phones, iPods and tablets. Similar functionality can be found on smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S and HTC HD2; both have built in software that lets you share your GPRS connection with other Wi-Fi devices in the vicinity.

4) Transfer photos from digicam to PC

Imagine a memory card for your digital camera that never ran out of space. That’s what the Eye-Fi wireless SD can do for you. The card packs in regular flash memory and a Wi-Fi adapter into a standard SD card that can fit many digital cameras.

When you first get it, you need to configure the card to your Wi-Fi network by connecting it to a PC. You can also configure it with Flickr, Picasa, Evernote, YouTube, Snapfish, Photobucket and many more. When you get within range of your configured Wi-Fi network, photos and videos stored on the card will automatically get transferred to your computer or connected site. The 4GB Eye-Fi SD card is available for 3,800 (including customs & delivery) from eBay Global Easy Buy program. Note: Although Eye-Fi is supported by over 1000 camera models, before buying, do check the compatibility list on the company website. and also similarly you can Send photos to digital photo frame, The iGala Wi-Fi photo frame looks just any other 8-inch photo frame. But it’s actually pretty advanced. Based on Linux, the touchscreen can be used to configure it to your Wi-Fi network. Sign in to your Flickr account on it to instantly have it display photos from your stream.

You could also use it just like any other photo frame, by displaying images from the 1GB built in memory or external SD/USB devices. Available from Thinkgeek.com for $240.

5) Make your own portable Wi-Fi hotspot

You may not always have an available Wi-Fi connection to get your fix. However , with the help of a handy new device, you can create your own Wi-Fi hotspot wherever you go.

The Tata Photon+ Wi-Fi is a small, battery-powered device that connects to Tata Photon’s broadband network (just like the USB device) and instantly creates a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that can be used by up to five devices at a time. It also has a single Ethernet port to connect to a desktop or laptop without Wi-Fi . Buy the device for 6,499 and choose from a number of different plans starting at 500 per month.

6) Monitor entire house with Rovio

This is the coolest thing which I borrowed from one of my friend, Rovio is a toy, but a pretty advanced one at that. The battery-powered, camera-toting and Wi-Fi enabled Rovio will wait patiently at home for your command. Connect to it from a remote location, and you’ll see what Rovio sees.

You can also move Rovio around and use it to communicate with other people thanks to the built in speaker and mic. Teach Rovio your home’s layout by setting waypoints and Rovio can navigate to those preset locations all by itself. And Once Rovio’s battery is depleted, it can automatically back itself into the charging dock at home. Available from Thinkgeek.com for $199

7) Stream Audio to Any Speakers in the House

While you need extra PCs or game systems lying around to stream video, streaming audio is a cinch with something like Apple’s AirPort Express router. Even if you’re not streaming from iTunes, Apple’s AirPort Express will get any music to any speakers you want in the house. You can even create your own portable, wireless boombox. Of course, if you’re not an Apple fan, you can always use a regular old router to make a wireless music player, too. And, of course, it works the other way, too—you can always stream music from your iPod or iPhone to a computer with iTunes.

8) Share Files with Nearby Computers

If you’re sharing something other than video between PCs, you have a bunch of options for transferring them. While it isn’t the absolute fastest method, sharing files over the same Wi-Fi network (or an ad-hoc network if you’re out and about) is certainly one of the easiest ways to get files from one computer to another. Of course, if the friend with which you’re sharing files is a Dropbox enthusiast, you can transfer files over Wi-Fi with Dropbox as well.

9) Forward Notifications from Your Smartphone to Your PC

If you’re rocking an Android phone (and most of you are), you can send call, SMS, and battery notifications straight to your Windows, Mac with Growl, or Linux PC over Wi-Fi with Android notifier. No more do you have to deal with the ringing and buzzing phone from across the room when you’re already sitting at your PC. If you prefer to be able to take action on these items, you can always forego the Wi-Fi and send them over GTalk with TalkMyPhone instead.

10) Turn Your Smartphone into a Remote Control

If all the computers in your house are connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can easily connect your smartphone to the same network and control them. With apps like our favorite iTunes-controlling Remote app for iPhone, the all-encompassing Gmote for Android, and more XBMC remotes than you can shake a stick at, you don’t have to get up from your couch for anything anymore.

What other ways are you using your Wi-Fi connection, Let me know, Leave your Comments in the Comment section of this post, Have a Great Week….

It was the time when technology came out of geekdom and entered straight into our living rooms. Gadgets were no longer just Geek toys. So here are the dozen products that dazzled not only geeks but also laymen.

Best of technology 2000s

Best of technology 2000s

Apple iPhone

Using a touchscreen on a phone? Without a stylus, too? Apple’s iconic iPhone lets you do just that, and when it threw App Store for downloading applications to the phone in 2008, it had firmly established itself as the phone to beat. It did not have the greatest specs, but its innovative interface and ease of use more than compensated. Nokia and Blackberry were sweating.

Apple iPod

Carrying gigabytes of music in your pocket in a classy looking device with cool headphones? It sounded ridiculous when Steve Jobs fished out the small music box, which he called the iPod, in October 2001. Today, iPod is virtually synonymous with the portable media player.

OpenOffice.org

July 2000 saw the arrival of an office suite that was almost as powerful as the all-dominating MS Office, and is free to boot. Why it has not displaced MS Office as the popular Office suite is one of the mysteries of the decade.

Nintendo Wii

Want to play tennis on your console? Just swing your hands as if you are holding a racquet! Well, that was what Nintendo Wii brought to gaming in 2006 — simplicity, greater involvement and an absence of conventional game pads. Gamers loved it, helping it outsell more powerful consoles like PS3 and the Xbox 360.

Microsoft Windows XP

The greatest Windows of them all. Windows’s XP’s success has been a bit of an albatross for Microsoft. While its sucess was widespread, it also resulted in people being less than willing to move to new versions of Windows. It continues to go strong to this day!

Asus EeePC

Ultra-portable light notebooks were supposed to be niche, expensive products. Asus turned that on its head by introducing the EeePC in 2007. It weighed about a kilo, was compact, ran blazing fast and cost less than a high-end phone. The era of Netbook had arrived.

Sony Play Station2

Sales of 138 million units, a library of almost 2,000 games…, Sony’s PS2 might be considered a relic by hardcore gamers, but there has never been a more successful console in video games history. The PS2 yanked gaming out of PC territory with its (then) brilliant graphics and great gaming library. Consoles would never play second fiddle to the computer again.

Opera Mini

Browsing the internet on your cellphone generally meant having to put up with low-feature WAP sites. Opera Mini changed all that with its ability to render desktop versions of websites on a handset. And it did so at a blazing clip. And it worked on just about any cellphone. And it was free. It was and remains a must-download for any cellphone owner.

Gmail

Before Google threw in its version of email, one had to cough up cash to be able to access mail from an email client and had to keep deleting mails to ensure that one did not go over one’s storage limit. Gmail brough in gigabytes of storage, free POP and iMap access and integrated chatting… mail would never be the same again.

Amazon Kindle

Bookworms hated reading on computer screens and found those of mobile phones too cramped. Amazon came up with the perfect solution — a light weight e-book reader that lets you browse and download books over the air and look snazzy too. Sure it does not support colour, but fourteen days of battery life more than compensates.

World of Warcraft

Millions of gamers all over the world log in to play this amazing online game, coughing up a monthly fee to boot. People may talk about social networking, but the World of Warcraft gaming community is perhaps one of the most committed in the world, making this arguably the most successful game of all time.

Moto Razr V3

A cellphone was supposed to be a functional device rather than a style statement — until Motorola unleashed this slim flip phone in 2004. Pundits carped at its tech specs and users lined up to buy it, making it one of the most successful phones of all time.

Wonder what are the hottest technologies for 2011? Technologies and trends that will rule in the year 2011. Let’s take a look at this week post, 10 Hottest & Strategic Technologies for 2011. The list highlights the technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organisations in 2011. strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses. It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years. Here’s over to the top 10 strategic technologies for 2011.

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Mobile apps and media tablets

Mobile devices are becoming computers in their own right, with an astounding amount of processing ability and bandwidth. There are already hundreds of thousands of applications for platforms like the Apple iPhone, in spite of the limited market (only for the one platform) and need for unique coding. Many research estimates that by the end of 2010, 1.2 billion people will carry handsets capable of rich, mobile commerce providing an ideal environment for the convergence of mobility and the Web.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing services exist along a spectrum from open public to closed private. The next three years will see the delivery of a range of cloud service approaches that fall between these two extremes. Vendors will offer packaged private cloud implementations that deliver the vendor’s public cloud service technologies (software and/or hardware) and methodologies (ie, best practices to build and run the service) in a form that can be implemented inside the consumer’s enterprise. Many will also offer management services to remotely manage the cloud service implementation.

Next-gen analytics

Increasing compute capabilities of computers including mobile devices along with improving connectivity are enabling a shift in how businesses support operational decisions. It is becoming possible to run simulations or models to predict the future outcome, rather than to simply provide backward looking data about past interactions, and to do these predictions in real-time to support each individual business action.
While this may require significant changes to existing operational and business intelligence infrastructure, the potential exists to unlock significant improvements in business results and other success rates.

Fabric-based infrastructure and computers

A fabric-based computer is a modular form of computing where a system can be aggregated from separate building-block modules connected over a fabric or switched backplane. In its basic form, a fabric-based computer comprises a separate processor, memory, I/O, and offload modules (GPU, NPU, etc.) that are connected to a switched interconnect and, importantly, the software required to configure and manage the resulting system(s).

The fabric-based infrastructure (FBI) model abstracts physical resources – processor cores, network bandwidth and links and storage – into pools of resources that are managed by the Fabric Resource Pool Manager (FRPM), software functionality. The FRPM in turn is driven by the Real Time Infrastructure (RTI) Service Governor software component. An FBI can be supplied by a single vendor or by a group of vendors working closely together, or by an integrator – internal or external.

Context-Aware computing

Context-aware computing centers on the concept of using information about an end user or object’s environment, activities connections and preferences to improve the quality of interaction with that end user.
The end user may be a customer, business partner or employee. A contextually aware system anticipates the user’s needs and proactively serves up the most appropriate and customized content, product or service.

Storage Class Memory

Huge use of flash memory in consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems. It also offers a new layer of the storage hierarchy in servers and client computers that has key advantages – space, heat, performance and ruggedness among them.

Unlike RAM, the main memory in servers and PCs, flash memory is persistent even when power is removed. In that way, it looks more like disk drives where information is placed and must survive power-downs and reboots. Given the cost premium, simply building solid state disk drives from flash will tie up that valuable space on all the data in a file or entire volume, while a new explicitly addressed layer, not part of the file system, permits targeted placement of only the high-leverage items of information that need to experience the mix of performance and persistence available with flash memory.

Social analytics

Social analytics describes the process of measuring, analyzing and interpreting the results of interactions and associations among people, topics and ideas. These interactions may occur on social software applications used in the workplace, in internally or externally facing communities or on the social web. Social analytics is an umbrella term that includes a number of specialized analysis techniques such as social filtering, social-network analysis, sentiment analysis and social-media analytics. Social network analysis tools are useful for examining social structure and interdependencies as well as the work patterns of individuals, groups or organizations. Social network analysis involves collecting data from multiple sources, identifying relationships, and evaluating the impact, quality or effectiveness of a relationship.

Ubiquitous computing

The work of Mark Weiser and other researchers at Xerox’s PARC paints a picture of the coming third wave of computing where computers are invisibly embedded into the world.

As computers proliferate and as everyday objects are given the ability to communicate with RFID tags and their successors, networks will approach and surpass the scale that can be managed in traditional centralized ways. This leads to the important trend of imbuing computing systems into operational technology, whether done as calming technology or explicitly managed and integrated with IT.
In addition, it gives us important guidance on what to expect with proliferating personal devices, the effect of consumerisation on IT decisions, and the necessary capabilities that will be driven by the pressure of rapid inflation in the number of computers for each person.

Social communication and collaboration

Social media can be divided into:

1. Social networking-social profile management products, such as MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and Friendster as well as social networking analysis (SNA) technologies that employ algorithms to understand and utilize human relationships for the discovery of people and expertise.

2. Social collaboration technologies, such as wikis, blogs, instant messaging, collaborative office, and crowdsourcing.

3. Social publishing-technologies that assist communities in pooling individual content into a usable and community accessible content repository such as YouTube and flickr.

4. Gaining feedback and opinion from the community on specific items as witnessed on YouTube, flickr, Digg, Del.icio.us, and Amazon

Video 2.0

Video is not a new media form, but its use as a standard media type used in non-media companies is expanding rapidly. Technology trends in digital photography, consumer electronics, the Web, social software, unified communications, digital and Internet-based television and mobile computing are all reaching critical tipping points that bring video into the mainstream.

Over the next three years video will become a commonplace content type and interaction model for most users, and by 2013, more than 25 percent of the content that workers see in a day will be dominated by pictures, video or audio.

Do you predict any Hot Technology trend for 2011 which is missed out, let us know…

A new year rolls in. A new opportunity arises to make wishes for the future. And in the world of technology, there’s plenty to wish for. Despite the great gadgets introduced in the recent past –iPad, Android, Windows 7, smartphones, and more — there’s room for improvement in almost every corner of technology today. Need proof? See how many of these technology wishlist items would find a place on your own tech wish list for 2011.

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Sanity in advertising

Advertising on the internet has got out of control, and in 2011 let’s hope some sanity settles in. There’s no doubt that internet content providers struggle to make money using a medium through which users want and expect to get information for free. Most providers have turned to advertising as the solution. Unfortunately, ads are now too often ruining the internet experience. Full-page ads that block you from content, floating ads that obscure what you’re trying to read, and ads that gray out information shortly after you begin reading are just a few of the annoying advertising models adopted over the past year. There has to be a reasonable alternative, and in 2011 content providers need to search for it, lest they lose their users to frustration.

A search engine for sites with no ads

If we can’t hope for an end to ad overload in 2011, at least we could wish for a new search engine that culls ad-free sites from the rest and presents us with only those sites in our search results.

Put this wish list item in the category of ‘why hasn’t anyone thought of it before.’ It’s already possible for web crawling spiders to distinguish sites with ads from those without them. And the fact that there’s still a healthy universe of websites that adhere to the original concept of the internet — noncommercial information sharing — means that such a search engine would have plenty of sites in its database to attract users. The existence of such a search engine just might be a wakeup call, too, to those sites that have become overrun with ads — and thus almost unusable.

More sites that are mobile-friendly

Most smartphones allow you to surf the web. There’s just one problem: doing so on a smartphone is a test of one’s patience. Websites could solve this problem by offering up mobile-ready versions that are optimised for smartphones. To be sure, some already do. Check out mStart.mobi (http://mstart.mobi), for instance — a search engine designed to serve up only those sites that are designed to be viewed on a mobile phone. Unfortunately, you probably won’t find very many of your favourite sites among the offerings. That needs to change, especially since the growth of smartphones is set to explode, with recent studies suggesting that a half a billion smartphones will be sold in 2011 alone.

Cheaper SSDs

Solid State Disks (SSDs) remove one of the biggest performance bottlenecks in desktop and notebook computers today — the traditional hard drive. Instead of rotating magnetic platters, SSDs store data on special memory chips, and they can serve up information many times more rapidly than can traditional hard drives. But SSDs are also many times more expensive than regular hard drives. In 2011, prices should start coming down significantly, however, as larger-capacity SSDs push down prices of today’s lower capacity models. Here’s to hoping they do – and fast.

Free hotspots

Wireless internet hotspots — which allow you to access the internet wirelessly while away from home — are widely available these days. They’re in airports, coffee shops, and even on trains and airplanes. The problem: too often, these hotspots are only available for a fee, and unless you’re desperate to surf the net or send an e-mail message, the fee is usually too high to warrant paying it. Of course, businesses that offer hotspots have to pay for internet access themselves, so they have a right to charge customers if they wish. Regardless of cost, though, more businesses are seeing the wisdom of offering wireless hotspots for free: free wireless gives businesses a competitive advantage over those that do not offer free wireless, and a gratis hotspot can engender customer loyalty and goodwill — two valuable commodities. Hopefully the trend of free hotspots will grow in 2011.

Death of the ribbon bar

For every person who loves the ribbon bar that has replaced the traditional menus in Microsoft’s Office 2007 and 2010, there seem to be 10 people who loathe it. Those who like it tend to be new users, or people who never spent much time in Office before. Those who hate it are everyone else. Ribbon bar haters may one day be persuaded of the superiority of the ribbon bar, but for now, most of them really just want the option to return to traditional menus.

Microsoft refuses to provide that option. To make matters worse, many other software vendors are starting to follow Microsoft’s lead and introduce ribbon bars of their own, again with no option to return to traditional menus. Let’s hope 2011 brings back choice. After all, billions of people grew up using applications that featured File, Edit, and View menus. Why make them learn a new way of performing familiar tasks?

I hope these make up 2011 another memorable year for Technology, Wishing everyone a very Prosperous and Happy New Year.

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By the way for any of those interested in the Adobe beta programs, I have posted the Adobe Free Beta Tester Application which you can check out.