Internet Explorer 7 Beta

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 went on a limited beta release today.

Microsoft last updated its web browser in August 2001 – when mobile phones still had monochrome screens and the Enron business empire was invincible. There are a couple of surprise for some people it seems; users with search toolbars from Yahoo! and Google have discovered that these vanish. Other third-party toolbars designed to block pop-ups or aid with form filling appear to be working normally, according to reports from readers of The Register.

There are good reasons for Microsoft disabling third-party toolbars in an early Beta test version of the software – it’s only available to Vista beta testers, and is delivered either as part of Vista itself or as a download for Windows XP, so it reaches only a few thousand people. For anti-competive reasons however, Microsoft is unlikely to have the finished product work this way. We’ll have to see. It’s good to see the new version finally making an appearance thought – it’s been a long time coming!


An Update – in More Ways Than One.

Regular visitors will notice the change in design. I tend to reorganise things every 12 months or so and this site was overdue for that treatment, so here’s the updated look for the next year or so.

The other way in which this is an update is merely to note the lack of an update! The story below is about London winning the bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games. A happy day for everyone in the UK and one that will be remembered. However, everyone reading this will know what happend the day afterwards and indeed again two weeks after that. Nothing I can add here will make an impact; millions of words have already been written about the happenings in our capital city on that day.

I didn’t forget and neither was it a case of not bothering. To be honest it’s more a case of “let’s carry on as normal as soon as possible” and in some ways, the fewer words there are, the better.

Tears of Joy for London

(From Sky News) London’s Olympic bid team wept with delight after they beat the odds to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

In Singapore, England captain David Beckham and Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave embraced after the announcement was made and the thousands that had gathered in Trafalgar Square erupted into cheers and screams of delight.

Tony Blair, speaking at the G8 summit in Gleneagles, said: “It’s not often in this job that you punch the air, dance a little jig and embrace the person next to you.” Bid leader Sebastian Coe, said: “I feel absolutely ecstatic. We have the opportunity to do what I have always dreamt about for British sport.” Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell told of her shock at the decision: “We came from nowhere to win the Olympic Games.” London Mayor Ken Livingstone has pledged to “start the work tomorrow”.

Over the channel in Paris, the French, who for so long had been favourite to win the games, were left crestfallen. Click here to watch the Sky News coverage of the moment.

The Grand Canyon - click here to go to Google Earth If you haven’t seen this – download it as soon as possible!

This is the most stunning piece of new software I’ve seen in years – seriously. ”Google Earth” combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world’s geographic information at your fingertips.

Once loaded, expect to lose the next two or three hours at least – because you won’t be heard of again for that long. It could even make you interested in Geography! If you have children at school you needs this.

Not only is it great fun to play with, but it’s incredibly useful as well. Ask Google Earth to plot a route between two places. It does so switfly complete with driving directions. (Bye-bye Autoroute, you’re redundant!) Then – amazingly – click the “Play” button and it will “drive you” down the route in 3D. Stop anywhere and ask Google Earth the location of (say) the nearest Italian Restaurant and it will list the nearest and give you directions to your chosen one as well.

Now I’ve got you enthused, here’s the damper. So high has the demand been, (it’s only a Beta test version at the moment) that Google have stopped downloads for the time being. Keep trying the site though and grab it as soon as you can! Oh yes – there’s a $20 version that downloads routes to your GPS as well – so I’ll be buying that for sure!

Google – I take my hat off to you. It’s stunning – see the Grand Canyon in proper 3D then go and ”stand in the river” and look up at the cliffs around you; Park yourself in the middle of Lake Lucerne and stare up at the Rigi Mountain; or sit on top of Everest and look down! When you find a place you like (and you will find plenty) automatically email the location data to a friend – they double click the link and Google Earth “flys them in” from outer space!

Get it as soon as you can – click the picture above to go there.