Boxee Releases New Alpha Version

Boxee, the XBMC-based media player I wrote about a few weeks ago, has released a new alpha version. The official list of changes (to the Linux version, at least) is as follows:

  • complete UI overhaul
  • play content available from: Hulu, CBS, Comedy Central, MySpaceTV, NextNewNetworks, On Networks
  • connect to videos from Hulu and CBS straight from friends activity and recommendations
  • manage your personal RSS feeds from http://app.boxee.tv and access them through boxee (on My Feeds under Internet Video or Internet Music)
  • navigation in media is vertical (up/down) instead of horizontal (left/right)
  • mouse is supported and enabled by default for new installations (for upgrades it can be enabled via Settings > Appearance)
  • application settings (YouTube, Flickr, Last.fm) are now accessible from the Settings menu
  • improved SMB support, which also fixes accessing your media via the Apple TV
  • when using a keyboard, the ESCAPE button always takes you to the previous screen
  • improved lyrics support
  • improved subtitles look and feel, support for subtitle switching and fixed media going Speedy Gonzales for a few seconds when subtitle are applied
  • when working in off-line mode, you can now properly access your local content
  • numerous bug fixes
  • many fixes from our friends at xbmc.org
  • moved boxee install directory to /opt/boxee under Ubuntu (POSIX compliance FTW )
I am a bit excited about the addition of Hulu. Unfortunately, however, I found that on my slow “high-speed” Internet connection, Hulu videos are virtually unwatchable. This, sadly, has nothing to do with boxee, as I tested the video outside of boxee. I guess I’ll just have to keep dreaming and waiting for the day that Verizon decides to upgrade the phone lines that run to my house or Comcast decides to run the extra 50 feet of cable it would take to extend cable service from the end of my driveway (seriously, that’s where cable service in my area ends) to my house.

Coding With CodeIgniter

I’ve been coding away at my new startup CloudContacts for a good bit now and I’ve found that using the CodeIgniter PHP framework has been great. I’ve always been able to edit PHP code pretty well but starting an application from scratch has been a struggle. I watched a few CodeIgniter videos and was off. There are many libraries and downloadable code across the Web which helps even more as you build the app.

What’s great is that you can combine straight PHP code with CodeIgniter bits. I certainly am no expert but I think I have the basics down.

Except for Java, I can typically edit any code in most languages. Now I feel even more excited to be able to begin the application process. My belief has always been that every entrepreneur needs to understand, at least, enough code to discuss the application and more importantly decide which language to use for the application.

Hats off to my friend Jimmy who spent the good part of a day teaching me some of the more advanced features in CodeIgniter. I will provide more updates as I learn more with CodeIgniter.

Linux Mint Available for 64-bit Computers

Linux Mint has now released a 64-bit version of Linux Mint 5 Elyssa. For some reason, when Linux Mint 5 was initially released, the 64-bit version was not ready for release. Instead, the team seems to have worked exclusively on the 32-bit version first, then finished up what needed to be done on the 64-bit version once that was done.

The team has said in their blog that they will be releasing the 64-bit versions concurrently from now on.

They are looking for feedback from users that have been using the 32-bit version to see if the 64-bit version works faster and better, like it should. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to download the installation disc and replace my Mint installation with the 64-bit version, soon.

What’s With the AIM Spam Surge?

Every time I check my Yahoo! Mail account, lately, I have three or four new spam messages from someone with an aim.com e-mail address. Almost all of them have a subject similar to “Private message for you”.

Is anyone else experiencing this issue? It only seems to be happening with my Yahoo! Mail account. None of my other e-mail addresses are receiving these strange messages.

Has Adobe Lost Its Mind?

Apparently, Adobe’s Creative Suite 4 was launched the other day, and I am absolutely astounded by the significant price of the software.

I have always thought that Adobe’s products were severely over-priced, but I don’t even remember CS3 costing nearly as much as the retail price of CS4. Has the company lost its mind?

YaBB 2.3 Released – Important Security Patch, Too

Two days ago, the YaBB team put out yet another update to the indomitable forum software. YaBB 2.3 includes quite a few great feature additions, listed below. In addition, the new update adds a lot of bug fixes.

If you downloaded this package already, the team actually released a critical patch for the software today, so be sure to update your installation.

Here are the documented new features in the software:

Feature Additions:
—————————————–

1. Quick Reply Advanced Edition
2. Reverse Post in Topic Advanced Edition
3. YaBB Backup
4. Top of Page Button
5. Pie Charts for Polls
6. Showcase Poll
7. Preselected Smilies
8. Category Pictures
9. Image Resize
10. Multi-Attachments
11. Avatar Uploader
12. Split/Splice Advanced
13. Expand/Collapse Advanced
14. New Members E-Mail Notification (to Admin)
15. Extended Profiles
16. Spell Checker

If you are a fan of YaBB, be sure to download and install the newest version. However, because there were a few immediate bug fixes and one critical patch released today, I would recommend waiting until tomorrow to download the latest package, ensuring that your version includes the critical patch.

Congrats to the YaBB team for continuing to get things done.


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