12 Animated National Flag Clock Screensavers

[Windows Only] Not everyone would consider themselves nationalistic or patriotic. However, most of us do enjoy seeing our national flags flying high and rippling in the breeze of a bright day. NewFreeScreensavers is offering 12 great free animated flag screensavers with an analog clock in the center. The flags are full screen animations that should work well on any Windows display. The settings for the screensavers are simple and allow you to change the display resolution.

usa-flag aus-flag bri-flag brz-flag can-flag fra-flag ger-flag isr-flag ita-flag jap-flag kor-flag nth-flag

All of the free screensavers at NewFreeScreensavers are completely ad-free and contain no malware. There are dozens of cool free animated screensavers there that you must see to believe.

Screensavers Download Page

Check out the rest of the free screensavers we’ve talked about here at Techie Buzz.

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If you have your own tips on places to find great free screensavers, be sure to comment below or email me.


BrowserLinux Now Offers Chrome Browser

chrome-ico In December of last year, we told you about BrowserLinux, a very small operating system that has one basic purpose, providing a web browser. The older versions contained only Firefox, but now you can get versions which use Firefox or Google Chrome. That’s good news for those of us who prefer Google’s web browser. At this point you might be wondering why you’d want to use BrowserLinux. Below are a few details that might convince you to give it a try.

browser-linux-chrome

Size matters

How would you like to run an entire operating system from a 128mb flash card or USB thumb drive? With BrowserLinux, it’s quite easy to do. It’s offered as a Live CD (ISO file) download and is less that 80mb in size. You could burn the ISO file to a CD, but SD cards and USB sticks are so easy to carry around. Here’s an easy way to create a bootable flash or USB drive.

Your PC is unchanged

Since BrowserLinux was designed to run only as a Live CD (or bootable flash/USB), you don’t have to worry that your PC will get messed up. No matter what OS is already installed, BrowserLinux won’t make any changes to it.

Infection Free

The bad guys don’t seem to care about Linux. While Windows operating systems get infected by the thousands every day, it’s very unlikely you’ll find a website or email attachment that can infect your BrowserLinux system.  If something weird happens, you can simply shut down without saving by killing the power. Any problems you had during your surfing won’t be there the next time you reboot. That makes it almost bullet-proof and an ideal system to take with you on the road.

Public Library or Internet Cafe

This might also be a good OS for Public Libraries or Internet Cafes to use. All they’d have to do it take out the hard drive, slip in a Live CD and set the BIOS to boot from CD. No changes could ever be made to the PCs that are set up that way. With so many cool web applications and online office suites available, who needs the hassle of installing, constantly updating, and paying for buggy software like MS Office. Finally, BrowserLinux will run fine on older PCs. That makes a computer running from this Live CD, the ultimate low cost, maintenance free system.

Simplicity

The developer of BrowserLinux says:

If you want an operating system for editing movies, writing letters or printing spreadsheets: don’t use Browserlinux. Browserlinux is for browsing the web.

The most difficult task to getting this OS on the web is connecting to a Wifi network. However, even that’s no big deal. All you have to do is hit the Menu button, choose Network, then choose Wireless. It will scan the area for Wifi hotspots you can connect to.

Download

http://www.browserlinux.com/

Highly Recommended

If you have your own tips on using Linux or it’s problems, be sure to comment below or email me.


Freeware Fridays | Top Tools Of the Week #15

freeware-signIn case you haven’t seen them, here are the most recent posts in our Freeware category. We hope you enjoy reading about these freebies, and maybe you’ll find a keeper in the mix.


Firefox

Firefox 4.0 Beta 3 Introduces Touch Support

Firefox 4.0 Beta 3 introduces multi-touch support and JavaScript optimizations along with stability and bug fixes. Read More | Tweet This

ultimate-chrome-flag-logo

Instant Website Safety and Traffic Rank Ultimate Chrome Flag Extension

If you are using the Chrome web browser, and you’d like more information about sites you aren’t familiar with, the Ultimate Chrome Flag extension could be your favoriteonline tool. Read More | Tweet This

Trillian-5-Beta

Trillian 5 Beta Released: Beauty Meets Functionality

Trillian 5 Beta is now available for download. The latest update includes Foursquare, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Windows Live Messenger integration among others.Read More | Tweet This

chrome-canary-cartoon

Canary Build of Chrome Web Browser Has Geeks Singing

If you want to experience the latest and greatest features of the Chrome web browser, there is an easy new option for you. Read More | Tweet This

monitor-colors-ico

5 New Animated Rivers Mountains and Woods Screensavers

Get ready to be relaxed when you let these 5 new screensavers that offer a relaxing view of rivers flowing through different settings. Read More | Tweet This

chrome-extesions-ico

Top 5 Favorite Chrome Extensions

I’ve seen lots of other people do this. Now it’s my turn. Here are my top 5 favorite extensions for the Google Chrome web browser. Read More | Tweet This

trash-ico

How to Uninstall Programs On Mac

After trashing an app on the Mac, many settings and other small files are left behind and continue to take up space on your hard drive. Read More | Tweet This

jolicloud-ico

Jolicloud as a Second Netbook OS It Plays Well With Windows

If you need a simple, fast, secure and sweet looking OS on your netbook, Jolicloud will be hard to beat. This is good news to netbook users who don’t want to be chained to Microsoft Windows. Read More | Tweet This


Be sure to let us know if you have a favorite freebie you’d like to see posted here. Our comments (below) are always open to you.

Microsoft Says Use Google Chrome for Problems with Hotmail

hotmail-logo Earlier today, it was reported that Microsoft has recommended some strange advice for users of the newly upgraded Hotmail (Windows Live Mail) service. Just last week, Microsoft finished rolling out a new user interface design to their 350 million users. Some have claimed that many of the new design features are due to the popularity of Google’s Gmail service.

According to MS, the new Hotmail UI (User Interface) is supported on the following web browsers:

• Internet Explorer 6.0+ on Windows
• Internet Explorer 6.x
• Internet Explorer 7.x
• Internet Explorer 8.x (Standards mode)
• Firefox 3.0+ on Windows and Macintosh
• Safari 4.0+ on Windows and Macintosh
• Chrome on Windows latest major version

Since the roll-out, the Hotmail forums have been alive with complaints about the new UI. This is the odd suggestion that’s been reported by The Register:

Some customers have indicated that if they use Google Chrome to view their Hotmail account they no longer encounter this problem

I guess I’d have to tag this post with WTF, because I can’t believe that anyone working for MS would ever have said that. I did a fairly extensive search of the forums and I was not able to find that advice. However, I did find dozens of posts that had been removedby the moderators. It’s possible they’ve removed that suggestion.

One thing for certain is that Microsoft should have followed the great example that Gmail introduced when they upgraded their own user interfaces. There has always been a link to take people back to an older UI, just in case they run into problems.

Microsoft still seems to be using it’s released products for beta testing and many Hotmail users are angry that they’ve been chosen as the guinea pigs. By the way, I just tried out the new Hotmail, and it worked fine for me … but I was using Google Chrome.

If you have your own tips on using Hotmail or it’s problems, be sure to comment below or email me.


Are Flash Cookies and Zombie Cookies Violating Your Privacy?

It’s bad enough that we get hit with tons of third party browser cookies that can track our surfing habits. Now we have to worry about Flash cookies and even worse, Zombie cookies. So what are these new cookies?

Almost every computer that accesses the web, now has Adobe Flash installed on it. In case you didn’t know, the Flash program stores it’s own cookies that your web browser has absolutely no control over. Are these Flash cookies bad for us? Yes, they can store all kinds of private information that can be passed to almost any website that uses them. A typical browser cookie is only 4k in size, while a Flash cookie can be up to 100k. That’s more room for information that you may not want to share.

In addition to being more difficult to control, the Flash cookies are now also resurrecting browser cookies that you may have intentionally blocked or removed. These resurrected cookies are known as Zombie cookies. I found out about this from Woody at Windows Secrets newsletter. Once I found out, I decided to look around for ways to get some control over these rogue Flash cookies. Here’s what I’ve found so far.

Adobe Flash has privacy settings that you can adjust by going to their website.

http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/

I’ll be honest with you – I really don’t understand many of these settings, but I have used them a few times. I just don’t know how much good it’s done me. Here are some sample screen shots of my settings.

adobe-flash-settings-1 adobe-flash-settings-3

There are settings in each of the 8 tabs there. All I can recommend is that you review the settings and be sure that most of them ask your permission for unusual requests such as webcam access.

Another way to control and remove Flash cookies is to use this freeware program I’ve found called FlashCookiesView.

flashcookiesview

This program is available as a zip file and is completely portable. Just unpack it into a folder and execute the program when you need it. FlashCookiesView allows you to see all of the Flash cookies, view the contents of the cookies, and to delete any of them you wish.

Get Nirsoft’s FlashCookiesView

More Information:

• Firefox users can delete Flash cookies with – BetterPrivacy
•  Here is a Chrome extension which also allows Flash cookie removal:  Click & Clean
•  Here is more security information on Flash cookies
•  You can delete Flash cookies manually by going to the storage locations listed here

Now you know as much as I do. If you have your own tips on controlling Flash cookies or any other Windows security issues, be sure to comment below or email me.


Instant Website Safety and Traffic Rank – Ultimate Chrome Flag Extension

ultimate-chrome-flag-logo

I recently reinstalled a copy of the regular Google Chrome browser after getting rid of my dev channel version. I also had to re-install my favorite Chrome Extensions once again. I decided to check out the most recent WOT (Web of Trust) extension, just so I wouldn’t accidently advise anyone to go to a bad website. While looking around, I found a new extension that you may like.

The Ultimate Chrome Flag extension gives you instant safety and web site information on the pages in your browser. The types of information that are displayed:

• Website country location
• Google Page Rank
• Alexa Page Rank
• Google Trends
• McAfee Site Advisor ratings
• WOT safety ratings

After installing this extension, you’ll see a new icon at the very end of the address bar in your browser. By default, the icon displays a country flag and a WOT rating (red, yellow, green) for safety. All you have to do to get information on a site is to click on the icon. Here’s what you’ll see at a bad website:

ultimate-chrome-flag-bad-site

Always keep your eyes open for the red dot on the country flag. As shown here, this site can’t be trusted. You can find out a great deal more in each category by clicking on the blue text in the pop-up.

Just for contrast, I’ll show you the information for a good website. Do you see how the dot on the flag is green instead of red?

ultimate-chrome-flag

There are a some very nice options that let you change the information displayed and the icon displayed. Here’s a screenshot of the settings page:

ultimate-chrome-flag-options

Get the Ultimate Chrome Flag extension

Note: For those using Firefox, a similar addon called FlagFox is available.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

If you are using the Chrome web browser, and you’d like more information about sites you aren’t familiar with, this is an awesome tool. The Ultimate Chrome Flag extension is definitely going to be one of my favorite extensions. Maybe it will be one of yours now.

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Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Desktop Weather from The Weather Channel

twc-icon [Windows] Here in the States, if you want to check weather on the TV, you’ll probably be watching The Weather Channel(TWC). On the web, TWC, or weather.com, has more competition, but it’s still one of the biggest weather services. So, you’d expect them to have a few apps for PCs and mobile devices. They do have a few, and I recently tried the Weather Desktop app for PCs. Below you’ll find some screenshots and commentary on it.

twc-installerFirst, I hit the big red Downloadbutton and I ended up with a 300kb installer stub. As you may know, a stub is a download manager that starts a larger download and installs it on your computer. After installing, I ended up with about 3.5mb in the program folder.

Here’s the first screen I saw during the install.

twc-downloading

Next, I had to say Acceptto a license agreement. I read it briefly and I did find one section I didn’t like quote:

TWCi may require the update or automatic distribution of the Software on your computer when a new version of the Software application becomes available. This update or new download may occur automatically or through other means.

I don’t even like it when Windows updates without my knowledge. Did I really want desktop weather this badly? Yes, for now, I’ll give it a try.

After accepting the license, I hit three attempts to install software that I may not want. Pay close attention here if you don’t want these apps. The first is the Dealioshopping bar. Be sure to uncheck Set Yahoo as my default search, and also hit the Declinebutton at the bottom  if you don’t want Dealio.

weather-desktop-dealio

Next you’ll see an offer to install Advance Registry Optimizer. It’s shareware and you have to spend $30 to get it to work fully. If you don’t want it (and you really don’t), then hit the Declinebutton.

weather-desktop-aro

After the last Decline, the Weather Desktop will finally install and you’ll see the application window.

weather-desktop-gui

Yes, it’s ad supported. Do you see the advertisement in the bottom right? At least it wasn’t flashing at me and jumping up and down.

The main window has lots of stuff you can check out. First and most important to me was the current weather and the weather alerts. As you can see, there was a weather alert when I first ran this. We had some pretty heavy thunderstorms that night.

I liked the built in radar image. You can see the storm had passed over me and nothing else was close to me yet.

The menu on the left had several different things you could do to learn about the weather.

weather-desktop-menu-1

Most of these menu items worked well, but sometimes nothing seemed to happen when I chose them. I noticed that the Weather Desktop is marked as Betaat the top of the page. Below are some of the features that did work.

weather-desktop-alergy weather-desktop-national weather-desktop-video weather-desktop-trivia

When you close the main application, it will minimize to the system tray and a little icon will tell you the current temperature. The icon is normally blue, but it turns orange and flashes when there’s a weather alert.

weather-desktop-systray

There’s plenty more to the app, but that’s all I’ll show you for now.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

It’s free, but it is ad supported. There are tons of great features, but some of them don’t work right now. I like this little program, but it still needs work. The major things I didn’t like were the third party software offers while installing, and the very loose licensing language. The Weather Desktop app has more drawbacks than I like in a free application. However, you may like it better than I do.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2/5 (Below Average)

5000 Free Icons at the Open Icon Library

Most web searches for free icons will lead you astray. You will often end up at sites that offer a few free icons, just to show off their paid icon collections. Other times you’ll find that the icons have license restrictions that don’t allow you to use them online or for business use. Do you need a good source for free icons?

open-icon-library-logoI discovered that the free icons at the Open Icon Library are not only free, but are free to use anywhere for any purpose. Here’s what they say about their collection:

A free and open Icon collection. Over 5000 Unique Icons. Free for anyone to use on you computer, website or any other project. The library is not a theme. Its a centralized source for icons to cover all your needs. The goal is to cover all common apps, operating systems, mimetypes, devices, and country flags.

You can easily browse the Open Icon Gallery by using the three main categories of Flags, Icons and Pictograms. If you don’t have time to look through them all online, you can always download the entire collection to your computer. There’s also an additional collection of icons specifically designed for use on web pages.

If you need even more free images, be sure to check out these pages:

IconArchive, Christmas Icons,  OpenClipArt, MorgueFile and Wallpapers.


Free Credit Reports from CreditKarma

shield-green-check-ico When you are looking for free credit reports, be careful where you go. There are plenty of very shady (almost evil) websites out there that offer you services that may cost you plenty if you aren’t careful. Have you seen the TV commercials for FreeCreditReports.com? I checked them out at the Better Business Bureau and they were rated with an F. That’s bad, very bad.

ckLogoRecently, I’ve seen one service that appears to be safe and highly recommended. The service at CreditKarma.com checked out with an Arating at the Better Business Bureau and it’s even registered as an Accredited Businessthere. Here’s what Credit Karma says about their service:

Credit Karma believes consumers have a right to know this information with no charge or without the bait and switch of 30 days free followed by enrollment products with confusing opt outs. We subsidize our cost of pulling the credit scores by selling advertising on the site.

They offer several reports and even some tools for helping you improve your future scores. The only complaints I’ve seen so far, are people reporting that the FICO scores are sometimes inaccurate. Since the only other FICO scores you can get are not free, you may decide you can live with results that aren’t perfect.

credit-karma1

Here’s a nice tour of the Credit Karma service that was created for Sears credit cards.

In addition to Credit Karma,  another truly free place to get yearly credit reports is at the Annual Credit Report site.


Conclusion:

Not all free credit reports are created equal. You can always check with the Better Business Bureau before you give personal information to a website.


Canary Build of Chrome Web Browser Has Geeks Singing

chrome-canary-cartoon [Windows] For those of you who surf the breaking wave of browser technology, there’s a new option. Google has added the Canary build of the Chrome web browser, which runs the latest developer builds. In addition, it installs alongside your regular Chrome browser and doesn’t share it’s settings, cookies and extensions. Unfortunately, it’s only available in Windows at this time.

chrome-browser

chrome-canary-ico

You won’t see a big difference in the new Canary build, except for the fact that you’ll have the latest features, such as Extension Sync and JumpLists. You will see a new icon for the program and it’s shortcuts. It is a brilliant canary yellow, as shown here.

Previously, there were three options for installing Google’s Chrome web browser. You were only able to run one of these at a time.

The ability to run Canary with another copy of Chrome already installed is very helpful to some of us. For example, I know someone who is already running three different web browsers on her PC. That let’s her simultaneously log in as three different peeps in YoVille. For most geeks, having a stable copy of your browser, in addition to the Dev version is a matter of playing it safe. If the new version breaks or gets funky, you’ll always have the stable version.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Awesome. I use Chrome as my default browser and this additional build is a must have for me, since I like to write about new features. If you want to experience the latest and greatest features, it’s an easy new option for you.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)