I have rarely been impressed with the plethora of student discount cards that expect me to pay for the privilege of earning minimal discounts at clothes stores of which I’ve never even heard, let alone shopped. So you can imagine my surprise at discovering the free Student Beans service, recommended through the Globalist mailing list. Registering for free allows you to print off vouchers which are usable in a range of genuinely useful places, achieved by negotiating deals on a local basis in each of the university towns it supports. We’re talking Fudge Kitchen here. And you can keep saving during the holidays if your home town is on there, so finally Adam’s ice skating extravaganzas at Hull Arena will be subsidised too.
You may be familiar with del.icio.us, a social bookmarking system that I recommend not for its “social” nature (in that friends can see your bookmarks) but because it stores them online, accessible from anywhere, and when combined with the Foxylicious add-on, can be imported into any new Firefox installation instantly. Its downside has always been the minimalist (and I’m being kind) text-based interface. Yahoo! acquired them almost a year ago, but none of the usual rebranding occurred and even regular users would have been excused for missing it. Now Yahoo! Bookmarks Beta has apparently taken this idea and given it an actual interface, very pretty and intuitive while retaining the core system. And you can even import your old del.icio.us bookmarks. As soon as a Firefox synchronisation add-on emerges, it looks like I’ll be jumping ship.
It’s been a big week for free software releases, with Windows Defender finally emerging from beta to complement the new Internet Explorer release. For those not familiar with Microsoft’s Anti-spyware offering, it provides great real-time protection with a very user friendly interface and is a surprisingly good security app. The good news is that it is still free despite rumours that it would be a paid service or even subsumed into Microsoft’s OneCare package. Given that it protects users from Microsoft’s own security flaws, even staunch MS fans were protesting the notion of being charged for the product. In short, every Windows user should have this.
With inline spellchecking being Firefox’s most loved new feature, it has come to my attention that spell checking is also available in IE7 in the form of an add-on, which the browser now supports. IESpell does not highlight words as you type however, and will require selecting “Spell Check” from the right click menu to reveal errors. The IEBlog highlights more must have add-ons. They’re worth a look if you’re sticking with IE7 or flirting with multiple browsers.