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Ten cool US-only technologies we want in the UK

These services and products will improve your life

There's no end to how the web and technology can improve your every day life. We've picked out 10 of the coolest new technologies that will change every aspect of your life, from getting a mortgage to having a PC that you don't need to boot up.

Presto: instant-on for any PC

You've probably heard about PCs that can start almost immediately, booting into a Linux OS so you can check email or play some music. But so far, those systems have been embedded in a PC's BIOS, meaning that if your PC didn't ship with the capability then you're out of luck.

Presto is a similar instant-on system that you can install on an existing laptop or desktop. Made by Xandros, makers of a popular Linux distribution, Presto should be available as a free beta on March 16.

Xmarks: bookmark collective

Xmarks is created by the same people who make Foxmarks, a browser add-on that synchronises bookmarks for three million computer users. That user base gives the service information on 600 million bookmarked pages. Xmarks is a way to make all that information useful to other users.

You can interact with Xmarks two ways. If you go to xmarks.com, you can enter a site name and Xmarks will let you know what other people think of it. A rating scale tells you how often it's bookmarked, Xmarks users can review the site and Xmarks will tell you about related sites.

You can also install the Xmarks browser add-on (if you already have Foxmarks installed, the update will be pushed out to you soon). When you search at Google, Yahoo or Microsoft's Live Search, Xmarks will look at the results and offer additional information about the three links per page that have the highest score - a combination of how many people have bookmarked the site, plus its 'bookmark velocity', or how quickly people are adding the site to their bookmarks.

That information looks like it can be pretty handy in finding the most useful sites in your list of search results.

Project guru: computer help from afar

Symantec has developed a way for geeks to reach out to friends and family over the internet and fix their computers. With Project Guru, computer savvy tech gurus can invite people to join their Guru network, where they can remotely troubleshoot and repair PCs.

Symantec is developing a handful of tools for the service right now: a remote desktop, security and malware scans, performance tests and error logs. The service is being tested in a small pilot programme and Symantec plans to make a public beta of the service available later this year. The company hasn't worked out whether or not Guru will be free.

Broadband speed tester

NEXT PAGE: SmartCard, Home-Account.com and Pixtell

  1. These services and products will improve your life
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