Tuesday, January 29, 2008

the ole Web 2.0

From Wikipedia - the phrase Web 2.0 can refer to a trend in web design and development — a perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services (such as social-networking sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies) which aim to facilitate creativity, collaboration, and sharing between users. So whats next (Web 3.0)? To help answer that, I wanted to get a grasp of what Web 2.0 was. I will address 3.0 in a future blog post....

creating a playlist

This is an example from meloop.com. They are brand new, and still have some kinks to work out - but it works. Full screen from this URL. The great thing about this site is that it hits google videos, youtube, and myspace - with more to come. My question is - why dont they let users have the functionality to aggregate other video content from other sites? Looks like Lycos may have similar functionality too. I really like the wide capability of the chumby player, but I want to get rid of the shell - and just have the screen. There are more playlist generators out there, so take a look around and see what works best for you: How to create an XML playlist, with youtube.com, imeem.com, JW FLV MediaPlayer, MeFeedia.com, VideoSticky.com, Clipstream.com, with Silverlight... Does your blog or website have videos?

Monday, January 28, 2008

RIA done quickly = Adobe Thermo?

Bad news is, still in private beta -and no date of release has been set. "Thermo" is an upcoming Adobe product that makes it easy for designers to create rich Internet application UIs. Thermo allows designers to build on familiar workflows to visually create working applications that easily flow into production and development. Great video intro here. Thermo lab page. With hot new technologies -discussed in video, you gotta subscribe to this.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More to share?

Nowadays, do really really need the entire computing power of one PC (for each of us)? For gamers - maybe so. But think about it - is there a hardware device that will allow any PC to be used by 2 or more users -simultaneously? Kinda the idea of a reverse of a KVM switch. Ideally, the other users would have another screen (to view), keyboard, and mouse. Worst case scenario - users could share a split screen. But just imagine how this might help the poorer communities. Maybe even help curb some eco waste? Great for coffeeshops that share wifi/pcs. Could this be done remotely (like logmein.com) or at least wirelessly? Could this idea greatly extend the OLPC (One Laptop per Child Foundation)? or http://pixelqi.com/?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

WARNING! Apple's QT 7.4 update disables...

Apple's recent QT 7.4 update disables Adobe's After Effects: "According to numerous posts on Apple's discussion forums (several threads of which have been deleted by Apple), as well as a number of popular video editing blogs, Apple's recent QT 7.4 update does more than just enable iTunes video rentals — it also disables Adobe's professional After Effects video editing software. Attempting to render video files after the update results in a DRM permissions error. Unfortunately, it is not possible to roll back to a previous version of QT without doing a full OSX reinstall. Previous QT updates have also been known to have severe issues with pro video editing apps." My question is: Could you convert the Quicktime to another format -and be able to edit? -Via Slashdot. More info here: DefectiveByDesign.org

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

easy, cheap, web based backup!

Originally started in May of 2006, Carbonite (Windows only, Mac peeps should try Zmanda or Mozy) will backup all the data on your computer as long as it’s connected to the internet - for only $50/year! The service has no upload limits!
My favourite thing about Carbonite is actually the "set and forget" nature of it. Installation is just a single wizard-driven setup executable and an online registration. After which you pick the files you want to back up (by default its My Documents and Desktop) and bob's your uncle! Backup is done is the background over your broadband connection and it picks up when you're computer's idle and slows down when you're working.
The only things to grapple with here is trusting these servers and the time it takes to backup and restore. It will take a few days to backup all my data (excluding programs) but once that is done, it is only incremental backups that take place. A complete restore will take about half that time depending on the speed of your broadband connection's downstream.
Carbonite=$50 yr (link 01, 02)
Mozy=$5 mo. (link 01)
Zmanda=$.20 GB mo. (link 01)


So my company [Novologic.com] is ramping up production of the revised interface and web based service for one of their subsidiaries: OnlineLeagueManager.com I created the look and feel for the new design, and may be involved with the production. Its been in use for over 4 years now, by various parks and leagues. Why wait in those long lines - and have to deal with all that paperwork? If you, or someone you know is interested in learning more about this service, please contact Steve Taylor @ 770-277-1030ext247 or info@novologic.com.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Jott & Sandy = Productivity Boost

With Jott, a user can call a toll-free number and leave a message up to 30 seconds long. The resulting audio file is transcribed by workers in India, and its contents are sent to the user as an e-mail or text message -FOR FREE! Jott has just rolled out some incredible updates where you can send a note, not only to yourself, but to other people who's email addresses or SMS #'s you have loaded into your contacts. Send a message to one person, or a group of people. Its ideal for to do lists, reminders, communicating with groups, blogging, and more. Combine Jott with Sandy for even more productivity assistance.
Jott is only one of several young companies experimenting with new services marrying voice, text messages, and the Internet. In November 2006, voice-over-Internet company ViaTalk introduced Braincast, which works much like Jott, except that it delivers the actual sound file recorded by the user rather than a text transcription. (Jott sends both.) QTech of Hyderabad, India, is testing a similar service called ReQall. Pinger lets users send voice mail without actually placing phone calls; the recipient gets a text message with a link to the audio file. British firm SpinVox works with cellular carriers to turn subscribers' voice mails into e-mails, text messages, or blog entries. And for $9.99 a month, SimulScribe will convert up to 40 of your voice mails into text messages. Credits: Technology Review, StudentLinc, Jeff Gray, Burke Allen & Bob Horton

Thursday, January 10, 2008

spam filtering for snail mail?!?

Are you tired of opening your postal mailbox only to find it littered with catalogs for products you'll never buy or from companies you've never heard of? Do you think about deforestation as you throw out the catalogs without even thumbing through them? The Ecology Center started a project (complete with slick web interface) called Catalog Choice to help us fight back against catalog spam. It's a pretty simple concept: you register on the site, search their catalog database for that "unique gift" catalog you want to stop receiving, and tell Catalog Choice that you want to opt out of it. They will contact the catalog company for you, ultimately saving trees and your mailbox space.

The service is free, and you can have multiple names and residences on one account. While there is not currently a way to opt out of all catalogs with one click, you can submit catalogs that don't appear in their lists. We are fans of helping the environment and preventing spam at no cost! Via DownloadSquad.com -

SupaEasy Remote Desktop

Crossloop is a remote desktop application with an easy to understand interface. You can literally get up and running in minutes without knowing a thing about ports or protocols.

There are other applications that will let you connect to another PC over ther internet like LogmeIn or VNC. But neither is as easy to use as Crossloop. Normally, remote desktop applications require that the host PC to run a server which can be complicated to set up, not so with Crossloop. The person needing assistance just installs crossloop and runs the main application, then goes to share, and gives the access code to whoever is helping them. That person then enters access code and all the difficult stuff is handled by the Crossloop server.

Crossloop recently created a social network, connecting people who have problems with people who want to fix them. You can even build up expertise, a type of karma system that reflects on how effective you are. From: Downloadsquad.com

Free movies - it was only a matter of time

Obviously illegal, Joox.net is currently an underground website from Sweden, but climbing the ranks on digg, lets you watch free Video-on-demand, Movies, Music videos, TV shows, Documentaries, Cartoons, and more without paying, thats right FREE. You need Divx to watch. Movies don't last long so the ones on the front page are most likely to be there. And you can also download them!?! Thanks to Frank for the link! More info here. Joox.com too?

Free Anti-Virus

So I recently had an infection with the adware device Virtumonde (on my WindowsXP laptop). I did the research, found tons of articles and links, got led in several useless directions, begged my friends for help - and tried harder. I highly recommend installing the free Adaware 2007(by Lavasoft), even tho it found the problem (and several), it somehow DID NOT get rid of it completely (but its still a great tool). What did seem to work (only time will tell) is the AVG Free Advisor. And the kicker - yes, its free!
The other great free program that I recommend is the Commodo Personal Firewall. Sure it nags you very very much in the beginning, but after a week - the thing is silent, in the background, watching for any unrecognized stituation. Their other product BOClean, didnt seem to work too well - so skip it if you can. I think that this firewall is far better than the WindowsXP firewall.
For an ad blocker, I just use the Firefox browser (most ads and viruses are made to work with IE) with these plugins: Adblock, Adblock Plus, Adblock filterset G updater. Personally I think Norton is too bloated, and McAfee just puts all kinds of hooks into your system - not too mention - why pay for this stuff? If you are so compelled, I highly recommend nod32(by eset). If not, just make a donation or purchase a full version of some of the software listed above.
UPDATE: Runscanner looks interesting. And this could come in handy: Hotspot Shield is a free program which creates a virtual private network between your computer and a wireless router. While its focus is mainly on protecting your private information from hackers, it also keeps sniffers from recognizing that you are outside the US.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Grab files from cache

So being a Firefox fan (and an Opera fan before that), I have been dissapointed that I hadnt heard of an easy way to grab files from the cache (easily, like in IE). I went looking for an answer, and I found something that works pretty good. The best option that Ive seen was this simple built in function: "Right-click on the page > View Page Info. Switch to the \"media\" tab > select the file you want to download > Press [Save As]". I found several viewers - but I dont want to view - I want to grab files from the cache. Sure it still treats swf (and maybe other files) kinda wierd, but you can still get em.

Lego Equipment?

Great concept, lets see if this thing takes off... Bug Labs will soon be launching what Webware calls 'the LEGO of gadgets.' From their site: 'BUG is a collection of easy-to-use electronic modules that snap together to build any gadget you can imagine. Each BUGmodule represents a specific gadget function (ex: a camera, a keyboard, a video output, etc). You decide which functions to include and BUG takes care of the rest, letting you try out different combinations quickly and easily. With BUG and the integrated programming environment/web community (BUGnet), anyone can build, program, and share innovative devices and applications. We don't define the final products — you do.'" Here's just one example: MP3 Module. Originally from Slashdot.