Will technology ever catch up?

Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Publishing: 15 tips to choose a good text type

Posted by cascadehush on January 18, 2007

Typies: 15 tips to choose a good text type:

Unfortunately, whilst it seems clear that the writer knows the subject quite well, their English is quite hard to understand in some places. I still think it’s a resource worth pointing to. If you get bogged down in a paragraph, just skip to the next one.

Posted in Internet, Media | Leave a Comment »

Web: Paypal Authentication Gets a Security Boost

Posted by cascadehush on January 18, 2007

Paypal Authentication Gets a Security Boost – [Geeks are Sexy] technology news:

The PayPal security key will cost $5 for common users and will be free for business users. There will be no recurring charges after that; the extra layer of protection is completely free. It will first be available in February 2007 to people in the US, Australia and Germany.

A lot of banks are starting to issue these now. I must say I’ve never felt safe using PayPal but I think this could change my mind.

Posted in Internet, Security | Leave a Comment »

Web: Create photo mosaics with Mosaickr – Lifehacker

Posted by cascadehush on January 17, 2007

Create photo mosaics with Mosaickr – Lifehacker:

Turn Flickr photos into a cool-looking mosaic (a big photo composed of lots of tiny photos) with mosaickr.


There’s no charge for the low-resolution version of your mosaic, but the high-res version will cost you 1.49 Euros (payable via PayPal).

Apart from seeming to be an interesting service, what is more interesting is that they are trying to monetise it with micro-payments per service. No doubt this is what web 2.5 will be about. Advertising can only go so far. Sooner or later people are going to have to pay something for their web services or lose them in a Web 1.0 style bang, as I’ve mentioned before.

Posted in Amusing, Internet, Opinion, Photography | Leave a Comment »

OSX Freeware: Open Source Mac

Posted by cascadehush on January 16, 2007

Open Source Mac – Free, Open-Source software for OS X:

Free and open-source software is good for you and good for the world. This is the best OS X software that we know of.

Nice, clean site which should be one of the first places you visit when you are setting up a new Mac. Many of the apps listed are also cross platform, which is extra nice.

Posted in Freeware, Internet, OSX, Software | Leave a Comment »

Blogging: Looking for an Editor…

Posted by cascadehush on January 15, 2007

I’ve been getting increasingly frustrated by the editor built into ecto. It’s not that it is a bad editor in it’s own right. It’s just that I find I am always juggling between ecto, Safari and Firefox and I find it hard to make posts like this one, where I am quoting comments from multiple sites. I’ve spent the afternoon scouring download sites looking for a solution.

It looks like the Performancing plugin for Firefox is the go. It sits in a hidable pane a the bottom of Firefox. It adds an option to the right-click menu for adding quote text to your post (as you see a lot of below). You can also drag and drop links from a page and the link text is preserved. This doesn’t happen when dragging links from FireFox to the ecto editor (you only get the URL, not the link with it’s formating preserved). Dragging links does work from Safari to ecto, hence the need for 2 web browsers.

After installing the Performancing, I couldn’t see how to access it, so I went to performancing.com. At least I tried to, the website was down.

I did find these posts, which were enough to get me started.

Performancing extension for Firefox :: tiffany b. brown // v 4.1

While reading and writing about Flock, I kept seeing mentions of a extension for Firefox that would handle blog publishing better than Flock does: the Performancing extension.

muSick in the Head: Firefox 2.0 & Performancing Extension

It runs as a Firefox extenstion and makes it really easy to post and comment about a page in an easy-to-use WYSIWYG editor that essentially pops open as a drawer from the bottom of your Firefox window.

Skimming down the search results, I discovered that the Plugin has a new name.

Performancing Blogging Plugin Now ScribeFire

It’s alive and well and has been rebranded as ScribeFire. The site has a landing page up and will be launching shortly. In the meantime, the old plugin can stll be downloaded on the Mozilla site.

It turns out that performancing was to be bought-out by PayPerPost a company that, as far as I can tell, bribes bloggers into becoming corporate shills. At the front of their site, they talk about getting paid for your opinion, but as you drill down it becomes clear what your opinion needs to be in order to get paid.

Apparently a week later the deal was off.

PayPerPost: Performancing Deal is Off

After much discussion and heartache we have decided to walk away from the Performancing deal. We listened to our Posties and other Metrics users, dug into the Metrics platform and regretfully found that it wasn’t what we were looking for right now.

Techcrunch: Amateur Hour At PayPerPost

It’s not often that a company announces the acquisition of another company and then subsequently walks away from the deal, but PayPerPost isn’t a typical kind of company

So it’s all a bit up in the air. Both scribefire.com and performancing.com appear to be offline. Scribefire.com only contained a link to the current version of the plugin (which is still called Performancing).
I also tried Flock. Blogging in Flock is very much like blogging with the Firefox plugin Deepest Sender. Except that Deepest Sender is better in almost every respect. The major flaw in Flock’s editor, which seems to be common to a lot of free blogging tools, is the lack of ability to post as a draft. Without this feature, any would-be blogging tool is dead to me.

Problems with Performancing
I had 2 problems with Performancing. The first is the font used in the editor. It must be about a 16 or 18 point font and is a serious space-hog given that one wants to make the Performancing panel as small as possible. Perhaps the guys at performancing.com are all 40-somethings and starting to get a little hyperopic. Or maybe it’s all the late night blogging sessions.

The second problem is that when copying and pasting text it wants to keep the font formatting. I never want to do this. When I cut and paste text, I want the text. Every time. I wish there was some kind of operating system patch that would disable rich-text on the clipboard so that any cut-paste text operation always throw-away the formatting.

Rant aside, this feature in Performancing would not be so bad if it actually worked properly, and didn’t fill your post with a lot of junk html. Fortunately there is a ‘paste no formatting’ option on the right click menu. clumsy for sure, but it saved the plugin from the Trash Bin.

So all I need is an option to change the font in the editor, and a way to make ‘paste no formatting’ the default paste option, and this will be a killer app, both for FireFox and blogging in general.

Posted in Blogging, Firefox Extensions, Internet, Software | Leave a Comment »

Software: eBay Solutions Directory

Posted by cascadehush on January 8, 2007

eBay Solutions Directory – Tools & services that make buying and selling on eBay even easier:

The Solutions Directory features eBay and third-party software and services designed to improve your productivity on eBay.

The eBay website has always been ungainly, and is in desparate need of a web 2.0 make-over. In the meantime, here is eBay’s own list of software that will make your auctions easier.

Posted in Internet, Software | Leave a Comment »

Web: CSS cheat sheets

Posted by cascadehush on January 5, 2007

CSS cheat sheet – Lifehacker:

Just learning how to work with Cascading Style Sheets, a.k.a. CSS? You’ll definitely want to print a copy of blogger Leslie Franke’s cheat sheet.

Check this post and the comments for lots of great CSS resources.

Posted in Internet, Links | Leave a Comment »

Internet: Ten non-Google map innovations

Posted by cascadehush on January 2, 2007

Technophilia: Top ten (non-Google) map innovations – Lifehacker:

However, there’s a lot more mapping fun in the world than just Google’s (really!). Keep reading for ten of my favorite non-Google map mashups.

Interesting collection of various map related internet sites.

Posted in Internet | Leave a Comment »

Web Wednesday: Podcasts (and the pleasure and pain of syncing with iTunes)

Posted by cascadehush on December 27, 2006

Finally, with iTunes 7 and the latest iPod software, Apple have provided compelling reasons to opt for a Nano for listening to podcasts. It’s far from a perfect implementation, but at least for now I can stop in the middle of a podcast, listen to some music, and return to the podcast knowing that the unit remembers where I was. I have always been able to do this with audio books, so I don’t know what has taken them so long to get this right.

If only the sync option could be made intelligent. At the moment you have the ‘dumb and dumber ‘ options of syncing podcasts based on which ones you’ve heard, or based on the last x episodes. Neither option is implemented in a way suited to real human beings.

One sensible option would be ‘podcasts in the last x days’. Principally because some podcasts are daily and some are weekly. I don’t want to have to keep 5 back episodes of TWiT (over a month’s worth), just so I can have the most recent 5 episodes of Buzz Out Loud (just a weeks worth).

A better option would be to make the sync realise that if I’ve started to listen to a podcast, it should only count it as heard if I have listened to the whole thing (or perhaps 80% of the whole thing, sometimes there is some drivel near the end). Syncing based on whether a podcast has been heard or not would then be a genuinely user-friendly option.

As it stands, I do use syncing based on whether I have listened to the podcast or not, but this means I have to be paranoid about plugging the Nano in to my iBook. If I know there are podcasts I am only part way through, I must listen to the end before plugging it in. It’s a stupid annoyance, but that’s the best choice from a poorly pair of options. It’s just a good thing that the battery lasts so long.

So yet again we take 3 steps forward and 2 back, and one has to organise one’s life around the computer. This is what WaitState is all about.

Your reward for getting this far, either by reading the above (a thousand thanks) or by skipping straight here, is some links to the web pages for some of my favorite podcasts.

The TWiT Netcast Network with Leo Laporte:

Netcasts you love from people you trust.

The standard by which all others are measured, at least in tech.

CNET Podcast Central – CNET.com:

Home for all of CNET’s podcasts. From Buzz Out Loud, a daily digest of tech news that’s relevant, hard-hitting, or just plain goofy, to help and how-to, to the latest in auto tech, you’ll find it all here.

Some nice, shorter podcasts that fill in the time between TWiTs and complement it rather nicely.

ABC Online: Podcasting
The Australian Broadcasting Corporations news and current affairs podcasts. Comparable to the BBC and NPR, many programs will be of interest outside Australia.

Keep in mind that at this time of year many podcasts are in recess. Still, it is a perfect time to catch up on missed episodes or try some new podcasts.

If you are looking for a program to download podcasts, there is always iTunes which has a built in search function and an extensive directory. If you want something else, I recommend Juice, the cross-platform podcast receiver. Juice even works with Bit-Torrent based feeds, which many legitimate podcasters try to use to save bandwidth.

Posted in Internet, iPod, Media, Opinion, Software | Leave a Comment »

Web: Yahoo swallows marketing dictionary; vomits press release.

Posted by cascadehush on December 6, 2006

Yahoo! – Press Release:

Yahoo! Re-Aligns Organization to More Effectively Focus on Key Customer Segments and Capture Future Growth Opportunities

Read it again, it’s actually funnier the second time.

Posted in Internet, Opinion, Rant | Leave a Comment »