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R.I.P. Geocities

26 Oct

Geocities was closed today by Yahoo. I used Geocities to create my first webpage to get my first Internet job back in 1996. Yes, the page was rudimentary and featured a flaming guitar, but it was a building block for later success. I actually think my website address had so many tildes “~” that it was impossible to remember.

Geocities was a true pioneer that now has been surpassed with more powerful user-centric based website creation tools. Rest in peace Geocities.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/10/geocities-closing.html

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Have You Done A Twit Poll?

20 Sep

Twit Poll is a quick way to conduct polls via you’re Twitter Account. I saw this tool used successfully by a colleague for research, however there a couple quirks with the system. The way its setup it leads you to believe that your poll was Tweeted to your account, however it was not. There is also no way to delete a poll after you’ve created one, what if you make a mistake? All in all the free tool that generates quick results, Twit Poll gets the job done.

Use TwitPoll
http://twtpoll.com

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Oh No! Your Parents Just Joined Facebook?

15 Sep

The other day I heard a few talk show hosts insinuating that Facebook has “Jumped The Shark“. I then saw on Doug Craver’s TechBytes and on a few Twitter feeds the website My Parents Joined Facebook referenced. The website insinuates that youth can no longer post everything happening in their lives on Facebook because now their parents will find out about it.

For example, a college student kept asking her father for money to pay for rising book fees. However after dad joined Facebook, became friends with their kid and started reading about her excessive partying, the money was cut off. Then the student “Unfriended” their dad so he couldn’t read her updates any longer. The reality is this trend is rising everyday and this new website, My Parents Joined Facebook says, “this is your chance to get back at them for taking away your public privacy.” The idea is to share the embarrassing messages parents are writing on your Facebook wall in order to fight back.

The reality is everyone should realize that whatever you write as your status, on your wall, or any picture you upload is permanent record online. Even if you delete your account or remove the information later, a search engine, the site hosting the material or another user will be retaining your information. Be careful out there in Internet land!

http://myparentsjoinedfacebook.com/

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Zamzar Online File Converter

14 Sep

The internet is truly powerful and if used the right way, you can produce powerful results. Remember that line from Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Exhibit A is a recent find called Zamzar which is an online file converter that works great.

Do you have a video in mpg format you need convert to avi? Do you have a word document you need converted to a PDF? Whatever file format you need to covert from audio, video, doc or image, Zamzar can do it! The free account does the basic conversion, if you want to store all your files online, rename, increase maximum size limits or establish a secure connection, then you’ll need to upgrade to a paid account.

Free Zamzar account:

  • Up to 100 mega-bytes (mb)
  • No contract
  • No sign-up
  • File conversion of image, doc, video and audio

http://www.zamzar.com/

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Commentary: Stop Over-sized Ghosted TV Promos?

17 Aug

Since I am a social network addict, I don’t watch that much TV anymore, but when I do, I have started to track a trend. Have you noticed the size of the ghosted TV logos? These promos are either getting larger or they are animating out of control. In the past they used to just be a small little logo of the station in the bottom right corner of the screen, now they have become something else.

If you look above, here is an example from TBS of Bill Engvall walking out over the show I am currently watching to promote his show. It always happens right after you return from a commercial break. I am sometimes unsure if this ghosted actor on my screen is part of the scene I am watching or a promo until they magically fade away. Some other examples of these TV promos besides walk-outs are countdowns to the premiere of a big event happening in less than 24 hours.

Are these interruptions getting out of control? Are these other shows that are being promoted much more important then the one I am watching? Can we pay extra to get these logos removed from our TV shows?

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Milo Sees If Items Are Stocked

12 Aug

Do you need to see if an item is in stock at the store down the street? Instead of calling your local store, asking the clerk if a item is on the shelf and then waiting five minutes to hear it’s available, use Milo.

Milo is a new web service that connects you with local retailers to give up to the minute inventory on the products you need. The term “brick and mortar” is often used to describe ordering your purchase online and then picking it up at a local store. Milo fills this void by connecting many popular genres of products such as electronics, clothing, and cooking and bringing them together in once place so you can see if its in stock. In the insurance world, Insurance.com brings together many of the top auto insurance companies so you can choose and purchase the best policy for you. Milo does the same when it comes to consumer goods.

After reviewing the website, everything that I looked at in my area didn’t seem to be in stock. However after looking at other states, I did see items were in stock. Thus, this indicates that Milo’s network is still growing and the accuracy depends on the location.

http://milo.com/

Thanks again to Mike Kimmel for find.

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Where’s Your Twicsy At?

5 Aug

Twicsy

Have you used Twitpic yet? If not, now you have the opportunity to search through the thousands of images users are uploading to their Twitter accounts by using Twicsy. The best part of the website is the fact that you can now see all the images uploaded in the last hour. Above is an example of just the bizarre cornucopia of images that end up on Twitter via Twitpic. Now Twicsy gathers all those images in once place.

http://twicsy.com/


Thanks to Mike Kimmel for the find.

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Trazzler, Tell Us Where To Go?

23 Jul

The other day Leading Hands gave you Hunch, a website that recommends books, movies, etc… based upon filling out a few questions. Now another service called Trazzler, recommends trips based on your location and travel personality; it seems that recommendation featured websites are all of a sudden becoming popular even though Amazon has been doing it for over ten years.

Your travel personality is created as you save trips in your wishlist and places you’ve been. Then Trazzler learns about the kind of trips you like and creates more trip choices. If you have a Facebook account, Trazzler will connect to your account, share wishlists, recommendations, and soon will suggest new friends based on travel compatibility. As you continue to use it, more travel suggestions will occur.

Note: All your travel descriptions and choices are public information.
http://www.trazzler.com/

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Must Text & Drive? Try This.

20 Jul

We here at Leading Hands do not condone texting while driving, however if you must text, try this combination. First purchase a Bluetooth headset and second get Dial2do.

A low end model Bluetooth headset can cost you as little as $40 and high end model can cost as much as $150. Dial2Do is a free service that will translate your voice to text. The program does a rather accurate job translating your voice; it also does a great job reading back your email too.

Before you get pulled over because you’ve got your head down texting, try the alternative and keep your head up and your voice forward by using this combination. This suggestion will keep you hands-free for your steering wheel and looking straight. I think the question we need to answer is, “What constitutes failure to control your vehicle?” Will this headset plus voice translation service still cause an accident while driving? Is anything other than driving your car a distraction?

Learn more about Dial2Do

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Microsoft SongSmith Revolutionizing Music

5 Jun

Music is continually evolving before our ears and most of the time we don’t comprehend it, however SongSmith crushes that stigma. Check out this video by Nirvana, created using SongSmith. If you are familiar with the song, you will instantly hear that a piano wasn’t part of the original accompaniment for In Bloom. However with SongSmith, you can now tweak virtually any song and make it your own.

Let the mash-ups begin!
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/songsmith/

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