technology.   the more you know.
 
Google mobilizer. Make any web page friendly for your mobile device. Works splendidly with my new Blackberry. (via lifehacker).
17 Jan, 2006 | technology | permalink | (1)

Improving Gmail. Not much to improve on the excellent Gmail, which I've recently switched over to, but these Greasemonkey scripts (Firefox 1.5 only) adding extra keyboard shortcuts and saved searches make the experience an even more satisfying one.
03 Jan, 2006 | technology | permalink | (0)

Answers on a text please. Ah, this is one of the best things I've seen in a long while. Text a simple question to Google SMS on 64664 and it sends you an almost instant answer. Works for business listings, driving directions, film times, basic facts, product prices (through Froogle), translations, and currency conversions. Keep it simple though. "broken flowers w1" told me exactly what I needed (ie when the film is showing tonight in the West End), "events tonight barbican" didn't (no results returned). They've got a free online demo and when you use it from your phone the only cost is the cost your mobile provider charges you for sending the text message.
17 Dec, 2005 | technology | permalink | (1)

Pricelessware. Most useful roundup I've seen of the best (PC) freeware on the web. (via Lifehacker).
10 Oct, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

As simple as. So I was trying to install TWiki on my server last month and failing miserably in a sea of Perl, unix permissions and configuration files. Now I've just come across PeanutButterWiki (via lifehacker), which feels a thousand times easier. Put in your name and email address and 30 seconds later you have a private, fully-hosted wiki, with RSS feed, downloadable .zip backups and no-nonsense interface. The free version only has 1Mb of space, but for the text-based wiki I'm after, that should be plenty to get on with. Nice!
02 Sep, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Fast or not. Useful free internet connection speed test (via plasticbag.org).
02 Sep, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

More photo sharing. So, 23 is a new alternative to flickr. It's less polished (no easy tag searching, no contacts, no groups), but it's also less costly. A free account gives you a 1GB monthly upload limit rather than flickr's 20Mb. One to keep an eye on... (via Guardian Online Blog)
07 Aug, 2005 | technology | permalink | (1)

International Call Checker. Another useful online tool from Mr-Money-Saving-Expert Martin Lewis, this time for finding the cheapest international call providers. Handy for those of us who have girlfriends on the other side of the world ;-)
03 Jul, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Feed me. Geeky I know, but I've just upgraded my newsreader. Was using the ancient but usable Amphetadesk; now using Bloglines, which, aside from being web-based, also means I can share my feeds with anybody who's curious - or just bored enough - to know what's on my current reading list.
06 Jun, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

yousendit.com. Can't believe I haven't come across this before. Select a large file you want to send, input the email address of the person you want to send it to, and YouSendIt will automatically email them a link to the file stored on their server without your recipient's inbox blowing up. Files can be up to 1Gb, the service is confidential (so they say), and it's all completely free.
20 May, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Less is more. Tom Coates has given his plasticbag blog a beautiful redesign.
18 Apr, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Futurephony. In the not too distant future, all the phone calls we make (nationally or internationally) will be free, they'll all be routed over the internet (VoIP in tech-speak), and all we'll pay is a monthly fixed fee to our ISP / telephony provider. Two new paid-for services from skype bring that day one step closer. SkypeIn gives you a real telephone which other users can call you on from a phone rather than their computer, while skype voicemail gives people a place to leave their messages if you're away. Tales from early adopters are already filtering out. (thanks Duds for the pointer).
05 Apr, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Flickr tag browser. The coolest thing i've seen on the web this year. (via plasticbag.org)
02 Apr, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

The best things in life are free. The 46 best ever freeware utilities (PC only), including my favourites EditPad Lite (a notepad replacement), AM-DeadLink bookmark cleaner, and Mike Lin's Startup Control Panel. (via del.icio.us)
02 Apr, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Guardian online RSS feed. My favourite national newspaper technology supplement has (finally) launched an RSS feed.
30 Mar, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Grassroots media. The recently launched ourmedia.org - a free online repository and distribution channel for text, video and film - is a great idea, but completely let down by its user interface. How can you expect users to make any sort of effective choice on what to watch from a list of videos, for example, without any more information than the video title, the contributor name and the date it was posted? All the elements are there - the forums, the group blog, the user profiles, the most popular lists - but the site needs to present and surface its content in a much more user-friendly way. (via onlineblog)
30 Mar, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Visual bookmarks. Wists: like del.icio.us, but with pictures. (via Nick Denton)
15 Mar, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Flightchecker. Handy utility for scouting out super-cheap budget airline flights (covers Ryanair, MyTravelLite, BMIBaby and Flybe, but not yet Easyjet unfortunately).
13 Mar, 2005 | technology | permalink | (3)

Overcoming the overload. More sensible advice, this time from Harvard Business School, on how to handle the ever greater number of emails that fall into our inboxes. (via del.icio.us)
12 Mar, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Name games. The baby name wizard's name voyager is lots of fun and a great example of good interactive information design, even if there's no info as to where the data's drawn from. (via Phil Gyford)
07 Mar, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

10x10. Interactive artist Jonathan Harris's cleverly-done, if somewhat western orientated, visual and written picture of what's happening hour by hour in the world news.
22 Feb, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Meet-o-matic. The world's simplest meeting scheduler does exactly what it says on the tin. Potentially handy when 1. you're trying to get a large group of people together, 2. you're not all on the same calendar system (eg Outlook), and 3. you need to know which day works best for the majority. Nicely done. (via del.icio.us)
17 Feb, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Futuremail. Set up emails to be sent to yourself at predetermined points in the future and share them via an RSS feed. (via del.icio.us)
12 Feb, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Don't live to geek; geek to live. I've always been a fan of Nick Denton's Gawker stable of sites, more for successfully commercialising the blogging concept than for their content (I'm not particularly interested in Washington gossip, Hollywood tattle, gaming, porn - really - or fast cars. OK, I do drop into gizmodo now again). However, two new themed gawker blogs popped up a couple of weeks ago which are more up my street. Lifehacker, a kind of software gadget site, and Gridskipper a self-described "decadent travel guide". Both inevitably somewhat US-focused, but otherwise the content is spot-on and i'll be going back for more.
12 Feb, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Groupthink. Just looking at setting up an online group for a project i'm involved in, and weighing up Yahoo Groups (which I'm familiar with) against Google Groups (which i'm less familiar with). In a similar way to GMail, Google Groups goes about cracking the same nut in a slightly different way, mostly by relying on its search to retrieve posts and documents rather than having separate areas for messages, files, photos, links and a database like Yahoo. I'm mostly after an easy place to store project documents, so while I like Google's unrestricted storage (Yahoo only offers up to 20Mb for files), I'm going with yahoo for the time being because I prefer its more compartmentalised approach.
08 Feb, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

GMail invite spooler. Donate / snag GMail invites here. (via metafilter)
20 Jan, 2005 | technology | permalink | (0)

Apres spam. Yep, two v. sensible suggestions from David Gelernter at the Weekly Standard about dealing with the ever burgeoning amount of email that arrives in our inbox every day. 1. acknowledge in haste, respond at leisure. 2. if an acknowledgment or (later) an answer doesn't arrive in good time, resend your message verbatim.
10 May, 2004 | technology | permalink | (0)

Guardian RSS. The guardian have been keeping their RSS feed well hidden. (via Davos Newbies)
18 Apr, 2004 | technology | permalink | (0)

Fontifier. Your own handwriting font for just $9. Brilliant.
05 Feb, 2004 | technology | permalink | (0)

Butting in. So, push to talk (PTT) - an instant messaging type technology for mobile phones - is being slated as the next big thing for 2004. Will it take off? Or will our cultural reserve make us more like the Canadians, who prefer not to have their friends'/colleagues' voices leaping out of the phone (their phone rings or vibrates instead), rather than the Americans, who do. I'm going with the Canadians on this one.
13 Dec, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

The gadgets weblog. Gizmodo may be an experiment in commercial blogging, but it's also dangerously seductive reading...
21 Oct, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Hot spot in the city. A couple of zdnet journos take a tour of some of London's newly sprung up wi-fi hot spots. What did they find? Pricing is on average £5-6 an hour or £15 for 24 hours (apart from Benugo on Berwick street which generously throws in 30 mins for free if you buy your lunch there), staff awareness is mixed, and, so far, other users are almost non-existent.
16 Oct, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Better blogging. 47 key tips from the world's best bloggers.
07 Oct, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Degrees of confluence. A bunch of GPS-armed adventurers are setting out to visit and take photographs of each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world. This map of the globe attempts to stitch the completed photos together.
06 Oct, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Digital turntablism. My friends Francis and Astrid have just launched their ground-breaking 'Jackson' DJ software. Line up your favourite MP3s and check it out.
02 Oct, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Flybot launches.
flybot_photo3.jpg
Ever the innovator, my friend Tim has just launched his latest project: a camera-equipped flying robot at the Eden Project. The website and photography, which I helped out with, are here, but for the best view, check out Ian Woods's incredible 360-degree panoramas.
19 Sep, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Skype. The next big thing? P2P VoIP from the makers of KaZaA. (via Rage on Omnipotent)
05 Sep, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Spampal v1.5. Been using spampal (Windows only) for a few months now and I reckon it catches just under half of the junk that flows into my box. Not a bad hit rate, but not brilliant either. Still, it's free and with some training, it does get marginally better. New update just out.
27 Aug, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

iPod as the new furby?. There are some interesting features on the latest MP3 players - direct to MP3 recording on Philips's impressive HDD100 or up to 40 hours of MPEG4 video on the Archos AV320 for example - but none still, it seems, can match the allround perfection of Apple's iPod.
24 Aug, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Google synonym search. Handy snippet from this week's Guardian web watch:
"One of the problems with Google is that you need to know the right words to search on, even if it's as simple as using vacation instead of holiday. In many cases, you can now get better results by asking Google to search for a cluster of synonyms, simply by putting a tilde in front of the search word. Searching for ~food, for example, will also find pages that contain the words cooking, cuisine, nutrition, recipe and restaurant. There don't seem to be any disadvantages, either: if a word has no synonyms assigned (eg sex), you get the same result as searching without the tilde."

16 Aug, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Newseum. Today's front pages from 257 newspapers around the world. Brilliant idea, shame they've made such a hash of the user interface.
14 Aug, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

The wi-fi revolution. Excellent primer from Wired.
13 Aug, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

One timing. Anyone for a disposable email address?
11 Aug, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Introvertster. Some people, it seems, find friendster a little bit too friendly.
11 Aug, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Virtual profits.
Tired: making a living from buying & selling through ebay.
Wired: making a living from trading virtual goods through online games.
11 Aug, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Bloggers tool up. Intelligently written piece from Ben Hammersley on the likely impact of Six Apart's newly-announced Type Pad tool. His claim that we will "no longer be reliant on geeks for top quality weblog reading" may be something of an exaggeration, but he's right in saying that Type Pad will drag blogging much more into the mainstream. That can only be a good thing.
30 Apr, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

iPod v2. So Apple's new iPod has just hit the streets. Apple have taken what was already a brilliant, if slightly chunky, concept and smoothed the edges - literally. Now just 0.62 inches thick, and with a new sleek dock and set of all touch controls, this is a seriously appealing piece of kit. Now, if we could just have a PC version of the excellent accompanying iTunes...
29 Apr, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Eavesdropping on the world's bloggers. Nice (almost) real-time display of blog updates around the world.
27 Apr, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

DVD to CD. Free PC utility that rips DVDs and converts them into DivX format, ready to fit snuggly on a CD-R. Needs a hefty 4-6Gb of free hard disk space to handle the conversion though. (via Rage on Omnipotent)
15 Apr, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Back to Iraq. Promising new blog from independent journalist Christopher Allbritton chronicling his risky (and illegal) journey into Iraq over the Turkish border. A perfect example of the raw, personal and vivid writing that blogs can, in the right pair of hands, be such a good medium for. Interesting too that he's not only using his site as a means of broadcasting his writing, but also as a way of supporting himself while on the job.
04 Apr, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

Alexis Trépanier. Has an original take on the often formulaic online resumé. Humour aplenty and nice simulated interaction between the video and the interface. (via Ben Hammersley)
29 Mar, 2003 | technology | permalink | (0)

 
About.
Online musings of Richard Alderson: aspiring social entrepreneur, writer, photography-lover and closet geek.

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