Posts Tagged «webware»

Have you ever thought about an idea or heard something in the news that made you wonder how many people it would affect?  Or maybe you’re thinking about moving and would like to know a little bit about the people in your new home in comparison to where you live now.

ZIPskinny.com Home Page Census.gov has lots of great information, but it takes a few clicks to find anything digestible. That’s where ZIPskinny steps in. On the first screen it asks for a ZIP code.  After that you’ll see a screen with lots of demographics alongside several graphs.  It’s a quick way to get a good feel for the makeup of any ZIP code in the database.

But it gets better. ZIPskinny then allows you to enter multiple ZIP codes and provides a side-by-side analysis of each area’s demographics.  For example in my area I found out that single people are much more common than I thought.  Keep in mind that this data is from the 2000 census.

Happy data mining!

Tonight I downloaded the new version of WordPress using the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin. That part of the process was a great experience because the plug-in automated the process of backing up core files, locating the most recent upgrade, and linking to the database upgrade script.  The only problem I ran into was a database error when trying to save a post, which was caused by the Google site map generator plug-in. After disabling that plug-in I was able to add new posts normally, but no tags displayed because my theme didn’t use the right function calls. So, next I upgraded my theme to the most recent version and tomorrow I’ll experiment with customizing how tags are displayed.

Next, I wanted to be able to use Windows Live Writer to create my posts and tags from one location so I downloaded a utility from Joe Cheng (a developer on the Windows Live Writer team) that enables this functionality. I should say that before downloading this utility I tried making some Windows registry tweaks without success.

What was your upgrade to WordPress 2.3 like?

Text is great. It’s one of the technologies that our species has used stretching into antiquity with the advent of the alphabet. It enables one human to express meaning to another human with a sense of permanence, and with boundaries limited only by the imagination.

Even so, sometimes an image conveys meaning more quickly than writing an entire paragraph or even pages of text. Creating a pleasant visual flow is part of good design and adding images helps do this by encouraging a shift in how the eye greets the screen.

That in mind, where can we find high quality images that add to the quality of a well designed web presence? I suggest visiting YotoPhoto. It’s an image search engine that provides results in the creative commons licensing space. That means the creator has granted use of his or her images as long as they aren’t a primary profit driver. YotoPhoto searches Flickr, Wikipedia, Stock.Xchng, Morguefile, Pixelperfect Digital and OpenPhoto all at once and provides aggregated results as linked thumbnails.

YotoPhoto Advanced Options It’s also possible to search for a specific hexadecimal color using YotoPhoto. So if you’re looking for a bright green colored car, head to the advanced search page and search for car and to the lower right use color 00ff00. It’s a great way to work within color schemes and pump up how creative your pages look.

Once in a while nature’s call is too powerful to ignore. For bathroom warriors everywhere here’s a site for you: MizPee. The site claims to find the nearest and cleanest bathroom, then provide entertainment for the duration.

image

It was only a matter of time before the last captive audience space was targeted.

I can certainly see the merit of an idea like this though I’m not sure someone in the throes of a “near-accident” would think to pull out their mobile phone and type in a search for bathrooms. More likely they would look for a nearby gas station, store or fast food restaurant.

But, for people who think ahead a little or who have exacting bathroom requirements this may solve their need.

Anyone who works in the world of updating web sites and coordinating changes between stakeholders is familiar with the need to document change requests. As Web Worker Daily points out, there’s a new tool called Taskee that organizes this communication back and forth with the addition of a few lines of code.

After installing the code on any given page,Open Button an Open button will appear at the top. When a person on the project wants to leave a comment all they have to do is click on that button, log in and begin leaving comments. Access is restricted via an approved list of usernames and passwords managed by the project admin.

My background is in a corporate environment and I can see this being useful here as much as for freelancers. Often I’m working with several internal customers, other teams that must come to consensus, and a management team that has to approve each project. This would centralize all of that communication and provide greater accountability for change requests.

I also agree with Mike Gunderloy from Web Worker Daily, this tool would take a leap forward by adding a page-level annotation tool.

Reading Taskee’s blog it looks like this will be a free product during beta with tiered paid options available in the future.

There are three main ways that humans communicate with each other: the written word, visual cues, and speech. Social networks like MySpace and Facebook bring out two of those aspects (the written word and visual cues) but don’t do a great job of providing ways to send voicemail within the social networking framework.

Today I found a site focused on that niche, MySay. They allow users to call a Phone Keypad phone number and leave a voicemail which is then posted to a member page, broadcasted, or e-mailed to specific recipients. Right now their target audience seems to be circles of friends or celebrities with lots of fans, but I see lots of potential for business groups to keep in touch with this tool as well. Often it’s easier to send voicemail to coworkers explaining a situation but a common problem is that those voicemails are difficult to track and log. Did I remember to call that customer back?

MySay could become particularly useful if they implement a solution that transcribes voice into text like Jott does, but stick with their social networking roots. That way the posts would become searchable.

They just introduced a couple of new features, and I look forward to continued innovation in this space.

All sorts of people are looking for jobs, some for the first time, some because they’re looking for a more fulfilling role, or sometimes it’s because there was conflict and it’s time to move on. Whatever the case, it’s important to portray a professional image to potential employers on the self-marketing journey and here’s a service that can help.

Resolio provides a fast (and free) way for you to create an online resume that looksResume smooth. Right now they have lots of designs available with more appearing on a regular basis. Resolio has the ability to host your resume, or you can embed it in another web site.

If Resolio continues to create new designs with unique looks and feels, this has the potential to move forward into an infrastructure service that other job search sites plug into. As with many new Web2.0 startups it will depend on how well they’re able to get the word out and how many exclusive capabilities their webware wields.

If you’re looking for a job this is a great tool to check out.

Resolio home page.

Connecting with nature is one of the best ways to rediscover the center of being. No, if you live by a city I’m not talking about stepping outside to listen to the traffic honking and grinding by. I’m talking about immersing yourself in the sounds of animals and plants in their natural habitats. Drifting away on the rising soundwaves of howling wolves or slipping into a deep sleep under the rustling and swaying trees are both great ways to rediscover a primal part of humanness.

A Path Through the Forest Here’s a site that focuses on the preservation, discovery, and delivery of nature’s sounds and they do a great job. The Wild Sanctuary boasts “over 3,500 hours of wild soundscapes and nearly 15,000 species”. Their recordings are high quality and can make a living room feel like a jungle. The secret? Closing your eyes. Visiting the front page will start a continuous audio stream of natural noises to give you a sample.

What also caught my attention is their integration with Google Maps. Launching that part of the site opens up a brand new way to explore the world vicariously through recorded sights (if using Google Earth) and sounds. Some of the map scrolling can make the interface a bit awkward to use because the descriptor text and music can move off the screen, but I’m sure they’ll work that out as the service matures.

Earlier today I was listening to thunderstorms, this evening I just heard the bells of Notre Dame, and tonight I plan on listening to some monkeys in Africa . . . you get the idea :-}

Workdays can get long, and the human brain works better when it’s able to meander. Here’s a great way to pull your mind away from those deep thoughts for a little while: Sudokular is offering free Sudoku online in a slick flash interface.

I enjoyed a couple of their “quick games” this afternoon. If you’d like to compete with your peers during the daily challenge, sign up for an account. They even support OpenID, which is a “decentralized, free framework for user-centric digital identity”. Too many usernames and passwords anyone? OpenID is an initiative to fix that.

See? Just talking about Sudoku led to another interesting tangent. Sudokular sports a slate and pointed design without unnecessary frills. It’s a fun game, and the interface is a pleasure to use.

This is a great way to slide in a few minutes of down time and launch into the next part of the day refreshed.

Sudokular home page.

Some of the biggest frustrations in life are caused by forgetfulness. “I forgot the name of that place” or “I told that guy I’d call him back about the job offer yesterday, what was his name!”. A good way to handle this is by taking notes, but sometimes paper and pen aren’t readily available. If you’re like most people though, a cell phone or land line is always at your side.

Meet Jott, a service that translates your spoken word into text over the phone. It can then transmit that text via e-mail or text message to you, or to any recipient you specify. Just call the Jott phone number (toll free number for now) and instruct the system what to do with voice commands. It’s a great way to broadcast information to your intended recipients without forcing them to engage in a conversation.

I found that most of the translations of my voice into text were 80-90% accurate, and that included references to the last names of several contacts. I would like it a little easier to add tags to my voicemails for easy reference later with the built-in search. Overall Jott provides a great way to record thought bytes and review them later.

Jott