Upgrade

Technology Blog, by: David Monaghan.

Archive for the ‘Cultural Forces’ Category

IPhone on my Mind.

Posted by David on February 24, 2007

IPhone email on eBay

Audio/Podcast: Episode 2 -Midnight TechBrief

Recently I did a search on eBay for IPhone just to see what I would get. I should have remembered all of the crazy auctions revolving around the release of the latest gaming consoles. Just like before it appears that people are successfully selling domain names and email addresses for sometimes hundreds of dollars, this time touting the IPhone name and various combinations of it with other words like store, direct, center, buy, get, sell, etc. First of all, the sale of email addresses from Google, Yahoo, and I’m sure any email service is against the terms of service agreement and therefore against the TOS of eBay. Somehow this activity is slipping under the radar of the giants all the while confusing people like myself. Digg users always display a large variety of opinion so I like to get an idea of what people are thinking there. Check out this Digg post describing one of the sales and the user comments below, one of the commentators claims to be the auctioneer and states that the person has sent money via PayPal. Another comment points out that all of the bidders had 0 feed back in reply to a comment that the winner was a new eBay account with no feedback. I have noticed that for all of the auctions like this I’ve looked at, one bidder at the most has any positive feedback (sometimes they have negative) and at the most I’ve seen a feedback rating of 7.

My belief like a few of the Digg commentators is that the creators of these auctions and most if not all of the bidders on these items are somehow related. Looking at the bidding history and feedback of those bidders does lend credibility to this theory, but another theory that the people buying these email addresses are spammers would also explain the new accounts and little feedback on them (a spammer probably wouldn’t want to buy these addresses under their usual eBay account). It shouldn’t be left out that every successful auction like this that I’ve seen had a photo of the IPhone as the product image and elsewhere on the auction page. The idea of making hundreds of dollars from an investment of little to nothing is salivating, but what I want to know is why these email addresses and domain names are actually selling. It must be either that future IPhone retailers want these addresses without having to find them themselves, spammers are looking for attractive emails to snare victims, or these auctioneers are setting up multiple accounts to drive prices up in hopes of tricking unsuspecting users looking for actual IPhones.

I guess the question now is how do we find out what is really happening on these auctions. I’m going to give you some references to look at, various auctions on eBay and other articles about this story, and you tell me what you think. Leave your comments here on this post, email me at monaghan.david@gmail.com, or call/IM me on Skype @ WilliaMonaghan. I’m going to send an email to eBay, PayPal, Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail to ask them the same answer. Hopefully I’ll have an answer for you soon.

NEWS:

Recently Google opened doors to GMail for the public, previously the service was available only through invitation by another user or by giving a cellular phone number with text messaging. Now anyone can benefit from the many services that Google has to offer, having a GMail account gets you into nearly every Google web service.

Fluorescent light bulbs use one third of the power of traditional lighting. According to EPA every American swapping out one standard bulb with a CFL bulb would save $8 billion in energy and prevent burning of 30 billion pounds of coal in about the lifetime of a bulb. This information and more at 18seconds.org.

A medical journal published last Friday states that circumcision greatly reduces a man’s chance of getting HIV during intercourse. The reduction can be up to 60 percent says a recent study.

From Digg, ‘Classic Texts in Computer Science’ actually contains a very nice list of freely available articles on the internet rather than a list of text-books. The list includes works from authors including but not limited to; Donald Knuth, C. A. R. Hoare, Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page, and John McCarthy.

A video on YouTube I watched focused on some of the hidden features not mentioned or elaborated on during Steve Jobs’ keynote. Interesting ways of contact navigation, music ring tones through iTunes, and Google Maps traffic view were among the topics. My interest lies in the ability of the iPhone to act as a truly integrated music and phone device as well as it’s business functionality. I personally need a phone with service allowing me to make and receive calls to and from more than just two people. I would like to have the access to at least five lines in the phone with the ability to easily switch between callers, join lines, hold lines, etc. I would also like to see features like customizable hold music and the ability to transfer a caller to any number at any time. Will the iPhone be able to play any song from your library as a ring-tone? I doubt it. Why you ask? First of all a full song isn’t a good ring tone choice, most songs don’t start out the way a ring tone should start, not to mention that any time that song starts on the radio confusion can set in (this actually is somewhat of a problem with any song as a ring tone). Second of all iTunes can’t offer an edited version of the same song without licensing rights from the copyright owner which is going to cost them. This is why I believe Apple will start selling tones in iTunes. Maybe they’ll call em’ ringtunes (don’t even think about it Apple it’s mine!)

Posted in Cultural Forces, Midnight Techbrief, Podcast | 2 Comments »

Net Neutrality, Moore’s Law and Podcasts.

Posted by David on June 10, 2006

Three things I’ve been focusing on recently and want to share, they’re all things that people interested in technology should take a look at.

Network neutrality, it’s about the way our technology handles various information. There’s a lot of movement revolving around this term so I recommend checking this out above all else.

Moore’s law is about the way computer technology is progressing, there are various interpretations but the Wikipedia article provides some insight.

Podcasts are probably the most popular of the three things I’m pointing out today so I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve heard of them. While the term comes from the combination of iPod and broadcasting the idea actually stems from many other technologies not related to Apple. RSS or feeds and audio file formats (mainly mp3) among many other things make it possible for users to ‘subscribe’ to a feed which delivers the content in enclosures which make downloading easy to the user and more importantly to software. While the technology combination is extremely valuable the end users wouldn’t benefit from it without the great many sources of content which produce and host the audio to be retrieved. I don’t listen to very many podcasts because I focus my time on technology information (or information technology) but I’d like to share some of those on my list. Before I do so I’ll point you over to Netvibes which I use to aggregate and read all of my feeds including podcasts (Netvibes has a built-in audio player) and recommend that you check out iTunes if you’re seeking the easiest solution. The first podcasts I started listening to was TWiT (This Week in Tech) which mainly features ex-hosts from The Screensavers – a show I got hooked on to feed my tech fix. I also frequent the following technology shows in podcast format; Inside the Net, Security Now!, Cranky Geeks, Drunk and Retired, TalkCrunch, Ruby on Rails Podcast, some of the many course podcasts on Berkeley.edu, and Harvard’s Computer Science E-259. I should mention all of these are free and there are more if you’re willing to pay.

Side Note: This post would have been longer if A) Firefox didn’t crash in the middle of writing the original B) I saved the post on WordPress.com after having more content than I’d be willing to use C) I didn’t open up so many tags with Flash, or D) WordPress.com had an auto-save on the post editor. So this hopefully won’t be happening again and the cool thing is nothing above has to change; Writely.com has auto-save and will upload the posts to WordPress.com. I’ll be making an effort to start writing posts in Writely which I hope will at least match the WordPress experience if not enhance it, wish me luck in the process. Besides auto-save Writely also has RCS, will write and read Word doc files, and allows more than one person to edit the same document at the same time. Want to come and edit files with me but don’t have an account? Worry not, I can get you in there, besides I’d love to start collaborating more with others interested in similar topics.

Posted in Cultural Forces, Techniques, Tools | Leave a Comment »

Columnist or Reporter?

Posted by David on May 21, 2006

My journalism background. I walked backwards into writing, one day I decided to start up a website and later a blog. Now I've got a history of many various blogs, none of which have really taken off but I never started writing to be popular. You could say that blogging became an addiction for me. Once I realized that not only do I like writing but that some people might actually enjoy reading it I began analyzing my writing and what I do on my blogs so that I could be more effective.

Columnist or reporter? This is probably entirely obvious to people with a background in journalism but as I explained I have very little and I just started to ask myself, "Am I a columnist or a reporter?" Hopefully even the highest level professional journalists will agree that the difference between these two types of journalists are a bit difficult to distinguish from one another especially to the untrained (not to mention the rapidly changing technologies). From what I can tell the major differences between a columnist and a reporter are; First the motivation behind the content and second the process of acquiring and presenting the information. A columnist is the driving force behind their content and isn't expected to follow the same process of acquiring information from official or creditable sources in an unbiased way, while a reporter is expected to acquire their information from sources they can cite and is usually motivated by something like popular demand (mass media) and the search for unbiased information. Now the lines are blurry here according to some, blogs are being considered a sort of mix between these two styles of journalism and it seems that many of the people contributing content to blogs are completely unaware of this looming question.

So what am I? That't the question I've been asking myself, "Am I a columnist or a reporter?" I think the answer is obvious and I consider myself at this moment to be a columnist (at least on this blog) but now I'm starting to research what I would have to change to be considered a reporter. In any case I enjoy writing for the public and it's enhanced my writing skills (one of the real reasons I started writing material to publish). Recently I've wondered a lot how journalism might be changed by blogging and how journalism as a whole will end up in the next five, ten, twenty, etc. years. It's very interesting to me, everything that has to do with communication is under rapid evolution at an always accelerating pace. Anyway thanks for listening to my short ramblings on this, uh, column? Okay yeah, hope everyone had a good Sunday and I'll talk to you soon.

Post Scriptum. I've been thinking about the possibility of publishing in audio form, if I have something to publish but I don't really feel like writing at the time, or if I can get some friends together to talk about technology, I may even think of some other reason(s) but I'd be happy to hear what anyone thinks about such a publication here. I know one advantage to the readers or listeners in this case would be the ability to obtain the information I'm publishing while doing something which requires the use of their eyes or hands. I should also mention that obtaining information for the blind would probably be much smoother in such a format rather than through the use of a speech synthesis application. Anyway, lemme know if you have an opinion, as usual you can contact me at monaghan.david@gmail.com and don't forget that you can leave a comment for others to see. I'd also be interested in starting up a podcast with someone else, if you've got broadband and Skype we're half way there, I'm a hobbyist producer using FL Studio and Audacity and I know may way around enough of the technology to find anything we need. Don't forget to tune in later for a link to a cooking blog and podcast I'm going to start up with my good friend Scott and my Mom Jaimie (two excellent self-taught chefs) which I'll be producing, editing and writing for.

Posted in Cultural Forces, Techniques, Tools | Leave a Comment »

Sex, porn, XXX, and Korea.

Posted by David on May 11, 2006

Google Trends, that's what brought me to use these words together. I was just testing out the service after reading TechCrunch.com's article about it and started trying out all sorts of things, a few out of interest for what gets searched for but most just to get an idea about how well it works. So far I'm pleased and I bet it's pretty accurate as far as Google's records go. I haven't spent more than five minutes using it, I just wanted to mention it for those who haven't taken a look.

See this search I did for "Sex, porn, XXX, and Korea" which I thought was interesting.

Posted in Cultural Forces, Tools | 4 Comments »

The Long List of Web Applications

Posted by David on April 11, 2006

Welcome to the beginning of many articles focusing on web applications where I, David Monaghan, will be contributing reviews of these applications to this blog by following the guidelines discussed later. First I will explain my plan on how to present this information as well as my reason for doing so.

This article is still under construction and will be the focus of my work on this blog until it is refined to my satisfaction, at which point I will move on to reviewing the applications. Each application review will be presented on an individual article and will be categorized on this blog in the categories which match the functions it provides. In the next few paragraphs I will explain my reasons for starting this project. Obviously if you're interested only in the information you're more than welcome to skip ahead to the next section, 'Global Web Application Information'.

I've been a professional user and a hobbyist developer until recently, I started with web development and every time I try to escape I am led back here. Now that I'm finally taking the time to really develop a web application there are a ton of other people doing exactly the same thing. It's not that five years ago there weren't many new web-apps being developed and released but nothing compares to what's going on these days. Often one of the first things to be identified when starting a business is a function; This is best determined by viewing the current market and identifying demands which aren't being met. This series of articles is the beginning to my solution to the question, "Which demands are being made on web applications which aren't being met?" I am going to identify these demands being made by myself and those around me by looking at current software (web or otherwise) and common functions which we collectively use. Rather than identifying a particular application as a solution I prefer to see functions being provided by them and the abilities of the applications regarding these functions. By first identifying these functions and how they can be implimented I should find a very fine set which is easier to translate to real world usage rather than remaining focused on an application as it's used or viewed alone or as a piece of software in one genre of other solutions. As the information is added I believe patterns will emerge of covered and uncovered functions which can be used to asses the current market of web software and which pieces are missing.

I've been keeping my eye on web applications for a while now, it's always been obvious to me that the easiest way to develop a cross platform and rich application is via web technologies. Linux, Apache, MySQL, HTML, XML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Perl, and Ruby. All free. These technologies make up the vast majority of web applications on the internet today, I started learning HTML and was referred to the rest when teaching myself to build and publish web applications and it's become apparent that not only is the web the easiest way but it is the best way. Many developers are seeing the same things I am, there is a flood of services and companies using various business models to offer free and rich applications to the masses, and the users are starting to trickle in already despite the fact that hardly any of these services is out of testing stages of development. Many of the business models revolve around a system parallel with Flickr; A full and free service which attracts users and offers more professional services available for a fee. This seems to be working well for these start ups in many different ways, Flickr as most know was purchased by Yahoo! but what is really amazing is those services which seem to have little concern over making money, however this is a false perception, these types of start ups are (if popular) often seeded by investors or bought by giants, e.g. Digg and del.icio.us, this offers a sort of high-risk incentive to start-ups who have little capital but lot's of knowledge and enough time to design, create, and publish (host) something which is highly useful.

With all of these changes I've found it hard to catch up with the mass, there are plenty of great ways to find services like this but it takes a lot of time to also research the applications once they have been identified and located. Then comes in 'The Long List of Web Applications', this series of articles is my solution to this dilemma, for myself and those who may be on the same adventure or who may just be looking for a good solution to problem X. A good list of the services needs to be created and organized and should include thorough reviews which examine a standard set of elements among certain groups of applications. I thought of trying to organize such a list into categories on one page but soon realized that many of the services wouldn't be able to be categorized into only one section and I didn't want to list any one service more than once (I hate needless repetition). The solution to this will be to document how this information will be collected and categorized, categories will be created on this blog to contain individual posts which will represent one service. These posts will be placed in the categories matching the functions of the application (thank God WordPress.com allows multiple categories) so that browsing them may be as simple as possible.

Global Web Application Information

As you should now understand this document doesn't contain a list of the web applications which have been or are being reviewed, the application reviews will each be contained on individual pages. What this document does list is the standard set of elements which should be included in the review of every application without getting into details relating to specific functions, that will be covered later.

  • Application Name
  • URI
  • Company Name
  • Company Birth Date
  • Privacy Policy (Light Version)
  • Terms of Service (Light version)
  • Licenses Used (for Service and Pontent Provided by Users)
  • Version History (with Changelogs)
  • Business/Service Model
  • Costs
  • Server Technology
  • Application Framework
  • Application Language(s)
  • Internal Data Formats (Security)
  • Import/Export Data Formats
  • Average Bandwidth
    • CPU
    • Memory
    • Hard Drive
    • Network
  • User Interfaces (Screenshots)

For applications which are hosted on the web there are some different aspects which should be noted;

  • Hosting Solution(s)
  • Geographic Location of Server(s)
  • Average Downtime
  • Advertising

While this list contains everything which should be documented for every web application, it doesn't contain everything which should be documented for individual web applications. Before we discuss more information about specific applications we need to identify types of applications and organize them accordingly, this can prove to be difficult. Luckily we can use a system which is fairly open in organizing content in that WordPress allows blog posts to be contained in one or more categories defined by the blog's administrator. Because when looking for a web application a user most often has a function or a set of functions in mind I've decided to organize these tools by their function. Once these functions have been identified and organized a category will be created to represent each function. The first post under each category will provide the information which guides the reviews of software with the function corresponding to the category, after of course a definition of the function.

Application Functions

On to defining the functions, which again define the categories. This list is a work in progress which I personally started months ago and have slowly worked on, it was designed to account for all pieces of software a computer could have installed on it's hard drive but it is now being extended to identify the demands of today's computer user(s).

You may wonder at first why some of these functions listed don't seem like they should be provided by web applications, you also may notice that this list doesn't seem to reflect the actual software types available today. Surely there are at least a few of these functions which can't actually be performed on a remote machine (oh imagine the horror if this wasn't the case), however web applications might provide a function which is somehow related to this function and might provide it for the server it runs on but has a web interface. Also you should know; This list is my dream of the future of software, in this dream there are well thought out services which perform a very limited set of functions with one focus in mind; "To be infinite in nature." Translation: Easy access, no limits, standards compliance, and integration with other software whenever possible. Many applications today have elements which are locked down to a small scope of information associated to the function provided, my biggest complaint recently has been over contact organizer software. I feel that I should be able to keep information for my contacts for at least the following; Birthday, baptism, wedding, child birth, and death. Not one piece of software I have used will keep track of all of this (in a user friendly way), and I have many more things that I would like to keep like; Graduation, election, promotion, retirement, etc. Let's not forget that some people don't have just one wedding, one child birth, one anything, if I want to keep two death dates why shouldn't I be able to? Someone out there has died twice I know it, and if I knew someone who did I would want to keep track of it in my handy software (when was it Jimmy died the first time anyway?)

My idea of this perfect set of functions which software should provide makes up the contents of this list, however far from reality it may be. I'm not trying to imply that one piece of software should provide each of these functions, in some cases I feel software suites, bundles, or "multi-function" applications are actually the best solution. Note: I tried to rate the list of functions by importance but don't quote me please…

  • BIOS
  • Filesystem
  • BootLoader
  • OS
  • Command Prompt
  • Programming Language
  • API
  • SDK
  • IDE
  • Host (Service, Server, etc.)
  • Network
  • Browser
    • Local
    • Network
  • Firewall
  • Anti-virus
  • Spy-ware/Ad-ware/Mal-ware Detection & Removal
  • Backup
  • Performance/Analyze
  • User
  • Calculator
  • Media
    • Text Viewer
    • Image Viewer
    • Audio Player
    • Video Player
    • Text Editor
    • Image Editor
    • Audio Editor
    • Video Editor
    • Text Creator
    • Image Creator
    • Audio Creator
    • Video Creator
    • Drafting
    • Model
    • Animate
    • Index
  • Messaging/Communication
    • Text
      • Snail Mail
      • EMail & Mailing List
      • RSS
    • Auido
    • Video
    • Newsgroup
    • Forum
  • Encyclopedia
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Translator
  • Spreadsheet
  • Presentation
  • Asset
  • Process
  • Project
  • Contact
  • Calendar
  • Search
  • Syndicate
  • Aggregate
  • Dashboard
  • List
  • Map
  • Route
  • Track
  • Shop
  • Auction
  • Stream
  • Publish
  • Bookmark (Placemark)
  • Journal
  • Forum
  • Catalog
  • Comment
  • Rank
  • Proxy
  • Cache
  • Voice to Digital Text
  • Digital Text to Voice
  • Analog Text to Digital Text

Have I Heard of, Have I Seen, Have I Tried…?

I'd be glad to get input regarding not only the function list but also the list I'm not making of web applications, I have already seen a good amount of them but know there are probably twice as many or more that I haven't. I'm currently using Del.icio.us and Ma.gnolia to keep track of these applications, here are the links;

Those I've used: Ma.gnolia, Delicious.

Those I've seen: Ma.gnolia, Delicious.

Those I've heard of: Ma.gnolia, Delicious.

If you're looking for one big list you can have it, the previous three we're generated by pulling up my bookmarks using the webapps tag and a tag set I devised to organize them (iveused, iveseen, iveheardof). I have also tagged some of them with keywords describing the service but need to do more of that.

See all of the webapps I have bookmarked; Ma.gnolia, Delicious.

Please give me your feedback, I'm working on this a lot in the background and have been anxious to know what everyone thinks of this project. I've actually been thinking about changing the scope of these articles from web applications to just applications or to technology in general. Please let me know what you think about a scope change, the list of web applications, the idea in general, or just the direction of this blog. You can reach me, as usual, at monaghan.david@gmail.com.

Posted in Cultural Forces, Techniques, Tools | Leave a Comment »

What I am Listening to Right Now, Part II.

Posted by David on April 7, 2006

You might have read in the first article, "What I am Listening to Right Now" that I tried and didn't have much luck with Pandora, well more accurately I had pretty good luck that didn't last long and never returned. The reason I became so fond of Pandora's service was that it enabled me to find music that I liked, but hadn't heard before. I found a lot of new bands and albums I didn't know about, besides I also found out the name of countless artists and songs which I heard and liked but didn't know who it was (how many people does that happen to, everyone who listens to the traditional radio?)

As you know my luck ran short, but my need for music doesn't wait long before it forces me to find some easy way to find and listen to music I like. Luckily Pandora was only providing me with an extra service, I already use iTunes frequently for listening to music, besides music I also have many subscriptions to talk radio shows (for lack of a better description) in podcast format. When I'm looking for new music, I check out the iTunes Music Store which lists albums other users have purchased or looked at relating to the artist you are currently viewing, that with the ability to preview almost every piece of content I really slim down my choices of music I need to purchase by selecting only songs or albums I know I will be frequently listening to.

I don't buy much, music is still too expensive, and I don't agree with the iTunes DRM setup so I'm holding what little money I would spend on media until things settle down in audio and video publishing town. What I have bought so far is very good, I've got it on all the devices I currently use as well so I'm at least mostly satisfied.

I can satisfy my music cravings for the time being, I focus right now on organizing my current collection and finding ways to share what I have with my friends, legally. iTunes does a great Job of organizing my digital audio and I have built up my entire collection into it and added album art, year, song numbers, and more into the tags of my mp3s. I have rated everything most important to me at this time and created virtual playlists which collect everything I have rated to make playlists of my favorite songs (2+, 3+, 4+, and 5 stars). The only thing I wish I could do is go through the genres and correctly edit each song but I'm not going to take the time until a system which allows multiple genres (on one song not a genre per song like current techniques) is available through iTunes (or any music player/organizer which has all the features iTunes currently has and is freely available).

My CDs are in a file cabinet, not organized really, but they are in a small holder and there are less than 25 (I think). I do have them all entered into Listal.com, a nice place to catalog movies, albums, and books (I actually prefer another service for books that I will mention another time). This is one way I share what I like with friends legally, but I don't have everything I listen to on there and there's a lack of information regarding which songs I like best. You can rate albums, but not songs, besides how good is a rating I set a year ago and never got around to changing?

I have grown very interested in the idea of having people know what I am actually listening to any any particular moment, not only now but in the past, "How many times did David listen to that Matisyahu album I let him borrow I wonder?" my friend Mark might ask himself. Now he can find out on last.fm. The web application actually keeps track of everything I listen to on iTunes (or at least every piece of audio I play on iTunes that the service recognizes, and that I play a certain amount of time, I noticed if I skip to another song sometimes it won't show up, a good thing I think). It's interesting for me especially to look through the bar graphs of songs I've listened to during various periods of time, and it gives me direction when looking for more to purchase. I should make it clear that iTunes doesn't upload what you play to last.fm or to any other place automatically, in order for last.fm to work an iTunes plugin must be installed which will collect information from tags on what you listen to in iTunes and upload it to last.fm when an internet connection is available; Again, no internet, no compatable music player (iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc.), or no plugin (iScrobbler or jScrob2) and last.fm won't work for you (at least not for knowing what you listened to on your computer without the last.fm streaming player). The list of media players looks pretty good, I'm surprised to learn they support both WMP and iTunes. Here's the

Last.fm's streaming player let's you listen to music in a radio like system but with a few differences. First of all you can tag, rate, skip (skipping is most likely limited), and ban music as you listen and as you do what you play is listed on your profile. One of the nicest features of having access to your music preferences in a database is finding music you haven't heard and might like based on it's similarities to your collection and listening patterns. I'm not sure how deep last.fm goes into finding new music for you but there's a few ways they give you and I've been pleasantly surprised so far.

A combination of various tools like this will really help the media industries in my opinion. It would be hard to convince me that a change hasn't already been seen because of these various services; iTunes, last.fm, listal.com, and Pandora.com. Let's not forget MySpace.com, they aren't the teenage chat room you might have previously thought they were, they started in music and remain to be going in a great direction where this is concerned. Music by the people, not the giants, I think everyone can agree that the music pushed to the top should be pushed by the all of the people who have to (or want to) listen to it.

So, what are you listening to? How? I want to know, I'm interested, and I think other people are too.

Do you know of another service that helps to find, organize, or share music? Please drop a line or leave a comment, I'm happy to check out anything that will help. Also, let me know if you've tried any of the services I have mentioned, I'm interested to learn of your experiences.

Hopefully a Part III will come soon with news of Pandora.com or something new and just as useful, until then I hope this helps.

Posted in Cultural Forces, Techniques, Tools | Leave a Comment »

Free Web Based Applications More Possible, More Popular.

Posted by David on December 21, 2005

These two examples should show you that not only is it possible to mimic the functionality of applications that already exist on the desktop, but that they can be innovative as well. I'm excited to see these two pieces of a big puzzle, the solution (a full suite – and by suite I don't mean one vendor – of desktop replacements) may be years away but it seems to be coming together good so far.

Writely.com is a free web based word processor and RememberTheMilk.com is a free web based list organizer.

Posted in Cultural Forces, Techniques, Tools | Leave a Comment »

Ease Your Mind with a Free MMORPG.

Posted by David on December 19, 2005

"RuneScape is an MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role-playing game) implemented in Java, with over 2.8 million registered players. RuneScape was launched by Jagex Ltd. on January 4, 2001 and offers both pay to play ("P2P") and free to play ("F2P") membership options to players."
Wikipedia RuneScape

I didn't really have any interest in role-playing games to begin with, but since trying out RuneScape and getting tired of the same old games, I must say I am hooked. I'm glad there can be free services like this available for anyone with a relatively decent internet connection.

Posted in Cultural Forces, Techniques, Tools | Leave a Comment »

Inside Microsoft with Channel 9.

Posted by David on December 18, 2005

You may have already seen this, but I just want to give a chance to those who haven't already had one. Channel 9 is an online video show (you might be more comfortable using vodcast) which goes into the trenches of Microsoft and shows what they are working on by talking to real employees in their office or on their campus. If you are at all interested in the products and services being worked on by the large software provider, this is the site for you. Besides video Channel 9 also has audio and text, all of which are valuable pieces of information for anyone who has an interest in such things.

Posted in Cultural Forces, Techniques, Tools | Leave a Comment »