Archive for Websites

Google gives Maps a nice touch up

Posted in Websites by Nino Marchetti on July 29th, 2008

Google Maps

It happens to practically all useful Web sites at some point – they get a makeover designed to make them even more useful. While not every appreciates a makeover, it can at least make the online real estate look clear. Such is the case of the redone Google Maps.

Google says with the Maps look you can do what youv’e done before, including find businesses, addresses and “more” from one search box. The map has also apparently been made bigger and it is reportedly now easier to get to full screen maps.

Google Maps

Wal-Mart launches new online shopping tools

Posted in Websites by Nino Marchetti on February 4th, 2008

walmart-chickpick.jpgTaking a look at this new online shopping tool Help a Chick Pick you at first glance think it might be another splashy Web start up. Turns out that isn’t quite the case – the site is a new offering from retail super giant Wal-Mart.

Help a Chick Pick
, and the newly relaunched Help a Guy Buy, are attempts by the retailer to appeal to a more Web savvy user base. Wal-Mart describes these sites as being able to “customers not only identify the gift profile of their significant other, but the perfect gift, at the perfect price, to complement it.” They of course point you to Wal-Mart listings.

Domino’s lets you stalk your pizza until delivery

Posted in Web 2.0,Websites by Nino Marchetti on January 30th, 2008

dominos-pizza-tracker.jpgWhat’s with the trend lately towards pizza going high tech? First we have Pizza Hut letting you text message your orders and now we have Domino’s getting into it by announcing its recently released pizza ordering tracking service. What’s next – flying pies landing on your front door step?

The Domino’s Pizza Tracker, much to the annoyance of its pizza delivery drivers, will let customers “follow the progress of their order online from the time they click the ‘Place Order’ button or hang up the telephone until the Domino’s delivery expert is knocking on their door.” To keep their drivers though from feeling like job performance is a huge issue (30 minutes or less?) you won’t find GPS trackers in the pizzas – management stated drive times will vary due to several factors, but you’ll at least know the pizza is on the way.

Yahoo rolls out new Yahoo Mail

Posted in News,Web 2.0,Websites,Yahoo by Nino Marchetti on August 27th, 2007

Yahoo releases new version of its Yahoo MailYahoo today put into general availability a new version of its Web-based Yahoo Mail. The online giant said it will also continue to make available the traditional interface many of its users have used for years.

The new Yahoo Mail, said Yahoo, offers new speed and performance enhancements. Highlighted new features include the ability to send free text messages directly to mobile numbers in the US, Canada, India and the Philippines as well as instant message interoperability with Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger.

Askville is Amazon Answer Service

Posted in Amazon,Websites by Paul Patterson on February 27th, 2007

Askville is Amazon Answer ServiceAskville is a question and answer website from Amazon that uses a system of Experience Points, Levels, and Quest coins to reward contributors. Askville is similar to Yahoo! Answers or the now defunct Google Answers in that you ask questions of a community of experts.

Questions submitted to the Askville community are open for 7 days. Depending on the interest your question drums up and/or the difficulty of the question you will get up to 5 answers back from the Askville community during those 7 days.

You can monitor new questions and view featured questions and most active discussions. At the time I looked at the site the top featured question was “Why do people drink alcohol for the taste?” Good question, I wasn’t aware that they did drink it for the taste.

To reward contributors, Askville …

Jyve Offers Live Access To People Who Know

Posted in Web 2.0,Websites by Paul Patterson on February 22nd, 2007

Jyve Live Search EngineJyve is a live interactive search engine that allows users to ask questions through a live exchange of instant messages or VoIP calls with experts and professionals.

When you submit a question on Jyve you instantly generate a live message to a list of “experts” from all over the world who are currently online and logged in. Once connected you share information with your chosen expert one-on-one with instant messages or live VoIP calls.

You can ask all the questions you want for free. All that you are asked to do in return is to thank your expert with a good rating and a tip with Jyve’s innovative “tip jar” (if they do a good job of course).

As an expert you can advertise your services in the Jyve Directory and Pro Listings. This is also a good place for “Askers” to quickly …

NBA All-Star LeBron James Gets MSN Website

Posted in Kids,Microsoft,NBA,Websites by Paul Patterson on February 21st, 2007

NBA All-Star LeBron James Gets MSN MinisiteMSN recently announced a new mini-website featuring LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The site illustrates the inspirational story of the three-time NBA all-star and encourages kids to take action in their lives and make a difference of their own.

The Website is in a storybook-style and allows kids to explore LeBron’s role as a community activist, his dedication to basketball and academics including his devotion to his friends, family, and teammates.

The flash-based site includes interactive Windows Live content for people with a MSN account or a Windows Live Space. It is also a forum where James can interact with MSN users and share his experiences and encouraging messages.

A special section of the Website includes a series of challenges and obstacles issued by LeBron. As participants complete the challenges, LeBron shares the difficulties and successes he …

Cuban Search Engine Indexes Castro Speeches

Posted in News,Websites by Paul Patterson on February 18th, 2007

Cuban Search Engine Indexes Castro SpeechesA new search engine in Cuba will allow you to search anything as long as it is one of Castro’s speeches.

The new Cuban Internet search engine does not connect users to the World Wide Web, but instead runs on Cuban servers limited to a Cuban Intranet. With the website, users can navigate through Cuban news media, government sites, and a special section containing the speeches of President Fidel Castro.

The sale of computer equipment is strictly regulated in Cuba. The Cuban government passed laws back in 1996 as soon as the Internet increased in popularity to control Internet access and monitor e-mail.

To access the Internet, Cubans must have official permission. Government Internet centers have been set up that allow Cubans to access their e-mail and browse a special Intranet consisting of websites chosen by the authorities. To use these public …

Dandelife Social Biography Network

Posted in Mashup,Web 2.0,Websites by Paul Patterson on February 17th, 2007

Dandelife Social Biography NetworkDandelife is a social network that allows you to create and share your own personal biography. More specifically, Dandelife is a social biography network build around the telling of your life’s stories.

You can use Dandelife to narrate the important events of your life, the places you’ve been to, and the people you’ve met. Dandelife creates a timeline representation of your life’s events. The events link to the narrative you write which describes the event. View co-founder Kelly Abbott’s Dandelife to see a good example of a biography in action.

Dandelife Timeline

Dandelife integrates with Flickr and Youtube so you can create a mashup of your photos and videos and take it a step further by combining those images and movies with stories about the people, places, things and events in them.

If your life is even remotely interesting you …

Yahoo! Pipes is RSS Feed Mashup Editor

Posted in pipes,Websites,Yahoo by Paul Patterson on February 9th, 2007

Yahoo! Pipes RSS Feed EditorYahoo! has introduced a new online service called Pipes that allows you to create unique mashups of RSS feeds by manipulating and aggregating feeds to create a new feed that is more useful and relevant. For example, you could combine the feed from the NewYork Times with Flickr and see Flicker images relating to the articles.

To create a Pipe, you use a visual editor to edit and filter different types of feeds. Pipes consist of pre-configured modules which are drug onto the editor’s canvas and then wired together in a chain in which one module’s output becomes the input for the next module. Each module performs a single, specific task. For example, the Fetch module will retrieve a feed URL, while the Sort module will re-order a feed based on criteria you provide. There are currently over 20 different

Online Photo Editing with Picnik

Posted in Websites by Paul Patterson on February 5th, 2007

Online Photo Editing with PicnikPicnik is a super-fast online photo editing utility that allows you to quickly edit your photos from a single location. Picnik is a web-based application and other than Flash 9 it doesn’t require you to download or install anything to edit your photos. Picnik works on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Picnik allows you to pull photos from your local hard disk, a website, or a WebCam. There is also a search tool that allows you to search Yahoo or Flickr for photos, so I did a quick search for “cake” on Yahoo to get a photo to edit. I’m certainly not a photog and Paint Shop Pro stretches my photo-editing abilities to their limits, but I was able to easily and quickly run through all the features of Picnik without any problems.

Online Photo Searching with Picnik

You can use Picnik to …

MUX Video Conversion Service

Posted in Digital Video,Services,Websites by Paul Patterson on February 5th, 2007

MUX Video Conversion ServiceMUX is a any-to-any video conversion service that allows you to convert video files to different formats. The service allows you to convert to and from Quicktime (mov), MPEG-4 (mp4), Flash Video (flv), Windows Media (wmv), MPEG-1/2 (mpg), Windows AVI (avi), and Mobile 3gp (3gp).

In order to MUX a video, you provide a link to the video file and select the format you would like the video converted to. MUX will then give you a converted video in the size, bitrate, and frames per second that you specified. The conversion takes a couple minutes and the service will notify you when it is finished at the email address you entered. The email you receive contains a URL to your converted video.

I was able to convert a video on YouTube to a Quicktime file pretty easily. I selected the Rolling Rock Thong Ad

Stikkit Launches API

Posted in Websites by Paul Patterson on February 3rd, 2007

Stikkit Launches APIStikkit is a productivity web application that helps you manage contacts, plan and organize meetings, and share and comment on ideas. You can use Stikkit with your email to forward notes and even transform emails into a stikkit – automatically noting your events, to-dos, contacts, and bookmarks.

Stikkit has released an API to give developers the ability to “fold and form” stikkits for their own purposes. The Stikkit API is easy to obtain – if you have a Stikkit account, you’ve got the key. The API is REST-based, and uses simple HTTP requests. The responses can be returned in your choice of Atom, vCard, iCal, json, or Text – depending on the method. The methods in the API will allow you to get, create, delete, update, and share stikkits; make and list comments; toggle todos; and list tags.

Stikkit mashups are sure to follow.

Microsoft and the British Library Digitize da Vinci

Posted in Microsoft,Vista,Websites by Paul Patterson on February 3rd, 2007

Microsoft and the British Library Digitize da VinciLeonardo da Vinci was one of the most prolific polymaths who ever lived. A true Renaissance man, his interests allowed him to succeed as a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, and writer. Leonardo’s studies were recorded in notebooks that were maintained daily throughout his life as he made continual observations of the world around him. Leonardo’s notebooks encompass over 13,000 pages of notes and drawings.

You now have access to page through the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci thanks to a joint effort between Microsoft and the British Library. Two of da Vinci’s notebooks have been digitized for an updated version of an application called “Turning the Pages” which allows people to browse parts of the British Library’s 150 million piece collection via a web browser.

The British Library will make selections from the Codex Arundel and …

Eyejot Video Messaging Platform

Posted in Digital Video,Websites by Paul Patterson on February 2nd, 2007

Eyejot Video Messaging PlatformThe problem I have with email and instant messaging is that people can easily misinterpret my message differently from the way I had intended. It can be hard to show your true emotions – anger, humor, and especially sarcasm without the benefit of facial expressions, gestures, or voice inflection.

Eyejot is a web-based, client-free video messaging platform that will help you get your point across much more effectively than email. Using your webcam, you can create a video message and send it via email. Through a video, your friends, family and business contacts are sure to pick up on your rapier-like wit when they see AND hear your message.

Eyejot Video Messaging Platform

There is no client to install and Eyejot requires only a web browser (IE, Safari, Firefox, Opera), Adobe Flash 9, a webcam, and a microphone (if your webcam doesn’t have …