Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Twitter for the Elderly and those in need of constant care

My family and I recently had some scary things happen to my grandpa, he's currently living in his own home and we want him to be able to do so till he departs, however he needs someone to be with him 24/7 because he's in bad shape. He has Colon Cancer and a few other conditions.

Anyways, I recently had to stay with him, and I did so for 2 days, those 2 days were very scary, the night before christmas eve, christmas Eve, and Christmas day I was with him, it was scary because he was in kind of critical condition, his blood wouldn't clot if he got injured, which would mean he could bleed to death. We brought him to the hospital to get some tests done and the entire thing was an emotional roller coaster, through the whole thing I was using Facebook to update my family and friends on his condition, I continued to post this every time something eventful happend, the whole time my family was going through the rollercoaster with us staying up to date on what was happening.

I learned from that experience that the internet is much easier to keep everyone up to date with than calling and texting everyone every 5 minutes.

So here's the part of the post you've been waiting for.

I have set up a twitter account for the people staying at my grandpas, basically whenever something eventful happens regarding my grandpa and his health, they post it on twitter, this is easy because you can instantly update the whole family and his friends just by sending one little text, or using your mobile browser or laptop!

I highly suggest doing this for your family if you have a loved one that's in a similar condition.
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Google failing to meet it's own motto? "Don't Be Evil"

Google has been upset with website Groovle, for the similar domain name to Google, Groovle is a search engine site that uses Google's own Google Custom Search, to create a search site where you can pick designs for the home page of the site.

Google basically created it's own competitor and now they want to shut it down, Google argues that users may confuse Groovle with Google. Groovle has made significant steps to try to appease Google without shutting down. Groovle has made their logo stay different from the Google logo, and they have added a disclaimer stating they are not affiliated with google.

So I have one question to you, is Google being evil here?
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Google to unveil Nexus One(Google's own Android Phone) at press conference

Image representing Nexus One as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase

Many people now know about the Nexus One and can't wait to try it out, Google allowed it's employees to test drive the Nexus One and as soon as they did they tweeted about it and blogged about it, Tech bloggers like myself went nutz over it.

Google has released Information that there is a press conference about Google Android to be held January 5th.

For more information on the Google Nexus One click here.




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The Sims Online: Tirnua

Recently I was at my brothers, I played the classic game, The Sims, Iremembered how addicting that game was and thought to myself, why don't I find a free game that basically is the same as The Sims.

The Sims OnlineImage via Wikipedia


I started my Google conquest to find such a game.

Searching with terms such as "The Sims Online" "Life Sim" "Browser Based life game"
to no real avail.

Then I stumbled upon a site called Tirnua, Tirnua is essentially The Sims Online, it was created by one of the developers of the Sims Online, Many users now know that The Sims Online is dead now, EA Games took it down to work on other projects.

Tirnua is very simalir to The Sims in the fact that you can create a character and customize it like a Sim, build your own house and interact with objects in it, get a job, earn money, and also interact with other players, the game is currently still in development but it's still a fun game so far.

Working in the game is different from the Sims, in the Sims your character goes off to work, somewhere in some unknown location. In Tirnua, you have to complete kind of like a puzzle, in order to collect your paycheck.

Also like the Sims you have to manage your Sims Needs, social, health and fun type needs.

To try or check out Tirnua click here.




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Tech Support Jokes

A friend of mine whose twitter account is LinuxLLC has been posting a series of Tech Support Jokes on Twitter, and I thought I would share them with you because I personally thought they were hilarious.

Customer: I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screen saver on my computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears.

Tech support: What’s on your monitor now, ma’am? Customer: A teddy bear my boyfriend bought for me at the 7-11

Tech Support: "Ok, please click on 'Start' and move the mouse up to 'Settings'." Customer: "Oh, you're asking too much of me now!"

Tech Support: "What seems to be the trouble?" Customer: "Well, my monitor is going out. Does that have anything to do with my hard drive?"

Customer: "It just comes up with a message and says, 'Click OK.' Now what?"

Tech Support: "Click on the computer icon on the left side of the screen." * Customer: "Is that your left or my left?"

Tech Support: "What type of computer do you have?" * Customer: "A white one."

Tech Support: "No, sir...clicking on 'Remember Password' will NOT help you remember your password."



To see more of his twitter posts, check out his Twitter account linked to above.

If you have any good ones, I encourage you to leave me a comment with them! :D
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Monday, December 28, 2009

How To make Firefox More like Google Chrome

Firefox the most customizable browser out there, has some cool tricks to make it appear like it's cousin Chrome.

If you are a Google Chrome Fan, but not yet ready to give up Firefox entirely because of what Chrome is currently lacking, you can Chromify Firefox with a few add-ons!


The picture is a side by side comparison of Firefox and Chrome, can you spot the differences?
Aside from the Google Logo on chrome and the addons I have on Firefox you can hardly spot the differences.

A true chrome fan can spot the differences but it's still a pretty good attempt at mimicing Chromes GUI

The Addon I used to Chromify Firefox was Chromin Frame, I decided not to use it myself after trying it, simply because I like the look and feel of my customized Firefox. :)

But I hope if anyone else likes chrome that they'll check it out and Enjoy



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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Brizzly Review

I just started trying out Brizzly, and I have to say it's a handy tool for Twitter, it allows you to see info on the top trending topics(why they are trendy or interesting) it also allows you to use multiple twitter accounts at the same time! This is a very neat feature!

Brizzly is also able to connect to Facebook, and grab your news/live feed. However as I see it the Facebook part is pretty limited, it basically just shows you what you would see if you were logged in to Facebook. and allows you to do everything you would normally when commenting posts to the live feed.

If you have multiple Twitter accounts I highly recommend Brizzly, however if you don't use Twitter don't even bother with it.



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Facebook Dislike Scams


lately there have been alot of scams on Facebook telling people that if they INVITE all their friends to use an app, or to join a group, a Dislike button will appear.

The sad part is almost half the users on Facebook have fallen for this scam.

DO NOT JOIN ANY GROUPS TALKING ABOUT THE DISLIKE BUTTON THEY ARE ALL FAKES, THE ONLY WAY TO GET THE DISLIKE BUTTON IS THROUGH A BROWSER ADDON!


There are a few REAL dislike button addons out there, here is one http://goo.gl/v3MJ (for Firefox)

The image at the top of this post, is a real screenshot(of me using the add-on linked to above.), I just covered up the names and profile picture to hide the people's identity's :)

So far I'm loving this app because of 2 things, it adds a dislike button, and it also posts a dislike message, so if someone doesn't have the app, they will see *dislike* then the web address to get the add-on.

Yes unfortunately it is advertising basically that gets added in, but you have to okay the comments(if you choose to leave the comments)

How Dislike Add-ons Work:
  1. after each news item a link to dislike a post is available
  2. when a user clicks the link, it sends data to a server, allowing the server to identify which posts were "disliked"
  3. All other users of the app when they see that news post, instantly see that that news item was disliked
  4. Some Add-ons, like the one I linked to earlier, actually allow you to post a comment saying you disliked the post.
Facebook Apps for dislike won't work and cannot work to do this, also Facebook Groups cannot do this either.

Help me help others crack down on the scams, Post this url on facebook, to tell your friends that they can have the Facebook dislike button, but they can't get it without an add-on.(the URL is to this post)


Enjoy and stay safe on the Social Web!



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Last Minute Gift Idea for the unofficial family Tech Support to Give

Here's a FREE easy gift you can give if you are the techie sort.

Make your own Holiday Card(you can find cards online and just edit them to have your words.) and add that you will be their Free Tech Support for the whole year, you will also update their web browser and take care of their anti-virus stuff.

It's FREE for you, easy, and helpful!

Friday, December 18, 2009

More Google Easter Eggs

Many know of the Recursion joke on Google.

To see it, simply Google, Recursion, Google will say "Did you mean Recursion" and send you on an endless loop as a little play on words.
See for yourself

The answer to life, the universe and everything(this is a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy joke)See for yourself

Google can even answer the impossible, How many horns are on a unicorn?
See for yourself

Google even knows what the phrase "Once in a Blue Moon" really means. See for yourself

Google Geeks even like Ascii Art See for yourself(look at the Google logo)

Google Maps:
Apparently the story goes her name was inserted into the Google Maps coding after she won a dinner-time bet with a colleague. The building at this location is actually the tech giants headquarters. Sounds Cool to me.

One Feature of Google Maps I am saddened to see disappear was If you requested a route between locations separated by expanses of water - say Paris and New York - the software dutifully provided road directions to the west coast of France before suggesting that you "Swim the Atlantic Ocean (3,500 miles)". I found that easter egg, when I was creating prank directions for a friend, I sent it to him then realized it said swim the Atlantic, and that made the joke so much funnier.

Google Klingon See for yourself
Google Pirate edition See for yourself
Google Elmer Fudd Edition, See for yourself



Now for ones that I can't link you to:

Google Earth allows users to fly an F-16 fighter jet anywhere in the world.Simply press Ctrl + Alt + A to activate the rudimentary flight simulator; you can learn the controls here. The simulator was originally inserted as an easter egg but has since become one of the official features of the program.


Google Earth + Picasa Glitch:
Picasa has a feature where you can Geolocate your pictures, and I've done that with some pictures and well I just discovered that when I'm viewing mars, my pictures show on the globe lol, Google didn't set the program up to hide them when your on the red planet!(these are my vacation photos from Sun Studios lol)


Google Earth Talk to a Martian!
Go on Google Earth, go to view>explore>mars then in the search box enter Meliza
hey, what can I say, I like to get word of my sites out there...way out there! haha






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Google Easter Egg for the new year!


Many people are familiar with what are called Easter Eggs in video games, well Google has an easter egg now.

You can now see how long until the New year by simply going to the Google homepage and clicking I'm Feeling Lucky.

I would expect Google to show more info on this later on, because currently it only shows the number of seconds until the new year, with no indication that that's what it is.

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How A web design goes straight to Hell

Sorry this isn't a normal post of mine, just a reposting of a hilarious comic I saw today, that totally matches my experience as a web developer.

The Original copy is at The Oatmeal

Creative Ideas for Web Devs to use Google Side-wiki to their advantage

I've come up with a list of ways you can use Sidewiki to improve your website.

For Blogs and News sites:
  • Comment on pages related to your blog or articles and provide links to your content, that way you will get visitors interested in what you have to offer.
  • Provide Background information on articles, information you covered in past articles related to the topic.
  • If you are a review site, post part of your review in a side-wiki entry for the page and have a link to your site, that says "More Info", basically add a link to your review on related websites.
For Web Apps:
  • Create a Side-Wiki Tour of your product
  • Explain special features using Google Side-Wiki
  • Get feedback about specific bugs and how to recreate them so you can fix them.
  • Highlight your Newest Features
For Game Clan/Guild/Team/Group sites:
  • leave comments on other sites related to the game you play, and link to them for your guild members(for example, if you play WoW, leave a side-wiki entry on a WoW related site and link your guild to it so they can reap the benefits)
  • On RPG sites, go to the class page of the game you play, and make comments about good Character setups/builds. Link them to your guild mates.
For Online Stores:
  • Offer Coupon codes in the Side-Wiki, your users will praise you for it and it will boost your sales!
  • Highlight whats on sale
  • Allow users to comment, rate, and leave reviews, on your items using Side-Wiki
For Sites that give out Awards:
  • Post the Award image on the site that you wish to reward!
  • Go to sites that are eligible to win an award and setup a link to vote for that site on your site.
For All sites:
  • Talk about your Organization's history, talk about your sites history.
  • Use it to allow Users to make your website more Correct, (for example if you accidentally made a mistake and say something like "Swine flu is spread by eating pigs" your users can comment saying "Technically Swine flu cannot be spread by eating Swine, please correct this.")
For Artists:
  • Post links to your artwork on sites related to your art.(special techniques, styles...etc.)
  • Comment on another Artists work
For Musicians:
  • Post Links to your Music on sites related to your music.
  • Comment on another Musicians Work
For Fan-sites:
  • Leave a link to your site on the main site that you are a fan of.(For example, your site is a fan site for Muse the band, you make an entry on their official site with a link to your site.)

Is a site pretending to be your Organizations official site?
  • Leave an entry on that site informing users that is not your site and that that site may attempt to steal their personal Info.
Web Directories:
  • Allow your users to visit the page you have in your database, and use side-wiki to give them a link back to your site, also you can have the description of the site be in the side-wiki entry!
Informational sites:
  • Highlight Key information(example, Number Statistics(deaths, injuries, people involved)
  • Provide in-depth information on people and topics talked about on your site.
Security related websites:
  • Post information on sites that are potentially harmful to warn users and promote your products.

These are just some of my ideas of how to utilize side-wiki in positive ways. I want to hear from you, what are some ideas for what you could use side-wiki for?
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Twitter Hacked ALL THE CURRENT INFO+UPDATES

Not too long ago Twitter was apparently hacked. The site apparently showed the following message

Iranian Cyber Army

THIS SITE HAS BEEN HACKED BY IRANIAN CYBER ARMY

iRANiAN.CYBER.ARMY@GMAIL.COM<

U.S.A. Think They Controlling And Managing Internet By Their Access, But THey Don’t, We Control And Manage Internet By Our Power, So Do Not Try To Stimulation ranian Peoples To….

NOW WHICH COUNTRY IN EMBARGO LIST? IRAN? USA?
WE PUSH THEM IN EMBARGO LIST ;)
Take Care.

These hackers also reportedly did the same to http://www.mowjcamp.org/, I don't know what was on the mowjcamp site before this incident however it was reported to have the same message.

Personally for Hackers you would think if they are going to try to make a statement, that they would at-least make a clear understandable one. Basically it appears they have stated that they think they control the internet, and that America doesn't, and they say they put us in the embargo list. Message to the hackers: it's called Google Translate, I talked about it in my last post, NOW USE IT OR YOU LOOK LIKE RETARDS.


Twitter Users should change their passwords because it is unknown but the hackers could potentially gotten ahold of your passwords

Some Believe it was simply a DNS redirect.

THIS POST WILL BE EDITED AS NEWS COMES IN!

Updates:

  • The Tech Crunch team is looking to contact them, through their email address conveniently left on the site.
  • Twitter isn't acknowledging Iranian Cyber Army in their posts about the outage.
  • Twitter’s Platform Lead engineer Alex Payne has a funnier update on thecurrent status
  • Google was showing the below briefly when doing a search for Twitter. The translation from Farsi/Persian reads:

    “In the name of God, As an Iranian this is a reaction to Twitter’s interference sly which was U.S. authorities ordered in the internal affairs of my country…”

  • Post by Amir on Tech Crunch- December 17th, 2009 at 11:02 pm PST

    It is most likely done by “Cyber Army” an organization led by Sepah (Revolutionary Guard) to threaten and put pressure on the opposition.

    They have also defaced Mowjcap.com a website for the opposition.

  • Theories Rise about who may have done it(none of these are known as fact):
    -Iranian Government - since Twitter was used alot in the political campaigns for that country and also helped in the protests.(unlikely I think)

    -anyone wanting to give Iranians bad reputation by attacking a visible but insignificant target and hanging up big posters saying “we are iranians. ”

    Iran doesnt need to disable twitter globally, it’s enough to block twitter to within Iran, like the chinese firewall.

    -Ali On TechCrunch said"We definitely heard some news after the elections that the Iranian government had started a group called Cyber Army to help with Collecting names of protesters and Taking down opposition websites. Numerous opposition websites have been taken down since the elections, including the most recent mowjcamp.com which is Mousavi’s main communication to the opposition."

Live Feed from Twitter about the events:



Screenshot Below:





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Google Web Elements

Google Web Elements is a site Google put together to give web developers some cool tools to pop onto their site.

The Tools that Google offers here are embedable:
The ability to add Google Translate to your site is my favorite of all the features offered on this site. Basically you add a tiny piece of code to your page, that will allow users to translate the website to any language of their choosing OR you can set it up to automatically change language to the users language(this keeps it hidden for users who speak the same language as what's on the page).

If you are a webdeveloper I highly suggest checking out the Google Web Elements Page to see if there is something you would like to add to your site! :D
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Youtube HQ


Youtube announced a while back and I posted about it, that they were increasing the quality of their videos.

YouTube, LLCImage via Wikipedia


I found out today that they have an HQ Feature aside from their HD Feature, this allows you to watch videos in a bigger player with a little better quality, that takes up most of your screen, moving the related videos and description down, now I'm just waiting for the Lights out Feature many other popular video sites have!

Here is a sample video you can watch in HQ to see what it's like.
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Browser Size
Google today released in their blog, Browser Size, a free webdeveloper tool.

Alot of web designers make their website based on the screen they have on their home computer, which unfortunatley for the rest of the world, web designers usually have higher quality computers and monitors than the average user. Unfortunate because websites made for bigger screens, require scrolling for the users with smaller screens :(

Google today wanted to help fix that with a web app that lets web developers see their site somewhat how users on computers with smaller screens would.

Now days a lot of sites use percentages instead of using exact pixel locations for the designs, this makes the site more compatible on smaller screens because the site automatically attempts to adjust to the monitor of the user, this can also make the site look hideous however if the site is squeezed too much.

For most websites the site will sort of auto adjust to the users monitor, without any effort by the developer, however this isn't always the case.

Google Browser Size will help you with that!

There is one downside though that I can clearly see, the lines were poorly drawn in the overlapping image. Also it would be better to use something like browsershots for something like this because the resolution isn't adjusted with it.

What I think would be better than the current system Google Browser Size Uses, is a system that takes several screenshots of your site(or creates Iframes with your site in it.) that overlap, showing your site in each size, mouse over the frame and that will be the frame thats in focus, that way you can see your site clearly in all screen sizes. Note: if anyone makes an app like this please link it to me I'd love to try it, and I would probably post about it.

Web Design Resolution - Best Screen SizeImage by Hobo! via Flickr


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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Google Enhanced Smart Suggest!




Google has been making quite a buzz this past year with their Suggest feature often websites post the funny findings on Google when you type in parts of phrases.


But Now Google has done something that really does help quite a bit, they've made it so that Smart Suggest suggests searches based on where the caret(typing cursor) is as your typing

It's like Google is reading your mind!

This could even prove to generate more funny Google Suggest Jokes

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HTML Groups Working on Device support(Webcams)

Some HTML Groups, the W3C(World Wide Web Consortium) and WHATWG (the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group) are promoting adding html tags for devices, such devices include USB connection to an MP3 Player or flash drive, and Audio/Video Streams, in other words live web cams and other related media.

"Great, soon we'll have <start webcam width="value" height="value" autostart="true" color="true" noresize="noresize" style="border:value; background-color:value" option="show-naked"/>" - jacky_cjh
That's actually a possibility(aside from the show-naked part haha).
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Goo.gl:Google's URL Shortening Service


Google announced Monday that they have created a URL shortening service, similar to sites such as bit.ly, this new service will allow Google Toolbar users to post to their blogger accounts and to twitter and other social networking sites, shortened urls.

As another blogger stated it Bit.ly just got Fu.kd, First Facebook steps into the ring with their fb.me shortener, and now Google just days later releases Goo.gl

To use the new url shortener you need to use Google Toolbar's new Share button, currently the button is only available for Internet Explorer, they plan to release it for Firefox soon...

The fact it hasn't been released for Firefox is kind of a let down, they announced the feature without publicly stating there isn't a Firefox version yet, and lets face it, it's the Firefox and Google Chrome users who use social networking sites. So releasing it for IE before Firefox, probably wasn't the best Idea.
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Decorating your site for the holidays: part 2

When you decide to theme your site for the holidays, It doesn't have to be a drastic change, it could be something as simple as changing your CSS styles to make the colors of your site seem more christmasy. However I would strongly suggest changing your logo to fit the holidays, That is a big symbol on your page and may be all you need to do to decorate.

Google does it every year and has actually gained a reputation for it. The guy who designs them even has his own title for what the logos are called, . Here are some of the logos he's created. You don't have to be a pro like him, but at-least put a little effort into it like maybe put a snowflake in your logo, put a santa hat and scarf around your mascot, redesign your logo using Christmas Lights.

On the sites that I themed for the holidays I saw a 20% increase in usage of the sites starting after I did it.

I'm planning on theming my blog for the holidays as well, however the idea I have will require time.

One reader posted his site as a comment to my last decorating your site for the holidays post, he simply changed the colors of his site to fit the season.
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