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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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Google is going to sell their own phone!


You may have heard rumors that Google is going to make it's own Google phone, the current phones that run android were not manufactured for Google, it was simply companies using the Open Source cell phone OS Android.
Google is now having users test out their phone, and some of them shared that they have one(even though we would imagine they were told to keep it under wraps.

The phone is going to be called the Nexus One and it will be manufactured by HTC, and will have the Android OS on it.

News of this phone spread rapidly through twitter and many blogs are collecting as much info on the phone as possible.

“Google Phone = iPhone + a little extra screen and a scroll wheel. Great touch screen, and Android.” - Cory O'Brien

The Model the phone uses is pretty much the same as the HTC Passion.


Google did not intend to release this info to the public, they commented on the phone in their mobile blog, stating they are "Eating our own dogfood" meaning they are giving their staff the phone to test out, if it's good enough for Googlers it's good enough for the general public.

The phone is estimated to be released in January.

I have a live feed of twitter posts about the Google phone in this post so you can find more information on it as it's released.











Post Updated: another photo




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Decorating websites for the holidays

I've always loved decorating my sites for the holidays. I redesigned a site I made for my church this year to have snow flakes falling(they even collect at the bottom of the screen and melt), I added some Christmas lights too. You can easily see the lights below but faintly see the snow.


I also redesigned the website for a video game called Intialy Online. I think I did a good job on this site, I changed the entire header of the site so that the rolling hills are now mountains, I also added a snow effect, there is also a Merry Christmahaunakwanzika banner in the event box :)




It's been proven that decorating your site for the holidays is a good practice. Not only does it make your site look pretty, it shows your users that the site is active(staff are working on it all the time) it keeps your users happy, they see that and they will spend more time on the site.

If you see a site on the internet decorated for the holidays post a link to it or a screenshot in the comments, I want to see it!

To Web Developers: Give your site a holiday twist and share a link with me and I'll happily post about your site and you will get free advertising basically! :D