Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

Archive for the ‘Freelancing’ Category

Matt’s Cuppa LinkRoundup for 9-22-07

Posted by telecommatt on September 22, 2007

I’m behind on my news feeds again. And that means it’s time for another Matt’s Cuppa LinkRoundup. Here are a few stories that I thought particularly interesting. Please comment or contact me with your thoughts.

Weekend Web 2.0 roundup for September 22nd

Filed under: , ,


group calls from a cell phone, mobile device or a desktop computer.
This service uses your existing landline (if you still have one) or
mobile number, but calls are done through IM applications like AIM,
Google Talk, MSN and Yahoo! The service is currently getting ready to
launch in a private beta.

Somewhat skeptical about mass adoption here. I’m wondering who will find value in this. Is this likely to be conference-calling-on-the-cheap or party line 2.0?

Science: How Evolutionary Biology Explains Office Politics


There may be ancient evolutionary impulses behind modern-day office politics.
If human nature is shaped by our monkey pasts, and the tens of
thousands of years our species spent as hunter-gatherers, we might want
to use some 100,000 year-old solutions to fights over the printer,
snarky sysadmins, and lateral promotions. In that spirit, Stanford
neuroscientist and author Robert M. Sapolsky offers Lifehacker some lessons from human prehistory to solve modern-day office dilemmas.

Now ask yourself, “Doesn’t that explain a lot?” Makes you think about your boss and coworkers in a whole new way, huh?

Information Addiction: A recent survey shows most Americans are …

A recent survey shows most Americans are uncomfortable going more than a day without the internet; online activity also lessens the amount of time people spend having sex and socializing with friends face-to-face.

No comment…

Office Supplies: Temporarily Pin Documents with Your Stapler


Blogger Jacob Grier discovers what Wikipedia calls “the least known
stapling method”: pinning. If you rotate the plate on the bottom of
your stapler, it will bend staples outward instead of inward to fasten
things temporarily. Easily remove a pinned staple by pulling it along
the plane of the document. Many modern staplers don’t have this feature
any more, so pick up an old-school model to try it out.
The stapler’s secret [Eternal Recurrence]

Ah, the joys of being a cube warrior again! Apparently, everything in my office requires a staple. I’ve seen staple marks on single sheets of paper often enough to no longer be surprised. As for “modern” staplers, a modern stapler in my little cube nation is one that still works! Which means I’ll have plenty of opportunity to try this little trick out.

Windows: Find Out If Your Computer Is Secretly Connecting to the Web

you are trying to track down why your computer is running so
slooowwwly, try using this simple DOS command from Digital Inspiration
to uncover a possible problem:

  • Type cmd in your Windows Run box.
  • Type “netstat -b 5 > activity.txt” and press enter.
  • After say 2 minutes, press Ctrl+C.
  • Type “activity.txt” on the command line to open the log file in notepad (or your default text editor)

This .txt file will have a record of everything that has made an
Internet connection in the last couple of minutes; you can then check
your task manager to find out where it is and take care of it.
Is Your Computer Connecting To Websites Without Your Knowledge [Digital Inspiration]

I might pull this out and file it under Tech Tips. It drives me crazy when something suddenly starts using my PC that isn’t me! Most of the time, it’s nothing to be concerned about, but when it gets in the way of what I’m doing, it’s gotta stop. This is especially true if I’ve been running Firefox for a while and it’s started swallowing my RAM whole.

Major Media Companies Found Hacking The Pirate Bayfrom Mashable! by Kristen Nicole

Some leaked emails at the MediaDefender-Defenders has granted The Pirate Bay
the proof it needed to file charges against several media companies.
These emails prove that some major record labels and film production
and distribution companies have hired professional hackers and
saboteurs to destroy The Pirate Bay’s trackers.

Okay, that’s just sad!

Beware of PDF Files! Adobe Security Vulnerability Found.

Don’t open any PDF files anytime soon. Better yet, don’t
even go to any websites where PDF files may be embedded. According to
hacker Petko Petkov, there’s a vulnerability in Adobe Acrobat/Reader
that lets malware into your Windows box with no prompts of any sort.
All you need to do is open a PDF file or open a URL that has a PDF file
Petkov says that this has been confirmed for Adobe Reader 8.1 on
Windows XP, though a comprehensive list of other affected versions has
not been compiled or published. It’s important to note that this
vulnerability has not been confirmed by any third parties or Adobe as
of yet. A similar vulnerability for Quicktime on Firefox had been found by Petkov as well, and has been addressed with Firefox’s latest release
[via wired]

Wow! Major setback for Adobe! Not to mention the entire corporate world… In the meantime, I highly recommend Foxit. It’s free, it’s fast, and it’s not Adobe.

Help Find Memory Leaks in Firefox

firefox logo

If you’re a Firefox enthusiast, the Mozilla community is
currently looking for additional volunteers to help reduce memory usage
and fix any memory leaks in the browser. If you’re not a
programmer, Firefox programmer Jesse Ruderman says you can still help:

“If you’re a Firefox user, an easy way to help is to browse
with a trunk nightly build wrapped in a script that calls
when Firefox exits. If it reports that documents or windows leaked, try
to figure out how to reproduce the leak and then file a bug

The goal of the project is to reduce the memory usage in Firefox 3.
On his blog, Ruderman details a number of leaks that have already been
identified and fixed.
For more info on Firefox 3, check out the project’s wiki page at Mozilla.

Count me in! I very often will find that I have to do silly things like eat and sleep when I’m in the middle of a project or writing assignment. I prefer to leave Firefox running so I know exactly where I left off when I come back. And it’s not uncommon for me to find that Firefox is consuming a whopping 350+MB’s of memory. A portion of this is due to memory intensive Firefox extensions, but the majority is due to a known memory leak in Firefox itself. So, if you’re a Firefox user, roll up your sleeves and lets tackle this memory thing!

Your Very Own Podcasts–The Easy Way

you want to be a star? You don’t actually have to want to be a
star to begin recording and distributing your very own podcasts.
Increasingly, businesses and web sites of all stripes are turning to
podcasting for everything from online marketing to tutorials. Also,
many commuters and travelers now get business information from
podcasts. Web workers of numerous kinds can benefit from learning to
produce them, whether they are for audio blogs, remote presentations,
tutorials intended for a workgroup, or other purposes.

The good news is, the equipment you need to do very professional
material is either inexpensive or free, and there are multiple ways to
distribute your content to audiences that can grow in size if you
engage them. In this post, I’ll delve into some of the best
choices for your podcasting effort.

I’ve posted about podcasts and podcasting before, and I can’t stress enough the value a quality podcast can create for any business. It doesn’t matter if you’re a SOHO working in the basement or a marketing exec in a 500+ employee company, a quality podcast proves that you are the expert in what you do. After all, why does Emeril have a product line that sells successfully? Because he has a show that proves to people he’s the expert, with a personality that people come back for, and that people walk away from having learned something that’s important to them. (Just a note, podcasts don’t have to be audio-only. Vodcasting, with video, adds an entirely new dimension with which to engage your audience.) Do you know more than your competition? Prove it! Podcast it!

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Firefox, Free/Open Source, Freelancing, LinkRoundup, Mobile, OMG!, Podcasts/Podcasting, Tech Tips | 2 Comments »

101 Reasons, Some Smart Aleck Comments, and Some Really Good Points

Posted by telecommatt on September 12, 2007

I was tipped off to this article from HR World via email yesterday and turned out to be quite a good read. It’s a little humorous, a little tongue-in-cheek, and a lot of sense.

A happy worker is a productive worker, and it’s hard to find a happier lot than freelancers. Whether they’re entrepreneurs, Web workers or something in between, freelancers enjoy a better lifestyle than their cube-dwelling brethren. Read on for 101 reasons why.

You can find the rest of the article, and few of my own remarks, here.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Freelancing | 3 Comments »

Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 05/12/2007

Posted by telecommatt on May 12, 2007

Codswallop » The Freelancer’s Toolset: 100 Web Apps for Everything You Will Possibly Need Annotated

Running a business for yourself means you have to be inventive and always on the lookout for a new and better way to get things done. Innovation junkies, take note: the Internet has a lot to offer. From invoicing to marketing, these are tools that freelancers need to know about.


  • Returns a color scheme from a photo. Very useful tool.
    – post by telecommatt

Textorizer – vectorise a picture using text strings Annotated

textorize a picture

ajax13 – Welcome to ajax13

  • AJAX office suite. Read/write MS Office files from a Web2.0 interface.
    – post by telecommatt

WebSnapr – Website Thumbnails For Your Site Annotated

WebSnapr lets you capture screenshots of (almost) any web page. Let your visitors
to instantly visualize any web page before clicking. Increase site traffic, click-through
rate and site stickiness.

CamStudio – Free Screen Recording Software Annotated

Free Streaming Video Software : Website Screenshot Generation – Website Thumbnail Service

  • Capture screenshots of websites
    – post by telecommatt

URL Investigator

  • Easy way to check your Pagerank, Alexa rank, etc. Shows linkback too.
    – post by telecommatt

Remember The Milk – Blog

  • For those who don’t know, I use (RTM) as my task manager. I haven’t done a full review yet, but I do highly recommend it. Part of what I like is the flexibility. I clipped this list of custom searches mostly for myself, but thought other RTM users might see some use in them as well.
    – post by telecommatt

WordPress Theme Generator Annotated

  • Very cool. If you’re not looking for any TOO unique, this is a pretty sweet tool!
    – post by telecommatt

This online generator creates your own custom unique WordPress Theme. Without any need for HTML, JS, PHP, or CSS knowledge.

Posted in CSS, Freelancing, web-based services, Webdev, Websites | Leave a Comment »

100 Web Apps for Freelancers

Posted by telecommatt on May 12, 2007

Codswallop » The Freelancer’s Toolset: 100 Web Apps for Everything You Will Possibly Need

I bookmarked this for later, but this is too cool not to blog about now. (Even though I should be working…) This list has a ton of web apps that help out if you make money by doin’ your own thing. Some are “well, duh” sort of things like Google Calendar, but there are some really cool apps here I’ve not heard of yet too. Like Veetro and Relenta CRM. This is definitely a good list to keep tacked to your virtual wall.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Freelancing, web-based services, Websites | Leave a Comment »

Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 05/06/2007

Posted by telecommatt on May 6, 2007

Pdf on-line form filler, Pdf editor Annotated

  • This is a very cool tool that is going straight in my freelancing toolbox! I hate filling out forms because I ALWAYS spell something wrong. (Like my name, which I should know by now…) I usually scan them just in case I need a new copy. Now I can scan them, upload them, and quit filling the darn things in by hand!
    – post by telecommatt allows you to fill any PDF form on-line.

Organizers: Got bags? Make a plastic bag keeper – Lifehacker Annotated

  • This is really one of those “duh” ideas that I wish I’d thought of before my pantry floor filled up with perfectly useable and mostly unamanageable plastic bags.
    – post by telecommatt

At this moment, I probably have a good 100+ plastic bags underneath my kitchen sink. How-to site Curbly has a quick and dirty tutorial on how to make a plastic bag keeper that will help me take care of this mess.

Less Accounting :: track expenses & sales leads, create / send proposals & invoices Annotated

  • Less accounting is something I’d like to have more of!
    – post by telecommatt

  • We choose not to function, act or even smell like Peachtree or Quickbooks.
  • Wesabe is great, we just aren’t anything like it.
  • Freshbooks or Blinksale: we invoice, just no robust calendar time tracking functionality.
  • Not a robust CRM by any means, just check out Highrise by 37signals.
  • If you need a sales management component that is built for a large sales teams, try Salesforce.
  • We’re not an address book or a check registry.
  • No Calendar here, try iCal or Google Calendar.

  • Stream live events over the web for free. This seems like pretty big stuff! I’d love to play around with this more. Anyone else tried this yet?
    – post by telecommatt – Outsource Your Life…

  • I wish this had been around for my calculus homework…
    – post by telecommatt

Famiva : online genealogy and family social network with family tree, photos, stories, events, reminders, maps and more…

Famiva : online genealogy and family social network with family tree, photos, stories, events, reminders, maps and more… Annotated

  • This looks very well put together. I’m all about finding ways that families can use the internet together.
    – post by telecommatt

Welcome to the premier social network for families, a secure and password-protected
place for you and your relatives to connect and collaborate. Work together to build the family tree,
visualize the extended family network, share photos and stories, stay
current with family events and reminders, explore
family maps, and much more. Best of all, Famiva is completely free.

Event Wax | Web-Based Event Organization Lubrication Annotated

The easier, smarter way to organize special events, from conferences and workshops to parties, gigs, and receptions.

Bubble Guru Beta

  • This looks slick, interesting, and more than a little useful. I know someone I need to pass this onto!
    – post by telecommatt

Posted in Finance, Freelancing, Lifehacks, Podcasts/Podcasting, Social Web, web-based services | 2 Comments »

Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 04/26/2007

Posted by telecommatt on April 26, 2007

AIGA Standard Form of Agreement for Design Services: Design & Business: AIGA

    » 101 Essential Freelancing Resources

    • Wow! Good stuff here! This going on my “review monthly” list.
       – post by telecommatt – The Local Wins Award For Most Whiskey Consumption

    • For the record, this has been my favorite pub for years!
       – post by telecommatt

    Environment Podcasts : Page 1 :

      Posted in Freelancing, Green, Our World | Leave a Comment »

      Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 04/13/2007

      Posted by telecommatt on April 13, 2007

        Freelance Writers – Expore the Freelance Writing Jobs at LifeTips

        • Become a Guru, post tips or publish a book. Get paid.
           – post by telecommatt

        Helium – Where Knowledge Rules

        • Get paid for your writing if you get rated high enough.
           – post by telecommatt

        Associated Content Frequently Asked Questions

        • pays $3-$20 for freelance writing.
           – post by telecommatt

        SplashCast: Channel Yourself Across the Web  Annotated

          About SplashCast

            The Principles of Beautiful Web Design [Design Principles]

              SQL – Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks

       – Free Computer Books, Tutorials & Lecture Notes


                    Best Places to Get Free Books – The Ultimate Guide | Friedbeef’s Tech


                      • This seems like a really cool and potentially useful app! It’s basically a web bot that allows you to store, add, and edit random bits of information via their website or via sms. For example, you have what they call a GAD that lists your coworkers’ birthdays by the month. You SMS MyGads “May birthdays” and it sends you back the GAD that lists your coworkers who have May birthdays. This has some serious GTD potential too!
                         – post by telecommatt

                      Children bear brunt of climate warming: report – Yahoo! News  Annotated

                      • This is a chilling thing to think about, that our children, who look to us as their protectors, will suffer the most from climate change. And it’s too late. There is nothing we can do to take this thing we’ve helped create away from them. Yes, we can stop what is happening from getting worse, but we can’t stop what is already in motion.
                         – post by telecommatt
                      LONDON (Reuters) – Children will increasingly bear the
                      brunt of global warming, a report said on Friday, while another
                      said the climate would continue to heat up in coming decades
                      regardless of efforts to curb emissions of carbon gases.

                        UK policy body wants health warnings on flights – Yahoo! News  Annotated

                          LONDON (Reuters) – Advertisements for flights, or holidays
                          that include flying, should carry a tobacco-style health
                          warning to remind people of the global warming crisis, a
                          leading British think-tank said on Thursday.

                            Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Ebooks, Free/Open Source, Freelancing, Green, Our World, Podcasts/Podcasting, Politics, web-based services, Webdev | 1 Comment »

                            Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 04/09/2007

                            Posted by telecommatt on April 9, 2007

                            ScienceDaily: Sugar Could Power IPods, Cell Phones And Other Electronics More Efficiently  Annotated

                              Science Daily Juicing up your cell phone or iPod may take on a whole new meaning in the future. Researchers at Saint Louis University in Missouri have developed a fuel cell battery that runs on virtually any sugar source — from soft drinks to tree sap — and has the potential to operate three to four times longer on a single charge than conventional lithium ion batteries, they say.

                       » Sustainable Cuppas: Kenya Tea Goes Climate Friendly  Annotated

                                  NAIROBI – As the world tries to climate-proof everything from cars to factories, your cup of tea may be about to become a bit more environmentally friendly.

                                    Welcome to Simplifythis  Annotated

                                    SimplifyThis is an intuitive web-based service to easily invoice your customers and get paid faster online.
                                    No more forgotten invoices, no software to install and no help manuals to read. Use this from home, from the library, or from any other computer on the internet.

                                      Open Source Templates | Free CSS and XHTML Website Templates  Annotated

                                        Welcome to the best free css and xhtml open source template design showcase where the community gets to pick the best designs to be showcased on the front page.

                                          Comparison of online savings accounts – Lifehacker  Annotated

                                            The money savvy Get Rich Slowly blog has written up a quick and dirty comparison article on eleven different online savings accounts, from Countrywide to ING Direct.

                                              11 Tips to Ensure a Successful Web Design Process.  Annotated

                                                But if you hire designers, following the tips below will go a heck of a long way towards ensuring the design process is smooth and the quality of the designs will be very high.

                                                  Manage and sign off documents online with Online Sign Off – Lifehacker  Annotated

                                                    Web site Online Sign Off attempts to surpass the arduous back and forth of contracts, agreements, and document approval by moving the process into the online realm.

                                                      Mix your own ringtones with Myxer – Lifehacker  Annotated

                                                        Make, mix, and share your own customized ringtones and wallpapers with Myxer, an easy to use site that offers you the chance to not only spin your own ringtone from your own music, but invites you to browse their sizeable catalog for material as well.

                                                          Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Energy, Finance, Free/Open Source, Freelancing, Mobile, Tea, web-based services | Leave a Comment »

                                                          Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 04/08/2007

                                                          Posted by telecommatt on April 8, 2007

                                                          4 real jobs you can do from home – MSN Money

                                                            Posted in Freelancing | Leave a Comment »

                                                            Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 03/19/2007

                                                            Posted by telecommatt on March 19, 2007

                                                            Freelance Writing Jobs

                                                            The 23 Most Critical URLs Where You Should Submit Your Blog or Feed

                                                            LEGALDOCS / Living Will – State Specific Annotated


                                                            Nerd Vittles » Newbie’s Guide to Asterisk@Home 2.7: Unabridged Installation and Upgrade Guide Annotated


                                                            Posted in Blogging, Free/Open Source, Freelancing, Podcasts/Podcasting, Software | Leave a Comment »