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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: , ,

lypp

LyppFree
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

baboons.jpg

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

stapler-pinning.jpg

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

If
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
embedded.
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 2.0.0.7.
[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 leak-gauge.pl
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
report.”

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

So
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!

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

Matt’s Cuppa LinkRoundup for 9-08-07

Posted by telecommatt on September 8, 2007

I’m somewhat behind in my reading my RSS feeds this week, so here’s a mashup of articles that caught my attention. Please contact me regarding anything you see that you would like me to go into more detail on.

Crazymenu – Group ordering made simple

from Demo Girl by demogirlCrazymenu
is aimed at office workers and people trying to coordinate meals with
their friends. It’s also another great place to find reviews and
menus for restaurants in your area.

DOJ: No legislation for Network Neutrality

Filed under: , ,

Along
with the Web 2.0 movement came a huge push for Network Neutrality, a
cause whose proponents demand that all access to the Internet occur as
equally as possible. In other words, AT&T can’t charge Google more
to transfer a byte of data because Google has figured out a way to make
more money off of AT&T’s bandwidth than AT&T themselves can do.

Intype

An
intuitive code editor for Windows with lightning fast response. It’s
extensible and customizable, thanks in part to its support for
scripting and native plug-ins. It makes development in any programming
or scripting language quick and easy.

Sleep: How and Why to Power Nap

Few skills are as useful for a Friday afternoon as the rewarding power
nap. The Ririan Project introduces 10 benefits to power napping and
details four styles of power nap: nano nap (10 to 20 seconds), micro
nap (two to five minutes), mini nap (five to 20 minutes), lazy man’s
nap (50 to 90 minutes) and the traditional power nap (exactly 20
minutes).

DIY: Create a Minimalist Laptop Case

diy_laptop.jpg

Using just cardboard and duct tape, you can create a laptop case that
serves as good protection against scuffs and scratches. The end result
is a laptop case that is practical, stylish, and won’t break your
budget. It might not be as soft or as cuddly as the previously covered DIY T-shirt laptop case,
but it certainly gets the job done, and you have a little more
flexibility with design (choosing the color tape, or even adding
decorative stickers) with this one.

How to Make a Minimalistic (and Cheap) Laptop Case [Instructables]

Why Is The Justice Department Commenting On Net Neutrality?

There’s been a fair amount of chatter over the Justice Department’s decision to comment to the FCC about network neutrality,
but there’s been almost no discussion as to why the Justice Department
should be involved at all. It’s true that the DOJ covers anti-trust
issues, but this isn’t about a merger or the potential to create a
monopoly.

10 Micro-Blogging Tools Compared


Micro-blogging is a term described by Wikipedia
as “a form of blogging that allows users to write brief text updates
(usually less than 200 characters) and publish them, either to be
viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the
user”. Several startups have witnessed phenomenal growth with
micro-blogging services, most notably Twitter. In addition, numerous social networks – including Facebook and Bebo
– have integrated similar status update services. The space is hot and
it’s still heating up. So let’s take a look at 10 of the key players.

Google GrandCentral Review

UPDATE: 
I just realized that I have some invites for people to get into the
beta for this, if you’re interested leave a comment or email me.

Do you think that in five years you will still have a home number, a
work number, a cell number, and multiple email addresses?  I
don’t, I haven’t for a while.  I’m a pretty firm
believer that in a couple of years we’ll only have one ID which
will work converge all incoming and outgoing communications
channels.  I think that eventually it’ll take the form of a
URI (e.g. jasonkolb@atmy.name),
but for now I’m pretty pleased to have narrowed down all my phone
numbers to one number.  As of yesterday, I only have one phone
number, at least until I get to use my URI.  I have seen the
future of personal communication, and Google GrandCentral is on the right track.

MattsCuppa Note: I have been using GrandCentral for business since it it first entered the market as a beta. I’m continually surprised by people “discovering” it’s usefulness. I’m certain that GC’s purchase by Google has put it in the spotlight in a bigger way than GC could have done by themselves, but GC is not a new product, and the concept harkens back to the days of telecommunications deregulation and universal number portability, if not earlier.

5000+ Resources to Do Just About Anything Online

    5000.PNG

Since May 2007, we’ve been bringing you resources and tools to
be more productive on the web. Due to popular demand, we’ve
brought all these lists together into one gigantic meta-list: 5000+
Resources to Do Just About Anything Online.

LiveStation: Microsoft’s Joost Rival Debuts at IBC

LiveStation,
the service that lets you watch broadcast television online using
Silverlight, is being debuted in Europe at IBC. Read our initial post here.
You’ll remember that with LiveStation, you’ll get access
to an array of live radio and television channels to your computer.
This is, of course, different than video on-demand services like rival Joost,
which operate by enabling you to select which videos you’d like
to watch, and when. The service uses a peer-to-peer network for
scalability purposes. Built by Skinkers, LiveStation’s parent
company is a Microsoft participated company, and its P2P distribution
technology comes directly from Microsoft.

40+ Ways To Access Your Computer Remotely

    remoteaccess.PNG

There are lots of reasons why you’d want to access your PC remotely, and luckily there are also plenty of ways to do so. Crossloop is one of the simplest (it’s also free), but for those willing to venture further, you’ve got lots of options.
Excuse us while we get technical for a second. This list is divided
into four main sections: VNC (Virtual Network Computing), NX, remote
desktop and cross-protocol. If those terms mean nothing to you, you
might want to skip to the “other” section for the most
straightforward applications. That said, let’s begin. (more…)

NoteSake Supports All Languages & Exports to Word

notesake-l.png

NoteSake, the note-taking and organization tool, has added two new features to improve its service.
Language support has been added, so now NoteSake supports Russian,
Spanish, Latin and more, letting you take notes in any language you
need to. You can also export your notes to PDF and Microsoft Word,
making your notes easier to integrate into your existing desktop
applications and use them for various purposes, like the creation of a
power point slide, or for writing a paper.

EchoSign provides paperless paper trail

To get a signature recorded via fax, recipients must use the service’s cover sheet. (image edited for clarity).

The Office 2.0 conference
was set up almost entirely without paper (except for some checks that
paid for sponsorships). Even the contracts necessary to set up the show
were signed electronically, using EchoSign. There are other companies that provide services to create legally binding signatures, such as DocuSign (review), but EchoSign has simplicity going for it.

True Green Confessions shares your planet-wasting ways

Ever fling fast-food wrappers from the window of your speeding Prius? True Green Confessions invites you to tell the tale. Unlike so many other green social networking websites
that encourage you to practice bicycling, recycling and other
planet-friendly habits, here you can share the shame of not doing
enough or not caring enough about your fat carbon footprint.

Me.dium’s online concert will rock you

Me.dium RockMe. concert(Credit: Me.dium)

RockMe. has got to the be the only five-day music festival where you won’t pay for tickets. It is social-networking site Me.dium’s
attempt to rock your world, and the only thing you need to get in is
your browser. (Of course, you still have to bring your own drinks.)

RockMe., which runs from September 18 through September 22, 2007,
will feature bands, music video competitions, and the world’s safest
mosh pit–it’s virtual. More important to Me.dium, the RockMe. festival
will provide plenty of opportunities for band members and music lovers
to swap fond memories of choice lyrics and drum solos using Me.dium’s
service.

Office 2.0: Ismael’s secrets…and a live videocast

Ismael Ghalimi, the organizer of the Office 2.0 conference (more)
is serious about living the Web 2.0 dream: Aside from a browser, he has
no applications installed on his laptop, except for iWork, which he
says he uses to remind himself what old-style software is like. (Even I
use traditional software for writing and e-mail.)

Check out Ismael’s notes on Office 2.0 services that work. And this comprehensive database of Office 2.0 applications that he’s put together. Useful tips.
But what if there’s no available Internet connection for Ismael
when he wants to work? “I just take a break. Which can be a good thing.”

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Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Blogging, eHub, Environment, LinkRoundup, Music, Productivity, web2.0 | Leave a Comment »

Matt’s Cuppa LinkRoundup for 7-11-07

Posted by telecommatt on July 11, 2007

Web Analytics and Google

Google Analytics,
is a great, free tool to help you better understand where you traffic
is coming from, what keywords are generating traffic and even how your
landing pages are converting.

Great article on the ins and outs of Google Analytics

OnStar teams with Red Cross for location-based disaster info

OnStar‘s
new Crisis Assist capabilities will not only provide access to
“specially trained crisis advisers” that can contact emergency
responders and provide real-time updates to the situation(s) at hand,
but subscribers that can actually drive away from the disaster will be
routed to the nearest established shelter. Additionally, frantic
customers can be connected
to friends and family that they have listed as close to their heart on
the American Red Cross Safe and Well website, and public safety
officials can be notified of a request for help and track down that
person’s location using OnStar’s embedded GPS.

Uber-Eco-Towers: Top 10 Green Skyscrapers

Green skyscrapers offer so much for the average “EcoGeek” to drool
over. Each one can contain hundreds of innovations that make the world
a cleaner place, they build up, rather than out, and many of them are
freaking gorgeous. Here are the top 10.

Startup Tips Day 6: Sumaya Kazi from TheCulturalConnect.com

Sumaya’s Tips

  1. Surround yourself with people smarter than yourself. It can only breed success.
  2. While having a start-up you and everyone else on your core team
    must have a PhD mentality. That is, of course, to be poor, hungry and
    driven.
  3. More often than not, people sit on great ideas. Don’t be one of them.
  4. If you think you can’t do something – you probably can’t. It’s
    those that reach for the impossible that make many more things possible
    happen along the way.
  5. Network like hell. When you’re young and have a start-up, it’s
    important to leverage the connections you’ve made. You’d be surprised
    to see how far you can go when others are just excited about your
    start-up and about your ideas.
  6. Innovate. Innovate. Innovate. You might have a great idea today, but will it be the same tomorrow?
  7. Try to maintain enough ambition and energy to achieve your goals,
    but also enough humility to accept the challenges and rejection that
    comes with being an entrepreneur.

Bob Thurman on happiness and becoming Buddha — on TED.com

Amid TEDGlobal’s talk of our global connection and interconnection, it’s a fine time to present Bob Thurman,
Buddhist monk and scholar, on the Buddhist view of the universe. In our
hyperlinked world, we can know anything, anytime. And this mass
enlightenment, says Thurman, is our first step toward becoming Buddha.
When we can know everything, we can see how everything is
interconnected — and we can begin to feel compassion for every living
being. (Recorded December 2006 in New York City. Duration: 12:17) Read Bob Thurman’s profile on TED.com >>

Do-gooders doing Google Earth

The mapping app has become a powerful tool for nonprofits with global messages about saving forests–and lives.

Featured Firefox Extension: Make all web page text interactive with Hyperwords

Who needs environmental monitoring?

We monitor the stock market, the weather, our blood pressure. Yet
environmental monitoring is often criticized as being unscientific,
expensive, and wasteful.

New Green Social Network Is Planting Trees

Green Six will plant 6 trees for every person who signs up for a sneak peek to their beta site.

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Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Consciousness, Entrepeneurism, Environment, Google, Green, LinkRoundup, Technology | 1 Comment »

MattsCuppa Link Roundup for 6-11-2007

Posted by telecommatt on June 11, 2007

More backlogged links! I’m especially excited about Remember the Milk being available offline. Most everyone knows I’m an RTM addict, and I am still convinced it’s the most flexible way to manage your GTD-life. Now, I can “remember the milk” from my PC online, from my laptop in line, and my mobile handset where ever. Sweet!

Firefox Extensions For Bloggers

LifeHack.org has a useful post today with 17 Firefox Extensions That Make Blogging Easy – broken down into Collecting, Writing and Images.

I hate lists like this – I end up spending half my day having to
install and test great new tools which are supposed to make me more
productive but in the short term which are wonderful distractions!

PS: The Split Browser
extension is going to be VERY useful. I quite often wish I didn’t
have to flip back and forth from one tab to another while writing a
post or newsletter in one tab and researching what I’m writing i
another. This is great – why didn’t anyone tell me!

What else don’t I know about?!? What are your favorite Firefox extensions?

burstcast

burstcast

Using
any camera phone you can quickly and easily send photos where everyone
can view them. Don’t just tell your friends about it, burstcast
it.

Web As Desktop: Remember the Milk gets Gears

rtm-gears.png

The popular online todo list Remember the Milk has paired up with the spanking new Google Gears to offer a seamless online/offline experience for RTM.

Remember
the Milk’s Google Gears integration is really impressive, offering the
entire RTM experience in offline mode—meaning that you can view
your todo lists, add tasks, edit tasks, search your tasks, create Smart
Lists, along with anything else you like to do with RTM. As far as I’ve
seen, RTM is the first popular non-Google app (and the second app
outside of Google Reader) to offer offline access and synchronization
with Google Gears, and it’s done a helluva job. Looking forward to
seeing more of this.

The Week in Sustainable Mobility (6/3/07)

Editor’s Note: Check out Minnesota in the eco news! We don’t often make headlines here. Must be that Minnesota Nice thing…

A Final Batch of Productivity Tips

During my mini-hiatus after the birth of my son a few more productivity tips did come through for the Ultimate Guide to Productivity.

They
seem to have stopped at this point so maybe the Ultimate Guide to
Productivity group writing project meme has played out its course.
That’s totally fine. I’ve listed the remaining submissions
below.

You can still submit a post if you’d like – just tell us your best productivity tips!

In
the meantime I’ll start the huge task of reviewing all the posts
again and preparing the much-promised e-book. I can’t give a
deadline at this stage, and as soon as I get a handle on the work
I’ll call for help from others. But here goes nothing!

  1. Tag, I’m It! by Christina Haas
  2. Number 1 productivity tip by Shannon
  3. Productivity: Snooze It or Lose It by Connie Reece
  4. Automation: My Ultimate Guide to Productivity by Alaeddin
  5. Meme Week: My Secret to Productivity by Mark Goodyear
  6. Cutting Out the Bull: Information Overload and Productivity by David Bohl
  7. Fear – The Ultimate Productivity Blocker by Shaboom
  8. Ultimate Guide to Productivity: A Tip the Worx by In The Worx

If I’m not mistaken, this brings our total number of submissions to 137!

I’ll
be posting the full list shortly so there’s a single page to
access all of the great productivity tips. And again, you can keep
sending them in if you’ve got them…

Lala

Upload and play your iTunes library and all your digital music online.
Easy download to your iPod or PC. Safely share music and playlists.
URL: Lala.

Rouxbe

An online instructional cooking site that walks you step-by-step through each recipe with video tutorials. URL: Rouxbe.

Mind42

A browser-based online mind mapping application. URL: Mind42.

Make your site mobile friendly

A nice introduction into the world of the mobile web. Personally it
felt it played down the challenges in places but it still gave some
nice advice.

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Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Blogging, CSS, Energy, Environment, GTD, LinkRoundup, Mobile, Music, Politics, Software, web-based services, Webdev, Websites | 3 Comments »

MattsCuppa Link Roundup for 6-6-2007

Posted by telecommatt on June 6, 2007

I really, really need to dig myself out of some of the articles I’ve clipped over the past few weeks, so I’ve decided to take a new approach. Rather than posting each as a separate article and clogging your RSS reader, I’ll be writing a few posts with a lot of articles in them. Some of these I’ll return to for a full post. If there is anything you want to hear more about, please let me know!

Webcam: Perfect your webcam picture

betterwebcamphoto.jpg

Photography blog Strobist breaks down how to get the best webcam shot using simple techniques.

Adjusting your light source, turning down the monitor brightness, softening your desk lamp light, wearing a white shirt and even setting up a background you can make a huge difference in how you come across on your webcam. Check out the image above for a before and after shot, and head over to Strobist for the details on how to get yourself looking that good on the cam.

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Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Energy, Environment, Google, GTD, Lifehacks, LinkRoundup, Mobile, Music, Software, web-based services, Websites | 1 Comment »