A few days ago I was asked how the Internet has changed my life, apart from it being the reason why I no longer work as a veterinarian. I spent 35 years of my life without having access to the Internet, so there are indeed a few important changes that I can talk about. If you wonder why this topic is worth a blog post you probably grew up with the Net and therefore have no idea how life would be without it.
So how did the Net change my life? Continue reading
Toy makers Hasbro and Mattel are trying to shut down Scrabulous, the most popular online version of Scrabble today. Scrabulous was created by Indian brothers Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla and attracts about half a million users per day. The game can be played on scrabulous.com, but most Scrabble lovers play it on Facebook, where Scrabulous is one of the top 10 applications installed. In december 2007, Hasbro sent a cease-and-desist notice to Facebook for breach of copyright. Continue reading
After 2 years and several hundred hours of feeding podcasts into my ears, my Creative Muvo mp3 player broke. Looking for a new one, the new iPod nano with video was one of the options. At first I decided against it because like the iPod Shuffle it requires Apple’s proprietary music player to store files on it, and a powered USB connection to charge it. Several weeks ago I wrote about the iPod Shuffle manager. If something like this would be available for the iPod nano, I might buy one. In fact I found a piece of freeware called Floola. It works like the Shuffle Manager but doesn’t break compatibility with iTunes. So I gave the nano a try. I also bought a USB power adapter, one third the price of Apple’s, that lets me charge it anywhere. No computer USB connection needed, and no iTunes. Nice…. using Apple’s high quality products without getting locked in.
You’ve probably heard about browser cookies (HTTP cookies) before. Web sites can use them to temporarily or permanently store information on your computer. Permanent cookies can therefore be used by advertising networks like Google’s Doubleclick to keep track of the sites you visit. Actually they track your web browser, not you personally. I don’t mind being tracked anonymously. However, it is technically possible to link anonymous profiling data to a person. Let me explain one such possibility. Continue reading
A black Google home page! At first I thought there must be a problem with my monitor. But then I noticed the link to explain why it’s black. Google Germany joined the “Licht aus für unser Klima” campaign, showing their support for the idea that turning out the light on the evening of December 8 for for minutes would send a clear signal to the participants of the Bali climate conference.
This is not Google’s first campaign involving black home pages. They supported similar campaigns with a black home page before. Google adds a statement to explain why they will not change it to black permanently. This is in response to a discussion in the blogosphere about the potential energy savings that could be achieved.
Internet retailer reports that Amazon has launched video reviews. Amazon customers can publish product reviews and demonstrations in various video formats. With video and product reviews both being central elements of social networking, it was only a matter of time before the big online stores would offer this feature. Continue reading
Some time ago I won an iPod Shuffle which I use as a backup device for playing podcasts. Because fast-forwarding is too slow, the Shuffle is not a good device for playing podcasts. But what really annoys me is the fact that you have no control over the files unless you use Apple’s massive iTunes music player. People who never had one won’t believe this, but you can’t just use a file manager like Explorer to copy or delete files on an iPod. Actually you can, but the Shuffle won’t recognize or play them. I found a tool to fix this problem! Continue reading
My spam prevention strategy includes a great free service called Spam Gourmet which provides me with ‘disposable’ on-the-fly email addresses. If I do not trust the site that asks me to enter my email address, I just fill in an address like email@example.com. Spam Gourmet will then forward up to 5 emails to my secret private email address. On another site I would enter firstname.lastname@example.org, and Spam Gourmet, who also owns the xoxy.net domain, would forward max. 2 emails. Using disposable email addresses, I can safely drop some bait for the harvesting robots here: Continue reading
If you, like me, have opened a number of social network accounts, you have entered your personal profile multiple times at different web sites. You then have to again search and select your friends. Isn’t it annoying to go through this process over and over again? Continue reading