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September’s News – Special Issue

A few days ago Google celebrated its 11-th birthday. I think it’s a good reason to dedicate my September’s News post to Google innovations. So, this September:

Google Chrome version 3.0  Final released a year after this browser’s  birthday. New stable release is claimed to be significantly faster, supports HTML5, has new better Tab page and of course great Chrome Themes. But there is still no version for Mac. Let’s wait.

One more invention of search giant was delivered this month – Google Fast Flip. Controversial yet worth trying news reader that presents news and articles just like in printed magazine. Mobile version of Fast Flip is available as well. As for me, Fast Flip’s interface is not perfect yet, but it does its main job – browsing news becomes faster.

An old idea in the new implementation – Google Sidewiki, an add-on for Firefox and Internet Explorer which lets users to discuss web pages from browser sidebar. Sidewiki adds button to Google Toolbar and looks like a sidebar when active. It offers you to add your opinion about web pages you visit. When you highlight text on a page, a little icon appears on the left side. Click it to open sidebar and post your entry about the page.


Happy Birthday Google! We’re waiting for your new achievements.

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September 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

iCal for Windows – get iCalendar events on your desktop

“iCalendar is a standard for calendar data exchange. The standard is sometimes referred to as “iCal”, which also is the name of the Apple, Inc. calendar program…”
As iCalendar is to be used in Apple Macintosh operating system environment, there is lots of tips how to show iCal on Mac desktop. And there is so few information about iCal on Windows desktop that one can think there are only Mac users who need iCalendar on their desktops. Nevertheless, iCalendars became much more popular last years than they were in times of iCal invention because of using iPhones and iPods, Google Calendar and other web-based applications that support and use iCal format. And you got the possibility to have iCalendar directly on your Windows Desktop.
Screen Calendar, desktop time-management and calendar application, lets you import iCalendar events from local or remote files, subscribe to web sources in .ics format and have your iCal events always on your fingertips even when you’re offline.
Screen Calendar lets you:

  • Import events from iCal files to your desktop calendar
  • Add or edit events and export results to iCal file
  • Subscribe to iCalendar sources for automatic update
  • Always show iCalendar events on the desktop even when you’re offline

Now you can order Screen Calendar with discount and get 20% off the regular price of Screen Calendar till September 30th, 2009

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September 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Create Flash Audio Player of Winamp Skin

The post is republished from Flash’y’mania blog by kind authority of its author Helen Grigorieva

In spite of emerging lots of mp3 players software, Winamp still remains the classic of media players. Thousands of skins add to its brilliant features ability to change player’s appearance to anyone’s liking. It’s great to have such options for web audio players too. And we’ve got the possibility to do it with neat FlashWAmp tool.

FlashWAmp is so easy to use – all you need is Winamp skin you like and mp3 tracks you want to embed to the web page. Or you can even use URLs of mp3 files to stream them directly from the web.

Options to customize player in FlashWAmp are rather numerous:

  • Player view – normal or small with or without playlist
  • Sound options (autoplay, repeat sound)
  • Playlist options (playlist height, option to change visible playlist).

Settings can be saved to cookies for further use.

The tool has lots of advantages and the main is that it really allows to make flash audio player of WinAmp skin in minutes. Then the player is saved as SWF file and can be easily published to the Web. But it’s necessary to mention its disadvantages as well:

  • audio can’t be embedded into the player, it is external only. That is not very good for bloggers who can’t create folders on the hosts to store player file, mp3 files and playlist file in one folder
  • the program is compatible with Winamp 2.x skins only. Still, these skins are easy to find – for example, here.

I think that the idea to make flash audio players of Winamp skins is brilliant. Not only because there are thousands of skins of any kind, but also because Winamp is familiar to everyone. Sometimes I see mp3 web players of so weird design, that I don’t even know where to click to make this futuristic device play. Moreover, I can understand that this is a web music player only when I see playlist. I never want to make my website visitors guess whether this stuff play music, or open game, or what on the earth it can do. I want them just see the player and enjoy the music. Familiar Winamp interface will simplify listening to the music from your web page, even for dummies. That’s why I like FlashWAmp.

So, try and create your own Web Winamp FlashWAmp player 🙂

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August 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Happy New 2009 Year

Happy New Year everyone! Thank you for reading my blog in the previous year, I’ll do my best to give you even more interesting info this year. Stay tuned and don’t miss New Year’s tech news!

Sincerely yours, Miss Techie.

January 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Google SearchWiki – how to use or how to get rid of

Google SearchWikiThis week Google launched SearchWiki – a new tool for editing and marking up Google search results. It’s an addition to user interface which allows promoting or removing search results. By clicking promote and remove buttons, you re-order search results to your liking. Also, you can add public notes to search results and even add web pages to search results for any query. Sounds great, but why many people are so critical of SearchWiki. Let’s see:

1. Your promoting or removing pages affects only your future searches for the current query or very similar queries. So, if you remove the page you don’t like and never want to see again from search results for one query, that doesn’t mean you won’t see it in results for other queries. Also, that means that even if a lot of users dislike certain page, it can still be in top for certain queries, the only thing changes is number of people who promoted or removed the page (it’s shown under the search result description).

2. If the results of voting don’t affect somebody else’s search, the comments can be public only. I’d like to have an opposite situation. I’d rather have a possibility to make private comments (for me only, or maybe for me and my Google friends), and see the search results based on people’s votes. But… we have what we have.

3. And the thing people hate most of all is that we’re unable to opt out SearchWiki. Actually, I want to search in the way I prefer, not in the way Google does. So I believe SearchWiki must be optional, not obligatory addition. And… hurrah! – there is a kind man who helps us to turn SearchWiki on/off when we need – Franz Enzenhofer coded Firefox Greasemonkey enhancement called SearchWiki on/off! Install it and enjoy search with or without SearchWiki – as you want.

Click to turn SearchWiki on/off

Click to turn SearchWiki on/off

November 21, 2008 Posted by | Google, search engines, Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment