Month: June 2008

Weekend WWW Wanderings

Here is a little bit of light relief for you to help you relax. Smores keyboard – for when you have published something you regret and need to eat your words perhaps? phonemyphone calls your phone for you on schedule. Think of the possibilities: You can tee up a call as an excuse for: Rushing off to the computer when you have an irresistible urge to blog. Keeping the kids quiet – "shhh, you know you shouldn’t be noisy when I’m on the phone" – it works sometimes. Escaping from a boring meeting/date Your ideas? For those of you who have a different perspective on what you read, Wordle may be for you. Create graphic representations of words you choose or enter your del.icio.us name to create a customizable (although not clickable) tag cloud. Save it to the wordles gallery with a link to your blog (every link counts!) For those of you who enjoy taking photos of yourself in mirrors (with your clothes on!) Karen Chan invites you to join her in her Facebook Group "Doing The Karen Cheng". You are not alone, there are almost 1,000 others there to give you support in your unusual pastime. You may not thank me for this one – The Impossible Quiz I have got as far as the duck image – sometimes fun can turn to frustration :-). It was...

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New Rules for Domain Names

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ) has just approved key proposals to relax the rules on domain names which opens the way for more customization and flexibility. Domain names will now be allowed to use any combination of letters and numbers, including non-Latin characters. Top level domain (TLD) names (the 2 or 3 letters after the dot) will not have to conform to the existing name conventions. So instead of .com we may be seeing .blog, .xxx or .sex to identify a site. Second level domain names (the bit before the dot) could use a TLD...

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Excellent Free Online Image Editing Tools

Following my tutorial on adding borders to images I have been researching current online image editing applications which will allow you to do this and much more. Because of my web design activities I use Photoshop for image creation but the newer online editors are impressive and provide most of the editing functions I would require: they are much easier to use too. Image Editors with extensive features As well as allowing for upload of images from your computer, these applications allow you to import/export from other sites such as Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa, Facebook and MySpace. Common Features include: cropping and resizing color adjustment and enhancing red eye reduction add text add frames and borders various fancy filters and effects Fotoflexer – grandly calls itself the “the world’s most advanced online image editor” but it does have a host of impressive features; from the more standard editing functions of to a range of fancy effects. Picnik – Another very advanced online editor with lots of easily applied effects. I got a little carried away using this as you can see. Images – Broome Western Australia UltraViolet Observations SpashUp was a multi featured editor with an interface like a that of a desktop program. It does not have all the fancy built in effects of the other two but it does allow more manipulation of images. If you have used...

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Zac Browser for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

ZAC is a web browser specifically designed for children with autism, and autism spectrum disorders such as Asperger syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, (PDD), and PDD-NOS. ZAC is for "for their enjoyment, enrichment, and freedom. Children touch it, use it, play it, interact with it, and experience independence through ZAC….. ZAC is the zone that will permit your child to interact directly with games (a LOT of games) and activities (focused on MANY interests) that cater specifically to kids who display the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders, like impairments in social interaction, impairments in communication, restricted interests and repetitive behavior. ZAC has been an effective tool for kids with low, medium and high functioning autism." The simple graphic, interactive interface provides four main content areas: Television, Games, Music, and Stories. The browser’s emphasis is on linking to educational and fun games, activities and videos. Ease of use is further enhanced by cutting out extraneous elements such as right clicking; helping to reduce sensory overload and possible frustration. Adult content is blocked to ensure safe browsing. The browser links to specific pages on sites such as Sesame Street, Disney and PBS Kids and it is not possible to follow any links (including the websites internal links) from these pages. I can see the necessity of this although my son found it a little frustrating not being able to access other games...

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Blog Contest With + $3000 Prizes

Feeling particularly generous I recently offered some prizes for inclusion in the Life is Colorful Anniversary Contest. My contribution is a 125×125 ad on my site and 2,000 entrecard credits. I would be delighted if they were won by one of you. There are various ways to enter the contest, the simplest being to subscribe to Life is Colorful. Visit the contest post for more details of entry requirements and the long list of prizes available. I decided to follow the Life is Colorful blog after I read the post “Earnings Crossed $10,000 this year on May 7th” as I would love to learn some of the secrets to making that much money online! Good luck if you enter...

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Best Backup and Synchronization Software

bobbigmac Using a good backup and synchronization program has been a priority for me since a glitch reformatted my data drive as well as my C drive. I thought I had all bases covered in this eventuality but the backups I had created on another computer, using windows scheduled backup, did not like my long folder structures and contained no files. Restoring image files I had burned to DVD, created using Acronis True Image software, was successful for the most part but, for reasons unknown, it could not restore around 50 of my photos. Despite over 20 years experience of extensive use of PC’s, I was still caught out. Having decided that encrypted backups were not reliable enough for my liking, I went in search of a solution that would do straight file backups over a network and to removable media with no encryption or zipping. I also needed a program that would synchronize files between my networked PC’s. My research for software recommendations led me to try two programs that do both backups and syncs. Both are free for moderate usage levels but, having set up multiple different tasks, I was advised that to keep using the program at this level I had to pay for the pro versions. The programs are: Always Sync Pro Version price reduced to US$19.95 until Oct 31st 2008 GoodSync Pro Version $US29.95...

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