Internet News and service reviews

The Desktop of the Future

This is a video from the dynamic graphics project at the University of Toronto named: Keeping it Real: Pushing the Desktop Metaphor with Physics, Piles and the Pen in BumpTop. Big title, ain't it ? What they did is project the concept of the normal desktop, the real one not the one from your computer to your computer by making it 3 dimensional. Files are shown as three dimensional items as well that can be placed on top of each other, sorted, deleted and manipulated manifold.

amazon instant video

Amazon Unbox and its absurd restrictions

Amazon Unbox, the new video download service provided by Amazon, went live yesterday offering users a free and easy way to download and view videos on their computer. Most tv series cost 1,99$ while movies begin at 3,99$ up to 19,99$ for new releases. Files are offered in .wmv and .amzn (for portable devices) format only and can't be burned on DVD to watch the movie at the television. The only way to do that would be to connect the computer to the televsion.

browzar

Browzar not so good after all

Browzer was widely reported as a web browser that takes privacy and security serious. It seems most websites that "tested" browzer did not do their homeworks and parotted instead what the developers of browzer were claiming. The first thing that strikes me as odd is that Browzer is not really a new web browser but simply an add on of the Internet Explorer by Microsoft. It uses the same engine and identifies itself as the Internet Explorer.

itunes movie store

Itunes Movie Store will be expensive

I always wondered who made the decision to charge the same amount (or even more) of money for a movie download than for a purchase. Why should I pay 9,99$ for a movie download that most likely will be crippled with DRM and come without DVD cover and booklet. Some services disallow that you burn more than one DVD from the download or make it impossible to play the movie that you burned on DVD on standalone DVD players.

netvibes title view

Netvibes Review

Netvibes offers their users a way to create a personalized homepage on the web. I'am using it mainly to display the RSS feeds that I'am subscribed to but Netvibes offers more than that. You can create tabs just like in Firefox and name them, I categorized my feeds this way by giving them names like seo, money and games. You are able to add numerous feeds to every tab plus additional features that come in handy like a bookmarks manager or a todo list.

Huge High Resolution Wallpaper Website

Mydeskcity is a hugh, and I mean really huge, high quality wallpaper website that is not overloaded with advertisement like most of the other wallpaper websites out there. The only drawback that I could find is that this website is not in english but Chinese (?), at least I think it is Chinese. Navigating it is easy nevertheless: The thumbnails on the main page depict the theme of the category, clicking on one of the numbers above the thumbnail leads to the corresponding page of the category.

convert pdf

Convert to PDF online

PDF Online is a nice and easy way to convert documents to pdf. All you have to do is select a supported document type from your hard drive, name the output filename and select an email address where the newly created pdf file will be send to. The script does not only support document files but also image files. The maximum file size of your document can't exceed two megabytes.

How to access Meebo if it is blocked

Meebo is a web instant messenger that currently supports AIM & ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, Jabber & GTalk and MSN. Instead of installing the instant messenger itself you simply login using the Meebo website which offers the same functionality as the standalone messenger.

language courses

Free Language Courses

Free public domain language courses developed by the United States Government ? To good to be true ? The Foreign Service Institute created a website offering eleven different language courses for free. Languages included are: Cantonese, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, Serbo-Croatian and Turkish.

Funny Error Messages

Error Messages - I hate them with a passion. Especially if they are not helpful at all or even tragic. Members of the Dailtywtf forum 2 compiled a list of funny messages that were either a result of a search on the internet or a error message from an operating system or application. I don't think the person who recieved the message thought it was that funny, for everyone else it is..

drawing lessons

Drawing Lessons at Drawspace

Sometimes I´am writing about things that are great but are not that closely related to the overall theme here at ghacks.net. The approximately hundred drawing lessons at drawspace.com are one of those exemptions. After a free registration you may view a drawing lessons in the beginners, intermediate or advanced class.

Which Firefox Extensions are available in Opera?

I found a great website that lists 150 popular Firefox extensions and checks if Opera offers their functionality as well. The main part of Rijks comparision consists of a table that has the 150 most popular (based on the most popular category on the mozilla firefox website) Firefox extensions on the left side and one of four possible results for Opera on the right side.

destroy websites

Don't like a website? Destroy it..

Yeah this sounds crazy at first glance but a friend of mine and I thought of something similar just a few days ago. So, let us destroy some websites. My first target: Microsoft, the weapon: Muddy Footprints. After approximately one minute the complete site was full of mud. Great, now something more devastating. I placed some nasty landmines on the website of my good old friend Derryck from connectedinternet.

feedreader

How to use RSS Feeds

This topic might not look interesting at first glance but I promise it will be worth reading it. More than 900 readers subscribed to the feeds of ghacks.net using feedburner alone while many more are using different services to read my feeds. But what are feeds ? They are a short abstract of every article that gets posted here. This means whenever I write an article it will automatically appear in those peoples feed reader software. Many browsers for instance are able to read feeds or can be upgraded to read them.

Blockstop Coral CDN Frontend

I´ve written a large article about Coral CDN just a few days ago. Here is a short introduction for those who might have missed this article. Coral CDN caches websites, basically every website that one of its users opens for the first time. After caching this website is available for all other users of the network and is accessible by appending nyud.net:8080 to the url. Now, in this article I mentioned a firefox extension which appends the nyud.net:8080 extension automatically to your links but what about the people who may not use firefox ?

newsgroupslist

Newsgroups: the ultimate P2P alternative

P2P is in the news, every day. You see organizations like the RIAA hunting down fileshares, you read about trojans and virii that are spread through P2P networks. Everything seems rather risky at the moment. A new player is emerging from the shadows which is using a very old communication system, the Usenet. You might know a part of the usenet if you ever read something from google groups. Google Groups is an archive of the part of the usenet that looks similar to bulletin boards.

Music Industry lobbys for Copyright Shift

Nonsense. That was my thought when I first read the articles " Music industry demands the right to sue ISPs" from the Independent Online Edition and "Indie Labels want copyright shift" from the BBC Online. Several trade organisations including the Association of Independent Music (AIM), the Musicians' Union and the MCPS-PRS Alliance proposed that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should be liable for illegal filesharing by their users. (which means that it would be possible to sue ISPs because of this liability)

coral cdn

Website blocked or slow? Try Coral Cdn

Coral CDN (content distribution network) might be the solution if you can´t reach a website because it is either blocked by an administrator, slow or even completly unreachable. Filters and restrictions become more common on the internet. Schools and workplaces blocking access to unwanted sites and networks is a prime example. I can understand that a company does not want you to surf at websites like Ebay during worktime but what about breaks ? What if you are in school and some class did not take place and you would like to check your mail accounts ?