Interested in chatting with other visitors of a Web site where there's no built-in chat or dedicated forum? Here are some simple chat services to let you get in touch with other site users without having to download or install a single thing.Yaplet. We featured Yaplet earlier this week. Built by a couple of grad students from Georgia Tech, Yaplet is a no-hassle sidebar that shows up on the right side of your browser with the click of a button. It lets you see who is talking and even caches the last 20 lines of the conversation, so … Read more
I'm surprised that more Web sites aren't mobile friendly. By now, all content management systems and blogging platforms should be creating lightweight versions of their hosted sites automatically for users that come in via a mobile phones or WAP browsers. And even major sites that do have mobile versions (like most of the travel sites out there, bless them) don't automatically redirect users there when they should.
But one can rant, or one can find a workaround. I choose to do the latter and find ways to get my favorite sites onto my mobile phone in the … Read more
A lot of chefs will say that you're not a real cook if you have to have to work from a recipe, which I'm going to go ahead and dispute right now. Some of us with sophisticated palates just require a little more structure than others.
Since discovering new recipes online is my favorite pastime, I'm usually an Epicurious kind of gal--great content, easy to use--but GroupRecipes.com has taken recipe sites to a cool social/interactive level. It's got a lot of the standard Web 2.0 features: users can create a foodie profile, add … Read more
It's a common problem: your point-and-shoot camera's microphone picked up nothing but wind while you were at the park shooting a video of people flying kites. The solution? Wipe over the track with music. But putting licensed music over the videos not only requires video editing software, but also the digital rights to publish. YouTube has rolled out a new service called AudioSwap which hopes to quell both of those problems.
To use AudioSwap, just pick a video you've uploaded and browse the provided audio list. You'll get a preview right away, and with the click … Read more
As I suspected, there were interesting Web 2.0 finds in the audience at the Stirr event. Many of these online products are still being built, but they're interesting to experiment with:
Allth.at: Lets you set up custom, persistent searches. In other words, you can tell it which sites to search (Google, eBay, Technorati, etc.), and which sites to exclude. You can also have the system alert you when there are new results in your searches. Somewhat redundant for those of us who use RSS agents (like Google's) to track keywords on the Web, but has the … Read more
YouBackItUp is a great way to share large files with friends. YouBackItUp has employed a really neat drag-and-drop interface that makes it dead simple for anyone (read nontech-savvy people) to use. Instead of hitting a browse button and fishing through your hard drive to find the file, you can just drag the original right onto the interface, and it takes care of the rest. When you're done uploading things, you're given a simple URL to send to friends or family where they can download the files.
What makes the service a real winner in my book is its … Read more
At the Stirr event last night, I met Justin Kan, who was walking around the event with a camera strapped to his head. Kan is making himself into a cyborg for his new streaming service, Justin.TV, on which he will make available a real-time, Justin's-eye view of the world. In his backback is a laptop with an EV-DO card. A future setup, he says, will have four EV-DO cards that he'll link together in order to deliver live high-definition video over the Net.
But that's just the technology. Will people pay attention? I asked Kan, "… Read more
Before I hustled the four pitchmen on and off the stage at the Stirr event last night, Sun's Scott McNealy got up on stage and ran down his advice for entrepreneurs. Most of it was standard book-of-Scott stuff, including this peculiar bit of advice (#5): Manage through slogans.
McNealy also reiterated Sun CTO Greg Papadopoulos' statement that, "the world needs only five computers." Loosely interpreted, that is: Google, in McNealy's mind, is one really big grid-based computer. The PC on your desk? Your phone? Your kid's game console? Not worthy of being called computers.
Still, … Read more
The free version is still available, but if you pay for the service you get 24/7 phone support, a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee for e-mail, more online storage space, and other business-friendly features. You also can make it appear that Google's services (like your … Read more
As our lives get busier and we become more reliant on text messages and e-mail, voice mail is starting to seem a tad archaic (not to mention impractical if you're sitting in a business meeting or loud bar). A company called SimulScribe has come up with a technology that claims to be the answer.
The New York-based start-up uses voice recognition technology to transcribe voice mails into text. Instead of having to sit through Grandpa Bill's three-minute voice mail, you'd get a written message, via SMS or e-mail, approximately two to five minutes after the voice mail … Read more