Skype released a Toolbar for Microsoft Office 2000, XP and 2003. Place calls and send the file you are currently working on via Skype. The toolbar recognizes phone numbers within your document and lets you call them using SkypeOut or send SMS messages.
* Start calls to Skype Names and phone numbers written within MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.
* See when the author of a document is online and communicate with them.
* Send the file you are currently working on to Skype Contacts.
* Turn phone numbers into links within your document.
Skype Office Toolbar
Tags: microsoft, office, skype, toolbar, voip
If you are a blogger or otherwise interesting in web marketing you might want to have a look at this video for a new type of analytic you can use to help you develop content. All in an effort to help you get better natural search placement.
Check out Hittail for a free account. Slap 1 line of code into your sites and see where it leads you.
Tags: hittail, analytics, seo, content, marketing
Barnes and Noble University has free on-line course starting next month: Caring for Your PC
Is your PC not working as well as it once was? Want to avoid costly repair bills? If you answered “Yes” to either of these questions then this is the course for you! In "Caring for Your PC," you will learn how to take the necessary precautions and preparations for successful and problem-free troubleshooting. You will explore a wide variety of general troubleshooting practices and learn how to identify and resolve system conflicts. In no time at all you'll be able to maintain and repair your PC just like the pros!
Could be helpful to your friends who need this kind of help.
BNU has other courses both paid and free. Helpful for learning things on your time if you can stick with it.
Tags: bnu, barnes, noble, university, fix, pc, troubleshooting, troubleshoot, free
Japan has a supercomputer called Earth Simulator that they plan to use to simulate Global weather patterns over the next 30 years.
Expected to cover the whole planet, forecasts will tell which areas are likely to experience recurring disasters such as typhoons, storms, heavy snow, coastal erosion and droughts. The forcasts will be for areas as small as 2 square miles.
Earth Simulator has been online since 2002 but used only for short term forcasting. At 35 trillion calculations a second it is second only to IBM's Blue Gene supercomputer.
Tags: earth simulator, japan, simulation, weather, forcast
This is pretty cool. USB turntable. $169.95USD. Easy way to digitize all those old records in the attic.
• Anti-skating control for increased stereo balance
• Support for both 33.33 and 45 RPM playback speeds
• ± 10% adjustable pitch control
• RCA line outputs
• Plug and Play USB compatibility with both PC and Mac
• Ships with Audacity software (compatible with PC and Mac) for removing clicks, pops, and other undesirable characteristics of vinyl
• Audacity supports high-speed recording, then returns music to original playback speed
• Cartridge Included
Tags: usb, turntable, digitize
[via: Eric Rice]
Yeah, ok, it's not really 'tech' per se but it is on-line so....
Forbes summer cocktail slide show. Use the navigation at the top to find the one you want or go back if you missed a recipe. At the very end you can select print and it will print or view them all together.
Tags: cocktails, recipes, summer, drinks
Canon is sponsoring a National Park Photo Contest and is calling for entries. The contest is open to amateur photographers runs through September 30th. Send in your favorite national park photo and enter to win a trip to one of your favorite national parks and many more cool prizes including Canon digital SLRs.
Tags: photography, canon, contest, national park
There's a whacky new device from a company called Celery. With it you simply hand write a letter and put it in machine (scanner) and it emails it to a preset recipient. Sounds kind of like fax to email. The device costs $220 - $260USD and that includes 900 yearly transmissions.
Tags: email, celery, fax, gadget
The Digital Foci Media Buddy is a handy portable hard drive (30 to 80 GB capacity) that allows you to offload photos, music, and videos directly from every popular memory-card or stick format.
Eh, kinda handy I guess. That's why I bought my Archos player. Handles my mp3s and doubles as a handy hard drive for just this purpose. Doesn't require I bring a 3rd device, just a short USB cable.
Tags: foci, archos, media, hard drive, hdd, mp3
BetaNews reports that Zune exists. Apparently MS gave and interview to Billboard magazine and confirmed they are buildinga line of players along with a companion music software service that is completely controlled by Microsoft.
Clearly aimed at Apples 75% market share but what happens to iRiver, Creative and other MS partners?
MS to show off the player at the end of August.
Tags: microsoft, zune, mp3, music, ipod, apple
User State Migration Tool (USMT) migrates user files and settings during large deployments of Windows 2000 or XP. USMT captures desktop, network and application settings as well as a user files, and then migrates them to a new Windows installation.
See also: Step-by-Step Guide to Migrating Files and Settings
Tags: microsoft, windows, migration, xp, 2000, user
I've added a new link to the template (upper right) that lets you send me a voice mail. All you need is a microphone on your pc and the standard flash plug-in for your browser.
The service is provided through Odeo.When you leave a message I'll get an email that lets me know there is new audio in my Odeo account and I can go retrieve it. Or I can subscribe to my Odeo in-box via RSS and find it that way.
If you are interested in this for your blog/website go to: Get you own voice mail on Odeo and they will walk you through what you need to do. If you have an Odeo account, log in and go to: Get a badge
Tags: audio, voice, mail, odeo
Randy Morin has built a tool to generate a sitemap for your site. This tool is useful you find your site listed in Yahoo but not Google.
I use the Yahoo! Explorer API to extract the URLs, so you have to be indexed by Yahoo! to benefit. But, if you are well indexed by Yahoo! and not well indexed by Google, then this is likely the utility you were always looking for.
Have a look at EhList if you want to know how your site rates in the 2 search engines.
Tags: google, yahoo, sitemap, search, index
USAToday: Toyota sees a future in plugging in vehicles instead of simply pulling in for gas. Already a leader in the hybrid market with its Prius sedan, Toyota plans to develop a hybrid vehicle that will run locally on batteries charged by a typical 120-volt outlet before switching over to a gasoline engine for longer hauls.
Tags: toyota, prius, hybrid, fuel, batteries
How much is your home worth?
You just put in your address and click search and it will present you with a map and an estimated value plus other houses near yours. Then scroll down and you'll see a list of houses with their addresses and you can click to find out more about them. You also get a nice trend graph to see how things are going. The graph lets you see the trends over 1, 5 or 10 years.
It's fun to mess with. Try putting in the address for the house you grew up in. Or your friends house in another state.
On Monday (24-Jul-06), a Notes client will be available for Linux. Companies will be able to download Lotus Notes on Linux 7.0.1, an Eclipse plug-in that delivers Notes client functionality to Linux workstations. This includes the e-mail and calendar (which themselves are custom Notes apps), and other collaboration software, as well as your company’s own custom applications that once ran only on Mac OS and Windows desktops.
With Lotus Notes for Linux, companies will be able to use Lotus Notes on a Linux workstation in a supported fashion – without using virtualization software like WINE or VMWare.
Initial support will be for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, update 3, but IBM promises a version for Novell SUSE Linux Desktop 10 within 90 days.
Pricing starts at $101US per client plus another $70 per client for messaging. Current Mac OS and Windows licenses can be transferred.
Tags: linux, eclipse, lotus, notes
- Howstuffworks "Net Neutrality Primer"
- Using a Background Image Grid to Lay Out Your Web Site
There are a lot of css tips out there. This one is smart.
- How to Answer the Toughest Interview Questions - Yahoo! HotJobs
For about a week now I've been using OpenDNS as my domain servers at home.
One nice thing about OpenDNS is that it corrects misspelled urls (e.g., www.google.cm) and helps prevent phishing. Additionally, they have huge caches and are peered on both coasts in the US. Peers in Chicago and London, England coming soon. Seems to me my browsing experience is faster with it installed but that could be me.
Not extra software to install. If you know what you are doing, simply set your DNS servers to:
To see if you've successfully switched DNS to OpenDNS, visit: http://welcome.opendns.com/
If you need some help, consult their easy to follow getting started page. The page has instructions for all kinds of routers.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Tags: dns, opendns, domain
Engadget shows of Sony's blu-ray burner for pc's. It is purple.
Able to read and write single layer 4.7GB DVD+R/+RW/RAM discs, 8.5GB DVD+R Double/Dual Layer Discs, and CDs. With 2x burning speeds for BD-R or BD-RE media, you can fill a 25GB Blu-ray disc in 50 minutes.
Tags: bu-ray, dvd, burn, sony
As you travel around the web you find mp3 files (or podcasts) that you might want to listen to later. If it is a podcast you could subscribe to the feed and get all of them as they come but perhaps you just want one and aren't sure yet if you want to subscribe to the whole feed. Sure, you could download them and copy them to your player but that is kind of tedious. With a little but of work up front you can set it up so all you have to do is save the link to the mp3 file in your del.icio.us account and it will transfer to your mp3 player the next time you sync it to your computer.
This how-to makes a couple assumptions. First, that you have a free del.icio.us account. And second that you have some type of program that can sync to your device. iTunes is popular. I don't have an iPod so I use Juice for receiving podcasts. Juice is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Ok so first we have to find an mp3 file on the web. Below is one you can use as a test.
We want to save the link to the mp3 not the page it is on into del.icio.us. This gets a little tricky to explain because it depends on many different things. You can right click the link and click 'copy link' or 'copy shortcut'. If you use Firefox, you might want to first install the del.icio.us extension for Firefox (which you should do even if you don't us this tip. I makes del.icio.us and Firefox work seamlessly.
Here is a screenshot of a similar action showing the 'Tag this link' feature of the Firefox extension.
Here is the test mp3 file: hiptest.mp3
If you've copied the link you can go to your del.icio.us account and add it. I like to tag mine 'mp3cast' but you can use what ever tag you like as long as you are consistent.
Note: URL is a direct link to the mp3 file.
Still with me? We're almost home....
Now we want to go to your del.icio.us account and open a special page. Your url is:
Of course, put your actual user name where I've put yourdelicioususername
The page will look something like:
At the bottom of the page you'll see an oragne RSS button. Click it and then copy the URL into your Juice or other podcatching sync program. Hopefully you can get that figured out on your own.
The beauty here is the when you use the system:filetype:mp3 feature of del.icio.us, the rss feed is magically converted to include the mp3 files as enclosures. This is what your podcatcher needs to be able to go out and grab those mp3 files for you.
You've done all the hard work. Next time you find an mp3 file, all you have to do is save the link to del.icio.us and tag it mp3cast. When your client searches for new podcasts it will look to your del.icio.us account as well and grab any new links you've tagged. Sync and enjoy!
Tags: how to, mp3, del.icio.us, podcast, rss, enclosure
About a week and half ago I wrote about Microsoft Private Folder 1.0. Well it seems people got skittish about MS not fully supporting the product and other security issues and has pulled the plug on it.
"Private Folder 1.0 was designed as a benefit for customers running genuine Windows," Microsoft said in a statement to CNET News.com on Friday. "However, we received feedback about concerns around manageability, data recovery and encryption, and based on that feedback, we are removing the application today. This change will take effect shortly."
Bye bye private folder.
Tags: microsoft, windows, privacy, security
The folks at NIST have a new clock that may be the most precise.
The clock measures the oscillations of a mercury ion held in an electromagnetic freezer trap, producing "ticks" at optical frequencies. The high frequencies allow scientists to divide time into smaller units, producing more accuracy.
Tags: mercury, clock, atomic
[WindowsKey] + L works pretty fast to lock your computer but is that geeky enough? Here's a little gadget that you put in your USB port and keep a little button transmitter in your pocket. Then, when you get up from your desk and walk away, you computer will auto-lock. $37US
Tags: usb, lock, gadget
[via gadgets weblog]
Photographers used an old hangar at the closed El Toro Marine Corps Air Base in California to create a "camera obscura" and produce a 28-by-108 foot image on light sensitive fabric. They then put the fabric into a pan and exposed it to produce the image. Guinness has created two new categories for the project — world's largest camera and world's largest photograph. Should take about three months to certify the record.
Tags: photography, world record, camera obscura
[via yahoo news]
betanews.com: Microsoft released Windows Vista Beta Build 5472 to technical beta testers, TAP customers and MSDN subscribers. The interim update is intended to give testers a more recent build, and encourage application and device driver developers to accelerate deployment on Vista.
Tags: microsoft, windows, vista, 5472
UPDATE - July 15th 9:20pm - Thanks to a link from 37signals and then an appearance on the del.icio.us popular list, the slowdown has turned into a near meltdown. The blog and forum are fine, but the newsreader is way too slow to use. We ordered a more robust server and some coming code updates should alleviate the slowdown. We hope to be back to normal on Monday.
Wish the team luck and hope they can get things up and running quick.
As for my tests, it's going pretty well. One thing I like about the news reader I've been using for a long time, GreatNews, is that it is an full client reader and has the ability to tag things that I might want to read later. That feature is great for blogging because I can skim my feeds for something that I might want to blog about and save it for later. Newshutch or Bloglines don't really have a method for this. You can leave things unread but that just isn't as efficient. But that's just me. I think Newshutch is succeeding in it's effort to become an easy to use reader for someone just getting into reading blogs via feeds.
Tags: newshutch, 37signals, rss, feed
If you know someone who is still a newbie, you might want to point them to this site or download the videos for them.
Video Tutorials: Using Windows XP is a set of 13 short video tutorials from Microsoft. They include:
How to Customize your Desktop Background
How to Choose a Screensaver
How to Change Screen Resolution
How to Customize the Start Menu
How to make a VPN connection
How to Rename Pictures
How to Categorize Pictures
How to Change the File Name of a Single Picture
How to Print Your Pictures
How to Turn on the Firewall
How to Add Support for Additional Languages
How to Add a Keyboard or Input Method Editor
How to Change Language for Non-Unicode Programs
Tags: microsoft, windows, xp, video, tutorials, howto
Over on Serachblog, John Battelle has posted part 1 of his interview with Vint Cerf. Interesting comments regarding the Net Neutrality issue.
Searchblog: Cerf, Part 1: Excuse me, but we don’t get a free ride at all
Tags: vint cerf, searchblog, net neutrality
By default, Blogger templates come with a 'smart' tag that automatically puts the title of your blog in the title tag if you are on the main page and on article pages it uses the format: BlogTitle: Article Title.
I wanted to change my blog's title tag so that is puts the title of my post first followed by the name of my blog. Here is the code if you want to do the same:
<ItemPage><Blogger><$BlogItemTitle$></Blogger> - <$BlogTitle$></ItemPage>
Use the above code in place of: <title><$BlogPageTitle$></title>
Update 13 NOV 06: If you are looking for a way to do this in the new Blogger Beta, it is a little more complicated. Instructions are outlined here: Widget Based XML: Changing the Blogger Title Tag
therawfeed:A Korean company called Robot3 builds robots designed for purely for FUN -- including for entertainment at parties and other events. The coolest of the lot is a $5,250 four-legged beast of burden called R7, which has a plush seat you can sit in while it walks around under your control. ...
Tags: robot, ridable, robot3, r7
- New AMD Athlon 64 CPU Driver (version 1.3.2)
This driver is for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 Version (x86 and x64 exe).
- Solve Sudoku (Without even thinking!)
For you Sudoku freaks out there
- 13 Tips for Improving Camera Phone Photos
- Firefox 2.0 beta - the highlights (Michael Arrington)
A first Beta version of Firefox 2.0, called Bon Echo, is now available. (download for Mac or PC)
Tags: mozilla, firefox, browser
You can now get Microsoft Virtual PC for free:
Virtual PC 2004 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is a powerful software virtualization solution that allows you to run multiple PC-based operating systems simultaneously on one workstation, providing a safety net to maintain compatibility with legacy applications while you migrate to a new operating system. It also saves reconfiguration time, so your support, development, and training staff can work more efficiently.
If you are trying to run it on a laptop, there is a hot fix you should apply according to the knowledge base article, KB#889677.
Tags: microsoft, virtual pc, free, utility, virtualization
- Google Account Authentication
This document is aimed at programmers who are developing web applications that access Google services and who want to implement a programmatic way to log into Google accounts. It assumes you've read up on the service(s) being accessed and are aware of any
RipIt4Me is a freeware utility that helps you backup your copy protected DVDs.
- Popular Mechanics - Troubleshoot Your HDTV
Get the best picture on your HDTV
Useful tools if you are buying a Microsoft game or planning to upgrade to Vista (note: you'll want to be running IE for these):
Windows Game Advisor service allows you to analyze the gaming performance of your PC.
* See if your computer has the hardware you need to play a game before you buy it—the Game Advisor scans your system so you don’t have to guess.
* Find games that are right for you based on your age and interests—if you like a particular game, you can find games that are similar.
Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor is an application that helps identify which version of Windows Vista meets your needs, while checking if your PC is ready for an upgrade to Windows Vista and which features will be available on your PC.
The end result is a report that explains which version of Windows Vista to buy and provides suggestions about what, if any, hardware updates may be necessary to install and run the appropriate edition and features of Windows Vista.
Tags: microsoft, games, advisor, windows, upgrage, vista
Friendster has patented social networking. Specifically: 'System, method and apparatus for connecting users in an online computer system based on their relationships within social networks'. Wonder who is on their list to take down? Digg? If anyone cares, here is the actual US Patent #7069308
"A method and apparatus for calculating, displaying and acting upon relationships in a social network is described. A computer system collects descriptive data about various individuals and allows those individuals to indicate other individuals with whom they have a personal relationship. The descriptive data and the relationship data are integrated and processed to reveal the series of social relationships connecting any two individuals within a social network. The pathways connecting any two individuals can be displayed. Further, the social network itself can be displayed to any number of degrees of separation. A user of the system can determine the optimal relationship path (i.e., contact pathway) to reach desired individuals. A communications tool allows individuals in the system to be introduced (or introduce themselves) and initiate direct communication."
Tags: friendster, patent, 7069308, social networking
I'm trying out a new web based feed reader this week called Newshutch. The site has only been live for 6 days but it is very nice. The idea behind Newshutch is that of an online feed reader with out all the extra overhead that some of the others have.
The interface has the your feeds in a list on the left and the articles on the right. A simple clean interface with nice fonts. One thing I really like, at the top and bottom of the reading pane, their are buttons for: 'Open next' which closes the feed you are currently reading and opens the next one down, 'Mark all read' which does just that and 'Mark all read & Open Next' which is a hybrid of the previous two. That last on eis great for skimming because you can get thing marked and moved out of your way quickly. Each article within the feed had a check box for 'keep unread' which really speeds things up when you want to keep just a few articles unread and still use the 'mark all' buttons. Another nice touch is that when you mouse over the buttons their corresponding keyboard shortcut is revealed so you can learn them quickly.
Newshutch will automatically update your feeds so you can keep it open in one of your browser tabs and check what's new from time to time.
Getting your feeds into Newshutch is as easy as adding the URL of a web page or it's feed. Additionally, if you already have a list of feeds in OPML format you can quickly import them. You can export your feeds from Newshutch should you want to move on. They have also come up with 'Add to Newshutch' bookmarklets that you can put in your browser bar to easily add feeds with out having to cut and paste.
Get yourself a free account and give it a try.
Tags: rss, opml, newshutch, review, reader, feed
- FeedBurner FAN Site Ads Misbehaving - Besting Adwords (and Adsense)
Weird stuff going on with Feedburner Ads
- On July 14th, one del.icio.us user will win $100. Enter this contest.
Of course by blogging about this I dilute my chances but what the heck. Interesting link generation idea.
After Apple released Boot Camp earlier this year there was a new company called Parallels that release software to let your run XP in a virtual environment on your Mac. Now, CodeWeavers is using Wine to allow some windows programs to run under Mac OS X.
CodeWeavers has been around in the Linux community for quite a while so this an interesting branch.
Crossover Office for Mac should be available in July or August. Because Wine is a compatibility layer it doesn't require the user purchase Windows which is a nice savings and should help the adoption of this software.
Article: Turning Wine into Windows on a Mac
Tags: wine, windows, mac, apple, linux, crossover, codeweavers
Microsoft Private Folder 1.0 is a tool for protecting your private data when your friends, colleagues, kids or other people share your PC or account. You get one password protected folder called 'My Private Folder' in your account to save your personal files.
Tags: microsoft, windows, privacy, security
- Vibe Streamer - Free MP3 streaming server - Play your music anywhere!
Vibe Streamer is a free MP3 streaming server that allows you to connect and stream your music using only a standard web browser. - Play your music anywhere!
If you've ever tried to burn a CD or DVD from within Windows MCE 2005 you may get the following error:
CD/DVD RECORDER REQUIRED
Ensure that you have a CD or DVD recorder installed, and select Create CD/DVD
Event Type: Error
Event Source: SonicMCEBurnEngine
To resolve this issue, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
2. Type the following commands:
Note Press ENTER after each command line.
Alternatively, you can create a batch file to run these commands. To do this, follow these steps:
1. Right-click the Windows desktop, point to New, and then click Text Document.
2. Type fixburn.bat as the document name, and then press ENTER. If you are prompted about whether to change the file name extension, click Yes.
3. Right-click the Fixburn.bat file, and then click Edit.
4. Copy and paste the following text into the Fixburn.bat file:
5. Save and then close the Fixburn.bat file.
6. Double-click the Fixburn.bat file to run the commands.
Tags: mce, cd, dvd, recording, windows, howto