google gadgets for YOUR site

another google entry here, but this one is a really fun one: google gadgets can be used and integrated in your personalized google page: nice and wonderfully useful thing: i have been using the personalized google start page for a long time now, i have my calculator on it, my toronto webcam, some weather data, and so forth (see screenshot).

google personalized homepage

but now, google announces to use these gadgets also for your own website, using a simple <script/> tag.

That’s so much fun, so you can include now all kinds of funny gadgets into your page: calculators, world clocks, games, web cams, searches and so forth: check out the gadget collection

 

do the math with google, huh?

so, google is one of THE most powerful search engines in the world, google also just started offline advertising, it has a good stock market position, and now google can even slowly be used as a multi-functional information tool. while browsing the technology section of the new york times, i came across an interesting article about google shortcuts.

  • did you know that you can use google as a calculator? well, try it out: type into the searchbox: 12+12, as a result, it will suggest the mathematical solution as a sum of 12 and 12.
  • did you know that you can search for a fedex package by typing in the fedex number: it will give you as the first result, it will give you a shortcut to the tracking information for your package.
  • do you need a correct and fast definition of a word: well, then type it: define: [word] and it will give you all the definitions it finds on the web.
  • and the the one that most of us have seen already before: when typing in an address, it normally shows as a first result the map of a city the address is related to.

more google shortcuts are here

and this google cheat sheet is worth to be printed out and put next to your computer desk, it has the most useful search terms included.

google can recognize certain codes typed in or numbers into the search box and eases your way to your result.
try it out…it’s fun.

roger’s and bell’s online services

i am frustrated: ok, let’s take the two biggest communication providers in canada: bell and rogers. you would normally assume that at least they provide you with user-friendly websites: well structured and with a great offer of online services which actually work?!?!? well, i have to correct here a little bit (and with a lot of frustration):

incident 1: don’t think you can register for online billing if they say you can: i have a rogers account: now, i wanted to link my billing to my online account. i typed in my account number + postal code, then a screen appears: you have 2 more chances to try it? what? why? i try it again and same problem again: you have 1 more time to try it. believe me, i checked the account number and my postal code. they are correct.
incident 2: bell didn’t tell me when i ordered basic lite internet that this only allows 1GB of down/up load bandwith. ok, i exceeded it already once, now i wanted to upgrade (ding ding: more money for them), so i followed the nice provided link “you can upgrade here” and after typing in and collecting all the information needed, they say: due to technical difficulties it’s not possible to upgrade. well i have tried it now every single day for the past 3 days. what kind of service is that? i sent an email to them, also no response …
well, at least my online billing with bell works 🙂

i guess bell or rogers can for sure compete with german’s “deutsche telekom” customer (online) service.

please dear bell and rogers: if you can’t offer online services then don’t promote them on your website.

1…and…2…and…3…and…web

i seem to not be able to stop reading about the “new” web. while i am still trying to get news and information about web2.0 and being excited about this “WebOS” and the web becoming the main application platform for users these days, i have found another terminology today (maybe for a lot nothing new, for me something new to research): semantic web or …1…2…yeah web3.0

Tim Berners-Lee describes the idea in his semantic web road map article and says clearly that the problem is still that “the web is designed for human cunsumption” but “the structure of the data is not evident to a robot browsing the web“. So the idea of the semantic web clearly tries to “solve this problem by developing languages for expressing information in a machine processable form“.

if you need examples and maybe a bit “easier” article to read, the bbc article “Smart sites to power semantic web” might belp you.

create your social network website

while i was trying to help answering a friend’s question “how to create your own website without any kind of programming knowledge”, i found an interesting article on news.com: this article introduces ning: i guess ning is supposed to take a different approach to customize social networking sites using web2.0 technologies.

check out their website if you are sick of using a myspace profile if you want your “own myspace”

confusion with coldfusion

seriously, i don’t know why some people decided to use coldfusion 4.5: right now, i have to understand and enhance somebody’s coldfusion code to make it work for the company i work for. while trying to do that, i realize that most of the functions that i need now to speed up the code, are not available for version 4.5

is there anybody who has a good resource for coldfusion 4.5?

moving forward to more futuristic methods/technologies:
i found a nice one-chapter example of the new series by o’reilly: head rush AJAX.
I really like the style how this serie of books presents its content to the readers: easy, funny and nice to read and understand. I am really thinking of buying it.
Another one I am reading/using is this one:  head first design patterns.

another web 2.0 report

i am just fascinated by all the good articles i have lately found on german websites about web2.0. It is interesting reading this german o’reilly article about web 2.0 which was taken from  a master thesis. it once again talks about all the big web 2.0 services, explaining how and what ajax is, and so forth.

just right before the web 2.0 conference in san francisco, also o’reilly radar released another web 2.0 report. it takes a critical look at how release cycles for web services can change based on their hypes. and shows advantages and disadvantages of releasing earlier.

online socializing

once again i feel that i can relate to my german roots and also agree with germans regarding the linked article about myspace aiming for a global audience in the new york times. in america myspace is the online “in-place”, whereas germany, as i expected, does not like the design and thus feels more annoyed than fascinate by this online sozializing tool and continue using their cellphones to communicate quickly with theirs friends.

“People here think the design is bad,” […] “and that is important for Germans.”

nice 🙂

It is true though, I really don’t think myspace is a place where professional musicians or artists show their best and their quality by putting up a weird page with funny backgrounds with endless loading time. to me, this is more a turn off than a turn on.

My favourite still, if socializing tool, then: friendster.com