Archive for Websites
Outlook.com, formerly Hotmail has been revamped over the last year and now users of this email service can now easily use Skype.
Also Microsoft closed down Windows Live Messenger in March this year in favour of Skype messaging and this latest development will mean all is in one place for users.
A plugin will be required to be able to do this.
More details can be found in this Skype blog post.
Facebook Lite was a stripped down version of the main site which was targetted at people with slow Internet connections as they could easily access this site faster.
I only logged into the lite version just once to have a feel of it and I never got to log in again.
I am not a fan of lite sites because I think if its possible its better to have a site which gives you the option to turn off some features if you don't want them.
Turning off features gives you the power to customise the site to what you exactly need and all the other things that distract you and you don't need them turn them off.
I have been testing this new search site which is in beta and one feature that I like is the summary that I got when I hover on the right side of results.
I managed to get a lot more information from that hover which meant that at times I did not have to click the search link altogether.
But some of the search results were not what I expected. For example, I searched for 'owalog' this blog's name and the result did not even appear on the first page of the returned results. And I wonder what would happen to more serious searches.
I think I will keep an eye on the site to see if there are any further developments but for now I think Google will serve me right.
I am still to figure out how to show the size of the email and the only way I can see the size of an email is if I sort by size itself.
My favourite contacts also disappeared and I had to go through the contacts lists and re-select them.
But having said that I think the new way of organising contacts is great and I quite like the idea of selecting the Cc button for example and then getting a drop down of contacts in tab form and you can easily select the mail recipients from there.
I have been with Hotmail for a long time now and I have seen so many changes but this one looks like possibly the best apart from a few niggles.
There are now more options to play around with you if you have the time to do that but unfortunately I cannot compare with Yahoo! or Gmail because I don't have accounts with both.
This narrows down my search and makes it quicker to get the information that I am looking for. It takes some time to get familiar to all the terms and how to use them in combination but but over the last few months I have found myself using Soople some times.
Soople provides an interface that makes it easy to make up the advanced Google queries and it also uses Google to do the search.
While the interface is a very busy one its quite a handy site once you get to know how is works.
Another site that does a similar thing is OnlyJust and I think its more useful if you want to search some Google search categories like blogs, images, code and so on.
Before I started using Pingoat I used to use Pingomatic and its still available but the list of services it pings its still the same and sometimes I get an error message on my first attempt and so not a very good alternative at the moment I guess.
I think the best alternative I have found so far is Pingates and this pings more than 30 services.
However, the only downside is that the captcha image is not very clear and sometimes it can be hard to see exactly what characters are in the image because the background and the letters can be nearly the same.
Another very good alternative I have used is BlogBlip and this pings more than 30 services and it gives you a summary of your feed plus the number of services pinged indicating succcess or failure. I found that to be very useful.
Also at BlogBlip you can download the current configuration file if you so wish.
Once or twice I have also used King Ping . King Ping gives a message saying that the pings have been send without specifying the particular services like what Pingoat, Pingates and BlogBlip does.
I am sure there must be many more blog pinging services but I think these alternatives are quite good and I also hope that Pingoat maintainance will end soon.
In September 2007 I wrote about Wiki hitting 2 million and six months later the number has reached 10 million.
I think it shouldn't take long before the 20 million mark is reached and I guess it will be before the year is up.
Whilst English is now at 2.3 million articles, French and German articles haven't increased that much and are still to reach the million mark and now stand 640k and 729k articles respectively. That shows an increase of 100k for German over the last six months and around 90k for French.
I find Wikipedia very useful for various types of information and its good that its pages rank quite highly on Google and after a search I am more likely to find a Wikipedia page which most of the time is useful.
Wikipedia shows what online community collaboration can achieve and I think I can only expect more articles as more and more people join in to submit and edit articles.
With English reaching 2 million articles, I think the next milestone will be when
German now at over 630,000 articles and French at over 550,000 articles reach the
million article mark.
On the site they review and rank free online games which saves a lot of time if you are looking for some online games to play. Just a quick look at the site shows that they have a fair number of games which I hope everybody can be able to make their own pick.
Its a good idea not to use an e-mail from your site otherwise you won't receive it when the host goes down and so you have to use a webmail account like yahoo or gmail or something like that or an e-mail with another host.
The SiteProbe statistics are basic but you get a weekly report which suits me well because my host is reasonably reliable and so for most weeks I get 100% uptime.
For a more comprehensive but free monitoring I think SiteUptime offers a reasonable service in their free plan. Unlike the SiteProbe service which just monitors the http server only, the SiteUptime service monitors ftp, pop3 and smtp servers as well plus you get monthly reports and some fancy statistics.
I am sure there must be other website monitoring services available but I have found these
two to be quite easy to use and accurate.
I have been using Firefox from its first release and I have found it to be quite good and I like the convenience of tabbed browsing. I think IE7 will be a lot better than IE6 going by the IE7 beta technical overview but I have not tried the actual beta version just yet.
The OneBillionPageViews site is trying to reach 1 billion views without spending any money on marketing the site.
The Onebillionviews site has already reached one million views and so its interesting to see how long it will take to reach the next 999 million page views.