Category: Internet

YouTube supports deep-linking in videos

YouTubeYou may not have noticed, I didn’t, that YouTube now supports deep-linking in their videos. Deep linking means you can tell the video exactly where to start playing – perfect for long videos where you only want to show off a portion of it. The code is easy. You simply add #t=XmXXs (substitute the Xs for the minute and seconds where you want the video to start) to the end of the link code. For instance: In the link above, the video is 2:42 long, but when you click the link to view the video, it starts playing at the 20-second mark. Unfortunately, deep-linking does not appear to work when you embed videos in your own site. Hopefully Google adds this feature to YouTube soon.

19 Creative Halloween advertisements

There must be innovation and creativity involved in any successful creative advertisement campaign. In this article at SmashingApps, you can see how different companies conveyed their marketing/promotion message for their products or services for the Halloween Season. All of them are worth taking a look at, even if most are for beer companies with bottomless pits of money for ad budgets!

History of the World Wide Web

With all the technology improvements to the Web over the last several years, it’s hard to believe that the Web is still in its infancy. Despite popular belief, Mosaic (later changed to Netscape Navigator) was not the first Web browser. Mosaic was released in 1993 and was simply the first popular one used by the general public. The first Web browser, known as WorldWideWeb (see screenshot below), was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in February 1991, the same guy who invented HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) in 1989. WorldWideWeb, later renamed Nexus, ran on the NeXTSTEP platform, which of course was formed by Apple’s Steve Jobs. Berners-Lee developed the software on his NeXTcube while working for CERN. The original code still resides on that NeXTcube in the CERN museum. Unfortunately, we’ll never get to see that code, because the computer is a historical artifact. While we were still using technology like Gopher, FTP, Usenet and various text-based BBS systems to access the Web (prior to the WWW), large corporations jumped on the bandwagon early. The oldest registered domain name was, registered in March of 1985. It didn’t take long for other companies to catch on. In 1986, Xerox became the 7th domain registered, followed by HP (#9), IBM & Sun (#11), Intel (#13), AT&T (#15), Boeing (#26), Adobe (#42), Tandy (#50), and Unisys (#50). On February 19, 1987, Apple Computer registered (#64). As is typical, Microsoft followed the leader and finally registered in May of 1991. For a list of the 100 oldest registered .com domain names, click here.

New animated Web graphic format

One feature that got little to no press at the time of launch of Firefox 3 is a new animated Web graphic format. Until now, Web designers had two options, Flash and animated GIF format. However, users of Firefox 3 have another format available to them, Animated PNG format(APNG). What’s the advantage of APNG? For starters, animated GIF files are limited to 256 colors and do not support partially transparent pixels. APNG supports a full color spectrum, just as normal JPG and PNG files do. It also supports full or partially transparent pixes. Unfortunately, because it’s not a Web standard just yet, it’s only available to Firefox 3 users. The Firefox logo above is animated, the fox is spinning around a stationary globe, but you’ll only see it in Firefox 3. In order to create APNG images, you’ll need Firefox 3 and the APNG Editor extension. The APNG Editor not only allows you to create APNG images, but you can also edit animated .gif images, frame-by-frame. The editor offers a simple set of options and looks a lot like the animation panel in Photoshop. I absolutely hate the constraints placed on me by the GIF format. It’s just so restrictive. I hope the APNG format takes off and gains a lot of popularity, because it’s certainly a lot more flexible. You can read more about the Animated PNG format at the Mozilla Web site, and download the APNG Edit extension here.

Google adds more control to Gmail IMAP

Google recently announced the addition of more IMAP control to their popular Gmail service. Gmail IMAP Controls, a Labs feature, now allows you to choose which labels to sync in IMAP-enabled desktop email client software like Apple’s Mail application. You can enable the new features by visiting the Labs tab in your Gmail Settings and ticking the enable radio button for Advanced IMAP Controls. After enabling the feature, visit the Labels tab and checking which Labels you wish to show up in your desktop email client software. Turning off “All Mail” in particular will cut down the amount of time (and amount of email) that your email app of choice takes to sync with Gmail’s servers. This also has the desirable result of having less email to search through and keep track of. There are a whole lot of feature additions at your fingertips via the Labs tab in your Gmail Settings, so make sure you check in there every once in a while to see if there’s something new and useful.

673 helpful links for Web designers

ForWebDesigners is a collection of nearly 700 resources for Web designers and bloggers. Links are divided up among 18 different categories to make what you’re looking for easy to find. Some of the topics include:

  • Ajax
  • Blogs
  • CMS
  • Fonts
  • Flash
  • Generators
  • Templates
  • CSS
  • Tutorials
  • Stock Photos
  • OS CMS

I really like this site because it’s well organized, and the quality of site links provided is pretty darn good. The site also offers user ratings to help you decide which ones are worth visiting.

Dropbox offers free file storage, syncing, and sharing over the Web

There are a ton of file-sharing sites out there. Most all of them force you to use a cumbersome Web interface, and few offer the ease of syncing your files between computers. Dropbox allows you to store, sync and share your files online as easily as drag-and-dropping your files or folders on the Dropbox folder on your desktop (or wherever else you wish to keep it). Files of any kind are automatically uploaded and made available online. Those files are also synced with any other Mac you have Dropbox installed on. But here’s where it gets interesting… (more…)

Photo collection of Google offices around the world

The lobby of the Zurich, Switzerland office are among the many photos on display of Google’s offices located around the world over at Hongkiat tech blog. Go ahead, tell me you wouldn’t want to work in a place like some of these! Google is one of the few companies who truly understands that one’s surroundings can make a profound impact on productivity, loyalty and employee retention.

This email will self-destruct in 10 seconds

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save the world. This message will self destruct in 10 seconds… (queue Mission Impossible theme song!) Sometimes you want to send a private email to someone, the type of email that contains sensitive information. Perhaps you’re plotting to overthrow the board of directors at your company, or maybe just the latest gossip about your boss and his rather disgusting eating habits. Obviously, you don’t want ANYONE but the recipient to see that email. In fact, you’re not even sure you want to risk them saving that email. Enter Privnote. Privnote allows you to send an email that will self-destruct (sans messy explosions, and evidentiary ashes) after reading it, leaving no trace of its existence at all. What makes Privnote cool and different from regular email:

  • You get a link to the note, and once that link is clicked the note is destroyed so it can only be seen once. If someone intercepts the link and sees the note before the person who’s intended to read it, that person will know that the note has been eavesdropped, and can tell you about it.
  • If you want to be notified when your note gets read you can do it by checking the notify box located below the note. Neither email nor instant messaging provides a reliable way to know if, let alone when, your messages are read.
  • If you send a note and suddenly regret having done so, you can click the link yourself which will destroy the note and prevent the receiver from reading it.

Web design trends for 2008

WebDesignerWall has put together an extensive list of Web site design trends for 2008 to inspire your next Web design project. These sites which include vintage & retro, hand written note, grunge & splatter, watercolor, and large font styles, are all superbly designed and make heavy use of CSS, color and imagery.