Category: Internet

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.

Catch content thieves with Copyscape

For bloggers and designers who’ve spent many hours writing copy for a Web site, one of the most annoying things that can happen is to have somebody copy and paste their work word-for-word and paste it on their own site – many times with not so much as a credit link. You own the copyright, but who has time to scour the Internet for content thieves? Copyscape has the answer. (more…)

20 great free online file storage services

Please Digg this if you find it useful. A few years ago, I posted a long list of free online file sharing services. If you haven’t used a sharing service to transport large files from one computer/location to another, you’re missing out. It’s a whole lot cheaper, and most times, faster than burning CDs or lugging around an external hard drive. It’s also a little more secure than just tossing your document onto a “who knows how reliable” USB keydrive. Rather than post an exhaustive list of services, I decided this time to focus on 20 of the better services I’ve come across. I have tried every one on this list and found the experience satisfactory to excellent. As for me, I prefer two of these. MediaFire is fast and reliable. With its rather low 100MB file size limit, you might be turned off. But the simple site layout, speed and reliability, make MediaFire a gem. They make it as simple as it can possibly get to share your files. I also like the fact that they’ve been around for a long time. For files that are larger than 100MB (and that I don’t want to bother splitting up), I use File Dropper. It’s another simple to use site that I’ve had great luck with. Though the speed isn’t quite as good as MediaFire, it’s still better than most I’ve tried. And the large file size limit makes it perfect for transferring large video files when a DVD burner isn’t available. Keep in mind that the File Size Limit listed for each service is NOT the total storage space allotted, it’s just the limit of each individual file you can upload. Most services offer anywhere between 2GB to unlimited. Also keep in mind that free online storage services rely on advertising to pay the bills. When the ad clicks dry up, the service goes away. Many of these sites, such as MediaFire, have been in business for a long time. But many of the sites on my original list didn’t last long. The moral of the story, don’t rely on these “free” sites for important backups. They’re for temporary storage and transfer use only. Megashares File Size Limit: 10GB* (with Custom Uploader, 1.5GB without) Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited* (see FAQ for explanation) URL: http://www.megashares.com File Dropper File Size Limit: 5GB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Forever (deleted only if there is no download activity) URL: http://www.filedropper.com TransferBigFiles File Size Limit: 1GB Download Limit: 20 Downloads File Life: 5 Days* (see FAQ for more details) URL: http://www.transferbigfiles.com SnapDrive File Size Limit: 500MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited URL: http://www.snapdrive.net/ Driveway File Size Limit: 500MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: 90 Days (deleted only if there is no download activity in 90 days) URL: http://www.driveway.com zUpload File Size Limit: 500MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: 30 Days (Deleted only if there is no download activity in 30 days) URL: http://www.zupload.com Spread-It File Size Limit: 500MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: 14 Days URL: http://www.spread-it.com SendSpace File Size Limit: 300MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited (Deleted only if there is no download activity in 9 days) URL: http://www.sendspace.com RapidUpload File Size Limit: 300MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: 30 Days (Deleted only if there is no download activity in 30 days) URL: http://www.rapidupload.com FileFactory File Size Limit: 300MB Download Limit: Unknown* (per user download limit per 24 hours) File Life: Unknown URL: http://www.filefactory.com MegaUpload File Size Limit: 250MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited (Deleted only if there is no download activity in 90 days) URL: http://www.megaupload.com divShare File Size Limit: 200MB Download Limit: 50GB per month File Life: Unlimited URL: http://www.divshare.com Media Fire File Size Limit: 100MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited URL: http://www.mediafire.com MiHD File Size Limit: 100MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited (deleted 30 days after last download) URL: http://mihd.net/ Easy Share File Size Limit: 100MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited (deleted 30 days after last download) URL: http://www.easy-share.com 4Shared File Size Limit: 100MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited (deleted 30 days after last download) URL: http://www.4shared.com QuickSharIt File Size Limit: 100MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited* (see FAQ for more details) URL: http://www.quickshareit.com/ Uploading File Size Limit: 100MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: 30 Days (Deleted only if there is no download activity in 30 days) URL: http://www.uploading.com Bigupload File Size Limit: 50MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: 30 Days (Deleted only if there is no download activity in 30 days) URL: http://www.bigupload.com FileDen File Size Limit: 50MB Download Limit: 5GB per month File Life: Unknown URL: http://www.fileden.com Please Digg this if you found it useful.

Using Google wildcard feature to answer questions

It seems like every other day Google releases something new, or you learn something about the #1 search engine that you didn’t know about before. Today, I hope to have something for you in the latter category. It seems like every other day Google releases something new, or you learn something about the #1 search engine that you didn’t know about before. Today, I hope to have something for you in the latter category. Google offers fill-in-the-blank searching (also known as wildcards), in it’s search engine. You can ask simple questions in your search and use an asterisk to indicate the “answer” you’re looking for. For example, in the screenshot below, I’m searching for the name of the CEO of Apple. As you can see, I worded my question simply and used the asterisk in the proper location. In the screenshot above, you can see that I got the answer to my question. The feature works quite well, though it may take a time or two to figure out the best way to ask the question. Sometimes simply re-wording the question can bring about completely different answers.