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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How to Add Gadgets to your Gmail Account

I was very happy to find out that now Gmail users can add favorite gadgets to their webmail!

I actually waited for this feature, because it seems only logical to be able to do more from our email account, since we're spending so much time on it.

If you want to customize your Gmail, follow these few easy steps:

Enter the Gmail Lab:

Enable the "Add any gadget by URL" feature:

Now you can see that Gadgets are added to your Gmail Settings:

Go search for favorite Gadgets on iGoogle. When you find them, click on the "Share this gadget" option:

Then, copy-paste the URL with the XML ending:




The gadget is now added to your Gadgets list:

And you can use it from the left sidebar on your Gmail!


Thank you Genbata for this morning treat.

Update:

In Gmail Lab there are also two new features called:
"Google Docs gadget", and "Google Calendar gadget" - All you need to do is to enable them, and they will show up on the left sidebar of your Gmail.

posted by Orli Yakuel at 8:32 AM 24 comments

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Jump! Jump! Everybody, Jump! Jump!

After spending hours and hours over the web, I just wish I could find something that combines physical exercise and the Internet to help me stay in shape. I do have to admit that exercise and FUN sound a whole lot better together!

GravitX, an Israeli based exergaming company, is going to change the way you think about the world of gaming!

Their new active gaming technology called GameAir, allows gamers to increase their gaming experience and engage their whole body while playing off-the-shelf game titles.

GameAir will interact with both PC's as well as common game consoles and will allow the users to feel the excitement and competitive challenge of the game. GameAir is used mainly to simulate games that involve: Jumping, Running, Turning and Shooting. Imagine, you could play Super Mario as if you are actually an active part of the game!

Unfortunately, a beta version is expected to be released in mid 2009, BUT, I'm sure you'll agree with me that it is so worth the wait!


posted by Orli Yakuel at 10:38 PM 0 comments

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stop Typing the Search. Drag & Drop it Instead

A very useful utility that I found this morning while reading Genbeta, allows you to perform a search simply by dragging & dropping text or image to one of your Firefox search engines.

After you download the Drag & DropZone extension, start dragging any object that you want from the page, then all your search engines will be displayed over the site you are currently viewing.

When you are running Drag & DropZone Searching for the very first time, all your Firefox search engines will automatically be assigned to a DropZone, so you are ready to go and enjoy it immediately.

Dragging text:

Or image:



A toolbar button (add it through view/toolbars/customize), allows you to toggle the Drag & DropZones on/off in case you temporarily need to do a lot of other drag & drop operations.
posted by Orli Yakuel at 8:40 AM 0 comments

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Friday, October 24, 2008

A Simple Way to Review Documents Together



Show-Document is an Israeli-based service that enables instant live collaboration used to quickly show documents to friends and colleagues. User uploads a document and invites friends to view and annotate it live. All the participants in the session see each others' drawing, highlights, etc, and can also discuss about the content with the built-in chat.

Show-Document worked very smooth while I tested it. Come to think of it, this can actually be a good addition to services like Docstoc or Scribd.



No registration needed.
posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:46 PM 0 comments

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bamboo Web Space - Optimized for all Pen Tablet (powered by Wacom)


Bamboo is one of the greatest Wacom products. It's a a very nifty pen tablet that helps people draw, sketch, and annotate documents, both offline and online.
With the help of BambooSpace web applications (which is already integrated in all Bamboo tablets), users can create private projects and share them online using Bamboo tablet, or any other tablets.

The Bamboo Space is an ideal repository for everything people want to collect and share, from thoughts and inspirations to projects. Its a private online space for photos, scribbles, video and even websites. BambooSpace users can also invite other people to view or edit their own spaces.

The beautiful flash-based service is still a bit buggy and needs more stability, but overall the concept is fresh and extremely interesting. I'm sure lots of creative people will find this one very helpful.




Best thing is that you don't necessarily need to have a tablet to be able to use BambooSpace.
posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:11 PM 0 comments

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Britney girl, you're doing it wrong...



Gary Vaynerchuk explains the proper use of twitter to Britney, and I have to agree with every single word he's saying!

If Britney wants to earn reliability among her Twitter friends/fans, she has to be the only one who controls the account. This is the only way she could actually understand the quality of Twitter, and the value of this form of communication.

Based on the official Britney's site, it seems that she has a good community manager. You can see she already active in Facebook, Myspace (of course), Youtube and yes, Twitter. But if I had to give my two cents regards that, it would be:
  1. Operate your own account (especially on Twitter)
  2. Don't follow everyone back (I'm sorry guys, normally I wouldn't suggest it, but realistically in this case it could become very noisy)
On a very previous post, I predict that if Britney Spears Twittered, she could really influence tons and tons of users to try the service. Take a look at the account, and lets see the growth of that one month from now.

Michael Arrington wrote:
This is solid gold for Twitter. A few more of these and it will be hard to argue that it isn’t going mainstream.
I am actually waiting to see more familiar faces on Twitter, and hoping they'll know to appreciate the power in this real communication, and use it right.

Here's an example of a famous actor: @stephenfry that I do believe operates his own Twitter account. And it works.
posted by Orli Yakuel at 1:23 PM 6 comments

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Friday, October 17, 2008

The Easiest way to Create a Screencast



Meet ScreenToaster.
It won't provide you with lots of features, nor give you any special effects...
It will though, help you create a great looking DEMO for your company in few seconds. Still in private Beta, the free online screen recorder, allows you to record your video and easily publish it on the web. Simple as that.

No download required.

posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:50 PM 7 comments

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

5 Top Services to Shorten Links

URL-shortening tools have become very popular mostly because all of those social lifestream services we use daily. As far as I can tell, people will continue to use them to save space and time during web messaging or text messaging, or maybe to hide the URL itself. Anyhow, short URLs look better, neater and they simply work.

I'm not gonna list all the relevant tools that help you shrink a link in second. Believe me, the list is surprisingly long and most of them are doing pretty much the same.

Instead, I'll give you my top five list of tools that actually offer more benefits than just the shorten URL act.

bit.ly is a good choice of tool, if you're using Twitter. It allows you to create and customize a URL, and post it directly to twitter, which can come very handy. With this service you also have the ability to see where is the traffic coming from the links, conversations (twitter/friendfeed), and the history of the submitted links.

There is one thing in bit.ly that might be an issue for some people: the information is public, meaning, everyone can see any link history.

I've wrote about Cli.gs in the past. Since then, I've been using it and I'm very pleased with the statistics it offers me. In short, Cli.gs allows you to create short links and track their stats. Unlike bit.ly, none of this information is open to the public. Try to view someone else Cli.gs and this is what you'll see:

However, there is something in Cli.gs interface that requires refinement: the list format is not a good choice for analytical results. I'd suggest changing it to something that looks more like a table because it will be much more easier to read and follow.

I was very impressed by BudUrl. The service collects all your URLs together and give you a specific analysis about each and one of them in real-time, allows you to see which cities, states, and countries drive your traffic.

Click on the video to see the current features:

One the upcoming features you can expect to see are email trigger alerts for specific BudURLs when notification is critical. As well as weekly email reports of traffic summaries to keep you in the loop, RSS feeds of BudURL traffic, API for developers, and more.

ZI.MA allows you to use all its functions (except URLs editing) without the need to register. You can set temporary links and protect them with passwords, see your link statistics, customize URLs and more.

All the popular shared links from ZI.MA are gathered into one place. If the usage of ZI.MA increases, it can really turn into an interesting, collaborative, bookmarking site.

I actually think that Adjix is the most interesting service among all of these. Not only does Adjix create shorter links, but if you've logged into your free Linker account on the Adjix website you can also track exactly who has clicked on your links. Plus, you can earn revenue from Adjix ads, which run when your shortened link is clicked.

You also have the option to not have any ads associated with your link. Simply choose "No Ad" from the pop-up next to the "Shrink Link" button. The ad-free links are simple redirects to the destination Web site. But, Adjix will still collect click data for your ad-free links.

Additionally, you can shorten your links even further when every character counts, such as when sending a link via text message. Simply replace adjix.com with ad.vu;



I'll finish with a good Firefox plugin recommendation for those who need to shorten a URL fast. Try Spedr - it will make a shorter URL in just one click (literally), all from the URL line in your your browser.
posted by Orli Yakuel at 4:28 PM 4 comments

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ready for some Sunny Music?



YouLicense, the online music licensing marketplace, has just released an easy tool that helps people discover new music based on their weather mood. If you're open-minded about music regardless the artist that sings it, than you'll love it. A very interesting playlist, is only one click away.

YouLicense main product enables artists and people who are seeking for musical content, to conduct business directly with one another in a safe and secure environment.

BTW, it worked for me instantly.. I clicked on "autumn chill" and discover this very lovely song: Africa by Equinox Sounds.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:21 PM 0 comments

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200 Invitations to test NutshellMail


NutshellMail is an online service that helps you monitor, and organize all your email and social networking accounts through your most commonly used inbox. NutshellMail transforms your primary email account into a universal inbox so you can retrieve messages and manage all your accounts in one place. In addition, you have an access to all your emails, and social messages, right from NutshellMail web-based platform itself, and with the look & feel of an Outlook to make it even easier to function.

If you own more than one email account, and you're also active in Myspace, Facebook or LinkedIn, allow NutshellMail to do all the tracking job for you. They will collect all your emails & messages into one 'Email Summary Update', and all you'll need to do is to choose how often you want this newsletter to be delivered.

I'm not quite sure that NutshellMail can actually solve the email overload problem, but it sure free you from physically check on those accounts you have to keep you in the loop.




To get your free account click on this Access Code:
(Alternatively, you can simply access the site and enter the invite code "beta08")

posted by Orli Yakuel at 4:16 PM 1 comments

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mini Media Center based on Adobe AIR



Why it always seems that AIR apps has the best UI?

Seriously, I'm a big fan of lots of AIR applications lately, and that comes from someone that stopped using the desktop long time ago...

This new application called Bookmash worth the download mainly because of its crazy navigation. But moreover, if you like to watch photos/videos, listen to music, and explore social news - You'd enjoy this one.

With Bookmash you can search, watch and download videos from Youtube, Dailymotion and Metacafe (yeah, download). Same goes to music from Last.fm and Seeqpod. Also bookmark your favorites and share whatever you like best with friends.

Watch this quick DEMO for more:

posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:06 PM 3 comments

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Online Notation Editor



Noteflight makes it easy to create and share written music online. It is a powerful full-featured Flex-based application to edit, display and play back music notation using variety of instruments, in a standard web browser, . Noteflight integrated in an online library of musical scores that anyone can publish, link to, or embed in their site or blog. (try the nifty interactive player below)

Now, unfortunately I don't know how to read or write notations, but I can valuate a drop-dead simple web application when I see one, and if composing music is one of the thing that you do, I suggest you give this one a closer look.

A great tool lets creative people not only use its built-in capabilities, but extend them and freely reorganize them in new ways. This is what Noteflight is all about.



Relevant web application: Songsterr

posted by Orli Yakuel at 10:29 AM 1 comments

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

New Applications on Gmail Labs



It's great to see that Gmail Labs application list is getting longer. In fact, I've mentioned here before that my guessing is that Google is going toward the ability to allow just about everyone to write a Gmail application (right now you can only suggest one, or join the Google team to be able to actually write the code)

Currently you can see applications that can help you make a better Gmail using their own data. What I want to see is that Google actually accept applications such: Remember The Milk and Xoopit, or any other tool that can be easily integrated in to Gmail, and enables them regardless of Firefox.

Anyway, this is how I see the future of Webmail platforms: A mail box that contains index of applications in a variety of categories that we can easily install and use.

I just hope Google is going in this direction.
posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:00 AM 3 comments

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Monday, October 06, 2008

This might make me use Adobe SHARE more often

Here's an example of desktop application that can leverage up a web service.
I'm sure you all familiar with Adobe Acrobat suite, but how often do you really use it? Well, lets just say that now you can use it even more.

Handout is a little AIR application that sits on your desktop and allows you to simply drag & drop uploading of your documents to Adobe SHARE. You won't need to visit the site immediately, you can upload files and visit the service later. Your files will be stored on the web, so you can see them from anywhere, at anytime.

You can also share and post links directly from your desktop to Pownce or Twitter if you like.


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posted by Orli Yakuel at 10:25 PM 2 comments

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Recommended iPhone App - Greetings

I just downloaded the Greetings application to my iPod Touch and I have to say that I'm impressed.

Greetings allows you to browse over a dozen categories such as: Birthday, Friends, Miss You, Love, Get Well Soon etc, and get cute cards that you can share with anyone, anytime. Found something that you like? Attach a voice message, or photo to your greeting and send it over email or SMS at no cost to you. You can also publish greeting cards directly to your Twitter account.

Also, you can receive notifications when your friends has viewed or replied to your greeting, by email or SMS.

Download here or directly from your iTunes store (search for: Greetings)


posted by Orli Yakuel at 10:16 AM 0 comments

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

It's Time to Design your Twitter Page

Two weeks ago I wrote about Twittergallery, a service that allows you to share your Twitter theme or download the ones that you like. Today I bumped into this cool site that offers you wonderful background patterns that you can freely download and use in your Twitter account.



Need some inspiration?

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 7:38 PM 0 comments

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

KwiClick - Quickly Perform Searches (just a FINE firefox addon)



I love simple tools that make my Internet life easier & enjoyable. KwiClick is one of them.

It's a Firefox addon that provides immediate results from popular websites including Google, YouTube, FriendFeed, Google Maps, Flickr, Wikipedia, Amazon, Technorati, and delicious.

You can use KwiClick like in any other regular search engine, or (and this is the best part of this service), you can highlight a word or phrase on any webpage, click the right mouse button, and choose KwiClick. The results will show up in a clean window at the right bottom of your browser. And if you ask me, this is the smartest location choice in the browser - always get my full attention when something popup there.

For those of you who use Friendfeed, you'll be able to see yours/your friend updates without leaving the page you currently browsing at.


On YouTube, a new set of icons appears on top of a video to retrieve additional information about each movie.




This is still an experimental plugin, but it's definitely got my high vote.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 6:00 PM 5 comments

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