The Whole Enchilada

Thoughts on life, work, tech & biz and the whole enchilada

Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

What is Twitter? Better yet – what’s a tweet??

Posted by wholeenchilada on March 11, 2008

Twitter. Funny word for the latest trend in online social networking. There are a ton of posts, articles, videos and more on twitter. Here are two I particularly enjoyed:

Why Twitter is worth the risk – this is a post from Jochen Lillich discussing the benefits of using Twitter and why you might want to take the plunge. Here’s an excerpt:

Twitter asks its users: “What are you doing?” and puts a 140 character limit to your answers. Those “tweets” get sent to everyone who subscribed to your Twitter account, either by the Twitter website, via email or over SMS sent to their mobile phone.


You can also mark tweets that are meant for a certain person by starting them with “@username” (an at sign followed by their Twitter name). If you’d like to send them a non-public message, start it with “d username”.


In a way, Twitter is the virtual equivalent to your pub at the corner. You periodically spend some time there and, over time, start conversations and learn to know the other regulars. Sometimes, you even engage in a deeper discussion, but most of the time it’s just smalltalk. Nonetheless, you learn about what people are doing, what happens in the community or in the lives of your friends.


Twitter does the same for you, but you are able to choose the people whose messages you get. It’s your decision who you’d like to “follow”, as Twitter puts it. By posting what you’re doing or thinking, you let people participate in a little bit of your life. Over time, your followers will recognize things they share with you, be it that you are a Mac user or going to be a parent. You can direct people to interesting websites, maybe your own. Pose a question and often you’ll get responses from your followers in a matter of minutes.

Read more of this informative post here: http://www.jochen-lillich.de/why-twitter-worth-risk

Another source of great info on using Twitter was found via McGee’s Musings, and includes an embedded video introduction to the service. Video: Twitter in Plain English is worth the watch if you want to learn more about what the creators refer to as “micro-blogging service Twitter“.

Click here to access McGee’s post and watch the embedded video from Lee and Sachi LeFever.

BONUS: Here’s a third  post from Caroline Middlebrook with TONS of great info: Twitter Guide Part #1: What is Twitter?

Now, before you ask, no – I’m not yet a member. I blog too much and between that and the real world I don’t think I’d have the time to manage another network. The service does sound interetsting though and I can see the appeal. I wonder how long I can hold out before I drink the kool aid??

Related info:

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Use Google Docs Loader To Get Documents Online In ONE Click!

Posted by wholeenchilada on February 9, 2008

I’m just getting started with using Google Docs and found a great tip via lifehacker: put-documents-online-in-one-click-with-google-docs-uploader. Here’s a clip:

Windows only: Google has released a simple one-purpose application that lets you upload multiple documents at once to a Google Docs account, as well as add right-click uploading options for all the document types accepted by the free online office suit. Before the free app’s release, meant to show off the Google Docs API, your best bet for posting multiple files was through email, but even that had a 500KB size restriction and only worked with certain document types. Not much more to say—it’s a simple, effective tool, and it seems to work pretty quickly. Google Docs Uploader is a free download for Windows only and requires .NET Framework 2.0.

Read more: http://lifehacker.com/348887/put-documents-online-in-one-click-with-google-docs-uploader

You can learn more in a related post: Easily upload your documents to Google Docs!

To demonstrate the functionality of the Documents List Data API, I have released a new sample application that makes uploading your documents even easier. The application works on Windows PCs running the .NET Framework 2.0 or higher.

Download the Documents List Uploader.

Files can be uploaded to Google Docs either by enabling a right-click menu item or through drag-and-drop functionality. This makes it simple to browse through your local files and selectively upload the ones you want to edit, share, or publish using Google Docs.

Read more here: http://googledataapis.blogspot.com/2008/01/easily-upload-your-documents-to-google.html

Related reading:


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Good Tips: Update Twitter, Facebook & other status messages simultaneously

Posted by wholeenchilada on February 4, 2008

Here’s an interesting post for twitterites, Facebookies, MySpacers and other’s using status messaging: Update your Twitter, Facebook and other status messages simultaneously:

HelloTxt makes it easy to make sure all of your friends know what you’re up to all the time, no matter what social networking services they use. Actually, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but HelloTxt does let you post messages simultaneously to a whole slew of social networking sites that allow you to frequently update your status.

You don’t need to register for an account to use HelloTxt, but as you’ve probably guessed, you do need to enter your login information for your various social networking sites. If you do register for an account, you only have to enter this data once, and then you can broadcast your updates to your hearts content. Registered users can also see a timeline with your latest updates and responses from their friends.

Read more here: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/02/03/update-your-twitter-facebook-and-other-status-messages-simultan/

Visit HelloTxt directly: http://www.hellotxt.com/dashboard

Related reading:

Posted in blogging, Entertainment, Internet, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

yep – Yahoo! hands its music business to Rhapsody

Posted by wholeenchilada on February 4, 2008

In a post over at download squad titled Yahoo! hands its music business to Rhapsody, author Brad Linder provides some interesting info:

Yahoo! is preparing to dump its Yahoo! Music Unlimited service and replace it with a partnership with RealNetworks’ Rhapsody. A few weeks ago we reported on a rumor that Yahoo! was exploring the idea of launching a DRM-free music store to compete with Apple and Amazon. It looks like the company decided to go another direction.

Both Yahoo! Music Unlimited and Rhapsody allow users to access a large library of on-demand music for a subscription fee. But while Yahoo! has been charging $5.99 to $8.99 per month, Rhapsody charges $12.99 per month. Existing users will have their accounts automatically transferred to Rhapsody, with their music libraries intact. But when you’re contract runs out, you’ll be charged the higher rate

read more here: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/02/04/yahoo-hands-its-music-business-to-rhapsody/

I wonder how this all ties into the Yahoo! / Microsoft talks going on? Here’s some related reading:

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How to add your URL, Website or Blog to Google

Posted by wholeenchilada on January 26, 2008

A pretty easy solution is offered by Google itself – Add your URL to Google. Here’s a bit’o info from the page:

Share your place on the net with us.
We add and update new sites to our index each time we crawl the web, and we invite you to submit your URL here. We do not add all submitted URLs to our index, and we cannot make any predictions or guarantees about when or if they will appear.

Please enter your full URL, including the http:// prefix. For example: http://www.google.com/. You may also add comments or keywords that describe the content of your page. These are used only for our information and do not affect how your page is indexed or used by Google.

Please note: Only the top-level page from a host is necessary; you do not need to submit each individual page. Our crawler, Googlebot, will be able to find the rest. Google updates its index on a regular basis, so updated or outdated link submissions are not necessary. Dead links will ‘fade out’ of our index on our next crawl when we update our entire index.

Read more here: http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl 

The process itself is very simple. At the page above there is a text box where you enter your site URL and a second for optional comments on your site or blog. Once the info is entered you type in the security letters from the image on the page and click “Add URL”. Your site should be crawled by Googlebots on the next run.

If for some reason you should ever need to remove your site or blog from Google click here for more information.

Posted in blogging, Blogging Tips, Internet, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

What is anonymous web browsing or web surfing?

Posted by wholeenchilada on January 23, 2008

Ever wondered what anonymous web surfing really is and why you might want to use it? Here’s some info from a post titled What is anonymous surfing?

Anonymous surfing is browsing web sites privately.

Anonymous surfing encompasses two different forms of privacy:

  • Privacy protection from the web site you are browsing.
  • Privacy protection from eavesdroppers who may be watching your network connection.

Anonymous web surfing works by putting a proxy server between the user and the web site. The web browser talks to the proxy server, and the proxy server talks to the web site.

The web site does not know who you are, it only knows who the anonymous proxy server is. The anonymous proxy server does know who you are — so you had better choose an anonymous proxy server that you trust.

Going online and browsing anonymous isn’t just for people looking to hide bad habits, it protects your privacy and will stop websites from dumping cookies and temporary internet files on your system, and also help stave off phishing attacks, identify theft and more:

There are many reasons why someone would want to do anonymous surfing. People surf anonymously to protect themselves from the government, their employers, or nosy family members.

People in Iran use anonymous surfing to prevent being executed in the streets. People in corporate America use anonymous surfing to avoid sharing the details of their personal lives with their employers. Everyone uses anonymous surfing to protect their privacy from nosy web sites and annoying advertisers.

There are different types of anonymous web surfing:

  • Anonymous surfing through a web site — With these systems, you browse the web site of the anonymous proxy server and enter in the URL of the web page you actually want to surf.
  • Anonymous surfing through client applications — With these systems, you download and install a client application which manages the details of anonymous surfing for you.
  • Anonymous surfing though an anonymous web proxy service — With these services, you configure your browser to point to an anonymous web proxy. These systems are public and are setup and advertised for anonymous proxy usage.
  • Anonymous surfing though an anonymous server — With these systems, you configure your browser to point to an anonymous web proxy. These systems are published in constantly updated lists on many web sites on the Internet. You normally do not know who is running each of these anonymous proxy servers. You hope it isn’t someone who is recording your traffic.

As for the “best” free anonymous browsing website or proxy service, it’s hard to say since new sites and services are popping up all the time, while others fade to black. Your best bet will be to do a quick internet search and weed through the current top dogs.

Posted in blogging, Business, Internet, Technology, What is.. | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Do You Have A False Sense Of Security While Online?

Posted by wholeenchilada on December 13, 2007

From Slashdot comes this interesting information –  Most In US Have False Sense of Online Security:

“More than half of computer users who think they are protected against online threats like spyware, viruses, and hackers actually have inadequate or no online protection, according to an independent research study conducted for Verizon… While 92 percent of participants thought they were safe, the scans revealed that 59 percent were actually vulnerable to a variety of online dangers. Ninety-four percent of those surveyed said they would find it helpful to be able to diagnose or check their online security status on a regular basis to make sure their PCs were safe.”

Read more here: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/12/06/1537256

Scary! Make sure you have current spyware, adware, malware, antivirus protection that updates regularly to keep up with the latest threats and make sure your wireless internet connection at home is secure. Even then you are only protected to a certain extent and can still find yourself a victim of indentity theft or hacking if you’re not careful when going online in  coffee shops, airports and other public/open networks.

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Interesting thoughts: Why Facebook is not the future of the web

Posted by wholeenchilada on December 11, 2007

The internet is full of chatter on Facebook – they’re getting sued, they’re growing like crazy, and let’s not even bother with the whole “beacon” ad fiasco. Have you seen this post from Matt Frye over at o’reilly: ? Pretty interesting opinions:

1) Facebook is experiencing – With more than 150,000 new users signing up daily, it is growing three times as fast as rival MySpace. Growth like that can’t last forever and the investiment to maintain either the growth, the infrastructure to handle the growth, or both, is huge. Despite all the hype, MySpace is still the leader in social networking. Facebook still has quite a way to go before catching up with MySpace, and if that ever happens, it will also reach a plateau.
2) Facebook is not for sale – While independence is a nice sentiment, Facebook needs cash to survive. Initial investors are all smiles and “we want you to succeed” when handing over that initial $38 million, but the whole point is to make a profit. In July, Mark Zuckerberg said, “We’re not looking to IPO anytime soon. It’s just not the core focus of the company.” The next wave will come from the $1 billion that Facebook refused or from investors in some other IPO.

3) Facebook doesn’t respect users – Social advertising and features like Beacon have led thousands of users to sign petitions opposing them. Facebook is alienating its core audience. According to security researchers at Computer Associates, Facebook is collecting shopping information even when users are logged out of their system and have opted out of sharing their purchases.

4) Facebook is getting sued – Zuckerberg’s Harvard buddies claim he stole the idea. Even if the lawsuits are bogus, lawsuits tend to drive away investors and users who worry about getting entangled in bad situations. Lawsuits are also expensive, even if you win.


5) Facebook is full of useless crap and kinda slow – Poke, zombie, whatever.

Read more here: http://www.oreillynet.com/onlamp/blog/2007/12/why_facebook_is_not_the_future1.html

Some interesting thoughts, most I agree with. As for Facebook being full of “useless crap”, I think that’s based on perspective. A lot of folks use the internet for entertainment (maybe it should be called the Intertainmentnet?), to kill time, relax, and have fun, and calling their fun stuff, games and time wasters “poo” is probably a bit subjective.  

As for the future of Facebook? I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. A lot of us thought Yahoo! was just a fad and it’s still around, and that little company called Google kept growing until it bursted, and is often referred to as a Microsoft competitor. So who’s to say what the next 3-5 years will bring for Facebook. My bet is that they’ll still have a loyal user base, though something bigger, better, faster, and more-hyped will have lured away people looking for the next big thing and attract more new users through hype and word of mouth from the hip folks. But then again, what do I know 😉

image by Cor at Brainless Contemplations blog: http://hardcor.wordpress.com/2007/05/03/what-happens-in-facebook-stays-in-facebook/

Posted in Internet, life, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tech Update: Microsoft planning a Flickr clone

Posted by wholeenchilada on November 13, 2007

From an article at CNet News comes this interesting info: Report: Microsoft planning a Flickr clone. Of course, this information is based on a job ad but hey, if it’s on the internet (especially in a blog) it must be true, right?

“This feature team is building a next-generation photo and video sharing service that will compete with Flickr, SmugMug and other photo web solutions today. This is a ‘v1’ opportunity,” the ad said. And video will be a part of the effort, too: “This role will work across the new Windows Live division with teams like Spaces, SkyDrive, Messenger and Hotmail to construct a winning strategy for Microsoft in photo and video sharing.”

Read more here: http://www.news.com/8301-13580_3-9815963-39.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-5

Interesting that Microsoft is looking at adding Flickr-ish services to it’s to the Windows Live  offering. WL was hyped a few years ago but has seemingly faded into oblivion. I know folks who use some of the desktop widgets but other than Windows Live Spaces, I don’t know how much use Windows Live actually gets. It will be fun to see if the some Flickrishness can help MS get back into the the online game.

Related Reading:

Technorati Tags: Flickr, Microsoft, Windows Live, Smug Mug, Tech News, Flickr Clone, Internet

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Which Site Was Voted Most Likely to Be Blocked at Work?

Posted by wholeenchilada on November 12, 2007

It’s not a terrorist or political site, nor is it porn, gambling or evil ebay. Apparently MySpace has gotten so much attention that employers are scrambling:

The New York Times reports that a study by security firm Barracuda Networks, which polled 2,400 of its customers, has found that more than half block access to social networking sites from employees on their work networks. Interestingly, though, MySpace was blocked far more often than Facebook.

43.9% of companies block access to MySpace, while just 25.6% of companies block access to Facebook. Just 6.3% of companies blocked only Facebook while allowing access to MySpace. Why is that? A snap analysis might lead one to think that companies are just more comfortable with the more orderly nature of Facebook — and the fact that it is being used for legitimate business networking by some folks (myself included) — whereas, the vanity-focused MySpace has no work value. But that’s not what’s going on here, according to Barracuda.

Read more here: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/myspace_facebook_blocked_at_work.php

I know some folks feel that social networking sites are useful enough for business that they shouldn’t be blocked. I’m not on MySpace but I don’t find myself spending hours a day fiddling with LinkedIn or Plaxo. Then again, they aren’t the the same as MySpace so that’s not a fair comparison. To me, as a manager, it comes down to trust. If you have to block one site because of potential abuse, there has to be 10 more (billion) sites that employees will switch to “wasting” time at. You might have employees that are casual browsers – some check bank balances, update profiles, do light surfing and respond to a few personal emails during their work day – and this might be ok (depends on corporate policy, of course), but if you have folks spending hours on MySpace and it gets blocked, whats to stop them from switching to another site? Either block one or all — slackers can waste time doing just about anything. Myspace doesn’t waste time – People waste time! Then again I don’t have to write corporate internet usage policies – ickie!!

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