Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Shattering Has Begun

Well boys and girls the time is upon us The Shattering has occurred.  No I am not talking about someone breaking dinner plates in the kitchen.  I am talking about the World of Warcraft.  After 6 years, Blizzard has finally come out with the next expansion for the game, and all of Azeroth has changed for good.  Deathwing has arisen and has wrecked havoc on all the land.  With the launch of Cataclysm just weeks away (December 7th, 2010) people are frantically getting their toons and gear in order.  There will be new races, brand new starting areas, added professions and features galore in the game.  We will have exciting new instances to run and new raids to keep us busy.  The leveling experience from 1-60 has all new content, and it is easier to level to 80 now.  Level 85 is the cap and I have heard it will take some time to get to it.  What does all this mean to the average person, probably nothing, but I figured I would share my thoughts on a game that has captured a good chunk of my time and passion.  I consider World of Warcraft to be one of the best MMORPG's out there, and I have played quite a few.

You can check out more about the new expansion here:  http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/cataclysm/


Online IDE & Debugging Tool

Here is a great resource I found this week for web development. The website is much more than just a pastebin for code. It is an online code compiler and debugging tool. It works with 40+ programming languages.

Check it out here: Ideone.com


5 Useful Web Tools

I am always looking for new tools to make my life easier as a web designer. Any shortcuts that cut down production time is welcome. here is a short list of web apps I have used or will try out on my next project.

Google Labs Browser Size: This handy website from Google lets you see how your page is viewed by visitors and gives you a percentage of how many people may be missing your message.

eType: Having and maintaining an international website can be very challenging. Here is a nice little website that translates your copy into multiple languages and uses a nice spell checking dictionary.

Awesome Highlighter: A nice way to markup and highlight what you think is important on a webpage. Saves the reader time in scanning articles.

Crazyegg: Although I have not used this yet, I think it is a great way to see what users are clicking on and where they are going on your website. Works in conjunction with Google analytics.

Vector Portal: Here is a handy image resource for finding tons of stock vector art for all your creative visions.

Let me know if there are others that you use in your day to day design work.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Hijacking Facebook With Firesheep

I am always looking for new ways of exploiting technology and pushing the boundaries online.  Here is a little addon for Firefox I found this week that basically Hijacks a user's session over a non encrypted wi-fi connection.  If a user is logged into Facebook, Twitter and many other social networks, you can capture the session and log into their account.  It works in Windows XP and on the Mac, but I have yet to get it to work in Windows 7.  You will need to install WinPcap as well.

You can download Firesheep.  or read more about it here.

Recently a new addon came out to counter the Firesheep attack.  Blacksheep alerts you if someone is using Firesheep on the wi-fi network you are connected to.  The other way to prevent it is to make sure you are always using a secure network and logging out of your sessions when not in use.  You can read about & download Blacksheep here.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

10 Geek Skillz Worth Knowing

1.)  How to defeat most keyloggers on public computers - Keyloggers can be found on any PC floating around in the public sector.  Here are some methods for preventing your data from being ganked.  Read More

2.)  Crack the Account Password on Any Operating System - We have all forgot our Window's password at one time or another, or maybe you inherited a computer from someone else and can't log in.  Here is a way of breaking thru the frontline defenses.  Read More

3.)  How to hide a file in a picture - This little trick caters to the secret agent in all of us.  Here are some techniques to hide any type of file in an ordinary picture. Read More

4.)  Rip Streaming Videos - Maybe you want that video of the Star wars kid, or you want to grab the Blizzcon 2010 event off the net for future reference.  Here are some ways to get that streaming content onto a hard drive.  Read More

5.)  How to Hot Wire a Car - We have seen this done time and time again in movies, but here is how you actually do it.  Who knows when we will need this skill, maybe when the zombies come and we need to make a quick get-a-way.  Read More

6.)  How to Unlock an iPhone - If you have ever wanted to unlock your iPhone and free it from Steve Jobs icey grip, here is a great article on how to do it.  Read More

7.)  Unleash a Laser Pointer's full potential - Here is a nice tutorial on turning an ordinary flashlight into a laser that can pop a balloon.  Read More

8.)  Wire Your Home with Ethernet Cable - I actually have this need at the current moment and will be tackling this at some point.  Here is a great guide on how to do it without falling thru the ceiling  Read More

9.)  Pick a Lock - Don't let that unauthorized access sign get you down.  Here is a great tutorial on getting into places you thought were off limits.  Read More

10.)  The Wonderful Uses of Duct Tape - My mom uses it to secure tupperware, but here are many other uses for this amazing product.  Read More


Friday, August 13, 2010

Awesome Adobe AIR Applications

Adobe AIR applications are web applications that are built in HTML, JavaScript, Flash and ActionScript and can run on your desktop free from the use of a browser.  There are many different ones out there in a variety of categories.  Here are a few that I find useful for design or general internet goodness.  You can get the Adobe AIR installer here.

Web Design:

PolarisA free desktop reporting client for Google Analytics.  The free versions allows you to manage one website.
WebsnapshotA great tool for capturing screenshots.  This application allows you type a URL then take a snapshot using one of the three sizing methods; Thumbnail, Browser or fullpage view.
Shrink-O-MaticThis AIR application allows you to easily (batch) resize (shrink) images. It handles JPGs, GIFs and PNGs.
Font PickerThis app allows you to find the correct font for the job.
TimelocA desktop widget that keeps track of the time you have spent working on a job or project. It will also tally up the dollar amount based on your hourley rate.

Social Media:

FacedeskThis application is a stand-alone Facebook updater and surfing tool.
MINI DIGG - A Digg client that brings the latest news from Digg to your desktop. You can also store the articles on your machine.
TwhirlThis app allows you to connect to multiple Twitter accounts


Pandora Desktop
The Desktop Application that plays your Pandora stations right from your machine without using a browser.
ebay DesktopSearch, bid, browse, and watch your auctions all from your desktop.
Craigslist DesktopThis application is easy to use and saves you time with saved searches and the ability to view pictures.
EarthBrowser – Browse the planet to check out the weather, current earthquake data and much more.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fun Websites to Pass the Time.

Here are some funny and entertaining websites to help pass the time.

Awkward Family Photos - A collection of weird and awkward family photos that users have submitted in the hopes of internet fame.

Texts from Last Night - A website that collects funny and frequently flithy texts that users have submitted from sms conversations.

Ugliest Tattoos - A website gallery of poor choices of the tattoo world.

Item Not As Described - This site captures some of the weird stuff people have put up on craigslist for sale.

Youshouldhaveseenthis.com - A goldmine of 100 Web memes that you have seen, should have seen, or never knew existed but must see.


Interesting Sites of the Week

Here are some cool websites I have discovered this week, check them out and let me know if you have any to add to the list. :)

5min - This website features various content such as, Video recipes, yoga and fitness routines, tech tutorials, DIY projects for home and garden, health videos on specific conditions, beauty and fashion tips, video game walk-throughs and much more.

BrianPOP - Here is an awesome educational resource website, which features free lesson plans, video tutorials, and professional development tools for the educator, while making things fun for the student.

GeekSugar - This website is a Geek site for girls.  Think of it as a cross between Cosmo and Slashdot.

AlternativeTo -  A website that offers free or lost cost alternatives to many of the popular pieces of software out there.  If you need to get the job done but don't have allot of money or just love open source, then this site is for you.

Wise Bread - A site for the frugal person in all of us.  This little website lets you live large on a small budget.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Walk In Style Like Bigfoot

Okay those who knew me back in the day, often tell the story of how I used to wear aquasocks before they were cool.  Okay, your right maybe they never became cool. I still say I was a trendsetter and you all are just fashion haters. ;)   Here is another product  called Vibram Fiver Fingers, that I would love to try. They look quite different,  and are basically like gloves for your feet.  Think of it as running barefoot, but without having to feel every stick or rock as you prance around the forest pretending your Sasquatch.  I have read several reviews on them and allot of people say they are very comfortable but take some time getting used too.  I am gonna try and get a sample shipped to me and try them out.  I will keep you posted when I do.

You can purchase your own pair

Awesome Websites for Wallpaper

I am constantly looking for unique and off the wall images for my desktop, whether it is to convey a mood I am in or to freak out co-workers sitting next to me ;)  Here are a few great sites with some real interesting illustrations and photographs on a wide variety of topics and themes.

- This site is great!  You can search for hundreds of images using their indexed database.  The images are scraped from the net regularly.  I am always finding cool visual eye candy on here.

- Russian artist, Vlad Gerasimov created the site in 1998 to show off his talent.  The site offers a variety of images in a number of categories.  His unique style of imagery is something I haven't seen before on other sites.   I have several monitors displaying his creations.

Deviant Art - Primarily a website for budding artists to show off their talents.  This site also offers a collection of wallpaper that is quite good. The website also offers images and backgrounds for web design. I use this site often as a resource and for inspiration.


Mad Scientist - Homemade Toys We all Love

We have all played with these wonderful substances as kids.  Here is the science behind them and how to make your own at home.

Silly Putty
Here is a little instructional on making this super substance.  I remember countless hours using this to make everything from a fake nose to picking up cartoons in the Sunday paper.

- Another kid favorite!  There are a few ways to make this, both cooking and non cooking methods are described.

- This product is relatively new on the market and is a little pricey.  Here is a little tutorial on making this fun filled toy on the cheap.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Retro Games on Your PC

I am a hardcore gamer and grew up watching the industry evolve and flourish into what it is today. I remember spending countless hours at the arcade dropping quarters into countless video crack machines, and I owned about every game system that came out on the market. Wouldn't it be nice to play those old retro game titles again? Well you can using various emulators and roms, and running them on your PC. Below is a list of software that allows you to recapture a piece of your childhood and hang out with Ms. Pacman again.


8-bit Nintendo (NES):
FCEUX - a great emulator that is stable and has smooth responsive controls. It can be run in a window or fullscreen.

Super Nintendo (SNES):
ZSNES - a SNES emulator that is opensource and fully customizable.

Gameboy Advance:
Visual Boy Advanced - nice gameboy advanced emulator. Zelda never looked so sweet!

Sega Genesis:
Kega Fusion 3.6 - a sweet emulator for the Sega gaming system.

Nintendo 64:
Project64 - a easy to install Nintendo 64 emulator that does a great job of capturing this old consoles glory days.

Arcade Machine Classics:
Mame - a Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator that can emulate several thousand different classic arcade games from the late 1970's to the present.


Rom World - a nice collection of roms for all sorts of emulators. There is a nice search function and all roms are rated by users.

Rom Nation - another nice collection of roms for various emulators.


Internet Content & TV Online.

I found this neat little application today while going thru my rss feeds. The software is available for Windows and Mac, and can be launched from a Firefox extension. There are a number of services and software out there that allows you to view internet content, but sometimes they don't do the best job of helping you find what you are looking for. Zinc.TV seems to offer a nice easy interface to aggregate and find all your favorite online and local TV shows and movies.


Google Alternatives For Finding Goodies Online

These are some good alternatives to the Google search engine for finding stuff. Some are categories specific and do a better job of filtering your results.


MP3Realm - A nice website for finding mp3s and lyrics. You can stream the songs, add them to playlists and download them.

TuneFind - This handy website lets you search for music from movies and Tv shows. We have all had that moment where we hear and a song on a show and go, ooooh what's that I need to get that ;)

MuviBee - A site dedicated to letting users search for music and the music videos associated with the song on Youtube.


ClipBlast - features small videos from various sources like Hulu, BBC and others.

Blinkx - Another good website that offers a video search engine, that pulls content from hundreds of video and television providers. You can also browse video based on topics.


Filestube - A file aggregator that combines several file networks like Megaupload, Yousendit, Filefront, etc.

FileSnatcher - This site lets you browse for files on file networks such as Medafire, 4shared and Badongo.


Cookstr - This site is for the inner chef inside of us. You can search recipes based on chefs, holiday, cost and other filters.

RecipeZaar - An great website for searching recipes. You can filter by cookbooks, ratings and nutritional information.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Some Useful Websites for Geeks

Here are a few interesting websites that I have come across in the past few weeks catering to the Tech Geek in all of us.

Scribd - The largest social publishing and reading site in the world. This site offers how to manuals and all sorts of publications on a ton of various topics.

PasswordCard - is a credit card-sized card you keep in your wallet, which lets you pick very secure passwords for all your websites, without having to remember them!

Google Image Ripper - shows full original images instead of the usual small thumbnails for a Google Image Search. The collage-like results surprise and inspire instantaneously.

Sockso - is a free, open-source, personal music server for everyone! It's designed to be as simple as possible so that anyone with a mouse and some mp3's can get their friends listening to their music across the internet in seconds!

Media Convert - Free online file convertor that can convert audio files, video, presentation, document, spreadsheet, etc.


Friday, June 04, 2010

Awesome Free Design Software

Sometimes we need to improvise on the go, maybe we are using someone's laptop or desktop and they do not have the latest version of PhotoShop or Illustrator. here are a couple of programs to get the job done in a pinch.

Image Editors:

Paint.NET - Windows only photo editing software that supports layers, undo's and many special effects.
GIMP - It is a free open source PhotoShop like image editor with many features and functionality.
Xara Xtreme - A great free application which is very similar to Adobe's crown jewel.

Illustration Programs

Inkscape - A great free vector based program with capabilities that are very similar to Adobe Illustrator.

Karbon - Free vector application with an easy to use interface and lots of features.

3D Modeling

Blender - The best free 3D rendering program out there.

K-3D - Very good 3D modeler and animation application.

Google Sketch up - Leave to google to once again come out with a great free application that gets the job done. This software has many powerful features.


Synfig - A powerful vector-based 2D animation software application.

Let me know if you have any more that you have used and recommend!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mini Me Website

Here is a little gem that I came across today, which I find both intriguing and a little creepy. For a small fee of $70.00 bucks, you can have them make a cartoon stuffed animal of you. It reminds of those caricatures that you see at the carnival only in 3-D form.

Check it out here.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

5 Useful Apps Worth Downloading

Here is a small collection of some useful and free applications I have used and like.

Avidemux - This handy free application allows you to edit, filter and encode various video file formats. Granted it is no Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere but it will get the job the done.
CDBurnerXP - I have used a number of CD burning software over the years, but this one is light and works great for all my needs.
CCleaner - Here is an awesome tuneup application for windows. It can clean out the registry fragments, as well as, get rid of your browsing history and internet demons.
Dropbox - This little app gives you 2 gb of online storage for all your pictures, music, and docs that you can access from anywhere online. You can sync the files across multiple computers.
Comodo EasyVPN - This application sets up a virtual network between any computers you install the program on. It is like being in front of each one remotely.


Websites That Help Pass The Time.

Have some time to kill between flights, on your lunch hour or that boring meeting with HR on fork-lift safety training. Well here are some sites that can capture your attention for awhile. Most of these are a real time sink but allot of fun to play around with.

Bubole - This little site lets you create a monster and fight other monsters that users have created.
Safety Graphic Fun - This little gem highlights some of the funnier signage we need in lack of common sense.
Virtual NES - Ahhh the joys of 8-bit. This site lets you play all the original NES games online for free and in your browser. Game on!
Answerbag - Post a question about anything and have it answered within minutes. Hmmm....what is the meaning of life? or Why does it hurt when I pee? could be useful ;)
FailBlog - A website that highlights the finer Epic fails in life. There are photos and videos that will keep you laughing for awhile.
Songza - A site that allows you to search the nets for songs and play them as much as you like. You can create playlists and share them with your friends.
Monoface - Think of this site like a real Mr. Potatohead. You create crazy mashups of people using any number of combinations of body parts.
There, I Fixed It - Not being very handy myself I can relate to some of these homemade solutions on fixing things.

Let me know if you have any others you would like to share?


It's Been Awhile

Well it has been awhile since I have posted anything, sorry for the lack of information flowing from the blog. I have been busy with work, life, and a devout addiction to video games :) But now I have some time to get writing again. I will be writing about things I find across the nets on a more regular basis.

Stay tuned for more goodness!