Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Top 5: Useful Browser Based Tools

This is the first installment of my top 5 series, useful internet tools. These are the best tools i have found and used over the last couple of years. These sites might not be the most popular sites in the world but they do a great job and i wanted to give them the publicity they deserve. Not only are these brilliant and innovative browser based tools but they are also all free and available to the general public, and lets be honest who doesn't love free stuff? With all the software being released on the market it is refreshing to see something made so selflessly for the public.

Number Five:
The first program on my top five list is "youconvertit", a great tool that lets you upload and file you lke and covert it to a huge number of available file types. The sire then lets you send your files to other users so they can download them. This site is amazing because it lets you convert "any" file type, where as other programs only let you convert one type of file and require downloading. Youconvertit also lets you in put any URL, the program will then pick up on any videos on that site and covert them into downloadable files, much like "Video2mp3.net". In conclusion youconvertit if the best online convert tool. If you would like to use it or learn more it can be found here: http://www.youconvertit.com/ConvertFiles.aspx

Number Four:Coming in at number four is the infamous music site "GrooveShark". The site lets you browse a huge database of music witch is all free and available to the general public. Grooveshark is the world's largest on-demand and music discovery service. With over 15 million songs, Grooveshark is an ecosystem that brings together music fans, bands, music labels, and brands. Grooveshark increases music revenues using one of the most innovative ad platforms in the world, attacks piracy in underperforming markets and reduces the cost of signing and breaking new acts, everyday. Grooveshark is one hundred percent legal and is a brilliant tool for both those who are passionate music fans and the casual listener. http://grooveshark.com/
                  

Number Three:
My number three is a program called Gliffy. This is an awesome creative program that allows you to great diagrams, shapes and pictures. The site starts you off with a blank page where you can and shapes, arrows, lines you name it. The real advantage to Gliffy is that it is very easy to use and completely online. The program contains lots of other useful functions as well, such as pie charts and bar charts. You can even create your own account and develop a database of diagrams you have made. http://www.gliffy.com/gliffy/#  
                            

Number Two:
Ok then, here is my number two. Just missing out on the number one spot we have Phixr. If you don't have lots of money to spend on photo editing software, this is the site for you. Phixr lets you upload and edit your photos in your browser, it has a nifty, easy to use interface which allows for large amounts of customisation. There are a large amount of tools available to you and when you are done you can simple re-download your file with a host of options for detail and file types.  In short Phixr is a great tool for touching up your photos. http://www.phixr.com/
                    

Number One:
Coming in at number one we have the fantastic program, Isendr. This is a P2P (pier to pier) file transfer program which allows you to send files to your friends. the site sets up a temporary URL link that any another computer can access. Once some one else has logged on the site will start transferring the files. Once the files have been processed the URL will be deleted leaving no history of the transfer. This is a great tool for instant, anonymous file transfers with no need for any software or hardware. http://sendoid.com/
                     

This has been my top five browser based tools, i hope you have found this useful. These sites are free to use although all have donation pages if you are feeling generous. Go ahead and check them out, i have found them all very useful and would like to give something back. Enjoy.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Google+ (Vs. Facebook)


The next revolutionary step in networking or a cheep gimmick doomed to fail. For ages now the general public and internet geeks alike have been getting exited about Google+ and have been clambering over invites for over six months, but although it has already gathered a large amount of interest, does it have what it takes to bring down an internet giant such as Facebook?

This Blog hopes to educate you on the possibilities and functions of Google+ and highlight its strengths and weaknesses, i am a big fan of Google+ and as such have a biased opinion. How ever this blog will hopefully give you some information you didn't already know about the site and maybe even convince you to try it out for yourself. 

The History of Networking
If Google+ was to take of it wouldn't be the first time a networking site had changed the face of web based socializing. Does any one remember those oh so distant days of "My-Space", and if your too young to have been on My-Space how about Bebo, the social networking aimed at children and sex offenders. 
If we look back and the history of networking sites we can see how they have become more and more simple and user friendly. Compare for example the interface on my-space to the interface of Facebook, although my-space had countless opportunities  for personification to take full advantage of the possibilities you would have to have at least a basic knowledge of HTML where as facebook can be operated by anyone of any age or race of life. Google+ seems to want to carry on this theme while still offering a large number of functions.

A General Overview of Google+
Major Social Networking Sites to Date
A spokesman for Google+ said this when interviewed about the aims for the site.
"Google+ aims to utilize the full potential of not only social networking sites but of all available internet tools, with Google+ you can chat, call, video chat, share, watch, document and so on. Among the programs partnered with Google+ we have Youtube, tumbler and Blogspot. By offering such a large number of functions in a simplistic fashion we see Google+ becoming the social networking giant we hope it can be".
And so far Google+ seems to have delivered on their promise. Google+ combines the best elements of the internet into a simple networking tool that is effortless enough that anyone can use it.

Top Functions Available on Google+ 

Circles:
Google+ utilizes a concept of "circles", this method allows you to easily organize your friends into categories which you can individually share posts with. So if you want to share a post that you feel would be unappropriated for certain friends thats not a problem. When you start Google+ there are four circles already available; Friends, Family, Following and Acquaintances, How every you can create and delete circles of your own free will. With circles you can add people to your circles that need not add you, this means you can see what they are up to while they needn't see your posts.  This means Google+ can function much like twitter, just with unlimited characters, photos, videos, links and locations. This coupled with Google+'s unique privacy functions mean you can share what you want with who you want.

Integration:
Google+ can be integrated with all existing Google tools. These include Gmail, Youtube, Chrome, Documents, Search, Android phones, videos and much more. That is, Google will build Google+ social networking features and tools into almost all of its existing online services.  this lets you monitor all Google+ events (updates, messages, etc.) as well as share content with friends without ever leaving the Google service you happen to be using.

Mobile Apps:
If you are an Android user Google+ will offer the perfect social tool. Instant notifications and a faster upload system will allow you to socialize quickly and effortlessly. And with the chat function that Google+ utilizes you will almost certainly save you money, not least because Google will let you access Google+ on your Android phone for free.

Data Storage and Editing:
Google+ automatically stores all your information on their data base so that you can get hold of old post and even conversations years after they happen. How ever, unlike facebook you can delete any data you want permanently. It also stored your information in your own personal folder so that after making a post or a comment you can go back and edit it at a later date. This means once a post is made and you spot a typo you can edit it out with ease.

Photo Tagging:
When you upload a photo to your profile the interface will auto detect faces. How ever, unlike facebook it will not try and tag your friends for you. All you need to do if type your friends name into the box. Also unlike Facebook you can resize your tag window, allowing you more options when tagging. But there’s a big difference in the way Google handles the privacy aspect of photo tagging. When you tag someone, you see this note: “Adding this tag will notify the person you have tagged. They will be able to view the photo and the related album.”Facebook, on the other hand, does not make an effort to warn people the they’ve been tagged (possibly in an unflattering or compromising photo) and give them an immediate chance to remove the tag.


Chat, Talk and Video Chat:
Google+ uses an innovative system of chat much like the one used by skype. the interface lets you instant message, call and video chat with your friends. Not only this but it lets you start up group conferences while still being able to work online. They couple this together with a function call "hangouts" which uses the chat function and turns it into a work/play place where you can work and share together.  

A Better Steward of Your Personal Data:

Running a social network is all about responsible stewardship of users' personal information. Facebook is a young, fast moving company that has proved itself to be cavalier in its movements, lacking in respect for user data privacy, and accident prone. Google on the other hand, is a far more mature company that is, I would argue, seen as more trustworthy than Facebook. For the most part, Google has lived up to its “Don’t Be Evil” slogan. Which company would you rather have as the steward of your personally identifiable information?


Conclusion: 
Google+ is a fresh face to the social networking scene, but as such already delivers a huge amount of experience, designed by some of the best programmers in the world Google+ offers a quick, clean, simple and easy way to keep in touch and interact with your friends. The range of function with Google+ is so large that you needn't really turn anywhere also for you social needs, every thing can be achieved from one simple site. While Google+ has a long way to go it has not yet been released fully to the general public and has already emased a large group of followers, and when it becomes open it stands a good chance to topple the massive internet giant that is facebook. In conclusion Google+ is a faster, more innovative social tool that is easy to use and has no adverts or annoying gimmicks. Over the years google have release a horde of great sites and as such are slowly taking over the internet, with the release of Google+ they will reach a completely new level of excellence. 


Ultimately it is up to you to make up your own mind, how ever i hope this blog has opened your eyes to the brilliance and possibilities of Google+ 







Unfair Sentences for Protesters

We all saw the news, "tuition fee protests turn violent" (or something in that vain), but how are the authorities handling the situation? Recently there has been a massive uproar over controversial "over sentencing" intended to send out a message to other protesters. 


The most recent example of this was during the tuition fee protests in London. An A-Level student (Edward Wollard) from Brockenhurst college, who had reached the roof of the 30 Millbank building after a splinter group had smashed a ground floor window, threw the empty casket of a fire extinguisher from the top of the 7th story building. A fellow student had recently drained it, spraying its contents over the crowds bellow. If it had not been emptied the fire extinguisher would have exploded upon hitting the ground. As it was it actually it the floor causing no damage. The courts said that it was his intention that was to fault, even though it landed several meters from the policeman it was aimed at. Edward Wollard wasn't in fact caught, several days after the incident he handed him self in, to plead guilty to attempted man slaughter.    


On the 14th of January 2011 Edward Wollard was sentenced to a minimum of 2 years 8 months in jail. with the possibility with it rising to over 5 years. This is an extremely high sentence considering no harm was actually caused, if the incident was not so rare and wasn't on the increase the ruling would have undoubtedly been less severe. Such a large sentence was designed to send out a message to other protesters in future riots. Every body has their own interpretation on the ruling and ultimately it is up to you to make up your own mind, was the sentence the right severity, or did the judge rule unfairly?