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Google To Start Publishing Knowledge?

Late last week, Google unveiled via their blog a new service currently called "Knol". Udi Manber, VP of Engineering, says that this "free tool" is based around a "'knol', which stands for a unit of knowledge." Also, "The key idea behind the knol project is to highlight authors. Books have authors' names right on the cover, news articles have bylines, scientific articles always have authors -- but somehow the web evolved without a strong standard to keep authors names highlighted."

Movie Rental Experience Improves with Redbox

The past couple years, I've not had much time to watch movies, due to having a full-time job and being involved in the People of Praise, among other things. Three or four years ago, I was a Blockbuster member and rented a couple movies every week. I spent about the same amount using Netflix the year after, and it was great to not have to stop at the local Blockbuster to pick up movies. Now that I don't watch movies, though, it's painful to rent movies.

Amazon's Kindle: Wireless e-Paper for the Non-Geek

Amazon Kindle with New York TimesLast week, Amazon.com announced its newest big venture, the Amazon Kindle. It seems to be the second major entry into the world of eBooks that are functional and will help develop this potential new market.

Why I Like My Mac

Alright, here's the exhaustive list:

Google Making Open Source Facebook

Right now, Facebook is probably the most successful and biggest hyped thing on the Internet. Most of it is for good reason, because many people, especially college students, have almost exclusively adopted it as their replacement to e-mail and Instant Messenger. With the release of powerful APIs to hook deeply into Facebook's site, some powerful applications (but mostly really annoying ones) have been created that leverage the social network of Facebook and integrate so well you don't even realize it's a program built on top of Facebook.

.mac: A Follow-Up

After talking to a couple friends, I found that I was assuming my readership knew a bit about Macs and how they work. Some readers thought when I posted .mac: What Is It Good For? that I was saying that I didn't like my new computer. That's certainly far from the truth.

FON: Share Your Home Wireless Securely

Some people believe that you should share the wireless signal with anyone, because Internet access should be free. I think that's a swell idea, but it doesn't work well in practice. I like having a secure network within our house because I like to share files and printers between computers. Those two goals don't work together well unless you get a router from FON.

Windows Live Writer: True WYSIWYG Blogging

AftThis post is different.  For most posts to this blog, I just login to the WordPress blog administration.  This one I wrote through a free program called Windows Live Writer, which is currently in free beta from Microsoft.  Here's a bit of the experience: imageimage

Ext JS: Simple, Full-Featured AJAX

I haven't tried it out myself yet, but this stuff just looks amazing. It seems to perform pretty well, too. Ext JS is a JavaScript library that can easily create some desktop-like window effects. A coworker was demoing it with a table of data and the JavaScript automatically sorted, he could CTRL-select items and you can even drag things around. It seems to be an great open-source application.

.mac: What Is It Good For?

In my case, it seems to me the obvious answer is "absolutely nothin'." Am I wrong?

I only have one Mac, this MacBook Pro I recently bought. I have plenty of web sites set up around the 'net where I can store information if I need to. I have websites so I don't need space to put my pages from iWeb, which can only be considered a slight upgrade from FrontPage.

Gravatar: The Global Online Icon/Photo

Not too long ago, a client at work was wondering what kind of options they could have for showing buddy icons in their blog comments. I looked around, but didn't really like any of the default plug-ins. Well, one struck my interest a bit, but the client wasn't looking for a third-party solution. What I found was Gravatar, a website that wants to host a visual identifier for you to be used anywhere online. It's a simple concept, but I was of course worried with setting up and managing another service, another plugin for my software, etc.

Local Whiners Disappointed With New 35W Bridge Proposal

This past week, Mn/DOT announced the plans for a new bridge to span the Mississippi River in the place where the 35W bridge collapsed. Below is probably the most pleasing design due to the rounded support pillars at each end of the river. There are other slight variations to the lighting and supports of the bridge that are still being decided.

New 35W Bridge Rendering

MetroTransit's GoTo Card Finally Out of Beta!

And people thought that Windows Vista took forever. About four years ago, I saw a green GoTo Card reader on a MetroTransit bus and asked a bus driver what that was. He said they were introducing a new kind of SuperSaver in time for the launch of the Hiawatha Light Rail line. Just this month, the GoTo Card has finally come out for public use, even though I've been using one for most of a year.

Don't Tune That Gibson!

Check this out! According to this post from Engadget, Gibson Guitars has developed a version of their electrics that require no manual tuning at all. For an extra $899, it has a set of pickups that are solely for tuning the guitar. The guitar can be tuned in a few seconds by pulling out the Master Control knob. It looks like the pickups take the tone to a computer and it tightens the strings within a built-in motor system.

Yes, It's True

As Joe Bowar says about a household member, "You act as if Dan just joined your religion." That's not true. But it's pretty exciting.

MacBook Pro

Just in case you haven't heard, I today purchased a MacBook Pro. It's a first-time Mac purchase for me, but it's been a long time coming. We'll see how much I like it, but so far, it's been great.

The New Bath & Body Works

The Old Bath & Body Works

I've once or twice been near to these stores because my sisters were in there. Well, I recently noticed their stores have a slick new look:

The New Bath & Body Works

The best part, though, is that they now have proper government-mandated warning on the front of these stores:

Know Your Google Readers

With the Internet and the aggressive caching of data by almost everyone, it's hard to measure your visitors accurately. For example, Google may only check your feed once, but any number of people may be reading your site via Google Reader or iGoogle or other services.

Google Presentations Now Live

Login to your Google Docs area (formerly known as Google Docs and Spreadsheets), and you can create a presentation! Now there's a free PowerPoint-ish program right on the web. I haven't tested it out yet, but it sounds interesting.

Also, to promote Docs, they came up with this kinda cheesy but also fun little video to promote Google Docs:

Keeping Spammers Away with Third-Party Tools

As anyone who runs a website these days knows, spam on the internet is becoming more and more of a problem. It's hard to keep up with it on your own. That's why you don't do it on your own. Here are a couple free services to install on your website to keep the spam away.

Like Music? I Want Your Help!

As many of you know, for almost a decade now I've been running a music review website. It started out on GeoCities, but thanks to the writing and hard work of many people, it's been at cMusicWeb.com for years, and it did pretty well as an independent, alternative source for honest reviews of Christian music. It was a good run, but in the last couple years the contributors have just gotten too busy with family and other commitments so the site has lacked a bit.

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