Monday, December 24, 2007

Best Websites and Web 2.0 Services

Earth in Space: Best Websites

Here is a brief list of our favorite websites and Web 2.0 services. These are the websites that I visit often, and the services that I use and trust.

Everything we've listed is free, although some of these services let you pay a little to get more features.

Visit the EPW Page of Top Websites and Web 2.0 Services
Best Websites on Epublishers Wiki

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Monday, December 17, 2007

10 Reasons Why I Switched to an Apple Mac

iMac in snow

After a thousand years as a Windows PC user, I'm switching to an Apple iMac. Here's why:

1. The Leopard Operating System. Take Apple's Guided Tour of Leopard.

2. You Can Run Every Program in the Universe. Abiltiy to run the other major operating systems, including Windows XP and Linux.

3. Sound and Video. This generation communicates via voice and moving images. The computer most-often used by sound-and-video professionals is the Mac.

4. Apple's Other Stuff. Easy integration with other appealing Apple products and gizmos, such as iPods and iPhones and iTunes.

5. MS Non-compliance. I want to send a message to Microsoft: "Make your web browser compliant with web standards." . See this
article by Hakon Lie from The Register. See also, Lie's Open Letter to the Web Community

And for 5 more reasons ...

6. Hasta La Vista, Vista ... I don't like Microsoft's new operating system.

7. Security. With Macs, there is less to worry about concerning the many varieties of malware.

8. Keynote Presentation software. ... Whenever I see a stunning presentation, it's been made with Keynote. Keynote comes included in Apple's reaonsonably-priced iWorks.

9. Value. At first, PCs seem to be cheaper than Macs — until you put together your ideal configuration of PC hardware and software. And then you discover that the Mac is a good deal.

10. Why not? .... As Zorba the Greek says: "You're like a grocer, you weigh everything. Can't a man do something just because he wants to!"

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Snapfish Snaps: ... "Not One Penny For Tribute!"

Imagine, opening your email Inbox — that sanctuary of friendly communications — and receiving the following message:


Hi Zorba,

A few weeks ago, we sent you an email about preserving your online photos at Snapfish. TO AVOID DELETION, YOU MUST VISIT SNAPFISH AND MAKE AN ONLINE PURCHASE WITHIN THE NEXT 10 DAYS.*

To re-activate your account and preserve your online photos, please visit Snapfish and order prints, photo CDs, photo gifts, photo books, 4x8" photo cards, or download high-resolution photos within the next 10 days. Even buying a single 12¢ print will re-activate your account. Your account will be re-activated for 12 months with each purchase you make.


My first thought: This is a new Nigerian email scam, attempting to persuade me to click a link and enter my passwords. ... On second look, the message did appear real — or, surreal — coming from a company that I've purchased many a product from. Legitimate businesses and organizations should never send threatening, spam-like emails. Rather than wasting time investigating the genuineness of this genre of "do-it-or-else" emails, I prefer to send them to my trash folder immediately.

“Legitimate businesses and organizations should never send threatening, spam-like emails.”

The last time I looked, there were dozens of online places to store photos. Photobucket is superb; as is ImageShack. The photo-service Shutterfly says that they have "never deleted a photo." Flickr is popular. Mediafire and offer free storage for not just photos, but all varieties of files.

Snapfish should have titled their email message: "How to Lose A Customer". I could continue my Snapfish account by buying a photo for 12 cents. But this kind of bullying must be discouraged. I will remember the words of Robert Goodloe Harper (shown above): "Not one penny for tribute!" — and let my Snapfish account expire.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

13 Reasons To Choose Google Groups

Max Frisch (1911–1991) — the Swiss architect, playwright, and novelist — writes that technology is a system for separating persons from reality. ... That is not true for many of the new communication technologies. Email helps us to quickly and easily connect with friends, colleagues, and strangers. Internet discussion groups allow small and large numbers of people to exchange information and ideas.
Google Groups shot

Not unexpectedly, in this realm Google is leading the pack. What is Google Groups? ... According to Wikipedia: Google Groups is "a free service from Google where groups of people have discussions about common interests. Internet users can find discussion groups related to their interests and participate in threaded conversations, either through the Google Groups web interface, or by e-mail."

You can join a group or start one. For more information, see the Google Groups home page:

Discussion Groups are available from other providers, but Google Groups offers the most features and the fewest annoyances. Here are 13 reasons why I prefer Google to the other leading Groups provider. Google Groups gives you:

1. A Better Privacy Policy. With Yahoo Groups, every so often you'll need to check your privacy settings and "opt out" of unwanted offers.

2. Less spam. ...

3. Less advertising.

4. Safer browsing. ... Some of those Yahoo banner ads might contain malware — which can be blocked by the Firefox browser add-on "No Script". However using "No Script" with Yahoo often renders Yahoo services unusable.

5. Faster and More Efficient Search. Find old messages faster: no need to keep them in your email, just search the Google pages.

6. Advanced Discussion Format, which keeps the topic together in one post.

7. Pages Feature. You can create web pages with useful information, which can be edited either by Group managers, or by all the members.

8. Less Noise. ... I first thought of switching from Yahoo Groups to Google, after the bottom of my Yahoo Groups home page displayed "Yahoo Answers", with the question: "How do i let God into my life?"

9. Longevity. ... Ever had a Yahoo email address, log in to Yahoo, and then find that all your emails have been deleted? ... Yahoo zaps your account if you don't log in for a while. Google — last time I looked — gave me an inactivity grace period of three times as long.

10. Favorites Feature. ... Click the "star" beside a Google Groups message, and you've added to your "Favorites" list. Then click
Favorites, and your list appears.

11. Easier Management. For the list owners and managers: it's easier to add members in bulk, and to tweak settings.

12. More options with each message. At the bottom of each post, Google gives me these choices: Reply | Reply to author | Forward | Print | Individual message | Show original | Report this message | Find messages by this author.

13. Integration with other free Google Services. ... If you're using Gmail or Google Documents, you're one click away from your Google Groups, and vice versa.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Hotspots: A Stunning New Documentary

hotspots: image from film

Hotspots is a new documentary produced by the Dancing Star Foundation.

In Geeklish, a hotspot is a location that provides public Wi-Fi access. But talk with an ecologist, and you'll discover that a hotspot is a geographical location containing an immense diversity of animals, birds, or plants. The key to saving our planet is to protect and preserve these environmental hotspots.

The new film documents the latest and best efforts to save these essential places.
Watch the stunning trailer, on YouTube, by clicking the image above, or the link below.

Hotspots (film trailer)

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Health For Life — Websites About Health

Health is the true wealth.

According to E. Graham Howe, there are four great healing forces: Time, Sleep, Change, and Love.

Those things heal the mind; to maintain the body we need excercise, right eating, a sense of humor, and a deep connection with the natural world.

EPW Favorite Websites About Health

Follow the link above to our ever-growing collection of links to websites with valuable information about living a long and healthy life.

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