Wednesday 30 August 2006

aStore opening

Please drop by my new aStore, which has been designed specifically to cater for my blogger readership.

aStore by Amazon is a new Associates product that gives you the power to create a professional online store, in minutes and without the need for programming skills, that can be embedded within or linked to from your website.

What self-respecting store doesn't have a suitable logo to identify it from the crowd? Because aStore (at time of writing) doesn't allow users to generate more than one store (per affiliate account), I decided to combine the look and feel of both my blogs and incorporated their favicons.

Unintentionally I think it compares favorably with Gap and Apple Computer's current addiction to the '+' branding!

Tuesday 29 August 2006

Genie In A Bottle

Coke has officially launched its iTunes partnership in the UK! Customers purchasing 2 litre bottles are guaranteed a free song (to the value of £0.79). This beats the US-only Pepsi promotion hands down. What's not to like?

Coke + iTunes bottles have started appearing in Essex as of last week!

Wednesday 16 August 2006

Sussing IT

After some late night template tweaking, I've sussed that (at present) my current Blogger templates cannot be automatically updated to use the new features, which includes a comment feed (I'll burn this using FeedBurner - I'm a veritable stats junkie)! However, the modifications can be applied manually. So, I'd better backup my templates!

Tuesday 15 August 2006

Designer Labels (Blogger goes beta)

I'm sure you already know that Google has lifted the wraps off of a substantial upgrade to Blogger! This was foreshadowed by the soft launch of RSS 2.0.

While the majority of users (myself included) await confirmation to migrate their existing accounts. You can get a sneak peek of what's in store for both my blogs here. Labels is a long awaited category/tag mashup that will enrich Technorati listings. Of course template trammels could render things "dunzo" as they say on Laguna Beach!

Please note that at time of writing, there's no auto-detect feature for RSS (amongst other technical foibles), at least until I've augmented the html code.

Tuesday 8 August 2006

Monetize MySpace

Google will snatch away affluent eyeballs from Yahoo!

The ubiquitous search engine company has signed a lucrative search and contextual advertising deal with MySpace.

"Under the terms of the agreement, Google will be obligated to make guaranteed minimum revenue share payments to Fox Interactive Media of $900 million based on Fox achieving certain traffic and other commitments," the companies said.

As an avid AdSense publisher, I'm hoping that there will be opportunities to customize MySpace templates and add content banners (AdSense for RSS whilst you're at it). Plus MySpace referral links, which would garner payments for new sign-ups (see sidebar for current examples).

Perhaps, in light of the above announcement, Yahoo! Publisher Network will now open to international publishers. The company needs to, yesterday.

Monday 7 August 2006

Hasta la vista, Vista

Today's the day!

Friday 4 August 2006

The Year Of The Leopard

Next week heralds Apple's annual WWDC and another opportunity for me to miss my Mecca! This year I'll refrain from too much speculation (such are the rigors of maintaining more than one blog!).

Here's an alleged scoop regarding what we might expect in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard (taken from O'Grady's PowerPage):

*Spotlight 2.0
*Dashboard 2.0
*Safari 3.0
*iChat 4.0
*Automator 2.0
*QuickTime 7.2
*Mail 3.0
*iCal 3.0
*Address Book 5.0

Application updates are a no-brainer and there's no big ticket items. Remember kids, this is only hearsay. Don't get me started on a musical tangential!

Thursday 3 August 2006

Photographer's panacea?

Google has released an iPhoto plug-in and standalone uploader for Picasa Web Albums (membership required).

Now there are two ways to upload your photos to Picasa Web Albums -- from directly within iPhoto or using drag-and-drop from a standalone application.

For iPhoto users
The Picasa Web Albums Exporter lives right inside iPhoto. Select photos, choose Export in the File or Share menu, and upload them directly to your web album.

For a standalone application
Use the Picasa Web Albums uploader -- just drag photos from the Finder and click the Upload button.

However, this isn't a port of the application and Flickr remains the de facto photo sharing platform amongst Mac Users.

Wednesday 2 August 2006

Crossed Widget Wires

It's almost a decade since I first worked for Reuters*, that wire service of wire services. And Reuters released a useful Mac OS X Widget (download page) today! Neat gift, huh?

The Reuters Widget gives you access to news and information directly on your dashboard.

Forget the hassle of searching for articles - let Reuters bring them to you. The Reuters Widget updates information as soon as stories break.

You can display up to ten of the top headlines from your favorite Reuters news channels - including Top News, Business News, Technology, and Oddly Enough, among others.

However, there was considerable confusion amongst Mac Users (myself included) as to why it wasn't playing nice with Dashboard? Disaster was averted when it came to light that the widget is intended for use with Yahoo! Widget Engine.

Please ask, nicely, Reuters' developers if they would kindly write a self-updating Dashboard edition too? Based on Web Kit technologies, Dashboard Widgets are created using a mix of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Deliciously simple. Thanks.

Bloomberg isn't it time you supported us too? I'd be more than happy to offer my coding services!

*Disclaimer. I left the company in January 2000 and very briefly returned to the fold, Reuters Knowledge, in 2003.

Tuesday 1 August 2006

August already!

...And, aside from template tweaks and seeing to affiliate business, I've had virtually no time to post! Apologies.

A friend asked me whether or not I've seen Superman Returns yet (or any other blockbuster for that matter)? The answer is no! The notion of going to the cinema is increasingly unappealing and it makes more sense, for me, to wait for the DVD release or, perhaps, more conveniently, the sky movies premiere. Why compromise, eh? What have I been watching?

*House of Wax
*Batman Begins
*The Italian Job
*Ghost World
*Die Hard With A Vengeance
*King Arthur

With the advent of 'free' Film 4, there's another reason not to make the journey to the Exeter Odeon or Picture House.