Only2Clicks is one of the few Web services I've seen lately whose name tells exactly what it does. The concept is pretty straightforward--set up your favorite Web sites, and the service will load them up in a grid, with photo thumbnails for each. You can add and remove any number of sites, and the thumbnails will be refreshed each time you reload the page. You can also re-organize the links with simple drag and drop. The idea is to set Only2Clicks as your start page, so you'll be able to quickly eyeball each site before figuring out where … Read more
This is not new, but I just saw it the other day, installed it, and liked it: Tab Effect. It's a plug-in for Firefox that adds a rotating cube effect to your screen when you change from one tab to the other. So, from a distance, people looking over your shoulder might think you're user switching on a Mac or using a much geekier Linux-based OS. And actually, I find Tab Effects adds a bit of situational awareness to my tabbed browsing experience, since the rotation of the cube matches the direction the new tab is from the … Read more
Flock is launching version 1.0 of its social browser next month. The biggest change is a new RSS reader and start page that essentially builds in its own NetVibes and Google Reader. Also new is a sidebar that hangs out on the right side of the browser and has tabs for Flickr, Facebook, and YouTube. If you've read up on our coverage of Mozilla's Coop project, Flock has basically beaten them to the punch, with a sidebar of your friends that lets you both keep track of what they're up to, as well as being able … Read more
In true Webware fashion, Plusmo's site offers hands-on excitement--the chance to publish and share widget mash-ups and create an iPhone widget from templates. Users can also make personal blogs available as a Plusmo widget, and can install a browser bookmarklet or Yahoo plug-in to snag feeds while they surf.
Getting started with Plusmo
Multiple carriers and platforms, small screen sizes, and a glut of information out there make quickly and easily accessing mobile content a downright challenge. That's why interestingly (and wisely), Plusmo steers clear of browser turf wars raging among third-party mobile browsers like Opera Mini (new review) and Minimo (hands-on review); a good move.… Read more
From the many positive announcements written about Frog since May 2007, a fresh, interesting approach to accessing the mobile Web shouldn't have exceeded expectations, especially six months after the initial release. After all, GeekSugar, MobileCrunch, and The Boy Genius Report all gave Frog nods as a viable home page alternative. After trying it out for myself, all I saw of Frog were warts.
Unlike traditional browser solutions that optimize page viewing, Frog adopts a portal model for accessing the Web. Nine quick-launch buttons each take you to a Web site optimized for mobile viewing.
While creating a Frog account online, users can add button icons for favorite sites from scores of options (good.) Four, to be exact. The other five slots are chosen for you and won't budge if you try to swap them out (bad.) However, it might be less of a problem if you already use MSN Weather, Google, Orbitz, RestaurantRow.com, and Fandango steadily and don't intend to swap the orientation on the screen.… Read more
I still don't fully get the whole Web operating system concept. Why run an OS inside a browser when your browser is running in an OS to begin with? But AjaxWindows, a Web OS and application suite that launched today, makes a very good case for the Web OS. It's not ready yet for adoption by the world at large, but the idea behind it, and some of the features in it, are too interesting to write off as just yet another science project.
Del.icio.us, the hugely popular social bookmarking service, has finally unveiled its new look. It's the biggest visual change the site's had since its launch in 2003, and the result of nearly a year's worth of work. Besides a face-lift, the service has undergone several enhancements, both in how you browse new links and search through them. Of course, this new site isn't open to everyone. In classic Web 2.0 form, access is limited to a select few in the form of a beta preview the Del.icio.us team is using for feedback before rolling out the changes to everyone.
The site first announced its intentions of a massive re-design in early February, and just a few months back noted some fun statistics about their usability testing lab, which had apparently used more than 2,000 Post-it Notes to organize observations about the re-design. This may not sound too impressive, which is why I'd recommend taking a look at this picture, which gives me headache just to look at.
The first thing you'll notice about the new Del.icio.us is that the name has forgone its dots to simply be known as "Delicious." Besides making it easier for newbies to pronounce, it's also a departure from its roots of a small, independent Web site who was one of the first to pioneer the gloriously cheesy domain name hack, a practice that's even led to a startup that figures them out for you. The other thing you'll notice is that there's more emphasis on tags, and tagging in general, as they've been given a much more prevalent look and presence throughout the site.
The real change, however, is in search and navigation, which have both been streamlined and made faster. The old Delicious search was a tad on the sluggish side, whereas the new search is noticeably faster. The results have also been improved to show you who was the first to save it as a bookmark, along with pushing the tags out to the side in case you feel like drilling down by genre. The navigation now features drop-down menus to let you quickly drill down to various parts of the site, skipping an extra page view or two.
When it comes to actually creating new bookmarks on the Delicious site, the process is like Miss South Carolina: pretty but slow. Despite the advances in page design, you still have to navigate through two separate pages to add a new link via URL. I prefer the newer trend of opening up a lightbox pop-up to let me enter in information, and then getting shot back to the page I was viewing before. There's a handy bookmarklet to add whatever page you're visiting, which is actually the fastest way to add new content to the site short of clicking a site-integrated "add to Delicious" button, but the current system is still prohibitive for batch link uploading.… Read more
RockMe. has got to the be the only five-day music festival where you won't pay for tickets. It is social-networking site Me.dium's attempt to rock your world, and the only thing you need to get in is your Web browser. (Of course, you still have to bring your own drinks.)
RockMe., which runs from September 18 through September 22, 2007, will feature bands, music video competitions, and the world's safest mosh pit--it's virtual. More important to Me.dium, the RockMe. festival will provide plenty of opportunities for band members and music lovers to swap fond memories of choice lyrics and drum solos using Me.dium's service.… Read more
Editor's Note: This review has been updated to include new information.
Once upon a time, there was an idea to electronically, immediately read and search major literary works online.
This is how Google Books first entered public consciousness, as a tangled controversy between publishers who feared copyright infringement and Internet enthusiasts championing Google's momentum to search everything.
Liberating information is good, those publishers said, but not at our expense. Not so, replied Google, who promised it could increase awareness for niche publishers, protect copyrights, and create opportunity for greater sales all while promoting a valuable public service.… Read more
Sony and a technology site are using a conference to show off a confluence of next-generation, monopoly-bypassing technology: a Sony Playstation 3 videogame console running Linux and Firefox as a foundation for Web-based "Office 2.0" applications.
Sony called the conference a great opportunity to "showcase the PS3 system's computing power and productivity capabilities."
"Installing Linux and Firefox on the PS3 enables … Read more