If there's one aspect of parenting that didn't change with the new millennium (and probably never will), it's the natural right to brag on one's children. But as any insufferable parent knows, most portable digital viewers are either too clunky or too small (horrors) to get a decent look at the rugrats.
So we thought Discovery had found the missing link with its "Mini Recording Frame Set," which had a full display (the device measure 4.75 by 2.25 inches and only a quarter-inch thick) while weighing only an ounce. It also joins … Read more
Flektor is a new Flash-based content mashup tool. Users can pull in photos from several hosting services like flickr, MySpace, and Photobucket to make slick-looking, embeddable media slide shows for blogs, Web sites or social networks. It's a lot like Mixercast, and other media mashup services like RockYou and SplashCast.
Flektor's interface is drag-and-drop, and has a very short learning curve. To add media to your show, just drag imported media files down to a timeline at the bottom of the screen, where they can be rearranged or removed at any time. There are also "Flidgets" which can be inserted into your show to add live chat, a live broadcast from your Webcam, or cliched film effects like color bars or static. What's really neat is the ability to edit any picture with some easy-to-use sliders that let you do simple, on-the-fly alterations to your photographs--something you'd find on a Web-based photo editing tool like Picnik.
To add a little flair to your show, there are nearly 100 transitions, effects, and filters that can be put on top of or in between your media. You can also edit each effect and change its appearance. Out of the many transitions I've seen on some of these Flash editors (Photobucket's Remix in particular), Flektor has some really snappy and good-looking effects.
The main hindrance in using Flektor is how long it takes to communicate with the third-party services. Flickr in particular takes quite a while to sync up photos from various albums. On the upside, the MySpace integration is very simple; just give it a username and it will pull up photos members have uploaded in addition to any images that have been embedded in user comments. It's also easy to embed your Flektor player on a number of services, with a handy export page that provides special embedding codes for a dozen services (including Google's Orkut).
I've embedded a sample "Flek" I put together using some photo and video clips. For screenshots of the editing interface, keep reading.
File this one under "cute, but not there yet." One of the new Web sites that was showcased at Tuesday's New York New Tech Meetup was PictureDots, which falls under one of my favorite categories of Web 2.0: borderline useless time-wasters. Basically, with PictureDots you can create your own connect-the-dots puzzles, share them with your friends online, or print them out for your favorite kids (of any age). Kind of a cool idea, especially when you think of the procrastination opportunities.
But there's a downside. It's cute, but it's not particularly efficient. You … Read more
PowerSnap is a small and free Windows application that merges photos on your home computer with those on the Web photo service Flickr. Its purpose is simple: provide users with a way to view and manage all their photos, online and off.
PowerSnap has a Flash-based interface that lets you navigate, tag, and arrange your photos. It's similar to what you'd get with most photo browsing applications (see iPhoto or Picasa). What sets PowerSnap apart is its Flickr-user tracking, which essentially lets you create RSS feeds for Flickr members. You can add as many Flickr usernames as you … Read more
Anyone who has planned a party before knows that one of the hardest parts is making a cool invite and sorting through your contacts to figure out who's coming. A new party collaboration tool called MyPunchbowl launched this morning, aimed at making invitation creation and guest lists a little bit easier. It has Google Maps and directory services built in to help your guests find the party, and to help you find local stores to buy streamers, pirate hats, and silly string to your heart's content. Most important, it's just easier to use than Evite, the most … Read more