Cool Tech Reviews

Just Cool Tech

November 15, 2006

Add a Blinkx audio video wall to your website


I’m always a sucker for a Web gadget and Blinkx, the audio and video search site, has a neat one:


The above is a “wall” which previews the audio and video results of searching for “Zune” at Blinkx. They encourage web site owners to embed such walls on their sites and the wall is resizeable and updates continuously. I’m not sure how Blinkx makes enough money to support this, but it’s certainly interesting.

This seems to be yet another example of the rapidly growing arena of Web “widgets” which a variety of publishers are providing for various reasons of their own. I previously mentioned the Google gadgets which fall into the same category.


Posted at 9:51 pm. Filed under Blinkx, Companies, Internet, Internet Search, Software, Web Applications, Web Design, Web site, Web software, Widgets

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October 3, 2006

Google offers website Gadgets


Google has always had a number of Gadgets available to spiff up your Google HomePage or Desktop, but they are now making them available to website owners to dress up their pages:

Google Gadgets are miniature-sized objects that offer cool and dynamic content that can be placed on any page on the web. A directory of “Google Gadgets for your webpage” is now available for webpage owners everywhere to browse and select gadgets for their own pages, at http://www.google.com/ig/directory?synd=open.

“Now anyone can have a great-looking website with automatically updating content,” said Adam Sah, Google Gadgets Architect. “By making Google Gadgets available for you to add to your webpage, we’re working to connect developers with enthusiastic consumers and to make information universally accessible and useful to the individual user.”

With almost no effort and at no cost, webpage owners can add complex, dynamically updating content to their own websites using Google Gadgets. Because there is such an enormous variety of Google Gadgets to choose from, webmasters also have a great deal of freedom to select only the gadgets that will best complement their own page. There are games, news clips, weather reports, maps, and more.

There are over 1200 of the Gadgets (most provided by 3rd parties) and I suspect the biggest problem is figuring out which ones to choose.  Below are a few that amused me, but I do have to note that loading speed will vary since they are hosted on the 3rd party websites. You may have to refresh the page a couple of times to see all three Gadgets that I have embedded. Also, they seemed to interact oddly with my stylesheet and I wasn’t able to control the heights of the windows as you can see. (Update: that problem now seems to be fixed.)


Posted at 9:23 pm. Filed under Companies, Google, Internet, Software, Web Applications, Web Design, Web site, Web software, Widgets

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September 7, 2006

Best Web applications for small business


After a false start during the late 90′s, the idea of Web applications replacing desktop (and server) applications is back with a vengeance with increasingly pervasive broadband access making Web applications useful for more than just big business and Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) Web programming providing user interfaces of nearly desktop quality. Today, Forbes has a article on The Best Web-Based Computer Applications For Small Business that reviews of the state of play for Web applications in the categories of:

I won’t spoil the ending, but let’s just say that Google walks away with the honors in every category where they compete except for word processors where Google’s recently acquired Writely comes in second to Zoho Writer (a product of AdventNet).

Knowing the best of the crop is nice, but the big question is always, “Are they good enough?” Forbes’ answer:

But don’t throw away your desktop applications just yet. As a general rule, Ajax sites simply aren’t as powerful or as useful as their desktop counterparts. Spreadsheet jockeys, for example, will want to stick with Excel for the foreseeable future.

But we also found surprising power and features in these sites. For example, Zoho Writer is in some ways superior to Microsoft Word, because it automatically creates an HTML version of your document on the fly and handles images better. And Gmail can give any desktop e-mail program a run for its money.

In general, if you’re looking to collaborate on documents, or share calendars, these sites can’t be beat. Nothing on your desktop compares with them.

Also, keep in mind that most of these applications are still in beta mode (in fact, a couple insist they’re alpha), and so they may change radically over the coming months.

The sharing advantage of Web applications is a refrain you will frequently hear repeated.


Posted at 8:22 pm. Filed under Brands, Companies, Google, Internet, Web Applications, Zoho

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