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.
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.)
I know, Microsoft and free don’t usually go together, but from time to time you’ve probably seen some Microsoft freebies and wondered if there might be more. Not to worry, Blake Handler tracked them down and made a list:
Ultimate List of Free Windows Software from Microsoft
Microsoft has over 150 FREE Windows Programs available for download — but finding them all is extremely difficult. Until now, thanks to the Road to Know Where!
They are mostly utilities, some of which only a true geek would love, but there’s a little bit of everything including browser enhancers, screen savers, games, eBook readers, and a surprising amount of multimedia tools.