Category Archives: WOTW

No Website of the week this week.

empty_chairI will be skipping website of the week this week as well as tonight’s show with Chris Ilsley as I deal with a bit of water in parts of the house where it should not be.

Provided all goes well, I should be able to follow up with a WOTW later this week and be in the studio with Paul Murray on Thursday afternoon.

Thanks for your patience and catch you all really soon.

Website of the Week 2014 #13

webbyawards.comwebbys

If you could picture an Academy Awards for the internet, this would be it. A large collection of nominees, lifetime achievement awards and some of the biggest names in technology and entertainment attending this annual event.

Currently voting is under way for the 18th Webby Awards as nominees are vying for the top in their category as well as the People’s choice awards for 2014. There are some excellent nominees including wired.com, KLM Airlines and the fascinating Melbourne Remote Control Tourist.

You can not only vote for your favourite website but look at the winners and nominees of years gone by all the way back to the “what were we thinking” entries of 1997. If anything this has shown the role of graphic design and user experience has influenced websites over the years.

Have a look around at the nominees or look back at the past winners. One that particularly got my attention was www.ro.me, an interactive short film  from last year with great music and a stunning graphics for a website that takes you on a post-apocalyptic psychedelic trip mixed with bright interactive graphics.

Just so you know, I might feature some of the winners in weeks to come just in case you don’t find the time to explore some of the Internet’s finest.

Share what you find on the EZiWireless facebook page.

Website of the Week 2014 #12

LastPass.com – The Last Password You Have To RememberLastPassLogo329x40

This is a repeated website of the week but I think with the latest on the Heartbleed vunerability the recent action from the people at lastpass.com definitely warrants a mention for this week’s website of the week.

Lastpass.com is a password vault that allows you to keep your passwords safe and locked away with a single password but that is only part of the magic. Lastpass.com also has some really nice browser plugins for your Windows computer or Mac that will generate secure passwords for websites you use, store them encrypted and online and when you revisit sites you have previously logged into will automatically log you into the website. All done securely and easily.

The security model used by lastpass is known as TNO which stands for Trust No One. This security model is one of the most secure encryption methods where only the end user holds the decryption key and the encryption/decryption is performed on the end user’s computer. Lastpass is unable to look at the encrypted information you keep on it servers even if compelled by law enforcement. It is not technically possible to do so.

Here is the latest for the free browser plugin that really takes the cake.

You may of heard of the Heartbleed issue over the last week or so and you might be a little confused on how to combat this issue. The trick is that timing password changes is critical. If left too late, you may leave yourself open. Too early and your password change does nothing to fix the issue. The trick is to change your password as soon as the security modules in the affected website are patched and new security certificates are issued. The problem is that this is not happening at the same time for all websites.

Only some of the websites are affected and each team managing the websites are moving at their own pace on closing the holes. Keeping track of who is patched is a bit of a headache but if you are using lastpass.com you can find out which sites are ready for your new password.

On the lastpass plugin, click tools, security check and then start the security challenge to run an audit on your online security including heartbleed affected services.
Or, you can simply go directly to the challenge by following the link to https://lastpass.com/?securitychallenge (you will need to be logged into your lastpass account).

This was above and beyond the usual service that Lastpass has provided in its free and paid (US$12/yr) services. This has been acknowledged widely in the online security and technology sectors and has gained Lastpass a great deal of respect in the online community.

The only thing missing on the Lastpass team is the capes. These guys are flat out heroes.

Website of the Week 2014 #11

Fitocracy.com – What if fitness could be turned into a game?fitocracy

Back in August 2010 Richard Talens and Brian Wang asked the question “What if fitness could be turned into a game?”. Playing games is one of the most motivating forces behind humans getting things done if they don’t involve survival. We don’t run from threats any more and we certainly don’t track and chase down food. The reason to work out is pretty much left to those with copious amounts of self-discipline while the rest of us will relentlessly pursue the next level or high score.
When it comes to games, it is not hard to see that there is a slight addiction to that particular game that grabs your attention and coaxes you to have “just one more go”. This is where Richard and Brian looked at how to apply the concept of a game into fitness.

Fitocracy is a website, an application and a kind of social network where you can track your progress, send messages to other “Fitocrats”, duel other members, claim awards and share workouts with other members. There is also team fitness that lets you join small personal fitness groups led by a coach that tailors your program, diet and schedule to help you reach your goals.

The idea seems pretty good and I am actually interested in giving this a go. The website has apps for your Android and Apple device so you can take fitocracy with you.

Go on, jump in. If you are like me you have nothing to lose except maybe a couple of kilos.

OK maybe more than just a couple.

Website of the Week 2014 #10

Thinkgeek – stuff for smart masses.thinkgeek

Again..

Those that have been following from the beginning of Website of the Week would know that Thinkgeek has already made it to website of the week but this time it is special.

This is a special time of year when we get some really awesome things for sale at the Thinkgeek site.

Each and every April, we find wondrous things in the Thinkgeek store. Some of them are downright out there like the Mr. Beard® Beard Machine that I am sure will never see the light of day then we have other items that might just make production if demand is high enough like the Flux Capacitor Car Charger (ask your parents that grew up in the 80’s about this) and more!

This has happened before where a prank item in previous years got so much demand from visitors that Thinkgeek decided to get on it and produce gems like the iCade, Chocolate Zombie Bunny (just in time for Easter) and the Star Wars Tauntaun Sleeping Bag.

Thinkgeek have turned mischief-making into an worldwide product focus group. For a list of previous years April sale products go here.

Website of the Week 2014 #9

XKCD – a webcomic.xkcd

This website is a personal favorite of mine. Peppered with witty comments and observations, XKCD the brainchild of physics graduate and robotics engineer Randall Monroe is a simple series of stick illustrations. That is not where the magic is.

Randall Monroe brings a good deal of intelligence and witty humor to make these simple comics stand out. From simple and informative comics like Password Strength (good password tips for everyone!) to simply massive panels, that you have to work to see all of the story like Click and Drag (called that because you have to actually click and drag to see more of the final panel).

There is also a recent favorite of mine. It is a world clock that illustrates the different time zones AND it keeps the time! I know I posted it the previous story but it is so smart I thought I should post it again.

Grab a tea/coffee/whatever, pull up a seat and hit the random button. You going to be here for a little while.

If you do find a gem that strikes a chord with you, share it.

Website of the Week 2014 #6

500px.com – The Premier Photography Community.

500px_logo_colorWhat if I was to tell you that there is a single website that holds some of the best photographs in the world today?

500px is one of those websites, some from professional photographers and some are amateur and 500px showcases some of their best work.

You can browse the massive collection of images and if you see one you like, you can purchase one from the photographer and in some (rare) cases you can download a copy of the image for free.

The 500px.com site kicked off in October 2009 and since then has continued to build around photographers allowing them to showcase, explore and sell some of the best photographic works around.

The free account for photographers allows up to 20 uploads a week and access to the 500px market providing a place to sell their work. More advanced accounts increase features and allow photographers to use the 500px market in their own websites.

With apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Chrome, as well as the traditional website there is a way for everyone to browse curated collections of images on 500px.

Website of the Week 2014 #5

Untappedforce.com.au

untappedFlexible work for Mothers and Others

Now this is not so much a technical website but a brilliant business idea that helps people like mothers and other people that are looking to work a few hours a day.

This is a way of getting mothers and other people only able to work a few hours a day in touch with employers that are looking for quality staff to fill those hours during the most productive parts of the working day. The service is essentially an advertising board where employers pay to list available positions that potential employees can browse for free.

Typical applicants are going to be the mothers with school age children that are looking to re-enter the workforce. These kind of applicatants will usually have some kind of prior experience in the workforce while also being enthusiastic about returning to an environment that delivers a different social environment.

Flexibility is also a consideration as technology in general allows people to telecommute (work from home, while connecting to work via email, messaging or even remote desktop services).

In all, a smart idea to a long standing issue that simply solves a problem for all parties.

For more information, go to http://www.untappedforce.com.au/

Website of the Week 2014 #4

Rottnestchannelswim.com.auHBF_RCS_Logo

Western Australia’s biggest annual swim event takes place this weekend and you can get to know more about this massive challenge and track team progress on the day with a handy couple of sites I have dug up.

First there is the official website for the event rottnestchannelswim.com.au where you get to know the ins and outs surrounding this massive 19.7km open water event. An estimated 274 competing teams and solo swimmers will take part this weekend and there is also a way to track the progress of the teams. Using a GPS enabled smartphone or SPOT tracker, it is possible for teams to register their device for tracking via http://www.mapswim.com/rotto/ so friends, family and other people interested in the race progress can watch in real time.

Competitors can find information on how to install and set up the smartphone tracking app and register it with mapswim.com at http://www.mapswim.com/support/

To all the competitors and support teams, fair weather and best of luck.

Website of the Week 2014 #3

Saferinternetday.org – “Let’s create a better internet together”.image_gallery

Safer Internet Day is a landmark event in the computer industry calendar originating with the European Commission as the Safer Internet Programme way back in 1999. The aim was to promote sage and responsible use of the internet by children and young people and protecting them from harmful and illegal content.
In 2004 the program became a part of the SafeBorders project under the EU and then taken up in 2005 by the Insafe Network (www.saferinternet.org).

The initiative covers topics from cyberbullying to social networking with a focus each year reflecting current concerns with this year being “Lets create a better internet together”.

Even Australia is involved and you can get access to all the details on Safer Internet Day by going to the Cybersmart website at www.cybersmart.gov.au.

At the end of the day, it is all about showing kids how to use the internet safely.

Website of the Week 2014 #2

Patreon.com Be a patron of the new arts.Patreon
Support and engage with the creators you love.
Creating content takes effort and money. A lot of independant producers of youtube videos, music, podcasts and art do so for the love of it hoping one day to make it big. The problem is that there is a lot of people out there trying to get the attention of sponsors and promoters and there is not enough of the big money to go around but these creators have their own following of fans that like what these people do.
This is where Patreon.com comes in. It allows fans to support creators by pledging a small amount every month or for every piece of work to go directly to the artist allowing them to get on with making more podcasts, videos, songs or other creative works that the fans like so much. This provides an intimate relationship between the artist and the fan as Patreon not only collects pledges but becomes a communication and promotion hub where the artist can update fans on progress of various projects, give special offers for higher levels of support and even outline goals for when certain levels of funding are reached.
Just for fun I have even set up my own Patreon.com page at http://www.patreon.com/eziwireless as an example. I am actually looking to use Patreon to further develop my podcasting and sharing of technology. The goals may be a bit lofty but I aim to deliver on my promises and meeting these goals will allow me to further concentrate on sharing technology news and answers to listener feedback.

Some people on Patreon that are doing well include…
Tom Merritt, an award winning podcaster now producing independant tech news and other shows.
Scott Bradlee who produces an alternate take on popular songs and many more that can be found on Patreon.com

Website of the Week 2014 #1

Aaaaand I’m back!

After a bit of time off from the scouring for useful, fun or just plain interesting websites it is time I got this cranked up again. A tiny tweak to the format and we will see how this goes.

I am about to go on air at 6PR.com.au very soon and as usual we have a website of the week. This one is for those that remember games from a few years ago.

GOG.COM (Good old games)gog
They may not make them like they used to but at least you can still play them like you used to.
If you spent any time playing games growing up or if you simply want to play a classic game for really cheap then gog.com is for you.
You do not get the flashy graphics, sweeping sceneries or slick production of today’s big budget video games but you can get some excellent gameplay wrapped up in some of the most iconic titles that spawned a multi-billion dollar industry.
Play games dating back to Leisure Suit Larry and Zork all the way up to Flatout 2 and Surgeon Simulator 2013 for as little as a couple of dollars. Even the more recent games are often less than $20 so it is pretty easy to get your old gaming fix even if you lost the original box and discs.
Your purchases are also saved on the website meaning you never have to worry about losing those old games again.
Got an old game that you remember playing all those years ago? Share it in the comments.

Website of the Week – Yuletide Edition

This is a good two for one deal and is for the young and the young-at-heart.

We have two great sites and both are dedicated to tracking the flightpath of a certain big red guy as he zips around the globe on December 24, 2013.

We have both Google and NORAD/Microsoft tracking Santa at two different websites. Both full of music, videos and games based around the whole Christmas theme.

Bringing their respective technologies into play, children all over the world can watch Santa cover the world in one night and while they are waiting for the big day, they can explore the advent-style websites to help count down the days.

To look at the NORAD/Microsoft website, go to www.noradsanta.org/ or to have a look at what google has to offer by clicking on www.google.com/santatracker/#.

Seasons greetings everyone!

Website of the week 11th December 2013

The nicest place on the internet.nice

This is an oldie but a goodie and the concept is so incredibly simple. There is no money, no membership, no registration and it can really make someones day. It is http://thenicestplaceontheinter.net.

If you are feeling down and you need a little pick-me-up then this might be just the place to visit for a few minutes. It is a string of short videos submitted by strangers (not the scary kind) smiling at their cameras and then just simply hugging the camera.
Normally this might creep people out a little but there is something that is a little infectious about people giving warm smiles and leaning in as if to give you a hug.
This site is just simply about giving.
Some of the video is grainy and choppy, some of the people are downright cheesy but the sentiment is not lost on the basic concept of a smile from a stranger.

This site was created as a collaborative project between Kenny Crosby (http://www.kennycrosby.com/about.php), Lauren Perlow (http://laurenperlow.com/) and Jeff Lam (http://jeffmade.me/) and the music is “I Have Never Loved Someone” (https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-have-never-loved-someone/id466432429?i=466432442) by My Brightest Diamond.

Website of the Week 3/12/2013

-Suggested by Grum via Facebook-

Thatsnonsense.com – busting the latest hoaxes in social media.false

A friend of EZiWireless, Grum recommends this site every morning to keep up to date with what is genuine and what is not BEFORE you visit facebook or other social network services.

Thatsnonsense.com is a volunteer site dedicated to cleaing up the internet by identifying and annoucing false stories, scams, hoaxes and rumours.

Not only does it save you the time and hassle of working out if that amazing story is true or not, it also offers a wide range of tips and tricks that can help protect you against the cybercriminals by forewarning you about how the bad guys are carrying out their scams.

This site is ad supported via affiliate programs and also by donations and is staffed by volunteers. It would be hard to find better good guys on the internet in my opinion.

You can visit the site and also keep up to date via Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Website of the Week 27/11/2013

Creativelive.com – Free online workshops taught by world class experts.

Click the CreativeLive logo to check it out.
Click the CreativeLive logo to check it out.

If you have seen other websites of the week, you would know that I love websites that share knowledge. Learning a new skill or honing existing talents is always a worthwhile exercise and I get excited when I find another way to learn.

Creativelive.com is one of those sites that gives you access to live online lectures by experts in their field along with a chat room and live audience. You get access to workshops covering Photography, Videography, Business & Money, Art & Design, Music & Audio, Maker & Craft and general well-being.

You can access free live and rebroadcast video workshops on the CreativeLive schedule for free and if you want to watch videos on demand you can buy a course on a particular subject with multiple videos and downloadable worksheets available online in your own library.

As you pay for on-demand access, the site is self-funded and does not seem to need advertising (or the advertising is so subliminal I did not notice it) so all you get is the content you paid for.

Credit goes to my wife for finding this one.