I haven’t dedicated a post to random web stuff in quite a while and now seems like as good of time as any to do just that.
In a day and age when personalized homepages are becoming a dime a dozen (just think, Microsoft Live, Google Personalized, Start.com, ProtoPages, to name a few) it’s pretty tough to differentiate the services. Any feature that pops up on one of the sites is pretty much guaranteed to be copied to some extent on the others. So what makes a good personalized homepage? I found it in Netvibes.
To put it simply, it’s fast, it’s lightweight, and it just works. Even little things like the webnotes are done superbly. It’s all very easy and quick to set up. As well, it has a hell of a lot of content available for it by default. For example there’s integration with Gmail and Yahoo Mail and Hotmail and AOL Mail. As well, it attaches to you EBay account and you can manage your bookmarks as well. It also has a nice built in feed filter that helps you find the content you want in your page. And finally, it’s pleasing to the eye. Sure the Google Personalized homepage is pretty quick and lightweight as well, but I really do wish they would hire some proper designers. It’s like the features are there but the UI was added as an afterthought. Oh, and I almost forgot one of the best parts; Netvibes has an amazing RSS reader built in.
Now this probably sounded like an advertisement for the site, and in effect, it is. But this is advertisement that wasn’t even paid for, the best and the most genuine kind. If I can recommend it with such vigor, you know they’ve gotta be doing something right.
So if you’re still like me a week ago, searching for that personalized homepage you can stick with, go check out Netvibes. You (probably) won’t be disappointed.
AllofMP3 Being Shut Down
You may of heard AllofMP3, but for those who have not, it’s a site that allows you to download music in various encoded formats for dirt-cheap, compared to say, iTunes. Now its legality was something of a mystery; the website stated adamantly that it was following Russian copyright laws. However with Russia trying to join the WTO, merely adhering to Russia’s iffy copyright laws aren’t going to be enough. As a result, AllofMP3.com will be shut down as one of the concessions by Russia. Quite sad really. Now you’ll have to go to iTunes and download crappy quality, iPod confined music. (So I’m exaggerating a bit, there are plenty of other services to use…)
MOTOFONE – Too Cheap For Us
Having that fancy, expensive phone may be nice and all, but when you just want to make a phone call, something cheap and durable will do just as nicely. That’s why I’ve been on the lookout for a GSM phone that’s cheap and styled decently. You know, those wild, drunk parties that I oft partake in; well I’d probably kill myself if I lost or destroyed a phone like the Sony Ericsson K790a. So I need a phone for those occasions and I think I found the perfect device. I give you the MOTOFONE. (I bet you can’t guess who makes this device…)
That’s right, that is a monocolor, high-contrast screen you’re seeing. Oh, this is no feature phone to be sure. It’s actually for emerging markets. (Read: For people who are poor but will still get hooked on paying decent-sized bills for cellular service.) That also means it will be very cheap (less than $50USD should be easily doable) and well built. And just look at that form factor! It’s perfect I tell you. Too bad it probably won’t see North American shores at all, it’s destined for India currently and the lack of 850MHz band support pretty much rules out anything launching over here.