Archive for category Internet
Over the last few months me and my designer-developer buddies have been sharing our favourite web design tools, tricks and tips.
Our final conclusion was that it’s very exciting to be a designer these days. The web is quite gushing with many cute designing apps and tools.
Below you will find our current Top 5 Free Web Design Tools. Some are new, some are golden oldies, but all of them are tools we canâ€™t live without! And whatâ€™s more, theyâ€™re useful no matter what stage of web design you’re at.
Feel free to share your own must-have tools of the trade in the comments below.
We reckon Wix.com one of the best new tools around for creating flash websites, MySpace layouts & widgets. Flash design used to be a pain in the butt but with Wix you get a tool thatâ€™s simple to use, cuts our development time, requires no coding, offers fully customisable flash templates (useful for small client projects), is easy to update â€¦ and is free. Weâ€™re loving it!
Created by Chris Pederick, the web developer extension for your Mozilla Firefox browser is one of the best free tools out there. Seriously. Itâ€™s simple to install, and is especially useful with the debugging aspects of web design.
3. Colour Lovers & Kuler: Colour Choice Made Easy
Ok, so this is two free tools for the price of one. We all use both these sites to save time and get inspiration when choosing just the right colour palette for our sites and designs. And we love them both.
We know itâ€™s been around for ages but if you are a blogger, or want to create a cool flexible & free blog, WordPress is still by far the best place to go. But the part we’re loving most at the moment is the theme viewer section. Weâ€™re using it to get inspiration for simple, clean website designs. And also for what to avoid!
A free open-source online service, Browser Shots saves you time by testing out your designs in various browsers in one place. You simply submit your web address and it makes screenshots of your web design in different browsers.
Photoshop is the most powerful design tool since the pencil. Just recently turning 20, Photoshop has allowed designers to push the limits of creativity to new areas, we thought we would never reach. Digital manipulation and creativeness have teamed up for this post – creating one of the most breathtaking posts on Inspiredology. This post features heavily manipulated Photoshop designs, there were no animals or humans injured in the making of this post but I can’t say anything about the features.
NPR — the American multimedia news service formerly known as National Public Radio – recently reported on a new trend: wireless Internet access popping up in, of all places, campgrounds.
“Now it’s just like having a water line or a telephone or any other basic amenity. You basically need it to do business,” said Kathy Palmeri, who owns Jellystone Campground near Estes Park, Colo., and recently invested in wi-fi for her customers — no easy task in a mountainous region.
It seems like a no-brainer that modern mankind’s need to reach out across cyberspace wherever they go would follow vacationers as they leave civilization behind for the great outdoors. But the story struck a sour note with many listeners and readers, such as this one:
Shame on you! All of you! No one else in the campground wants to hear you watching mixed martial arts, porn, or anything else. The rest of us are in the woods to get away from twits like you! Your friends back home are jealous of you and don’t want to hear what a terrific time you’re having. You are degrading your own vacation and you stand to degrade the vacations of all those around you. Turn it off!
Sadly, while their hearts are in the right place, those offended by the story are soon to be in the minority, if they aren’t already. As we move more of our lives into the cloud with online budgeting tools, journaling and the limitless power of social networking at our fingertips, portable devices are only going to become more integral to our everyday existence.
What do you think? Do you switch off when you leave the city lights behind?
According to Google, many of us are being tricked into downloading fake anti virus software online.
Now most of us while we are surfing the net will at some point have come across a notification telling us that our computer is infected with a virus and urging us to click somewhere in order to get it fixed. Don’t!
Invariably you will be asked to enter your card details to pay for something at some point but all too often these so called anti virus software programmes are not legitimate at all and far from protecting our computers and laptops, actually leave them open to attack.
Once the software is activated hackers basically have a back door into your computer and could perhaps send spam email from your computer or worse, get a hold of your passwords and log in details so they can rip you off.
Google analysed around 240 million web pages over the course of 13 months and discovered that fake anti-virus programmes made up 15 percent of all malicious software.
Most of us are getting wise to the tricks that scammers can play so cyber criminals are trying more and more sophisticated techniques in an attempt to dupe us.
The latest of course is to try and terrify us into downloading an anti virus fix by telling us our computer is infected.
If we hand over our credit card details to pay for it then we are we basically falling right into the hands of the criminals.
“The fake antivirus threat is rising in prevalence, both absolutely and relative to other forms of web-based malware,” said Google in their study.
“Clearly, there is a definitive upward trend in the number of new fake antivirus domains that we encounter each week.
“Surprisingly, many users fall victim to these attacks and pay to register the fake antivirus software. To add insult to injury, fake antivirus programs are often bundled with other malware, which remains on a victim’s computer, regardless of whether a payment is made.”
Google said that more than half of the fake anti virus software comes via adverts online.
If you already have anti virus software installed, which if you haven’t you should do, then why would you need any more?
Security experts are warning us not to click on any pop up links for anti virus software and to make sure our own anti virus software is kept up to date.
and check your inbox only to find that you have heaps of new emails, perhaps even hundreds, most of which you are probably not going to read.
However, you still have the hassle of wading through all the crap and unimportant ones to find those you really shouldn’t miss. If this is the bane of your life then Google have now come up with a solution.
A new feature in Gmail called Priority Inbox will automatically filter through the newsletters, reminders, status updates and junk to put your priority emails right at the top, the ones that you actually need and want to see first.
As an email arrive in your inbox Priority Inbox basically allocates that email to one of three categories which are “Important and unread”, “Starred” and “Everything else”.
The key point that sets it above other filtering methods which are static until you physically change them yourself is that Priority Inbox doesn’t need a lot of setting up.
It uses many signals to identify if an email is important. The most obvious ones are those emails you actually read or reply to on a regular basis. This means it adapts to your habits and gets more efficient as time goes on.
If Priority Inbox gets it wrong and marks an email as important when it’s not, or vice versa, you can simply click a plus or minus button to make it less or more important and the email will be moved out of one category and into the other.
If you read an email that you might want to go back and read again later you can attach a star to it for easy identification.
The feature is being rolled out over the coming week or so and as soon as you see the “New! Priority Inbox” link appearing on the top right hand side of your Gmail account you can start using it.
Gmail Priority Inbox isn’t fully available on mobile devices yet though, Google says you can have a limited version if you access Gmail in the web browser of Android and Apple devices, but in English only, and if you are using the built in email program IMAP or Google Sync. In these cases you simply view messages under the “important” tag.
So far various reviews from those who have been testing Priority Inbox have been pretty positive but like anything else really, it’s not perfect. Still, if it eases email overload and saves a bit of time that’s always good.
If you are using public Wi-Fi in London any time soon then you had better be on your guard, the administrator of the Wi-Fi service may be watching you.
Apparently British police have asked all those who offer public web access in the UK capital to voluntarily keep an eye on what their customers are up to and to check what sort of things they are downloading, and of course to report any suspicious activity.
“It’s not about asking owners to spy on their customers, it’s about raising awareness” a police spokesman told Associate Press, anonymously, in line with the police force policy.
“We don’t ask them to pass on data for us.”
Of course they’re not going to say it’s spying, officially it’s all to counter terrorism, but that doesn’t take away the fact that the Metropolitan police are blatantly asking café owners to pry into what their customers are doing whilst on the net.
Some may think this is a positive move, the police obviously do, and will have no problem with it, others might see it as a step nearer to the big brother state and feel depressed about it, and then there are the civil libertarians who will be up in arms about it.
The system has been in operation for the past few weeks and posters with the Scotland Yard logo are appearing everywhere reminding people that they shouldn’t download “inappropriate or offensive content” although we’re not sure who decides what that is.
The thing is, anyone who thought they might indulge in dodgy activity and who sees the posters will either go somewhere else to do what they were going to do anyway, or they will cover up their tracks.
“You would expect any cyber criminal who had made the decision to use an Internet cafe to pretty much dust off their fingerprints” said Graham Cluley, a security expert with Sophos.
That being the case it means we’re less likely to catch them. All we’re left with is the issue of invasion of privacy as well as the problem of fear and irrational behaviour by panicked people.
“What you’re going to end up with is a lot of people reporting Muslims in Internet cafes” Simon Davies, the director of U.K.-based Privacy International told Associated Press.
“We don’t expect that our calls from a public phone would be monitored, anymore than we should expect our e-mails to be monitored” he said.
“As citizens we have to hold the line that there is a fundamental right of privacy of communications”.
So which camp are you in?
Something historic happened in August. For the first time ever, Facebook surpassed Google’s hold on people’s Web surfing time.
According to the Associated Press, people spent 41.1 million minutes, or 9.9 percent of their online time, on the social-networking site of walls, pokes and farms, compared with 39.8 million minutes, or 9.6 percent, on Google’s sites, which include YouTube, Gmail, news stories and more.
Yahoo was third in terms of browsing, with 37.7 million minutes or 9.1 percent of surfers’ time. Facebook beat out Yahoo for the first time in July.
The amount of time Internet users have spent on Facebook has nearly doubled since August of last year, when they spent less than 5 percent of their time there, a similar figure with Google at the time. Then, Yahoo was king with 12 percent of users’ time.
The estimates come from comScore, which compiles reports from 2 million users and web servers from around the globe.
What does this mean? The Web has become undeniably a more social experience in the last year, with users gravitating toward Facebook as a place to share their photos and connect or reconnect with family members and friends locally or far away.
How can you tell if a Web site is secure? It uses encryption technology to transfer information from your computer to the online merchant’s computer. Encryption scrambles the information you send, such as your credit card number, in order to prevent computer hackers from obtaining it en route. The only people who can unscramble the code are those with legitimate access privileges. You can tell when you are dealing with a secure Web site in several ways:
- First, if you look at the top of your screen where the Web site address is displayed, you should see https://. The “s” that is displayed after “http” indicates that Web site is secure. Often, you do not see the “s” until you actually move to the order page on the Web site.
- Another way to determine if a Web site is secure is to look for a closed padlock displayed at the bottom of your screen. If that lock is open, you should assume it is not a secure site.
- The third symbol that indicates you are on a secure site is an unbroken key.
Of course, transmitting your data over secure channels is of little value to you if the merchant stores the data unscrambled. You should try to find out if the merchant stores the data in encrypted form. If a hacker is able to intrude, it cannot obtain your credit data and other personal information. Be sure to read the merchant’s privacy and security policies to learn how it safeguards your personal data on its computers. (Wait for Lesson 4)
With just a click of the mouse, shoppers can buy nearly any product online — from groceries to cars, from insurance policies to home loans. The world of electronic commerce, also known as e-commerce, enables consumers to shop at thousands of online stores and pay for their purchases without leaving the comfort of home.
For many, the Internet has taken the place of Saturday afternoon window shopping at the mall. Consumers expect merchants to not only make their products available on the Web, but to make payments a simple and secure process. However, the same things can go wrong shopping in cyberspace as in the real world. Sometimes it is simply a case of a computer glitch or poor customer service. Other times, shoppers are cheated by clever scam artists.
An April 2004 survey by AC Nielsen found that the top security concerns of America’s online shoppers were:
- Not receiving the items purchased, or receiving items different from what was described.
- Email addresses being sold to third parties.
- Fears about personal or financial information being stolen.
- E-mail scans known as “phishing” or “spoofing” in which consumers receive messages from dishonest sources disguised as messages from trusted retailers or financial institutions. https://www.paypal.com/en_US/pdf/PayPal_Safety.pdf
Recent surveys have found that the number of people who shop online around the globe is increasing dramatically. (Trends in Online Shopping: A Global Nielsen Consumer Report (Feb. 2008), www2.acnielsen.com/reports/documents/GlobalOnlineShoppingReportFeb08.pdf
Just as shoppers should take measures to protect themselves in brick-and-mortar stores — such as protecting their PIN numbers when checking out and not leaving purses unattended — online shoppers also need to take sensible precautions. This guide offers advice on how to make your online shopping experiences enjoyable and safe.