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The web widgets cronicles of Google

Posted: 2008-01-02 04:25 by AmItE

The seemingly endlessly creative staff at Google recently added a couple of new "free" services to their far spanning web, but are all this new products actually worth while and do we really need them or is it just the ever growing Google cobweb drones spinning out yet another cash cow while hiding behind the ever so holy "money...nooo, we are only here to help make the world a better place" routine.

I remember once - seems like not long ago where was simple just another search engine fighting for a peace of the web-surfers favor, and though they it was a good search engine it was only that; nothing more, nothing less. Those days it seems are long gone now and the little search-engine that could, still can.

Today the brand Google is a house-hold one and only a few can actually remember that there were choices for searching once a long time ago. Now all we have is Google and a bunch of empty shells pretending, sucked dry by the newcomer with the simple interface.

With Microsoft's gamble in 2007 the marked is being stirred a bit, but the field is slim. and Altavista both run on Yahoo!'s search engine, and while Yahoo! still are quite widely used in the US, I cannot remember the last time I heard of something using anything other then Google.Lycos and Teoma are both using (Ask Jeeves), which is actually looking relatively promising. And of course the AOL searches are handled by Google. So Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and the underdog: - 4 actual search-engines left and Google holds more then 60% of the crawler cake (and growing).

Since Google launched Gmail around April 2004 they have been busy while chanting web based tools! web based tools! I am sure. Nevertheless with Google Analytics being a great hit and their Adsense program still making money head over fist they may as continue down the path without even considering looking back.

Google's webmaster program has had its startup gremlins, but as did Gmail if I remember correctly and that turned out more the fine.

These "newly" launched services from Google, unlike Gmail, are not something that most internet users will ever know nor understand as it is directly targeted for web-masters, web-developers and web-designers world-wide. So it will properly not matter that most wont ever know about it. It has a good chance of being adopted in many aspects by many web-professionals and if that succeeds, then all internet users will meet it daily and benefit from its features - whether they are aware of what it or not.

Theory, philosophy and usability of and behind the use of these widgets and services are as always very positive. There is only one problem; No matter how much they try to tell you otherwise: Google corp. is first of all a business and that means profit - and to be honest, it often shine through. Take the " Google Gadgets For Your Webpage" part of this new free-services portfolio. Almost each and every little thing have Google Adsense ad's as part of the layout which of course pays for the development but it also conflicts with their self-proclaimed goals for advancing the Internet use for the greater good of all.

Let us look at a few examples hereof.

EDIT: REMOVED EXAMPLES. Getting these from slow third party locations was reducing site performance.

This was just a brief example. There are literally hundreds of those tools available to you once you have created an account and passed along a few personal details. Seems like a fair trade.

I am personally very exited about some of the widget (Google Gadgets), but unfortunately realistically I must admit that the ads destroy any hope for it being used for anything else then brief entertainment, which I find to be a shame since the potential was for more.

Now this next service almost makes up for all those ad's. Google has designed a dynamic chart generation API (Application Programmers Interface). You can just call (browse) an URL with some predetermined variables such as:

demo API chart

And it will return a chart to you based on the values that you have provided - And seemingly ad-free!?. Definitely a service with potential for great many simple solutions to otherwise complex problems.

I occurred to me that Google is actually no longer a search engine. Granted it is still there they turn around the bulk of they revenue but it is not where they wish to remain. Google is a trafficker of information and ideas; after all those years searching for things on behalf of people they now have a fairly good idea of what people actually want, which is what they now try to turn into dollars.

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Paint for Windows revolution

Posted: 2007-08-14 21:16 by AmItE

Screw Photoshop, Paint is here...and it will blow your mind...An execellent documentary detailing the development of Paint for Windows. They are really pushing the boundries of excellence...

Seriously though, to funny...:
- " In Paint. I am fully in control of how my images turns out - from start to Finish. "
- " Can we thin out the line...can we...can we make the line thinner... "
- " Uhm...NO... "

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Latest comments

RussPosted: 2012-12-02 01:30:19 wrote:

I really love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme.
Did you build this amazing site yourself?
Please reply back as I\'m hoping to create my own personal website and would like to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Kudos!


ZeitGeist The Movie

Posted: 2007-08-11 03:14 by AmItE

I just finished watching this highly controversial documentary and I must say that it is one of the best put together documentaries I have ever seen.

All I can say is: Watch now ! It will surely give you something to think about...even if you believe every single little detail, it is very hard to ignore.

To quote the film: It is time to wake up!

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Website development

Posted: 2007-03-31 09:08 by AmItE

I have written many pages in my time, most for fun, some for a greater pupose and yet some professionaly.

I primarily use XHTML 1, CSS2 (and in a few rare situations a little javascript) for the clientside development, while (naturally!!) being quite the fanatic when i comes to W3C validation.

PHP, MySQL and .htaccess is used serverside (apart from the occational ASP or .NET custom modfication job of existing solutions).

The latest site i launched was a pro-bono site for a friend of mine. Not extremely complex, but quite a nice and simply solution with a complete, self written (better believe it) CMS like backend updating tool for the site owner to use. Please drop by and take a peek at her artwork:

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Posted: 2007-02-17 20:22 by AmItE

I have managed to gather some links to some interesting sites. I have added them below with a short description on each to sum up its content.
Some amazing image manipulation. Some better then others, but most are very creative and fun.

Lettermans top 10
David Letterman's Top 10 reasons why there are no black NASCAR drivers:
10 - Have to sit upright while driving.
9 - Pistol won't stay under front seat.
8 - Engine noise drowns out the rap music.
7 - Pit crew can't work on car while holding up pants at the same time.
6 - They keep trying to carjack Dale JR.
5 - Police cars on track interfere with race.
4 - No passenger seat for the Ho.
3 - No Cadillac's approved for competition.
2 - Can't wear helmet sideways.
1 - When they crash their cars, they bail out and run.

End of the world
This is a classic. Just saw it again recently....awesome!

Save the wales
Greenpeace fanatic? This may just change your mind. Yikes!

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Posted: 2007-02-17 19:45 by AmItE

Ever played an RPG or MMORPG? Then you may enjoy the comic written by WTF Comics. It based directly on the world of EverQuest, but if you have not played that nor EQ2, you may still find it entertaining.

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Whitehouse failure, Googles luck

Posted: 2007-01-20 23:40 by AmItE

I actually noticed this almost a year ago, but totally forgot about it. Then earlier today I stumbled upon an old email of mine dated: 20th february 2006. Back then I came accross (cant really remember how anymore) that if you type the word "failure" into googles search-engine at and press the "I feel lucky" -button you are instantly forwarded to the official Presidential Whitehouse webpage of George W. Bush homepage.

Is that just odd or what? I am just saying: More then 11 months straight being presented as the #1 failure according to the worlds largest search-engine! That has to be some sort of record !

So what can we learn from that? Properly nothing, but it is still pretty funny.

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Green Is Good, Red Is Bad

Posted: 2007-01-18 16:32 by AmItE

The IPwalk project has created a free website monitoring service called GIGRIB.

GIGRIB is basicly a simple but effective user-helping-user distributed service where you in short download and install little taskbar based client and then simply allow it to run in the background on your Computer. This client will then perform checks to see if websites are up or not every other minute or so and send the information back to the GIGRIB main server who will gather information from all user clients and run statitics from those numbers. So basicly your computer will help others to see if their website is online aswell as they will help you to see if your website(s) are online. All website are checked from 5 different locations to rule out false possitives/negatives and missing data.

To make sure that everyone helps a simple 5:1 ratio system has been implemented in the free version. Basicly what this means is that you need to save up "credit" to be allowed to use the network to monitor your site(s) (0-10 sites per user). For every 1 hour you have had the client running on your machine you will get 5 hours of website checking "credit" at your disposal - So start saving! :p

I created me a user last night (usr: amite) and it seems to work excellent. The client load on your machine is not noticeable at all. Uncle Samite Want's you! - To go download and install the client.

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C#.NET 2 and me

Posted: 2007-01-01 20:41 by AmItE

I finaly got myself to try and learn Visual Studio (C#). So here I come!..eerhm...beware?!

So far I have just basicly fooled around and create a few simple applications to try to get a feel for it - and it seems to be working. The Syntax is quite similar to PHP (C) mixed in with a bit of their own older ASP, which I have been "working" with on and off for years, so it is not all that new, and naturally the principal in most main-stream programming languages today is pretty much the same: A variable is a variable, int, strings, arrays, loops, if-else and so I know what I need to do....just not always sure how exactly I can get there with C# and Visual Studio....yet! Note to self: Have faith!

Visual Studio offers an insane GDI (Graphical Developers Interface) based on the classic Microsoft motto: Drag & drop for the win! I am not quite sure if I like it or not though. When learning a new programming language, and in particular one so complex as C#; writing the code yourself is where you build up the routine and the fundamental understanding of how and why it does what when - a routine that comes in handy later on when you need to start expanding on the restrains a GDI in one form or another always has. Generally speaking though it is a very sweet tool.

Time to wrap this post up, I have things to do and places etc. - So under the progdev menu you can have a look at a few of my "do by learning" test applications...if that is something you fancy.

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Back after a short break

Posted: 2006-12-25 23:07 by AmItE

Between work, school, exames, indoor "rock" -climbing and me being a slacker, updates to my site have been minor at best these last few months. I however plan to add on additional information and tools to the site shortly starting with the sysdev menu.

Hopefully sometime during the next few weeks a series of updates will happen. So stay tuned under the updates section of the site.

Till then - Merry Christmas !!

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Graphics aaah yes!

Posted: 2006-10-21 17:14 by AmItE

The Graphics portion of the site has now been launched. I have uploaded a few images but there's still a long way to go before that one is near ready. Never the less, I encourage you to stop by when you get a chance to.

picture of eyeball A new output handled has been worked into to webtools. It looks great and works well - what more can you ask for?

Taking into consideration that the webtools menu is by far the most usefull part so far, I took the consequence and changed that to be the  frontpage . so to speak. So from now that will be the first page you see when you type in your browser.

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Search alternative

Posted: 2006-09-22 09:56 by AmItE

I'm puzzled...

After reading the terms for Microsofts new search engine I was puzzled.

I do not claim to be some sort of legal expert, but I have read my share of user agreements in my time

First of all...

use any automated process or service to access and/or use the service (such as a BOT, a spider, periodic caching of information stored by Microsoft, or "meta-searching")

Why does legally prevent other searchengines from indexing the content of their website...this doesnt make sense. As far as I can see they have no robots.txt file nor any no-index meta tags, so any bots that follows this link and start indexing are basicly violating their terms? Strange...

use the service in a way that harms us or our affiliates, resellers, distributors, and/or vendors (collectively, the "Microsoft parties"), or any customer of a Microsoft party

What the hell does that mean?! Shouldn't this be limited to something specific? Or do you basicly violate the terms if you have a company and choose to optimize your search parameters (or whatever) to better match how rates your site, you may get higher rating then Microsoft partners thus, in theory, limiting their profits...etc. You get the point!

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Its Aliiiiiive!

Posted: 2006-08-26 18:13 by AmItE

First and foremost: It's Aliiiiiiive! - go me! *snap*

Eeek! Almost forgot the compulsory, expected and damn near vital:

HELLO WORLD!!, how are ya'?!

Ok, moving on - So, where were we? oh right!! The site is now alive...again...sorta. And that's good. I am fairly excited about that fact. Why you ask? Well, gather around children and let me tell you the story about...ok - long story short....'ish....

Began with spending lots (...if "very lots" qualified as English, I would have written that) o' hours messing around with graphics creating everything from scratch, starting out with no great plan in mind regarding the end result. Just make something fancy I told myself and I nodded. Hours on end just adding a little bit of this and a large bit of that until I had what you see. I'm actually still not quite sure what It is...meh...

Once the visual aspects were wrapped up, came an even more time consuming task. Building the foundation for a semi-intelligent/dynamic PHP, MySQL, .htaccess, HTML and CSS website. As I ventured back into the world of the text-editors.

Using pspad and a sucking down a gazillion smokes (you cant prove I didn't!) I grinded thousands of lines of black text on white virtual paper.

And now a have a semi-running partial website, filled with bugs and spelling-error...Yes - it's great! I'm pleased. Only got this one public "Blog" menu at the moment :( , but the foundation has been laid and soon adding new pages should be a breeze. I even wrote this blog entry via the websites publish feature (hooray!).

Even though I'm pleased with this new, somewhat confusing, look. A final tribute to the previous version of has to be made. It served me well from 2001 - 2006 nearly without any updates at all. So here's a screenshot of the layout for those of you who missed it.

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