TBuzz – tweet from your browser

TBUZZlogoWe’ve been followers of Arc90 experiments for some time. They always have an interesting take on additional widgets and bookmarklets that you can add to your browser toolbar.

TBUZZ is no different. Simply visit the TBUZZ web page and drag the TBUZZ button to your web browsers toolbar.

Then, whenever you want to share details of any web page you are visiting – hit the TBUZZ button. Get the details onto Twitter quickly.

Another great idea from ArcLab90. We like them. You might even TBUZZ one of our pages, but it’s not obligatory…

We have also featured Readability – another Arc90 project that strips out excessive advertising and text from web pages, making them cleaner and easier to read and print.

You can find the TBUZZ web page here.

You can find the Third Sector Web home page here.

Not all is technology in Japan

japaneseFoodThis blog post is a along way from tech news, but is deeply at the heart of new human experiences – made us think here.

I came across an entry on Cabel’s Blog about a visit to Japan. He entitled it the Kashiwa Mystery Cafe. Nice design centre, sunny day and, presumably, exhibits to view.

Visiting the cafe – you order a drink and a snack and food you didn’t order arrives. You are ordering, in faltering Japanese, food and drink for the person in the queue behind you.

Your food has been ordered by the person in front of you.

Fantastic – what a great way to break out of old habits, or habitual food prejudice?

Could we not apply this to one day of school meals? An extraordinary serving of lunch at the community centre or a healthy eating day at the local sports ground. Way to go Kashiwa!

Live dangerously – give a total stranger a healthy eating treat.

…back to web and tech stuff for a while….

This post was created by Tim Smith, a partner at SmithMartin LLP. The original post was created by Cabel’s Blog – and reblogged by one of our favourites, Jason Kottke.

Get that Polaroid effect…in PowerPoint

This is a great short film showing how users of Powerpoint 2007 can create drop shadow and add ‘polaroid’ effects to their images.

If you don’t have Photoshop or other sophisticated image editing software…this film from @elearning shows you how.

Great for spicing up those newsletters or posters!

If you have any great image tips let us know and we’ll publish them here.

Post originally from Digital Inspiration.

Visit the home page of Third Sector Web here.

Google Chrome – stable version 3 now available

googleChromelogo22Google have just released a stable version of their browser Chrome. Speed has increased and you can now drag and drop the site snap shots in the tab zone too – much in the way of the Opera browser ‘speed dial’ function.

Chrome also sports the Omnibox – which is both search box and a web address bar. The drop down menu of the function has been improved, with the addition of small icons to help you identify your favourites.

Why Google Chrome…watch the movie!

You can now also add themes to your installed version of Chrome. Get some stars or bubbles today.

Download page for the latest stable release of Google Chrome browser.

You can visit the home page of Third Sector Web here.

Summer Sounds of the City!

musicPic2Just lazing in the garden with the radio, basking in the intense heat of the summer sun. If only?

Instead during August, whilst it’s a bit quieter and we’re getting some housekeeping done, we’re going for an in-house alternative – fresh orange juice at our desks and listening to City Sounds.fm – a gentle blend of trance, drum and base, dance and electronica oscillating in the background.

This simple web site feeds music tracks from cities around the world to your browser – very contemporary and rhythmic we thought. Ideal when you need that break from long periods of web coding…over 10,000 tracks at the last posting.

Created by Henrik Berggren and David Kjelkerud using the SoundCloud.com platform.

With thanks to Emily Chang for bringing this to our attention in her original post.

Have a good summer break from the Thirdsector Team.

You can find the Third Sector Web home page here.

Music graphic from dalbera on Flickr – A Creative Commons image.

Open access publishing on the web…

gatewayPicPlacing documents in the public domain is giving them away – often seen as an illogical position for a commercial entity to take?

Or should it be better put that placing information online in order to spread that knowledge as widely as possible, is best achieved by offering users of that information clear signposting that copyright and license of the material has been waived.

This is an Open Access argument. If you create information, articles or images that you wish to be freely available to others why not ‘mark’ them accordingly for others to use the material with confidence.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation has been working recently to provide researchers and information users with standardised sources of open access information.

The Creative Commons movement have also posted a set of tools online that can help you generate html to help signify the accessibility of information sources that you have published as original material.

These Creative Commons tools are clearly intended as markers for original content that has not been licensed. Delimiting material already prescribed by copyright is a cautious matter for the original content owners.

You can find the original blog entries from the Open Access Movement that inspired these thoughts here.

The Creative Commons tool kit or code generator can be found here on this Creative Commons web page.

If you are interested in reading more about the Creative Commons as a non-profit organisation you can find a Wikipedia article here.

There is some debate online as to whether the Creative Commons approach is really able to be aligned with the concepts of free software or images, or comparable with Open Source. Surely the point is that the creator of the work has a framework of possibilities available to him or her – deciding which right she or he wishes to devolve themselves of, or not.

We create content for access by the public and in our small way think any framework that helps information users or distributors to be clear about how material can be used is a good thing per se. What do you think?

You can find the Third Sector Web home page here.

Calculate how much energy you use…

scalesPicDell have recently published an online service to help you, as a Dell user, to calculate your energy costs online. You can choose to customise your energy profile by type of Dell system, location, currency, kilowatt hour cost and type of usage.

The service also allows you to configure alternative comparison systems to the one you currently use, or are interested in, in order to calculate your energy savings by adopting a new system.

If you are a Dell user this a great way to measure any savings that can be available to you from a system upgrade or replacement.

Whatever manufacturer you use it is still a good way to see the estimated impact for changes in energy consumption and cost that you can make by amending your use profile, or looking at alternative specifications for your infrastructure.

You can also download the Dell Client Energy Calculator methodology paper from the site too.

You can find the Third Sector Web home page here.

Who can get the information?

onthePhoneThe International Telecommunications Union (ITU) have recently published the 2009 edition of Measuring the Information Society – The ICT Development Index(IDI).

The pdf of the core findings is freely available from the ITU.

They make interesting reading – particularly when looking for analysis on where the greatest growth lies and how people access information with ICT.

Africa is a world leader. The data from the ITU on the IDI reveals that ICT access to information growth, across a broad spectrum of carriers and hardware, was 100.4% in North Africa from 2002 to 2007.

The equivalent growth rate in Western Europe was only 23.4% in the same period.

Much of the growth in Africa is in non-traditional internet access areas. Mobile phone market penetration is six times higher in Africa than in Europe.

If we were starting a web/information social business in Africa having all data and output available in mobile friendly versions, just like this Third Sector blog, would be an absolute given.

To their continued credit, Google are making strides to get information to these non-traditional access routes. Google has just released a set of SMS friendly services called Google SMS.

Offering mobile phone users an SMS marketplace, search service and tips – delivering advice on crops, health and clinics. All designed for the currently less well developed or mature hard-wired infrastructure markets. Go Google.

You can find the Third Sector Web home page here.

Flickr Creative Commons image by Telelavoro

Google translator toolkit (beta)

translatePicWe love translation – building our web sites with machine translation facilities and using Google online translation services to publish printed material in other languages to support our clients and community organisations.

Google have recently lanched the Translator Toolkit. You can play your part in improving machine translation at Google, helping to correct automatic translations in a simple editor.

You can compare and contrast translated pages, search past translations for new words or publish the translations themselves directly to Wikipedia or Knol.

Translation – better with Google.

You can find the Third Sector Web home page here.

Wolfram Alpha – a computational knowledge engine

wolframLogoPicWolfram Alpha is a search engine with a difference. The beginning of a journey towards the creation of a search tool that will provide definitive answers to factual queries. Producing clear, accurate data for researchers at all levels and competencies.

As of now, Wolfram|Alpha contains 10+ trillion of pieces of data, 50,000+ types of algorithms and models, and linguistic capabilities for 1000+ domains.

You can see a full explanation of the Wolfram goals on their About Us pages – the project is built on the twenty years of research in the field by Wolfram Research.

Try the site with a couple of simple examples to see it in action and to appreciate the potential for reliable fact based research.

Add your date of birth to the engine. How many days have you been alive? When did the sun set on that day? How is your birth date expressed by the various calendars around the world?

Add two companies to the engine. Microsoft and Apple for example. Get a computed comparison which expresses their company size, profit to earnings ratio, number of employees and similar data.


Image: Section of sample search results from Wolfram Alpha

You can drill down into the data for even more detail, or save your search in pdf format. There are some bandwidth restrictions at the moment whilst the service is in alpha.

In search engine terms ‘watch this space’ is an understatement.

You can visit the Third Sector Web home page here.