I Never Meta URL Like You Before: A Short Domain Name Trick

by Arley McBlain
I Never Meta URL Like You Before: A Short Domain Name Trick

I love a good domain name. I sometimes look wistfully back at my youth and think about the swell URLs I would have bought if I had an inkling about what the Internet would become.

Today you’re lucky if you find a relevant, memorable domain that isn’t parked or in use — luckier still if it’s short.

With the traditional TLDs — top-level domains such as .com, .net, .org, and to some extent, locals like .ca and .co.uk — it’s getting more difficult to obtain short domain names without some creativity.

Every so often a new TLD shows up and there’s a gold-rush frenzy. When the .me extension came out, for instance, there was a bidding war on the domain name, aweso.me — a creative twist for a short and memorable URL.

I’ve long been waiting for a chance to snag a short domain name — and this is a story of how I was recently able to do so.

The Boring Technical Part

In May 2010, ICANN — the organization responsible for managing domain names and IP addresses — brought Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) to life.

This allows participating extensions to use characters and symbols from other alphabets. This is due to Unicode working with Punycode conversion. Seguir leyendo “I Never Meta URL Like You Before: A Short Domain Name Trick”

Giant Shout-Out to Ayn Rand Scrawled on Google Earth via GPS [PIC]

Brenna Ehrlich

Ayn Rand is getting some pretty heavy endorsement via GPS of late, as one man — Nick Newcomen — recently drove 12,328 miles across 30 American states to scrawl “Read Ayn Rand” via GPS data inputted into Google Earth.

Newcomen — who explained to Wired that he undertook this mission simply because he is a Rand fan — took more than 30 days to execute this task, using a GPS logger (Qstarz BT-Q1000X) to create the letters. He started in Marshall, Texas, where he began writing out “Rand,” and then drove on (turning off the GPS whilst not writing) until the entire, “Reading Is Fundamental” sentiment was complete.

You can check out more info on the site World’s Biggest Writing, which also features David Lynchian videos of locations Newcomen visited, most ending with a shot of his almost expressionless face (see below). Seguir leyendo “Giant Shout-Out to Ayn Rand Scrawled on Google Earth via GPS [PIC]”

Gmail Gets an Unofficial Snooze Button

Jennifer Van Grove

E-mail inbox utility Taskforce has updated its service to convert e-mails into tasks and create reminders for them; the functionality is akin to a snooze button for e-mail.

Taskforce, a beta service that integrates with Gmail via a Chrome extension or Firefox plug-in, refocuses the user’s e-mail experience around three central components: action, information and broadcast. The new snooze-like functionality provides a potential cure to the bloated inbox problem and archive dilemma that most Gmail users face on a daily basis. Seguir leyendo “Gmail Gets an Unofficial Snooze Button”

Manhattan Luxury Condos Embrace FHA in ‘Game Changer’

Logo of the Federal Housing Administration.
Image via Wikipedia
By Oshrat Carmiel(Updates with comment from New York University professor in 30th paragraph, 1 Rector Park approval in 43rd.)

Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) — Whitney Gollinger, marketing chief for a Manhattan condo building with an outdoor movie theater and panoramic city views, is highlighting a different amenity to spur sales: the financial backing of the federal government.

The Federal Housing Administration agreed in March to insure mortgages for apartments at the 98-unit Gramercy Park development, known as Tempo. That enables buyers to make a down payment of as little as 3.5 percent in a building where apartments range from $820,000 to $3 million.

“It’s a government seal of approval,” said Gollinger, a director at the Developments Group of New York-based brokerage Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “We need as many sales tools as we can have these days, and it’s one more tool.”

The FHA, created in 1934 to make homeownership attainable for low- to moderate-income Americans, is now providing a lifeline to new Manhattan luxury condominiums after sales stalled. Buildings featuring pet spas, concierges and rooftop lounges are applying for agency backing to unlock bank financing for purchasers. The FHA guarantees that if a homebuyer defaults on his mortgage, the agency will pay it. Seguir leyendo “Manhattan Luxury Condos Embrace FHA in ‘Game Changer’”

The Torch 9800: BlackBerry’s Big Jump

The BlackBerry Torch offers many improvements, including a touchscreen, but may not be able to reverse RIM’s reputation as a tired brand

By Rich Jaroslovsky


Many among the digerati dismiss the BlackBerry as a tired remnant of yesterday’s technology. And its maker, Research In Motion (RIMM), often gets lumped with Microsoft (MSFT) and Nokia (NOK) as wireless pioneers who squandered early advantages and are sinking toward irrelevance. The BlackBerry Torch 9800, which went on sale in the U.S. on Aug. 12, is RIM’s latest effort to answer the charge.

The Torch—which will cost $199 with a two-year AT&T (T) contract—is the first BlackBerry to combine its trademark physical keyboard with a touchscreen and the first to run a new operating system, BlackBerry 6. By and large it should succeed in keeping RIM loyalists satisfied. It may also appeal to those who have yet to make the move from more limited devices, though it doesn’t provide users of competing smartphones with a compelling reason to switch.

There’s no mistaking the Torch for anything but a BlackBerry. It has that classic shape and, unfortunately, heft: It weighs about 5.7 ounces, making it approximately 18 percent heavier than an iPhone 4. That’s largely because of the keyboard, which slides out from behind the 3.2-inch screen.

After some trouble setting up the Torch to work with my e-mail system—the phone froze twice while configuring itself—it finally took. From then on it functioned smoothly, providing the same stable and secure e-mail and messaging services that have made BlackBerry so beloved by corporate IT departments—and so frightening to governments like those of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have threatened to ban or restrict them unless RIM makes it easier to monitor encrypted transmissions. Seguir leyendo “The Torch 9800: BlackBerry’s Big Jump”

Line25 Sites of the Week for August 13th 2010

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Line25 Sites of the Week is a weekly roundup of the most outstanding website designs that I stumble across during my every day browsing. In this week’s collection, we have designs from BundleHunt, BBQWar, Tileables, Armitage Online and Forever Heavy.


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Appreciating the Genius of Everyday Objects

A new exhibition of the objects we take for granted highlights their miraculous design.

The star in Vitra Design Museum’s upcoming exhibition is the kind of design that might awe even Dieter Rams or Naoto Fukusawa: proven functionality, unfrivolous forms stripped to its basics–not easily improved and in such widespread use as to go unnoticed. Yet, take these things away, and we’d be lost.

“Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things” opens next week at the Vitra campus in Weil am Rheim, Germany. It presents 35 design classics from the closet hanger to the paper clip. The idea was sparked by an earlier exhibit, “The Essence of Things,” which looked at minimalism in art, design and architecture. Curator Jochen Eisenbrand says he wanted to further explore a response to the fickleness of design.

“There’s a new fashion trend called out every year, sometimes every season. If you were to follow that, you’d get a bit tired. You rarely see something invented today that remains constant over time,” he says.

One reason is that there’s not much modern society needs that hasn’t already been invented. That wasn’t the case a century ago at the birth of the industrial age, which dramatically changed people’s lives. Those everyday inventions also serve as clues into how society transformed: graphite sticks used by farmers to mark sheep evolved into the common pencil to educate and empower the masses; the basic pin morphed to a paperclip with the rise of office culture, clothing snap closures ushered in a new era of casual dressing. Seguir leyendo “Appreciating the Genius of Everyday Objects”

Are You Freelance or Self-Employed?

One of the great things about having a spouse that works in the corporate world is the support you may receive, financially and emotionally.  One of the worst things about having a spouse in the corporate world is the support you may have to give, which sometimes includes being present at corporate social gatherings.  And this is the situation I found myself in the other day.

I enjoy talking with people – whether they enjoy it as much as I do is irrelevant – but in a corporate environment, I don’t want to do or say anything that might cause my wife any discomfort at the office.  So, I try and stay as quiet as possible.  Usually there are plenty of snacks to keep my mouth busy, but on this particular event, her boss managed to catch me without a petit-four in sight.

After a bit of chit-chat, he asked about my current career.  He wanted to know where I was working, and how business was there.  I explained that I am a writer, and I that I write web copy, blog posts, newsletters, ebooks, and more.  He listened for a moment, and then deduced that I am unhappily unemployed, but since my wife is a superstar in their company, perhaps he could find me a role within their corporation. Seguir leyendo “Are You Freelance or Self-Employed?”

Personal Branding = Principles Not Ego

Josh Hyatt wrote an article about personal branding and working at a large company on money.cnn.com. The piece has caused a lot of controversy because Scott Monty, the social media guy at Ford, was featured in the article. To some, the article appears to paint Scott Monty as an egotist, and because they have so much respect for Scott many people have criticized Josh’s article.

In fact in reading through 5 pages of comments on the article, not one, except a piece of link bait is positive about the article or the writer, rather, overwhelmingly people are positive about Scott.

I must admit when I first read the article I had to read it twice to understand the nuance of what Josh was getting at. I was also slightly put off by a picture of a name badge stating, “Hello my name is Mr. Awesome.” Seguir leyendo “Personal Branding = Principles Not Ego”

Why Brands Shouldn’t Waste Money on Celebrity Endorsements

by jeremywaite

WWTD : What Would Tiger Drive?

In my old ad agency life, brands were things or corporate entities, co-managed by the agency strategists, account managers and creatives. Innocent was a brand. Reebok was a brand. MTV was a brand. These brands didn’t talk. Didn’t have good hair days or bad hair days, and they certainly didn’t have complicated ryders in their contracts, specifying that only organic foods could be served at photo shoots.

But brands are now personified by people. In Hollywood it’s no longer a culture of celebrity that drives ticket-goers, it’s the celebrity brands.

Brands are increasingly becoming the currency of business. They link customers with enterprises. In this sense, smart business people now bestow virtual custody of brands upon consumers, while keeping management in the hands of companies. In other words, in the entertainment industry, it’s all about the packaging. In today’s world, entertainment brands define markets as much as they do products, services and organisations.

People like brands because they like making decisions. Seguir leyendo “Why Brands Shouldn’t Waste Money on Celebrity Endorsements”

La madurez del marketing de geolocalización

Luis Pablos, Director Técnico de Genetsis, Agencia de Marketing Digital

Siempre se ha debatido sobre si técnicas aplicadas en el marketing dependían de la evolución tecnológica, o si la tecnología era lo que marcaba las tendencias en marketing. Voy a tratar en este caso de algo del cual se habla mucho últimamente, pero no se usa tanto como se dice: los servicios de geolocalización, y su aplicación al marketing.

Hay un interesante artículo que trata sobre ello en el blog de PuroMarketing en el cual se extraen conclusiones a partir de un estudio de Forrester Research con datos muy poco alentadores: sólo el 4% de los usuarios online adultos de EEUU han usado al menos una vez algún servicio de geolocalización, y a su vez, sólo el 1% lo usa más de una vez por semana. Seguir leyendo “La madurez del marketing de geolocalización”

35+ Unique & Interesting Product Packaging Designs

Whenever we’re going to buy a product, especially the new ones we will inevitably pay more attention to the packaging of the product itself. Product packaging has tremendous power to grab our interest. It combines art and technology for protecting products for distribution, storage, until finally reaching the end user.

35+ Unique & Interesting Product Packaging Designs

Over the years, graphic designers and product designers have been creatively inventing new forms of packaging to maximize the function of a product packaging. For the past decade, hundreds of award winning packaging designs have been showcased and displayed in public. New products are invented every single day, and it demands more creativity in developing a unique product packaging design that will have Seguir leyendo “35+ Unique & Interesting Product Packaging Designs”

Facebook Launching Official Live Streaming Channel: Facebook Live

By Sarah Perez <!– –>

Today at 3 PM PST (6 EST), Facebook will unveil its new official live video streaming channel, Facebook Live. To kick off the launch, actress America Ferrera will stop by Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California and use Facebook Live to announce details of her new movie, “The Dry Land,” a Sundance Film Festival entry.

Facebook says that, in addition to special celebrity-oriented videos like today’s, the live video channel will also be used for official Facebook announcements, press events, live chats with Facebook engineers and live streaming of its developer conference, f8.

Live Video, Live Feed, Live Q&A

The new Facebook Live channel will incorporate Facebook’s real-time Live Feed technology to facilitate interactions between the viewing audience and the speaker. Facebook Live offers a feature similar to CNN Live’s use of Facebook Connect, which streams Facebook status updates in a sidebar to the right of the live video of a news event, most notably used for President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The same Live Feed technology will also be in place within the new Channel, creating a “viral News Feed” story, says Facebook. Also included will be an “Ask a Question” feature, which lets viewers submit their questions to a moderator. We believe this latter aspect of the new service is brand-new and exclusive to Facebook, but we’re awaiting official confirmation on that.

We do know, however, that Facebook Live is the same technology Facebook used to stream the most recent f8 developer conference earlier this year – this is just the more formal launch of technology as an app.

Seguir leyendo “Facebook Launching Official Live Streaming Channel: Facebook Live”

Face-off: 1979 Apple Graphics Tablet vs. 2010 Apple iPad

30-year-old technology struts its stuff beside today’s state-of-the-art tablet computer

By Ken Gagne

old and new Apple logos When Apple launched the iPad earlier this year, it was the culmination of fans’ long wait for the company to enter the tablet computer market. There’s no doubt that Apple‘s iPad is a revolutionary computing device that’s ushering in a new era of tablet computing.

But in 1979, an earlier generation of Apple users used a different kind of Apple tablet, back when the word meant something else entirely.

The Apple Graphics Tablet was designed by Summagraphics and sold by Apple Computer Inc. for the Apple II personal microcomputer. (Summagraphics also marketed the device for other platforms as the BitPad.) To be clear, this tablet was not a stand-alone computing device like the iPad. Instead, it was an input device for creating images on the Apple II’s screen, and it predated the Apple II’s mouse by six years.

Apple II fan Tony Diaz had an Apple Graphics Tablet on hand at last month’s KansasFest, an annual convention for diehard Apple II users. He and Computerworld‘s Ken Gagne, the event’s marketing director, compared and contrasted Apple’s original tablet with the iPad, snapping photos as they went.

Despite the three decades of technology advancements that separate the two devices, some fun comparisons are still possible. Join us for a photo face-off between the two tablets.

Meet the tablets

Apple II Graphics Tablet and iPad side by side

The Apple Graphics Tablet (left) was released in 1979 and cost $650. It connects to any Apple II and can be used to draw images at a resolution of 280 by 192 pixels. The tablet draws power directly from the Apple II and cannot be used when disconnected.

The Apple II was originally designed to be used with televisions rather than computer monitors, but the Apple Graphics Tablet produced interference that could disrupt reception of television signals. A later model was identical to its predecessor except for one notable new feature: FCC compliance.

The Apple iPad (right) was released in 2010 in six models ranging from $499 to $829. Equipped with a 1-GHz A4 system-on-a-chip and a 16GB, 32GB or 64GB flash drive, it syncs with any Macintosh or Windows machine capable of running iTunes and can run thousands of iOS applications. Its resolution is 1024 by 768 pixels on a 9.7-in. LED-backlit glossy widescreen display. Seguir leyendo “Face-off: 1979 Apple Graphics Tablet vs. 2010 Apple iPad”

50 Stunning 3D Car Renders

Computer graphics has become truly remarkable about re-creating and illustrating reality. And while most artists still face major obstacles when it comes to rendering organic material, there’s a small subset of 3D images that have been scratching perfection for many years now: 3D vehicle renders.

There are so many realistic and beautiful artworks, and if it weren’t for the 3D forums and galleries, you wouldn’t know whether you’re looking at a photograph or a computer-generated render. In this collection we’ve brought you some of the best, most inspiring works, where the physical perfection is often mixed with artistic solutions, a real eye-candy!

Stunning 3D Car Renders Seguir leyendo “50 Stunning 3D Car Renders”