Move over Digg, Andrew just got a new best friend, Newspond!
Newspond is a new site for geeky news, like Digg used to be before it jumped shark, except there is no voting or editors, all of their news content is collected and aggregated from all the best news sites and then rated automatically by some clever algorithms.
I first heard about it on Techcrunch,it’s only a few days old but they seem to be getting a lot of interest and I can see why.
Pretty interfaces are great, but content is king and so far newspond has not disappointed. Tech, Apple and Gaming news all surfacing to the top as more sites and blogs report on a certain story. I’ve only really been following it for a day but already it’s pulled up a number of gems that Digg has so far failed to show me and without any of the rubbish that is becoming more common place.
The main thing that Newspond is lacking at the moment other good ways of getting the data out, I’m talking about RSS and APIs. They recently added a single RSS feed for the main news steam due to popular demand, hopefully they will add more soon, allowing users to consume how they like and build other applications to use the data or mix it up with other web services.
I can’t wait to see how this site grows and matures, especially how they decide to monetize it, hopefully without intrusive advertising.
I’ve been in London for over a year, but this weekend I finally did it, I have my own internet connection!!!
There are many reasons for the delay, sorting out my own flat, settling in, getting a phone line set up and the huge issues with Orange Broadband, they have some of the worst customer service I have ever had from a company and as a result will never buy another Orange product.
I have the freakin internet!
I decided to go with Bethere after the problems with orange, on their Unlimited Package, so far it’s been really positive. Free modem/router, a static IP, 24mb ADSL2 goodness, unlimited downloads and they don’t seem to be blocking any ports either, all for £18 per month.
And now that I have the internet I can unlock the full power of my Xbox with Xbox Live.. it rocks! I’ve been playing Halo 3, Call of Duty 4, Burnout Paradise and Project Gotham Racing 4 in every spare moment I have, it’s added so much value to it.
What other games are good for Xbox live? And add me as a friend, my gamer tag is Andrewnez
I visited the London Dungeon last weekend, it was a good laugh if a bit dodgy at times, not really as good as a proper theme park like alton towers. I doubt I would go again, there are loads of other great things in London to do, plus I suspect that it’s more aimed at kids and tourists than people like me!
The other day I had an idea, how about putting a survey or signup form within an email. You could then submit straight back to a website therefore taking a needless step out of the process. And the more I thought about it the more cool stuff I thought I could try out with ajax and all kinds of funky stuff…
..but after a quick google I found out about the shocking state of email clients when it comes to handling html, damn!
37 Signals have a great post about the problem here: http://www.37signals.com/svn/posts/604-navigating-the-html-email-jungle
So we know there are problems and a solution to the problem is pretty much out of our hands (Thanks Microsoft) but just think of the cool things we could do if email clients had the same functionalities as your current web browser.
You can amazing affects thanks to DOM scripting with prototype, scriptaculous and jQuery, ajax posting a response to a survey or unsubscribing from a newsletter, all without ever having to leave your client and getting a fade effect or a reply directly from the webserver too.
Flash is installed on 98% of web ready computers, so why not use them in email clients too for video, slideshows and audio (although the last one could be damn annoying), there would be no need for quicklook integration in apple mail if you just streamed a song or movie directly from the web.
Magic CSS could become common place and beautiful, inspiring emails wouldn’t be such hard work (and so thin) and there could even be a Zen Garden of emails (Zen Mailbox perhaps?)
You could start your journey into a website without even trying, the link (or button) to a site could be from a form pre-filled with your info, and then you wouldn’t have to fill out the same form again, or voting/digging directly from your client.
iframes could be used to give a window on the site the email is talking about, productivity goes through the roof!
And developers would not have to resort to dirty hacks to get some pretty basic stuff to work across every client/platform.
And sure, there may be some email clients that support some of these it but without proper standards there is little point due to the majority of users not having these clients.
So get your act together email client developers (looking at you MS Outlook team) and give the world more awesome emails!
A List Apart also has some tips if putting css into emails: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/cssemail
Ah Mondays, after a weekend of doing rather little I’m back to work and full of energy and ideas. Whilst doing my usual rounds of the web I stumbled across this awesome little website.
Drop.io looks fairly simple from the outset, and retains the simple, intuitive interface all the way through the site. The best way I can sum it up is a mix of Dropsend, Twitter and Pastie.
Basically you can share files, links, text, media or what ever in a twitter style without ever having to signup. You can upload up to 100mb of files in a single ‘drop’ and then you (or other people) can add messages and other files later on. You can also password protect it if it’s private stuff.
All very handy as a simple, quick file sharing tool if your files are too big for email or IM and then it kicks it up a notch. If you’ve uploaded music or video then it recognizes it’s format and has a funky inbuilt browser for playing that stuff which was a nice suprise.
I’ve uploaded an example file, feel free to add notes or media to it: http://drop.io/appleadsong/
Oh and of course it’s powered by.. Rails!
I’ve not had any lunch yet today
It’s a standard friday afternoon, half the people in the city have gone home and the other half have lost all motivation, the weekend must be just around the corner and predictably my mind is on video games!
So I’ve been itching to tell people about this game, I got it on released day a few weeks ago and I’ve not stopped playing since then.
First up the graphics are simply beautiful on my 32″ Sony Bravia, one of the best looking games I’ve played on the 360 so far, the effects and the detail put into every little bit make it a joy to play.
The crashes, which have always been the important bit of burnout, are awesome too. Everyone looks like it’s came straight out of a hollywood film. I find myself crashing every so often just so I can stare, open mouthed at the slow-mo close ups of crumpling metal followed by complete carnage as car’s go left, right and center!
Another great thing about Paradise is that it has no loading, once you’ve gone past the initial start screen and your into the game you won’t see any more loading screens. This is how all next-gen games are supposed to be!
Some other points to mention are the cars themselves which all look suspiciously like real life cars only with slight tweaks to the badges and names, they all look great and there is a wide variety of styles too taken from previous burnout games.
Like how the boost worked in Burnout 2 the best? Then go for the speed cars, or if you prefer the Burnout Revenge way of building more boost by taking down opponents then the aggression style is for you.
It’s completely free-form as well, drive anywhere, do any race at any point in time, there are no restrictions. This does mean you loose the ability to hit the start menu and restart a race if your loosing but rather than being annoying it changes the way you play the game, if you are loosing you can just stop the car for a few seconds and then go find a race near-by instead.
I absolutely love this game, and if you have an 360 or a PS3 I strongly suggest you give it a try.
My lunch today was a chicken caesar wrap, some ‘fridge raiders chicken bites’ and a bag of fruit pastilles.