Thursday, August 09, 2007

Phone Hack: Weather On Mobile Phone with Text Message

Want to know the weather forecast while you're on the run, but don't have mobile internet? As long as you have a mobile phone with text messaging, you can get weather forecasts with a simple text message. To get the weather, follow these steps on your mobile phone:

1: Text your zip code or city name to 42278 (4CAST)
2: Your forecast will be delivered to your handset

Alternatively if you would prefer to set up a subscription to the weather forecast for a certain zip code you can also set up a regular subscription. Subscribing gets you a new, local 36-hour forecast daily.

You can sign up at on the internet or you can do the following from your mobile phone:

1: Text "SUB + your 5 digit US zip code" to 42278 (4CAST) ex. "SUB 90210"
2: You'll get a 36-hour forecast daily

All of this is free except for your text messaging fees charged by your mobile carrier. Obviously if you are on a text messaging plan with your mobile carrier, you should be okay.

Find The Right Font - 10,000 Free Fonts

Looking for just the perfect font for that document, but don't know exactly what you want? Want to avoid the spam and over-done ad sites that happen to have fonts as well? Well Better Fonts is your place. They have over 10,000 different fonts with a quick, usable preview for each one. Unlike many of the free font sites, there is only one ad that doesn't take over the content on the page. Check it out at Better Fonts

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Zap2It Replacment Schedules Direct to be a fee-based TV Guide for US and Canada

There is a new update today about the Zap2It webguide replacement. Schedules Direct hopes to be the replacement for Zap2It for MythTV, GBPVR or MediaPortal Users who have been using Zap2It for TV Guide service on their HTPC. As mentioned in the past few months, Zap2It will stop providing free tv listings September 1, 2007. Since that time, a team of MythTV developers and others are working on a possible replacement for Zap2It.

From the website:

Schedules Direct is pleased to announce that it has licensed US and Canadian
television program information from Tribune Media Services. This data will be
distributed directly to the users of Open Source and Freeware
applications. Membership dues will be billed through PayPal and will be
offered to non-commercial users in the United States and Canada.
on pricing, terms of service, and a FAQ will be released shortly.

Connect your GPS to Google Earth without Google Earth Plus

Here's a money saver for you. Over at Instructables, they have an how-to that shows you how to connect a GPS device to the popular Google Earth program, without using Google Earth Plus.
Read the full Instructable HERE

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hackers discover how to download streaming movies from Netflix

The story that broke on this blog was dugg on and made the front page! Unfortunately for me it was dugg for TVSquad who did credit me for the original story thankfully----- You're welcome Brad :)

I did get a bunch of hits still though so I'm still happy.

TV Squad's Story digg story

RUMOR: Apple to offer iTunes for ONLY $.79?

This is just a Rumor and/or a hunch, but Digg Member Brett says"When entering my Avis redemption coupon for the week I noticed it mention three price levels: $1.29, $.99, or $.79. Has Avis made a minor typo or a major leak? Not really sure, but this could be the sign of more changes at everyone's favorite iTunes store?"Anyone else heard of any signs of multiple cost structures for songs purchased on iTunes or is this just a typo? The screenshot from Brett's iTunes is below. What do you think?

via digg

Socialize: Join me at Digg, Facebook and StumbleUpon

Do you like what you see on this blog? Want to keep in touch with the author using social media sites? I'm here to tell you about the places I frequent on the internet for keeping up with what is going on in the Web 2.0 world. These places are great for getting in contact with other bloggers as well as the readers of this blog. Join me at one or more of the places below.

Facebook - I'm new to facebook, but I do see a benefit to the social community there thanks to Robert Scoble. Go to this facebook link and add me as a friend. My daughter laughed when she realized I was adding a facebook account for myself after giving her a hard time about hers for so long!

StumbleUpon - This is one of my favorite ways of finding new, interesting stuff on the web.

Digg - Another great way of finding fresh, interesting stuff on the web. Add me as a contact/friend and I'll see what stories you dug and you'll see what I dugg. In the end we'll likely digg many of the same stories because of similar interests.

MyBlogLog - For those of you bloggers out there, add me to your network and I'll add your blog to mine.

Technorati - Doesn't work the greatest for me, but still a decent source of blog data and feeds

By the way, another great way to keep in touch is by commenting on the posts and e-mailing me. I make every attempt to respond to everyone who comments or e-mails me and I enjoy the communication with the readers.

Picture Hack: Convert Photo to a Sketch

Here's another photo trick for you. At they have several free photo & flickr tools available. One of the neat ones is the sketchr. With this web application you take a digital photo and convert it into a pencil sketch.

You can upload the photo from your hard driveOr select a photo from flickrOr alternatively select a picture from myspace or picasa based on the photo URLClick on the "continue" button
Wait for a few seconds or so for it to process the photo
Once it is complete, it will display the newly created sketch
You can then send it as an e-mail, upload it to flickr, or save it to your hard drive.
Before Processing

After Processing

Check out the sketch tool at

For a complete listing of flickr hacks and tools CLICK HERE

Monday, August 06, 2007

Netflix Watch Now Hacked - Rip Movies from Watch Now

The rorta forums is reporting that there is a hack that allows you to rip the streaming watch-now movies from Netflix and save them on your PC. A forum member at rorta who goes by the name of "Dizzie" uses FairUse4WM, Windows Media Player and Notepad.exe to rip streaming movies for watching later. I don't know if this works, but others on the forum are reporting successful rips using the method.

I personally don't see a need for it as the movies on Watch-Now are a bit dated or less-popular at least for now. Also, since I have an HTPC, I can watch those streaming movies on my living room TV without any sort of hack required.

If you're curious you can check out the hack and instructions over at the Rorta Forums

Related Links:

Does This PC Smell Like Fish? Aquarium PC Mod

What do you get when you cross a fish aquarium with a computer? The Tikki Aquarium was the result of the Mod of the Month over at Martin Blass, the creator of this unusual mod says:

"We started this project with the idea of a cool looking aquarium, but then we couldn't stop. So we quickly decided to modify our plans...and instead of just building an aquarium from a plexiglass tube, we would integrate a small multimedia PC in it. This way, it can be used to watch movies, browse the web etc."

It's going to be difficult for me to describe this one so I'll just give you a few photos instead

He even has two nice videos of his build on Youtube:

For the entire walk-through with photos and commentary head over to bit-tech

PhotoShop Elements Free Filter Plugin

Do you own PhotoShop Elements, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, or Photo-Paint? Want a free but powerful plugin that lets you convert your digital photos look by applying high quality, professional photographic styles to your images with a single click?

VirtualPhotographer has over 50 presets that will automatically apply different combinations of film grain, color modificaton, Black & White, soft focus, high contrast and many other artistic effects. Each of these effects can be done with a single click using the free, plugin over at optikvervelabs. Here are some quick examples of what you can do with this great plugin via various one-click filters:

To download, see more examples and read more about the plugin CLICK HERE

EDIT: I noticed the middle photo looks washed out in my example above. Not sure what I did, but it looks find before I uploaded it to blogger. Really to get a good feel for how nice these filters are, go to the site at the link above - there are several great examples of what you can do with it.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Download Time Calculator

AJAX Download Time Calculator that calculates how long a download will take.
The tool is modeled after the Google calculator. Just type in a phrase like "60 megabytes at 200 KB/s" and it estimates how long it will take. "5 internets on a modem" even works.
read more

Week In Review

In case you missed them, below is a summary of the past weeks posts on this blog.

Yahoo TV now works with Tivo Series 3
The Yahoo TV Guide site has allowed you to set up recordings on your Tivo Series 2 for a while now, but you couldn't with Series 3 Tivo's. Well now that has changed. They also added a few other features to the site. Features Added according to the Yahoo TV Blog TiVo Series 2 and TiVo…
Teacher Tech: Free Powerpoint Slides for Teachers
This is the first of a few posts I'll be making that have a focus on helping teachers with technology. Many of these will be relavent to everyone - but they will have an extra focus for the teachers. My wife is an American History teacher and is working on building a set of powerpoint…
Streaming Media Included in Billboard Hot 100 Chart
Another sign that Streaming Media has more than arrived. Billboard has expanded their Hott 100 chart to include streaming media Data. From the blog: Under the new Billboard Hot 100 formula, radio play will average about 55 percent of the chart’s total points, digital for about 40…
Awesome Flash Presentation for a Photo Gallery
This is one of the more unique uses of Flash for an online photo gallery I've seen. As you move your cursor around the screen, the image changes around your cursor. It loops through a certain set of photos each time you move your cursor around. Video of the concept below or check out the link…
Skyscraper Photo PC - Stunning Digital Picture Frame
Jeffrey Stephenson has created one of the most beautiful digital photo frames I've ever seen. He calls it the Skyscraper Photo PC. The design is based on a 1931 Hammond Gregory clock, and made the casing for the frame entirely of basswood with a mahoganny veneer. The PC innards… Crop Multiple Images At Once with JPEGCrops
If you have a lot of digital pictures and would like to crop more than one at a time, JPEGCrops is the best freeware option for you. This program lets you maintain the aspect ratio, but still crop your photos to only leave the exact portion of the photo you want to keep. With JPEGCrops, you can use…
Slashdot Tries to Be Digg with their Firehose
For quite a long time, slashdot has been outplayed by digg and even reditt as a social tech news site. Slashdot made their site too difficult for a story to make it to their homepage and thrived on insulting any story submissions that weren't by their own "club" of long-time users. To…
Why Netflix Has Already Won The DVD Rental War
There's been a great deal of discussion recently about how Netflix is struggling with its continued competition with Blockbuster and the online movie streaming sites. With the recent hit Netflix stock took (it hit its lowest point in over two years), lowering it's monthly fees by $1.00 and…
Travel Hack: Get Free Wireless at Airports in August
Dan over at the UneasySilence blog tells you how to take advantage of Boingo's offer for free wireless at select airports in August. Note the offer is really just for those elite iPhone users, but he shows you how to make it work with any wifi device. It's available at the following…
Track Conversations with Commentful
I was reading a post by Robert Scoble today about how he has been using CoComment to track his comments he posts across the web, but isn't happy with the way it won't always allow his comments to upload to other sites/blogs and instead gives him an error message when CoComment is down. He…
Search Engine Trick: Easter Eggs
I have two search engine " easter eggs " for you. First a new one (for me at least) thanks to Google Blogoscoped: Enter number of horns on a unicorn into Google to see what Google Calculater says.... For an older one that many of you probably already know, go to the Yahoo search engine…
Walk Your iPod Dog: An iPod Dock for Your Pet
I've seen a lot of iPod docks in my day, but this is a first. Kevin O'Callaghan & Wei Lieh Lee have designed this ipod doc that you put on your dog. Now your dog is a walking, peeing iPod Jukebox.... It's just a concept right now, but it wouldn't surprise me to see someone…
Timewaster: Internet Pong
Time-waster of the day: Internet Pong. It's simple, you use your mouse to control both sides. It doesn't keep score but its somehow still entertaining. LINK
LCD Monitor Hack: Mod your LCD Monitor to Fashionable
Are you getting bored with your old, same-as-everyone-elses LCD computer monitor? Well, DerangedMoose7 has written an instructable showing how he converted this LCD monitor: into this more modern-looking, cool LCD. using some plexiglas, a metal frame and some elbow grease. It really does look…
Polar Clock Flash Screen Saver
PolarClock 3.0 is a hypnotic screen saver for Mac and Windows. It also can be used as a dashboard widget for OSX Tiger. This screen saver is based on a color wheel of sorts, and developed in Flash. Polar Clock represents the passing of time on that wheel showing year, month, day hour minutes and…
iPhone Poll Results
My iPhone Poll has finally concluded. I put this poll on the site back before the iPhone was released and probably ran it a little too long, but it was an experiment to test the Blogger Draft's new polling feature . It works fairly well although it doesn't look perfect on Internet Explorer.…
Roll Your Own Flickr Clone - Hosting Your Photo Site For Free
While I know the masses (myself included) use and love Flickr , Zooomr and Picasa Web Photo hosting sites; there are some of you who want a photo site that is uniquely yours. You want to roll your own Flickr-Clone type site. Enter Gallery2 . Gallery2 is an free, open source, PHP web-based photo…
Refurbish a Dead, Seagate External Hard Drive
Do you have an external Seagate Hard Drive like this one? If the hard drive dies, you shouldn't throw the whole thing away. Rather than buying a whole new external hard drive, you can save money by opening up that external hard drive and replacing the dead, internal drive with a newer one.…

Yahoo TV now works with Tivo Series 3

The Yahoo TV Guide site has allowed you to set up recordings on your Tivo Series 2 for a while now, but you couldn't with Series 3 Tivo's. Well now that has changed. They also added a few other features to the site. Features Added according to the Yahoo TV Blog

    • TiVo Series 2 and TiVo Series 3 receivers supported. Yahoo TV previously only
      supported Series 2 TiVo receivers.

    • Manage multiple TiVo devices. Users with multiple TiVo devices can now program all of their TiVos through our service, choosing which TiVo records which shows.

    • Easy to read receiver names. We now display your DVR name, as you’ve set at, as receiver name. So for users with multiple devices, you’ll no longer need to guess which TiVo box you’re recording to with a numeric device name. We now display whatever name you
      associate to your TiVo boxes.

For the record, you can do this with Beyond TV using their webadmin already - matter of fact you can go one step further and watch a streamed show right from your internet browser using Beyond TV without the need of Orb or Slingbox too. For more on that, read this post from several months ago.