The cool and the new

Welcome back! I know we are all busy but a quick distraction is in order to feed the mind and release the creative juices. However, before we start I would like to remind everyone that donations are being accepted to the Beth Heckel Plant Safety Foundation. The goal of this foundation is to provide soft planters for use in office hallways and common areas. For those that my not have heard, Beth took out one of the planters here in the office…in grand style by all accounts. She escaped with her life but looks like Tonya Harding came after her.

On to the goodies…

AJAX Image Editing

This link will take you to a fantastic site for editing images online. This is really pretty amazing. Inside of a web browser you can do some basic image manipulation and export and save the images. Screenshot attached. Pixoh has the following features:

  • Import pictures from any web site (including Flickr) with our bookmarklet
  • Flickr export, or save as JPG, PNG, PDF, TIF, or PSD
  • Basic editing tools like crop, rotate, resize—many more are in the works
  • Unlimited undo and redo (Control-Z and Control-Y)

Speaking of AJAX

I’m sure you know my thoughts on AJAX at this point, but there are downsides and this is something that is quite interesting. Using this method a user can fill out form data and the database will actually get the information as the user moves through the form. The user doesn’t even have to submit! This is the kind of thing that really worries privacy advocates excited. It make me think twice about filling out forms. Example is here.

CSS Sprites

I know this is technical, but there are a few of you that will appreciate the simplicity of how this works. The article explains how it is done, but in a nutshell developer types can use CSS(style sheets) to create an illusion of rollover images, but with one big image and no javascript. The illusion is quite effective and the server benefits with fewer hits for rollover images. This article is a great read. Here are a couple of examples.

Laptop Skins

If the dull grey Dell is causing some grief with the fashion police then a company called SKYN might be a good option to checkout. They make skins or safely removable stickers you can apply to the top of your laptop and provides a little bit of hip in the ole Dell. Prices range from $35-40. *Disclaimer: I have no idea if this would be okay for your Hilton supplied laptop so if you get in trouble, I never said it was okay.

Laptop Keyboard Cover

If you can’t stand other people banging away on your laptop or you just don’t like all of that dirt getting inbetween the keys then this little protector might be an option for you. It is a polyurethane protective cover for you keyboard. It is available from Dell.

*Disclaimer: This may not be an item that could be expensed and since it is only $16 before the Hilton discount I thought I would pass it along.

Can I just talk to someone…please?

This is a fantastic site that will help you skip past the IVR systems companies use. I can’t tell you how many times I have tried calling Cingular/AT&T and spend more than 10 minutes working my way through the menus. This handy site gives you the phone numbers and also the trick to speaking with a human.

Want to know house values?

If you have ever used Realtor.com to look for a home you can apprciate the difficulty in trying to get a sense of home prices for a neighborhood. Zillow.com tracks homes like a stock. As a buyer you can see easily what other homes are selling for in the same neighborhood, compare houses and based on sales data they provide a Zestimate that will provide a price range based on a bunch of data points to give an idea of appropriate pricing. It is a unique way to look at home.

That’ll do it for this week.

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