November 28, 2006


I feel a little disloyal, given that VoIP is also a feature of Messenger, but I've opted for Skype for cutting the cost of my international calls now I'm here in the US (I shudder to think what my next mobile phone bill will look like). I've set up a UK SkypeIn number (contact me directly if you'd like it) so that folks from the UK can call us without incurring high costs themselves.

But having to leave my computer on all the time (or loiter around next to it) is a pain. So today's toy du jour is Netgear's Skype Wifi Phone. It connects to my home wireless network (or any other wireless network that doesn't need browser-based authentication, which does limit its portability a little) and lets me call Skype and non-Skype contacts (via SkypeOut).

I haven't had a chance to test the phone in anger yet, but the set-up process was very simple, making it easy for me to select the wireless network, enter the WEP key, and then enter my Skype username and password. Only slightly annoying thing is that the recharging cable plugs into a rather fiddly mini-USB socket on the bottom of the phone. A desktop charger (per most normal wireless phones) would have been nice. And it's not that cheap - $225 on Amazon (though they're doing a $30 rebate at the moment).

The Netgear's main competitor is a new Skype Wifi phone from Belkin. The Belkin's a little cheaper, but seems a little less bedded down, and is a bit more shoddily built, according to a comparison of the two devices on Gizmodo.

Will post again with more feedback. diggDigg RedditReddit StumbleUponStumbleUpon

November 22, 2006

I heard it on the radio...

In a serendipitous combination of my love of gadgets and my love of Radio 4 (The Archers excepted, which I've never warmed to), Cener Development have come out with a Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget which plays BBC radio stations (in fact, the gadget can be customized to play any radio stream, at least those using Real Media, with a bit of tweaking of the XML, but I haven't tried that). So now I can listen to John Humphrys grilling Ken Livingstone whilst I sit on the Wifi bus to Redmond - well, I can't, unfortunately, since John's on at 6-9am GMT, which is 10pm-1am here. Ah well - at least there's Thinking Allowed. diggDigg RedditReddit StumbleUponStumbleUpon

October 26, 2006

Web analytics in your sidebar

Whilst browsing the Windows Live Gallery today, I came across a  gadget from MetriServe Web Analytics which shows basic web stats in your sidebar on Windows Vista (they also have a Mac OSX widget). Gimmicky as this may seem to the hard-bitten web analytics warriors amongst you, I think this is cool because it helps to drive user engagement with web analytics - having something permanent the user's desktop drives that web analytics 'addiction' which is the first step to integrating thinking about web analytics into site planning & design.

It's also a smart move for MetriServe because it is a free 'teaser' for their paid web analytics service - and anyone in the web analytics market who's not one of the big players these days needs to find some way of differentiating. My only criticism is that the gadget seems rather simple - for me, the attraction of this would be that it would draw the user in, offering some (very) simple exploration tools within the gadget itself, and then a click-through to a fully fledged analytics package. MetriServe don't seem to have done this.

Sadly also for MetriServe, this is eminently reproducible - as Google has shown, since there exists a Google Desktop Gadget for Google Analytics:

This is quite a nice implementation, but again there's no link through to the full GA interface; plus, the 'View Days' option is completely broken (it does nothing). That little goblin in the picture is my daughter, by the way. diggDigg RedditReddit StumbleUponStumbleUpon

August 31, 2006


Interesting to read of the launch of Browzar, a web browser (actually, a wrapper for the IE HTML rendering component in Windows) which doesn't store auto-complete info, browsing history, or (most significantly) persistent cookies. So another blow for the web analytics industry - though I predict that Browzar will remain a relatively minor player in the browser world.

Even those people who use it will probably use one of the more mainstream browsers for most of the time, since Browzar will disable the auto-login features on which so many people rely so as not to have to remember a hundred passwords. But if I were in charge of web analytics for a porn site, I might be a bit more worried.

(Thanks to Slashdot) diggDigg RedditReddit StumbleUponStumbleUpon

April 13, 2006


Nice little JS library to do nice-looking tooltips for websites.

(via SwissMiss) diggDigg RedditReddit StumbleUponStumbleUpon


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