Archive of "Websites"

Archive for the "Websites" Category

AWriterz Relaunched!

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I have re-written and re-launched AWriterz – my service for hosting creative works.  Basically, I took my Web 1.0 service and brought it to the new web.  Logins are now powered by OpenID and it tries to get some data automatically through SREG, SGAPI, and hCard.  There is a karma-like system to prevent spam (and eventually reward active users), and users can tag and rate every work (and upload there own).  I’m trying to emphasize CreativeCommons on the site, but I’m not enforcing it.

I’m really hoping to build more DiSo-like functionality in as the site progresses and I get more user feedback 🙂


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From the ultra-creative minds of Stephen Paul Weber (that’s me!) and Trevor Creech comes a service you may never have expected.

Pranketh is designed with but one purpose in mind — to send prank emails.  Fill in the form with who you want the email to go to… and who you want it to come from!  Pranketh will send you message and when the recipient opens it, it will appear to be from whomever you specified!  Then, when they reply, it will go to that person and watch the confusion!

Have fun, but don’t hurt anyone 😉

Free ‘Domain Names’ in the Underground

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Disclaimer: This article may be extremely geeky, and some links may not work unless you have specially-modified system settings.

Hoodwink’d, the self-dubbed “underground mumbler’s club“, is very geek. Until recently, the only way to access the main part of the site was by manually editing your hosts file (a settings file that is unknown to most users, and very hard to find for Windows users).

Recently, _why, the founder/head-hancho of Hoodwink’d, set up a DNS server that allows the registration of domain names that do not exist (such as hoodwink.d and _.singpolyma). As long as you have a simple settings change done on your system you can access all of these ‘bogus’ domain-names the same as normal websites, and if you’re a member at Hoodwink’d you can create as many new ones as you want for free at nic.d (blog announcement, forum thread).

For more information on Hoodwink’d itself see Johan’s article. To get access to Hoodwink’d and nic.d domains on Windows XP follow these steps (linux and other users, just add as your primary DNS, you likely know how):

  1. Open your network connections pane (Start > Connect to > Show all connections).
  2. Right-click on the connection you use to get on the Internet (the dial-up connection for dial-up users, and the Wireless Network Connectin or Local Area Connection for broadband, usually) and select ‘Properties’.
  3. Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) from the list box and click the ‘Properties’ button.
  4. Select the ‘Use the following DNS server addresses’ radio button if not already selected.
  5. If there is anything in the first box, move it to the second, otherwise find the automatically assigned DNS address from the status window for the connection and enter that to the second box.
  6. Enter into the first box.

Yurnet : When You Don’t Know Where to Look

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Yurnet is a search engine with an interesting model — search for things instead of in places. If you want to search for DVDs, but don’t know what engine to use to do that, you could search Google for an appropriate engine, then search that engine, or just go to Yurnet and pick ‘dvd’.

Yurnet takes awhile to get your head around. That’s because at first it looks like a cheesy metasearch engine. If you’re still thinking search where it seems almost rediculous. Which is faster : going to Google Images and searching for what you want or going to Yurnet, picking Google Images, and searching? The answer is they’re basically the same. After corrospondence back and forth to the site creator, however, I finally came to understand that the real point of Yurnet is search what for when you don’t know what site to search.

That said, the site is rather ugly. The final resolved URL is — not exactly something that looks pretty in bookmarks. The drop-down select box is a mélange of capitalization schemes, and the ‘vs’ searches (which really are out of the scope of the site) are listed first, giving an initial illusion that alphabetical order is not preserved. Also, some things are listed as wheres still (ie Google Image). Realistically the box should be cleaned up to use the same capitalization schemes throughout and be only a list of whats in alphabetical order, without engine names and the like getting in the way.

PsycHo – WYSIWYG Templates

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PsycHo is a WYSIWYG template generator for blogs that supports Blogger. While some of the functionality is annoying to a hand-coder such as myself, this is definately a big step in the right direction for pushing Blogger to non-techies. One of the things that I find odd about it is that by default you must enter your blog title/description manually, instead of using the ones from your Blogger settings. While this can be overcome, the average user won’t necessarily see that.

I would like some more code-structure customisability options for hackers (especially hackers looking to help their non-techy friends). For example, one could not implement hAtom in a PhycHo template if he wanted to (at least so far as I can tell). Other than that (a rather minor point to users anyway) the service seems to provide all the features a normal user would expect, including sidebar(s) cutomisation and linkroll(s) editing. Just one more push to get people away from inferior blogging services like Xanga.