Links for 2007-03-18

802.11n Draft 2.0 is Approved

Thrill … The World
the largest simultaneous dance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Thousands of people in over 100 cities will learn the Thriller dance and will perform it together, all over the world, on October 27, 2007.

An evening with Googles Marissa Mayer [Alan Williamson]
The prime reason the Google home page is so bare is due to the fact that the founders didn’t know HTML and just wanted a quick interface. Infact it was noted that the submit button was a long time coming and hitting the RETURN key was the only way to burs

Judge Declares Paris Hilton’s Vagina Public Domain | Spoilerama

The currrent layout

I AM a Blogger so every now and then I get sick of my current design and need to restyle it. The current layout of the page is bad, its too overloaded with ads, there is no simple place where I can put some of my favo links, the archives are all over the column while noone cares. Hmmm…. Maybe I will go back to the januari 2004 design, but that will mean some resizing of images I used in the middle column. (p.s. thank god for the Internet Archive).



update: pomtidom did most of it except for the layout of the comments page, the gravatars float away and the texbox is all the way below, soon!

Cheap glasses for the poor

Stenop are correcting glasses designed to poor people around the world with vision problems that can’t afford expensive crystal glasses. Glasses are replaced by rows of small holes using the concept of stenopeic vision.

These holes have the effect of reducing the width of the bundle of diverging rays coming from each point of the viewed object. Just central rays reach the retina avoiding focusing errors. Stenop glasses can reduce 80% of myopia, hyperopia and presbyopia. The glasses are plastic made in one single piece and mass produced. They have a very low cost and can be heavily distributed worldwide around kids of poor schools. They are durable and can be done in different colors depending types of skin.

(via yankodesign)

Why the telephone watch will fail.

The telephone watch from SMS Technology Australia is buzzing around the Net and truly is an amazing piece of technology.

You can obviously use it as a phone, it has SMS functionality, play games on it, it provides dial-up networking, it has blue-tooth, a build-in MP3 player and usb port connection, flash memory, 64mb default memory, basically all the functionality of a “regular phone”. Just plug in your sim and go.

The advantage is of course that you don’t need to think of your phone anymore since it is on your wrist.

The problem however is that I don’t see people picking up their Bluetooth headset every time someone rings them and I don’t expect everyone talking into their watch with the speakers on as an alternative like they are in a James Bond movie.

The basic idea, however, is very good, it needs something extra: maybe they could insert into the watch a long wire with an ear-plug that auto-jumps back in the device like the cable into a more expensive vacuum cleaner, that would be handy. I know it sounds strange, but just imagine just pulling out the wire out of the phone, indicating that you are picking up the phone, it could be in your ear in 1 second. I think this is missing in the device.

Update on WordPress stumble upon plugin

I am working on a new version of my WordPress StumbleUpon Plugin. I wanted to display the icon in grey if the url is “not yet” in StumbleUpon and then a colored icon with no number (no comments) or a number (N comments) in it when there are comments.

You can “try to use it for yourself” in your weblogs if you use the following piece of script:

<script src="http://www.hotwebsite.net/su.php?http://www.google.com" type="text/javascript"></script>

Ofcourse you have to replace “http://www.google.com” with the url you are enquiring about.

See it here on the testpage.

The weird thing is that it places a <br> before the script on my own weblog so probably some other plugin is causing this. Have to scan for this. If I have solved this I will release version 0.5 of the WordPress Stumble Upon Plugin, which will add the icons automatically next to all of your urls.

5 reasons why Eurobookings is, what I found, the best website to reserve a hotel in Amsterdam

What is the best place online to book a hotel in Amsterdam, the Netherlands?

A while ago, even though I live here, I was looking for good online website with hotel information for hotels in Amsterdam since we wanted to book a night as a surprise for my parents who live in the south of the Netherlands. I really had a hard time finding a good website and in the end I just asked my wife to book it at her traveling agency. Obviously when your wife does not work at a traveling agency…you better find the best online place to find the hotel. This week I got a proposal from ReviewMe to do a paid review of an Amsterdam Hotels online bookings site, which I did, together with my wife. Although it is not needed, we both concluded (she is the expert!) that this website is an excellent one: low prices, very good layout, many pictures and very trustworthy (online leader of online bookings in Europe). So I decided yes, I’m going to share this treasure with you.

1. Easy to use, clean, and many pictures – We’ve done our share of traveling and I remember the vacation days, surfing in Asian internetshops for the hotel of the next day, Barbizon Hotel in Amsterdamwhere I particularly liked the ones where I really could see the hotel and got as much information on it as needed including location. This website offers this, it was the first my wife remarked: many clear pictures, very good! It also offers everything on one page, which is very handy when  you are at a place during travel with a low-bandwidth connection, per hotel just a one page overview. A wealth of information on the hotel including the location on the map and interesting sights in the direct neighborhood and … customer reviews so you can see what the opinions were of other visitors, often a good indication: the average score of visitors versus the stars. As a nerd I also noticed it has a good SEO title tag in the header, so it will be easy to find in your bookmarks, shows good page design, giving me also a positive feeling :) (note also that the tabs are jumps to anchors on the same page, smart design, compliments).

2. Lowest prices and reservations are free of charge incl. cancellations – Since Eurobookings is the market leader of online reservations in Europe you get the lowest prices (hint!).  Also: they have really thought it through: what we want is to book online but then just pay the hotel as we do normally, no reservation fees, no cancellation fees and if you want to negotiate with the hotel for lower prices, you can, since you just click to reserve the hotel and then act as you normally would do. (I am always to scared to do this but  my wife is a real champion, she really really is, I could post dozens of stories on this which would amaze you, she is ruthless lol!) (just kidding… in case she reads this… ), So no payments online! You do have to enter your credit card information since they will use this to guarantee your booking, if you have done any traveling you know this is common use in all countries with all hotels. I think the concept of empowering you and giving you the full freedom is a neat idea.

3. Trustworthy – For me this is important for an online site, I don’t know if this is the case for you. The following factors give me trust in this company: a) they are the marketleader in Europe b) they are in business since 1996 c) they offer secure bookings and my personal info is encrypted d) they have the items, me the nerd, always looks into on sites where I give my personal information or creditcard info: privacy statement, terms and conditions and company info and what I read is very good: they only share my personal information with the hotel and under no condition with any other company, they work completely under strict European Privacy laws. The day you arrive in the hotel they destroy all credit card information. You can even send them an e-mail requesting the information they have online. Seriously just take the average 10 webshops and compare their privacy pages and terms and condition pages with this one. It’s really an excellent job which shows professionalism (I worked for some years on a large public website and we had our own writer and juridical persons providing these texts, the texts found here are really good.). If you are a seasoned websurfer or websitebuilder just judge these texts for yourself, amazingly clear. It gave me the idea to provide you with some in the footer of this blog also.

4. Good support – if you have been “working” in any support organization for a longer time you can see the signs of an experienced support organization. One of the signs is bragging about the years of experience and the other one is an extensive FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). They offer both, and an e-mail address for all your support questions. FAQ’s are created because people in support organizations get so crazy with answering the  same question multiple times a day that they want to find a way of somehow just redirect users to the questions that are asked most. For support staff this means they can concentrate on only the specific questions and for you and me, the users, that we have a handy list of looking up the questions without having to contact support, and learn new stuff!. When I look through the list I see items which give me a deja-vu when I was an inexperienced traveler, like “what’s the difference between a double room and a twin room” and “are the ratings per person or per room“. My wife usually gave me a “what a Noob” look when I asked these kind of questions. I also see the type of questions which make me give the “what a Noob” look to end-users e.g. “if you do not receive an email after you have completed the booking, it might be because your mailbox is full, your spam filter settings are too strict or you did not spell your email address correctly.”, hahaha, they must have loads of users spelling their e-mail address incorrectly. (I did notice however the spell e-mail as email which is not correct). I do wonder however why there is no phone number, this would be of use when being “on the road”, but obviously you can call the Hotel also directly for questions.

Hotel Vondel in Amsterdam 5. Quality hotels – the list includes all quality hotels in Amsterdam, including the hotel I booked for my parents:the Eden Rembrandt Square Hotel (this is my tip for you if you want to explore Amsterdam). Simply all good hotels of Amsterdam are in the catalogue from 5 stars to 1 star and in all price ranges (even the Stayokay Amsterdam Vondepark for €16). Note that the pull-down menu for sorting the list of hotels works well in Internet Explorer but (at least in my) Firefox doesn’t sort the list. It’s fun going through the hotels, which for me, in the Netherlands, and close to Amsterdam are mostly known, like the Okura, the little boutique hotel Vondel or the Krasnapolsky.

About Eurobookings – The Eurobookings team has been there since 1996, now with a team of 160 professionals to provide hotel bookings in the best possible way. They provide you with the a wealth of information, low prices due to the high volumes of reservations, free of charge reservation service, no canceling fee and no payments in advance. Meaning: you can still negotiate at the hotel and just pay as you normally do at the hotel! So… book the hotel, no charges and then just negotiate the price at the hotel and pay as you normally would do. That’s great, no hidden fees, low prices and the good feeling that you reserved via the market leader of online reservations in Europe.

Visit the Amsterdam hotels website of Eurobookings and start exploring the hotels of Amsterdam.

p.s. they also have wonderful hotelguide which is something worth browsing through when looking for a hotel in Europe. I added the blog to my RSS Reader!

Links for 2007-03-14

Become a Lord
For 27 pound you can get the title “Lord”, isnt that cool in your linkedin profile!

Embedded Thumbnails
Remember that the original picture might be hiding in your embedded thumbnails next time you upload a picture…

About:config entries – MozillaZine Knowledge Base
quite handy to run through

5 Ways to Use Gmail to Build PR at Webmaster & SEO Blog
….using gmail to build pagerank…amazing!

LinkSViewer 1.2
great tool.