Category: Internet (page 1 of 27)

Stacks

Stacks is a new web app from Offset that helps users curate and share the apps and services they love. You login via Twitter and then create a stack. Simple.

My Mac Essentials stack

My Mac Essentials stack

Stacks makes it trivial to add app’s, products and services and for the user to maintain the stack. Once done, add some tags and publish it. So far I’ve made three stacks – Mac Essentials, Podcast Tools and iOS Homescreen. I’d like ability to add links and also icons and a search rather than relying on tags would be handy but it is new so not a big deal right now.

I like the low barrier of entry of Stacks and hopefully it will hang around as it’s a great curation tool. Currently invite only but you can request one from the Stacks site or let me know as I’ve got a spare one. What would you add to your Stacks?

Backpocket

In what may or may not become a regular thing the following articles from my Pocket queue kept me entertained this week.

Google Spreadsheets As A Database

Following on from the Google Spreadsheet links in the previous post, I spotted this retweet from Guardian Datastore. Interesting – database querying of a Google Spreadsheet. So following a link takes me to Tony Hirst’s blog and a how-to on applying SQL type queries to a Google Spreadsheet. Very useful.

Tony then takes the data and visualises it using Many Eyes Wikified. Very impressive and a site I hadn’t heard of or used before. Applying the same principles Tony has now applied visualisations to the Shadow Cabinet spreadsheet.

Only slight snag I can see is that spreadsheets are easy to change and hence the visualisations could break easily – more easily than a database would. Apart from that though I’m very impressed. I’m off to dabble!

Tuesday Linkage

Some site’s and tools that have been helpful over last few days:

  • How to setup Google Mail properly on your iPhone – great guide and ensures folders are aligned properly.
  • Brusheezy – Free Photoshop brushes. Also work with tools like Pixelmator.
  • 5 Tips For Making Great iPhone Photos – Handy guide on how to get the best out of the iPhone’s limited hardware. From the same author, here is his iPhone photo gallery.
  • Philips Carousel – An amazing advert for Philip’s new not so amazing TV. To really appreciate it watch it full screen.
  • Presto – Really interesting Linux O/S that can boot in just over 10 seconds. Will install on work PC as it could be really handy when travelling.
  • TripIt – I travel with work 2-3 times a month and it always involves e-mails, prints etc. I’ve known of TripIt but never used it until now. I simply forward my travel e-mails onto the service and my itinerary is built for me. I can get an RSS of the details, an iCal calendar that I can subscribe to and there’s a free iPhone app that allows me to get all my travel details on the move. There’s a social network aspect that I haven’t taken advantage of yet but I’m impressed so far.

FixMyStreet

I remember visiting FixMyStreet ages ago and leaving unimpressed. To be fair it was recently launched at the time but there was no local content, nobody reporting issues and it looked liked nobody was listening. However a tweet from Mike Butcher made me revisit the site today and I’ve changed my opinion.

When you visit the site you enter your postcode and you quickly see the local problems that have been reported. You can also report a new problem from this page. Once reported the site then forwards on the problem to the relevant council. There’s no guarantee that problems are fixed but the volume of recent reports tells me this is a really good route for getting issues addressed by your local council. You can also see stats for your council to see if they are responding to issues – here’s Glasgow’s for example.

FixMyStreet with Google Maps

The really nice feature though is the RSS feeds. Click on Local Alerts and enter your postcode to view an RSS feed of your local issues. This is nice and handy. Even better – post this into Google Maps and generate a map similar to the one above. Looks like someone has reported a car left in the car park outside my work.

This is all well and good but it would be handy if I could easily report an issue when I’m out and about. iPhone users now can thanks to a free app. It lets you snap a photo, add a description and it works out your position using the iPhone. Quick and easy way of recording a problem. I’m really quite impressed with how the site has matured over the years into a useful resource. Well worth checking out especially if you can’t find an obvious route into your local council.

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