about.me offers free email for its users. Do you use it?

I decided not to use it.
I’m using about.me service to create my personal splash page. You can see mine at about.me/thomasarie. It looks good, and very useful to display multiple online profiles like Twitter, Facebook, or even Instagram. Everything works great.
Few days ago, about.me users received an email informing about an offer to get more personalized email address. Yes, another mail service! Last May, Nokia did the same step by powering its mail service called Ovi Mail using Yahoo! Mail features. Since about.me is now part of AOL family, you will get AOL Mail-powered email. Just a reminder: AOL bought about.me back in December 2010.
I claimed my email address. Yes, I have now thomasarie [at] about.me, powered by AOL. If you want to get yours,  authenticate yourself at about.me website, and you should see “Offer” menu under “Dashboard” menu on the top navigation.

The setup was easy. You only need to give your date of birth information. I use Google Mail — Google Apps for domain — as my primary email service right now. I also keep my Yahoo! Mail account checked on regular basis. They offer a good service until today. AOL Mail did offers some features, but I haven’t found any features other mail services don’t have. So, I decided not to use it. If you send your email to thomasarie [at] about.me, it will go to my inbox. But, I’m not sure whether I check it regularly or not.
And, this is how the the email frontpage looks like. Sorry, I just need ’email’.

10 Reasons Why I Love Posterous

After using Posterous in the last few weeks more frequenlty, I feel that I like it more than before. It feels right. These are 10 reasons why I like Posterous — and why you should love it, too.

1. Email-friendly, of course

One of the internet feature I regularly check is email inbox. Sometime, I want to post something directly from email sent into my inbox. Posterous is about working directly from the email — web-based email or email clients.

2. Free

It’s a free service. Right now, I have 1 GB of free storage. Since it does not offer types of account (free or paid account), Posterous said that we can have more than 1 GB if we hit the limit. If I have to pay to get more storage or features, I will consider to subscribe. But, I hope it offers the right price/package. And, we can have multiple Posterous sites using a single email address.

3. Autopost

How many social media accounts I have? How to distribute or send something to those service easily — if I want to share something using those services? The autopost feature is just perfect. I can send photos to Flickr, send videos to YouTube, post something to my own blog. But, I can do them all automagically from Posterous. And, I can choose whether I want to share them directly or not. Or, I can share only to specific targets.

Posterouseptember: Posterous Features in September

logo_posterousThis September, Posterous blogging service released some new features and improvements. If you’re not familiar with Posterous — or never heard about it before, it’s a service that will help you put something online. You can post text, photos, videos and also documents. The big difference is that you can do it directly from your email. This service was launched back in July 2008. And, this is my Posterous page. If you have a Posterous account but you haven’t logged in for few months — or want to try it, here are some new features:

Feedburner feed tracking

If someone subscribe to your Posterous RSS feed, you can find out how many feed subscribers you have. This process should be easy because you can integrate your feed to Feedburner account. Using this, you can use all Feedburner’s features.

Autopost to Scribd

Posterous offers auto post ability. Using this, you can send your posts from Posterous to different websites/service. If you send a document, you can deliver it directly to Scribd.

Themes and Custom Themes!

If you want to have your own custom look for your Posterous page, you can do it easily now. There are some themes available. Once you select your theme, you can do some modifications  like colors, custom image header, etc. If you’re good at HTML and CSS, and want to create your very own theme, an advanced customization feature is also available. For some people — at least for me — this is a killer feature!

Embed songs from Lala.com and videos from Viddler and Google Video

If you want to embed audio files from Lala.com and videos from Viddler and Google Video, you don’t have to deal with embed codes. Just put the links, and Posterous will do the rest for you.

Firefox 3.5 Features

Some useful features shipped in Firefox 3.5.

Google Image Search Color Filter

I think, this Google Image Search‘s “filter by color” feature is very useful. I can filter image search results not only by size (extra large, large, medium, and small) and image type (news content, faces, clip art, line drawing and photos) but also by color.
Google Image Search Results Color Filter
There are twelve colors available to be used as filter. I think it will be great if there are more colors to choose, or even custom color? But so far, it IS very useful.

Say Good Bye to Flickr Set Limit and Welcome HD Videos!

After being a free member at Flickr (again), I noticed that my photostream displays more than three sets. It seems that Flickr has lifted its set limit — for free account. Right now, I can see lots of photo sets. So, what’s the exact number? Flickr writes:

We’ve lifted that limit and you’re now free to organize your most recent 200 photos into as many sets as you like.

Thank you Flickr! In short, it means that — for example — if your last 200 photos are organized into 10 sets, you will have 10 visible sets.
squirrel-3
Another news is about HD videos support Flickr Pro members. Here are some points to notice:

  • Pro members can upload as many HD videos as they want. I hope I read it right.
  • Free members can only upload 2 videos per month. They can upload HD videos, BUT it will not be displayed in HD quality. If they upgrade to Pro account, the HD version will be available.
  • Video limits still apply: less than 90 seconds and 150MB in size.
  • Check out the new Desktop Uploadr. We can upload photos and videos easier.

I think I want to renew my Pro account membership sooner. :)

blip.tv Basic Features and Notes You Might Want to Know

When Budi Putra visited Jogjakarta last weekend, I was involved in a discussion about a video provider called blip.tv. I’m using it now effectively for my videoblog. We learned about the service, features, and other aspects that we need to know. It was because we wanted to find the video hosting provider that really meet our need. So far, blip.tv works great on my videoblog.
Here are what we found. If you need video hosting provider, and you consider blip.tv, you might want to know these things:

  1. blip.tv offers two types of account: free and pro accounts. The pro account offers many additional features like priority transcode access, transcode to iPod and MP3 formats, longer transcode times, hidden videos, and also timed publishing.
    It costs $8/month. If we purchase annually, we will get two extra months for free. blip.tv only accepts Paypal right now.
  2. If we do not want to continue our pro account subscription, some pro features will be removed and all hidden videos will be visible.
  3. There are no video upload limits per day, or weeks. The maximum video size is 1 GB per file.
  4. To upload videos, we can use some alternatives: using web-based uploader, cell phone, FTP or desktop software.
  5. The desktop uploader is called UpperBlip. It is compatible with many operating systems.
  6. By default, our “Show Page” is generated from our username. So, it will be something like this: username.blip.tv. We can have different address for show page URL. Username does not have to be the same with the show page. Show page address can be changed, but not the username. You have to contact blip.tv for this.
  7. blip.tv offers an advertisement program. This is an optional feature. If you don’t want to see any advertisement in your uploaded videos, you can simply disable them from the dashboard.
  8. blip.tv shares 50% of the adjusted gross advertising revenues that are actually received by Blip.tv and generated by user content with the user who uploaded the content. (source)
  9. We can customize the video player. If you want to embed the videos to different sites, we can have a preset to produce desired embed code.
  10. Many ways to distribute the videos e.g. automatic notification post to Twitter, Facebook, delicious, etc.

Of course, there are many other features and information. You can see more from FAQ and Help page. Do not forget also to read its terms of service.

Flickr Pro Renewal

In the next few days, Flickr Pro account I have with Lala will be expired (see our Flickr Photostream). I haven’t decided whether I renew it before or after the expiry date. I am curious about this. About this renewal, Flickr explains:

If your Pro account expires, don’t panic! None of your photos or videos have been deleted!
This means instead of enjoying the super-duper capacity of your Pro account, you’re now subject to the limits of a free account. If you upgrade again, all of your photos will be waiting for you.
Any of your sets that disappeared will magically reappear when you renew or upgrade.

Again, I’m curious about this. There are more than 3,000 photos and 80+ photo sets. Is it really safe to leave it expired to see the effect? I don’t know. The free account only has three sets, which sets will be visible? I’m curious. At the same time, I don’t want to take a risk. We’ll see…

WordPress Plugins Search and Comment Threading

Finally, WordPress now offers a better search engine for its plugin directory. It is using Sphinx right now. But, it does not search plugins by authors and tags. It only reads all information from readme.txt file which is delivered in every plugins uploaded to directory.

Another improvement — well, I think I should call it “feature” — is that WordPress.com is now supporting comment threading feature. This feature is included in the core if you’re using self-hosted WordPress 2.7.1. Since WordPress.com seems already upgrade to the latest version, we can now use this feature also. Just go to Settings and choose Discussion from your WordPress.com dashboard.

Tumblr New Features

I’m using Tumblr for Blog Pemilu and my other collaborative tumblelog, Orangescale Tumblelog. So, if you don’t get updates from this blog, I might posts in those two tumbleogs.

Recently, Tumblr added some new features. Some of them are few things that I really like, because I find them useful. Here they are:

  • Save posts as drafts.
  • Set a post to be published at a specific time.
  • Queue up posts to be published automatically on a configurable interval.

Okey these are useful. There is another new feature about audio-related content. We can post an audio content directly from a phone call. Of course, it uses international rate. I haven’t tried it myself. Anyone? If you want to try it, configure the settings from the goodies page. Just in case you need it, you can do it now.

Vimeo Plus is Available for International Users

vimeo_plus
Vimeo, my favorite video sharing provider, offers its Vimeo Plus for international users. Right now, Vimeo offers two types of account: free and Plus. I’m using the free account, and it’s more than enough for me.
With Vimeo Plus, we can get these features:

  • 5GB of upload space per week
  • 5000 free HD embed plays with purchase
  • The ability to control which domains can embed in HD
  • 25fps/PAL support for HD (up from 24fps)
  • Make your videos private on Vimeo.com while still able to embed them on your site
  • One-button upgrading of your existing videos to the latest high-quality format without using additional upload space
  • No banner ads
  • Unlimited Groups/Channels/Albums
  • Priority uploading.
  • Full control player customization

All for $59.95/year. For free accounts, I got these features:

  • 500MB of storage per week
  • Standard quality Video
  • 1 HD video per week
  • Basic player customization
  • 1 group, 1 channel and 3 albums

This is very a great offer for those who have many videos in HD quality. All my videos are still in standard quality. Well, only capture video using my mobile phone and digital camera. :)
But, when I have my own video recorder that support HD videos, I might upgrade my account. Anyway, among the video sharing providers, I like Vimeo. I tried to upload a same video to different providers like YouTube, blip.tv and Vimeo. And it seems Vimeo is the best solution for me, right now.

WordPress will be much better with your help

As WordPress users, we can contribute to its development in many ways. But, if you do not involve actively in the development, you can get involved by participating in a survey.
This survey will help WordPress developers to determine which features should be on the top priority for WordPress 2.8 (and/or 2.9 and beyond) . If you’re WordPress users, it’s recommended that you’re using WordPress latest stable release: WordPress 2.7. As a WordPress user, here few things I want to have (not in a particular order)

  • Sort by column on list-type screens. It will be useful!
  • Bulk edit on other screens. If it’s similar to bulk edit for entries, that would be great.
  • Choose number of items to display on list-type screens (20/50/100). When doing a batch edit, I can edit more posts at a time.
  • OpenID in core. Even I’m not using it for my blog, I think it will be useful for those who want to have an OpenID-enabled blog.
  • Site closed/maintenance mode. When working on the design, or something is broken, I want to have my blog displays a maintenance screen. Just a simple page, but can be handled from the dashboard.
  • Improve category management. Mmm… can I have built-in category thumbnail? :D
  • User permissions based on categories. Hey, this should be great for blogs with multiple users!
  • Bundle DB backup plugin. Backup is important, so I want to have this. Also, some other DB-related management features e.g. to optimize overhead tables?
  • Better custom fields management
  • Option to delete inactive plugins.
  • More built-in plugins for special purposes like videoblogging or podcast. Can we have podcast plugin like Podpress built-in shipped in the core?
  • Built-in search and replace for posts. Actually, there is a plugin for this purpose.
  • Additional user profile fields.
  • More settings managed from dashboard (web-based). For example to disable/enable Post Revisions. So, the wp-config.php should not need to be edited.

I don’t use widget extensively so I’m fine with widget-related features. Oops.. it’s a long list. I know, those list is based on my personal preferences. You can have different wishlist. :)

Features for Developers (Firefox 3.1 beta 1)

Okey, this should be a good news.
Geolocation

Geolocation is a JavaScript API that lets a web page query the browser’s location via JavaScript. It can be used to plot maps, give directions, attach location information to pictures, give a location for a weblog post and a pile of other things.
More details about Geolocation API Specification.

@font-face

Add support for the CSS @font-face property. This property allows you to specify a true type font file that includes a specific font you want to use to render a web page.
More details about @font-face

Video and Audio

Include support for the <video> and <audio>elements. This beta includes support for the OGG Theora and OGG Vorbis formats on all platforms

And more…

WordPress.com is Gears-enabled now

wpcom-gears
If you’re using WordPress.com service, you probably notice that there is a new link in the upper right of dashboard navigation. It says “Turbo“. This is a new feature offered by WordPress.com, telling that WordPress.com is Google Gears-friendly website. In my other blog (using WordPress from SubVersion), I already enabled this. And, I can take benefit from this.
So, what is it all about? If you enabled this feature (this will work if you have Gears supported browsers like Firefox 1.5+, and also Internet Explorer 6.0+) and also have Google Gears installed:

  • We can have all images and other web components from WP admin area stored into our PC. By this, we can speed up our access to WP admin area and also reducing unneccessary web traffic.
  • All downloaded files will be used everywhere in the admin area.
  • We will have another great experience :)

This feature is not available for self-hosted WordPress 2.5.1. But, it will be a new feature for the coming WordPress 2.6. It will be great if this Gears can be made available for WordPress 2.5 via plugin. Possible? Well, if you use WordPress.com service, you can get this feature earlier.

WordPress 2.6 Features

The coming WordPress 2.6 (scheduled to be released on August 7th, 2008, or July 7th, 2008) will have more features. Most of you probably heard that about the probably-most-well-known Post Revisions feature. But, there are some other features that should be highlighted. Here are some of them I find (using WordPress from SVN, revision 8094):
Post Revisions
WP 2.6: Post Revisions
Using this, our WordPress will save a copy of our post everytime you edit it. We can take benefit when we want to revert our post. We can also compare or show diffs from two revisions. Wiki users should be familiar with this. This Post Revisions feature will be shipped and activated by default. If we think that we do not need this, we can deactivate it easily. Just add define('WP_POST_REVISIONS','0'); in our configuration file (wp-config.php). More info about Post Revisions.
Google Gears supports
WP 2.6: Google Gears support
Description from ticket #6965 tells about this:

First run. Support for Google Gears managed offline storage. The patch adds all static files used in the admin interface to a single offline storage. That speeds up page loading a lot, as it serves virtually all requests for static files from the computer’s HD instead of the network. So instead of 50-60 requests to the server on some pages, there are only 2-3.

There will be a new small link on the top-right navigation. It says “Speed up!“. Learn more about Google Gears.