Friday, 29 August 2008

Favourite Great American Seafood

I've never been a big fan of seafood myself, mainly because of the price, but after seeing the cook off at I'm thinking differently. I particularly liked the look of Tafari Campbell's recipe from Maryland - Pan Roasted Glazed Rockfish with Peas and Carrots - the peas and sauce just make it look more appetising to my taste than the other recipes. I also like the "Butter and salt to taste" - I personally prefer more butter and salt in my seafood than others, so it's nice to see that written in expressly in the recipe.

Seafood's actually a great food to use around the house. Domestic seafood is a very tasty meal, and could even go well with an alternative main meal. And it will always be fresh, so you can enjoy the taste of fresh meat when people are often used to salted or otherwise preserved animals such as bacon. Let's face it - not all of use live so close to the sea that we've grown tired of seafood!

I would encourage you to drop by at the site and enter your vote of your favourite great American Seafood. You even have a chance to win a trip to New Orleans including two Southwest Airline roundtrip tickets, hotel accommodations, dining experiences and more, if you enter the competition. There are some truly excellent chefs on the roll there, and you could have a look at their recipes for yourself. You could use them as-is, or, if you're somewhat of a seafood buff, you could even modify them to suit your needs and taste!
Sponsored by Lousiana Seafood

Google App Store - Android Marketplace

Android Developers Blog: Android Market: a user-driven content distribution system
Google's made the right decision here - albeit a copy of the iPhone App Store.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Pinging Tricks

You’re a blogger and are constantly hearing about pinging. The thing is, you don't know what it is and what it can do for your blog. Well that's fine because a lot of bloggers don't quite understand pinging. In this newsletter, we will explain what pinging is, how it helps your blog, and what the best pinging services are. After you've read this newsletter, you'll know exactly how to use pinging to make your blog popular.

What is pinging?

When a blog is pinged, it essentially tells a web blog tracking system that the blog has been updated. Thus, pinging is the process of telling tracking services that a site has been updated.

So how does pinging work? Well, a ping service scans regularly blogs for updates. Whenever there is a new update for a particular blog, that is reported back to the pinging service’s site. You can almost think of ping services being just like search engine spiders—both scan sites looking for information, and both report that information back to their specific site. The difference is, a ping service only reports back new blog posts.

Why is pinging useful for my blog?

Pinging, in effect, tells people that there is a new blog posting available. Those who are loyal followers of your blog will see the ping and want to visit your blog. Those who haven’t read your blog before will see the ping and perhaps think “hey, there’s a new blog I haven’t been to before, I think I’ll check it out”. Pinging helps to increase your traffic because it tells people when your blog is updated. Those who visit sites with pinging services will see this information in the form of a scroll on the left or right side, or top of the page. The scroll is usually in XML format and typically includes the title and URL of your blog, as well as the date and time of the update.

OK, so now I know what pinging is. Who offers pinging?

The answer is, there are several pinging services available which you can use to have your blog pinged. We’ll go over some of them right now. is probably the most well-known pinging service. monitors sites for updates and then pings whenever there is an update to report. Virtually every blog software is available to use Weblogs.


Another popular pinging service. This one is offered by Yahoo and has a built-in integration with movable type and other tools. One cool thing about this service is that it offers the ability to give out updates via Instant Messenging services like AOL and ICQ. It is a direct pinging service, so those who sign up for subscriptions to your blog will be sent an email anytime your blog is updated.

Blogrolling allows its bloggers to manage their blogrolls (updates) through a web-based interface. Recently updated blogs are also highlighted on Blogrolling’s web site. Data is automatically retrieved from other sites like and every 5 minutes. Often times your blog is already being pinged by Blogrolling, so you might not have to sign up for it. Search on the site first for your URL before signing it up.


Available at, Technorati is another service that pings blogs. It gets its data from a variety of places and is definitely a site you should go to for blog pinging.

These are just 4 of the many different blog pinging services available. A quick search on Yahoo or Google will reveal many other possible blog pinging services to use for your blog. It is best to sign up for as many as you possibly can to ensure that your blog is well-pinged. A well-pinged blog will definitely help your blog attract more visitors. So sign up for as many as possible and watch your blog traffic increase.

Pinging tells people when your blog is updated. It is an incredibly useful, and easy to sign up for service, so be sure to sign your blog up for pinging!

Written by: Len Hutton

Black Friday's not so black as it might sound

Black Friday, as you probably already know, is the day after Thanksgiving. Normally people will stand outside shopfronts from 5am to get the bargains available at Black Friday sales. They then walk into the shop with no idea what they want to buy, and just pick up things because they have the ability to "save"! But what would you say if you could know about these before hand - and actually plan your shop before you walked in the door? enables you to do exactly that. There are sections for all kinds of shops, including CompUSA deals and many others. Recent prices and product details are available for the Black Friday sales, enabling you to easily find the bargain that you want, not the bargain the the store wants you to pick up in a spur-of-the-moment purchase. What's more, items even be bought online, saving you that lineup altogether!

There is also an email subscription option. This means that you can be notified of the latest Black Friday sales almost as soon as they are announced! This should help you to get in before the crowd and grab a real bargain, or just satisfy your hunger for the latest news.

You can search and buy these items from blackfridayonline.

Evolution of the Emails

I've decided to change from Thunderbird to Evolution for my emails. I've got frustrated with TB's many lacking features, and consider Evolution to offer a much more complete feature set. For the timebeing it's working nicely, and I've already started synchronising my IMAP folders.

Evolution and Thunderbird are both GTK+-based email clients. I'd love to use Kmail or another Qt-based email client (I run KDE4.1), but can't justify the lack of features for the aesthetic advantages.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Powerful Media Conversion Software

I've done a lot of converting of media files recently. Whether its to get the "Receive the Power" song on my mobile phone or to convert MPG files to DVD I've just found it a requirement for most of my computing tasks in the past few weeks. And although ffmpeg is very useful on Linux, it really needs a GUI. Now I've found an AVI converter that can do the job for me - and has an immense range of options thrown in too.

Formats supported for audio conversion include CD, MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG, MPEG-4, AIFF, M4A, AAC, AC3, FLAC, and ALAC, and two-way conversions among MPEG-1, MPEG-2, AVI, WMV, ASF, Flash (SWF and FLV), iPod, PSP, 3GP, and MOV are available for video. MPEG options are available for VCD, SVCD, and DVD compliant output. DVD ripping, and audio compression functionality are also present. When converting from audio CD, track information can be dynamically downloaded from the CDDB and used to automatically name saved files.

Video editing is available for AVI (uncompressed and compressed using any available codec), MPEG-1, MPEG-2, WMV, and ASF. Comprehensive video editing operations are provided (delete frame, delete selection, crop, resize, rotate, mirror, flip, trim, text overlay, adjust audio volume, etc.). In addition, an extensive list of over 30 effects and color adjustment operations allow for powerful video enhancement and alternation. Audio files can be inserted into the video or extracted from the video; and image files can be inserted or extracted as well.

I really like the video editing features included here. They will be very useful for me to be able to use when Im creating videos or simply just cutting and pasting, to be able to rotate them especially. So you might like to check out Blaze Media Pro for your video conversion needs if you're looking round for an easy and flexible solution.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Building Bridges

Finally, an update on what I'm doing! Right now I'm pretty excited that something I was doing on the computer just worked, so I've decided to blog about it. But enough waffling - what did I actually do?

Recently I inherited an older Windows XP machine from a friend (Pentium4, 512MB, 10GB). Of course, I didn't want to use this as a replacement for my nicer Linux box, but it would be nice to run them both side by side for a while. Unfortunately, my basement computer only has 1 Ethernet link. Big problem.

So, since I had a couple of spare NICs lying around, I thought I'd try to tunnel all my Linux network data through the Windows XP box. This is something I hadn't tried before, but I took the first step - installed the second NIC into the Windows box. After trying a faulty network card, I found one that would work, booted the system and identified the network links. All working fine so far.

The next step was to create a tunnel between the two NICs. I tried pinging some internal IPs on Linux to check access - but got nothing. Since Google is my friend, I tried looking up some info with no success. After fiddling round with ICS on XP, I notice a menu option - "Bridge Connection". "Hey," I thought. "That looks hopeful!" So, disabled ICS, bridged connections, and Voila! both computers have internet access, local and external.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Mobile Web in Australia

Frankly, my opinion of internet in general in Australia is extremely low to say the least. Prices are at some of the highest rates for a developed country, and then mobile internet.......... well that's just a joke. Currently with Telstra I pay $2 per MB - yes, that's $2 per megabyte! That means if I want to check my emails, facebook, im and weather forecast I'm looking at maybe 50MB per month - that's $100 p/month, and simply for mobile internet! That is of course at GSM speed - little better than dialup.

Thank you Labor government for giving us a great new, refreshed, high-speed internet!