boxnet.jpgThere many companies that provide online file storage services. Among them, Box.net has been known for being easy, reliable and free for 1GB of storage. What else could you ask for? After all, all were talking about here is uploading and retrieving files. Right?

Well, the folks at Box.net are betting that you’ll want to do something with those files once you’ve uploaded them, so they’ve added about a dozen “OpenBox Service” connectors that allow you to edit, distribute and print your files right from your online storage box.  Faxing from Efax, photo editing from Picnik and Snipshot, document editing from Zoho and Thinkfree, and printing from Zazzle are just some of the services offered.

Moving your computing life online keeps getting easier and easier with this kind of out-of-the-box thinking.

“We are studying it and we expect to make that free, and instead of having one million, having at least 10 million-15 million in every corner of the earth,”  were the words of new owner Rupert Murdoch when asked about online readership of the Wall Street Journal. No date set yet, but it won’t be too long, that’s for sure.

Read more at the other newly freed site, The New York Times

blog-redpaw-raster1.jpgEvery once in a while, a tool comes along that makes a hard job much easier. Vector Magic is such a tool. Converting raster graphics to vector graphics is very difficult although a lot of products have come along to try. Let’s see why Vector Magic is so good. 

The image of a paw print on the top is a raster image. A raster image is made up of a fixed number of colored dots or pixels. Even if there image had no dots or “noise”, you still would not be able to make it larger without having it look worse. The image on the bottom is a vector image. Vector images are made up of math formulas and information that, when displayed, are calculated to reproduce exact copies of the original. Another great advantage to vector images is that they can be made larger or smaller without the loss of clarity, sharpness, and detail.

On the Vector Magic site, there are video tutorials along with numerous before and after examples. The price is also right – Free!

various_cameras.jpgThrough seven years and a buyout by Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) in May ’07, the digital photography research site DPReview.com remains the standard when it comes to comprehensive information, examples, and opinion. Yes, there are others like ConsumerReview.com and Cnet, and yes they are helpful, but no substantial camera purchase should be made without reading through the review at DPReview.com.

Beware, the amount of detail can be overwhelming. If you find that you are not in the mood to understand the finer points of ISO or the reasons for three different types of shutter lag, at least read the conclusion and rating, view any samples they publish and see the pricing from various retailers. You’ll be glad you did.

Facebook Facts:

  • 15 billion dollar valuation based on Microsoft’s $240 million purchase of 1.6% of the business
  • Founded in 2004
  • 73.5 million visitors in September ’07
  • Average visitor stay per visit: 20 minutes

To get an idea of the way Facebook works, The Globe and Mail published a primer in April ’07. Also, TechCrunch published a “How to” that is very useful.

Bottom line; Facebook is an example of the changing face of business and the Internet. This is Web 2.0.

catalog-choice.jpgThe holiday shopping season is always signaled by the crush of catalogs that show up in September and October. To easily get rid of the ones you don’t want, use CatalogChoice.org. Set up takes just 1 minute. It’s so simple. Then, search for the catalog title, enter your customer number from the catalog cover, and choose “Decline Catalog.” No fuss, no muss and great for the environment.

 Fast Company: 50 Ways to Green Your Business

“Hamburger Helper helps your hamburger … save the planet? This year, General Mills redesigned the packaging of Mom’s old standby, shaving off 20% of the paperboard box without shrinking its tasty contents. The astounding result: 500 fewer distribution trucks on the road each year.”

This is just one of the 50 examples of what companies are doing to cut consumption, reduce carbon footprints and boost their bottom line. These stories are informative, concise and even inspirational.

aliph-jawbone-bluetooth-headset.gifIf you’re in the market for a bluetooth headset, Cnet Associate Editor Nicole Lee has put together a bluetooth headset roundup that compares the Aliph Jawbone, Plantronics Voyager 520, BlueAnt Z9, Cardo S640, and SoundID SM100. Of course how the headset feels when worn is exremely important, but this review can help you narrow down the field. I feel I have to add the Plantronics Voyager 510 the mix because it has served me so well for so long.

Apple has announced that pre-orders are available for Apple OS X 10.5 Leopard that will ship on October 26, 2007. To see what will be included, there is a page on Apple.com that lists more than 300 new features that will be included. Enjoy.

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Most, you’ve probably heard of, but some, like #85, “Take your car to a car wash instead of washing it in the driveway” may be new to you. There is also a great green site at GoodCleanTech.com that I covered here. I’m covering green topics here because of Blog Action Day.