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23 Dec, 2008

LoadingVault.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Web Search Engine

Introduction

A search engine made especially for searching files in sites dedicated to sharing and uploading. This search engine works great with sites like RapidShare, MegaUpload, Uploading, SendSpace, and FileFactory. The website is an extremely active one with daily updates to its database. This website is popular with all those who want to look for files in a shared environment.

 

Features

The database of file links on the LoadingVault website is updated everyday. This ensures that the file links are rectified of errors, if any. Moreover, the website gives a lot of flexibility to its users. Users have the flexibility to voice their concerns on search results, if any. You can also become a member of the LoadingVault community. By becoming a member of this community, you can add file links to the ever-expanding database. Members communicate with each other over files and the search service.

 

The LoadingVault website enables two kinds of search: one on the web and another among the files submitted by users. Apart from this, the website provides two different options for filtering the search results. One option is filtering based on the type of the file whereas the other option is based on the sharing website you are searching in.

 

The website’s Contact Us form is simple, thereby making it easy for visitors to post their queries.

 

Tips and Tricks

Given the simplicity of the website structure, one does not need to explore much. Thus there are no tips or tricks about browsing this website. The best way to avail all the features of the website is by becoming a member of its community.

 

If you want to go back to a recent search of yours, you do not need to perform the search all over again. The home page of the website lists the last 200 searches, making it simple for you to go back to a recent search.

 

Newbie Friendly Rating

The LoadingVault website has an extremely simple interface, almost next to Google’s. The interface is structured intuitively, thus it does not overawe first-time visitors. Instead, a newbie may be more inclined to come back to the website again and again. The About Us section of the website is different from that of other websites which is likely to appeal to a newbie. Given its enormous stock of file links and an easy interface, the LoadingVault website can claim a newbie friendly rating of 8 out of 10.

19 Dec, 2008

Samsung.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Electronics

Introduction

The official website of the Samsung group, www.samsung.com is loaded with information about the company and its products. A multi-national company and leading electronics company of the world, Samsung originated as a small export business several years ago in Taegu, Korea

 

Features

The website is customized as per the countries it is being viewed from. The main products are displayed upfront. The main categories of information presented in the Samsung website are: consumer, business, support, experience, news, and about samsung.

 

One of the noticeable features of the Samsung website is that the upper part of its web page, which is static on all pages, has its text completely in lowercase.

 

The center of the website’s home page displays a big image followed by the names of a few of the company’s new products. Clicking each product’s name displays a new image in the center. This gives visitor’s a good idea of what’s new from Samsung.

 

Unlike several other product websites, Samsung.com lets you register here. Registering on the website gives you access to offers and news related to the company and its products.

 

Tips and Tricks

Rolling the mouse over the main categories brings sub-categories in sight. Click the sub-categories instead of the main categories for easy access to information you are looking for.

 

Below the central image on the home page are some very useful sections dedicated to product information, offers, and support. The support links have handy guides to operate or troubleshoot a Samsung product. You can even download user manuals from here.

 

The bottom of the web page has links for RSS feeds and the Samsung newsletter.

 

The link for contacting the company is provided in miniscule letters at the bottom of the page.

 

If you are looking for career opportunities at Samsung, you will find the relevant link at the bottom of the page. The ‘about samsung’ link will also take you to a page that has a link called Careers.

 

Newbie Friendly Rating

Being a big company, the website has a lot of information to offer. The interface has managed to include all information in a neat way. The look and feel of the website will appeal to the first-time visitor. Moreover, a curious newbie will have access to all information of the company. Given the abundance of information available and the ease of exploring the website, Samsung.com deserves a rating of 8 out of 10.

19 Dec, 2008

thepiratebay.org

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Downloads

Introduction

Thepiratebay.org is a public file tracking site which tracks BitTorrent files.  BitTorrent is a way of distributing large amount of data, files at much cheaper and faster rate. Thepiratebay is a Swedish website and was launched in 2003. The website is mainly funded by advertisements which appear on the torrent listing page. It has 25 million users currently and they may be the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker, for which it has applied for Guinness book of World Records. It has had its share of controversies and lawsuits, but thepiratebay.org has emerged stronger every time.

 

Features

Bittorrent is a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing protocol. It allows distribution of files between computers without a central server. BitTorrent was a revolution; it let the users transfer files at a much faster rate than any previous software. Anyone can search and download bittorrent files at thepiratebay.org website. The downloading is facilitated by bittorrent tracker. A BitTorrent breaks down files into small files. Since they can send large files, without any central server, it has become a popular way of distribution of movies, music and computer games. For uploading and posting comments you need to be a registered member.

 

Torrent search engine searcher scans for torrent files and use Open Tracker as their tracking software. Baywords is a feature by thepiratebay.org for their users where they can start a blog. This free blog service is free for all users but the page has some advertisements to cover their costs. They have Bayimg which is a free image hosting site. The user can upload in 40 different formats and maximum limit set is 100 MB.

 

Slopbox is a temporary mailbox and it can be used by users who do not want to reveal their identity by giving their real mail addresses. Within twenty four hours the mail is deleted from the inbox.

 

The browse function takes you to the broad categories like audio, video, games and movies. Under these broad heads they have specifics like music, sound clips, audio books in the audio category; movies, TV shows, music clips under the Video head; PC, Mac, Wii under games and e books, comics under the Others head.

 

Tips and tricks

Two years ago, thepiratebay.org was raided and their IP addresses were seized. Thus, while uploading any copyrighted content you have to be cautious as your IP address is displayed after your login page. The site has torrents which has movies that do not play, is full of viruses. Run a virus scan on those files which you have downloaded. Always read the comments offered by the site just to be sure if it is safe or virus infected. Though porn is not among one of the categories at the site, it is deftly hidden somewhere. So just be little vigilant.

 

Newbie friendly rating

Their devil-may-care stance and not so clean image has not dented their popularity a bit. Their users are expanding day by day. One must say that the site is humorous. The site gets a newbie rating of 7 out of 10.

18 Dec, 2008

Metacafe.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Entertainment

Introduction

Metacafe is a privately held US company. Launched in 2003, it is an online video site with offices in California, Tel Aviv and New York. It is purely an entertainment site and not sharing or hosting site. They focus plainly on short form entertainment. Surfers can download ringtones, games and sound clips from this site. 

 

Features

On an average, the videos are normally 90 seconds long. The site does not have any personal videos, no news stories but they are purely entertaining videos which people can laugh at and feel entertained. These are user generated videos.

By clicking on the tab Studio, creators of the video can get all the information they require. The today tab will list all the videos which have been submitted that day.

Channels are personal pages of users. Using the channels tab, you can view all the registered user’s channels and even contact them. The channel allows other users to see your favorite and submitted videos. Reviewers are the first people to see any content on the site. They decide if the content is suitable for viewing by a large number of audiences or should it be filtered before going any further. Users can be a part of Metacafe reviewer committee.

 

Wikicafe is a feature which allows the community to edit videos in terms of tags, titles etc which allows better search results. There are community auditions, community rankings and community rewards given.

 

Metacafe producer rewards program awards video creators for their high-quality and creative work. There are some pre-requisites which have to be met before the video is considered eligible for this program. Some of these conditions can be that the video must be in English; it should not show any cruelty on animals, children; can be watched by 13 years and above children with no violent and erotic content and more such conditions. For the eligibility, the videos have to be 20 second long but not more than 8 minutes.

 

Metacafe studio gives all production tips and resources which video creators need. It gives advises on many topics like lighting, sound, editing, tools for special effects and much more.

 

They have a desktop application also with which surfers can download entertaining videos. Recently, Metacafe launched its music channel which features artists in all genres of music like pop, rock, hip-hop, country music, R&B, classics. Now the users can share and comments on their favorite music videos.

 

Tips and tricks

You must set the family filter after registering. By default, family filter is in an ON mode thus limits the content which can be viewed by everyone. Turning the filter OFF would mean items shown would be for adult audiences. Illegal, abusive, pornographic material is banned from the site. After each submission, a video footprint search is conducted to find and pick out any repeated or duplicated videos. After clearing this search, the video is posted on the site.

 

Newbie friendly rating

Language on their site is quite witty and not the boring with done-to-death kind of FAQ’s. This site gets the newbie rating of 9 out of 10.

18 Dec, 2008

Veoh.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Entertainment

Introduction

Veoh.com is an internet TV service where users can watch and personalize the contents. It is based in San Diego and Los Angeles in United States. The company was founded by Ashton Lucy in 2003 but officially launched on 2007. It offers a large range of television content than YouTube, a rival, and here users can watch a thirty minute show. Big media companies are its major investors. From CBS, ESPN, NBC, Fox and MTV networks to YouTube and hulu clips, Veoh gives a free access to its viewers. Veoh has an audience of millions of people across many countries. Though recently Veoh blocked out many countries citing the reason that there were not many viewers there and they want to focus more on existing markets.

 

Features

Unlike other such sites, veoh shows the content in the original format and not the lower quality version.

Veoh Web Player beta is a free software application which facilitates viewers to watch videos. The users can browse through the Veoh and they can select videos, download them on their computer and then watch it later also. You can mark videos in your Favorites list and Veoh TV has your list of favorites. Veoh channels

Users have two viewing options available to them at Veoh.com. Either they can watch it on their Television by connecting the PC to the TV; or by Veoh TV Beta they can watch it on the website.

Veoh gives you the language and subtitle choice before you download the content. The content is again categorized into broad groups like news, music, and entertainment and so on.

 

Veoh recommendation system studies user behavior, and based on what viewers watch, rate and download, the system learns what their preferences are and shows up more such videos. Veoh is a good platform for publishers where they can upload videos for distribution on Veoh. Video is available on veoh.com. Publisher can customize the appearance, organize it into episodes and connect with a million of viewers. Veoh channels are just like TV channels but these channels are available to US audience only.

 

Veoh forum is a platform where the Veoh community can share and connect with each other. Users can also give their feedbacks about specific products and features.

 

Tips and tricks               

Veoh TV Beta is free software that allows you download videos at Veoh and other such video web sites. File quality will be compromised if you choose other methods of downloading. Veoh has set no limit on the size and resolution of the video that one can post. While naming the title of your video, if you are a publisher, think of an appealing name, one which can attract people. You should rate the content of your video and Veoh should know certain specifics about the video like whether it contains any objectionable scenes, violence. Do read there terms before posting and be careful about what kind of content is not allowed on their site.

                

Newbie friendly rating

Veoh has personalized the TV viewing experience and has given access to great content and user generated videos which are present on web. You just need a broadband connection. Veoh.com gets a newbie rating of 9.

17 Dec, 2008

Imagevenue.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Web hosting

Introduction

Imagevenue.com is free image hosting website for bloggers, eBay sellers and anyone. It has a good uploader. You can host images and messages on your websites also. It is a very simple looking website in design but also a much frequented site. It is among the 100 most visited sites. Infact, its simple design is the main reason for its popularity. Initially there were no ads on the pages but of late the pop up ads have been increasing thus lessening its popularity.

 

Features

You can share digital pictures with your friends and contacts. There is no need for registration. You can just upload images and send the link to your friends

The maximum file size that is allowed is 3 Mb. You can upload any number of images, and at one time that number can go up to 10. 

The files have to be only in .jpg and .jpeg format otherwise they will not be accepted. You can hotlink images in thumbnail mode. These can be linked to bigger images. Hotlink is embedding an image in a message board, webpage, eBay auction page. Large image hotlinking allowed only to premium members. Images are stored confidentially and people whom you want to see have the access to those images.

You can resize your images too, make it bigger or smaller, however picture quality will not be compromised.

You do not need additional software on computer to edit photos. Imagevenue.com provides features like red eye reduction, cropping and rotation. It also gives you an option to upload multiple images which is not present at many sites. You can select many photos for uploading. A progress bar will show you the estimated time left for uploading to finish. According to the terms of the site if an image has not been assessed for one year, it will be deleted.

Imagevenue had a block for advertisements but now increasing number of ads are driving away their loyal users. Most companies in order to survive, bank on these advertisements and that is also happening with imagevenue.com.  Thus,  speed issues, pop up advertisements have led to a fall in their overall page view numbers.

You can now re-post imagevenue pictures on websites by using busy poster tool.

For 1.66$ per month, you can become a premium member and enjoy more benefits like; 3000 MB of disk space, 100 GB of bandwidth transfer, FTP access and hotlinking large images. The premium members also get no advertisements on the page. There are two premier accounts- Premium Lazy and Premium Busy.

No other site allows you to upload adult images and give that kind of file limit.

 

Tips

All the images should be marked correctly otherwise they will not be accepted by the website. The user should reveal if the pictures are ‘family safe’ or for ‘adult viewing’.

 

Newbie friendly rating

Imagevenue.com is a very simple and user friendly site. The photo edit features offers an advantage to users in the sense that they can send images to their friends from any computer and not specifically their own computer. This site gets a rating of 8.

17 Dec, 2008

Deviantart.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Social Network

It is an online community of artists for those people who are passionate about art.  The company was launched in 200, the company has it head quarters in California, USA. On this site the artists can display their work and sell their art work also.

 

Features

Anyone can become a member of deviantart by registering and they are called as deviants. Here artists can discuss and showcase their work. Any art piece or work is called as deviation here. Users or deviants have personal page with their chosen name or id on the URL. This page contains the personal information of the deviant. On their personal page, the featured deviant is the best work of the deviant. They have a gallery where they can drop other user’s work. The various art forms have been clubbed into categories like digital art, photography, traditional art, literature, skins, wallpapers, animation and cartoons etc. newly launched film category allows the users to upload videos also. Deviants can put other’s work in their favorites section. They can create any number of folders to categorize favorites. Collection is where a deviant can drop all the favorites deviations of other artists. It is on the user’s favourites page. Users can add other deviants to their watchlists which is called DeviantWatch. There are journals which are almost like blog where the user can express his thoughts or talk about his upcoming work. The site’s messaging network is called dAmn which is like chat.

Daily deviation is another feature on this site where a group chooses the some submissions for their extra ordinary presentation. Any deviant can offer suggestions by sending the particular link, to this group, featuring that deviation and with their comments.

Subscribed deviants can enjoy more privileges. They will have no advertisements on the personal page, customized service of their personal page. They can have access to Private forums. Presently, the work is on to provide a portfolio page to subscribed users which will give a more professional look. The users will be able to show their portfolio page to their prospective employers.

 

At deviantart Shop by paying 24.95 $ annual fee, users can sell their work which is printed on items like mugs, calendars, coasters, mouse pad etc. and they get some share of the earnings.

Sit back is deviantart’s latest feature. This slide show feature which user can see by clicking on the projector screen displays collection page, channels page, galleries, daily page and favourites. The site provides a tutorial and guide to help out the users in every possible way.

 

Tips and tricks        

Copyright issues can arise at such sites as these are very ambiguous topics. If you use someone’s work without taking their prior permission, then you are infringing on ones copyright. So the users are advised to use their creativity and imagination to produce authentic work. If the company finds your work infringing upon copyright of some other artist, the work will be deleted.

 

Newbie friendly rating

It is a very user friendly site with nicely compiled FAQ’s. This site gets a rating of 8 out of 10.

17 Dec, 2008

Conduit.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Ecommerce

Introduction

Conduit.com was the creator of community toolbar, a concept which allows web syndication solution to many publishers. It offers an on-demand, quick, easy to use solution to publishers through toolbars which are customized. The publishers gain in many ways in terms of increased traffic to their site, brand loyalty and most importantly, revenues. It’s available in twenty two languages. Founded in January 2005, conduit’s head quarters are in Silicon Valley, California. Some of the biggest names are associated with conduit.com like Lufthansa, TechCrunch, Major League Baseball and Greenpeace.

 

Features

For publishers, the custom made toolbar, or called the ‘building blocks’ by conduit.com, displays their best content and feeds. Anything that the users do from their website, it is accessible from the toolbar also. Thus the users do not have to be logged on to the site always but still they will be updated even when they are on any other site. Conduit offers cool gadgets and tools like News tickers, Weather, Pop up blockers, Email notifier, Radio player and many more. Their search is powered by Google, the most popular search engine on the web. Conduit offers this service free of cost as they earn revenues from search box present on the toolbar. By doing search from the search box on the toolbar, the users click on the displayed results and the revenue generated thus, will be shared by conduit.com. Its success also lies in the fact that the service requires no maintenance and technical skill; no software is needed to be loaded.

 

Online publishers can use the conduit wizard and get a quick and customized toolbar, which allows real-time communication between the subscribers and publishers thus benefiting both. It caters to all kinds of publishers from bloggers to big corporations covering sites like social networking, dating, gaming, travel, media sharing, fan sites and online shopping sites. Their site’s community toolbar gallery displays their major publisher clients. Publishers using conduit’s API can incorporate contents like web application, software, games and multi media to their community toolbar.

 

By gadgetizing each and every aspect of their application, via a toolbar, a publisher can make new users by giving them an option of adding the particular gadget to their toolbar. You can visit the site’s case study link under Publisher’s tab to read about the growth story of their clients.

 

Custom made tool bar is a brilliant method of promoting a blog or website as it gives a good exposure on the user’s computer. For the users, it offers toolbars where they can search for hottest communities. The toolbar works on latest internet explorer and firefox version. Conduit offers 24×7 support via emails to the publishers and users.

 

Tips and tricks

Conduit is a very safe and secure solution vis-à-vis the traditional toolbars which were associated with search engines where users faced spyware and malware threats. The toolbar is completely unobtrusive and free of any advertisements.

 

Newbie friendly rating

Their website is very informative and exhaustive. A new user can get a lot of information from the website. It gets a ranking of 9 out of 10.

17 Dec, 2008

Daemon-search.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Web Search Engine

Introduction

As the name indicates, the Daemon search website is essentially a search website. However, besides the search engine, the website provides a list of Daemon tools, games, and some additional benefits.  

 

Features

The Daemon search website has a neat interface which may be called bland by some. There are not many colors on the website that keeps you focused on the text on the website. Also, there are no visual distractions.

 

The website essentially provides three things: search option, Daemon tools, and free games. There are additional features like game reviews and online translation tools. Each Daemon tool listed on the home page of the Daemon search website. The categories on the left-hand side of the website, however, do not have titles just leaving the lists hanging.

 

One of the good features of the Daemon search website is that you can translate it into at least a dozen languages other than English.

 

The website has a very interesting feature called the IP Lookup Service. The Daemon search engine can also be added to your browser by clicking the link on the top-right corner of the website.

 

Tips and Tricks

The help links for Daemon tools and Daemon tools pro provide answers to all the queries a first-time visitor may have.

 

The Daemon search website provides three different kinds of searches: web search, image search, and games search. The games search option of the website is extremely lucrative for all looking for a computer game.

 

Clicking the link for Daemon Tools Forum Announcements takes you to the forum on Daemon tools. You will get detailed information on Daemon tools on this forum. Furthermore, you can use this platform to post your queries and voice your concerns about Daemon tools. Also, since the forum is a part of the main Daemon tools website, you can browse through the main website to learn more about these tools.

 

Newbie Friendly Rating

It is likely that a first-time visitor will appreciate the simplicity of the website. However, the links on the left-hand side open up new windows on different websites such as www.disc-tools.com, www.disc-soft.com, www.daemon-tools.cc, www.daemon-help.com, www.daemonpro-help.com, and www.astroburn.com. Multiple windows may not appeal to a newbie. The variety of searches provided by the website will, however, grab a newbie’s attention. Also, gamers will love the ease of searching for a game. Looking at the pros and cons of the Daemon search website, it deserves a newbie friendly rating of 7 out of 10.

15 Dec, 2008

Marketwatch.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Informational

Introduction

Marketwatch.com is a global finance site that is part of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network. The site is awash with financial and economic news, commentary and trends. The site is well-designed with clearly marked links and an attractive white and blue color scheme. The right side of the homepage has a market ticker for all the latest information on the day’s trading.

Features

Marketwatch.com has a navigation bar at the top of the homepage that takes you to specific areas around the site. That works well if you know which sector of finance you’re interested in. If not, you’re better off using the search function for the quickest results.

The site is laid out much like a news site, with all the latest economic headlines at the top of the homepage. As you scroll down, you’ll find more topics such as real estate, Washington, entertainment, banks and European markets.

A multimedia section along the left side of the homepage contains all the latest economic and market news videos. The video and sound quality of the videos is very good.

The user forums are under the community section of the homepage navigation bar. A drop down screen will appear. Click “groups” to view the forums. Other users frequent the forums and discuss topics such as market trends, trading advice, politics and medicine.

Tips & Tricks

The tools and research section is the most fun component of Marketwatch.com. The tools include functions that track the best and worst stocks over the past year and the upgraded and downgraded stocks over the last thirty days.

Users can also register and enter the stocks, bonds and mutual funds from their portfolios. Then, when the log on, their daily portfolio performance is tracked and displayed on the homepage. This is useful if you’re in a hurry or at work at you want a quick look at how you’re doing on the market that day.

Pay special attention to note that the site’s search box is located at the uppermost right hand corner of the homepage.

Newbie Friendly Rating

Although Marketwatch.com is loaded with information, its clean design and simple layout make it fairly easy to understand and navigate. Like any site with such a vast amount of information on it, it will take some time to look through everything. Overall, we give Marketwatch.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 7.