Canadian geek in Myanmar

Category: New and cool stuff

PicMonkey & Vine

Recently, I decided to do my semi-regular sweep for tech tools I need in my life. Because tech moves so quickly, I always try to do this every couple of weeks so I can stay on top of the industry and also just try cool shit.  

This time around, I found PicMonkey, my new favourite Chrome Extension. After a 2 second installation, I can now pick any picture on any website and then edit and post the image within minutes.  Amaze-balls!

Try PicMonkey here

Yesterday Twitter was all abuzz with Vine so of course I was eager to test it out.  After a quick download and sign up (nicely done guys!), I started my first video. After about two seconds I could see the potential but also the vast amount of work it would require for most mini-videos.  I’ve never been much of a YouTube junkie so finding a social community that was making shorter videos that mostly look like animated gifs really didn’t thrill me.  I will keep looking at it over the next couple of days but suspect this one won’t be on rotation for me.  

The Verge

Have you guys heard? There’s a new tech site in town…well, not our town of course. The former Engadget guy launched The Verge this week. Aesthetically, I’m not a fan of the big boxes. It takes up so much room above the fold and really doesn’t prioritize content for me. But I guess that’s really subjective.

Product-wise, this is from the Engadget guy so I was expecting some pretty deep community hooks and was not disappointed on that front. However, they had a pretty horrific signing up process, even using FB connect. Side note, who still uses A)Yahoo! or B)OpenID and where are Twitter or Google logins?

After selecting FB Connect link, I still have to fill fields and fields and fields. And they don’t even tell me WHY I should go through the hassle. Then, I have to stop and wait for a confirmation email, during which time there’s no way browse the site or anything. After finally validating my account, I am told I am fully registered….then let’s me upload a photo. That’s it?!?!

For those die-hard Engadget folks out there who understand what they will eventually get, this is totally worth the hassle. For everyone else, I’m not sure that they will understand the value to jumping through all the hoops just to read some news articles.

Have you started using The Verge? How do you like the content?

Creating a website in 15 seconds

Just read about a new service called pen.io which allows for incredibly quick webpage creation. I certainly do not need yet another publishing platform but it has a tremendous amount of potential for the non-techies in my life (read: sisters). I created the below in under 30 seconds.

moodyrain.pen.io

Once they add a few features, like URL mapping and content syndication, I suspect I would be on here far more often. The publishing is so straight forward that I can see the masses liking this more than something like a Tumblr.

One thing, they should simplify their initial instructions for video embedding: To insert a video place the “:video http://youtube.com/urlofvideogoeshere tag (without quotation marks) There’s clearer ways to handle that, especially if you are talking to the tech-challenged.

Create your own here: pen.io

Side note: I’m not sure about this product name/URL. It’s one letter away from a very embarrassing typo I almost made.