Five Handy Tech Tools

Five interesting new technologies, all of them free:

Open Media Network: The founders of Netscape have launched an online distribution system for video content that uses Kontiki, a BitTorrent-like high-speed peer-to-peer downloading technology, RSS-based notification and a TiVo like programme guide. Content can be delivered to PCs, iPods, mobile phones and TVs. First version only works with Windows and IE. Because Kontiki strips out any unauthorized copyrighted content, look for this tool to be quickly eclipsed by less restricted portals.

MoonEdit: MoonEdit is a simple wiki-like document collaboration tool that can be used in conjunction with a Skype conference. Each member of the conversation has their own colour and cursor, so participants can see who is contributing what to the shared document. Not yet available for Mac.

Browster: This is a very promising tool that scans search result pages (and you can use it on other web pages as well) and places a small button in front of each link on these pages. Then, simply by moving the cursor over the button, you get a complete display of the target page. In a search, this allows you to quickly scan all the results target pages without clicking on them. This has some fascinating potential and some interesting implications. I suspect that it will register as a ‘page visit’ to all target pages, of indeterminate length, potentially playing havoc with page count tools if this technology becomes popular. I tried it out on my home page, as a means of allowing me to browse my 400-link blogroll without clicking on each link. Alas, this was too much for the system to handle — after the 50th link it crashed my computer. Never got to see if it would also display my comments and trackbacks without having to click on them. But if bandwidth and cache issues can be resolved, this technology could really break out. This version works only with Windows and IE.

YouSendIt: This tool keeps a copy on YouSendIt’s server of any file you send it for seven days, no matter how large, and a message to the person you want to send it to with the link. So regardless of size limits of your, or your recipient’s mailbox, you can ‘send’ large multimedia files to them. Some discussion group users are using this tool to post the address of these files, allowing anyone to access them.

IHMC ConceptMap: This tool allows you to prepare sophisticated concept maps and system thinking diagrams. Unlike mind maps, which are simple tree diagrams, concept maps allow you to document n-to-n relationships of concepts, and feedback loops. All users need to download the free software, which is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. ConceptMaps kept on the vendor’s server can be shared and collaborately changed by multiple participants, as explained by the concept map shown above. (Thanks to Roger for the link)

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6 Responses to Five Handy Tech Tools

  1. rrnwexec says:

    Any software that hasn’t been released for at least one “alternative” operating system (Mac, GNU-Linux, BSD, etc) should be viewed upon with extreme skepticism, and simply dropped from lists like these. At minimum a warning label of the form: “WARNING: This software locks you into and may also make you a party to a monopolistic ecosystem” is appropriate.

  2. Rajiv says:

    Another good GPL tool is at intranet solution anyone can use to edit and maintain web pages, files, and calendars

  3. On the subject of MoonEdit being not available on the mac: This type of tool was made popular through SubEthaEdit, which is Mac-only, and so far (imho) a better implementation of that idea than Moonedit.

  4. Danila says:

    I am going to check out IHMC ConceptMap. I’d prefer it if FreeMind had a collaborative online mode (and wasn’t slow like a dog), but may be ConceptMap is even better. Moon Edit is cool, but misses some functionality to really take off.Nice list anyway.

  5. Dave Pollard says:

    Heh. Never been accused of being a pimp for MS before. These tools are all quite new, and several of them promise versions for other OS and browsers soon. Thanks to all for the comments and other tool suggestions.

  6. Dave,thanks for the kind words about Browster. we’re working hard to release our 1.0 for IE and the Beta for Firefox (June). The response has been great, thanks in large part to bloggers like you telling folks about it. I am an active environmentalist as well. I support the Sierra Club, American Rivers, WWF, etc. It amazes me how many people still feel that supporting the environment is a fad. Hhhmm.. the air we breath, the soil we eat from and the natural balance of the ecosystem are fads? Gotta keep educating!Thanks,Scott MilenerCEOBrowster, Inc.milener at browster com

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