Microsoft readies Office Live Workspace, an online storage space for office documents. The catch? You can only edit the spreadsheet, Word doc or slideshow if you have MS Office installed on your computer. Uh, ok.
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This morning's cuppa joe a big letdown? Self-described "coffee snob" Brett Kelly says you can make a fabulous cup of coffee for a reasonable price yourself. Kelly's nuts about making his coffee—the guy uses bottled water and roasts his own beans, people—but he makes a great case for home roasting and grinding. How do you perfect your coffee? Let us know in the comments.
Why Your Coffee Sucks (and How to Drink Great Coffee for a Fraction of What You're Paying Now)
Tech publisher extraordinaire Tim O'Reilly handles a tsunami of social network friend invitations on a daily basis and says he accepts the ones that actually explain who the initiator is: Most of these , relying solely on the boilerplate invitation text, go right into the trash. "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn." Sure. Who are you? What do you do? Why should I care? (Even if I've met you, I might need my mind jogged, especially if you might have the same name as other people I know.) The art of the well-written social network invite is similar to the art of asking questions of someone who doesn't know you: give 'em a reason to answer (or friend) you.
Social Networking Invitation Etiquette
I'll be a guest on Melbourne community radio station RRR's computer show Byte into It tonight - Wednesday, 19 September. The show is broadbast from 7pm-8pm every Wednesday, and is hosted by Phil Wales.
If you're not in Melbourne, fear not. You can listen to RRR streaming online, or download the Byte into It podcast. More information here.
And while I'm writing reminders, another one for the Melbourne crowd - our competition to win tickets to the Pixar: 20 Years of Animation exhibition at ACMI closes Friday morning. You have two days left to get your entries in, so get to it!
The UK show How Clean Is Your House is chock-full of useful tips, including this doozy: For use in empty refrigerators/freezers - good for when you are moving out. The ladies filled a normal baking tin with unlit, plain (with no fuel or other products added) charcoal briquets and let them sit in the fridge with the door closed. The porous property of the charcoal will absorb the odors. For those of whose housekeeping habits are, shall we say, mellow, this is a good one to remember. How Clean Is Your House
One of our favourite spyware scanners, Spybot Search and Destroy, has a neat Easter Egg: a built-in Minesweeper-like game to play while your PC's getting scanned.
Smart Company has run a networking advice column for people who are self employed. The main gist of it is "If you work alone, make special efforts to connect with others."
As a writer who's worked freelance for a few years, I can certainly relate to the feeling that when working alone you can lack contact with your peers which can help you develop in the job and network successfullly. This article has a few useful tips on how to build or maintain relationships.
It recommends a few American professional organisations to join for networking and professional development. If you're a member of a professional organisation, let us know in the comments section what group you're a member of, and what you get out of it.
The British Trade Union Congress has come out with some guidelines for organisations on how to handle Facebook and the social networking phenomenon. The story is reverberating around cyberspace because everyone's in shock that someone's actually said something sensible on the subject for a change. Rather than calling for a ban on Facebook at work, the TUC issued a 3 page PDF guideline which looks at using Facebook for recruiting, as well as considering how to deal with timewasters and the security implications.
Stephen Shankland's written a really nice overview of geotagging, looking at the tech available for those who wish to add geographic tags into the digital photography mix.
"Today, geotagging is not for the faint of heart. It requires a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and either software that adds GPS data to photo files or an expensive camera that communicates directly with the GPS device. But as the technology takes off and sites such as Yahoo's Flickr or Google's Panoramio show off the possibilities, the elements of geotagging are starting to come together."
CNET also has a photo gallery which shows off geotagging technology on Flickr and Google, as well as some geotagging-friendly cameras.