Buy a TokyoFlash Watch in the next two days and all the money goes to Japanese Red Cross

Donate to the Japanese relief fund and get yourself a kooky watch at the same time – TokyoFlash the Japanese watch-makers are donating the proceeds from all watches sold in the next two days to the Japanese Red Cross….

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Anna LeachBuy a TokyoFlash Watch in the next two days and all the money goes to Japanese Red Cross

Review: new Online Meeting Tool Join.Me promises to make conferences easier

If you ever wanted to meet 249 other people at once, but couldn't quite get around to the physical logistics of organising a real-world meeting, then perhaps you might be interested in Join.me. Forget 10-way calls on Skype, Join.me…

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Anna LeachReview: new Online Meeting Tool Join.Me promises to make conferences easier

The other thing new social network Disapora teaches us: use Kickstart to get funding

A buzz site this week has been "Diaspora". Billed (a bit prematurely) as a Facebook rival, it's the project of four New York students and got touted in a few places last week as the privacy-friendly alternative to Facebook….

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Anna LeachThe other thing new social network Disapora teaches us: use Kickstart to get funding

Stinky Teddy, search engine with a weird name and a fierce real-time

A gossip fuelled real-time search engine. As Read Write Web says, Stinky Teddy “Reinvents meta-search for the real-time web”.

Okay so what’s with the silly name?
It sounds a like a joke student project, but was actually developed by one David Hardtke formerly a physicist at the University of California Berkeley Space Sciences Lab. His search engine was named after his daughter’s “trusted (and abused) stuffed bear.”

And what does it do?
Hardtke describes Stinky Teddy as a “real-time gossip powered metasearch,”. Uh? That means it combines search results from Bing, Yahoo, VideoSurf, Twitter and Collecta and reshuffles the search results to focus on topics that are trending right now.
Each search term gets a rating on the barchart Buzz-o-meter, depending of course on how buzzy it is.

And why is that special?
Well real-time search is a big trend – allowing users to get the latest results on any particular topic. If you’re searching for Brad Pitt for example, you’re probably interested in what he did this morning rather than finding out where he was born or who he is married to.

Stinky Teddy assumes that searchers are most interested in the topics that are buzzing right now.

Stinky Teddy gathers search results from multiple sources and then uses real-time trends as a signal to rearrange results according to what it decides is most relevant at that moment.

There are few real-time search engines already out there, but Stinky Teddy combines the old and the new by using tried and trusted meta-tag searches (that engines like Google use) then ordering the results according to real-time buzz.

So what’s it good for?
Great on searches for politicians and celebrities, and for ferreting out what’s new.
Check it out for yourself here – http://www.stinkyteddy.com/ – still in beta.

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Anna LeachStinky Teddy, search engine with a weird name and a fierce real-time

Evernote: the web service that wants to be your new extra brain

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Meet the web service that wants to become your new extra brain. Like a long personal blog – or perhaps a memory… it stores all the random shit you come across in real life or on the internet and lets you remember it.

Then search for it later. Evernote wants to help you organise your life; basically it’s a private blog cum personal digg that allows you to pile a big list of things you want to remember – links, notes, pictures – in one place and then search for them later.
“We’re trying to make an external brain,” the CEO of Evernote tells Robert Scoble “- your one brain is just not enough these days – too much to remember. Whenever something happens that you want to remember, online or in the real world, you’ll be able to relax because you can remember it.”

With those words echoing in my ears, and fellow iphoners explaining how evernote was their new best friend and god-how-did-they-organise-their-lives-without-it, I tried it, expecting a revelation and immediately got a bit fed up.

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Anna LeachEvernote: the web service that wants to be your new extra brain

FriendFeed – what is it good for?

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Hyped up as the new Twitter, _"blank">FriendFeed has been getting flak in some quarters for simply copying banal trivia from one part of the internet and putting it in another part of the internet.

I think we all know by now that the human race likes banal trivia. If the existence of small talk hadn’t sufficiently proved that, then Twitter certainly has.

A more serious allegation against FriendFeed is that it just duplicates information from elsewhere, and that if you wanted to read your friend’s tweets, you’d go to Twitter. However, FriendFeed’s ability to collate information then re-present it clearly, make it a valuable addition to all those individual sites and better than similar aggregators out there. At least until someone else starts doing it better. In the meantime though:

Some things you can do on Friend Feed that I like and you might:

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AnnaLeachFriendFeed – what is it good for?

Bing – why you should be using it

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To say that Google runs the biggest most successful search engine on the world wide web is so obvious it’s slightly ridiculous, so when Microsoft launched its search engine Bing I didn’t really envisage myself using it beyond the odd curious poke-around.

But having Binged (Bung?) for a few months now, I’m going to recommend Bing for anyone interested in visuals and graphics. It’s not just that the wallpapers on its home page are pretty pictures of seahorses and rainforests, it’s that the image and video searches are genuinely better.

Apparently several Bing functions are only available in the US, but we’ll compare the mutilated version we’ve got anyway.

Let’s do a quick run-down of the key services:

Follow on after the jump

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AnnaLeachBing – why you should be using it

Four great FREE Photoshop style programmes

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Now Photoshop has long since been the favourite programme for those who like to try their hand at image editing, but credit crunch times means you can’t always justify forking out £70 odd quid just to remove red-eye. Sure, if you’re job revolves around editing images you’re going to want to buy this (plus Quark/ InDesign etc), but if you’re one of the masses who just need a good imaging programme for cheap what do you do?

I’ve compiled 4 great Photoshop looky likeys for you to try- and they’re all free! Two are online, two are downloadable, it;s up to you to pick which one best suits your needs.

Number 1: Sumo Paint

This is the first free Photoshop style programme I worked with, and it still holds a special place in my heart. OK it doesn’t do everything you want, so if you’re really into editing collages and fine tuning and framing pics this may be a bit too basic, but it sure beats your basic Paint round the head, cuts it into little pieces and issues of it at four secret locations. You get a floating toolbox, huge colour palette. Loads of brush editing tools and you can even upload images from your desktop or a URL. You do need to be online to use it though- which also means you’ll have it wherever you go, and not tied to one computer.

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Zara RabinowiczFour great FREE Photoshop style programmes

The idiots guide to HDTV: LCD vs Plasma vs OLED

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So you’re thinking of buying an HDTV? Congratulations, you’ll be entering the world of hi resolution imagery, and getting a picture so sharp it will make you want to start attacking your old TV with your fingernails .

But what should you buy? With three main technologies on the market, you’re entering a confusing world of LCD, Plasma and OLED, not to mention pixel ratios, bezel size, and of course… price. Well we aim to clear up the confusion, and we’re going to use short little words to explain all those baffling terms.

Firstly, I’ll explain the nature of HDTV. It stands for High Definition Television and gives you a sharper high resolution picture, because it contains more horizontal lines. Regular TV’s contain around 576 lines on the screen, and an HDTV packs in at least 720, which makes the picture a lot more detailed. The more lines means the image contains more pixels, which means it will be sharper, clearer and colours will appear brighter and more lifelike.

To fully benefit from the features of a HD television you ideally want to use it watch HD programmes, some of which area available free on FreeSat (such as BBC HD) and other which require a subscription (via Sky/Virgin etc). You can also use it to play Blu-ray discs on which will give you the full benefit of your purchase, and if you use a console like the XBox you want an HDMI connection to view the full detail.

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Zara RabinowiczThe idiots guide to HDTV: LCD vs Plasma vs OLED

Get cheaper currency with the FairFX card

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Every time I travel I always seem to spend more than I plan. And why is this? It’s not because I go seriously crazy in Marc Jacobs USA (well, not that crazy), it’s because every time i withdraw cash I get charged a withdrawal fee, and extra money gets taken because they’re translating the currency from UK to USA or Europe. You used to be able to get around this by using the infamous ‘free withdrawal’ Nationwide card, but seeing as they’re stopping this, and no longer absorbing the authorisation fee charged by the Visa , what’s a girl to do? Currency rates keep changing as well, so one day you’re getting a great deal and next

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Zara RabinowiczGet cheaper currency with the FairFX card

The Shiny guide to creating your own website: How to make a blog in 5 easy steps

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It seems pretty much everyone has a blog nowadays but if you’re one a the shrinking number that has never quite got to grips with web 2.0, I’m here to simplify this process for you. It doesn’t have to be baffling talk of mySQL and server accounts, I’m going to break down the tools you need to create a site online in five easy steps.

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Zara RabinowiczThe Shiny guide to creating your own website: How to make a blog in 5 easy steps

Gmail gets multiple inbox panes

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Goodness those Googlers have been busy little bees recently (mainly because they’re all allowed to spend 20% of their time on these fun labs side projects). The latest labs product is Multiple Inboxes, which will create separate panes for different filters or labels. So, you can see your inbox, all messages containing the word ‘pub’, and all those half finished drafts from one screen. You just need to go into ‘settings’, enable the labs feature, and then check the box next to multiple accounts.

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Susi WeaserGmail gets multiple inbox panes

How to take super snow snaps: Five Camera tips to make the most of Britain's freak weather

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OK, we’ve now discovered the world DOESN’T end when it snows. Yes, a day at home was a wonderful experience, but I’d say the majority of the workforce is back at their computer screens now. The snow however, looks like it may be here to stay for while, and now the initial shock has been overcome, you’ll want to work out how to capture this winter wonderland.

Taking pictures of snow differs from your usual snapping of friends in drunken poses as the whiteness is so bright, the auto setting can leave you looking rather washed out.

Here’s my guide on how to take the best snow pics ever!

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Zara RabinowiczHow to take super snow snaps: Five Camera tips to make the most of Britain's freak weather

January's obsession: Remember The Milk

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i have found something that has changed my life, and it doesn’t involve any visits to any places of worship. It’s not new, but it is awesomeness personified in a little piece of software. I’d heard about Remember The Milk (RTM to its loyal followers) but it was only with the 2009 Get Life Organised, Stop Forgetting Important Stuff resolution that I decided to take a look at this service, which is essentially an online To Do list.

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Susi WeaserJanuary's obsession: Remember The Milk