Developed in part with a grant from
the National Science Foundation

Member since August 2009

  • Reviews 138
  • First to Review 121
  • Thank Yous 0
  • Fans 68
  • Profile Views 18,731

Review Distribution

5 stars
27
4 stars
97
3 stars
2
2 stars
1
1 star
11

About Me

Chicago's North Shore. Psychologist - love my work, Gym-rat, beach-rat, smile...tennis, dominant chord in my nature...just factual, really good food and fine film.

How I Can Help

Passion? Common-sense & honesty. I have gift of savvy intuition.

Interests

Tennis, gym, music, and film...and on...

138 Reviews by Ron

Sort by: Most recent

LucyPhone

LucyPhone

5/19/10
This sounds almost too good to be true. I've used it once, and it does exactly what it says. This is definitely something you should look into.

"How LucyPhone Works

"Lucy will call you first then "patch" you through to the company.

"Use the company's phone menu just as you normally would. Get put on hold? Press ** (asterisk twice) and your phone will be disconnected but Lucy will stay on the line."

"Once a live agent is on the line, Lucy will call you back immediately and connect you both. Get put on hold again, just press ** again!"

I'd love to hear feedback on this one.

Best,
Ron
AmazonPriceTracker

AmazonPriceTracker

5/16/10
Everybody loves a good deal. When shopping at websites like Amazon, you simply expect competitive prices, but how do you know if you're scoring an item for a bargain price or actually overpaying?

Enter the world of Amazon price watching and tracking. The prices of a lot of the products available at Amazon do tend to fluctuate over time. They'll go up and down constantly, and that's where these websites can come in handy to keep tabs on all the price changes.

Never overpay again! Shop smarter and save some dough on the way by knowing exactly when it's the right time to buy and when you should probably wait.

Ron.
FoodPair

FoodPair

5/16/10
Nothing earth shaking here, but clever recipe-oriented web-based search that comes up with some great meal ideas based on what you have handy.

"Deciding what food to prepare is not easy even when you already have ingredients on hand. Fortunately, FoodPair is a nice food meta-search engine that helps you find the right recipe with the ingredients that you have now".
Ron.
Android Central

Android Central

5/9/10
For this article - point your browser to:
*http://www.androidcentral.com/keeping-your-charge-how-improve-battery-life-your-android-phone* (without asterisks of course). Clicking above won't get you there.

For those who have an Android based phone, keeping your battery through the day can be tricky.

Android Cenrtral has provide the most comprehensive, easy-to-understand article on getting that job done.

If this applies, check it out. Has done great job extending my Droid's battery life per diem.
Ron.
One Time Message

One Time Message

5/6/10
Hi people. I love gadgets, but this dynamic has value when sending truly 'sensitive' information.
From The Site - How It Works:

"Once you submit the form you will be provided a "key" that you will have to give to whomever you are sending the message to.

How you deliver the 'key' to them is 100% up to you and we have no involvement with it - nor do we want to! What we will do is send an email to the person with a link to a very specific website where they will need to visit and insert the "key" you deliver to them. This means you can provide them with the key verbally, text message, or in any manner you choose. (The point is pushed in that anyone else who has the 'key'...can read that sensitive info as well. Make sense?)

As soon as the person you are sending the message to reads the message we will purge the message from our database to ensure it can never be read again.

Optionally you can choose to have the message purge itself if it remains unread for a specified amount of time. You can also choose to be notified via email when/if the message is read/purged.

Received A Message?
If you have received a OneTimeMessage from somebody via email you must use the URL within the email you were sent.

Just How Secure Is It?
Here at OneTimeMessage.Com we go to great lengths to ensure that ALL of your information and your messages are secure by using multi-tiered encryption processes which include cryptographic symmetric block ciphers such as blowfish, hash functions such as whirlpool, atmospheric noise random integers, RSA keys (1024-bit) along with a few other methods thrown in to really make it secure! Additionally once a message has been read and destroyed, or it has expired, we purge the highly encrypted message data along with the corresponding salt and passphrase".

Hopefully a little more control in a world trying to steal ours.
Ron
Viewzi

Viewzi

5/4/10
Viewzi, which uses Flash, is the most customizable and multi-faceted visual search engine. For any search term, it offers up to 19 different ways to view the search results, and you can make any one of them your default. The types of views cover everything under the sun web screenshots, simple text, photos, music, news, celebrity gossip, recipes, weather, etc.

Videos are grabbed from Joost, YouTube, and Viddler, but cannot be played back within the results page. However, the best view is the photo tag view, in which you can explore Flickr photos of related tags just by clicking on them. You can drag the tags around whichever way you want, and the interface is quite remarkable.

Need a photo, Viewzi is the one.
Ron
Prospector.cz

Prospector.cz

5/4/10
Prospector is based in the Czech Republic, but the list of free stuff that you can find here knows no borders. FreeStuff finds stuff for the home, free computer software, free educational supplies and tons more.

In all fairness, the site is more of a directory of content, but with over 3300 categorized and reviewed links to freebies it's a body of information that deserves greater recognition.

Try it out...
Ron
TweetFeelimage coming soon

TweetFeel

5/4/10
Tweetfeel monitors positive and negative feelings in twitter conversations about stuff like movies, musicians, TV shows and popular brands. We display these feelings in a clear and simple way for you.

It compares your search result against a number of indicators to determine whether someone is generally positive or negative towards your term. TweetFeel then applies some "insanely complex algorithms" to make sure your results fairly display the true feelings.

Very cool: As a search takes place, individual tweets appear in the "positive", "negative", or ambivalent categories. It validates itself.

Have fun...? (I suffered a 30 minute addiction to TweetFeel)
Ron
Whatdoestheinternetthink.net

Whatdoestheinternetthink.net

5/4/10
I don't love (web sites) easily <smile>. But I have to tell you this tickles me (I'm pretty ticklish). I think it's the concept and the potential, rather than "buying" into the literal results.

Simply, "What-The-Internet-Thinks" is a search engine based on "sentiment", being able to recognize subtleties such as sarcasm. I've hunted around and no one knows how this thing truly works, just that it's popular.

WhatDoesTheInternetThink.net is like one of those flash Gallup polls that tap into public opinion. The web tool searches the internet for the global opinion on what the world thinks. It takes your search term and returns results as Positive, Negative or Indifferent. The tool searches the web using Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Twitter - or all combined.

What criteria the engine bases its results on is, as mentioned, unclear, so take the results with a pinch of salt.

I can see results being used to attempt marketing trends/evaluations, perceived 'good' & 'bad'. So I'm not sure what else to tell you other than have fun with it, and if you're doing some research be sure to footnote this review.
Ron
Songbird

Songbird

5/3/10
Back when Songbird a music player based on Mozilla's code initially launched, I was immediately intrigued by the idea. A completely customizable music player. The audio equivalent of Firefox.

Sadly, the critiques were largely true. Songbird was riddled with bugs and sure didn't mind crashing once in a while.

Since then, Songbird has come a long way. Further than most iTunes fans care to admit. Not only is the little birdie far more stable about as stable as an application gets the Songbird addons have greatly matured as well.

The Songbird addons discussed below are serious. They can add a lot of extra value to your Songbird experience. With a bit of luck, it might just be enough to convert you to a new music player.

mashTape:
Before the internet, being interested in something was a rather disappointing experience. Now, with the Google-Wikipedia combo, you can get extra information on pretty much everything.

MashTape takes this quest for knowledge also dubbed, 'being interested' to your music player and fills in the impersonal blanks between that bulk of artist names.

songbird addons:
In a number of tabs, appearing at the bottom of your screen mashTape grabs additional data on the 'now playing' song. In Artist Info, you can read more about the group, with snippets pulled from Last.fm, MusicBrainz, Freebase, or Wikipedia.

Additionally, the News tab gives you an RSS-like experience, with the latest news items from a number of sources, including Google News, Hype Machine, and MTV Music News.

Finally you have the Photos and Videos tabs. These will show pictures and videos from the current artist, from YouTube, Flickr and SmugMug.

LyricMaster:
LyricMaster isn't a Songbird addon you'll use every single day (or actually, you might), but it can prove invaluable at happy or heavily populated moments. Although a lot of music players allow you to add lyrics to a song, Songbird's LyricMaster pulls them in automatically and displays them in the sidebar.

songbird addons
The sidebar will automatically adjust itself to your theme (as seen above), and can be collapsed when you don't need it. For the diehards, or those regularly offline, LyricMaster also allows you to save the lyrics of a particular, or even all songs, to your hard disk.

Last.fm
Last.fm, in case you've been away, is a music website that can learn your tastes. From there on, you can either play music that's recommended to you, or that's similar to an artist, album, or tag of your choice. It's not as accurate as just using your own music, but it makes for some great new music recommendations. And there's seamless integration with Songbird.

songbird extensions:
The experience with Songbird's Last.fm add-on is twofold. In terms of scrobbling, the plug-in keeps track of what you're listening to, and stays in constant communication with Last.fm's servers. Even tracks listened while offline will be submitted later on.

As you can see above, Last.fm's radio stations seamlessly play in Songbird. Even the album art keeps up. But probably best of all, you can rate, hate, or tag songs that are playing. And not just the radio stations, but your library music as well.

7digital:
A lot of people use iTunes because of the music store integration. Songbird now features 7digital integration. 7digital is one of the most popular online music stores. Their prices are considerably lower, and on par with the iTunes music store. Perhaps best of all, you don't need a credit card to access it.

songbird extensions:
The 7digital Songbird add-on allows you to log into the 7digital store from your music player. From there on, you can purchase or download previously purchased songs to your computer. Song downloads are immediately added to your music Library. If you've been using Songbird long enough, the 7digital add-on also features music recommendations, by scrobbling your music Last.fm-style.
Ron

QUESTION!
Chris O. asked a good question regarding Songbird:
"But how does it sound?"

My Response:
"Hi Chris.
I think Songbird is going to sound as good as your hardware allows. I heard no difference using Songbird, and I have a very strong sound system. Your speakers, and the sound from your phone are the real limitations in terms of what you can "hear". The the addons Mozilla now offers and will certainly tom come, seem to make Songbird far more customizable than say iTunes, even Win amp.

If you're satisfied with what you have now, you certainly won't be disappointed with the expansive manner Songbird can be configured.
Ron"
Evri

Evri

5/2/10
Evri has an information rich landing page, with top news stories from around the web, which you can scroll through using the navigation at the top of the page.

Search results can be filtered into Articles, Quotes, Images and Tweets, and can also be shared on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. You can either share the entire page of results, or one specific item from the list. Very cool!

Signing up for an account gives you the added benefit of following specific information streams on certain results. However, not all search results can be followed. So while searching for "Barack Obama" can result in a stream that can be followed, searching for "Obama" alone does not give users the same option.

Additional information about each search term will also be displayed on the page, but again, this is limited to certain results. Using the example of Barack Obama, additional information includes links to other world leaders, an excerpt from Wikipedia, and product results from Amazon.

If you don't want to sign up for a new account, you can connect your Google, Twitter, Yahoo, Facebook, Windows Live or Blogger accounts in order to sign in.

Like DuckDuckGo, Evri has its own disambiguation results, in a sidebar, giving you the chance to choose a more specific and relevant term.

Evri has a toolbar which supports Firefox and Internet Explorer, allowing you to easily search for and share content. They also provide users with a slick, free iPhone app [iTunes link] which is divided into 3 main tabs Recent popular news, a search tab, and collected items. Searching for any given term will result in the option to view recent news, images, a profile page, and related items.

Browse it and see what you think!
Ron.
DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo

5/2/10
Hardly. And Bing works with very respectable algorithms.

But DuckDuckGo is a feature-rich semantic search engine, that gives you countless reasons to leave Google behind. Searches are divided into a classic search, information search, shopping and their own spin-off from Google, "I'm feeling ducky." ::cough::

If you search for a term that has more than one meaning, it will give you the chance to choose what you were originally looking for, with its disambiguation results. For example, searching for the term Apple will give you a long list of the possible meanings including the fruit, the computer company, the bank and many others.

Happy Ducking?
Ron.
University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension

5/2/10
HERE IS THE URL YOU PASTE INTO YOUR BROWSER. SiteJabber can't catch the right suffix to web site: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/stain/

Well here's rather pedestrian site. No bells, whistles, or stuff you'll want to rush in a large mailing. But I thought of times I encountered stains and had to Google reliable removal tips.

So here's to the noble art of the mundane, the necessary taking-care-of-business bottom line chores. Cool in a domestic sort of way?

Simply type in a stain, and you're provided with the finest solution the web can manage.

Out damn spot!
BravadoUSA

BravadoUSA

5/1/10
I can't describe this one.
Just go there and play. Watch the controld at bottom for fine tuning (zoom, etc).

CLICKING web site won''t help. PASTE this into browser:
http://www.bravadousa.com/cbgb/pano/pano.html. The page is HTML.
Ron
The389

The389

5/1/10
Hm. This is one of those web sites you needn't give any thought, that takes you where it will (depending upon your mouse click. I love it. Just enough seemingly pointless "investigating" to "kill time with". Different - not for all, but some creative souls out there will decide it's a "find".

Have fun?
Ron
AnybodyOutThere

AnybodyOutThere

4/21/10
This isn't for everyone - what is <smile>. The essence of this site is your willingness to open a thought, question, or comment to its population and wait for response (you're notified my e-mail when someone addresses your input).

I found people her on the decent & helpful side. The usual jerks have settled in as well - but seeming in the minority. You can get to know people, and begin to find those willing to share (trust & honesty?) their more "subtexual" content. For me, that's where it gets interesting. In broader terms, you'll be surprised at the number of people who will try to help with questions, find things, give advice (smile - careful), and be pretty decent overall.

It's a community to kill time with as well, I suppose. From the web site:

#1
What is AnybodyOutThere.com?

AnybodyOutThere is a communication junction that offers an instant and relevant response to your thoughts and questions by connecting you with the right people.

#2
How do I get started?

Post a thought, topic or question of up to 110 characters, that best describes what's on your mind then click the post button.
When you find someone on the list that you'd like to talk with, click the "Let's Talk" button next to the user's nickname. A chat request will then be sent to the user. And if s/he accepts, chat window will open. Let the conversation begin.

#3
How do I know when I have a chat request?

When a user sends you a chat request, you will see a notification on the upper right side of the screen. You have the option to accept or decline it.
If a user is bothering you, you can click the "Ignore future requests" button on the chat request and block future requests from the user.

#4
I couldn't find anyone to speak with on a specific issue

We do our best to analyze your post and find the most relevant people for you to talk with; however, our system is still in beta stages. You can try and talk with people about other issues though; try it! It can be fun.

#5
How do I change the subject I would like to talk about?

You can always change your post (the sentence describing what you want to talk about) in the text box located on the top bar (see picture below).
Free Software Directory

Free Software Directory

4/21/10
The Free Software Directory is a project of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and UNESCO. It is a categorized index of free software that runs on free operating systems (GNU and Linux). FSD advocates the use of free software and through its activities seeks to counter restrictive policies such as Digital Restrictions Management (DRM).

There is no free lunch; so goes the popular saying. The abundant availability of free and open source software thankfully belies the fact. Just imagine a world where open source did not exist. It would have been such a narrow existence.

"_Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. Think of "free" as in "free speech," not as in "free beer." Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software.

The Free Software Directory is a project of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). We catalog useful free software that runs under free operating systems particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants".

Enough said. Save your money and Enjoy
Ron.
FreewareFiles.com

FreewareFiles.com

4/13/10
PUBLISHER'S DESCRIPTION:

If you want to setup your computer system again you need to have the licenses and serial numbers at hand for all the software programs that you have purchased and registered. This does include the Windows product key but also other serial numbers for applications like Nero, Office, VMWare and pretty much every other application.

Instead of searching for the keys in your emails, manuals and recipes you could use another approach. License Crawler is a sweet little application that scans the Windows Registry for Windows product keys and other serial numbers and licenses.

The License Crawler can discover application product keys and other serial numbers or licenses very quickly and supports all versions of Windows operating system from Windows 95 to Windows Vista.

It is a portable application that can be run from any location and would be a perfect fit for an USB stick. Asking clients to find serial and license keys is often very frustrating. Instead, tech support can simply run License Crawler without having to interact with the client at all.
Carlos Labs

Carlos Labs

4/13/10
SIMULATOR predicts how much damage (physical & radioactive) would do to your town:

"Have you ever wondered what would happen if a nuclear bomb goes off in your city? With Google's Maps framework and a bit of Javascript, you can see the outcome. And it doesn't look good".
Projects.nytimes

Projects.nytimes

4/13/10
KNOW WHAT YOU DRINK: Find Water Polluters Near You

"Across the nation, the system that Congress created to protect the nation's waters under the Clean Water Act of 1972 today often fails to prevent pollution.

The New York Times has compiled data on more than 200,000 facilities that have permits to discharge pollutants and collected responses from states regarding compliance.

Information about facilities contained in this database comes from two sources: the Environmental Protection Agency and the California State Water Resources Control Board. The database does not contain information submitted by the states".

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