May 30

QNext … Three-way Video Conferencing

Recently Oovoo changed their free plan to effectively kill off three-way video conferencing, choosing to offer only two-way video for free users.  Many users (including myself) have decided to stay with Skype for two-way video calls.  After all, Skype has a much larger user base than Oovoo.  Of course, Oovoo had a good chance of catching up to Skype if they had not pulled the questionable move that they did. 

Now that my Oovoo rant is over, let’s look at another conferencing service that looks promising … Qnext.

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May 25

Google’s Chrome 2.0 is Available

Google has released version 2.0 of their browser.  According to reports, Chrome 2 is even faster than previous released versions.  According to Google, web pages loaded with multiple Javascripts will load 30% quicker in Chrome 2 over Chrome 1.

If you have not use Chrome for web browsing, I highly recommend it.  Chrome has been my primary browser (about 60% of the time) for the last 6 months.  The only drawback is the lack of plugins.  For that reason, I still use Firefox about 33% of the time (IE and Opera make up the other 2%).

Get Google Chrome here.

 

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May 16

Farewell Oovoo

Apparently, Oovoo wants to purge itself of a lot of “free” users.  This week, Oovoo announced changes to its plans.  Previously, Oovoo allowed free users to have a 3-way video conference.  Users could pay for a 6-way video conferencing option.  Oovoo’s new pricing plans include a 2-way free option while requiring a subscription for 3-way video and up.  I am not sure why Oovoo would make this move.  They should realize that this will alienate users who began using Oovoo for its 3-way conferencing option.  I can only guess that Oovoo decided that it cost them too much to offer free (ad-supported) 3-way conferencing, and is using this option to rid itself of the free user base.

When I first came across Oovoo, it was a great resource when covering lessons on video conferencing and remote computing.  However, with this move, we will be switching our focus back to Skype for classroom lessons.

May 10

Online Accounting Tool – Outright.com

Outright.com is currently offering free, online accounting for small businesses. Outright started out under the name GoBootstrap a little over a year ago.  In February, they received new venture capital funding and re-launched as Outright.com.

The site uses 5 Tabs (Home, Income, Expenses, Taxes, and Reports) to keep the interface simple and uncluttered with a running profit total in the corner.  The creators of Outright.com have backgrounds in developing for Quicken and Quickbooks, which can be seen in the clear cut design of the data entry.

Outright’s current Terms of Service does not contain any language that would prohibit students using the site as an educational tool.  As long as the service is free, I think this could be a great tool for business classes.

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May 9

Apps I Love … Evernote

As part of my "almost" paperless classroom project, I have been using Evernote for a couple of years.  About a year ago, I had been deciding between Evernote or Microsoft’s OneNote for my preferred note taking application.  I had been leaning towards OneNote for my personal notes.  I love how OneNote will record audio and help link the audio recordings to notes.  I also love OneNote’s interface with the side-tabs and drag and drop capturing of work.

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May 9

Twiddla – Online Whiteboard Tool

Twiddla is a free collaboration tool where you set up meetings using an online whiteboard interface.

Twiddla meetings allow users to interact in real time with drawing tools, chat, voice, images, videos, plain text, documents, emails, and GoogleMaps.  Twiddla records the chats in your meeting so you can review a transcript later.  Also, you can view a replay of everything that was drawn / added to the whiteboard during the meeting.  As the creator of the meeting, you have the option of clearing the transcripts and replays of the meeting.  So, it appears that you can re-use the same meeting URL over and over.

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May 5

Apps I Love … GreatNews RSS Reader

Once upon a time, I used to check various websites for news.  I would have a bookmark folder in my browser with several news sites that I would visit one after another.  These

days, most news and blog sites have RSS Feeds.  With RSS Feeds, I can see just the new posts added to the website.  To help keep the RSS Feeds easily readable, I use GreatNews RSS Reader.

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