11/29/2010

7 Free Useful eBooks That Every Blogger Should Read

After a long time of silence from my side (I was busy developing WordPress Themes for customers), I'm now back sharing some interesting stuff.

This is what I found this morning in my RSS reader. It's an article from makeuseof.com on some useful free eBooks that may be of interest for Bloggers.

7 Free Useful eBooks That Every Blogger Should Read

I checked all the links and found that all these books are really free and don't even required you to leave your e-mail address (except for one about Search Engine Optimization).

For all who don't want to give away their read e-mail address, here is an extra tip: http://spamgourmet.com/ is a free service where you can set up a fake-email that will redirect a specified number of emails to your real account and just trash all subsequent mails. It's a very good solution if you need a one-time email to sign up for a free book, since you'll never get spammed with follow-up mails.

Permalink 11/29/2010 07:33:24, von Marian Email , 167 words, 3934 views   English (US) Categories: quick tips
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10/20/2010

How to create a safe password

That's an article that I have just found in my RSS feed. It may help all of you folks who find it hard to remember so many passwords for all your Web 2.0 and social services that you have accounts for.

Permalink 10/20/2010 07:23:47, von Marian Email , 40 words, 5481 views   English (US) Categories: quick tips
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10/18/2010

Strange Facebook fbml bug in Internet Explorer

I am currently working on a facebook page for a customer of mine. When I came to build the "for fans only" page, I stumbled over a strange bug that seems to come up only with Internet Explorer (all versions) and only if the facebook page is rendered between the fbml tag

<fb:visible-to-connection>

Code herunterladen

Here is what I do:

I create a fbml page in Facebook.
I enter this code:

<fb:fbml version="1.1">

<div style="
background: #DDD;
padding: 15px;
">
<p>Some Sample Text</p>
</div>

<fb:visible-to-connection>

<div style="
background: #DDD;
padding: 15px;
">
<p>Some Sample Text</p>
</div>

</fb:visible-to-connection>
</fb:fbml>

Code herunterladen

I visit the page in firefox and it looks as expected (both texts are black on gray background).

If I call up the same page with IE6, IE7 or IE8, I get this:

facebook page in IE7

It seems that only the text within the "for fans only" section is not rendered properly.

Any hints appreciated.

=== UPDATE ===

Meanwhile I found a workaround at least. If I set the surrounding DIV a specific height, then the text will be rendered normal in IE.

Permalink 10/18/2010 14:05:56, von Marian Email , 152 words, 19137 views   English (US) Categories: Articles
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10/12/2010

What do I do for living?

Sometimes, people ask me "What do you do for living?" I usually answer "I do PHP scripting on call". In most of the social networks that I'm registered in, I add "time saver" as the tag line, where other people write "CEO of XY-company". But that's what describes best what I do when people approach me with a technical problem. After the job is done, most of them tell me that I saved them a lot of time solving their problem.

To do things like that for living, I need larger projects, usually worth several thousand dollars over a time frame of several month. I get these by being recommended by other customers. This business is not a steady one, so I may earn $10.000 one month and only $200 the next one. When I'm not working on a large project, I have more free time. That means I can do some research on new technologies or learn some new programming language or software program. It can also mean that I get bored. Without a concrete projects, it's hard to focus on something.

That's why I did so much research on virtual working platform during the last weeks. It helps to fight boredom if you can get a concrete project. And as a nice side effect, you'll get paid too, even if the payment is not as high as for my regular projects. So I developed a habit over these last weeks to apply for some virtual projects. I choose only those tasks where I see a chance to learn something new or where I can improve my existing skills.

As a result of this strategy, I have now acquired a lot of knowledge on how to create and customize WordPress themes. I was able to do that before, but after developing about a dozen different layouts with very specific requirements, I have improved my knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript a lot. Especially jQuery, that I use to apply JavaScript to my WordPress themes, is a valuable framework that I can recommend to everybody who needs to develop web pages. It helps a lot to create designs that should fit in all browser version, including the outdated Microsoft Browser IE6.

After a while, I've got bored with WordPress themes, so I applied to create Facebook fan pages. Facebook can use a special markup language known as "fbml". It's an extension to HTML and it's used to create your own design for a facebook page. I did some experiments with this before, but since I worked on two customer projects, I have now some deeper knowledge on how all this works. I learned about some of the workarounds that are needed to implement a required design. The first one was one simple page with just an image and a hyperlink. The second one did include a contact form, which was not as trivial as it seems to be.

For all who are interested in having WordPress themes or Facebook fanpages created, I currently do them for a fixed price in the range of $60 to $90 per layout. All I need is an image, preferably JPG or PNG, and an original PSD or Gimp file. This offer is valid only as long as I'm bored and don't have regular projects to do.

If you are interested, have a look at the virtual platforms where I'm active and check my portfolio and my ratings:

My oDesk profile

My VWorker profile

Permalink 10/12/2010 09:15:38, von Marian Email , 575 words, 3490 views   English (US) Categories: Just for fun, Articles
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07/23/2010

Mechanical Turk (again) - Why can it only be used by Americans?

Mechanical TurkI must say that a service like Amazon's Mechanical Turk really fascinates me. I already wrote a blog article some days ago where I explain how it works. I'm not sure how Amazon is making money out of this. I think that they will keep a commission on the paid rewards that a requester pays out for the workers.

=> Read more! (Mechanical Turk (again) - Why can it only be used by Americans?)

Permalink 07/23/2010 22:18:09, von Marian Email , 288 words, 6269 views   English (US) Categories: quick tips
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07/21/2010

Computer workers: relax your eyes

LivehackerThis is another article that I found today on livehacker (another website that I can recommend) where they write about a good method to avoid health problems if you are staring at your computer screen all day.

It's called the 20-20-20 rule and means that you should pause every 20 minutes, look at some object that is at least 20 feet away (I prefer a view out of the window) for 20 seconds.

Maybe it's not a high-tech news but I believe it's still important and I know I have to apply this rule to my working habits as well. The website also recommends software tools that can help you to find out when the next break is due (so you can even find some high-tech in this, can't you?)

Permalink 07/21/2010 13:45:24, von Marian Email , 126 words, 14054 views   English (US) Categories: quick tips

07/20/2010

Stealing images now much harder, thanks to tineye

TinEyeDid you ever experience this? One of your pictures, that you bought from an image agency or that you made by yourself will show up on other people's websites? If they just link directly to your image, you can find out by checking your web-server log-files. But what if somebody made a copy of it and maybe even changed it?

=> Read more! (Stealing images now much harder, thanks to tineye)

Permalink 07/20/2010 12:43:42, von Marian Email , 473 words, 4090 views   English (US) Categories: quick tips
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07/19/2010

Free Sound Effects

free sound effectsI found this link last week in my newsreader. It is a blog post from "Free Technology for Teachers" about a new site where you can download sound effects.

=> Read more! (Free Sound Effects)

Permalink 07/19/2010 13:41:31, von Marian Email , 194 words, 3698 views   English (US) Categories: quick tips
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07/18/2010

Book Recommendations: Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow, For the WinToday I want to recommend two books from one author: Cory Doctorow. Both are available as free download but you can get them as printed books on Amazon as well.

=> Read more! (Book Recommendations: Cory Doctorow)

Permalink 07/18/2010 09:22:25, von Marian Email , 857 words, 4556 views   English (US) Categories: quick tips, Books
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07/16/2010

Scut Work 2.0: Amazon Mechanical Turk

Amazon Mechanical TurkDo you think, wages can be lower than what you have experienced by outsourcing work to foreign countries? I already have written an article on outsourcing work on the internet for project work, but could you imagine that people are willing to work for just one US-cent per several minutes of their working time?

=> Read more! (Scut Work 2.0: Amazon Mechanical Turk)

Permalink 07/16/2010 12:59:48, von Marian Email , 1760 words, 18934 views   English (US) Categories: Articles, quick tips

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