With the advent of E-readers like the Kindle, the publishing industry has been blown wide open. Before, getting your book in front of somebody meant flying to New York and scaling the granite walls of giant publishing houses. Failing that, you could always go to some shady vanity publishing company, but their primary concern was separating you from your hard-earned money.
Nowadays it's much easier to get your work into the hands of your eager audience. Whether you're looking to publish the next great American novel or just want to get your family cookbook on the Kindle, we'll show you how you can use a couple of free tools to get your work on the Amazon bookstore.
This past year we've been hearing a lot about HTML5, the next generation Hypertext Markup Language set to replace the current version of HTML. Just about every new browser release and revision makes mention of new HTML5 tricks that have been coded in, and it's up to the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML Working Group to recommend the standard. Are we close to having that happen?
“It's still a bit too early for that, but we're indicating willingness to do so," Håkon Wium Lie, Opera Software's chief technology officer, told reporters. "We think it would be fairly easy to write up that specification, if there is willingness.”
Stop me if you’ve heard this one – or don’t, because even though the Firefox add-on Destroy the Web has made its rounds around the Internet, that doesn’t mean that everyone under the sun has heard about, or installed, this awesome extension.
So what does it do? The name gives this one away pretty clearly – Destroy the Web turns nearly any Web page on the ‘net into a semi-action-packed little blasting game that's connected to online leaderboards and everything. Yes, you can play against other people on the Internet in a game that you pretty much customize yourself, depending on what site you’ve chosen to destroy.
Still with me? Not blowing this page apart? Good... because I've got the scoring details after the jump!
Alright, Android phone owners. This one's for you, so if you have no idea what I'm talking about and/or don't actually own an Android-based phone, you can steer clear this week. Otherwise... get ready to be rocked.
A clever little Firefox add-on called Send to Phone is an amazing resource for those of you that use Android-based phones. Here's why: One of the more frustrating things one does as a phone owner is getting information--like a Web URL, a friend's email address, or a note to thyself--from your PC to your mobile device. Short of emailing it to yourself (or, worse, texting it to yourself), you really don't have a great way to convey information that you've found on the Interwebs to your phone.
Send to Phone fixes that issue in two ways, and they're both detailed after the jump!
Or, to be specific, I hate pulling up PDFs in my browser. No matter the reader or the complexity of the file, something invariably goes wrong whenever a PDF file crosses over the barrier between Internet and desktop. Unless you have a sharp eye for what you're clicking on (or a helpful icon to guide your path), you always run the risk of accidentally slapping a PDF into a new tab whenever you're surfing around in the ol' Firefox browser.
PDFs by themselves aren't evil. And sometimes you'll want to actually open a PDF via Firefox instead of taking the extra time to download it to your desktop and open up a reader. What Firefox lacks, in this regard, is control--ways to separate a unique PDF download from the typical bevy of files you grab on a daily basis.
Thankfully, there's an add-on that fixes that right quick.
A thousand pardons! I got so caught up in various bits and pieces of the weekend that I completely forgot to grace Maximum PC with a Web App of the Week for last week! It's a real shame too, as I was totally proud of (and wasted a lot of time playing with) last week's big selection.
I won't put off the details any more than necessary with my usual rambling introductions. The app's called Codeorgan and, like the name implies, it's an excellent fusion of raw geek Web construction with music--truly, my two passions.
So what is Codeorgan? You'll find out pretty quickly as soon as you hit up the main Web site. In short, the Web app uses a fairly complicated algorithm to scan the behind-the-scenes HTML content of any given Web page. It then takes this information and automatically crafts up a little synthpop-style piece of music that's somehow related to the coded mumbo-jumbo. Your results will vary (extremely). However, the beauty of the app isn't necessarily for the music it creates. Rather, it's just a great example of how data in one construct--Web creation--can be parsed out to a completely different form and function--music--with a touch of engineering prowess.
That, and Codeorgan will waste two to three hours of your day as you frantically leap about the Web trying to find the coolest automatic construction of a song that you can lay your hands on. I had great results with CNN one day, yet found the song lacking as the news updated throughout the next few hours. If you find a relatively static site that delivers a rocking beat, do be sure to leave it in the comments!
Back in 1995, when HTML first took off with the general public, there were a number of offenders that made the Internet look aesthetically awful. Designers employed atrocious HTML elements, such as the <blink> and <marquee> tags, which only made a show of serious web coders. It’s doubtful that anyone at that time considered blinking and scrolling text fluid web design.
In the last few years, CSS has taken off with the rise of Web 2.0 and has certainly transformed web design into a much simpler endeavor—gone are the days of having to repeat the same mundane code or navigating a sea of jumbled up HTML in search of that one inconsistency. Things have gotten better since the Nineties and early-2000s, but some web designers are still foolishly living in the past. We’ve decided to update the criteria of HTML elements that are simply outdated and have been replaced by a batch of shinier, better CSS elements. If 1997 was the last time you’ve had a crash course in web design, than read on to learn a few new things about this versatile web world.
We're taking a look at Web page creation tools in this week's freeware/open-source roundup. And let's face it, the task sounds daunting: making a Web page, that is. Finding the programs is the easy part. There are a ton of authoring tools out on the Interwebs, but therein lies the problem. You don't want to have to burrow through 30 different applications to find the one that matches your experience level. And if you're completely new to HTML/CSS, you're going to want the most bare-bones, easy-to-use application you can find for making your first big online "Hello World!"
We've scoured through a number of programs to find the best applications for helping you make that picture-perfect Web page. From HTML creation, to file uploading, to validating, our choices represent a batch of must-have programs. Depending on your experience level, you might not need all five before you have your own variant of Maximumpc.com up and running. But everyone should be able to find something they need in our treasure trove of Web tools.