Posted on Monday, November 24th, 2008 by Shachar Pessis
One Minute Languages – The clock is ticking, so let’s start learning! One Minute Languages teaches you a new language (Catalan, Danish, French, German, Irish, Japanese, Luxembourgish, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian and Russian) from scratch. Each language features ten lessons and each lesson is only a couple of minutes long. Keep in mind though that courses consist of very basic introductions and these only give you a feel of the new language. Nevertheless, even a few phrases can make a difference when traveling to a new country, and these just might come in handy for those who wish to mingle with the local crowd. As for me, I am not planning on traveling to Japan anytime soon but Japanese is still my fave One Minute course, thanks to Yoshko, who presents it with such a sweet and pleasant narration. I honestly enjoy repeating her constantly – Domo Arigatoo ありがとうございました !
The Next Big Sound – The Next Big Sound believes that the current music industry model for finding new talent is obsolete and due for an upgrade. Their original approach is giving the power to ‘the people’: They invite users to listen to new upcoming artist and vote for their chosen rising star. Perhaps we’ll witness a whole new way of discovering the next Madonna? With Next Big Sound’s impressive title and declared goal one would expect to find or at least be as close as possible to finding the Next Big Sound. I browsed through the different styles of music and did my best in identifying the next uprising artist. Sadly, I must admit that I couldn’t find any. I appreciate the concept as well as NBS’ first-rate execution of the site; their player is amazing. There is one downside however. Where I come from, Content is King and, in NBS’ case, Music should be King. This site is in a dire need of better music in order to translate their concept into a music hub that actually has an impact. I might have been too picky about the site’s featured artists… so give them a try, maybe you will find The Next Big Sound. Btw: this idea isn’t that new. Similar sites that were featured on our Weekly Faves include Music Nation, SellaBand and TheSixtyOne.
Writers note: After writing the above review, I discussed the site with my brother. Turns out we both hold the same view; NBS’ construction is flawless. What we seem to disagree on is the quality of the site’s featured artists. My brother reckons there is some kick-ass music in the site. What can I say? It’s up to you to make that call.
Crisis Wire – Being the honest reviewer that I am, here’s what I think about CrisisWire in a nutshell: it’s useless (and let’s hope it stays that way). It’s a site that ‘becomes active’ only when a disaster strikes. If you ever enter the site on a regular, crisis-free day, you will see the following announcement “Thankfully, there are no major disasters or emergencies that we are aware of at the moment.” So what’s their point, you might ask yourself. Well, CrisisWire’s true power emerges as soon as a crisis occurs. It aggregates information about a specific crisis or disaster event from many different sources, including: Google Maps, Twitter, news websites, blogs, UStream chat and Flickr. Text, photos and videos tagged with specific keywords will appear on one page in order to create a panoramic perspective of the said disaster in real-time (or as promptly as possible). Indeed, this info can be extremely important in an event of a crisis. Nowadays the fastest way by which crises are informed is by twitter users. It is an on-the-spot, genuine method of staying up to date and we shouldn’t necessarily depend on traditional websites, TV stations or newspapers for that sort of information. Check out this China (May 2008) Earthquake story. You will be fascinated by the twitter element of it. I believe Twitter is the future. If you haven’t yet signed up for Twitter, I strongly recommend that you do so. Start by following our allmyfaves twitter account.
YouTube LIVE – One of the downsides of this blog is that it is written a week after the Weekly Faves is published, so I get to write about some events only after they’ve already occurred. On a second thought, perhaps it’s more of an advantage rather than a downside… In any case, November 22nd marked YouTube’s first ever LIVE STREAM, streaming live from San Francisco. Part concert, part variety show and part party, the event brought to life many of the amazing videos and talents YouTube viewers have already made popular. I particularly enjoyed the Soulja Boy performance as well as that of Bo Burnham. Bo is a sort of a YouTube presenter who performed a new song called ‘Welcome to YouTube.’ The song sentence that describes the quintessence of YouTube’s power is “Before YouTube I was just a skinny white kid that thought he was funnier and cooler than he actually was. Now, not much has changed, but I have a shitload of money.” Enjoy!
HotPads – HotPads strives to build the most comprehensive, interactive marketplace of real estate and location-based services, presented with an innovative user interface.
With HotPads’ innovative map-based search, finding your next home is quite easy. Not only is this tool extremely intuitive and free of charge, it’s also a provider of a vast collection of real estate listings. Their listed properties are almost endless in number and it covers almost all that is currently in this market. At the moment I am not a house seeker myself, so instead I can use my free time to explore their What does twenty million dollars buy you section. Surprisingly enough, the answer to this question is: not much. I assumed that such a commendable budget would allow for much more than what it does in reality…
Polar Origami – A while ago we reviewed Instant Origami, a site which literally makes fun of the Art of making Origamis. Polar Origami is a different story. This is a site that takes you step by step into the depths of making beautiful Origami pieces, from a cute Penguin to a Polar Bear. All you need is a piece of paper and a bit of patience. You never know, maybe this skill will one day become a high-paying job… I hear some companies have added this skill to their job IQ test. Don’t say I didn’t warn you – prepare yourself!
Jump Clap Jump – The first thing that popped into my head when I saw this animation was: “Hey, this reminds me of STOMP, Blue Man Group or Mayumana.” It’s amazing how every-day actions can be put together and structured into a funky danceable beat. This definitely proves that Impossible is Nothing. Bring da noise, Bring da funk!
Plug Into Now – If you enjoy the AllMyFaves concept then you will love this website for sure (I see a bit of resemblance). At first glance I didn’t really understand it, but apparently some things require more than just a glance in order to comprehend their essence. Sprint has labeled this site as ‘Plug into Now.’I don’t really know if this is the best label to use, I would rather define it as “Earth and Humanity’s Control Room.” It has everything related to the human condition and Earth’s current status on it: from the worlds mood and the number of babies born to the amount of our planet’s consumed energy. Even YOU are calculated in the site’s presented statistics. Confused? Just enter the site and all will become clear. This is nothing but guaranteed enjoyment!
Flipswap – Flipswap makes it easy to give mobile phones a second shot at life by offering fast, free and eco-friendly ways to trade them in. The average American buys a new cell phone every 12 months, which means more than one hundred million working phones become unused and inactive every year. Flipswap provides an easy way for consumers and businesses to make sure that these phones get put back into use by offering cash or store credit for them. Next, Flipswap gets these previously deactivated devices into the hands of people who can’t afford a new phone. Go ahead – Pay it (your mobile) Forward. Once you do so, you can smile and be proud of yourself, knowing that you’ve done your part for future generations and for the environment.
AllMyFaves Games – Don’t you simply love Free Flash Online Games? On the other hand, there are so many of them out there, which makes finding the best ones a hassle. For the past six months our devoted AllMyFaves team has searched and played more than 5000 games. We’ve narrowed them down to the best 200. My current fave game is 3-D Logic – I am still stuck on level 13 (don’t tell anyone). What is your fave game? I would appreciate your comment as I would love to know what you like and what you don’t. Thank You – Domo Arigatoo ありがとうございました (Apparently I’ve learned something from my Japanese lessons already)!