Trying to identify if a website is down, or your having issues…. there is an answer

I get asked every now and again to see if a website is working for someone who is having trouble getting access. I have even had this problem myself in the past and it can be frustrating.

A few months ago I can across a great site called “Down for everyone or just me?“, its simple but effective. You type in the url your trying to get access to, and it will tell you if it can see it. If it can, it would point to a possible local or ISP problem, if it cant you can assume there is something occuring at the domain level.

down

Twinkini… Tweeting from my windows mobile.

So I am new to all this Twitter stuff, but I do want to keep informed with whats going on whilst I am on the move.
I post a quick Tweet asking about what app to use and I get a response from wmdev. I visit the site they mentioned and I came across Twinkini, and installed the demo.

Seems like a good bit of kit, easy to use, good configuration, even has a tweety noise when someone tweets 🙂 what more could you possibly ask for.

All being well this will be my mobile tweeting tool of choice, thank you Twinkini.

twinkini

Bing… and your search query is done.

bing http://www.bing.com/

So Microsoft has released a new search engine, and its called Bing. Now apparently we need a new search engine, because we have evolved as Intertube users, and the other search engines are just not cutting the mustard.

So Bing is not a normal search engine, its a decision engine. So this means its all intelligant and knows what I am thinking and might search for. Pitty its not good at helping me with my spelling like Google when searching 🙂

Seriously though, it does what it says on the tin. I like the layout and the preview video bits you get a the top, and related searches on the left. The only thing that springs to my mind is, why do I use this and not Google? The answer, I dont think there is one.

I might spend the week searching in both, and see if I end up wanting to Bing instead of Google.

UK Governement, getting digital on the digital

So the UK digital super highway is erm, slow to say the least. People dont get the speeds advertised, not everyone can get broadband, and lets face it who can be doing with 56k anyway.

Now its all going to change, the government have published the Digital Britian report and apparently the future is shiny, with blue flashing lights.

I have to admit I have not read it all yet, its 245 pages but here are the highlights as published elsewhere.

The main points outlined in the report include:

• a three year plan to boost digital participation

• universal access to broadband by 2012

• fund to invest in next generation broadband

• digital radio upgrade by 2015

• liberalisation of 3G spectrum

• legal and regulatory attack on digital piracy

• support for public service content partnerships

• changed role for Channel 4

• consultation on how to fund local, national and regional news

Not surprisingly there will be a tax 🙂 Apparently something like an additional 50p will be charged each month to those with a landline to help pay for all this.

I wont go into my political government rant mode, but we always seem to get taxed more and more, we are supposed to be on a downturn, and we are all struggling for cash. Perhaps we could not do up some MP’s kitchens to help pay for Britians World Class Digital future.

Heres a link to the report, enjoy 🙂 PDF Digital Britian.

Windows Vista and 2008 Service Pack 2 released

Microsoft have released the much anticipated Service Pack 2 for the Vista and 2008 Server OS.

You can download this directly from MS here, and get additional information from Technet here.

A few improvements are supposed to be apparent, such as faster launching of applications, improved wireless functionality and faster shut down times.

It is also worth noticing that a tool is available to clean up once you have installed SP2, so that it can remove some of the previous SP1 clutter. Simply run compcln.exe, and you should hopefully see some Windows Folder shrinkage.

Wolfram|Alpha systematic knowledge search engine goes live

Wolfram|Alpha

Wolfram|Alpha’s long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. We aim to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything. Our goal is to build on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.

Wolfram|Alpha aims to bring expert-level knowledge and capabilities to the broadest possible range of people—spanning all professions and education levels. Our goal is to accept completely free-form input, and to serve as a knowledge engine that generates powerful results and presents them with maximum clarity.

Wolfram|Alpha is an ambitious, long-term intellectual endeavor that we intend will deliver increasing capabilities over the years and decades to come. With a world-class team and participation from top outside experts in countless fields, our goal is to create something that will stand as a major milestone of 21st century intellectual achievement.