Crime victims Tree of Angels sponsored at Courthouse

first_img “The event provides an opportunity for these members of our community to fellowship with others who have also experienced similar loss, as well as agencies and organizations who specialize in assisting victims of violent crime.  It is a way to honor crime victims and their families in our community during the Christmas season,” she said.        Staff reportBEAUMONT — The Jefferson County Crime Victims Coalition will honor crime victims Dec. 4 by sponsoring the 18th Annual Tree of Angels at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont. For more information, contact Craver at 409-839-2318 or Chris Castillo at 409-924-4316. The event is open to the public, with a reception to follow.center_img “The Christmas holidays should be a happy and joyous time, but for those members of our community who have been touched by loss, particularly due to violent crime, the season can be difficult,” said Misty Craver, program director of the Jefferson County Victim’s Assistance Center. “The Tree of Angels is designed to support these victims of violent crime in our community by providing a remembrance activity during the holiday season.” Victims, family and friends are invited to come and decorate the Tree of Angels with an angel ornament representing their loved ones and the loss they have experienced, Craver said. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the courthouse, 1149 Pearl St. A special guest will light the tree.last_img read more

Mike Sorensen: Great, good, bad and awful things about the Olympics

first_imgSALT LAKE CITY — After a week of watching a lot of the Olympics in London, here are a few bests, worsts, mosts and dumbests . . .MOST INTERESTING EVENTS I’VE NEVER PAID ATTENTION TO BEFORE: Trampoline, synchronized diving and archery. I can’t tell you who won these events, but they were fascinating to watch — the trampoline because of how high they go, the diving because of how they can replicate each other’s moves so well and the archery because of the way you can see the arrows fly through the air to the target. EVENTS I CAN DO WITHOUT: Whitewater kayaking, equestrian and field hockey. Sorry if you like these, but I just couldn’t get into them. The field hockey wasn’t bad, but I couldn’t handle the blue carpet they played on, reminding me of watching Boise State football games. MOST SURPRISING NUMBER: As one old enough to remember Bob Beamon’s incredible long jump (29 feet 2 inches) at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, I was shocked to learn that the winning jump of Great Britain’s Greg Rutherford Saturday night was a mere 27 feet, 3 inches, the shortest winning Olympic long jump in 48 years. I guess Olympic athletes are faster and stronger and go higher, but they just can’t go farther. SHADES OF ’72: Many remember the 1972 Olympics when the USSR basketball team was given two “do-overs” in the final three seconds in the gold-medal game against the U.S. and on the third, they scored off a length-of-the-court pass and basket to beat the U.S. by one point and claim the gold medal. South Korea’s Shin A Lam can relate. She thought she had beaten Germany’s Britta Heidermann in a semifinal fencing match. But one second was put back on the clock and Heidermann scored a do-or-die hit in that second to win the match and advance to the gold medal. This was the match where Shin sat on the floor and cried for an hour while the South Koreans protested to no avail. BIGGEST SCANDAL OF WEEK 1: Eight women’s badminton players from China, South Korea and Indonesia getting kicked out of the Olympics for tanking matches in the round robin portion of the tournament in order to get a more favorable draw in the quarterfinals. The tanking was so obvious, with players deliberately hitting shots into the net or wide, that the fans were booing the competitors throughout the match and chanting “Off, off, off.” JUST ANOTHER BOXING SCANDAL: It wouldn’t be an Olympics without some fishy stuff going on in the boxing ring. A boxer from Azerbaijan, who was knocked down five times in one round and assessed a two-point penalty to boot, was somehow awarded a decision over Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu in a bantamweight bout. Then there was American Errol Spence, who dominated a bout with India’s Krishan Vikas, only to lose a decision. Thankfully, both decisions were overturned and one of the referees was sent home and the other might be. BEST EXCUSE FOR THE MARGIN OF USA’S 83-POINT MEN’S BASKETBALL WIN OVER NIGERIA: They didn’t want to be accused of not trying their best, which is what got all those women’s badminton players chucked out of the Olympics. DUMBEST RULE: That only two contestants per country can make the gymnastics all-around finals. Because of that, one of the best gymnasts in the world, the USA’s Jordyn Wieber, who had one of the five best scores in the preliminaries, didn’t get to compete among the 24 gymnasts in the finals Wieber may never have beaten teammate Gabby Douglas, who was sensational in winning the gold, but she should have had a chance to compete for a medal. FEEL-GOOD STORY OF THE WEEK: You could say it was Great Britain’s Jessica Ennis handily winning the women’s heptathlon in front of a delirious home crowd. But how about Britain’s Andy Murray winning the men’s tennis gold medal, handily defeating Roger Federer in the finals. It may not have been Wimbledon, although it happened at Wimbledon’s Centre Court, but it came less than a month after Murray cried at the same spot after losing to Federer in the Wimbledon finals. BIGGEST ADO ABOUT NOTHING: People worried that South African 400-meter runner Oscar Pistorius has an advantage as a double amputee running on prosthetics. C’mon, can’t we just celebrate the fact that this guy has come as far as he has and is competing in the Olympics alongside runners blessed with two legs? Pistorius’ feel-good story came to an end as he didn’t advance to the finals, finishing last in his heat of the semifinals. BEST TV GRAPHIC INNOVATION: Putting the flags and names of the swimming leaders at the end of each lap and the three medal-winners at the end of each race. Also the world-record line that moves across the screen in each race. WORST GRAPHIC MISTAKE: Why can’t NBC put a small graphic in one of the upper corners of the TV screen, telling us what event is going on? Not everyone is sitting for hours watching every event, so it’s especially frustrating in the swimming events when you look up to see a race starting and not know which event it was and how long it was going to go and whether it was a final or not. It would be very simple to put a graphic in the left-hand top corner, saying, “Men’s 400 freestyle semifinal.” If it’s too much clutter, how about just replacing the NBC graphic in the right-hand top corner? DUMBEST MOVE BY THE IOC: Eliminating baseball and softball from the competition this year. Although the IOC gave some lame reasons for getting rid of the sports, some wonder if the fact that they were U.S.-invented sports, usually dominated by the U.S. was a key factor. However, the United States has won just one of five baseball gold medals – Cuba won three and South Korea the other. In softball, the U.S. did win three of the four gold medals contested since 1996 with Japan winning the other, but China and Australia also had strong programs and other countries were starting to challenge. Those sports have also been ruled out for 2016, but at least we’ll still have equestrian, rifle shooting and rhythmic gymnastics to get excited about. email: [email protected]last_img read more

Review: ‘Adaline’ is both ludicrous and deeply moving

first_img This image released by Lionsgate shows Harrison Ford in a scene from “The Age of Adaline.” (Diyah Pera/Lionsgate via AP) This image released by Lionsgate shows Blake Lively in a scene from “The Age of Adaline.” (Diyah Pera/Lionsgate via AP) Is it possible for a movie to be at once ludicrously silly and genuinely moving? That’s the strange question you might find yourself asking while watching “The Age of Adaline,” a romantic fantasy with surprising heft that will likely have you scoffing at one moment, then furtively wiping away a tear the next.It’ll also have you marveling at the emotional resonance that a seasoned pro like Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn or Kathy Baker can bring to a supporting turn. Ford, in particular, takes what could have been a solid but unspectacular role and turns it into the film’s highlight — and perhaps one of his better performances in years. This image released by Lionsgate shows Ellen Burstyn, left, and Blake Lively in a scene from “The Age of Adaline.” (Diyah Pera/Lionsgate via AP) This image released by Lionsgate shows Michiel Huisman in a scene from “The Age of Adaline.” (Diyah Pera/Lionsgate via AP)center_img This image released by Lionsgate shows Michiel Huisman, right, and Blake Lively in a scene from “The Age of Adaline.” (Diyah Pera/Lionsgate via AP) This image released by Lionsgate shows Michiel Huisman, left, and Blake Lively in a scene from “The Age of Adaline.” (Diyah Pera/Lionsgate via AP) It’s no accident that the poignancy of Ford’s performance comes from his evocation, as a middle-aged father, of both the pleasure and pain that aging brings — both the well-earned wisdom and the inevitable regrets. The entire film, directed by Lee Toland Krieger, is about age and our common assumption that younger is always better. Not so fast, the film is telling us. Smooth, unwrinkled skin and ungraying hair isn’t everything.Of course, when that skin and hair belongs to gorgeous Blake Lively, it’s not easy to have much sympathy at first. Lively grows on you gradually in the role of Adaline, a young woman with a big secret. We first meet her as she’s arranging for a new identity, fake passports and all. Back in her apartment, we see hints that she’s not all she seems: fraying, sepia photographs, or a dusty old manual typewriter.Turns out that Adaline, though we’re in the present time, was born in 1908. She married, had a daughter, lost her husband and then, at 29, almost drowned when a car accident landed her in frigid waters. Somehow, a scientific process involving a bolt of lightning both revived her heart and, yes, stopped her from aging.Looking like a young Blake Lively forever might not seem much of a problem. But it’s a lonely existence, because once she hits 45 or so, Adaline arouses suspicion. She has to basically live on the run, changing identities every decade. She also can’t live with her daughter, who’s aging normally, which means she can only live with her dog — or succession of dogs, since each will die, sadly, at a normal rate.Then one day, Adaline meets a handsome, soulful young entrepreneur (Michiel Huisman, of “Game of Thrones”). She tries to resist his advances, but he won’t take “no” for an answer. And when he asks her to accompany him on a visit to his parents (Ford and Baker) for a weekend, she finds herself accepting. It is here, because of a plot twist that would be unfair to reveal, that things get really, really complicated.Lively is appealing, natural and often touching. Unsurprisingly, she rocks the vintage fashions. And she makes a game effort to appear timeless. The actress’ handicap here, though, is that her natural delivery reflects her extremely contemporary presence — making her sound stiff and a bit forced when she utters a phrase like “picture houses” instead of movie theaters.But she has nice chemistry with Huisman, and there’s a moving quality to her scenes with Burstyn, who, as her daughter, is reliably pitch-perfect and brings a sense of groundedness to the fantastical premise.As for Ford, he, too, must ground an intentionally fantastical story, and the way he does it is the most compelling part of the film. (Baker, too, is quite touching in a smaller role.) Even if you laugh in the beginning, you likely won’t find yourself laughing at the end, thanks to the veteran actors in this film.See? Getting older really does have its virtues.“The Age of Adaline,” a Lionsgate release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America “for a suggestive comment.” Running time: 112 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.MPAA definition of PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.Follow Jocelyn Noveck on Twitter at read more

Father Ray Children’s Home attends Chang-Everton Football Academy

first_imgEach Saturday and Sunday morning more than five hundred youngsters attend the free soccer coaching sessions at the ThaiBev Football Academy in Bangkok.  Boys, and a few girls, of all ages and from all sectors of Bangkok society arrive to receive training sessions from experienced coaching staff. ThaiBev, owners of Beer Chang, sponsors of the UK premiership team Everton FC, as well as several Thai premier league teams, provide the training sessions for free, and have done for the past nine years.  In almost a decade more than twenty thousand youngsters have registered for training and several have gone on to play at a professional level in the Thai Premier League.The boys from the Father Ray Children’s Home and Father Peter (second right) pose with officials from the Chang-Everton Football Academy.The founding of the academy, which is also known as the Chang-Everton Football Academy, was one of the obligations of the Everton FC sponsorship deal with Chang Beer.  Each year Everton FC send officials and coaching staff to the academy and the local coaches have worked together with the Everton FC staff to provide those attending with the best and most up to date training techniques. Boys from the poorest slum areas of Bangkok arrive on foot to play alongside those who are delivered in the latest model of Mercedes car.  But once on the pitch there are no social divides, everyone is expected to work hard, listen to what the coaches have to say and play together as a team.  Players are expected to be on time, be serious about taking part, show respect to the coaches and also do well in their studies.The soccer team from the Father Ray Children’s Home was recently invited to take part in a training session.  Leaving Pattaya before the sun came up, it took a while to find the facility, but once there the boys were very impressed with the facility, which includes several full size soccer pitches.After several hours of non-stop coaching the boys were exhausted, but happy in the knowledge they have gained new skills which they will put to good use the next time they have a competitive match.Everton FC have said that they would like to be the first English Premiership team to have a professional Thai player, who knows, that first player may just come from the Father Ray Children’s Home.More information can be found at or email [email protected] off his soccer skills.The coach made sure the boys put their new skills to good use.The boys even helped to collect the hundreds of soccer balls at the end of the training session.last_img read more

Manchester United to turn to Pochettino again if struggles continue

first_img Pochettino’s Spurs are going through a tough moment, despite reaching the Champions League last season. They have also struggled in the Premier League and lost to fourth tier Colchester United in the League Cup on Tuesday.  25/09/2019 RELATED STORIES El Manchester United se fija en Pochettino Pochettino says “different agendas in Spurs squad” after shock Colchester defeat The former Espanyol coach has admitted his players are unsettled and that they have different agendas.  Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be the first to leave if things aren’t corrected in the coming weeks and, according to the English press, United already have a possible replacement in mind.  Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino, a coach they and Real Madrid have previously courted, would be their first choice if they were to be left looking for a new boss. The season has not started well for Manchester United. Eighth in the Premier League and in poor form, eyes are beginning to turn in the same direction: to the bench.  IN SPORT.ES Upd. on 26/09/2019 at 14:54 CEST Should he move to United, he wouldn’t do so solo. He would look to take Christian Eriksen with him. The Dane is out of contract in the summer and is not happy with Spurs’ situation. last_img read more

They’ve got Stars in their eyes

first_imgBy Nick Creely The Endeavour Hills Cricket Club will be the official host of a Melbourne Stars Away Game Live…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

KIJHL Champs, Revelstoke Grizzlies, capture Cyclone Taylor Cup

first_imgRyan Bedard scored three times to pace Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Champion Revelstoke Grizzlies to the 2019 Cyclone Taylor Cup Sunday afternoon in Campbell River.The Grizzlies dumped Victoria Cougars 5-1 to claim the second Cyclone Taylor Cup title in three seasons for the KIJHL. Tied 1-1 after 20 minutes, Bedard and Raymond Speerbrecker broke the stalemate with second period goals.Bedard scored twice to complete the hat-trick and secure the Cyclone Taylor Title for Revelstoke.Ryan Pereverzoff scored the other goal for Revelstoke. Tyler Vanuden scored the lone goal for Victoria.Revelstoke outshot the Cougars 42-28 as Liam McGarva picked up the win in goal for the Grizzlies.After starting slow, losing 5-1 Thursday to Victoria, the Grizzlies won two straight to advance to the final.Revelstoke defeated North Van Wolf Pack 5-1 Friday before edging host Campbell River 3-2 Saturday. Jayden Hay scored the winner for Revelstoke, snapping a 2-2 tie with a third-period marker.last_img read more

Daisy’s Best Week Ever, November 23, 2017: A Tokyo Trip

first_imgShare This!Hello friends! It doesn’t seem possible, but I just returned from another trip to Tokyo Disney Resort. Many, many months ago I found a $700 round trip airfare from Orlando to Tokyo and even though my hubby couldn’t join me, I decided to book the trip. I’m so glad I did, because now I can share my Christmas experience with you. Let’s start with walking into Tokyo Disneyland.As many of you know, the Main Street section of Tokyo Disneyland is covered and the parade doesn’t come through this area. It’s an adjustment getting used to it, but I loved that the Christmas decorations could be placed lower without worrying about parade floats. Everywhere you looked was tinsel and wreaths. Tokyo really does things right!You don’t want to miss the rest of this trip report. Click to read more! 🙂Now, if you’ve followed me for any length of time I bet you know what my first stop was on this trip. I was so excited that I ran past the castle, but turned around to take this shot. For a little bit you could almost think I was in the Magic Kingdom here in Florida. I’ve never seen such bright, blue skies in Tokyo!So did you guess where I was headed? Haunted Mansion Holiday, of course! I’m a huge Nightmare Before Christmas fan and jump on this ride every chance I get. The Haunted Mansion in Tokyo is a carbon copy of the one here in Orlando, so it’s neat to see what it would look like if we were ever lucky enough to have this overlay.Forgive me for adding a couple of photos for this attraction. I was lucky enough to have my Doombuggy stop right in front of Jack–what a lucky break! I decided to take one camera and one lens for this trip so everything was shot at no lower than an f2 aperture.  I was pretty delighted I was still able to get Haunted Mansion photos to share.Just one more, the last scene here is of Lock, Shock, and Barrel rather than Oogie Boogie (like in California). I love seeing the differences between parks around the world. I don’t think I’ll ever stop wishing that we would get this overlay at the Orlando parks. What do you think? Are you a fan or do you prefer the classic Haunted Mansion?I was lucky enough to be at Tokyo Disney for a week, so we enjoyed many fabulous meals. I only had space here to share a few of my favorites. Top among those was French toast from the Center Street Coffeehouse. It does blur the lines of what you might call French toast. It tasted like it was made from hamburger buns and had garnish that included cranberries! Though not traditional, it was a tasty way to start the day. (Let’s just say it beat the breakfast potatoes covered in oregano I had later in the week.)What goes better with dining than shopping? 😉 These were one of my favorite things I saw all week. Tokyo Disney actually has their own perfumes they sell in the park. A personal flaw of mine is that I have a really terrible sense of smell, so I can’t really tell you if they smelled nice. I bought the orange one based on color alone and I’ve yet to try wearing it with my hubby. (Who has a superhuman sense of smell.)Check out the skies over Tokyo Disneyland. I’ve visited in September, April, and October but never had weather like this before. It was chilly with highs in the mid 50s to low 60s, but they sold plenty of cute merch to help you stay warm. If you’re trying to decide on a time to visit I think November is where it’s at!Taking over for Little Green Men mochi, they are now serving Stormtrooper mochi. The flavors were strawberry, vanilla, and caramel. I can only comment that the strawberry was pretty okay. I know everyone raves about these, and they are worth buying for photos alone, but I don’t care for them. When I bite into one my brain just tells me it isn’t food. They’re mushy but somehow still chewy. They were, however, very entertaining for my friend that watched me try to eat them! 😉Something that I never get tired of eating are the Mike Melon Breads. These are amazing, pillowy soft bread rolls flavored like honeydew melon.  While I may have been guilty of eating one a day, I don’t want anyone thinking I put away four! These were lovingly packaged and carried 7,000+ miles home for my hubby. You know they must be good if they were the only souvenir he asked for!Something Tokyo still has that we don’t, is the Country Bear Christmas Jamboree. I was thrilled to see it again, even if half of it was in Japanese. I wish we still had the seasonal specials at the Magic Kingdom, but I suppose I should be happy they haven’t shut the show down altogether. Big Al celebrating the New Year is just too epic for words!The mascot for Tokyo Disney Christmas is the Snow Snow. These are adorable little snowmen shaped like Mickey, Minnie, Chip, and Dale. These cuties were on all the merchandise and you could create your own little stuffed one. (I chose Minnie.) I kept trying to think of a practical reason to bring this lantern home. I never did come up with a good excuse though!While Paint the Night is still the best parade I’ve ever seen, Dreamlights is a pretty close second. It was already amazing, but was recently expanded to include new floats. The prettiest one was this Beauty and the Beast addition. I’m hopeful that the Magic Kingdom will be getting a new evening parade soon that will be half as good as this one!When switching parks on the monorail there is even more cute! Check out this Snow Snow display that could be found at the station. When people placed their hands on the snowflakes at the base of the tree the entire tree would light up and the “2017” would illuminate. What a cool touch!Of course, the monorails were also dressed up for the season. Just so I don’t only tell the good things, my friend told me I was lucky to be visiting early in the season because later the white fur would be stained and dirty. Of course, I don’t think they would have lasted long in another park as they were only held on with velcro.Walking into Tokyo DisneySea is not something that ever stops being special. I was hanging out with locals that just strolled into the park like it was no big deal, but I would stop and take photos each time. I don’t know how many times it would take for me to walk in and not geek out. Likely never since I still do here at Walt Disney World! 🙂The one thing that I had never done in all my trips was the Gondolas. This ride closes whenever something is happening on the harbor so it’s tough to figure out when they’re actually going to be open. That paired with the fact that there is an awesome ice cream shop nearby meant that we just kept missing it. I was determined to ride this trip no matter what!And I was rewarded with this amazing view. Can you believe they actually take free floating gondolas around this lagoon? It would be like offering rides through the World Showcase lagoon. I’m amazed that more people don’t end up in the water or doing other stupid things.But then, the Japanese people seem pretty amazing. Check out this adorable little kid dressed like Shellie May. Since it was colder, I saw many kids dressed in these amazing outfits that are not sold in the parks. I can’t imagine how much work it would be to make one of these, but the kids were too cute for words.Check out Mickey Mouse getting treated like a rock star. (Rightfully so!) I wonder if the addition of a big theater in the Magic Kingdom will mean Mickey will get to star in something back home? What are you hoping for in that new theater?More than anything, the views around Tokyo DisneySea are just fantastic. A friend pointed out to me that the volcano changes in appearance as you walk around the park to fit with each land. It happens so seamlessly that I hadn’t even noticed.Mermaid Lagoon was decked out for the holidays. I was impressed with how they used coral and starfish to decorate along with the theme. This area is always so pretty, so it isn’t surprising that they pulled out all the stops for Christmas.This doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas, but it’s the first time I’ve ever actually found the Eric statue in Mermaid Lagoon. It was worth waiting to get a shot of him. What a cool, little gem hidden in this crazy park!Remember that volcano that changes around the park? This is what it looks like in Port Discovery, the new home of Nemo and Friends SeaRider. While the ride was entirely in Japanese it was still easy to pick up on what was happening and I’m glad I gave it a try. It’s a nice addition to the park and different than any of the Nemo attractions we have in the states.The lagoons around SeaRider had the Nemo and Friends characters. The cutest one was the otters having a cuddle party! I don’t want to spoil anything, but that is one of the scenes from the ride that I was lucky enough to get the first time. I say I was lucky because once I found out the otters were an option I would have ridden over and over until I got to see them!Before I leave you for this week, I have one more thing I want to toss in. For the first time I visited Sanrio Puroland and it was insane, bizarre, and truly incredible. I had to pick just one photo to share, so this is the one that I think does the best job of summarizing the experience. I’ll say if you every find yourself in Tokyo you should go!! 😀That’s it for this time. Thanks for joining me for another week of fun! Please let me know if you have requests for next time around. Until then – I hope you’re having the best week ever.last_img read more

Browster Is Gone, But Are Web Previews Here To Stay?

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Snap – preview technology for web sites and blogsThe makers of the Snap search engine recentlyreleased a site preview technology that allows bloggers and webmasters to turn onpreviews for any link on their site. Unlike Cooliris, Snap’s technology is powered byJavaScript that sits inside the page. To activate it, bloggers and webmasters need topaste a small chunk of code into their pages. Also unlike Cooliris, Snap shows a smallerpreview when the user moves the mouse over any link. TechCrunch recently added Snap previews and we sawquite a few readers complain about it getting in the way. Personally, I like the Coolorissolution better – since it requires an additional gesture to get the preview. Written by Alex Iskold and edited by Richard MacManusLast week it wasreported that Browster, one of the firstcompanies to deliver previews of web pages, is done. Browster drew a lot of attention in2005 and was backed by a 6M first round from Advanced Technology Ventures, VanguardVentures, First Round Capital, and individual investors.Browster delivered previews of web pages (before clicking on a link) via a browserplug-in. Cooliris and Snap are companies doing similar things. But the questionof whether previews are actually a good – and viable – idea is still up in the air.Therefore in this post we look at various kinds of Web previews and decide if the conceptis here to stay, or will it go down with the Browster ship.What is a value of a preview?The basic idea behind previews is simple: they save you a click. Instead of clickingon a link to see the content, you can get a preview of the page using a gesture –typically a mouseover. Assuming you can decide if the page is interesting or not based onthe preview, you can save a click and more importantly the page load. The big assumption is thatthe preview is useful, which is not always the case. For instance a thumbnail preview maybe useful if you already know the look and feel of the site, but otherwise you can’treally tell what you are looking at. This is because scaling the snapshot of a page downto a thumbnail results in a substantial loss of information. As we will see below,Cooliris and Snap are using different techniques to avoid this problem.Netflix solves the problem in a different way.Instead of showing you a scaled version of the page, Netflix shows you a synopsis of themovie when you mouse over its link. For movies, this works really well – and it wouldwork well for many other things, like books, music albums and electronics. So it’s toobad that other sites do not do this.Netflix previewCooliris – the preview extension for FirefoxCooliris, one of the Firefox recommendedextensions, offers great quality previews. It works by popping up a little blue square whena user moves their mouse over a link. If the user clicks on the square, a preview of thelink comes up. The secret of Cooliris is its simplicity. Firstly, the previews shownare almost the size of the actual page. Secondly, the previews are not images, but actualpages loaded into an iframe and overlayed on top of the current page. While thisseemingly would be the same as loading the page in another tab, it definitely feelslighter. What helps is that we do not need to close the tab, because once we click awaythe preview disappears. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#search#web Sphere – blog search previews on steroidsTechCrunch also features a completely different kind of preview – dynamic blog searchresults from the blog search engine called Sphere[Ed: this is coming soon to R/WW too]. What Sphere does is very impressive, butperhaps what’s even more impressive is how it presents the results. In a way, Sphere’ssolution is similar to Netflix because it only shows a subset of information. Thisstrategy allows Sphere to generate an intelligent preview of the search results. Acombination of speed and excellent visualization makes this type of preview verycompelling. Monetizing previewsSince quite a few companies are doing previews, we need to understand their benefit.It seems that current preview makers fall into three major categories:Deliver advertising with previews (Browster)Use previews to drive traffic to the site (Snap, Sphere)Enhance user experience on the site (Netflix)The companies listed under the second and third bullets do not concern themselves withmonetization via preview, since they make money in a different way. For the companiesthat choose the preview to be their core business, some form of advertising must be inplace.What Browster used to do in the past was replace the advertisements from the pageswith their own. This made some publishers very angry. Altering the content of web pages is certainly a risky business and spellslawsuits. Augmenting the previews with context sensitive ads, outside the preview frame,seems to be cleaner – but it requires a heavier back-end engine and could cause delays,which would be deadly.Since Browster is out of the game now, it does not need to address this problem. Theircompetitor Cooliris looks to be a university project and so far they do not show anyconcern about making money. If they become serious about monetizing this technology, itwill be interesting to see what route they will take.ConclusionSo in the end we have to ask: Are previews a good idea? We think the answeris: Yes! If done right (and this is a big if), then previews can greatly enhance ouronline experience and save us a lot of time over the long run. Saving one click at a time will make usmore productive and will save us minutes every day. And since there are incentives forcompanies to deliver preview technologies, we expect to see more developments in the nearfuture. So: Browster is dead, long live previews. But let us know what you think aboutpreviews and tell us your favorite ones. Related Posts alex iskold 1 Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Foursquare Goes Beyond Place; Adds Movies, Music & Sports

first_imgRelated Posts marshall kirkpatrick Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Location#NYT#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Foursquare, the much-discussed location-based social network, announced today that it has gone beyond allowing users to check-in to places and now includes events as well. Hundreds of thousands of events being held in more than 50,000 places (many no doubt movie theaters) will become visible, in some cases hours before an event begins and in other cases summary information for things like sporting events will be delivered after an event concludes.The most interesting part of the announcement is the inclusion of additional information by venue or event hosts. ESPN is partnering with Foursquare, for example, and is including both timeless Tips about sporting locations and after-action game summaries in the Foursquare news feed. If this points towards a larger trend of more, richer and more timely information becoming a big part of Foursquare, then that’s a very good sign.Jenna Wortham says in New York Times coverage of the feature that according to Foursquare, “the new features will simply formalize the standard behavior of its users. It’s quite common for those using the service to announce what they’re doing when they check in at a place.”Indeed, the feature looks and feels big and new because it’s introducing another dimension of engagement. In another way, though, this looks a lot like Foursquare brand pages – where organizations have had the option to publish sets of tips that would be pushed to their fans when they checked in at places. That hasn’t caught on nearly as much as it ought to. This week’s introduction of Tips Lists is another great feature that may or may not strike the fancy of users.Will Foursquare’s implementation of support for Events catch on with a significant number of publishers and will it work for users? If the future of location based services is changed dramatically by the expected rise of persistent location tracking, will Foursquare Events be able to meaningfully support new, real time use cases? Time will tell.I really like this idea, but it’s not clear that Foursquare itself is going to grow into a major social network. Whether publishers and users engage meaningfully with this new feature remains to be seen. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more