Sunday, July 27, 2008

Walt Disney presents

Pixie Hollow is Walt Disney’s creation of MMOG, based on their Fairies Franchise. For those who are new for the World of online gaming, the MMOG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Game. Users play the game on the Web and compete against other online players.

The software for the game is available for free but users can buy items to receive extra credits in the game. Players can bring a fairy and her surroundings to life simply by clapping in Disney Fairies’ Pixie Hollow Home Tree Playset. Adorned by swings, furniture and a flower picnic table, a beautiful 3.5" fairy and her fairytale surroundings await the sound of claps to spring to life.

There is a Disney description for the theme:
Imagine the most beautiful, yet tiny world you have ever seen - with startlingly rich colors and breathtaking scenery. Add an infinite number of pocket size fairies clad in clothing made from colorful flower petals and shimmering spiderwebs. Sprinkle the scene with the illuminating sparkles of Pixie Dust.
That is the world of Disney Fairies - a world that you can share with your child using a little imagination and these great ideas.

At, there are games and activities, books, and movies. One of the main reasons for the site development is also promoting Disney’s new movie Tinkerbell to be released in October 2008. You can even see the Tinkerbell Movie preview on site:

Note that this business model is mostly focused on girls’s ages 8 to 12 years. This fact highlights the fact that the internet is increasingly becoming an engaging medium for practically all age groups.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Time-restricted Access to Windows XP

One of the readers of this blog asked if there is an opportunity in Windows XP to restrict computer use time for one of the PC users (I bet it is his poor kid is going to be abused) without any additional software installation. Following a brief investigation, I have found a partial solution for this inquiry.

If there is no way to operate computer remotely and computer is not on the network to be accessed from other point, the access to the computer might be restricted to the particular user in terms of the time of the day or days of the week when user can log on to the system. On a stand alone computer, there is no way, to force or encourage computer user to log off when the permitted hours expired. To enforce computer log off, when not in use, it could be setup that the PC idling for more than 10 minutes, for example, will result in going to screensaver mode, and return to operation is accompanying with the re-login request enable. Just check the box “On resume, password protect” in the Display Properties window (screen saver tab).

The following step-by-step instructions will help you to setup the time restricted user account on your PC:

1. Click on the Start button in the bottom left corner and choose Help and Support from the opened menu.

2. Type "logon hours" (without the quotes) in the search box located in the top left corner of the screen.

3. Review Full-text Search Matches below, locate record “net user”, and click on it.

4. Look at the help article, clarifying the user account syntax, and check some examples for setting a user’s logon hours.


· To display a list of all user accounts for the local computer, type: net user

· To view information about the user account jimmyh, type: net user jimmyh

· To add a user account for Jay Jamison, with logon rights from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., Monday through Friday (no spaces in time designations), a mandatory password (jayj), and the user’s full name, type:

net user jayj /add /passwordreq:yes /times:monday-friday,8am-5pm/fullname:"Jay Jamison"

· To set johnsw’s logon time (8 A.M. to 5 P.M.) using 24-hour notation, type:

net user johnsw /time:M-F,08:00-17:00

· To set johnsw’s logon time (8 A.M. to 5 P.M.) using 12-hour notation, type:

net user johnsw /time:M-F,8am-5pm

· To specify logon hours of 4 A.M. until 5 P.M. on Monday, 1 P.M. until 3 P.M. on Tuesday, and 8 A.M. until 5 P.M. Wednesday through Friday for marysl, type:

net user marysl /time:M,4am-5pm;T,1pm-3pm;W-F,8:00-17:00

5. Open Command Prompt Window (Start ’ Programs ’ Accessories ’ Command prompt).

6. Enter the appropriate "net user" command for the user(s) you wish to restrict access for, based on the syntax examples provided above.

7. Reboot the computer and check performance.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

55 Free Short URL Redirection Services

The Short URL redirection services are ideal if you want to replace your long website address (or even particular URL to the certain post) with an address that is short and easy to remember. You can create such a short and easy to remember website address (URL) and afterwards use it to browse to your website. In practice, this means that you choose a new sub-domain and thereby create a new website address. When your visitors click on your new Short URL they will automatically be redirected to the website addressed by your original URL.

There are several additional advantages of having short URL:
  • Some long and complicated addresses might break up in the email text, and therefore become unclickable. User has to copy and past the URL to the browser to make it work.
  • If you want to hide your referral ID in the address to avoid reader’s perception that you might benefit from his click on the link, this is a good solution.
  • If you need to give the address by phone or SMS and do not want to mess up with long strings.
  • If you want to check the profitability and effectiveness of different marketing channels, you can, among other methods, assign different short URLs to each channel to evaluate.
  • Not that I am fan of the “black hat” sites promotion techniques, but having multiple redirection URLs for your site might be handy.
I am sure, that there are more reasons to have a free, nice, and easy solution of having an extra (new) site address. For your convenience, I have created rating list of the 55 top free services with brief description, rating, and access links at my favorite rating site RateItAll. To illustrate the concept, the main Rating List address is:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Nice Name for your Blog with Domain TK

The most exciting feature of the user registration in the domain zone TK is in the fact that it is free for anybody. Until recently, the administration of the domain TK (Tokelau, a territory of New Zealand located in the South Pacific) in exchange for the free registration applied forced ads on your page.

Recently, the situation has changed for better. On the 32-nd International Conference ICANN, Dot TK administration announced that from now on the forced ads will be completely removed from the pages with registered free domains, and will not be placed on the newly registered sites as well. This positive marketing step attracted more users to choose the short name for their Web Site or blog to be forwarded to.

There are some limitations for the domain TK use:
1. Sites not visited at least 25 times in consecutive 90 day periods are automatically canceled to avoid the domains being unavailable to more active websites.
2. Internet service provider Road Runner on Time Warner Cable, continues to block sites with the .tk domain, in spite of the significant pressure from the Internet community.

Dot-TK recently provided .tk websites the option to join a network called TiKinet, a close-knit network that links sites to each other based on key words called TiKilinks. The network is expected to increase traffic to the websites, many of which are personal sites and blogs operated by individuals who otherwise would have no way to advertise their sites. You have the opportunity to check the traffic flow through your domain as well. Following test sign up for one of my blogs, I noticed immediate additional traffic through new doorway, not huge, but more than I expected.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Find a Cheapest Shipping Rates with Shipgooder

Even the best general Search Engine cannot the best solution for each and every case. Sometimes, small and focused Web Sites can make our life easier. For example, how can you find fast, what is the cheapest way to ship 5.2- pounds package from Trimont, Minnesota to Reedsville, Ohio? Search for USPS, FedEx, UPS, and other shippers Web Sites, locate the appropriate information, and compare. How fast can you that, even you are an experienced searcher?

Let me show, how you can perform this kind of search and comparison in matter of seconds, in three steps:
1. Access the Web Site:
2. Enter your ZIP code, ZIP code of the destination, and package weight.
3. Click on the button to get the best rates.
4. In less than a fracture of a second your report is prepared.

As you see, the site is very handy, saving you a lot of time on the shipping prices comparison, and potentially money as you can find the best possible price instantly. You do not even have to register to obtain the information from Shipgooder.
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