This is not your normal Web Awards and I want in 2008 Black Weblog Awards is underway.

The 2008 Black Weblog Awards is under way, this is my first time trying to get noticed. While I have never won an award for what I do with my blog the honor of being included is a great thing so help me out yall.

A twitter friend already ask me what category (Science/Technology) and my URL (http://www.theblacktechreport.com), I was overwhelmed with happiness to say the least I’m excited this is how it works.

The Black Weblog Awards has been around since 2005 with entries from over 83 countries. The doors for Nominating your favorite blog just opened today August 1, 2008 and will stay open till August 15, 2008. Then they will close the doors for Nominating and open the doors on August 16, 2008 (my birthday of course) for your votes on the finalist this ends on August 31, 2008. The results and winners will be announced on September 4, 2008.

Just a few more things you can find more information here:

Facebook
MySpace
Twitter
Forums
Promotional Graphics

I started asking myself everyone will not know what catagory to put me in or they have no idea I wanted to be included on their potential list of bloggers for the BWA’s. So I decided to try something different since I use Twitter twitter.com/thebtr I decided to use the twitter search so others could see the buzz on twitter about the BWA’s and also put up some queries so you can have a direct link into the channels that are talking.

Vote for me under Science/Technology Blog also to everyone who gets voted on good luck…

Based on twitters with blackweblogawards.com
http://search.twitter.com/search?q=blackweblogawards

Based on twitters with Black Weblog Awards
http://search.twitter.com/search?q=black+weblog+awards

Based on twitters with BWA’s
http://search.twitter.com/search?q=BWA%27s
http://search.twitter.com/search?q=bwa (other references to bwa show up in this query)

Hasbro has Offically been PIMPED

Yesterday (read the story here) we reported that the popular game Scrabulous had been taken down for the US and Canada customers of Facebook because of a lawsuit filed by Hasbro. Well I won’t say chalk one up for the little guy I will just say, damn the little guys are smart.

The Agarwalla brothers in a very short amount of time have gone back to the drawing board. They have come up with a new Facebook application called “WordScraper” talk about punking someone.

We know Hasbro had every right to file the lawsuit they did against the brothers and Facebook I mean the name was just to similar but now the boys have gone back to the drawing board and created something else similar but with some different rules, now that’s Pimpin to me.

I wonder how Hasbro feels now, not only did they start a storm that according to others could have been avoided but now the brand in some circles may have even been hurt permanently. I mean we know the large number of people on Facebook are probably early to mid twenties. Working successful young people that lets face it don’t like to be told too much on what to do. The Hasbro brand is really faced with a challenge, to fix a wrong they could have avoided. The lawyers that were used in this lawsuit are probably right now trying to figure out another way to create a revenue stream to line there pockets.

Do I think this will hurt Hasbro in the long run probably not most of the people using it didn’t have kids anyways. I will say that this is probably not over and we have just seen the little guy Pimp the big fish.

Wordscraper on Facebook

Hasbro

TBTR

PIMP down, PIMP down, Scrabulous axed by Facebook.

Today came word that the very popular game Scrabulous was taken down by Facebook.  It seems the program was infringing on a little well known game called Scrabble owned by Hasbro.  While I never played this game online I always saw many people who did.  What’s up with Hasbro?  Are they just haters on the Agarwalla brothers, and their company, RJ Softwares.

The Brothers created the game and have been in my opinion reaping the rewards.  While Face book took down the application it seems they really didn’t want to get the middle of this feud.  The website Scrabulous is still operational and the facebook application is no longer being used in the US or Canada but in other countries Hasbro has no rights to the name that is owned by Mattel.

It seems at this time Mattel has not filed any suits to rights overseas but if one starts you can bet the other is going to do it.  While this is news nothings really new with this we all know how people create something better than the original, but instead of going to the company and trying to license the rights they keep building on a application that’s stolen.

On another note Facebook users are fighting back by creating groups to try and get the Scrabulous application back all I can say is Good luck with that.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=37928471248

http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=75441

www.Scrabulous.com

www.scrabble.com

TBTR

Wednesday Download – Google Docs

Google Docs logo

Working a full time job you probably sit at a computer for 8 hours then go home and you have another computer your using. Using so many computers there are gonna be times when you wish you had access to your documents from any computer at any time. If you have Google Docs your not missing a thing in fact your probably laughing right now saying “Is this really news TBTR, I mean honestly.”

There’s nothing to download; you access your documents, spreadsheets and presentations from any computer with an Internet connection and a standard browser. And it’s free.

Scenario your at work taking care of some last minute changes to a document, you get a call and leave in haste. When you get home your winding down about to watch your favorite TV show when you get a call that your friend she needs the list of things you were writing ASAP. You think back did I email that document before I left work? Then you remember it’s saved to your hard drive at work not at home. This leaves your friend with out the document and there is nothing you can do about it. Well sort of, if you had written and saved that document in Google Docs you could use your computer to login find the document and then edit or just send the document to your friend. Thus fixing a situation that may have been disastorious.

Online storage and auto-save mean you needn’t fear local hard drive failures or power outages.

While this is little far fetched it’s still true Google Docs is an online application that lets you create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online at anytime from any computer. Google has set up the system to enable anyone to share, and collaborate in real time. Google Docs accepts most popular file formats, including DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, PPT, etc. Access to your documents can be emailed to anyone you want and they get instant access.

You can publish to the entire world, just a few people or no one — it’s up to you. (You can also un-publish at any time.)

With Google Docs there is nothing to download it’s all done over the internet that also helps with backup of documents. No longer do you have to worry about a hard drive failure or misplacing some important documents you have access from anywhere. Google Docs even lets you post a document to the web with a single click you can set this for viewing by select people or anyone around the world.

You can now track how much traffic a particular published document is getting through Google Analytics.

While most of this article is written for the newbie in mind here is where I explain some of the NEW features that have been placed in this Online Application.

  • A host of free templates for documents, spreadsheets or presentations
  • Analytics tracking on published documents is now available
  • Custom Colors can now be chosen for documents or slides
  • Output can be to a PDF file so no need for Adobe Acrobat
  • Tech-Savvy users can now apply CSS to documents
  • Notes can now be added to your slide presentations
  • Off line access to your Google docs, sync when internet connection established
  • Presentations can be saved as PPT
  • View Google Docs on your mobile phone
  • Many more features

While Microsoft has stepped up and offered some of the same things with Office Live, Google Docs 100% FREE. While they do offer this for free there is a pay service if your a organization and want to put the whole company on it’s called Google Apps check it out.

This video explains a lot enjoy.


video by: leelefever

Try out Google Docs it helps you live longer 🙂

TBTR

Snapter Easily create PDFs without expensive Adobe Acrobat software

While looking for great sites to write about I stumbled across Snapter. Snapter uses your digital camera as a mobile scanner to scan documents, business cards, white boards, and books into your computer in .jpg or .pdf format. Snapter claims to make your camera photos of documents look like scanned documents.

The software automatically crops, stretches, flattens and converts photos into more portable images. I downloaded Snapter installed the application and started using the system. I decided first to take a picture of my receipt from a laptop purchase I had on my desk. I took this picture with my BlackBerry Curve. The picture while nice is not the best of quality when I later zoomed in on the text. Then I decided to take the same picture with my Canon Powershot SD750 I got 100% better quality.

Use your digital camera as a mobile scanner to scan documents, business cards, whiteboards, and books.

Next I decided to try the book I used my recently purchased HTML, XMTML & CSS Book by Peachpit Press. I turned to a random page and clicked a good picture. The image came up but when I clicked to process the output that’s when It went south. Although it worked I could only see one half of the book after the image processed. The picture was of both sides but it seems that some how the light or dark area in the ream of the book wigged the processor in Snapter out. I tried several times to move the line to tell the software that I wanted the other page included on the scan but I could never get it to go far enough.

Snapter makes camera photos look like scanned documents!

Snapter says they have improved the image process algorithms, but in my opinion it still seems to be an issue. Again it could be user error but I tried 3 times with the same results. I will say this if I really took the time to sit back take great pictures of documents and then tried to make .pdf files I would probably get better results but my frustration factor reached critical mass and I stopped trying to tweak it. To help others there is a Getting Started Guide.

The software is not Freeware that is why this was not included on the Wednesday download tag. You get a 14 day trial to use the software with no limits, after that you get a watermark over every scan that you make. The best part is after the 14 days it still works. Kudo’s to the Snapter team for allowing that you know some students would like to use this but cost is a factor.

While I only did limited examples of what you can do here the website will shed more light on the advantages of Snapter.

3 Thumbs out of 5

TBTR

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