links for 2009-07-10

  • A new GMail feature lets you play MP3 files right inside the GMail homepage without having to download the MP3 song or open an external media player. You can use the Gmail MP3 player to embed MP3 files into your website or blog. When you receive an MP3 audio file as an email attachment, click the play button and Google will play the audio file for you in a Gmail popup window. The GMail Mp3 player is actually the Google video player that's playing the audio file. In fact, you can play any MP3 files from the embedded Google Video player without even having to login to GMail.
  • Question: How do you embed an MP3 file (like a podcast, song or background music) into a web page or an RSS feed so that visitors can listen to the audio in the browser itself without requiring an external player like QuickTime or Windows Media Player. Answer: We earlier recommended the Google MP3 Player for embedding MP3 songs and audio podcasts in web pages but for some reason, the Google Flash player has stopped working on external websites other than listening to voicemail messages on So here we explore some new Flash MP3 players from Google and Yahoo! that are again light-weight, easy to implement and extremely efficient.
  • In my opinion, one of the best ways to learn about wordpress theme development is to take one of the many clean and nicely layed out free themes and start customizing them yourself. With this hands on approach with a working model, you have the ability to see for yourself what is happening to the theme with each of the changes that you make. The guesswork becomes less guessy when you have an established functionable framework to start with, and then the tweaking teaching takes you through each step of the personalization process. With this practical application approach, the bits of theoretical learning that you may have acquired through reading and oral presentations fall into place and begin to make sense to you in a whole new way. So here I have tried to focus on those themes that have outstanding layouts and builds while still leaving you room for plenty of personal customization.
  • Blurb is a company and a community that believes passionately in the joy of books – reading them, making them, sharing them, and selling them. Holding a finished book with your name on the cover is a truly amazing feeling; it’s one of those experiences everyone should have. As software people, designers, and publishing professionals at the top of our game, we realized something both incredible and obvious: there’s no good reason why it should take tons of time, technical skills, big bucks, or friends in high places to publish a book. Or a zillion books, for that matter. So we put our minds together, and developed a creative publishing service simple and smart enough to make anyone an author – every blogger, cook, photographer, parent, traveler, poet, pet owner, marketer, everyone. (This means you.)
  • Just in time for Comic-Con International, the huge annual comic and science fiction convention, Lucasfilm has developed a must-have gadget that threatens to part even the most financially-challenged Star Wars fans with their money: the Darth Vader toaster. The device is clad in a black plastic mould that resembles Darth Vader's infamous mask. But that's not all.
  • Google's upped its pace handing out invites to Google Voice, the service that controls all your phones with one number. For those just arriving, we're offering up a beginner's guide to setting up, transitioning to, bug-fixing, and actually enjoying Google Voice. If you still haven't received an invite or want a clearer picture of what Google Voice actually does, peek first at our screenshot-packed first look and tips on whether you actually need it. Once you accept an invite, register your number, and make your first text or phone call, you might be wondering how to go about actually using Google Voice—after all, nobody's calling you on that number just yet, and your number doesn't have any rules set up to begin with. That's where this guide starts off. There are lots of resources that explain how Google Voice's features work, but we're hoping to help you learn how to get people calling that number, work past the flaws in its system, and manage the callers for a better overall
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