After getting a recent email from "Barbara Couley" (firstname.lastname@example.org) to purchase text link advertisement (which I ignored) and a follow up email from the same "person" I threw the name into google.
Looks like I am not alone in receiving this spam. Hope not to many people have been deceived and provided their email address by responding...
After watching most of the tutorials over at the HeathenX screencast site I wanted to try making the "Web 2.0" style badges. You know what they are when you see them.....glossy looking, smooth and plastic-looking.
Specifically, there is a screencast based on this tutorial about making such a badge with Inkscape. In case you don't know, Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, or Xara X. Not only is it free as in speech, it is also free as in beer, which makes it a great alternative for anyone who is financially strapped and just doesn't go for pirating copies of the other mentioned software packages!
The next thing I required was something to copy (as I am often limited in the imagination department) and a few minutes of google image search lead to Deziner Folio, a nice site that has allot of Photoshop goodness.
While looking for a reasonably priced free method of hosting my own videos,
I quickly came to realize that Flash Video (FLV) is the coolest kid on the block - and for good reason.
According to a few different
sources on the net, FLV is an excellent
choice for providing video. It reaches a higher audience percent than any of Windows Media, Quicktime or Real,
while also having a smaller footprint. This is the reason that You Tube and
Google Videos both use flash to deliver video content on the web.
There are lots of sites that describe how to convert video to FLV. Some methods free, some are very pricy, and
some are better than others. Find one that is easy and that you like.
My next focus was playing the video. I found a few options like
Jeroen Wijering's player but finally settled on FlowPlayer for a number of reasons.
It supports playlists, will slideshow images, and is easily skinnable. Most importantly for me, was the claim that is supports
prevention of inline linking also known as Leeching. This is when other sites directly link to content on your site, so you
pay the bandwidth but they get the views.
A sample (standard video test pattern bars and test tone) to demonstrate:
Here is how I implemented anti-leeching as demonstrated...