Playing with shiny new toys

A couple of new things to play with this weekend… the new and Spinvox.

I got an invite to the preview of v2. I don’t know why I got one – could be entirely random, or maybe they wanted to include developers who have used their API in the beta.

Whatever the reason, it’s been fun to have a play. One nice aspect of the beta is that it uses a different data source to the current They are treating it as a sandbox so you can create, edit and delete bookmarks without worrying about losing a collection that you might have been building up for years. In fact, I quite like the bulk edit features. I don’t think that I really understood the whole tagging thing back when I first started with, and have long thought about cleaning up some of my older bookmarks. With these new features, I might even get round to it.

Some of the new features seem a little odd – like the ability to define the public domain or Creative Commons license to use for your bookmarks RSS feed, similar to the way that you can with photos on flickr. Letting you choose between public/private is one thing, but choosing between all the different types of Creative Commons license (e.g. whether you require attribution, etc.) seems like a bit too much choice for a bunch of links. Can you really require someone to credit you for finding a website first? Still, I guess it doesn’t cost much to provide the feature, so why not? It seems to default to “All rights reserved”, which doesn’t seem to be in what I thought was the spirit of, but I guess that is the safest way to avoid controversy.

One more obvious change is that they same to be moving away from the domain, going for the more conventional instead. A shame in a way, as I’ve kinda got used to the quirky name.

I don’t use many of the features on the current website – I use browser plugins to save new bookmarks and RSS feeds to find interesting bookmarks from friends, so most of the time I use I’m not even seeing the site anyway. That said, the new site does look quite slick, and an improvement on the current version. It doesn’t work too well with mobile browsers, but they have said that they are working on improved support for different browsers.

Unfortunately, they haven’t given beta testers any invites of our own to pass on. There are a ton of screenshots on the web if you’re curious.

The second new toy was SpinVox, a service which takes your voicemails, converts them into text and sends them to you in an email and/or SMS.

We don’t seem to get any signal on the T-Mobile network inside our offices at Hursley. I get a weak signal when I’m outside in the car park, but from when I go in the morning to when I come back out in the evening, my phone is in a mobile black-hole.

This makes voicemail very frustrating. By the time I get them, it’s often too late. They’re a pain to transcribe. And the whole interface is rubbish – trying to remember which button is delete, which one rewinds a bit of the message so I can have another try at getting an important number or bit of information…

I got so annoyed with the whole thing that I disabled voicemail completely on my personal mobile – before this weekend, if you rang my mobile number while I was at work, you just got a “the phone you are calling is not available” message. At least that way, I didn’t have to fight with listening to messages from people wondering why I still haven’t got back to them.

With Spinvox, people can leave me a message and it pops up in an email within minutes. Messages are more timely, as I don’t need to wait until the evening to get them. And the hassle of transcribing them is taken care of – bringing them straight into Outlook in text form, which is where and how I like to organise my information.

Noone has left me any messages yet, but I’ve tried leaving myself a few test messages and have been impressed with it’s accuracy.


The longest word SpinVox has ever converted is also the one that many people use to test the system for the first time: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Some people are just mean ๐Ÿ™‚

2 Responses to “Playing with shiny new toys”

  1. andyp says:

    The licensing thing is interesting. Agree that the concept appears a bit contradictory. Perhaps it is intended to apply to the descriptions? I suspect the thing only applies to the beta. I’d be amazed if they throw away the domain.

  2. dale says:

    looks like they’re keeping as a redirect, but moving away from it so as not to scare away newbies:

    Where are the dots?
    It’s still the same old at heart, but the dots were confusing and difficult to remember, especially for new users, so we seized the chance to finally switch over to If youโ€™re feeling nostalgic, still works.

    it’ll always be to me! ๐Ÿ˜‰