Denial of service attack delays Zooomr 2.0 launch

Flickr competitor Zooomr was set to launch version 2.0 of its service last week and it created such a loud buzz with its free pro account offer for bloggers. That launch has been delayed by a denial of service attack.

Zooomr said in its blog that the attack has been dealt with and they’re just fine-tuning the system to make sure such an attack will not happen again. Zooomr also says that when the new version finally launches, users will “see a huge speed increase along with the new design and new features.”

You might say it is still premature to describe Zooomr as a Flickr “competitor” because of the disparity in their user base but I really like what Zooomr is offering, especially with its free accounts. Both sites offer unlimited storage but Flickr restricts the display of your photos to the last 200 images. Zooomr also offers a bigger upload quota for free accounts at 50MB monthly, more than double Flickr’s 20MB quota for free accounts.

Running a newsroom intranet on Ubuntu, MediaWiki and a discarded PC

When the newsroom replaced aging computers used by reporters for word processing last year, I salvaged one central processing unit, a pair of RAM modules and the biggest hard disk of the lot with the intention of putting up a newsroom intranet server.

I eventually built a newsroom intranet server using various open source PHP/MySQL scripts. The intranet used as portal Mambo CMS with various other scripts serving as online news writing style guide, news sources contacts database and online classroom. The intranet was running on Windows with XAMPP, a package that simplifies the installation of Apache, PHP and MySQL. (Click on photos to view larger images)

Sun.Star Cebu newsroom intranetThe setup is a pain to maintain: you have to check individual packages for updates and one of the scripts was no longer being updated, the last time I checked. The use of different packages also means that users have to sign up for individual sections of the intranet: for the portal, style guide, contacts and the e-learning package. Users are also presented with different user interfaces. The setup was asking too much from its users.

The server never really took off as I was bogged down in trying to find ways to have a single login for the system.

A few weeks back, I decided to run MediaWiki on Ubuntu to replace the abandoned setup. (Note: screenshots will be added after Zooomr launches version 2.0 of its site)

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Zooomr offers free pro accounts for bloggers

Flickr competitor Zooomr is offering a free professional account for bloggers. All you have to do is open an account with their site, upload a photo to your account, use it in your blog post and then notify them.

Zooomr is an interesting Flickr alternative. I’ve just registered for it and after going through its features, it looks to me to be a better photo host for bloggers. Its free beta account gives you unlimited storage and a 50MB monthly uploading limit. Flickr, on the other hand, limits its free accounts to 20MB of monthly uploads and its photo streams to 200 images. ubuntu

Zooomr also resizes photos and gives you the links to the different image sizes. Zooomr’s pro account, which gives you a 2GB monthly upload limit, is $5 cheaper than Flickr’s at $20. TechCrunch describes Zooomr as “Flickr on steroids” in a blog article last March.

If you want to get a free pro account, here’s the instruction from the Zooomr blog:

“All we ask is that you host at least one of your images from Zooomr at your blog. This is easy. Sign up for an account. Upload an image. And then simply cut and paste the html code with the magnifying glass above your image and you’re all set. Once you’ve blogged one of your images paste the url into the comment section of this post and we’ll upgrade you to Pro.”

Personalize your free blog, website URL

If you’re using a free web or blog service like MySpace or Friendster, you’d have a long domain name like username. blogs. /your blog name or www. username and some number.

This is fine when you’re just interacting in the Web, when all users have to do is click on a link to get to your blog. But when someone asks you for your blog address, can you just say it to him or her or do you have to write it down? Chances are, you’d need to write it down because of the length of the URL.

You can shorten your free blog or website URL by using redirection services. I’ve tried several redirection services in the past, when I was still using free website hosting. The problem with these services was that they’d put pop-up or pop-under ads or even a landing page. Enter URLdoctor.

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