One fun and free way to personalize your iPad is with a wallpaper background. There are thousands of wallpapers out there, so to help you narrow down the choices we’ve hand-picked 15 fabulous options that are available to download — for free — from trusted websites.
This design concept might be more sight gag than real product, but it’s clever nonetheless. Bringing new meaning to the phase “you snooze, you lose,” when you place this unforgiving clock across the room from your bed, if you don’t get up when the alarm sounds, it’s going to cost you. Might we suggest at first being easy on yourself, placing a lower-denomination bill into this sleeper’s trap before you start punishing yourself too much
Two weeks ago, we asked you to send us your best Valentine’s Day one-liners for a chance to have your valentine designed by Shane Snow , Mashable guest writer and founder of PrintingChoice.com . After enjoying a number of delightful — and occasionally inappropriate — submissions on Tumblr, on Twitter and in story comments, we chose the five most charming one-liners of the bunch. Check them out below, and feel free to use one on your favorite tech nerd or social media geek. Be sure to tell us which is your favorite — and add any last-minute lines you come up with. Congratulations to our winners, and a big thank you to all participants and to Shane for his design work. Happy Valentine’s Day from the Mashable team! 1. CSS/HTML You're the CSS to my HTML.-- Submitted by Robby Gunawan 2. Auto-Complete You auto-complete me.-- Submitted by Kamakil 3. Justin Bieber Justin Bieber may have Twitter, but you’re the No.
While social media is largely used for its ability to connect people, it also has potential to help antisocial types — as proven by a clever site that tells people when museums, libraries and theaters are least busy. The site, When Should I Visit? , uses Foursquare’s API to map traffic on each day of the week for about 20 venues in London. People who want to avoid crowds can use the site to make decisions about when to visit. Since Foursquare doesn’t make any historical data available, site creator Dan W. Williams wrote a program that calls its API ever 15 minutes to make a database. The concept is pretty simple: Since Foursquare tells you where people are, it can also tell you where they aren’t. Other sites for San Francisco and New York are supposed to launch in about a month, but Williams has no plans to expand beyond that or to try making the sites profitable. “It’s more of a personal project to see if it’s possible,” he says. Williams set up the London site at Culture Hack Day — a weekend hacking event for which cultural organizations contribute their data — after someone on Twitter asked a local museum what day it would be least busy. “It’s sort of this class of act that has become popular lately that gives you this really mundane superpower,” Williams says. “Like there are apps that tell you where to sit on the London underground so that you can get off faster, which doors are nearest the exits on the platforms. This is kind of the same. You can go to a gallery when it is slightly quieter.
Automattic has announced that users will now be able to purchase premium themes for their WordPress.com websites and blogs. The commercial theme marketplace for self-hosted WordPress sites has exploded in the past few years. Moreover, the availability of various WordPress themes — commercial or otherwise — has contributed to increased adoption of WordPress across the web. It makes sense that Automattic would want to bring some of the most popular WordPress.org premium themes to WordPress.com customers. Tumblr added the ability for users to purchase and install premium themes in March 2010. The first two premium themes that will be available on WordPress.com are Headlines by Woo Themes and Shelf from The Theme Foundry . These themes have been available for WordPress.org users for some time and are both high quality and attractive. Headlines is $45 and a magazine-style theme, perfect for users who have lots of content. It features 15 different color schemes, drop-down custom menus and a featured post slider. Shelf, a tumblelog style theme, is $68. It takes advantage of WordPress.com’s new post formats feature (think Tumblr-style icons and formatting for specific types of posts) and has a fun horizontal scrolling design. To purchase premium themes, WordPress.com users can either go to the Themes Showcase and click on the premium themes, or click on the “Premium” label in the “Browse Themes” section of the Themes menu in Appearances.
It might look like a far-fetched timepiece from a sci-fi flick, but this design concept by Jonathan Frey uses E-Ink technology that’s becoming commonplace today. Not only is E-Ink breaking sales records inside Amazon Kindles and other e-readers — it’s making its debut in watches as well. This two-display beauty uses E-Ink on both screens. The bottom screen shows its striped numerals over a sinister black background, while the top display’s day and date peek through a grid of shiny black metal. Everything is controlled with buttons on the side. I’ve worn and reviewed an E-Ink watch, and it proved itself to be more energy efficient than conventional watches with LCD displays. An E-Ink watch drains its battery the most when it’s changing its numerals; the rest of the time it simply keeps time while it displays the results of the electronically charged rearrangement of its particles. Another advantage: Designers love it. E-Ink displays can be configured in radically different ways from their LCD forebears, including curved surfaces that really do look like something you might see on the wrist of Captain Picard on the deck of the USS Enterprise. And later this year, color E-Ink displays will become available.
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I’ll be the first to admit that Blogger isn’t the sexiest publishing platform out there. But if you like to keep all your logins under one Google -powered roof, and you’re not afraid of a little XML template tweaking now and again, Blogger can be one of the most versatile content dashboards available. The first rule of Blogger: Don’t use any of the built-in themes. And searching the web aimlessly will likely turn up a big pile of design faux pas . Whether you’re looking to use Blogger for business or pleasure, these versatile themes should satisfy even the most discriminating blog design connoisseur. 1. Devine Devine has a really rich, dark background with texture illuminated just at the top of the header bar. A wide white content column and light blue side bar make for a striking, contrast-rich presentation. 2. Decomposed You can go red without going over-the-top with this sleek three-column theme. A soft grain and wrap-around tabs compliment the polished metal header and simple white content column. Decomposed is great for a personal site, and flexible enough for a creative business blog. 3. Academy Keep it classy with this theme dubbed "Academy." Subtle stripes on the header and grain in the side bar give this one just the right dose of texture to compliment the white space. Throw in a dash of orange-brown widget headers, and you're on your way to the blogging equivalent of smooth jazz
This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum , where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business. You need something designed, you hire a designer . Simple enough