Enhancing Link Security

Today Google informed us that some sites stored in people’s BonzoBoxes were are infected with Malware. Because we use a redirection script to track which sites are the most popular on BonzoBox this warning would have appeared when visiting a redirection address on BonzoBox.com, (for example, bonzobox.com/out?u=badsite.com). Even though these warnings appeared there, as far as we are aware BonzoBox.com itself is malware-free.

The number of links affected was very, very, small, (there were five), and they have been removed from BonzoBox.

We have requested that Google review our BonzoBox and expect to be declared clean shortly, (follow @bonzobox on Twitter for more frequent updates).

Lemons to Lemonade

Of course we’ve taken this day of red warning screens and pulled some good out of the bad. All of our links from BonzoBox to other websites are now signed, and they won’t work unless they’re properly signed. This means that it would be extremely difficult for a hacker to create a BonzoBox.com URL that redirects visitors to a nasty website, (the hacker would have to figure out how our signature works, and guess some very long, complicated, secrets, among other things).

Update (May 18): Sometime during the night Google has reviewed BonzoBox and declared us malware-free. No warnings should be displayed.

Another Year

It seems that I post in November each year. I was going to post on Saturday to make it exactly a year since I last posted, but things have been crazy at my house, so Monday it is!

This year we’ve been slowly making improvements to BonzoBox, (here’s the list). The one we’re most excited about has been the elimination of the sidebar on the site and larger screenshots with always-visible site names. You wouldn’t think it makes much of a difference but it makes things so much cleaner and easier to use.

We’ve also been experimenting with different advertising providers, but for the moment have removed almost all advertising from BonzoBox. We thing that no ads are better than spammy ads, although at some point some sort of advertising will probably come back. We’ll try to keep it classy.

That’s it for the moment. I mostly wanted to post because it’s been a year. Here’s to less than a year next time!

Better Screenshots, a New Commitment

Almost exactly a year ago I posted that we had come back to life, then promptly disappeared. We didn’t disappear entirely, though, and are now back with a revamped team, new focus, and even some site updates.

Our goal is to make BonzoBox fast & easy to understand and use, and we’d like your help in making that happen. Leave comments on our blog posts, E-mail us, make suggestions in our UserVoice Forum, and say hi @bonzobox on Twitter. I’ll do my best to write back and together we can make BonzoBox great, (yes, there’s a little cheese there).

So, what have we been working on over the past year? The system that makes the thumbnails has been completely rewritten from the ground up. Screenshots should now come in much faster and look better. We’re still ironing out the kinks but it’s already a big improvement on our old system.

Will it be another year before we post? No. We’re not going to write unless we have something to write, but we’re going to make sure that we have things worth sharing here.

Now, head on over to BonzoBox and see what we’ve done!

 

 

We’re Alive: The New BonzoBox

It’s been over a year since we posted here, and today we finally revealed what we’ve been working on – the next generation of BonzoBox.  We got some strong critiques when we first launched and we listened.  Today we are bringing the new, simpler, BonzoBox to the entire BonzoBox community.

The new BonzoBox gets rid of most of those tabs we used to have, increases the size of the thumbnails by almost half, and is designed with speed in mind, (although, admittedly, we’re having some server speed issues – they will be addressed shortly).

We’ve focused even more on communication with this release.  We’re not done yet and we want to make BonzoBox into the best tool possible.  We realize that we’re not there yet and that’s where you come in.  Tell us what you want and need, on our New Uservoice Forum, by E-mail at feedback [at] bonzobox [dot] com, or by clicking on one of the feedback or contact links on the site.  We’re listening. Hard.

We’ve posted a full introduction to the new BonzoBox as part of BonzoBox itself, so check it out for the nitty-gritty details, and let us know what we can do even better.

bz.am – URL Shortener

Powered by Bonzobox, the bz.am URL shortener is coming soon (sounds like Bizzamm!). bz.am is synced with Bonzobox and every URL shortened will be added to our database. The shortener will also give you the ability to look at the history and statistics of your shortened URLs. Right now, if you visit bz.am you can add your email address to our notification list so we can let you know when we launch!

Sites About The World

small_globeHave you ever wondered what the world will be like after humans? Or where in the world the sun is shining and where its dark? Ever wondered what time it is in Antarctica or anywhere else? Ever wondered whats directly on the opposite side of the world from where you are right now? Well, Below is a small collection of interactive sites pertaining to the world….you’ll find them interesting…trust me.

Life after humans Time-line. What would disappear? See what the world will become 2 days after humans are gone or 35,000 years after.

Probably the Coolest Way to track Time and Temperature anywhere in the world.

Daylightmap.com. Interactively see where exactly in the world the sun is out, rising, or setting.

www.antipodemap.com. See the exact other side of the world from any point.

Flash Earth
. View the Earth From many different sources/satellites including Nasa & Microsoft virtual earth.

Bonzo Teacher-Stuff

If you are a teacher or a school administrator using Bonzobox then you have plenty of great resources right in front of you! If you look on the right side of your Bonzobox dashboard you will see a box for tags. Click on the + sign next to community tags. Scroll down to the tags titled “teacher-stuff”. Here you can view over 300 sites related to resources for teachers and schools. These sites include everything from topics on bullying to reading comprehension tools. So if you are a teacher, browse through the sites to find some great resources and add them to your Bonzobox dash!

The App Revolution

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New Web Applications and tools keep coming out faster and fresher. They can make your life online more efficient and fun. They can help improve business, communication, and pretty much life as we know it. It is necessary to stay up to date with these applications to keep your online life running smoothly. In honor of this new app revolution we have entered, I have created a list of my favorites that you may not have heard of, make sure you check them out and add their sites to your bonzobox!

Hootsuite 2.0
Hootsuite allows users to control multiple twitter accounts from one location and much more. Schedule tweets to send when you are not even at your computer, add the “hootlet” toolbar button to tweet while you surf the web, allow their url shortener to do the work for you, and track statistics from al of your twitter accounts. Hootsuite is a must have if you are a twitter fanatic.

Tweetdeck
Tweetdeck is basically a personal browser that keeps all of your twitter needs organized. It is by far one of the best iphone applications out for twitter. Stay up to speed with the latest tweets from your friends, groups, and interests. To learn more click here. http://tweetdeck.com/beta/features/

Tweetmeme
Tweetmeme combines  and categorizes popular links on twitter and determines which are the most popular. Tweetmeme is famous for its Retweet button which you can post on your webpage, blog, etc. The button allows twitter users to Retweet a post or an article straight from the page the button is located on to their twitter account. It also has an integrated URL shortener making it easy to link back to the article or post.

Buddy Press
Buddy press is an extended and enhanced version of WordPress & WordPress MU. It will allow users to interact more socially through its suite of plugins and themes.  These new plugins which can be selected individually or in bundles, will allow users to create their own social network if they wish.  Features include, extended profiles, private messaging, friends, groups, interactive commenting, activity streams, blog tracking, forums, and much more. If you are looking to create a site or blog that is extremely social and interactive, buddypress is the way to go.

FriendFeed

Friendfeed is a platform that allows you to easily share content with friends online. A customized feed will be set up for you as soon as you have  added your friends to the app.

Posterous
Posterous is a service that allows users to post thoughts, information, and files online using email. Maintain your own website or blog by emailing anything to post@posterous.com and they will post it for you. What an easy way to manage a blog. If you can email, you can have your own, frequently updated website to share with the world!

Blip.fm
Blip.fm allows you to record and submit short audio files accompanied by a brief message. These files can then be set up to automatically post to your twitter or friendfeed accounts. Once submitted, your blip will be shared with all your friends and followers.

Gliffy
Gliffy is becoming popular in business environments as an interactive tool which creates visuals and diagrams. Collaborate with coworkers by sharing customized diagrams that are very easy to make.  Share flowcharts, spreadsheets, floorplans, userinterface designs, and more.

Mint
To put it simply, Mint.com is the best tool online to manage your money, and its free. Within minutes, mint can accurately see where your spending your money, analyze the performance of investments, and set up budgets. You will also receive email and text message alerts notifying you when there are changes in your finances. Mint is a great tool that both businesses and individuals can utilize to determine how to save and spend money wisely.

Docstoc
Docstoc is a great platform which allows users to upload and share documents in a majority of different ways. They also spread and promote documents across the web through the blogosphere and mainstream media portals.

Animoto
Make a video slideshow from your images. Animoto automatically generates customized videos fro your media files including, images, sound clips, and video clips. You can narrate your pictures with text or an audio clip. Use Animoto to create quality slideshow videos very quickly.

Wufoo
Wufoo is an application that gives users the ability to build customized online forums. Wufoo automatically builds the database, backend and scripts so that you can analyze the data. Use Wufoo to build contactforms, mailing lists, surveys, calenders, invitations, address books, finances, and more.

Zamzar
Need a .mov file turned into a mp4? Zamzar is a service that allows you to convert any of your files into different formats quickly and easily. Use Zamzar to convers images, videos, songs, documents, and more.

Chatterbox
Chatterbox is an app for twitter users that allows them focus on keywords to see only the tweets that they want Users can then categorize and prioritize specific tweets for follow up. Chatterbox is very open allowing you to share with anyone and anyone to share your chatterbox information. This app is great for spreading content.

Screenjelly

ScreenJelly allows users to record what they are doing on their computer screen while talking into their computers mocrophone and share it with anybody they wish via twitter, email facebook, and more. Use Screenjelly to instruct people or simply show them something useful. Screen jelly allows users to create accounts and save recording that are up to 3 minutes long. So if you want to provide more accurate direction on how to do something on your Pc/Mac try out ScreenJelly.

TwitFs
TwitFs is a tool that allows you to share files on twitter. Sign up free and share videos, audio clips, pictures, documents and more from your twitter account. TwitFs is great because it has a fast and easy uploader.

Twitterpinch
Need a customized twitter background? Enhance your twitter profile with a custom graphic design that can include everything from a personal picture to themes for your business. Niel Pinchin, is an expert graphic designer that specializes specifically in twitter backgrounds. Check out Twitterpinch.com to enhance your twitter account.

Harvest
Harvest allows businesses to track time, log expenses, invoice clients, and keep track of revenue in one simple interactive workflow. It is easy to set yourself and your business up in a matter of minutes. Harvest also provides the ability to keep track of your businesses resources and vies graphically how they are distributed. This is a great app for small businesses and professionals.

Freeringer
Make free phone calls to over 30 different countries from your red browser. Bookmark your favorite calling destinations and embed freeringer into your website.

Jabbify
Jabbify is a tool that allows you to add instant messaging to your website in under a minute. With Jabbify you can enhance your business or personal website by having chat directly on the page to help further engage users.

TokBox
TokBox is a video chat app that allows you to easily video chat with friends, family and coworkers. TokBox enables users to import their friends and contacts from their email providers and social networks. It also allows for the ability to have group video chats so you can video chat with multiple people who are in different locations.