37signals: Basecamp and Highrise Single Sign-on with Open Bar

16 07 2007

37signals Single Sign-on

37signals has just announced that Basecamp and Highrise accounts can now be accessed via single sign-on. I don’t know about you, but I find this to be one of their best improvements yet. Why? It is just a waste of time flipping through accounts on different windows / tabs. Why bother eating up all your system RAM with a bunch of inactive Firefox tabs?


Open Bar

Open Bar has only been out for a few weeks now, but has dramatically improved the way users can use the 37signals products. If you’re like me, you’ve got a Basecamp account for your business projects. Maybe another one for hobby home based projects. Then, you’ve got another set of accounts for Highrise – different businesses, charity lists, and so forth. Evne if you use the same username and password for all of them (note: don’t do this!), it is still a pain to switch between tabs and have all those different bookmarks cluttering your bookmarks toolbar.



What’s the big deal with OpenID? Simple. You can use it as a single login for multiple applications. Sort of like the way Microsoft Passport (now Windows Live ID) should have been. Since it is an Open Source community, there is extensive support, and a lot of opinions 🙂

The 37signals Open Bar relies on you to have an OpenID, so this is a must.


Stumbleupon + Technorati + Del.icio.us + Flickr = Xoocle, an Interesting Mashup

15 07 2007

Xoocle SU Mashup

Xoocle, an interesting Stumbleupon mashup (currently in Alpha mode) has been created by Thanassis.  Simply enter your Stumbleupon username, and you are then given a listing of all your SU tags.  The first tag will automatically do a mashup on that tag against other popular social networking sites – technorati, del.icio.us, and flickr.

how Xoocle SU mashup works

This is a wonderful resource to see what’s going on in several communities at the same time.  Keep in mind that if you have a general tag such as computers, you’re going to have a very wide variety of different hits across the different sites, but that just speaks to your tagging.  Nicely done!

Chipin.com – Interesting Way to Raise Money

13 07 2007


Chipin.com is becoming more and more popular lately. This neat web 2.0 site is tearing up the donations track.

What’s that you say? Donations don’t sound exciting? The only news that you want to hear about has something to do with the Bush Administration or the iPhone? Guess again.

Yes, Chipin is making it easy for the world to donate money to your cause right from your website. And they make you look good:

Sample chipin

Very simple interface. NowSourcing was impressed by the ease of use. Simply register, enter your campaign, how much you want to raise, when you need it by, and your PayPal email account. After that, you have a very slick flash widget that you can put right on your site. They also just released widgets for your Facebook profile (note: Facebook account required to view), allowing you to raise money for the groups you’re a part of on Facebook.

With me so far? Instead of having a boring, old little donate button, you get a sweet looking Chipin badge for your cause. What’s more is that these guys are hard at work on making a non-profit fundraising badge that includes the non-profit logo, integrated video, custom design, and messaging. The best part is that you can make your non-profit badge available to other bloggers that support your cause as well.

Currently, Chipin plans to release these special non-profit badges in August 2007. Read more about it here.

Thank you for reading my review – if you’re in the giving mood, do get a chance to check out my cause that I’m trying to raise money for. It is a children’s playground fund (look under the left nav). Thanks for stopping by!

Trading stuff for free vs. Free stuff

10 07 2007

Trading Stuff for Free


Swaptree is a great service that I came across recently. It lets you trade books, music, movies, and games with others for free. You tell the system what you have, and it figures out what you can get in exchange. Note that it supports one-for-one item trades only.

How it works

How Swaptree works

Swaptree does a good job laying out the ground rules simply and clearly. There is also a wonderful walkthrough here. Ebay users will find a similar buyer/seller rating system that they are accustomed to.

The site has been out of public beta since July 4th (so it’s no longer invite only) and seems to be gaining steam. Way to go, guys!

Free Stuff


Freecycle would be a good alternative if you were looking for an item outside of books, music, movies, and games – such as apparel, computers, and furniture. The concept is that someone wants to get rid of something, while another person want s the same item. Rather than throwing the item away or trying to sell for a minimal amount, the item is given away, provided that a local person comes to pick it up.

Freecycle animationHere is a short animation showing what it’s all about.

At the time of this posting, there are a total of 4,041 Freecycle communities throughout the world. Chances are, you are either in or near one of them.

SaaS / Software-as-a-Service

5 07 2007

Service with a smile - from Russia

SaaS / Software-as-a-Service

When I buy a plane ticket, I buy a ride, not the whole airplane. This is an economic axiom, and, at business school, I learned this concept as a First Cause. We are thankful that, yes, the analogy breaks down: Software-as-a-Service is most certainly not beset by the problem of unrecoverable revenue like seats on an airplane after it takes off. Quite the contrary.

And to my pleasure I learn I can still use software without ever having to pirate buy it.

Allow me to indulge my need to fill in some knowledge gaps that have opened since my ’02 B-school graduation date. (That’s equivalent to 25 years ago in tech-years.)


Succinctly, customers pay – not for owning the software itself – but for using it. Source
This is where commodification takes place. The intrinsic value of the software (regardless of its function) becomes its use, rather than in its ownership. An esoteric concept no longer, because in our post-post-modern society we finally understand that using (not storing), sharing (not hording), mentoring (not training), supporting (not rewarding) is the real business of business.

Dilbert The idea of Software-as-a-Service ostensibly lies in its perception by the PTB that SaaS is cheap and easy. Not to say it isn’t cheap and easy. It is for the buyer. This attitude sticks Management firmly back in the 20th Century – the Age of Modernity where dollars were different from information and work was different from the workers.
feather I’m adding to this idea by suggesting that software as a service is becoming an equation that is greater than the sum of its parts. Proof of this is that SaaS applications usually deliver a one-to-many model with recurring billing. The 21st Century is proving to be more tribal and traditional, where connectivity and time contain value, and virtural innovations are actual folklife.


1 – SAN MATEO, Calif. – April 18, 2007 – SuccessFactors, the global leader in on-demand performance and talent management solutions, today announced that Wachovia Bank has over 85,000 employees actively utilizing the SuccessFactors Performance and Talent Management Suite, making it one of if not the largest enterprise Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) deployments ever.

“Our mission is to significantly improve the way companies measure and motivate people across the globe, giving them instant gratification in people management,” said SuccessFactors’ CEO Lars Dalgaard. Article

However, in reference to the news shown above, the question is begged, “Can the Fortune 500 Achieve Efficiency through Intra-enterprise SaaS?” So asks SaaSBlogs. The opinion is yes, citing it is also well understood that the provider generates certain efficiencies via the centralization of the technical burden associated with the application.

2 – Chicopee, MA (PRWEB) June 28, 2007 – Apatar to Officially Launch World’s First Open Source Software as a Service (SaaS) Data Integration Company

Apatar, Inc., today announced Apatar Enterprise Data Mashups™, the world’s first open source on-demand data integration software tools and services at the Red Herring East Conference, being held June 26-28, 2007, in Boston, MA.

Apatar is the leading provider of open source software tools for the data integration market.

I note that this innovation toward open source confirms my belief in the traditions of the tribe. As long as one user is without access (a condition corrected by open source software), the connections are left incomplete, a status virtually intolerable (pun intended!)

3 – Wednesday, 04 July 2007 – OpSource™, SaaS delivery experts, today announced a partnership with MarketShare, a specialist in SaaS software pricing, to better serve the needs of new and existing software vendors transitioning to the software as a service (SaaS) business model.

Jim Geisman Jim Geisman, principal and founder, MarketShare said, “In addition to facing the challenges of pricing a SaaS solution, some of our prospects and customers underestimate what it takes to deliver a SaaS application. OpSource’s complete, end-to-end SaaS delivery environment and value-added services, such as billing, coupled with its success-based business model, provides tremendous value to SaaS vendors and their customers.”

I hear, when I read what Mr. Geisman said, is that value is derived when the software is used/evolves/becomes a useable, helpful service for the end user.


NowSourcingWe know that the world is changing. Outsourcing has become an overused buzzword, coupled with the backlash that may come along with it. Our team of experts here at NowSourcing come from a variety of backgrounds, experience, and left-brain / right-brain specialties. We are different, as we analyze your company’s needs from top to bottom. We aren’t just a coding house – we look to find any systemic issues with the way you do business today.

Happy Independence Day!

4 07 2007

Mr. Skelton speaks for himself. No commentary needed.

 Source Lone Star Times

Welcome to Zombo.com!

4 07 2007

It has been out there a while, but zombo.com is worth taking a look at.

Welcome to Zombo.com!

This site is a parody of the dot com boom of the late 90’s / early 00’s, as it pretends to be featuring a product and all the amazing things that it can do – only if just loops through an intro read by some Caribbean sounding guy. Josh Levine, the author of the site, never intended the site to be anything more than absurd comedy.

Some of the more memorable quotes:

“The unattainable is unknown at Zombocom.”

“You can do anything at Zombocom. Anything at all. The only limit is yourself.”

(source: Wikipedia)