Track Flights in 3D for FREE using Google Earth

Ok, so the concept of tracking a flight REAL TIME (or as much real-time as needed) is pretty sweet. The concept of real time really does not exist in the digital world. There is always going to be some latency. It is gust important to make sure that lag is not more than we need in our application. If you ever have time, look into real-time computing, it can be pretty fun to research.

🙂

So you can pay register for this service (using Google Earth from other websites), or you can follow the instructions and do it for FREE. Alright, to get this to work you need to follow these steps:

  1. Download and install Google Earth
  2. Go to the following website http://www.aeroseek.com/webtrax/fboweb.html
  3. Select your Airline and Flight Number and click GO
  4. Click the Google Earth Feed button
  5. Save the file (preferably to the desktop)
  6. Find the file and rename it to flightnumber.KML
  7. Open Google Earth and select File > Open…
    OR, double click on the KML file
  8. Now in your Places area you can toggle between specific items to display
  9. Double click on the new item in the Places box, and TRACK YOUR FLIGHT

NOTE: The update interval for pinging the flight location is defaulted to 1 minute. To change this preference, right click on the item in the Places explorer and select Properties. Go to the Refresh tab and change the View-Based Refresh value.

If you still want to track a flight, but don’t care if it is 3D, then you can use www.fboweb.com. This is the same place where the data feed is coming from for our KML file that we created above.

Sources:
http://www.fboweb.com
http://www.aeroseek.com
http://www.wikipedia.org

Updated (January 23, 2008)
If you would like to use fboweb.com’s service and do not want to flood your inbox, then may I recommend you read my previous post on how to Register on Websites Using a Temporary Inbox.

Another handy tool is www.bugmenot.com.

Also fboweb.com’s KML file adds some neat enhancements like what other aircraft are active near the aircraft being tracked. It also keeps a running track of the flight. Both features can make it worth the registration. Your choice. Enjoy!

PicLens: View Web Images in Full Screen or Slideshow

You can now view images in FULL SCREEN using Flickr, Facebook, Google Images, Yahoo Images, Friendster, Picasa Web Albums and any Media RSS website. This plugin for Firefox is so nice for viewing images, and so easy to install.

PicLens Image

 

Go to http://piclens.com/firefox/ to download a copy of this for yourself.

NOTE: I tried PictLens out earlier this afternoon with customize google at the same time. I noticed that http://images.google.com did not show the play button on any of the images. To let this feature work, you need to “remove the check mark” from: Tools > CustomizeGoogle Options > Images > Rewrite links to point straight to the images. Removing this check mark will keep CustomizeGoogle from taking control of the images.

22 Confessions Of A Former Dell Sales Manager

This article was found on www.consumerist.com: 22 Confessions Of A Former Dell Sales Manager. I recommend that anyone that wants a Dell computer read it. This is a great reference. Print it and hold onto it. Apparently Dell did not want anyone to see it. Dell was attempting to force the consumerist website to remove the posting. The consumerist site refused to remove the post and noted that nothing in the article was illegal. The consumerist then explained that it will most likely hurt Dell more by forcing them to remove the posting than to keep it up. Dell finally admitted that they were in error for asking the post to be removed. Take a loot at the article, it will give you some good tips for your next purchase!

Note item three:

3. Extended warranty for laptops – Do it for as long as you feasibly see using your laptop, and include accidental. Two years is typically the lifecycle from “new product” to “no longer produced/no more refurbs” though YMMV. Once your model is off the refurb site, drop it. Voila! New laptop. The standard warranty will not cover any screen defects.

UPDATE: Current Dell rep says: If a system is no longer shipping a used/refurbished is always sent, though the refurb should be equal or better as far as hardware is concerned. As of this writing if a system is exchanged, via either Complete Care warranty or concession, and the system is still a currently shipping model a new system is to be sent.

I recommend not buying the extended warranty with accidental coverage for the intent of dropping it. This is not ethical!

Register On Websites Using a Temporary Inbox

I dislike giving my email address to websites. Actually it is what keeps me from registering on many sites. I find it ridicules for me to give my email address so I can look at one article of interest, or download a piece of software. So …

TIP 1. To make life simpler, make up a user name like scottisgreat and append @tempinbox.com. So now you can register on a website using scottisgreat@tempinbox.com any time you want. You can check your email at any time without a password. All you need is the name of the account “scottisgreat”. Sign into the account here at www.tempinbox.com

So this will save you time from reading all the privacy statements when registering as a member on a website, and will keep that unwanted pesky spam email out of your real email accounts. Note that other temporary email accounts exist, like dodgeit.com. Just pick the one you like best.

Tip 2. If you use Firefox 2.0+ (which I highly recommend), then you can install a plugin called Bugmenot.xpi. This plugin saves me a lot of time when wanting to view some websites. All you have to do with this extension is right click where a user name is asked for and select “Login with Bugmenot“. These tips have saved me a lot of time and hassle.

Let me know if this has helped you, or if you know of other cool tips.

Update

www.tempinbox.com does not offer the same service it once used to. The below screenshot is what the site used to look like. If you still would like to use a service like this, then I recommend you use www.dodgeit.com or www.temporaryinbox.com

Temp Inbox Screenshot

Text a Cell Phone for Free

Sending text messages can be a pain. Try entering a couple sentences via your phones keypad, and you might just get frustrated, or learn some good patience. I started by learning patience. Now I don’t need much patience, I can type on a keyboard much quicker than punching the number ‘2’ three times to get a ‘c’ to appear. So hears a trick that can help anybody who wants to send a text message over their computer. Go to the following website: http://toolbar.google.com/send/sms/index.php and follow the instructions to send a message. It’s that easy.

You would think that it could not get any easier, and then your wrong! Try using the extension “Google Send to Phone for Firefox”. You can install the extension from Google at the following location: http://www.google.com/tools/firefox/sendtophone/index.html

This extension is not yet available on Mozilla’s website. I imagine it will be in the future, but for now you can install it at the above location. Happy texting!

NOTE: Check with your cell provider to find out what it costs to receive a text message. Those charges still apply.