News from around the Techno-sphere

I've been catching up on my technology RSS feed. Below are a few of the more interesting items that I have come across. A few of them are down right KEWL!

13 Free and Cheap Website Monitoring Services (from Mashable)

Everyone seems to have their own website or blog nowadays. But do you want someone else to tell you your site is down? So what do you do? Corporate IT shops can install some fancy monitoring software suite that can track hundreds of types of software, servers, ports and hardware devices. That monitoring software also normally costs hundreds of thousands for dollars. Most likely, you want to monitor your website for free, or at least cheaply.

Not surprisingly there are a wealth of free and cheap website monitoring services available. Just do a Google search for “free website monitor” and you will get plenty of services to look at. For most of the services, you only need an email address and the URL that you want to monitor. Of course, when it comes to free and cheap you have a wide range of services offered. To make your job easier, we’ve put together this list of 13 services that will help you monitor your website.

Pingdom - Has a good set of cheap packages, but alas, nothing is free. They come highly recommended by just about everyone.

LiveWatch - A German service that allows you to monitor one server free. The free notifications package contains email alerts, 10 SMS notifications, and Yahoo Messenger. The only problem with the service is that it requires a script on the server in order to monitor it.

Observu - A really, really basic service. You register, add a website monitor with the text that should appear on the page and save the monitor. There are no reports and nothing flashy. You will be emailed if there is a problem.

ServerGuard24 - The prices are not that expensive and there is a free plan. However, the free plan only polls every 40 minutes and you need a banner ad for them as well. Otherwise, it looks like a very professional service.

SiteUptime - One free and two cheap premium levels are offered. The free plan allows only one monitor, but it does have a very clean and professional user interface. The service only monitors from location but it does fall over to another location if needed.

Host Tracker - The free plan enables monitoring for two URLs in two different domains. The main issue with the service is that the navigation is hard to work with. It does use the most distributed network of monitoring servers of the services listed, as it currently monitors from over 50 nodes. - Yes, it has a cute name, but cute does not mean limited. The service is completely free with email alerting. There are basic reports for uptime and response time. The user interface may look simplistic, but the service delivers with a more complete offering than most.

InternetSeer - “My site has been down for how long!?!” The free offering monitors one URL and polling every hour. The professional plans look to have some really nice features, but the free plan is fairly limited.

WatchMouse - You have to like a service that uses a mouse as its mascot. The free plan monitors one URL every hour. Disappointingly, the premium plans are more expensive than most listed here.

ServiceUptime - They have a nice free service that monitors one URL. There are seven different sites polling every 30 minutes to determine whether your website is alive. ServiceUptime also has a decent reporting package and very reasonable premium packages.

Montastic - Montastic allows free monitoring for up to 100 URLs! Your websites are monitored by two different servers about every 10 minutes. They also have a cute colored logo you can put on your site. Sadly, there are no cute colored reports.

FreeSiteStatus - The free service has nine separate locations monitoring you servers every minute. Various additional features can be purchased for little cost, as well as a service configuration wizard to help you create your monitoring service. One cool feature FreeSiteStatus offers is the ability to create one-time or recurring maintenance windows where monitoring of the servers can be suspended.

Site24×7 - It is free to monitor two URLs that are polled every 60 minutes. This is another service that allows you to create maintenance windows for your server. The premium plans also offer reasonable prices for various levels of monitoring.


and because I love my Dash, here's one about an HTC phone that competes with the iPhone.

Filed under: Cellphones

Attempts to keep the most hotly anticipated consumer electronics devices under wraps these days are getting more and more futile. It's hard enough for companies to control disgruntled employees and leaks in the international supply chain, stir in a giant government organization and things quickly unravel. Case in point: T-Mobile's HTC Dream, widely believed to be the world's first Android handset. After Engadget loosed the Dream from its FCC constraints on the 18th of August, HTC contacted the agency on the 19th with a request to use a less detailed diagram for the FCC label placement. Fortunately for us they complied, giving us what can only be construed as official measurements in the process. The newly unveiled 115 x 55-mm dimensions tell us that it beats the iPhone 3G in terms of length and width but is almost certainly thicker than the iPhone due to the Dream's sliding QWERTY. The tiny dimensions come as a surprise if you've seen the videos of the purported Dream and Dream reference design. So small, yeah, but it's still longer and wider than both the Xperia X1 and HTC's own Touch Pro QWERTY handsets.

Here's how the smartphones compare:

  • HTC Dream: 115 x 55-mm
  • iPhone 3G: 115.2-mm x 62.1-mm
  • Xperia X1: 110.5 x 52.6-mm
  • HTC Touch Pro: 102 x 51-mm
Image of HTC's label exchange request after the break.
[Thanks, OC]

Continue reading FCC outs HTC Dream's dimensions: it's smaller than the iPhone 3G

and the Googlephile in me had to post this:

There’s No Free Lunch - Even at Google

Valleywag brings us a well researched insight into the dramatic situation in Google’s cafeterias. A culinary tragedy is brewing over there, friends, and I can almost hear the collective cry of Googlers as their selection of dishes shrinks. The rest of the world, of course, silently rejoices the fact that these flamboyant showoffs might soon be forced to eat the same plebeian meal as most people: burger and coke.

You can read the gory details over at Valleywag, but the short version is this: no more free afternoon snacks, dinner or tea for Googlers. They’ll still get free breakfast and lunch, though, which is better than what most people are getting, so they shouldn’t complain. Plus, I’m sure that Google will restore all the culinary privileges very soon when bad publicity tarnishes their image of the coolest company in the world.

and more later. I have parenting and domestic goddess duties to attend to.


  1. Trendics has a good free server monitoring solution as well at


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