Archive for November, 2005
Contacts Back-up. “So you never lose the contact information of the people important to you. Now save your contacts from your mobile phone into your Yahoo! account. Combine your contacts on your phone with those already in your Yahoo! Address Book. Synchronize your phone contacts with your Yahoo! Address Book as often as you like. Synchronize your calendar and tasks as well. “
The sitting computer game. “Their midi-sofa allows you to interact with the game on the screen in front of you. You control the movement of your avatar by changing the seating position on the sofa, bouncing on it or pressing harder the back of the furniture. The more physical action used the faster the ball gets. Both, the “strategy of power” and the “strategy of minimal movement” lead to success. More images.”
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Coeno-storyboard. “Coeno is a computer enhanced presentation environment designed for presenting a storyboard using tabletop technology in combination with augmented content. The system allows multiple participants to interact easily around a shared workspace, while having access to their own private information spaces and a public presentation space.”
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Holographic-memory discs may put DVDs to shame. “A computer disc about the size of a DVD that can hold 60 times more data is set to go on sale in 2006. The disc stores information through the interference of light – a technique known as holographic memory. The discs, developed by InPhase Technologies, based in Colorado, US, hold 300 gigabytes of data and can be used to read and write data 10 times faster than a normal DVD. The company, along with Japanese partner Hitachi Maxell announced earlier in November that they would start selling the discs and compatible drives from the end of 2006. “Unlike other technologies, that record one data bit at a time, holography allows a million bits of data to be written and read in parallel with a single flash of light,” says Liz Murphy, of InPhase Technologies. “This enables transfer rates significantly higher than current optical storage devices.” “
Pipex ‘encouraged’ by WiMAX trials. “The ISP has been running the WiMAX trial in tandem with Airspan Networks at the US-based firm’s test facility in Stratford-upon-Avon. “The trial network has achieved stable service delivery and drive tests with Airspan’s EasyST self install modem have delivered non-line-of-sight connectivity in excess of 1km from the base station,” said Pipex in a statement. Pipex now plans to carry out two more elements of the technical trial between now and March 2006 including small-scale user trials. If all goes to plan it is possible that the technology will be able to deliver speeds of up to 8 meg, enabling the ISP to “deliver innovative and competitive broadband services to the UK market”.”
What is StarSight. “It is a system which allows the provision of multiple services including Wireless Internet, Wireless Street Lighting, Wireless Electricty, Wireless Security, Wireless CCTV, and Wireless Surveillance. The StarSight solution combines a unique set of powerful benefits, including solar power, battery back-up, low maintenance, wireless set-up, cost-effectiveness, lighting of dark and/or remote areas, access to wireless broadband services and an ever-evolving number of add-on applications. “
The brain for your intelligent home. “Every self respecting technophile has probably been eyeing up what’s available in home automation, home security and home entertainment systems, but each comes with an array of microprocessor-controlled functions and a network. The aim should be to have one network and the SecureGen HTVR offers the chance to combine all three of those networks with one unit – the brain of your intelligent home. “
Living camera uses bacteria to capture 100 megapixel photos. “Apparently they have modified E. Coli bacteria to act as together as a de facto photosensitive sensor and produce astounding 100 megapixel-per-square-inch monochrome images. Before you get too excited, besides only being capable of black-and-white photography, this living camera needs four hours to take a photo and only works in red light.”
Objects of virtual desire. “We have collected a series of objects produced and owned by inhabitants in the online world Second Life and will sell physical reproductions of these objects via our web shop.
Each chosen object has a strong sentimental value for the avatar (a persons virtual identity) who made or owned it. We have acquired (copies of) these objects, along with their owner’s personal story, within the in-world economy of Second Life.”
Objects of virtual desire
AU Phones: Media Skin, Machina, Hexagon. “The AU Design Project is a department of AU responsible for making phones that are, well, just way way sexier than anything else on the market. The AU Design Project gave Japan such coveted phones as the Talby and the Penck, so whenever new concepts come along from them, people tend to sit up and take notice. And drool a lot.”
Innovative Digital Display Mat creates New Advertising Medium. “The IntelliMat is a wireless computer embedded in a very thin mat made of a lightweight thermoplastic alloy with four LCD screens, creating a 30-inch diagonal display with full multi-media capability. IntelliMat is 1.5cm thick and designed to be used on the floor in retail environments to deliver multimedia and TV-quality advertisements with the potential to interact with customers. Most appealing about the IntelliMat is that it delivers these messages to consumers in environments where wall space is limited or in front of products where consumers are in a position to buy. “
Universal Docking Being Worked Out. “The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has begun a giant undertaking. Realizing the annoyance of multiple docking stations we’re forced to use when confronted with all of our different portable electronics, these good people have decided to work out a standard docking connector that would work in vehicles as well as in our homes”
Meet Jane Geek. “Managers from Dell Inc.’s (DELL ) marketing and public relations staff flew from their Round Rock (Tex.) headquarters to New York earlier this year to meet with editors and sales reps at a dozen publications. Their mission wasn’t too surprising: Get editors to print more about their computers, televisions, and pocketPCs. It was the choice of magazines that was unusual, including Oprah Winfrey’s O at Home, Ladies’ Home Journal, and CosmoGIRL — not exactly publications on the company’s regular radar screen, despite the obviously large number of women tapping keyboards in offices and caf鳮 In barely six months, though, Dell’s laser printer, plasma TV, and notebook computer were featured as must-haves in gift guides in shelter magazines Real Simple and O at Home. And in August, CosmoGIRL gave Dell’s 700m, 4-lb. notebook a “kiss of approval.”"
Internet May Aid In Treating Panic Sufferers. “The study compared the effectiveness of three types of treatment — internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy sessions, face-to-face sessions, and the use of medication (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) monitored by a psychiatrist. Preliminary results, based on more than two years of research, showed that internet therapy was comparable with face-to-face treatment in reducing disturbing thoughts and improving stress and anxiety. When undertaking internet-based therapy, sufferers of panic disorder have an initial face-to-face consultation with a psychologist and are then in regular email contact with the therapist. “
The automatic book scanner is here. “As the technology to automatically scan and digitize books is put to work it will multiply the speed at which libraries can put collections online. The vision of all the books ever written being accessible globally is made manifestly more realistic by the automatic scanner. Kirtas introduces its scanner here with an video of the process. Kirtas says the machine “automates the scanning of bound documents at a capture rate of 1200 pages per hour, while using a page turning process that is more gentle than the human hand.”"
Black Box to avoid software crashes. “Identify’s AppSite Black Box does what it says. It works just like a black box flight recorder in an aircraft. The information that can be stored is configurable but it can include external events such as keyboard presses and mouse movements, as well as the synchronised source code statements that are being executed. You can configure internal events within Black Box that can direct the recording”
Wireless in Macedonia. “The Republic of Macedonia has selected wireless mesh networking provider Strix’s Access/One Outdoor Wireless System (OWS) to create a country-wide wireless mesh network”,DMeurope reports.”The network,which will be funded and deployed by Macedonian service provider On.Net, will cover over 1,000 square miles,making it the single largest broadband wireless network in the world.The network will provide data,voice and video capabilities to the entire Macdeonian population, totaling over 2 million people”
Search usurping email as top internet activity. “Search is catching up to email as the internet’s number-one activity, according to a new poll.
Forty one per cent of US adults who surfed the internet on a “typical day” in September 2005 used a search engine, up from 30 per cent in June 2004, according to the latest Pew Internet & American Life survey of consumer behavior.
Email continues its online reign, though. Fifty two per cent of Americans online sent or received email on a typical day in September 2005 – up from 45 per cent in June 2004.”
The Saga of The Saga. “Four days isn’t a lot of time to weave an entire fantasy world of whole cloth. Yet in less than a week, scores of people from all across the world have crafted the Epic Legends of the Hierarchs: The Elemenstor Saga, a detailed history of the world of Battal, where powerful wizards seek adventure with ambulatory furniture at their side. Spanning more than 1,400 articles, the Epic Legends of the Hierarchs — or as fans have unpronounceably abbreviated it, ELOTH:TES — has all the trappings of modern fantasy franchises: a rich history that spans thousands of years; a contentiously out-of-canon cartoon offshoot, The Wizbits; as well as a crazed, seizure-ridden chief creative director, James Langomedes (an obvious caricature of mad comics genius Alan Moore). But despite references to 28 years of “real world” history, The Saga never really existed, at least in the conventional sense.”
Glasses track eye movement, ad exposure. “Analysis showed that during a 45-minute journey, the journalist had been exposed to more than 130 different advertising “elements” showcasing more than 80 brands. He was “looking” at adverts for 29 minutes but couldn’t recall a single brand without prompting. When prompted, it emerged that just over half of the adverts had made an impression, those for products he was interested in and to which he was exposed for more than 10 seconds.”
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CCTVme. “CCTVme is an acessory that comes with 3 sets of cards. Whenever you feel the need of privacy, you can manipulate what the other person is seing during the video conference by attaching to your videophone the CCTV object and selecting a card to block the caller’s view through your camera into your private space. “
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Why I don’t like Riffs. “Riffs, a review site for anything, launched quietly last week.
It takes a hybrid wiki/social bookmarking approach. Any user can add a URL to begin a discussion (or just begin a discussion without a URL), and the Riffs community votes on the thing and discusses it in wiki fashion. All pages have RSS and the clean interface has some great Ajax features. Riffs also has tagging, including “common tags”, which I think is interesting.”
Readable. “The bracelets “Kontinuum” and “Ver䮤erung” (change) take the wearer’s heartbeat as a reference and convert it into light that either pulsates or glows in different colors, thus displaying some information about the assumed state of the person. The bracelet “Endlichkeit” (finiteness) features a countdown to your last heartbeat, based on the calculation that an average male person’s heart has beaten 2.3 billion times at the end of his life. Similar to Life Counter (Via Designboom) by Ippei Matsumoto, both projects having a certain memento mori notion of communication towards the user.”
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Does yours vibrate when touched?. “Sony is starting to ship samples of their new tactile input device called Touch Engine Module, which can be used to make touch panels, etc. vibrate in responce to a touch. Touch Engine uses piezoelectric vibrators that can be operated using a low voltage electric power source. Therefore, it could be easily integrated with mobile devices such as digital still cameras, PDAs, etc. “
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Lassie phone home!. “Apparently if someone finds your missing pet, all they have to do is plug this collar gadget into their mobile phone and it will call you to let you know it’s been found.”
The Red Ferret Journal
Brit backpackers take Indian call-centre jobs. “British backpackers in India are taking call-centre jobs for wages that are very low by UK standards, but which can bankroll an extension to a trekking holiday by a month or two.
Among the first to land in the subcontinent was Kenny Rooney, a 28-year-old from Livingston in Scotland. He had worked in a call centre at home, but after nine months in India says he does not want to return. “This is an incredible country,” he said, speaking from Bombay. “I have had a brilliant time and met people from all over the world…” “
E-Mail Is So Five Minutes Ago. “Since so much of what’s received involves scams about millions languishing in nonexistent bank accounts, interoffice status contests, and people plopping unwanted meetings onto Outlook calendars, the e-mail blow-off factor is rising. That’s imperiling the medium’s former dependability. In the long run, perhaps the biggest death knell for e-mail is the anthropological shift occurring among tomorrow’s captains of industry, the text-messaging Netgens (16-to-24-year-olds), for whom e-mail is so “ovr,” “dn,” “w/e (over, done, whatever).” No surprise, then, that on Rangaswami’s orders, e-mail at Dresdner is beginning to fade as the collaboration tool of choice. Instead, workers [...] are ditching e-mail in favor of other software tools that function as real-time virtual workspaces. Among them: private workplace wikis (searchable, archivable sites that allow a dedicated group of people to comment on and edit one another’s work in real time); blogs (chronicles of thoughts and interests); Instant Messenger (which enables users to see who is online and thus chat with them immediately rather than send an e-mail and wait for a response); SS (really simple syndication, which lets people subscribe to the information they need); and more elaborate forms of groupware such as Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT ) SharePoint, which allows workers to create Web sites for teams’ use on projects.”
Korean Magic Pen Reads Books to Kids. “This is perfect for parents who do not have time (they should though) to read books to their kids. The ‘magic pen’ has a camera based scanner built-in that reads codes hidden in the book. It matches the code with the data on the corresponding cartridge and reads the text or triggers sounds. “
Queer Eye for the News Guys. “While they’re out chasing the news, employees at a local television station are wondering if anybody is tailing them.
The news trucks at WABC-TV were recently equipped with Global Positioning System transmitters, raising concerns among the station’s union workers about privacy. It’s a small but growing workplace topic as companies increasingly embrace the GPS technology already in use to track everything from wayward teens to sex offenders. “We’re concerned about the possible misuse of the information that these systems can supply,” said Gene Maxwell, head of Local 16 of the National Association of Broadcast Engineers and Technicians. “In particular, we wanted to make sure that it really wasn’t going to be used as a disciplinary tool.”"
A movie projector in a cell phone?. “The reduction in size comes from a technique invented by Upstream for channeling the light from LEDs to a display in thousands of small beams. Light, whether from a candle or an LED, naturally shines in every direction. Upstream has built a complex micro-optical system that collects that light close to the source and sends a huge proportion of it to an intended target. The so-called “photon vacuum” optical system surrounds the LED like a shell. As a result, a tiny optical package can provide roughly the same level of illumination efficiency that larger systems can. “
The typical Chinese Internet user. “A typical Chinese Internet user is a young male who prefers instant messaging to e-mail,rarely makes online purchases and favors news,music and games sites,according to a new study released Thursday”,this IHT article says.”The survey was conducted in five cities by Guo Liang of the prominent Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, the government’s main research institute,and is the only major public opinion research tracking Internet use in China.”
Download of the Day: EvilLyrics. “EvilLyrics is a free lyrics fetching program designed for use with most popular music players (iTunes, Winamp, WMP, etc.). In addition to displaying lyrics of the song currently playing (which it handles with aplomb), EvilLyrics also has a cool karaoke mode that highlights lyrics line-by-line. If karaoke isn’t available for your song, it’s easy to create your own karaoke “
Mobile device recharging station. “The station mounts devices, stows away cords, and comes with a circuit breaker that trips in case of a surge and an extension cord for oversized adapters. Sliding brackets can accomodate up to three MP3 players, phones, cameras, PDAs, or handheld gaming systems.”
PixAlert Foils Office Porn Surfing. “Using high-speed image analysis software to scan images, the most recent version of PixAlert Monitor will now blur any image it considers inappropriate or illegal, as it comes up on the screen. So, instead of just trying to block these images from your screen, PixAlert lets you get them, just pretty much unwatchable. And if you do try to get some of this stuff up (again we know YOU wouldn’t, but there are some pervs out there!), a thumbnail copy is made and sent to the central server, which is the brains of the system.”
Sony Goes Ahead With Movies For Cellphones. “Thank you Sony. It’s about time somebody came out with movies made for your mobile. I mean, let’s face it, with the Video iPod and multimedia phones popping up everywhere, it should definitely be easier to get content for these devices. So Sony Pictures has decided to start introducing movies on 128 MB MMC cards. If you have a cellphone that plays multimedia files and has a card slot, you’re in. And I’m shocked, shocked I say, that the company is being so kind about not putting all this on Memory Sticks!”
Fishbowl Pixile. “A Pixile is a projection onto spherical objects suspended in space. The projection consists of a realtime 3D environment which mimics the shape and size of the objects it is projecting onto. The result is a holographic illusion. You can play with the pixile using a mouse, clicking and dragging objects as if they existed in real life. For the fishbowl Pixile, a fish bowl shape is projected onto 3 spheres, creating a virtual opening on the physical sphere. The user can rotate the individual bowls around in all directions. Small physics based cubes are placed inside the bowls and the user is able to pour the cubes from one bowl into the other. The cubes start off as primary colours once they are mixed with other coloured cubes they are averaged out to form a new mixed shade.”
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Smart card to open up computing. “The Special Needs Application Program Interface, or Snapi, puts a user’s preferences on a smart card.
The cards can be used in cash dispensers, ticket machines and public access computers. Once a Snapi card is removed, the machine automatically returns to its default settings. “
In ‘smart’ hotel rooms, everything is just right. “At the Mandarin and other high-end hotels, new computer systems which connect individual rooms to network servers can now keep track of guests’ preferences and change the room conditions automatically. These “smart” systems can learn whether a frequent guest likes the lights dimmed, the curtains closed or the room toasty warm. They can also personalize the electronics in the room so that the music of John Coltrane, for instance, greets jazz buffs when they enter their rooms. Meanwhile, sensors in refrigerators alert maids when the minibar is running low on Coca-Cola. While much of the underlying technology is not new, it is still rare in private homes because the cost of the equipment is relatively expensive. As a consequence, luxury hotels are the first to embrace it.
International Herald Tribune
TV networks say digital recorders raise viewership. “Far from being the TV doomsday machines that some have predicted, digital video recorders that allow viewers to skip advertising and watch shows at their leisure will actually boost television audiences, the major networks said on Wednesday. That was the principal finding in a report issued by the six major networks — CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, the WB and UPN — that sought to allay concerns in the media industry that DVRs will undermine the commercial value of broadcast television.”
Turn Firefox into a web writer. “If you use web-based e-mail like Gmail, or if you post to forums or write a blog, you’re using a “browser” to author documents as well as browse them. A plain, tiny web page textarea is not very conducive to writing. If you spend a lot of time writing the web with Firefox, soup up your “browser” with a few extensions that will turn it into a powerful text editor.”
Mr. T wants you to use GPS “navtones,” fool. “If you want your directions to be delivered with attitude, why not have Mr. T show you the way? Or, for that “Easy Rider” experience, let Dennis Hopper rev you up. The two are just some of the celebrities whose voices are being digitized as downloadable “navtones” for use with GPS systems.”
Synaptics Dual Mode Touchpad adds media controls. “In normal mode it works just like any other touchpad, but flick a switch, and the pad is illuminated with a series of blue LEDs indicating media functions, which can be accessed with a tap. These include a volume control, fast forward and rewind controls, and application launchers.”
Nintendo’s Pay-Per-View Vending Machine. “Taking the form of an old-school “Gashapon” (toy capsule) machine, this device allows you to insert your GBA movie player flash memory card, crank a handle and instantly download anime episodes to watch on your GBA. Episodes are around 25 minutes each and priced at 300-yen to download, with popular shows being offered, such as Pokemon and Detective Conan. There even appears to be a “free content” button, presumably giving you trailers, etc. “
Hyper-Contextual Search Results with Swicki. “A swicki is new kind of search engine that allows anyone to create deep, focused searches on topics you care about. Unlike other search engines, you and your community have total control over the results and it uses the wisdom of crowds to improve search results. This search engine, or swicki, can be published on your site. Your swicki presents search results that you’re interested in, pulls in new relevant information as it is indexed, and organizes everything for you in a neat little customizable widget you can put on your web site or blog, complete with its very own buzz cloud that constantly updates to show you what are hot search terms in your community.”
Cingular announces MobiRadio streaming music service. “Following Sprint’s recent rollout of it’s Sirius-over-Vision option, Cingular has announced that it too will begin offering a streaming music service, to be known as MobiRadio. Cingular is partnering with MobiTV (who also provide a wireless video service) and Music Choice to give customers 40 stations of pretty standard fare that they can listen to on their Nokia 6620 or Sony Ericsson S710 and Z500a. “
High-tech child’s play. “The real economic trend behind changing tastes for toys, market analysts say, is the precipitous decline in the price of electronics. Low-cost technology has turned items that once cost hundreds of dollars a few years ago into kids’ stuff. For example, Hasbro’s VCam Now gives kids a digital video camera experience for $79. So whereas toys have always imitated grown-up items, low prices have led to the creation of fully-functioning, lower-quality replicas of adult electronics. Sean McGowan, a toy market analyst for Harris Nesbitt, calls the phenomenon “the juvenilization of electronics.”"
He Figured That Business Is So Good, Who Needs a Store?. “Like most small-business owners, Mr. Truran first viewed the World Wide Web as an opportunity to grow. But as time went by, he came to see it as the opposite – a way to close up his Cambridge, Mass., retail store, move the business to his home in this Vermont village and accomplish his real goal: spending time on the things he wanted to do rather than running CourierWare. “The Web part of the business was growing,” said Mr. Truran, whose company is known for its high-quality, durable messenger bags. “It was the only part of the business that was truly growing.” CourierWare, which also stopped publishing its mail- order catalog in 2001, now takes only phone or online orders. “
New York Times (may require free subscription)
Map your travels with Wayfaring. “We’d would like it to be a community of travelers who use our web-based tool to create, use, or share information about their travels and the places in their lives. We built Wayfaring because we thought it would be cool to see people share trip ideas and places with each other.”
The Iqua Snake handsfree system. “Bluetooth focused Iqua now brings us the Snake Bluetooth 1.2 handsfree system. Designed to attach to the headrest of your ride, it features brushed aluminum and leather stylin’ and features a built-in mic and speaker, a status LED, up to 10 hours of talk time or 300 hours of standby, and 6 hours recharge with included car (and hopefully wall) charger.”
Yahoo! Shoposphere – Yahoo! Shopping. “Pick Lists let you share the stuff you love and the stuff that matters to you with everyone or your friends… on the Shoposphere, throughout Yahoo! Shopping, by email, and even through RSS feeds. Make a good one and it could even show up as one of the most helpful Pick Lists on the Shoposphere.”
StartleCam. “Attention and memory are highly correlated with what psychologists call arousal level, and the latter is often signaled by skin conductivity changes; consequently, StartleCam monitors the wearer’s skin conductivity. StartleCam looks for patterns indicative of a “startle response” in the skin conductivity signal. When this response is detected, a buffer of digital images, recently captured by the wearer’s digital camera, is downloaded and optionally transmitted wirelessly to a webserver. This selective storage of digital images creates a “flashbulb” memory archive for the wearable which aims to mimic the wearer’s own selective memory response. “
VGMap. “VGMap is a new library created by Eyebeam R&D that allows designers, developers, and mapping geeks to overlay data on top of Google Maps in a richer way than is possible using their standard system. It is called VGMap because it adds vector-drawing capability to the already-awesome GMap API. [...] This VGMap library is simply the glue between GMap and Flash, as well as a handful of Flash ActionScript libraries and sample code to simplify the process of drawing over the map correctly.”
Glypho: Collaborative Novel Writing. “Glypho a service that facilitates collaborative novel writing via the web. Here is how it works. Jot down your story idea. People around the world give character and plot ideas. Chapter contibutions are written. People review and vote for their favorite chapters. The story goes on… “
Amazon Tags. “Amazon is integrating user tagging into product pages (see image below). Tags are public by default and can be managed under a “your tags” area that I am failing to find. You must first select a “Real Name” (odd choice of names given the old company called RealNames). Once you’ve signed up and started adding tags, you can delete them or make them private in the management area.”
Shoot me if you can. “Replace a gun with fun, and shoot the opposing team with a cellular phone equipped with a digital camera. Participants; shooters are given a team color and phone number printed on the sticker. Shooters have to take a picture of the opposing team. If successful, she/he sends the picture to the opponent team member, via multimedia SMS system. Different rules exist for variations in game. Tactics are an important part as well as team work and understanding of the urban environment.”
Profits May Rock Podcasting World. “But nifty products and gizmos were ultimately a sideline at the Portable Media Expo and Podcasting Conference, where attendees wrestled with a far more fundamental point: whether this podcasting thing is — or even should be — a business. “If somebody gives you money, you owe them something,” said keynote speaker Leo LaPorte, who appears in ad-supported radio and TV shows but eschews commercial promotions for his popular This Week In Tech podcast. “I listen to my listeners, but I don’t want to listen to advertisers.”"
The VirtuSphere: full body immersion Virtual reality at last. “The VirtuSphere is a large hollow sphere that sits atop of a base of rollers enabling the sphere to rotate 360 degrees. Wearing a wireless, head-mounted display, users can walk, jump, roll, crawl and run in any direction over unlimited distances without encountering real-world physical obstacles. The Virtisphere is a fundamental step forward for the entire science as it offers six degrees of freedom. “
Dance Dance Revolution as free software/free culture. “Stepmania is a free, open source Dance Dance Revolution lookalike for Mac, Linux, and Windows. [...] Fans repackage all the official DDR songs as Stepmania files, so you can find these on your favorite p2p searcher (say, Limewire) with a search for “stepmania”. Or use Dancing Monkeys, a student project that takes any mp3 and turns it into a Stepmania file, complete with appropriate dance steps (Windows only, unless you have Matlab). Another fun feature: you can run random .AVI movies in the background while you’re playing…very surreal”
Airport security keeps eye on left luggage. “”We [will] just track them while they are walking and track the relationship with these objects that they carry,” Piccardi says. “And we will raise an alarm only if the object is being left and the original carrier has left the area nearby.” Tracking people using surveillance cameras is a challenge and currently only works when the area under surveillance is not crowded. Piccardi also plans to catalogue certain objects that are likely to be safe, like abandoned courtesy wheelchairs and trolleys at airports. “But if someone is leaving a suitcase on a wheelchair then that suitcase can be as dangerous as a suitcase left on the floor,” he says.”
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Google gauges interest for online book renting. “Web search leader Google Inc. (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) has approached a book publisher to gauge interest in a program to allow consumers to rent online copies of new books for a week, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
The proposed fee is 10 percent of the book’s list price, the Journal reported, citing an unnamed publisher. “
Daily News in English About Korea. “Samsung Electronics will unveil a mobile phone allowing access to the mobile wireless broadband Internet service WiBro, the world’s first according to the company. [...] WiBro enables wireless Internet access on the move at speeds of up to 120 km/h. Korea will become the first country to start the service commercially in the first half of next year. “
AOL launches free vintage TV, Nickelodeon dumps slime on Apple. “In2TV will have six “stations” that users can tune into using their computers, ranging from comedy to action to drama, but users won’t be able to obtain TV shows for use on their computer or portable media device. Streaming video from AOL’s In2TV portal will be the only allowed method of access. Don’t be too glum, though. AOL claims that their new streaming video format, dubbed AOL Hi-Q, offers DVD quality video. More on that in an upcoming report. The major draw for In2TV will be quantity. The service is aiming to “air” 300 episodes each month. If Nick at Nite brings back old memories, just wait until In2TV actually offers up 100 series over the course of the year—we’ll be lucky to remember half of them.”
Appro to Open Compute on Demand Center. “Appro International next quarter will open an on-demand supercomputing service aimed at the oil and gas industry. The Compute on Demand Center, in Houston, will enable businesses to access large amounts of compute power for their compute-intensive applications without having to invest in more systems. The center also will be available for businesses in other industries that need additional computing capacity, Appro officials said. Businesses will be able to sign up for the service in blocks of time, paying only for the compute resources used during that time. The number of nodes will ramp up to 2,000 during the first half of next year and will be based on dual-core technology from Advanced Micro Devices and Intel.”
The Internet of Things. “At the dawn of the internet revolution, users were amazed at the possibility of contacting people and information across oceans and time zones, through a few clicks of their mouse. In order to do so, however, they typically had to sit in front of a computer device (PC) connected to a global network. Today, they can also use mobile phones and portable laptops. The next logical step in this technological revolution (connecting people anytime, anywhere) is to connect inanimate objects a communication network. This is the vision underlying the Internet of things. The use of electronic tags (e.g. RFID) and sensors will serve to extend the communication and monitoring potential of the network of networks, as will the introduction of computing power in everyday items such as razors, shoes and packaging. Advances in nanotechnology (i.e. manipulation of matter at the molecular level) will serve to further accelerate these developments. “
ITU Internet Reports 2005
A Profile of Tagworld. “The site is going to try to own just about every web 2.0 experience of its users – blogging, bookmarking, photos and other media files, file storage, and tagging. They say they are going to have open data in and out, meaning if a user is really attached to say, Flickr, they’ll be able to integrate with those photos seemlessly. And they’ll have RSS and APIs to send data out. But their clear goal, as Fred said when we met, is to replace del.icio.us, flickr and blogger (among other services) for its users. All features are free to users (other than extended file storage); Tagworld makes its money from integrated advertising.”
Macedonia leads world with wi-fi. “”What we have is an ability to transmit wirelessly throughout the country, and then put a piece of equipment at the school anywhere in this country. “Those people, once they have that piece of equipment, will have internet connectivity.” By using what is called mesh technology, Macedonia Connects is creating not wi-fi hot-spots, but hot-zones which stretch 15 kilometres over a city. “
Narrowing the Digital Divide. “Worldwide, just 14 percent of the population is online, compared with 62 percent for the United States and an even higher ratio in some Western European countries, according to the International Telecommunication Union. Less than half the world’s people have telephones, even as some in developed countries are so wired they can’t seem to get away from ringing phones. “
Plantronics Versa: Wireless Earbuds. “The design uses a miniaturized base outfitted with Bluetooth to connect to your cellphone, and RF to connect to the actual earbuds. Plantronics claims this technology is only “a year or two out from being ready to launch,” but don’t chuck your old buds just yet. The design comes in three styles: long, slim and metallic for men; a chrome necklace design for women; and a universal necklace/clip combo with colored anodized aluminum for teens.”
Japanese youth are like chimps in the wild. “He says that young Japanese have lost the ability to discern between public and private space. He adds that they have formed what he calls the dearuki-zoku (out and about tribe).
“There’s been a dramatic increase in the dearuki-zoku. They don’t eat meals at home with family members and you can clearly see with your own eyes the large increase in young people who hang about on the streets together with the same old friends,” Masataka tells Sapio. “They make places like Shibuya their territory and rarely head even to places like (nearby entertainment and shopping districts) Shinjuku or Harajuku. They get tired going to new places or meeting new people. If they get hungry while they’re strolling around, they simply get food by going into a convenience store, buying something and sitting down outside on the curb to eat it. If not that, then they just hang around for hours in fast food joints.” “
FUSE: Filesystem in Userspace. “There has been a lot of buzz this week about Flickrfs the virtual filesystem for Flickr. Using Flickrfs you can interact with Flickr tags and photos just like your regular filesystem. A similar service is GmailFS which lets you mount a Gmail account as a large virtual filesystem. Both of these services are built on top of FUSE. FUSE makes it easy to build fully functional filesystems inside of a userspace program. Users can script and manipulate files just like their regular files. FUSE is now part of the main Linux kernel with release 2.6.14. Check out the list of other interesting filesystems built using FUSE. Of particular interest: WikipediaFS, SMB for FUSE is similar to Network Neighborhood, SSHFS, btslave to mount torrent files, and djmount is a UPnP AV client.”
hack a day
Chatterbox – Skype Speakerphone. “Chatterbox plugs directly into the USB port for easy access and features include full-duplex audio, 2.5mm headphone jack for optional headset, three status LEDs, volume and mute buttons, digital signal processing, and it should work from a distance of up to 12 feet. And all this for just $30.”
The Phouse. “You would think with today’s technology and all of the Bluetooth, mobile phone, wireless, teleconferencing, speaker phone headsets out there you wouldn’t need something like this. This mouse phone will probably receive more sales as a practical joke rather than a serious computer peripheral. I can see it now… “You’ll never guess what I’m calling you from!””
Poppy goes high-tech. “Britain’s remembrance poppies have gone high-tech — digital versions of the red paper flowers are now available for downloading to mobiles. The poppies’ move into cyberspace is a bid to get younger Britons aware of the sacrifices made by those who fell in battle, the Royal British Legion charity said on Friday. “
Project management and task management software: Basecamp. “Basecamp is a unique project management tool. Unique because you’ll actually enjoy using it. It’s simple, fast, and web-based. You don’t need to download, install, or configure anything — all you need is a web browser. And don’t worry, your data is safe with us. How can Basecamp help us? Basecamp makes it easy to centralize group communication with co-workers and clients.”
Cars soon may ‘talk’ to roads, each other. “The demonstration at Honda’s test center outside Tokyo previews what is shaping up as the next phase of automotive safety: vehicles that talk to each other and the highway system itself. They silently send or receive warnings from other cars in close proximity. Or they pass information back and forth to sensors along the roadway that become part of a real-time database. They tell of their approach to an intersection, warn about hazards ahead or keep an inattentive driver from running a red light, all with the goal of preventing accidents.”
Powerful Image Sensor Developed. “A Korean research center developed a super-sensitive image sensor with applications likely to dramatically enhance medical or military equipment such as endoscopes or guided missiles, as well as household electronics. The new sensor can record high-quality video images under moonlight, as it is about 500 times more light-sensitive than current versions, the Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI) said. The researchers expect the sensor will be used for military equipment such as long-range missiles, night vision goggles, unmanned aircraft and surveillance cameras.”
The Korea Times
Epson Chip Can Read Text to You in Multiple Languages. “The chip can read text and speak it in US English, French, German, Castilian Spanish, and Latin American Spanish. Other languages are in the works. The Epson chip S1V30100 contains Fonix DECtalk v5.0* as its TTS engine.
Applications for the chip are in portable devices for instance to read emails to users. The chip also supports MP3 and AAC audio decoding. “
Embrace. “A concept proposal for an interactive bracelet with little informative displays, to provoke shared experiences between wearers in close proximity. Embrace stands for the ‘brace’-lets fitting together & representing its users, who ‘embrace’ one another. The wearable display consists of several nodes: a LCD screen displaying wirelessly sent images, a battery, a camera lens that constantly records images until the user specifically shoots an image, & a scent-palette housing that emits 1 of 5 odors chosen by the owner of the device indicating an incoming image from their ‘significant other’. “
Keitai KunKun’s smelltones. “Keitai KunKun had the bright idea to take advantage of our most sensitive sense by creating a device that releases various scents when you get a call. Yes, that’s right, smelltones. And you can get yours in a small variety of odors; ever wonder what Doraemon or Hello Kitty smells like? Yeah, neither have we.”
Desktop Tool Eases e-Filing of Large PDFs. “APSplit DE is a drag-and-drop desktop application that enables users to deliver large PDF documents in compliance with an institution’s sizing requirements.
It is aimed at lawyers and other professionals who submit electronic documents that must be no larger than a specified size, the company said. “Legal professionals have asked for an easy-to-use PDF processing tool that doesn’t rely on server-based software or Adobe Acrobat,” said Appligent president Virginia Gavin. “
MIG – hidden barcodes. “Fuji Xerox developed the technology called MIG, which can embed barcode information or URLs in product labels. The technology slightly changes photos and illustrations printed on product labels. It’s printable like barcode,s but it’s “invisible” like RFID tags. MIG technology can embed typical barcode information within a 1cm^2 space. The MIG-encoded labels can be read by using mobile phones (like QR codes). “
RFID in Japan
Growing up with the wired generation. “Being sent to your bedroom used to be a punishment: now it’s a teen dream. Through personal computers, mobile phones and gaming consoles, teenagers are spurning antisocial angst for a culture of “connected cocooning”. It’s a phrase coined by music channel MTV to describe how the current 16-to-24-year-old “MTV generation” is permanently plugged into a network of digital devices, bringing the world to their fingertips in a way no previous generation has ever experienced. Such limitless communication is having a revolutionary impact on the way young people interact, socialise, work and play. This tech-savvy teen tribe is united as never before, with the lonely search for identity set to become a vision of the past.”
Mondays key for Web retailers in holidays: study. “Holiday shoppers tend to follow up their weekend store visits by researching comparative pricing and purchasing on Mondays, according to the study released by Atlas, [...]. Atlas forecast that December 12 will be the peak Internet shopping day this year in what has become an estimated $26 billion business for online retailers like Amazon as well as traditional store chains such as Gap Stores. Online shoppers also remain active after the holidays in January with the growing popularity of gift cards and Internet exchanges of merchandise. “
Got 2 Extra Hours for Your E-Mail?. “Dealing with e-mail – filing it, cataloging it, prioritizing it – has added hours of extra work a week, much of it done by people in the late evening and early morning. In a recent survey by America Online and Opinion Research Corporation, 41 percent of the respondents said they checked their e-mail in the morning before going to work. More than 25 percent said they had never gone more than a few days without checking e-mail, with 60 percent saying they check it on vacation. Four percent looked at e-mail in the bathroom.”
New York Times (may require free subscription)
AttentionTrust.org. “”attention data” is a valuable resource that reflects your interests, your activities and your values, and it serves as a proxy for your attention. AttentionTrust and our members believe that you have the following rights:
Property – You own your attention and can store it wherever you wish. You have CONTROL. Mobility – You can securely move your attention wherever you want whenever you want to. You have the ability to TRANSFER your attention. Economy – You can pay attention to whomever you wish and receive value in return. Your attention has WORTH. Transparency – You can see exactly how your attention is being used. You can DECIDE who you trust. “
Aggregate your feeds with SuprGlu. “SuprGlu is about bringing the pieces of your web content together into one central place for you, your friends, and maybe even your friends to-be. With the advent of so many fun to use applications, it is a shame for us to not use them. So keeping that in mind, what would be even better is to blog them.”
Virtual property market booming. “A gamer who spent ?13,700 on an island that exists only in a computer game has recouped his investment, according to the game developers. The 23-year-old gamer known as Deathifier made the money back in under a year. The virtual Treasure Island he bought existed within the online role-playing game Project Entropia. He made money by selling land to build virtual homes as well as taxing other gamers to hunt or mine on the island. “
People Tagging with Tagalag. “Tagalag is a service that lets you tag people, via their email address. It’s not a “tribute” site like 43 people, because only people who know a person’s email address can add tags for that person. If you create a profile you can add personal and geographical information about yourself.”
Blowing in the wind. “His windmill is about 10 centimetres across,and is attached to a rotating cam that flexes a series of piezoelectric crystals as it rotates.Piezoelectric materials generate a current when they are squeezed or stretched, and are commonly used to make a spark in gas lighters. Priya has found that a gentle breeze of 16 kilometres per hour can generate a constant power of 7.5 milliwatts,which is more than enough to keep an electronic sensor running.”
LG Java Phone To Bridge PC and Cellphone. “LG hits the mark again with the world’s first Java-based smartphone. Leaving Microsoft Windows and Symbian to rot, the Korean company believes using Java for all the phone’s functions (including the user interface) is a great way to speed up cross-device convergence, eventually letting you download Java-based applications directly from your computer to your mobile phone.”
Play Risk With Google Maps. “For some reason I decided a bit after the API for Google Maps came out that it would be awesome to be able to play Risk on it. About a month later it became apparent that everyone using the API was doing it for more useful things, such as gas price tracking and ::cough:: hotornot placement. I’ve always been a gamer and thought this was the perfect step.”
CBS, NBC To Launch 99-Cent On-Demand TV. “A pair of separate deals announced Monday between CBS and Comcast, as well as NBC Universal and DirecTV, soon will allow viewers to pay to watch current primetime broadcast hits just hours after they air for free. CBS and NBC will be charging 99 cents per episode to access such series as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and the “Law & Order” spinoffs putting a twist on the traditional TV business model that will have untold implications for industry sectors ranging from affiliates to advertisers for years to come. “
Tape It Off The Internet. “A global TV guide, Torrent tracking, your favourites and recommendations plus an innovative social layer to hang it off. You want it, we want it, let’s build it.”
Outsourcers Scramble for BPO. “You hear it everywhere: Today, the market for outsourcing is mainly IT outsourcing, but business process outsourcing is coming on strong and will grow faster than the venerable ITO. Just how will this happen?”
B-On Universal Bluetooth Receiver. “The BT-1000 pendant style Bluetooth receiver can be paired with mobile phones, mp3 players and PCs. The little Bluetooth box comes in several colors. I guess the device is geared towards kids. These days they need to manage Skype Calls on the PC, Mobile Phone calls and still listen to the latest Madonna Confessions on a Dance Floor CD. With the B-On they can do all this with only one headset – cool! “
The Philips RFID-enabled Herbarium. “The Herbarium detects which herb you’ve planted in its tagged pots in order to produce ideal growing conditions, so you can easily and conveniently harvest your own fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme without those annoying trips to Scarborough Fair (or Whole Foods).”
MIT maps wireless users across campus. “Red splotches on one map show the highest concentration of wireless users on campus. On another map, yellow dots with names written above them identify individual users, who pop up in different places depending where they’re logged in. “With these maps, you can see down to the room on campus how many people are logged on,” said Carlo Ratti, director of the school’s SENSEable City Laboratory, which created the maps. “You can even watch someone go from room to room if they have a handheld device that’s connected.”"
Robot has 20,000 brain cells. “Scientists at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla have built a robot that is operating on biological principles and without any pre-specified instruction. Darwin VII is a trashcan-shaped robot that has just 20,000 brain cells. It crawls across a floor strewn with blocks, grabbing and tasting as it goes, its malleable mind impressionable and hungry to learn. It is adapting, discovering that the striped blocks are yummy and the spotted ones taste bad.”
we make money not art
Walkie-Talkie-Picture. “Sprint has announced a new service called Nextel Direct Send Picture, which lets you to take, send and look at a photo instantly while using the push-to-talk features. And you don’t have to switch between voice and data services to use it.”