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84 posts from August 2006

August 28, 2006

Embargo Shows Google's Software Hand

AS ROBERT SCOBLE notes, the early Monday morning tech news is all about Google's landrush into the online software game. Scoble knows how news flows and makes the point that Google opted to explain its new foray to mainstream print journos, totally relegating the book authors, power bloggers and electronic journalists that often carry the Google message to the mainstream audience. The Google PR tactic is more significant than the launch of the Google Office suite.  I talked about this in today's Walkman Phone podcast. [30.7 MB 96 kbps MP3 file]

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August 27, 2006

Time-Saving Reading

ONE PROBLEM with RSS is that it's simple to subscribe and free to use. More than any other technology, RSS makes me into a packrat because I've subscribed to so many feeds that if I read all feed in all folders of my Bloglines, I lose any time-savings accrued from avoiding aimless browsing. So if you explore my public Bloglines subscriptions, you've probably guessed I'm actually grazing content by topics on my mobile phone, folder and headlines. When doing this inside a broswer, it doesn't feel like I'm doing anything special.

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What has pushed broadband demand

DURING A LAZY summer in Ireland, demand for broadband service has bumped up more than 30% over last summer's requests for broadband. [1] I put it down to people trusting that they can pay a line rental to one entity (Eircom) while paying another provider for high speed service. Also, the penny probably dropped in several customer segments. Small business owners have figured out they can dramatically cut costs with VoIP (requires broadband), summer holiday-makers need it (you need broadband to zoom around galleries of photos and to efficiently maneuver through online bookings), the viral effect of YouTube, Second Life and Bebo (give them a miss on a dial-up) boost broadband's appeal and an increase in podcasting has appeared in the Irish listening market.

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Slung Mobile Devices

Nokia 9500IF YOUR JOB takes you on the road for more than eight hours of contact time--client-facing time where you're also expected to remain in contact with information via voice and data--you probably need more than one mobile device with you. Most people carry a laptop and a mobile phone. In my Bihn Bag, I carry a mobile device that is as good as a laptop--it's the same mainstream technology used by Louis Walsh when he prances around X-Factor competitions. However, it's not a 3G device and its on-board camera is low-res. Plus I carry a SonyEricsson P910i mobile phone for voice, music playback and podcasts in a drag-and-drop mode since it's not a 3G device. I do my reading through FreeNews (paid) or through Dave Winer's River of News model (free).

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MP3 over HTTP

FACT: My Nokia N70 delivers MP3 files over HTTP. This happens when using the Opera browser on the 3G phone with 3G service. When I type the URL of a podcast directly into the phone's browser, the N70's player presents the file for immediate playback, emulating a streaming experience. Bundle this experience with O2's gigaplan, and I have podcasts on the go for around €54 a month. That assumes I consume no more than two gigabytes of podcasts each month. Roll all your podcasts into BuzzBoost and you can offer mobile-friendly pages for visitors--fast-loading rivers of podcasts.

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August 26, 2006

Airport Face Test

IF HOMELAND Security guidebooks are your point of reference, perhaps you should wear sunglasses at airports. Here are facial expressions that reveal your attitude:

Face Test

They can tell you're evil by that thrusting jaw.

Take the Facial Expressions Test.

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Your 15 Minutes Could Cost You

Scoble in EconomistYOUR 15 MINUTES of fame could affect you in ways you don't expect. In a recent podcast (from 29 to 31 minutes on DSC 447), Adam Curry recalls his unexpected elevation to pop culture icon, accompanied by his tendency to smash his fists into sheet rock. Robert Scoble recalls what his appearance in The Economist as Microsoft's "Chief Humanizing Officer" meant to him. And Maryam Scoble tells the story of an Iranian imprisoned for the same infraction--appearing in The Economist. Since two out of three examples that suggest being a poster boy does not create a warm memory, I take pictures instead of posing in them.

The Economist -- "Face Value"
Maryam Scoble -- "The Economist and the Fate of Two Men:  Robert Scoble and Ahmad Batebi"
Robert Tait -- "A Cause without Effects"

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Irish Blogosphere Could Monetise

RICK KLAU AND Bill Tancer offer thoughts related to helping businesses (or politicians or production researchers) get themselves sorted. For example, Hitwise predicted drops in home sales before they happened. Bill Tancer points out that the National Association of Realtors needs around a month to cobble together their analysis, so definitive data about July is in front of the US housing industry nearly a quarter later than it unfolded as a tidbit in search engine analysis.

As Klau says, "Hitwise saw this coming. The web stats and competitive intelligence company saw a drop in July in searches for terms relating to home sales, and has seen a similar pick-up in August. So Bill’s not only saying they saw this coming, he’s predicting that August’s numbers will pick up. (Reuters picked up on this yesterday.)"

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Return of Stripes

AFTER FOUR YEARS of entombing my stripes identity in a cesspool of spam, I resurrected the account by using the symbol Pi on the mailman.iol.ie control panel. It's a very obtuse thing to do but not unlike finding a secret door in Hogwarts. The Greek symbol activated some ruthless spam blocking alongside hundreds of rules I've invoked to block spam at the door. Then I forwarded all the mail into another spam-cruncher at work and voila! I am getting fewer than two pieces of spam for every 100 e-mails.

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August 25, 2006

AllPeers Review

All PeersI KNEW ALLPEERS had finally released to the masses because two requests for connection landed in my email box. Those emails came from music listeners and they offered up their top-down tracks for the weekend. Since they had installed AllPeers into Firefox, there was no need to send me megabytes of music. I fired up Firefox, added their user names to my contact list and before I opened another tab, their tracks were waiting in my download folder.

This was a legal transaction, since the music came directly from the artists. However, AllPeers will absolutely become a thorn in the side of the RIAA since the tool offers a Napster-easy way for DC++ to meet Bittorrent in a browser-simple style. If you know those tools already, you won't find much unique about AllPeers. You download the plug-in and it creates a peer-to-peer connection between your Firefox browser and the AllPeers server. AllPeers sets up peer-to-peer to the Firefox browswer of the friend you nominate. AllPeers does not deliver peer-to-peer directly between Firefox windows.

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