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Showing posts from May, 2009

Palm Pre & iTunes

Oh, yeah: it's on. A week from today, I hope to be holding a brand new Palm Pre. I've been enthralled with the promise of this new phone, but this last piece of news pushed me over the edge: the Palm Pre will sync with iTunes . Yep, I can use that same massive piece of bloated software I use today to manage my podcasts, video, and music with the upcoming Palm Hail Mary. I'm planning on scooping this baby up next week, in hopes it's all I dream it is. If not, I'll take advantage of Sprint's 30 day return policy as a good way to ensure it is not a costly lesson. My only concerns with the Pre at this point: Sprint's network. The maps all say it should be good, but reports in the field are mixed. Of course, the same can and is said about AT&T's coverage (something I get a lot of exposure to on my frequent trips). The Sprint customer service . From everything I hear, it's abysmal. AT&T has actually spoiled me in that way. I imagine a rant in 30

Fresh Baked Tweets

How's this for a "fresh" way to use Twitter? The BakerTweet is a device that allows bakeries to post the goodies coming out of the oven to Twitter. Passionate baked goods fans already are salivating, but the ability to get notified when the latest warm bready creations are served piping hot down the street from you should attract even the most jaded culinary tastes. Because the bakery staff should not be distracted from their craft, the BakerTweet allows the user to simply rotate a dial to the current steaming delicacy, and press a single button: no laptop typing, no cell phones. This is being used in the UK so far, but the warm ovens of the selected US purveyors should definitely take note, especially with the recent popularity of Twitter and those roving gourmet food trucks.

Wave of The Future

Very impressive early release version of a new cloud-based application from Google, called Google Wave . What is it? For lack of a better term, it completely reinvents the way we use the Internet to communicate. Today, we have all of these different silos: e-mail, IM, social networks, SMS, and more. The two brothers who gave us Google Maps have their sights set on changing that: Wave aims to pull those all together into a central interface, but that's just the start. In the video walkthrough of this early version, here were some of the powerful features I saw: The ability to have multiple recipients commenting inline as part of a communication. Picture being able to respond to paragraphs 2 and 3 of a 5 paragraph e-mail, and have everyone else on the thread see those replies inline, without having to keep seeing the original message requoted over and over. Let's say you add a new participant to the conversation later on (think a new cc: on a third reply of an email). Instead of

All Hail the Napa

The Golden Gate Ferry has finally taken a new boat. The Napa , formerly Seattle's Snohomish , arrived in port this week from it's North Pacific journey. The great story about this is that the boats were purchased for $2 million a piece...after failing to sell on eBay. Yes, eBay. The boats are in need of serious retrofit, as is most of GGF's fleet. each of these will cost about $10 million to retrofit, but GGF can't wait. They are pressing the Napa into service next month, allowing the much beleagured Del Norte to head in for a retrofit, coming back by the end of the year. In the meantime, the Napa will operate with her old Seattle colors, and without much accommodation for the ever-growing bike population. I did speak to the head of the ferry service, and he seemed to think they could weld some bike hooks on the back, so stay tuned... Of course, the Napa DID go full bow underwater, causing her ceiling to cave in ...but that won't matter...right? Should be a ragg

Sling Backtracks In iPhone

Back in the 1980's, in upstate New York, there was a local beer ad that's whole pitch was a constant barrage of "That's Great!", followed by counter arguments, set to the exclamations of "That's...not so good." On that context, I deliver the news that t he SlingBox iPhone app is finally imminent , according to Engadget. What's Great? You can finally watch Sling content on the ultimate portable device. They reversed a previous stance, making it compatible with all current and future SlingBoxes. What's Not So Good? It clocks in at $30, a whopping amount for an iPhone app. They will not provide any support for the app to users of the older SlingBoxes. No 3G support: WiFi only. While it'll be available tomorrow morning, I think the price point is rough. I'll have to think pretty long and hard to consider this purchase. $9.99, you had me. Above that....That's Not So Good.

LinkedIn: UI Fail

Look, I don't ask much (well, that's not actually true, but work with me here...). The very least is, when offering a social network, and giving me the option to connect with another person on the network...let me connect? Case in point: LinkedIn . Great resource, excellent product. Xobni alerts me that there is someone I get e-mail from whom I can connect with on LinkedIn. I click through, get the LinkedIn page for the person, define how I know her, and click Connect. What do I get? A page refresh, and an error that says" We're sorry, but you cannot send this invitation." No explanation. No reason, just that. It would be one thing if I only got it once, but this must happen at least once a week. In the parlance of the day, Fail . Anyone else experiencing this?

Happy To Say I Told You So

News from the Christian Science Monitor today talks about California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's new open stance to a "debate" about the possibility of decriminalizing (and, most importantly, taxing) marijuana in CA. As I pointed out in January , this is the perfect way for backdoor legalization at a time that this country, despite having no real grounds to keep the ban going, can finally take a look at this lucrative approach to appeasing the populace and filling the badly depleted coffers. I won't attempt to re-make my original arguments as to why this is a perfect solution, but I will point out that this is clearly going to be a bellwether for the future...across the country.

Recreating Movies...in Games

Modern day videogames have their own graphics engines that put the hardware to the test. Recently, some artists started to use those engines to recreate classic (and some not-so-classic) movie scenes . The results? sometimes breathtaking. For instance, The Fifth Element NYC chase scene to the right looks gorgeous. The only oddity of these recreations is their oddly empty feel. Most are just the venues (the adamantium chamber from X-Men 2 ; the temple in Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade ), and, while incredibly vivid, they lack that spark of life. Even the Clerks faithful rendering . Still, the Blade Runner scene is simply awe-inspiring.