Google Maps Previews In Gmail and Google Buzz

Have you ever gotten directions where to meet for dinner or a location of a friend’s new apartment? To find out where these places actually are, you used to have to open up Google Maps and paste in the address. Today, Google is making it easier. If you receive directions in Gmail or Google Buzz, Google will show you a live preview of the location in Google Maps. Continue reading “Google Maps Previews In Gmail and Google Buzz”

New FCC Proposal – Universal Set-Top Box For TV And The Internet

The FCC has made a proposal that could, if passed, have a significant way in which we consumers could receive TV and Internet services in the future. According to the chairman of the FCC, the proposal would be for a universal set-top box, which the consumer would purchase. The new set-top box would provide both television and Internet services in one device. The benefit of one single set-top box is that it could be used, even when the consumer changes service providers.

As with any proposals coming from the FCC that could spur competition, the big boys in television and Internet services could fight the plan. In fact I would be so brazen to state that they would fight the changes. LOL

In addition a recent article also states that:

“We think the FCC wants to lay the groundwork for over-the-top video to potentially impose some competitive pressure on pay TV providers in the future,” said analyst Paul Gallant of the Concept Capital research firm. That policy could help Internet TV providers like Netflex, Apple, Google and Amazon, he said.

“The idea of accessing the Internet through the TV screen is certainly attractive – so attractive, in fact, that the marketplace already appears to be delivering on that vision without any help from the government,” McDowell said. “A quick Internet search revealed more than a dozen different devices available to consumers who wish to bring some or all of the Internet to their television screens, ranging from specialized web video products and software applications to elaborate home theater PCs and even online gaming consoles.”

While I applaud the FCC and their efforts to provide the consumer with the best possible options for television and Internet services, the reality is that the big cable, satellite & Internet providers have political clout. Unless we see changes in Congress with new representatives who will be actually representing the people, I seriously doubt this proposal will fly.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.


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The 'Magic Wall' – Just The Tip Of The Iceburg

For those who are interested in politics and who have been watching the election results on CNN, than you are already familiar with what has become known as the ‘Magic Wall’. The MW uses the invention of Jeff Hans who was one of the main developers who was involved with the ‘interface-free’ computer screen which is touch control driven. The screen which is similar to some touch-screen interfaces also recognizes multiple touch points and touch impressions.

Over at CNN they have used the MW to illustrate individual precincts and the voting totals for each district. The wizard of the MW [John King] can manipulate the MW to show everything from vote totals, demographics or other information that has been pre-programed into the system. When one sees the touch graphics and what the MW can do, one can only guess how this technology will one day have an impact on out lives.

Imagine if you will a mini-MW screen that a user can interact with while playing a video game. Watch as you the user can bring forth battle maps, attack an opponent or do other mind boggling actions all while interacting with other players. When one looks at this new technology the concept of what it will be able to do is limitless. I would venture to say that what Jeff Hans has invented will be with us for many years to come and will enhance our experience[s] with computers in general.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

John King at the MW here.

[tags]cnn, john king, magic wall, interactive, touch, [/tags]

Advanced Touch Screen – You Gotta See This

Back in February, 2006 there was a demonstration by David Han who is a research scientist for NYU. His intuitive ‘interface free,’ using his finger tips only, demonstrates the future of computing. After viewing what Mr. Han did with the computer, I actually said to myself, “WOW.”

What is interesting about this concept is that the user no longer needs to depend on a hardware device such as a mouse or keyboard to interact with the system. This hands on approach would allow us to work more effectively with our computers without having to stop to move objects on the screen using a pointing device.

There was only one very minor problem I saw. I hate fingerprints on my screen! And I chastise those who have to take their greasy paws and point to something by pressing on the screen leaving behind their indentation of swirls and loops.

Which brings up the issue on how to clean a lappy screen. I use a old lint free sock lightly dampened with warm water to clean by laptop screen. Please note the word ‘lightly’. You don’t want water streaming off the screen onto your laptop. And yes, the laptop should be off when doing this.

Mindblowing Demo

And then reader Steve mentioned to take a look at BumpTop 3D, which is also worth looking at. There is a video over at Google UTube. Thanks, Steve.
BumpTop 3D

[tags]gui, interactive, google, utube [/tags]

KidRocket Web Browser v1.0

KidRocket is a free Web browser designed for kids to safely surf the Internet’s top children-related Web sites. Each human-edited, hand-picked site offers many fun, educational, and interactive activities for children and parents alike.

Password-protected lockdown mode and parental admin area, new GUI, interactive math flashcards, art section, games, and Internet filter. Children will find it safe to learn, play games, and have fun with KidRocket.

[3.64M] [Win95/98/ME/NT/2k/XP] [FREE] []

[tags]KidRocket Web Browser, kid browser, family safe, children, interactive[/tags]

Music, Film, Geeks at SXSW

In another day or so, we’re leaving for the party to end all parties: South by Southwest (SXSW). There’s the SXSW Music and Media Conference, the SXSW Interactive Festival, and the SXSW Film Conference and Festival. It’s all taking place in Austin, Texas (of all places). This will be my first time at South by Southwest, as I’ve been invited to speak on two panels: one on having a public relationship online, the other for publishing media on the Internet. I’m not quite sure who I’ll meet at the events, but I hear it’s a veritable who’s who from across the galaxy. There’s music, movies, and much geekery to be experienced. Check it out: in 2005, there were 1,331 showcasing acts, 58 music venues, and 180 films screened. All three conferences helped contribute $30.9 million dollars to the Austin economy. Wow. That’s big. That’s really big. I’m going to get lost, I’m sure. Ponzi will have to get one of those kid leashes and put it around my waist to make sure I don’t wander off into some alley full of street musicians. I’ll be a northwesterner in the south, taking in both the local and imposed cultures. My brain is going to explode, but I’ll just film it and say it’s art.
Continue reading “Music, Film, Geeks at SXSW”