Friday, June 22

One day, your computer will be a big-ass table

When pigs fly it will be. I don't know about you, but I'd have to clear a mound of crap off any table in my house before I could see the screen, much less use it as a computer. I use my tables to put stuff on, whether it's books and magazines, coffee cups, brunch, my gym gear, my remote control, or very often, my feet. Why, sometimes you can even find my laptop sitting on my coffee table, so why would I want to remove my laptop so I could use Microsoft Surface?

And while I think I'd enjoy dragging stuff around the coffee table with flicks of my fingers, I know my neck and shoulders wouldn't enjoy it for long. Especially when I already have a perfectly good flatscreen already on the wall in front of me. I don't need to go stand in front of it and touch it either - I don't like fingerprints and I already have an input device for it that I've spent the last thirty years learning to use - my remote control.

So I'm with when it comes to Microsoft Surface - this is about as practical as an internet-connected fridge, and as likely to ship in this form as the data gloves Tom Cruise wore in Minority Report.
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Thursday, June 21

Gollum: best possible use for iPrecious... yesss...

Yes, my iPrecious, I will have you sssssoon, even if you're locked to a US network and I have to persuade a friend in the USsss to use their credit card to sign up for a plan that I'll never get to use on my behalf. Even then, you shall be mine.

And what shall I do with you? What posssible iPurpose isss there that will justify the probable AUD1500 or so I will end up paying to carry you around in my threabare pocketsessss?

Why, the "best possible YouTube mobile experience by far," is what it is, my iPrecious. The best. iPossible. YouTube. Mobile. Experience.

Then I only need to wait until there's the best possible content on YouTube. And for a proper 3G stream. And a reasonable data tariff. But I can wait, my iPreciousss, yes, Gollum knows how to wait....

About 10,000 Youtube videos will be available for the iPhone's US launch, according to Apple's release. YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, will be recoding the rest of its videos into the H.264 format used by the iPhone within months.

The iPhone will be the first mobile phone to use H.264, Apple said.

"iPhone delivers the best YouTube mobile experience by far," Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said in the statement.

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Friday, June 15

Clearspring: the publishing network for widgets

The business of building, distributing and tracking widgets suddenly got a whole lot easier, thanks to Clearspring.

...or at least, it would, if I had a proper widget instead of this RSS feed, which looks all wrong for me because Firefox autosenses it and wants to add it straight to Google Reader for me. Grrr...

But Clearspring shows tremendous promise because it doesn't just help you build a widget and promote it in a widget gallery, it helps you track the people who take your widget and put it on their web pages. This network thinking is very smart.

Hey, I was able to get this one working, sort of, from Springwidget via Feedburner.

But Springwise doesn't include any tracking :-(

Thursday, June 14

T-Shirt nirvana! All the internet's tees in one place!

If you know me (and if you don't thanks for stopping by) you'll know I love my tee shirts. Some witty, some tasteless, some holed, some on backwards or inside out, some spotted with dried food stains... Bury me in a tee shirt for that 'just like I remember him' look.

The best story is the time I shocked an applicant for a web producer job by forgetting that I was wearing my "All I want is peace in the Middle East... and a blow job" tee shirt all through the interview. She said nothing at the time, didn't even blush (there were others in the interview who will confirm this.)

But she called later and said she could never work for a company that would allow someone to wear a shirt like that. She sure seemed like a humourless square peg to me. In my team, you better be a round peg, with no sacred cows.

Anyway, the lovely Katrina is providing a focus for mad tee-shirt tragics like myself by bringing together sightings of all the coolest tee-shirts available for sale that she can find on the interweb.

The best news is: there's more than I could ever have imagined...

T-shirts Around the Internet

World, this is my t-shirt Blog! I'm Katrina, a proud t-shirt hunter who searches the Web to find the coolest t-shirts and the best deals around. Check my blog if you share the same passion about t-shirts, if you see them as a medium of art and self expression, and if you're looking for new and exciting places
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Tuesday, June 12

Feedity: Yahoo! Pipes for dummies

I was reading read/writeweb's list of Top 60 Australian web 2.0 apps (don't ask me why the magic number is 60, nor why some of them qualify) and was delighted to see that Bluepulse got a mention.

But in amongst all the likely contenders that I'm already familiar with was this one gem that I'd somehow never come across before - Feedity.

Simplest way to describe it is "Yahoo! Pipes for dummies" - a clever way of scraping data off a web page and presenting it in RSS format, from whence you could display it on your My Yahoo! homepage, for instance, or email it to yourself via Zookoda so you never miss an update.
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Feedity - RSS Generator for Web Pages without Syndication, Convert any web page to an RSS document
Feedity is an RSS generator for web pages without a web syndication format. Feedity will
take virtually any web page, and convert it into a fully formed RSS document. The generated RSS is updated in near-real time.
Feedity has a proprietry data mining algorithm, which has been designed on the principles of self-learning agents. The native parser performs low-level content analysis, and it picks-up the most "prominent cluster" of hyperlinks. The renderer engine then automatically generates RSS for the source web page. Feedity also provides for a quick and simple way to build a data mashup "pipeline" using Yahoo Pipes.
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Serial killer commenting on blog post?

You really have to keep your audience in mind when blogging, never more so than when the topic of your blogging is a serial killer case and it appears that the murderer may be commenting on the blog.
Has WA’s Claremont serial killer been contributing to this blog while police continue their unsuccessful hunt for him?
“Whoever this blogger is, he has more than a passing interest in the subject and is teasing us with his knowledge of all three victims,” says Mr Napper.

Dr Phibes started contributing his detailed knowledge about the Claremont killings after we posted on the saga in October last year. In one comment he revealed how he had met one of the victims, Sarah McMahon, and claimed police had bugged his phone and flown a helicopter over his property with heat-seeking ground radar in the search for her body.

Dr Phibes has continued contributing to the blog, along with others for the past eight months. His most recent comment was just 10 days ago.

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Friday, June 8

At last! A Gaping Void cartoon just for us!

A famous Hugh McLeod cartoon, just for the Idiots Blog?

Well, to be perfectly honest, that's not true at all, it's just a happy coincidence...

No, it's a splendid coincidence...

Wednesday, June 6

Early morning, Lavender Bay

Morning Walk Wooden Boat
Originally uploaded by oliverw.

Time out: let's take a moment to reflect.

Lavender Bay is my favourite bay in Sydney harbour, and the walk along the foreshore from the bridge to Berry Island and beyond is all beautiful. The whole way I'm thinking, "how the hell can this be free? in what other country in the world would you be able to do this, for free?"

In the Web 1.0 days I used to take our golden retriever, Jemby, along to work at Yahoo! up the hill in North Sydney. I'd take her for a walk at lunchtimes down along the foreshore.

Any time there's water nearby, she starts pulling like a team of oxen, and this one fine winter afternoon I decided to let her climb down the timber steps along the foreshore (just out of bottom of frame of this pic) and go for a quick swim. Problem was, the steps ended just above the water, she's an old dog, and she couldn't get back up again.

So when I climbed down on the timber steps and began hauling her out, the rotten timber of the steps collapsed, and the dog and I went into the harbour. I managed to grab the remaining stair as I went down and so was able to keep the top half of my body out of the water, but needless to say, by the time I got me and the dog back up on dry land we were both pretty wet and seaweedy.

One of the weirdest experiences in six years at Yahoo! (wow, that's saying something!) was trudging back to work, sitting down at my desk, me and the dog both still dripping seawater. To their credit, Yahoo! didn't have a problem with me still bringing Jemby to work, but they did ask that I try to keep us both from swimming in the harbour again.

Believe it or not, it isn't the only time I went in the sea fully clothed during a Yahoo! working day. But that's a whole other story...

(Thanks Oliver for the inspiration!)

Friday, June 1

Music videos were always meant to be free

I've been watching a few music videos on my AppleTV, which basically means watching free 30 sec previews, because fewer than 1% of the videos iTunes Store offers appeal to me enough that I'd pay to download them.

All the while I'm thinking, "I'm old enough to remember when MTV first started, and back then music videos were a marketing tool for selling albums. There may not be enough money in selling albums any more to fund music videos, but that doesn't mean music videos should be considered premium content."

Creative? yes. Entertaining? often. Worth a couple of dollars for two minutes of entertainment? Almost never. Replay value? Almost zero.

But we know from history that when market barriers are removed, the market establishes the true value of content. And today the world's fourth-biggest music company, Warner Music, announced they were ready to admit that the average value of music videos is probably around $25-30 CPM - the sort of money you might be able to make by offering them for free online with some advertising support.

It's MTV all over again. Come on Apple, open up to free music videos - I won't mind if you need to serve me some interstitials in-between clips.
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Madonna, Red Hot Chilli Peppers / Composite image

Free at last ... industry giant Warner Music, whose artists include the likes of Madonna and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, is putting its huge archive of music video online and making it available for free
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