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Evernote update

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/business/21novel.html?scp=1&sq=Evernote&st=cse

THREE-BY-FIVE index cards, those hallmarks of research, may be fading away in these digital times, but the need to take notes endures…companies including Simperium and Evernote offer applications you can install on your various mobile and stationary devices. The companies’ servers gather and coordinate those notepads, keeping all the entries up to date…source of the notes may be typed text, Simperium’s specialty. Evernote’s expanding services, meanwhile, can handle notes sent by keyboard, digital pen, scanner or camera phone….Simplenote, a free application from Simperium, runs on desktops and laptops via the Web. It can also be installed on iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch, says Michael Johnston, a co-founder of Simperium, a start-up begun this year in San Francisco. Other companies, he says, also use Simperium’s synchronization platform as part of apps that run, for instance, on Android phones…company is already profitable, he said, in part from premium subscriptions ($12 a year) and in part from advertising displayed on the site…may write down ideas for his blog in the morning on his iPad; then, when he switches to his laptop later in the day, the rough draft is waiting for him…Simplenote app is intended for keeping text notes. For those who want to capture additional information — like Web page clippings, photos and voice memos — Evernote offers both a free and a premium service ($45 a year) that work across most devices and platforms…Evernote has been adding and refining its offerings, buoyed in part by $20 million in recent funding led by Sequoia Capital…One of its new services, available to those who install Google’s Chrome browser, is a dual search — one of public sources found by Google, and another of the private data on a user’s Evernote account…also uses his phone to take photos of business cards and white boards at meetings, and sends them to his Evernote account, which is equipped to decipher the printed and handwritten text…“I use it as my own personal scanner,” he says. “I don’t have to retype business cards, and all of the text is searchable.”…

 

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Mixing real and virtual

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/google-earth-pushes-boundaries-between-real-and-virtual/?ref=technology

 

Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google, explained at a press event that he wanted Google to be “the third half of your brain.” Mr. Brin wasn’t just referring to the company’s search products when he made that somewhat eerie proclamation. He was also alluding to a number of  products that should be expected in the coming years…Google took its “third half” concept to another level with its Google Earth software, creating a more realistic world that blurs the line between virtual life and reality and helps make the program look more like a variation of the Star Trek Holodecknew Google Earth software introduces two major new features: the integration of Street View, Google’s photos of streets and locations, and millions of 3-D trees. The company has also made it easier to browse historical images and maps on the platform…inclusion of Street View makes it easy for users to swoop in and out of the 3-D version of Google Earth, and then easily enter an experience that is more realistic and true-to-life through the Street View photos layer…

 

Motion sensing video games

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/28/arts/video-games/28video.html?_r=1&ref=technology

 

Music games like Power Gig and Rock Band 3 are beginning to incorporate real musical instruments. Microsoft’s new Kinect system sees you and listens to you in your living room, letting you jump, swing, kick, or just sit on your couch and speak aloud to control what happens on your television. Meanwhile Internet games like Eve Online and World of Warcraft are defined not by the adventures created by their developers but by the global social communities and political systems created autonomously by the players within them.. there has never been even the conceit that a video game could approximate or represent a genuine, nonelectronic human activity…result is that video games are poised to become more engaging — physically, emotionally and perhaps even intellectually — than they have ever been. But they will do so not by dehumanizing players but rather by bridging the gap between media and actual personal experience…Guitar Hero and its offspring Rock Band have always seemed to offend certain sorts of music snobs. “Well it’s not a real guitar.” But that was always the point of the plastic guitar-shaped controller with its colorful buttons: self-consciously to mimic the reality of a guitar in a way that could convey at least a bit of the visceral, rhythmic joy of making music (which they certainly do) without the responsibility of actually having to make music…what if your body itself is the game controller?… Nintendo was the first to start doing away with buttons. While Microsoft and Sony were busy trying to make more realistic high-definition explosions, Nintendo was realizing that all those buttons on game controllers were alienating hundreds of millions of potential players around the world. The answer of course was the Wii, with its intuitive motion-sensitive controller that has drawn families and women into gaming in a way they never had before…big boys, Microsoft and Sony, have not been too proud to learn from their rival, and this fall they introduced systems that go beyond the Wii in bringing natural human movement into games. The less ambitious of the two is Sony’s Move for the PlayStation 3, which is basically a more accurate and precise version of the Wii control wand. Coupled with the PS3’s high-definition graphics (the Wii is not high-def), the Move replicates certain types of physical activity, like golf, Frisbee tossing, bowling and sword fighting, more accurately and enjoyably than has ever been possible in the living room…Microsoft’s Kinect does away with electronic controllers altogether. With Kinect you just stand in front of the TV and move your body to make things happen on the screen. You actually dance and throw and kick and punch and running (in place). You are performing the actual yoga pose or exercise. You can even talk to it and it understands (though only for basic menu commands at the moment)….

 

Social media for toddlers

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/mimssbits/26048/?p1=A3

 

Parents who want their children to succeed in life begin training them in the necessities of modern society at an early age. These include reading, socializing, and now, learning to use social media before they’re even able to speak…pair of designers have enabled “social media for toddlers” by modifying Brio shape-sorting boxes–the cubes topped with holes that accomodate wooden blocks of various shapes–so that each of the three blocks represents a different common toddler activity, including dinner, teeth brushing and bedtime…actual status update is done by placing the appropriate block in its designated place on the box. For example, an “eating” update is sent by placing the square block with the “plate, spoon, fork” icon in the square-shaped hole on top of the box. This results in the illumination of the corresponding status light on the friend’s device…IOBR relies on some fairly sophisticated technology to accomplish transmission of tyke status updates from one household to another. It uses an ioBridge module–which alert readers will remember having been incorporated into home automation systems and tide gauges–to transmit signals from the device’s sensors via the web…Future iterations of the device aimed at more advanced children might use alphabet blocks to allow transmission of more complicated messages…

 

App to see X-37B

August 27, 2010 Leave a comment

http://aimpoints.hq.af.mil/display.cfm?id=40516

Seasoned skywatchers in North American may have several chances to spot the U.S. Air Force’s secretive X-37B space plane fly overhead with the help of a smart phone app that helps track satellites….imple Satellite Tracker app gives a one-week advance schedule of flybys, and also alerts users to when spacecraft will appear with a countdown clock and a direction guide…e robotic X-37B space plane and the International Space Station are expected to make a series of good passes over some North American cities and towns…X-37B space plane’s return date depends upon how well it performs its unknown tests in orbit…debut X-37B space plane was built by Boeing in Seal Beach, Calif., and weighs about 11,000 pounds (about 5,000 kg). It is about 29 feet (9 meters) long and has a wingspan of just over 14 feet (4 meters) across…space station can easily be seen from the Earth by the unaided eye on clear nights and can rival the planet Venus in brightness depending on observing conditions….U.S. Air Force officers have remained mostly tightlipped about the X-37B, except for denying that the vehicle represents a weapon.. Outside experts agree that the space plane most likely represents an orbital spy rather than a space weapon…