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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.”…

 

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…

 

Sentiment analysis in real-time

August 27, 2010 Leave a comment

http://www.technologyreview.com/web/26105/

companies are turning to social-media sites to gauge the success of a new product and service. The latest activity on Facebook, Twitter, and countless other sites can reveal the public’s current mood toward a new film, gadget, or celebrity, and analytics services are springing up to help companies keep track. Social-media analytics startup Viralheat, based in San Jose, CA, is now offering free, real-time access to the data it is collecting on attitudes toward particular topics or products. One of the first customers for this new service–called Social Trends–is ESPN, which plans to use Social Trends to show live popularity rankings for different NFL teams…Viralheat uses natural-language processing and machine learning to sift through Twitter, Facebook fan pages, viral video sites, and Google Buzz posts to determine the Web’s collective sentiment toward everything from popular browsers to Pepsi to Steve Jobs…When a paying customer asks Viralheat to track a particular term, they have the option to share that information publicly. Kadam says that about 70 percent of users agree to share this information….Social Trends uses this information to provide a widget that can be embedded on a blog or website showing the sentiment around particular terms. These widgets stay connected to Viralheat’s data stores through an application programming interface (API) and are updated as the company collects more information. Viralheat believes the tool will be particularly useful for news sites wanting up-to-date infographics and for bloggers who want to track trends….Anyone can create a Social Trends account and then search for terms they’d like to follow, although the company doesn’t have data for every possible term. The system lets users create charts tracking a single term or comparing several terms. Kadam says that Viralheat is able to open up live connections to its data because its infrastructure can handle working with large amounts of information…Social Trends widgets only offer a snapshot of the data that paying customers get access to (72 metrics instead of just five metrics), he says…Alec Go, a Stanford University graduate student who created the “Twitter Sentiment” analysis tool, says there are dozens of sites offering such services. But he notes that many commercial analysis packages are closed off from public access…

4chan

August 27, 2010 Leave a comment

http://www.technologyreview.com/web/25997/

4chan, an online community where people are free to be wrong…created the website 4chan, an online community that now has nearly 11 million monthly users and is, in some respects, as unruly as any metropolis. The site is what’s known as an image board, a type of online message forum that encourages users to post both images and text, and its users now contribute more than a million messages a day, their content tending in the aggregate toward a unique mix of humor, pornography, offensiveness, and, at times, borderline legality…4chan is loosely organized by topics of interest–music, games, TV, animation…4chan stands out not only for the content its users generate but for the way they generate it: with a degree of anonymity almost unheard-of in the online world. Though Poole himself is known to the site’s users by the cryptic pseudonym “moot,” on 4chan even using a pseudonym is rare. The site has no log-in function, so each message can be posted under whatever name its author chooses, but users are strongly encouraged to post with no identifying name at all. Roughly 90 percent of all messages on 4chan are posted under the site’s default identity, “Anonymous.” And those messages are not only anonymous but ephemeral, because 4chan has no long-term archives: old message threads are automatically deleted when new ones need the room…

Twitter weight loss

August 27, 2010 Leave a comment

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/weekinreview/22stelter.html?_r=1&ref=technology

began a very personal and yet public project — losing weight…knew that I could not diet alone; I needed the help of a cheering section. But rather than write a blog, keep a diary or join Weight Watchers, I decided to use Twitter. I thought it would make me more accountable, because I could record everything I ate instantly. And because Twitter posts are automatically pushed to each person who subscribes to them, an audience — of friends or strangers — can follow along….impulse to share every minute detail of life is often ridiculed as a narcissistic trait of my generation…wasn’t really the problem with my Twitter diet account, twitter.com/brianstelter25. Truth telling was…I was going to account honestly for every ounce. Eat, tweet; eat, tweet. But my post on Day 2 disguised a long night of drinking, and I didn’t mention a late-night slice of pizza…Within days, I stopped posting the daily log of bites and sips. I disappeared from the account for almost a week at a time…posts were not always easy to write. I started counting calories rigorously and yearned to share even more. The fast food industry had stacked the deck against ordinary consumers, and I thought that talking about this in public was a corrective, if a slight one…ontinued to announce a certain amount of lost weight, the replies from followers were motivation enough to lose more, a reinforcing cycle. “Am so proud of you!,”… echoed what friends had told me in person: that my daily Twitter updates about salads and fat-free yogurts and late-night gym trips were changing their habits…

Twitter App

August 27, 2010 Leave a comment

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/data-on-demand-is-an-opportunity/?ref=technology

Each minute, hundreds, if not thousands, of tweets, links, likes, status updates and their ilk stampede through our collective feeds…valuable and timely information embedded in that deluge – if you’re lucky to catch it. The constant churn makes it challenging to store and sift through the bits and pieces of information worth remembering…whole point of social media is that we trust our friends, our network for answers to questions, recommendations, information needs,” he said. “Social media can contain the answer. There is value in all the stuff being shared, if you can find it.”… key concept is data on demand…I think its going to be more appealing to a mass audience wondering why do I care where you check-in or what you’re doing. It might yield the answer to a question you have about where to go three months from now…great to read a tweet or see a status update that one of your tech-savvy friends loves his or her new digital camera. But it’d be even more handy to have that information when you’re wandering around in Best Buy looking at cameras or browsing Amazon online…Even if you could individually save the good stuff, your perception of what is good changes constantly. It also puts all the work on you.”… “the challenge of matching the right information to people has gotten a lot easier,” he said. “It’s a very powerful new area of technology.”…