Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

testing

Posted: April 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

bee

This and the fact that the iPad is choc-full of some of the most restrictive DRM ever to hit a consumer product. Defective by Design calls the iPad “a computer that will never belong to its owner.”

They’re sending this to Apple: “Mr. Jobs, DRM will give Apple and their corporate partners the power to disable features, block competing products (especially free software) censor news, and even delete books, videos, or news stories from users’ computers without notice– using the device’s “always on” network connection. This past year, we have seen how human rights and democracy protestors can have the technology they use turned against them.

By making a computer where every application is under total, centralized control, Apple is endangering freedom to increase profits. Apple can say they will not abuse this power, but their record of App Store rejections and removals gives us no reason to trust them. The iPad’s unprecedented use of DRM to control all capabilities of a general purpose computer is a dangerous step backward for computing and for media distribution. We demand that Apple remove all DRM from its devices.”

Article by  The Pirate's Dilemma

Starting this spring, you won’t need to gather the whole family around a 15-inch laptop screen to talk with cousin Joe on the other side of the country. As a matter of fact, you won’t even need to get up off the sofa after the evening news, because Skype is coming to the big screen – the big TV screen, that is.

Skype announced today that they have been working with LG and Panasonic to embed Skype in Internet-connected widescreen HDTVs.

Skype claims it is listening to its customers who (gasp!) want to get away from their computers once in a while.

“We know that Skype users are increasingly interested in conducting video calls away from their computers,” said Skype CEO Josh Silverman in a press release. “With Skype, consumers […] will now be able to participate in rich, real-time video conversations from the comfort of their couch.”

According to Skype, up to 5 million Skype-enabled TVs will be delivered during 2010, but the TV alone will not do it. In addition to a high-speed connection, users will need to purchase a specially designed web cam, which Skype spokesperson Jennifer Caukin told us would run about $150.

Caukin said the web cam is designed to pick up audio from a greater distance, so Skype TV users will be able to remain seated instead of huddling around a microphone. It will also provide high-definition video capabilities.

Skype will be embedded on LG’s NetCast series and Panasonic’s VIERA CAST series of HDTVs.

Written by Mike Melanson / January 5, 2010 11:29 AM

Layar

Layar

On open platforms like Android we’ve already seen developments, including things like Layar, an augmented reality app that describes the world around you, and TwittARound, an app which shows you nearby tweets.

Layar Reality Browser  is a free application on mobile phones that uses the camera display view to show real-time geocoded digital information around you.  When you load Layar on your mobile phone’s camera view, the application adds “content layers” on top of the camera image.

Layar announced the addition of 3D capabilities to its augmented reality browser platform. With 3D, developers can tag real-life objects with 3D text, place 3D objects in real-world space, and create multi-sensory experiences.

Uses of Layar

Worldwide features include hotel-finding/booking, event ticket buying, the world’s first LBS graphic novel, user-submitted celebrity sightings, restaurants, a reality quiz game,  Google local search, Wikipedia articles and Yelp.

Layer apps in Netherlands include real estate prices, tourist points of interest (hotels, zoos, museums, etc), places to park, history tours, skating spots, rain data, post offices, banks, Mazda dealers and business listings.

In Japan, there are app layers to find a bus stop, train stations, refueling stops, hotels/lodging, tourist spots, movies, theaters, plays, and stores.

In Seattle you can find a nearby bus stop. In Paris and New York City, viewers can see ‘Poetry in Motion” related to place.  There’s a “Art Walk” app layer for Dusseldorf Germany. You can get information about trails at Purdue University.

Other interesting uses include mobile coupons, University Tours, area-rating, FlcikAR photos and TweetMondo Twitter search nearby.

Imagine the uses we could have for SA? Particularly now that we are planning the 2010 FIFA World Cup. If Layar was available in SA than fans from other countries can find their way to restaurants, bus stops, other stadiums etc.

Face detection

One initiative, AU facial recognition, is linked to new technologies such as like Facial recognition software (FRS) which can work easily with apps such as Layar.

FRS will basically enable anyone with a mobile phone to take a photograph and the software will automatically identify the person by matching 3D models of faces.

This technique captures the shape of the face and other distinctive features like the contour of the eyes, the nose, and the chin enabling us anyone to dig up information on someone.

Swedish software and design company The Astonishing Tribe is developing an AU concept called Augmented ID that “sees” people and tells you who they are.

In basic terms, people who have online identities can be photographed and their online id account will give you access to their online personal data and history.

I think this will work well when police men are searching for criminals.This would be a game changer in a country where it is filled with fraudsters and wanted criminals.

This is something that is new, it seems almost too futuristic to be real but believe me this will revolutionise how we communicate.

Limitations

However,  I think these devices/applications could exclude those who are not part of the online world. What happens to those who don’t have access to internet, let alone have an online identity?

Do they immediately become online John Doe?  But what happens if online identities clash or their similar online identities or brands or companies out there? What then?

What if someone hacks your online identity (refer to my previous blog post) and misuses the information? Perhaps tries to frame someone else. Matters of privacy-how secure is this software?

Future Possibilities

There are tons of possibilities with such initiatives which could change the way we take pictures, the way we collect and gather information on people, the way online identity and reality can shift.

This can change new media strategies in terms of multimedia and interactive platforms such as mobile, online, video and radio. Of course, implementing these types of initiatives can be challenging, especially in developing countries, but not impossible.  This Futureye signing out…

Post updated and corrected on 9th Nov 2009.

Google

Google

Apparently, within the next two weeks Google is planning to release a new version of Google Chrome that will include the ability to sync bookmarks between different computers.

“The synchronisation will be managed through a Google account”, said software engineer on the Chrome team, Tim Steele in a mailing list posting on Friday.

Sync or synchronisation is an act of causing software to operate simultaneously. So Google wants to synchronise Chrome with bookmarking software, much like our favourite bookmarking site del.icio.us.com

Google sees this venture as far more than just updating a list of links. In fact, it’ll be using the Google Talk (gtalk) infrastructure to handle the service.

Synchronizing will help one instance of Chrome to behave more like another, for example being able to retrieve more easily the address of a website that a user already visited on another computer

However Peter Kasting, another Chrome programmer, would’ve liked Chrome to have “history/visited link/omnibox syncing than bookmarks,” he said in a posting. Now if they do sync passwords and browser history, it’ll be quite a risk.

chrome_logo

Privacy?

Now I have not used Google Chrome yet (so this not making a promo for it because they’re not paying me) but the issues of privacy are quite pertinent.

There are millions of users that are already storing information via search history on Google’s servers. With Chrome’s synchronization feature, however, you would also store a complete record of all of your comings and going on other parts of the Internet on Google’s servers.

Not so long again I discovered that there are search engines, like Dutch based search engine ixquick, that do not store data.

I’m sure you’re thinking this is not new. Indeed it isn’t, in fact there are companies that do the same as Google Chrome, such as the likes of Xmarks, Bookmarksync, Netvous etc. However, what is important to think about is how this will affect us in future and what is means for future innovations.

Core message

This week’s post on Chrome raises some interesting pointers. In a networked personal and business computing environment, users want to be able to enjoy a similar experience regardless of the computer or device being used.

Google Chrome browser is Google’s first step in the direction of creating an interface not just for the web and computing.

The idea is that if more users will access their data directly from the Internet as opposed to a computer?s hard drive, then Google will provide both the interface (Chrome) and Operating System (Chrome OS) that will run on many devices.

In doing so, Google is going head to head with Microsoft and Apple ? not just in the browser market but the OS market too.

The beauty of Google Chrome

It is a unique system that provides real-time automatic bookmark synchronization between all your different browsers, computers, and operating systems.

Add a bookmark to Internet Explorer at work, and it will automatically be sent to your Firefox browser at home and your Safari browser on your Mac!

Moreover I read that it supports Unicode, so it works for bookmarks in all languages and it encrypts your bookmarks so you can securely access them anywhere in the world on any PC or via your PDA, mobile devices, RSS feeds, and publish your favorites using JavaScript.

This can change the way we deal with computers and our work. Personally, I think it could be very useful to students since we move around doing research papers, essays etc.

But then one could ask who needs another hyper-responsive utility just for synchronizing bookmarks or browser history lists when we’ve go delicious.com?

Is Google Chrome pushing a hidden agenda? What I do know is that I’ll be watching Google like a hawk and see when it officially becomes of their plans. Futureye signing out.

Post updated and corrected 30 September 2009

Don’t you hate it when you watching a very interesting tv show and an ad comes up? Ignoring adverts is no longer an option,  it’s about to get a lot tougher with the development of billboards and advertising posters that use Bluetooth to beam video ads directly to passing cellphones.

bluecasting

As people walk in malls go past the billiards/posters they will receive a message on their phone asking them if they wish to accept an MMS advert. If they do, they can  either receive movies, animations, music or still images further promoting the advertised product. This is called bluecasting or blue magic.

Nokia has taken bluecasting to another level, they have created posters fitted with Bluetooth technology that allows people to download maps of the local areas that have highlighted cool shops, bars, galleries and restaurants. They partnered with Superfuture, an internet-based urban city guide, where users can download maps highlighting interesting places worth exploring in that area.

annoyed consumer

Blue Magic opportunity

In India there are some temples which offer ringtones, wallpapers of gods and some other content using bluecasting. They have capitalised on bluecasting for religious purposes.

Imagine if other South African media houses or  advertising organisations, have looked at this model of advertising or spreading information for their industries.

This could open such great opportunities for customised advertising. For instance if one is in a certain place and Bluecasting can customised ads according to the place you’re in.

Customised advertising via Bluecasting can target those in a particular place and advertise restaurants, bookshops, movie houses, school plays etc.

Blue Magic Dangers

The danger with bluecasting is that downloads can be corrupted and exploited to inherent vulnerabilities in particular hardware, causing it to crash.

Another danger is how companies  can persuade users to accept the adverts once the novelty has worn off? This may be quite possible as people get over trends quite quickly. However, I think this can be avoided via good marketing strategies.

Content needs to exclusive or valuable to consumers, content also needs to actively persuade consumers to consume it, for example get vouchers for certain shops.

Other software companies, such as ScanBuy in New York and Semacode in Ontario, have been experimenting with making posters interactive by having 3D bar codes printed on them. Their software allows a phone camera to scan the code and launch the phone’s browser at a particular e-commerce site – to buy concert tickets, for example.

Magic taking over television

Whatever content is downloaded onto the cellphone it can be bluetoothed to television sets where the image, video etc can seen on a large screen. This creates interactive TV (also referred to iTV) where information flows not only from broadcaster to viewer, but also back from viewer to broadcaster.

Lets now turn our sights to a similar wave of communication…widgets. This will soon take off, in fact Yahoo and Intel are ramping up their TV platform to enable access to weather, stocks and news information on the TV.

This proliferation of widgets could come at a cost, however this (along with bluecasting) if they merge can dramatically change how viewers live and take in advertising.

For example imagine if  TV widgets and devices/programs such as  Bluecaseting merged? Well you can probably get  interactive television that can allow:

  • T-commerce: You will be able to buy a pizza without dialling a phone.
  • Interactive Goodies: You will be able to pause live TV or record shows. You will be able to click on advertisements to “find out more”.
  • Families will be ordering gifts through their TV sets, choosing camera angles while watching their favourite sporting events and sending email to friends.

telegent_chat This is where the next generation of human beings is going to, inside this cycle of persuasion, observation, refinement, and new persuasion.

It may be pleasant for some and it can possibly be hellish too as such merges or advertising can be intrusive. But if you get annoyed, just switch off your bluetooth.

As for advertising companies new media tools ( such as bluecasting) can bring in a great deal of revenue.

Futureye signing out.

Post last updated and corrected on 12th August 2009.