I was at the first ever Texting 4 Health conference at Stanford University last week and saw a presentation by a San Francisco startup called Kadoink. The premise is if you can blog it, why not speak it instead? After you create a Kadoink widget, you can post it to your favorite social networking site, or to your own blog, and people can access your rants, music clips, or anything you want them to hear via their cell phones. You can even call up a buddy (or conference call a few of them) and record that conversation so the rest of your friends can hear it. Check it out and let me know what you think!
I first blogged about my Ojo video phone back in May of last year. I was pretty excited about them since they work so darn well. I use them on a regular basis to talk to people across the country and even on the other side of the world. Sadly, one year later, it appears that the Ojo's time has come to a sudden and abrupt end. As of a few days ago, my Ojo stopped working and any attempts to contact customer support resulted in a prerecorded message - my attempt today resulted in a disconnection message. Of course, I then went online to see if the internet could somehow remedy the situation. It was then that I was confronted with Sal Costello's blog, The Muckraker, which confirmed my sinking suspicion about the demise of the Ojo.
Sal does mention, however, that there may be a way to reprogram the machine to resurrect it back from the dead. If anyone out there knows of such a miracle solution, please let me know!!!
Here's an interesting Google Maps mash-up. The main tenet of Walkscore.com is to help people "find walkable places to live." Why? Because walking benefits your health, community, and environment. Interesting, eh? (Yes, I was Canadian for four years of my life) Just enter in your address and Walk Score will calculate a score based on your proximity to important landmarks, such as schools, parks, grocery stores, restaurants, theaters, drug stores, etc. A final score from 0 to 100 is computed. The higher the number the more accessible you are to locations desirable for convenient living. The calculations are based strictly on the number of destinations and the geographic distances. Factors such as neighborhood crime levels, topography (think San Francisco hilly streets), and inconvenient streets with heavy traffic are not taken into consideration. Nor are the destinations weighted in importance. For example, an ice cream parlor is considered just as important as a drug store. Calculate your Walk Score.
I am happy to announce today that MeisterMed, maker of popular PDA
medical software, has now optimized one of their most downloaded
programs for the Apple iPhone. LyteMeister is now available free to
the public on their website. Since everything is text-based the
program is fast enough for quick access. Hopefully more of their
programs will be available soon! Check out LyteMeister here: www.meistermed.com/mobile. Official MeisterMed site HERE.
So here's a fun trick to do with your browser. Go to Amazon.com or the results page of any Google Images search. Then copy and paste the following code into the address bar and it will take all of the photos on the page and animate them in a circular pattern on your screen! I've only tried it on Google and Amazon. Not sure if it'll work with other websites yet.
Google recently announced that their cookies will now automatically delete after two years, unless the same website is visited again, in which case any associated cookies will be "renewed" for another two years. From the BBC:
Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy counsel, said
in a statement: "After listening to feedback from our users and from
privacy advocates, we've concluded that it would be a good thing for
privacy to significantly shorten the lifetime of our cookies."
Of note, you can still dump your cookies whenever you want by visiting the preferences menu in your browser.
Am I behind the times or do I just not know anyone who uses this service? Remote Control Mail is a company that digitizes your postal mail so you can access it where ever, whenever you want. Here's how it works: you first have all your mail forwarded to them. Each day they pick up customers' mail directly from post offices and immediately scan the unopened envelopes. The digitized images then show up in your email for you to peruse. If you see a piece of mail you would like to open, you can chose to either have them scan the entire contents of the envelope or simply forward you the envelope unopened. You can even designate unwanted mail to be shredded and recycled. They can also "safely and securely" archive any digital or physical mail for you. I am very curious as to how efficiently this service would work for me. For example, how would time-sensitive information be handled - would they forward it to me via next day mail? What about Netflix - would they open up the envelope and scan the DVD if I asked them to? Most importantly, what about the food-filled care packages I get (though rarely) from my family? It would be a shame to come home to a spoiled package of my mom's famous meatballs. For $12.50 a month, in addition to a $25 activation fee, I'm going to have to think about this one first before taking a dive. Courtesy of Philip Foeckler.
Where in the world would you end up if you were to walk in a straight line in a particular direction? Here's a website that will tell you: www.map.talleye.com. It's a Google Maps mashup that allows you to pick a direction and see on a mercator projection map the course it would take you around the world if you were to continue walking in that direction! So, for example, if I wanted to walk from SF to Tokyo, I would go roughly 300 degrees NW. Good to know.
Instructables is fast becoming one of my favorite websites to spend waste time on. It's a DYI collaborative in which you can peruse through hundreds of weird to whacky to practical things that people have created and learn how to make them yourself. You can also contribute to the library or participate in discussions on each individual project that's been posted. Not that a computer mouse outfitted with a real taxidermied mouse or an exploding volcano chocolate cake is necessarily something I'd want to actually undertake. Most of the projects are at least entertaining. There are some great and practical ideas on there. See them here: www.instructables.com
UPDATE: So I've been using Jott for 2 weeks now and it has really come in handy. I often find myself Jott-ing ideas, songs I want to download, things I want to look up on the net, etc. The service is quick. It usually takes not even a minute after I hang up the phone for the email to appear in my box!
The guys at The Daily Geek blogged about a free service called Jott last week. I've been using it now for a few days and I love it. It's basically a web-based dictation system. It's simple, easy to use, and very handy. Here's what you do: say you have an idea as you're going about your daily errands (of course, you don't have pen and paper with you to write it down). You simply dial up 1877-JOTT-IT-NOW, speak what you want to say, and by the time you get home, your dictation will be in your email box waiting for you! You can also set up your system to include your friends' emails. So if you want to send someone an email without a computer, you simple call up Jott, speak what you want to tell your friend, and Jott will dictate it and send it to your friend as an email. Groovy.