I have been messing around with Dodgeball.com for a couple of weeks in the Seattle area, and I think the service is pretty cool. I haven’t done much more than test it, but I like the idea behind it. Apparently Google liked it to - so much so that they have acquired the company, making Dodgeball.com the thirteenth company that Google has picked up. If you are unfamiliar with Dodgeball’s service, it is simple. Sign up is free, and you are then able to send a text message to email@example.com whenever you are somewhere that you want to meet people. For example, if I am at Pike’s Place Market hanging out, I can text firstname.lastname@example.org with the message @pikes place. Now anyone on my contact list that happens to be in a 10 block radius will get an email and/or text message which says “Andru is at Pikes Place”. Very cool. Dodgeball is available in most major cities. Congrats to Google for picking this one up.
Read More | Dodgeball
British scientists have put together an anti-gravity machine which has the ability to levitate heavy stones, coins, and other metals in the air. Using a powerful magnet, the anti-gravity machine uses diamagnetism, which essentially means that you can place non-magnetic object into a powerful magnetic field, which then causes the object to take on a weak magnetic force of its own. While the levitation technology isn’t new, it has certainly never been at a point where it could lift objects like lumps of metal and heavy stones before. One step closer to that levitating Segway I have been wanting.
Read More | The Guardian
The Google search engine is a powerful force. We have all heard of the different ways you can manipulate the search field to find things that people would rather keep private. Now it appears that someone has uncovered another security flaw, this time concerning iCal. Now, after talking to Joel it was made clear to me that the user needs to do something in order to get their information out there. Apparently, if you publish your iCal, anyone can view it if they know what to plug in to Google. Check it out for yourself. Click on a result to view the calendar, addresses, appointments, and all. Unfortunately, many users will publish a calendar on the web to share with friends, family, or co-workers, not knowing that it would become available for all to see. Perusing through the search results, you can find personal addresses and phone numbers - things I am sure the users probably didn’t mean to broadcast across the interweb.
Canada’s local phone companies were hoping that VOIP services would be left unregulated similar to other Internet services. Instead, what is expected to happen is that the CRTC will bring VOIP under its umbrella which would mean that the large telcos like Bell Canada and Telus Corp. would need to seek CRTC approval for their prices. This means that if they want to slash prices to compete with VOIP services like Vonage and Primus Telecommunications, they need to go through the proper channels to do so. This gives startup VOIP services and easier time of gaining footing, as well as giving cable companies like Shaw, Rogers, and Videotron the ability to compete.
Read More | The Globe and Mail
Yahoo! has made a very bold move in the digital audio download arena. Yahoo! Music Unlimited will bring its users music downloads, similar to services provided by Napster and Rhapsody, for the extremely low price of $7 per month. If you purchase one year all at once, it costs just $60 - that is $5 a month! The music is your standard DRM protected WMA format and can be transferred to portable devices, same thing offered by all the other music stores that aren’t called iTunes. It even allows you to share music via Yahoo! Messenger. Comparatively, NapsterToGo costs $15 per month. I have been messing around with the interface for a bit, and it is honestly just a bit buggy. My guess is that they will have their programmers working on a new build throughout the day in preparation for launch tomorrow. $60for one year’s worth of music? That just may be too hard to pass up.
Read More | Yahoo! Music Unlimited
The Internet is a crowded place, and as you will notice, it is hard to develop a truly original idea that someone else is not already doing. That being the case, your individuality needs to stem from your own originality. One of your main goals should be to stand out from the pack, positioning yourself in an optimal spot in your marketplace. Here are a few tips on gaining that edge:
- Go with something you know. The more knowledge you have about the sector you hope to enter, the greater the chance that those seeking out that information will find your site to be a resource. If you can prove that you know your craft, you will build credibility and a strong rapport with your visitors.
- Go with something you love. Building on the first concept, if you can develop something that you are not only knowledgeable about, but are also passionate about, you will gain a nice personal fulfillment from your work. The fun you are having will come across in your work to your readers, as you will likely be more excited about the effort required to make it a success. You will also be able to come into contact with others who share your passion, again making your venture that much more rewarding.
- Provide a cost-free resource. Whether you are writing articles or selling merchandise, web surfers are attracted by content which they do not need to pay for. Whether that is an ad-supported RSS feed or a merchandise giveaway, give your visitors a reason to not only be excited about your online presence, but to want to return to see what’s next.
Working on narrowing down all the aspects of your online presence can be mind-boggling. While you may have your ideas right on the tip of your tongue, it is very common to come down with a case of the startup “writers block”. When this happens, it is always a good idea to grab a pad and paper and start surfing. Find those websites which you want to take after (or take over!), essentially refreshing your market research. Scribble down the taglines that interest you, note down impressive design schemes, and start developing your own ideas based off of this information. One great resource you can use is del.iciou.us, as just about any concept you can think of can be found using tags. Remember, ideas are not something that can be copyrighted, but just about anything else can be. When doing your brainstorming, be sure to respect the intellectual property of those sites you visit.
Microsoft has finally announced Windows Mobile 5.0, a.k.a. Magneto, at the 2005 Microsoft Mobile & Embedded DevCon. The software looks fantastic - I am most stoked about the upgraded network support with 3G optimization. Other features include a new mobile office suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel), a one-handed navigation scheme, improved WiFi, improved BlueTooth, persistent memory to ensure your data will remain safe in the even of battery failure, video calling, push-to-talk calling, external drive support, and USB 2.0. This will all go into the next generation of Windows Mobile Smartphones and handheld devices.
Read More | Windows Mobile 5.0 Page
Recently I picked up a PowerBook, and while I expected it to be “okay”, I did not expect to fall in love with OS X the way that I have. I am completely smitten. So much so that I had to pick up a Mac mini so that I would have a desktop Mac solution (and because it just calls your name when shopping at the Apple Store). The 80 GB version struck my fancy, but soon I realized that I am not one that enjoys playing mouse cursor beach ball all that much. The mini had half a gig of RAM in it, but the 4200-RPM drive was just holding me back. It was time to upgrade to a 5400 RPM 100 GB drive. Rather than taking it in to a service center where they would overcharge me, I did it on my own. If you want to upgrade your Mac mini’s hard drive, read on for our tutorial which takes a look at backing up your data, replacing your hard drive, and restoring your data.
A few people forwarded this site to me this morning, and I just had to mention it because it is just another example of the things you can find on the Internet. Going to a site like weather.com will tell you the conditions of any location you would like. While it is nice to know that it is hailing outside, what weather.com doesn’t tell you is if you should wear a jacket before stepping out into said hail. This is where DoINeedAJacket.com comes in. It is simply a site you would go to if you wanted to know if you need to wear a jacket or not, based on your local weather conditions. Take today for example. I put in my zip code, and my results are in the image. You see, I should wear a jacket because it simply isn’t that warm outside. Who needs to know the temperature? Apparently, not me!
(Thanks to everyone who sent this my way!)
Read More | Do I Need A Jacket?
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