I’ve written before about how I think Google Earth, or something like it, will become a new form of interface — not just for looking for places and routes, but any kind of information. Some people call it the geo-web, but it’s actually bigger than that. Something like Google Earth will become an environment in its own right. I can imagine people using it to slice and dice company data, set up meetings, organize social networks. Google is busy marching in this direction, and their newest offering is a great example of this: Google Book Search. This from Brandon Badger, product manager at Google Earth:
Loose Wire, the book, was launched last night at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali. It was great to have such a large turnout and gratifying to sell out all copies! More have been shipped in for today’s session of the festival, and can be found at the Java Books stall at Indus. What particularly delighted me was the varied crowd — everyone from geeks to grandmothers! Thanks to everyone for coming and making it a fun evening. I realised that launching a book was really the first time I got to meet readers face to face and hear some of their problems.
I’m a big fan of TiddlyWiki, the personal wiki that runs in one file in your browser, and I’m very impressed by all the plug-ins and tweaks that the program’s users are introducing. (I wrote about TiddlyWiki last year in a WSJ.com column — subscription only, sorry — but have also included some notes for the piece here in the blog, including on this page (scroll down). Anyway, TiddlyWiki is a free form database, not unlike an outliner, but with lots of cool elements that make it much more. (Yes, tags, too.) Think of lots of individual notes that you make in your browser, which
This week’s WSJ.com/AWSJ column is about the TiddlyWiki (here, when it appears Friday), which I reckon is a wonderful tool and a quiet but major leap forward for interfaces, outliners and general coolness. I had a chance to chat with some of the folk most closely involved in TiddlyWikis, but sadly couldn’t use much of their material directly, so here is some of the stuff that didn’t fit. First off, an edited chat with Jonny LeRoy, a British tech consultant who offered his view on TiddlyWikis over IM: Loose Wire: ok, thanks… i’m doing a little piece on tiddlywikis, and was intrigued to hear how
Further to my posting last week on how it might be possible to access Wikipedia (and other localised content) via Wi-Fi, here’s a service that makes it available via GPRS: Wikipedia goes mobile with JAVA-solution Wikipedia is now available on mobile phones. The interactive media platform JOCA allows immediate, continuous and free access to the famous online encyclopedia via GPRS. With more than 1.6 million articles (about 678.000 in English and 275.000 in German), Wikipedia offers the largest free accessible knowledge pool worldwide. Via JOCA, a Java program developed by Interactiv, the German specialist for interactive services, mobile phone users are able to screen the entire
This week’s Loose Wire column in WSJ is about visualizing news. Researching the column I had a chance to interview Marcos Weskamp, the guy behind the very cool newsmap, who is setting up a studio specializing in interface design and information visualization for the web called B2 inc (no website available yet). Here’s an edited transcript of our chat: Jeremy: what are you doing in japan at the moment? marcos weskamp: well Ive just moved back here. I’m setting up a small interaction design office. Jeremy: i see… why japan? marcos weskamp: I had been living here for around 7 years before. I’m originally from
Opera has launched a new version of its browser, 7.50, for Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris. Opera 7.50 includes an e-mailer, newsreader, IRC-compatible chat client, contact database and support for RSS newsfeeds. It’s 3.5 megabytes in size (without Java). The interface has been revamped, with a new panel selector. Opera Mail has had a facelift too, including fast content search, a contact database, a newsreader, automatic filtering, and a spellchecker. The chat client is IRC-compatible and supports both private and group chats. The browser is available free of charge with sponsored advertising. An ad-free version costs $40.
Phishing emails don’t need to be sophisticated to lure the unwary. Indeed, there’s some evidence those behind the more convincing looking emails masquerading as bank emails are also behind a spate of key-logging trojans, which use basic methods to fool the recipient into making them active. Australian Daniel McNamara of anti-phishing website Code Fish has found a new trojan that does a scary amount of work; he believes it’s the same phishing gang which recently launched attacks against his website and which targeted Westpac and ANZ banks. The emails themselves contain no special tricks, just plain text mentioning something newsy about Australia and offering a
Here’s a sign of what a company can do with RSS, winning fans, distributing information and building bridges. Technical consultant and blogger Russell Beattie points to a wonderful page by Nokia, containing all of Nokia’s documents, announcements and toolkits via a bunch of different RSS feeds. As Russell says, “There’s sooooo much to be gleaned from Nokia’s site it’s incredible.” He points to just one document, a presentation Music, video, streaming contents services Demand in Asia Pacific which has some fascinating facts about current mobile data services world wide: Approx 1 billion SMS/day globally Mobile ring tones are already a USD 3-5billion business UK ring
A by-product of Microsoft’s decision to phase out support for some of its ‘old’ products, citing Java-related legal issues: users are going to be very exposed to viruses and bad stuff like that. Ottawa-based AssetMetrix Research Labs found that more than 80 percent of companies surveyed were still using Windows 98 and/or Windows 95. “On January 16th, 2004, Microsoft Windows 98 enters the non-support portion of its support lifecycle. Windows 98 is considered obsolete, and security-based hot fixes will not be generally available for users of Windows 98 or Windows 98-Second Edition,” eWeek quoted Steve O’Halloran, managing director of AssetMetrix Research Labs, as saying. This