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Google’s New Interface: The Earth

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:Continue readingGoogle’s New Interface: The Earth

A Beginner’s Guide to Scanning

(This is the text of my weekly Loose Wire Service column, written mostly for newcomers to personal technology, and syndicated to newspapers like The Jakarta Post. Editors interested in carrying the service please feel free to email me.) A lot of folk ask me whether they should buy a scanner: those things that take bits of paper, or photographs, and turn them into files your computer can use. Frankly, I’m surprised by this (not the taking and turning, but the asking). Why would people not have a scanner? I have four. Well, five, actually, if you include that little business card scanner sitting in aContinue readingA Beginner’s Guide to Scanning

CAPTCHA Gets Useful

An excellent example of something that leverages a tool that already exists and makes it useful — CAPTCHA forms. AP writes from Pittsburgh: Researchers estimate that about 60 million of those nonsensical jumbles are solved everyday around the world, taking an average of about 10 seconds each to decipher and type in. Instead of wasting time typing in random letters and numbers, Carnegie Mellon researchers have come up with a way for people to type in snippets of books to put their time to good use, confirm they are not machines and help speed up the process of getting searchable texts online. ”Humanity is wastingContinue readingCAPTCHA Gets Useful

Loose Change Sept 19 2006

It used to be called Loose Bits, but I prefer Loose Change. For now. It’s the same thing: tidbits I found that might be of interest: First off, NeatReceipts, which sells a small scanner and special software to scan in your receipts while you’re on the road, has announced a new version of its software, which should be in the shops next month. Includes color Scanning, a better Document Organizer and better OCR. Version 2.5 will retail for $200, the same price as the current Scanalizer. I reviewed the product a few months back and was impressed, though you’ve got to really love receipts toContinue readingLoose Change Sept 19 2006

The PaperPort View

Further to my column in this week’s WSJ.com/AWSJ on PaperPort Pro and PaperMaster Pro, here are some e-mailed answers from Bob Anderson (ScanSoft Regional Director Asia Pacific and Japan) in response to my questions about PaperPort Pro: 1) What are the improvements in version 10 (PaperPort Professional 10) over previous versions? A) Faster and easier folder navigation with Bookmark Workspaces and Split Desktop. Bookmark Workspaces allow you to bookmark your most widely used folders and quickly jump back to them when you need them. Using the Split Desktop you can also look into two folders at once to move files quickly and easily between them orContinue readingThe PaperPort View

Software: PaperMaster Pro – worth the wait?

 It’s been nearly five years some folk have been waiting, but it looks like PaperMaster, a great program for scanning and organizing your paperwork, is back.   PaperMaster — the last full version was 98, to give you some idea how long this software’s been hibernating — was pretty good. It look liked a filing cabinet, and let you scan and store more or less anything you could squeeze through your scanner. The company was sold to j2, which is basically an Internet faxing service and which were very, very quiet about the software until last year, when in response to public interest (well me,Continue readingSoftware: PaperMaster Pro – worth the wait?

Column: the paper mountain

Loose Wire — Conquer That Paper Mountain: It’s time to get organized; Here’s some software to help you scan and locate photos and documents; But perhaps you shouldn’t ditch the filing cabinet just yet By Jeremy Wagstaff   from the 29 May 2003 edition of the Far Eastern Economic Review, (c) 2003, Dow Jones & Company, Inc. I’m a little suspicious of programs that, adorned with images of bits of paper and photos disappearing into a smiling computer monitor, promise to give order to the junk that is my life. The paperless office never happened — we still make printouts because it’s so easy —Continue readingColumn: the paper mountain

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