links for 2009-03-27

  • First, about the addictive stuff, which you non-tech obsessives call the bad habits. When I heard that Jennifer Aniston had broken up with John Mayer because he said he was too busy to see her—but he kept posting tweets online—I knew that Jennifer Aniston, if in some alternative, bizarro universe we were dating—would have dumped me, too. You see, my love of the way technology keeps me connected to the planet mostly likely matches—or outstrips—John Mayer’s. (Maybe we should date?)

    If you are dating me, you ARE dating my devices.

  • "Having a phone isn't even a privilege anymore — it's a necessity," said Rommel McBride, 50, who spent about six years on the streets before recently being placed in a city housing program. He has had a mobile phone for a year. "A cellphone is the only way you can call to keep up with your food stamps, your housing application, your job. When you're living in a shelter or sleeping on the streets, it's your last line of communication with the world."

    Advocates who work with the District's homeless estimate that 30 percent to 45 percent of the people they help have cellphones. A smaller number have e-mail accounts, and some blog to chronicle their lives on the streets.

  • This is actually a very good point, and news orgs and other institutions could play a huge role here: "The only way e-book readers will emerge from their current state of irrelevance is if the manufacturers of the device decide to make them free or as close as possible to free and then make their money on the e-books. At that point, consumers would be more than happy to pick up a Kindle or a Sony Reader and buy cheaper books at their leisure. And by doing that, everyone wins: the installed base will increase dramatically, e-books will sell far more copies than previously imagined and the niche market could finally become a mainstream alternative to print books."
  • Full text of the book. Save it as PDF or use Instapaper to create a kindle-ready e-book.
  • The use of Google Earth to make a virtual discovery, which then led to an actual one, is just the latest example of how the spread of satellite technology — and related computer applications such as Google Earth — are changing the way scientists, conservationists, and ordinary citizens are monitoring the environment and communicating their findings to the public.
  • "After brainstorming a bit we came up with the idea of a ThemeSong server. Basically, we thought it would be awesome to walk into a room and have our own theme song be played.

    "After some work, I have an initial release of ThemeSong available fo those interested in using it for themselves. ThemeSong is written in Adobe AIR and leverages the Roomware Server in order to detect Bluetooth devices in proximity. ThemeSong provides the ability for you to remember devices (mostly phones) and to assign entrance and exit theme songs that you would like to have played when that device is present (discoverable) or absent (undiscoverable). "

    (tags: music tools fun)
  • Intriguing data visialization. What could news orgs do with this?

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