At this past week’s Google I/O event in San Francisco, Google brought a contraption it calls the “Holodeck,” for event-goers to experience. Basically, it’s a near-360 degree way to view Google Street View in fast motion, high definition video. Danny Sullivan posted a bunch of pictures of the thing earlier in the week.
Unfortunately, Google only allows it to show the area at and around the actual Google campus in Mountain View, as I’m sure it doesn’t want any legal complaint from those caught sunbathing in their backyards. Also, while it does zoom past the area where the Google Goats were kept, it unfortunately failed to catch any of them on tape. Luckily, I did that for you a few weeks ago.
Google’s Holodeck isn’t quite as cool as the Star Trek Holodeck, but give them a few years, I’m sure they’ll figure out how to do that as well.
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Look, we fully understand that September 5th is a long ways out, but don't think for a second that Microsoft isn't inking every last detail of its Zune HD launch in stone. That said, Windows expert and all-around good guy Paul Thurrott has been "told" that this very player will ship exactly on the fifth day of the ninth month of this year. Needless to say, that jibes with Microsoft's official line ("this fall"), but sadly, we've no other information to go on at the moment. In other words, feel free to pencil this one in, but keep that eraser handy -- cool?
Music service Last.fm, which was bragging about server uptime a week and a half ago, shuts its doors for the afternoon, claiming “datacenter temperature issues beyond our control” required them to go offline. The outage began around 12:30 pm PST, so we’re at two hours and counting. Updates are on their Twitter account.
The twitter from May 20:
Crunch Network: CrunchBoardbecause it’s time for you to find a new Job2.0
Look, LED light bulbs are fanciful, great for Ma Earth and a fine addition to any home, barber shop or underground fight club. But let's be honest -- even the guy that bikes through blizzards to get to work and wears garb that he grew in his basement isn't apt to shell out $120 a pop to have what's likely the most efficient light bulb American dollars can buy. Enter Chunlei Guo from the University of Rochester, who has helped discover a process which could morph a traditional incandescent light bulb into a beacon of burning light without using nearly as much energy as before. In fact, his usage of the femtosecond laser pulse -- which creates a "unique array of nano- and micro-scale structures on the surface of a regular tungsten filament" -- could enable a bulb to increase output efficiency in order to emit 100-watts worth of light while sucking down less than 60-watts of power. Per usual, there's no telling when this new hotness is likely to hit the commercial realm, but one's thing for sure: we bet GE's paying attention.
Being that Release Candidate 1 just hit the tubes, we weren't really expecting a big Windows 7 presence at Computex this year. Much to our surprise, Viliv has announced that it will be showcasing the first official Win7-powered MID at the Taiwan-based show later this week. The heralded S5 will be the lucky device, with a duo of WiMAX-equipped cousins (X70 EX and S7) hanging around to demonstrate live video streaming. Needless to say, we'll be doing everything we can to drop by and see how things are going.
Now she’s taking on the Republican party, and the Republican party is fighting back.
At a Startup2Startup event last week Zuckerberg talked about her experiences at the Republican and Democratic presidential conventions last year. The relevant clip (care of Ustream) is above.
“At the Democratic national convention we were like rock stars,” Zuckerberg said. “At the Republican national convention I sat in my hotel room by myself for three days, no one would meet with us, I was like begging people to meet with us.” Randi also recounts a conversation on a plane where a Berkeley professor calls Zuckerberg “you’re like the most powerful person in the world.”
The Republicans aren’t amused. Matt Burns, the Director of Communications for the 2008 Republican National Convention left a long comment, calling Zuckerber “full of sh*t”:
With all due respect, Randi Zuckerberg is totally full of sh*t on this one – at least as her comments relate to the Republican National Convention.
As the Director of Communications for the convention, I can tell you we worked closely with Google/YouTube, Ustream.tv, Microsoft, and countless other companies to create a comprehensive and successful online campaign. Those efforts were recently recognized with five “Pollie Awards” from The Association of Political and Public Affairs Professionals. And we utilized Facebook – even if it wasn’t up to Ms. Zuckerberg’s standards – as part of our overall strategy.
Is it possible Ms. Zuckerberg sat alone in her hotel room during the Republican National Convention because she never actually contacted anyone? Or maybe she forgot about the major hurricane barreling toward the Gulf Coast on the eve of the Republican National Convention? Or maybe she didn’t really want to be around a group of conservative Americans in the first place?
According to the Wall Street Journal: “’At the Democratic convention we were like rock stars,’ Zuckerberg said Thursday to a conference crowd of what could safely be called Democratic-leaning entrepreneurs and investors.”
Wait. Ms. Zuckerberg bashed Republicans while speaking to an audience of her liberal friends? Shocker!
In all seriousness, can Ms. Zuckerberg tell us what the Democratic National Convention did with Facebook – aside from pet their enlarged egos and take them to glitzy parties with the Hollywood elite – that Republican National Convention planners didn’t?
I guess next time we won’t make the mistake of letting the business of nominating our Presidential candidate get in the way of the folks at Facebook being treated like rock stars.
Apologies to Facebook. Our bad.
Whenever Randi speaks, point a camera at her. There’s almost certainly a story in there somewhere. All I hope is that Facebook never muzzles her. As the most powerful person in the world, we need to hear more from her, not less.
I’ve emailed Burns for confirmation that he left the comment, but the language is definitely his style.
Update: Burns has responded:
YES. I left it.
I LOVE Facebook as much as the next person, but think the criticism was a
bit misdirected. I can’t speak for the McCain campaign because I wasn’t
working on its new media efforts, but the convention itself made
unprecedented efforts to incorporate new media into our campaign. Over the
course of our convention, we attracted 1.7 million unique visitors, and
strategically partnered with Google/YouTube and Ustream.TV to draw an
additional 7 million unique viewers to our content. And the GOP convention
had more Facebook “friends” than the Democratic National Convention. We had
about 10,000, while the Dem Convention had about 3,300.
We know the Mini 1101 is the more business-centric of the new HP netbooks, but unless the company has a sudden change of heart, it looks like you'll be getting the base configuration or nothing at all. Starting today, HP is enabling eager consumers to purchase one of the $329 machines, but the only "customization" options are external accessories and peripherals. Hit the read link to see if what's offered fits your bill, and if not, the Mini 110 XP and Mini 110 Mi alternatives should be popping up soon.
We always heard that where there is a will, there is a way. Said mantra has never been more exemplified than in the video past the break, as someone halfway across this great planet has seemingly procured what could be the very first shipping N97. Still, we'd like to point out a few things here: first, Nokia has yet to officially ship these things, so there's at least a sliver of a chance that by mashing play, you'll actually be watching a KIRF unboxing, and in turn, supporting terrorism. Also, we can't understand a word the unboxer says, so again, he could be explaining just how elaborate of a fake it is, and we'd never know. Needless to say, you should definitely proceed at your own risk.
My, my Olidata -- why on Earth have you been depriving our wandering eyes from this beauty for so long? After being originally introduced at CES, we've heard precisely nothing since... until now, obviously. At long last, the striking Conte ultraportable has found its way outside of the lab over in Italy, sporting an ultrathin frame, chiclet-style keyboard, a bezel that's a bit too wide for our tastes, an HDMI output and a price tag starting at just €799 ($1,129). From what we can gather, a few versions of the machine will be available, one of which sports an SU2700 CPU, 13.3-inch LED-backlit display, a 120GB hard drive, 3GB of RAM, Bluetooth, WiFi and a multi-touch trackpad. Another variant is slated to include a Core Solo SU3500 CPU and a 120GB HDD, while yet another gets a Core 2 Duo SL9400 and a 128GB SSD. Peek the read link for a few more looks, including one of the most bizarre advertisements we've ever seen for a mere laptop.
When Fotonauts debuted at last year’s TechCrunch50, I called it a “gorgeous photopedia” because it promised to turn your photo albums into collaborative Web pages about different topics and subjects. Fotonauts is a desktop photo client which helps you tag, organize, and share your photos in a live feed, and is still in private beta. But you can see a glimpse of what the Web-facing version will look like at Fotopedia, which just soft-launched. A message at the top of the page states: “Fotopedia, a sneak peek. This site is an in-progress read-only preview of what we are going to launch in a few days.”
One of the features of Fotonauts which has yet to be turned on is the ability to turn any photo album into a Web page, complete with tags, associated Wikipedia entry, and Google map information where available. Fotopedia showcases some of the same public albums you can see in the Fotonauts client, plus it adds a few twists. Each photo can be voted up or down or flagged as inappropriate. There is an Encyclopedia tab, which shows albums by topic/tag. For instance, you can see albums about Volcanos, butterflies, or Venice.
There are nearly 150,000 high-quality photos already, organized into 4,289 “articles.” Each article is a Web slide show, along with the associated Wikipedia entry and Google Map. Each photo contains a lot of metadata making it search-engine friendly. Fotopedia is supposed to be a cross between Flickr and Wikipedia, an= long-lasting archive of “images for humanity.” Fotonauts founder Jean-Marie Hullot explains in a note: “Flickr and other photo sites give you exposure for only a brief window in time, and adding photos to Wikipedia proved too complicated for the average user.”
In addition to the photos, there is also an active community. You can follow other people or follow specific albums. You can also see individual profiles when you are logged in. You can also share albums as widgets. (I’ve included ones for Volcano and butterfly albums below).