Google wants to be your satellite navigation partner, as it announces the power of Google Maps together with some nifty features are coming soon to Android 2.0-powered cellphones.
It believes the feature set it has built in to the turn-by-turn system beat other sat-navs hands down.
These include voice recognition, the ability to enter a whole range of voice or text destinations â€” including street names, places of interest, and even queries such as “the museum that houses this particular exhibition” â€” and satellite and street and traffic view while navigating. More →
Microsoft’s marketing never fails to confuse the Hell out of me. Windows 7 is supposed to be leaner than the bloated Vista. In a hilarious contrast to the promise of a leaner OS, Burger King in Japan is offering a seven-patty Windows 7 Whopper.
This 1.7-pound greasemonster slams 2,120 calories down your throat. Maybe Microsoft wants to give you a heart attack before Windows 7′s “newness” wears off. More →
If you’re a fan of Google Voice but want to be able to use your existing mobile phone number with the service, there’s good news as Google announces a cut-down version.
Those who already have a Google Voice account and number can now choose to link their existing mobile phone number to the service, which gets them access to Google voicemail, enabling voice-to-text messages for reading on a PC or via SMS.
You won’t be able to use certain features such as call recording or call screening â€” maybe that will come with time â€” but you can at least get a little piece of Google on your cellphone if that’s what you like.
The power of Google’s custom search, which has been available to webmasters for around three years, is now to be found on Wikipedia.
It’s common for Wikipedia to be used for research purposes now, despite the occasional curveballs it throws out, and now Google’s search technology should make it easier to find relevant information more quickly.
A key feature is contextual search which only considers pages that are linked to a particular Wikipedia entry. This is great when a word has multiple meanings, as it helps to sift out irrelevant information. More →
Windows 7′s official mascot in Japan is an anime girl named Nanami Madobe. She’s featured in nineteen sound sets and three wallpapers bundled with the first 7,777 copies of the Japanese Windows 7 Ultimate DSP editions.
Personally, I’d take the fanmade XP anime girl over this contrived corporate concoction any day of the week. The earnestness and curviness of the XP girl actually reflect XP’s stability and memory usage. This Windows 7 girl is just… generically chirpy.
For years, the Japanese geek community has anthropomorphized various Windows versions as cute anime girls called “OS-tans“. Hopping on the bandwagon and jumping the gun on Japanese Windows fans, Microsoft imposes its own official anime girl on Windows 7.
Whereas previous fanmade mascots had affectionate names like 2K-tan and XP-tan, Redmond’s new J-girl gets a punnily clever official name: “Nanami Madobe” (“Nana” is Japanese for “Seven”.). Nanami even gets her own voice actress, and graces a bundled desktop theme for Japanese preorder customers. Heck, she even tweets.
From ME-tan’s clumsiness to 2K-tan’s business attire to XP-tan’s big boobs, previous OS-tans had a real community-driven feel to them. They embodied actual user reactions to the operating systems. Sadly, the blandly smiling Nanami looks like yet another sad case of Microsoft design-by-committee. No matter how hard Redmond pimps her out, a boring woman is still a boring woman.
Facebook’s relentless drive for innovation is part of the reason it’s the number one social network in the world today — but as any adventurous developer will tell you, with relentless innovation often comes ridiculous errors. Not only is Facebook singling out your less popular friends, its algorithm is now asking people to reconnect with their dead friends.
The problem is amplified by Facebook’s need to focus on people instead of content. When your Facebook feed shows the occasional dead link, the error carries little emotional weight. When Facebook recommends the occasional dead loved one, tempers flare. Algorithms are great, and I love how they bring up the best content from my network, but Facebook simply can’t afford to treat people the same way it treats content.
The great Drupal switch came about after the Obama new media team, with a few months of executive branch service (and tweaking of WhiteHouse.gov) under their belts, decided they needed a more malleable development environment for the White House web presence. They wanted to be able to more quickly, easily, and gracefully build out their vision of interactive government. General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), the Virginia-based government contractor who had executed the Bush-era White House CMS contract, was tasked by the Obama Administration with finding a more flexible alternative. The ideal new platform would be one where dynamic features like question-and-answer forums, live video streaming, and collaborative tools could work more fluidly together with the site’s infrastructure. The solution, says the White House, turned out to be Drupal. That’s something of a victory for the Drupal (not to mention open-source) community.
Thanks to developer communities, open-source content management systems often feature more plugins, many of which are tuned towards reader participation. Such plugins should further empower the Obama administration’s push for participative governance through technology.