Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Jon Udell: Google Earth live and in realtime

Jon Udell writes:

For years I've entertained a fantasy about air travel that I'm sure many of you share. You're staring out the cabin window, watching the landscape scroll tailward, and some feature catches your eye: a building, a highway, a lake, a ridge. You touch the window and a heads-up display fades into view. It's kind of like Google Earth, but live and in realtime. You summon and dismiss layers of annotation, and you bookmark locations for later study.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Some Articles Suggesting Improvements to News Sites

9 Ways for Newspapers to Improve Their Websites, here.

(1) Start Using Tags.
"The structure of just about every site we looked at more or less followed that of the paper’s print edition. This is great if you are looking to read the print version of the paper but not great if you are looking to see everything the paper has written on, say, Joe Lieberman. Newspapers aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity the Internet offers to remix/categorize content."
(2) Provide Full Text RSS Feeds.
(3) Work with External “Social” Websites.
(e.g. facilities for submitting stories to sites like Digg)
(4) Link to Relevant Blog Entries.
(5) Get Rid of All Registration.
(6) Partner with Local Bloggers.
(7) Offer Alternative Views of Your Content.
(8) Modernize Your Site’s Graphic Design.
(9) Learn from Craigslist.
(10) Make your content work on cell phones and PDAs.

Plus a list of seven more reader suggestions.

And, another article 'A fundamental way newspaper sites need to change' essentially arguing that newspapers need to provide more structured information in addition to their human-readable news stories, to allow that information to be repurposed:

For example, say a newspaper has written a story about a local fire. ... what I really want to be able to do is explore the raw facts of that story, one by one, with layers of attribution, and an infrastructure for comparing the details of the fire -- date, time, place, victims, fire station number, distance from fire department, names and years experience of firemen on the scene, time it took for firemen to arrive -- with the details of previous fires. And subsequent fires, whenever they happen.

That's what I mean by structured data: information with attributes that are consistent across a domain. Every fire has those attributes, just as every reported crime has many attributes, just as every college basketball game has many attributes
The articles gives other examples such as births, wedding announcements, government sittings and their agendas.

The also gives an explanation of what is working against such changes.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sofa That Folds Into a Bunkbed.

Picture and info: gizmodo and product page.

A Nintendog as a Character in a Game

Wanting a bit more mindless fun in my life, I splurged on a Nintendo DS, and got New Super Mario Bros and Nintendogs. If you don't know, Nintendogs is about caring for and interacting with a puppy, and it's got the formula down pretty well.

I think you could build on that formula, by incorporating a dog like that into a game as a character. One where you also play a particular character. Imagine something like a lighthouse keeper back in the olden days.

Rather than a typical game, it would be more of a slice-of-life thing, with you having day to day things to attend to, like fixing things. Occasionally you'd receive or send letters to other people, or have visitors.

Sometimes more dramatic things would happen, like your character breaking their leg when out doing something. And through of all of this, the dog would be there keeping you company, or being around the place.

So kinda like Nintendogs, but because you'd have more within-game shared experiences with the dog, there would be, I think, more of an opportunity to create a deeper sense of a bond with the dog.

Poseidon Undersea Resort Meant to Open in Fiji

According to this post (which has images of what it's meant to look like), the Poseidon Undersea Resort is planned to open in Fiji:

The underwater portion of the resort will be situated in 13 meters (40 feet) of water and will be linked to land with two piers providing access to two elevators. The underwater facilities will include 24 luxury staterooms, a large restaurant and bar/lounge, a library, conference room, wedding chapel, underwater spa, and the Nautilus Suite which is an ultra-luxury accommodation with stunning undersea views that would impress even Capt. Nemo.
They "expect to begin taking reservations in mid-November, 2006 at a rate of $15,000 per person, per week".

Monday, September 04, 2006

Paul Graham Interview at Techcrunch

Paul Graham interview at Techcrunch. Pretty much his usual speil on startups, though still good, and I thought the following was a nice point:

Most people don’t understand what a social force startups can be. There are a lot of changes that can only happen through companies. One startup I dream of funding is the one that kills the record companies. You know your business model is broken when you’re suing your customers. The new business model must be out there somewhere, and my guess is that the way to beat the bad guys is not through political action (or at least, not only that), but by inventing whatever replaces them.