Daily Archives: September 25, 2008

Tech News you can’t use

OK, I’m over at TechMeme where there is a TON of tech news today. I can’t keep up.

Let’s run through the headlines and see how much of it you can use.

1. Next-gen MacBook, MacBookPro spotted in matching outfits. Can’t use. (They aren’t out yet).
2. Apple’s iPhone Developer NDA Kills Book for iPhone Developers. Can’t use. (I haven’t signed the NDA).
3. Initial Thoughts on MySpace Music. CAN use!
4. SDK shoot-out: Android vs. iPhone. Can’t use. (Android now out yet).
5. Eee PC to Feature 3.75G for Internet Access Anywhere. Can’t use. Not out yet.
6. Hands on with the Slingbox PRO-HD. Can use. Units just started shipping. I want one.
7. Adobe Talks Open Source, Innovation and the Future of Flash. Can’t use.
8. Yahoo Overhauls System for Selling Display Ads. Can use, but not for consumers, so earns an asterisk.
9. Is Chrome a security risk? Can use.
10. China Mobile Seeking Cut-Down Version of Apple’s iPhone. Can’t use.
11. Announcing the Virtual Earth Web Service and Virtual Earth Map Control 6.2. CAN use!
12. BoomTown Decodes Jerry Yang’s Here-Comes-the-Weasel-Consultants Memo. Can’t use.
13. Y Combinator’s SocialBrowse Launches to the Public. CAN use!
14. Microsoft’s Mundie outlines the future of computing. CAN use!
15. Introducing Google Moderator on App Engine. CAN use, but only for developers.
16. Apple proposes improvements to Safari browsing experience. Can’t use.
17. RWW Interviews David Tosh of Elgg The Open Source Social Networking Platform. Can’t use.
18. Layoffs at ad network Glam Media. Can’t use.
19. Apple Seeds iPhone Firmware 2.2 Beta1. Can’t use.
20. Activity Centered Design. Can’t use.
21. Yahoo Buys Site for Nebraska Data Center. Can’t use.
22. Schwarzennegger outlaws text-messaging while driving. Can’t use.
23. China space mission article hits Web before launch. Can’t use.

So, what can we learn from this?

Well, most of the news we can’t use.

But even more. We as bloggers aren’t looking at how to really put any of this new stuff to use in our daily lives. That’s a change for the blogosphere. I remember when Dave Winer and Mike Arrington were always telling us how to use this stuff to make our lives better. I miss that kind of blogging, and probably explains why I like Lifehacker so much.

Tomorrow on WorkFast.tv we’ll get back to news you can use. We’ll have Sumit Agarwal, product manager for Google Mobile, on the show and we’ll talk about some ways you can use your mobile phone to actually do more business (that’ll be shared live at 10 a.m. Pacific Time and after the show we’ll be on my Kyte channel so you can ask him questions ). Later in the afternoon we’ll also have the CEO of TripIt on a separate show where he talks about services to help you travel better.

These kinds of things might not get hundreds of thousands of visits. They won’t get on Digg. Won’t get on Google News. Won’t get on TechMeme. But I think they are more useful and in these days shouldn’t you get something useful out of your news? I should start a new site called “tech news you can use.” I’m shocked no one has already.

One other example? Check out the video of MoneyAisle. If you are looking to invest money in CDs (lots of people are lately because you need to make sure you don’t have any more than $100,000 in any one account since so many banks are close to failing) then this service will get you a much better rate (they do auctions with 80 different banks). Now THAT is cool news to me (a longer video shot with our HD camcorders will be up soon where we dig into the very cool technology behind this service).

Anyway, hope that’s useful. Now we’re off to catch a flight home to San Francisco from Boston.

Two-word blogging

Lately I’ve been experimenting with saying less and seeing where that takes us. Today’s two word blog? Depression and Fear.

In a world of information overload maybe two-word posts are going to be a trend. Who knew that two words could kick off so many more words? :-)

Chalk this up to my laziness. I could have woken up early and documented what Microsoft’s CTO said, like CNet’s Dan Farber did. But I didn’t.

Shoot me.

Coolest thing at MIT conference is the badges?

I’m still getting around to see a bunch of cool things here in Boston as I attend the MIT Emerging Technology conference but the coolest thing just might be the badges. They are electronic devices made by nTAG Interactive. First of all they got the visual part right. You can read people’s names from a good way away. It’s amazing how many conferences get that simple thing wrong.

Underneath the name badge is a device that’s a little longer than an iPhone. It is connected via wireless to a home server. They know which sessions you’ve attended and they can ask you survey questions (speakers can use the devices to get feedback in real time from the audience). But you can also use them to exchange an electronic business card. My device shows me I’ve exchanged cards with eight people so far. It’s weird, I don’t like using the device for that as much as just gathering a paper card. Partly because you have to hold the devices together to exchange cards.

Anyway, the coolest thing is that you can study how audiences interact with each other. Over on the NTAG blog they have interesting posts about whether men or women are better networkers or how people from the same company hang out together at events around the world and lots more.

They’ve also done a quick analysis of the people at the MIT conference.

Also on the device you can send messages to other attendees, plan your schedule, and more.

The one problem is that events are too short. Just when you figure out how cool the device is and how useful it might be you need to turn in the device and head to the airport, which is what I’m doing after I finish this post. We’re flying from Boston to San Francisco tonight.

Oh, and why doesn’t this add data to Dopplr and other services? Also, any photos I took could be matched up with data from this device to make tags on Flickr or other photo sharing service. My friends think I’m geeky when I ask for such things, but someday our devices WILL talk to such services.

One last thing: privacy is dead. Get over it. Off to the airport now.