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Microsoft and their New Mouse

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Today Mr. Softy (as Cramer from Mad Money likes to call them) unveiled a new tracking technology called BlueTrack.  This new technology will supposedly allow users to use their mouse and virtually any service.  The new mice featuring BlueTrack will debuted sometime in the Fall, according to the Microsoft blog,  and will be sold at Best Buy stored.

According to Microsoft:

“Microsoft’s BlueTrack Technology works on more surfaces than both optical and laser mice. The large, blue beam and specular optics architecture, in conjunction with a Microsoft-designed image sensor and proprietary pixel geometry, generates a high-contrast picture of the mousing surface that allows exceptional tracking accuracy. The BlueTrack Technology light beam emanating from the bottom of the mouse is more than four times as large as the average laser beam used in today’s mice, enabling reliable mouse tracking even on difficult surfaces such as carpet.”

So how much is this new magic mouse going to cost us?  Well there are two versions coming out, a full size and a mini, the full size will cost $99.95 and the mini will cost $79.95.  Is it going to be worth it?  Eh, we’ll see, if the mouse can really work on virtually any surface then it may be worth the price, especially if you are a mobile user.  I am definitely a mobile user and I can’t count how many times I have had mouse problems on various surfaces at coffee shops, flights, etc.  Of course, there is always the little pad on the laptop, but who has the time to play around with that? 🙂

If you want some more information on this new mouse or if you would like to see a demo, then visit the Microsoft BlueTrack page.

What do you think about the new mice?  Are you going to shell out the $80-$100 to buy one or just stick with your current one?

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Search Google for Newspapers

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In their quest to index the planet, Google has now announced they are working on indexing old newspapers.  Does anyone still remember what a newspaper looks like by the way?  The newspaper database is still fairly new but is going to grow at a very rapid pace.  Not too long ago Google set out to index books, well now they are doing the same thing with newspapers.  One can only wonder what Google is going to index next, perhaps comic books or magazines?

In all seriousness though, it will certainly be great to be able to find the original newspaper article for a momentous event such as the moon landing.  According to Google:

“You’ll be able to explore this historical treasure trove by searching the Google News Archive or by using the timeline feature after searching Google News.  This effort is just the beginning. As we work with more and more publishers, we’ll move closer towards our goal of making those billions of pages of newsprint from around the world searchable, discoverable, and accessible online.”

From now on when you do a search in Google, the newspaper index will also be searched and if any of the results are from the newspaper index you will see a little “google news archive” button.  According to Read Write Web though, they were barely able to find any information presented in such a way.  Perhaps it really is a bit too early to start searching through newspapers.

What do you think of Google’s announcement?

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Its a Phone!

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Robert Scoble Sums up all of the insanity of this ridiculous iPhone fever in this one paragraph:

After playing with it today I’ve got to agree. This is the company that can give you a crappy camera. No video. Charge you more than other devices. Make you wait hours in line. Take hours to get your credit card approved, your iPhones activated. And, at the end of it all, make you feel good.

huh?

Talk about drinking the Kool aid. I have to wonder if Steve jobs wrapped a turd in a shiny box with the apple logo on it how many fan boys would stand in line to buy one.

Twitter / Pownce Killer…. Plurk?….

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Someone sent me a direct message on Twitter recently asking if I had signed up for Plurk yet. I was curious so I did some quick research. Seems it is meant to be a better scalable version of Twitter with a few added features. 

So I signed up. You can follow us/me @BlogWorld. The guys at The Drill Down Podcast are big Plurk fans and think this could be a twitter killer and will almost certainly kill Pownce.

Well I never signed up for Pownce so I don’t know about that. As for Twitter, if Plurk doesn’t crash, slowdown, burp, etc maybe it will. However I like the visual presentation of Twitter better. That could be it’s just because I am used to it. Plurk also has a long way to go as far as adoption.

What a lot of early adopters and this certainly includes tech bloggers continually fail to realize is that most normal people don’t use services like Twitter, Pownce and Plurk. At least not yet.

Twitter is just starting to crack the mainstream blogging consciousness. Plurk is not even close to approaching that barrier.

Are you on Plurk?

what do you Think?

Is the Internet About to get Faster?

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I hope so. Read this promising story from Japan.

The rocket carrying the WINDS satellite — a joint project of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries — lifted off its pad at 5:55 p.m. (0855 GMT).

If the technology proves successful, subscribers with small dishes will connect to the Internet at speeds many times faster than what is now available over residential cable or DSL services.

This raises a couple of questions. First Why isn’t NASA working on this?

Second who else remembers when moving from Dial up to DSL felt like going from riding in a horse and buggy to a formula one car?

**update**

Bummer. Within minutes of writing this post Fractals of Change burst my bubble:

The satellite’ll be good for email; it’s a good backup to oceanic fiber that seems to be getting cut lately.  It will NOT do what the Japanese Agency’s press release says

these satellites won’t be good for interactive gaming (as Slashdot points out) and that they’ll be terrible for VoIP; they also won’t work well for web browsing. That matters! 

latency is very often MORE important than bandwidth in determining the quality of Internet experience. Anyone who thinks geostationary satellites are an acceptable way to bring broadband to rural areas doesn’t understand how the modern web works.

If you would like to learn something about how the web works read the whole thing.

**related**

Read Fred Wilson’s explanation why Techmeme is so important.

DSL reports finds some possible uses for this new satellite technology.

If you missed Ross Mayfield’s keynote talk, listen now

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Saw on Ross’ blog that Dan Farber (who moderated the panel-note) has posted a podcast of the panel-note (it isn’t a keynote, but during the keynote section, but with a panel … my word, why not!).  This was a thought-provoking session.  Talking about enterprise adoption of new tech, how to do it, and how to do it right.

If you’re in the position of trying to get a wiki or a blog or even IM into your company, this is a talk to hear.

 

If you missed Ross Mayfield’s keynote talk, listen now

Author:

Saw on Ross’ blog that Dan Farber (who moderated the panel-note) has posted a podcast of the panel-note (it isn’t a keynote, but during the keynote section, but with a panel … my word, why not!).  This was a thought-provoking session.  Talking about enterprise adoption of new tech, how to do it, and how to do it right.

If you’re in the position of trying to get a wiki or a blog or even IM into your company, this is a talk to hear.

 

That mysterious RSS

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Rick Klau has a fantastic post up at the FeedBurner blog today.

Some interesting tidbits from the post:

FeedBurner is publishing 604,533 feeds on behalf of 347,000 bloggers, podcasters and commercial publishers,

On any given day, FeedBurner sees more than 3,000 clients capable of reading all kinds of feeds, including podcasts and video feeds.

Is there any hope of these reports becoming standardized any time soon?

The FeedBurner folks have posted a great glossary of terms and have a chart showing how some of the leading web based aggregators report their statistics.

More:

MyYahoo!, Google, and Bloglines Dominate Audience Engagement for Web-Based Aggregators

Today’s key takeaway is that feeds represent only one aspect of a publisher’s overall content consumption.

If you are half as confused about RSS, what these statistics mean and how to make sense of all the different aggregators out there I highly recomend you read the whole thing.

StumbleUpon Rocks!

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Robert Scoble posted about this service the other day at his blog. I decided what the heck I’ll give it a try. It Rocks!

It is a total time sink, or as I said in the comments at Scobleizer it’s a time sink finder. The good news is it finds time sinks you really like. For example I found some great camping sites, a couple of silly games, scientific websites, political websites I had never heard of, guitar sites. Just great stuff that I was interested in.  So if you have a little time on your hands I highly recomend installing this thing. It only takes a minute, you use it when you have some time to spare and most likely you will StumbleUpon some great websites you might never have found without it.

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