Monday, July 31, 2006

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Microsoft Live Labs: Photosynth

For once... this Microsoft idea looks really cool...

Photosynth takes a large collection of photos of a place or object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed 3-Dimensional space.

With Photosynth you can:

  • Walk or fly through a scene to see photos from any angle.
  • Seamlessly zoom in or out of a photograph whether it’s megapixels or gigapixels in size.
  • See where pictures were taken in relation to one another.
  • Find similar photos to the one you’re currently viewing.
  • Explore a custom tour.
  • Send a collection to a friend.
Don't miss out the video demo. (Currently, there is no application for you to download yet.)

Anyway, if this idea takes off... (it will if there is enough support from the bosses at Microsoft), we can be sure that its going to be cooler than Google Earth. Talk about phototourism.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Windward Shorts: Cubicle War

Windward Reports, a .NET-based solutions company has made an awesome and hilarious short clip called Cubicle Wars. Even better - according to a guy at Windward Reports, the video has been getting 10,800 views per hour on YouTube. Brilliant video, excellent publicity.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Politics 2.0

Web 2.0 is about participation. And now Wikipedia founder, Jimbo Wales (user page), wants to change the way politics is run. He has started a political wiki, called Central Campaign Wikia on Wikia to user in a new era of web-based "participatory politics". Indubitably, if he succeeds, the Internet will see Politics 2.0.
Blog and wiki authors are now inventing a new era of media, and it is my belief that this new media is going to invent a new era of politics. If broadcast media brought us broadcast politics, then participatory media will bring us participatory politics.


To add on to Web 2.0 observations...

With regards to Wikipedia, Emigh & Herring argued in 2005 that "a few active users, when acting in concert with established norms within an open editing system, can achieve ultimate control over the content produced within the system, literally erasing diversity, controversy, and inconsistency, and homogenizing contributors' voices."

In the same vein, somone has finally found out that the top 100 Digg users control 56% of Digg's homepage content. Looking at the latest Ajax Aiki startup, called Wetpaint, its easy to notice that there are always a few people who are doing the work. In addition, look at 43things, and you will realise that after so many months since it was founded, the number of users seem to be stuck at below 500,000 - rather, the nummber of users have more or less reached a plateau.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Tragedy and Legacy of Zinedine Zidane

A swift exchange of words, a moment of madness, followed by a flurry of action - that was all it took to prove the mortality of Man. First, it was Germany vs Argentina, then Rooney, and now Zidane. Adidas Teamgeist or not, the ball can never be perfectly round, and the beautiful game will always be imperfect. This imperfection - a verity of life, is what makes soccer so spectacular - from the Hand of God to the Schumacher-Battiston incident and now the Zidane-Materazzi incident.

Despite all the hype about Zidane, Zidane still remains a man. History will be kinder. His actions will be forgiven, and the man himself will not be forgotten. Zidane will be remembered - he may not share a place among soccer greats like Pelé and Diego Maradona, but he will have a place alongside Franz Beckenbauer and Michel Platini.

It has been a lifetime of outstanding performance for Zidane. He has given soccer fans more than they had ever dreamed of. The son of an immigrant brought up in the aftermath of the Algerian War, he has defied critics and inspired countless others living in the spotlight of discrimination. There can be no doubt that Zidane will make the best of his circumstances. The journey is far more important than the destination. His spirit lives on.

Technorati: Zidane, Worldcup

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Flickr Inspector

Flickr Inspector gives you all kinds of interesting information about your flickrstream. The display of information is clean and tidy. And don't forget to check out the analysis of my flickrstream: minghan's flickr score: 731

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Windows Live Mail Desktop Beta

Windows Live Mail Desktop Beta - a program with an ultra long name, is Microsoft's live solution, or rather replacement, for Outlook Express. Among Microsoft's claim is that the program gives you "a massive 2GB* of online inbox storage." This, unfortunately, only applies to those who are in Windows Live Mail Beta.

Currently, Windows Live Mail Desktop Beta, has nothing special. It sprouts a search bar at the top (more like Google's idea), a 3 column interface (one for folder treeview, another for listing of message and viewing messages like in Outlook Express), and one column proudly labelled Advertisement. Other than that, you can view feeds (but this feature requires IE 7 to be installed), and there is a puzzling "Messenger Contacts" button at the bottom of the page, which when clicked, opens up Windows Live Messenger (notice that thanks to Microsoft's ingenuity, I have managed to mention 3 WLMs in this post).

And WLM Desktop Beta comes with a "photo email" feature...
so we decided to play with it...


Technorati: Microsoft, Windows Live

Saturday, July 08, 2006

YouOS

Check it out - an operating system that runs within a browser.
Developed by MIT.
http://www.youos.com/

Friday, July 07, 2006

Google becomes a verb

Google is now officially a verb in the English language. First the venerable authority on the language that is the Oxford English Dictionary added Google as a verb to its online edition. Now Merriam-Webster has added google, without the capital "G" as a generic term, as a verb to its 11th edition released this autumn.

From the Oxford English Dictionary:

1. intr. To use the Google search engine to find information on the Internet.
2. trans. To search for information about (a person or thing) using the Google search engine.
2000 Re: $Emergency_Number in NYC in alt.sysadmin.recovery (Usenet newsgroup) 10 Jan., I've googled some keywords, and it came up with some other .edu text.
2001 N.Y. Times 11 Mar. III. 12/3, I met this woman last night at a party and I came right home and googled her. 2005 ‘BELLE DE JOUR Intimate Adventures of London Call Girl 115 Obsessing over the details, including Googling his name every few hours? Too right I did.



From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:
Etymology: Google, trademark for a search engine
: to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web

Monday, July 03, 2006

Flickr Photo of the Day: They don't have no right to be so cute



They don't have no right to be so cute, originally uploaded by meeralee.
Seriously, aren't they? And that brick, and the swirls of spray paint on the top -- practically an ode to urban decay.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

TinyComp

Imagine …11 or more individual applications on your flash drive. Now, imagine the frustration of opening My Computer and navigating to these apps everytime you want to open one. Step in TinyComp. It manages shortcuts on your thumbdrive and can be set to launch itself everytime you plug your drive in. Splendid!




Simple and easy interface.

For more information, check it out @ http://weikiat.ikueb.com/tinycomp.html
And don't forget to Digg it!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Germany vs Argentina ended with a brawl

The intense Germany vs Argentina FIFA World Cup match ended with penalties in which Germany downed Argentina 4-2 to proceed on to the semi-finals. But what followed was a 90 seconds brawl between Argentina and German players, the coaches, the refree and FIFA officials, infront of 72,000 astounished spectators looking on in the stadium and millions more worldwide on television.



In the heat of the moment, the unexpected happens.

The trouble appeared to start when midfielder Tim Borowski gestured towards the Argentina players to "keep quiet" having scored his penalty to make it 4-2 in Germany's favour.

Several of the South American players walked towards him and when Esteban Cambiasso's final Argentina spot-kick was saved by German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, the Argentina defender Fabricio Coloccini approached Germany's Oliver Neuville.

Punches were thrown in a brief melee before it was broken up.

Germany captain Ballack also gave his version:

"The first provocation came from Argentina, they were shouting at our players as they were going to the penalty spot. They shouted something in Spanish and we didn't understand what they were saying. But they were definitely trying to influence our strikers.

After Tim Borowski scored he put his finger to his lips to tell them to shut up. They were a bit mad at that. After that I didn't see much but I saw one or two lying on the ground. I didn't see what happened."

Read more here, here and here.


The brawl ended with Argentina's Leandro Cufre, an unused substitute, shown the red card by the referee after he was seen kicking Germany defender Mertesacker, and Mertesacker was left lying on the grass after being kicked in the groin.

This has go to be one of the most disgraceful moments of the beautiful game. It appeared ironic that while thousands of fans could coexist and stand side by side watching their countries fight for honour and glory, the players themselves betrayed their fans.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter was left to comment, "What I always say is in football you learn to win, but you also have to learn to lose." Sports when played on the international level, is cruel, but it does not mean that we cannot play it professionally. The Germany Argentina match was an intense match pitted against two giants - both deserved to go one to the semi-finals, but of course, there can only be one winner.


Anyway, the world cup does have an effect on Internet traffic:

A graph showing internet traffic decrease in the Netherlands during the 2006 FIFA World Cup game between Netherlands and Serbia & Montenegro on 11 June 2006.

Technorati: worldcup, germany, argentina