New …

Ok … after another few weeks of work, we just threw out a new version of our NuMe website!  Go and check it out … what is fun is that it is actually gaining some real momentum.  Our videoWrapplet is now finding itself onto webpages all over the planet … it’s fun to see many of the places it’s showing up!

Our biggest hit is the Smashing Pumpkins MySpace page, where they are using it to show off their latest videos.  We’re now on numerous other MySpace pages (like this one from the UK … I love the video he posted called “Spiders on Drugs”), also blogs, and even more sites in South America and Europe.  It’s fun to see the Google Analytics, and to also see some of the uses of the videoWrapplet … a conspiracy web site, a Japanese tech/audio site, Argentinian TV sites and cooking videos and Tech sites, a German Club site, and too many others to link to.  Well … you can always check them out on the NuMe site.  We now have a videoWrapplet detail page that shows all of the top playlists, and the recently updated playlists.

One facinating thing that I caught yesterday, was that we had a user Jim from Mexico grab our videoWrapplet and load it up with videos.  The first videos are Smashing Pumpkins videos, leading me to believe that he found it through their site.  He then added several other videos from other artists.  The best part is that he then went to YouTube and signed up so that he could upload his own home-made videos and put them into the playlist!  So our videoWrapplet actually caused someone to create a YouTube account … just so that they could use our videoWrapplet.  Many people would argue that proves we ought to be hosting the videos … but what I like to see is that the value they perceive in our videoWrapplet caused them to leap the hurdle and create a YouTube account!

Anyhow … I’m having fun with this, and am about to release a new version … with some small tweaks.  But I also have a fully skinnable version in testing, and it also supports transparent backgrounds.  We’re also adding a full set of preferences.  I’m also thinking that it will be easy to open up the skinning to anyone with some pretty basic skills …  🙂

Stay tuned … the video experiments continue …

Amazing Laser Graffiti … 15 stories tall!

On our NuMe website, the user rufinorosado posted an amazing video to their NuMe videoWrapplet playlist … this is too cool.  The video is by a group called Graffiti Research Labs and they have set up a giant video projector pointing at the side of a building, and then integrating a laser pointer tracking system to allow people to draw giant virtual graffiti on the side of the building using a hand-held laser!

I’ve added the video to my Inevitable videoWrapplet playlist with the title LASER Graffiti by Graffiti Research Labs … you have GOT to check this out … I want one!

Touch Interface of the Future

You have to watch the video to really see how impressive this is.  I’ve added the video to my Inevitable videoWrapplet playlist … it’s the presentation that Jeff Han gave at the TED conference of his ‘multi-touch interface’.  This is the stuff of Minority Report … but being demonstrated as reality.  Read the article … check out the video … this is an impressive product.

I keep thinking that I want this on my laptop, or Tablet PC!

TED: Jeff Han, A Year Later. Catapulted to geek stardom literally overnight at this high tech confab in 2006, inventor of mind-blowing touchscreen technology gives Wired News a glimpse into life as an entrepreneur and his new company, Perceptive Pixel. Kim Zetter reports from Monterey. [Wired News: Top Stories]

Dog or Cat Captcha …

My favorite project talked about this article is one where the blurred letters and numbers – called captcha images – are replaced by the image of a dog or cat … with you having to properly identify which it is.  It turns out that this is a hard problem to solve … today … for machines.

Microsoft’s research labs offer freebies. Many projects at TechFest are simply research concepts that will never come to market, but some are being made publicly available.
Images: From pets to panoramas at TechFest [CNET]

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Brain controls for computers and games

As the work in the research labs continue, it was only a meeter of time before the technology begins to enter into commodity markets.  I do have to wonder if the quality and capabilities will meet peoples expectations, however it is only going to improve with time.

I keep thinking of other applications for this product … who will do the first TV Remote Control based on this?  Just think about changing channels …  🙂

Connecting Your Brain to the Game. Emotiv Systems has announced that video-game makers are able to buy Emotiv’s electro-encephalograph (EEG) caps and software developer’s tool kits so that they can build games that, they claim, can use the electrical signals from a player’s brain to c… [ Accelerating Intelligence News]

Kurzweil predicted it accurately

I think it was Ray Kurzweil that said during a presentation at Stanford that the US Patent System was in for some problems.  I believe that he had some charts that showed the near exponential growth of the number of patents being filed … and talked about the fact that reviewing and looking for possible overlap and duplication was going to grow to be near impossible … unless we end up employing the majority of the US citizens!  Well … looks like things are heating up!

What is cool is that they are actually exploring some new and innovative ways to deal with the review of patents …

The U.S. Patent Office Wants You. A plan to help overburdened patent examiners solicits online advice from outside sources (read: you), calling on Slashdot’s founder for a system to rank user comments. Plus: China blocks LiveJournal. In 27B Stroke 6. [Wired News: Top Stories]

Another release of our videoWrapplet

I’ve been working on my videoWrapplet some more, and just added a few new features, and fixed some bugs.  I’m really restructuring the internals of the code to prepare for some of the bigger features … more flexible playlists, and preferences.

With the new version the videos will automatically advance to the next video if they can (the Flex video player events are pretty hosed!), and I’ve also added a video info button next to each title to see, and copy, the URL of the video.  All of this to make it easier to put videos into your playlist.  And yes … I’m working on a way to do a one-click add of a video into your playlist … stay tuned!

Also … Scott has been jamming on the home page of NuMe to show the users who are getting the top plays, and who have recently updated their playlist!

Heading to Apollo Camp!

Ok folks . .. time for Apollo Camp!  I’m going to be heading out there to participate, and some of our G3 team members from mediaFORGE are going to be there with me.  If you aren’t yet familiar with Apollo, you ought to be.  I’m very impressed with what Adobe is doing, and we are fully committed to Flash, Flex, and Apollo development.

Apollo, IMHO, is going to truly alter web applications beyond what Ajax has done … and I’ve been working with Ajax for quite some time.  My issues with Ajax are that the most popular web properties on the Internet will not allow you to embed Ajax in their pages … but they’ll allow Flash!  Apollo now adds to that since it allows the Flash applications to be “installed from the web” … so now cross-platform applications can be created and distributed through embedded web objects.

I’m really looking forward to this evening … and if you’re there, we might even demo some of the projects that we’ve been working on!

Mass media and virtual worlds . ..

I have been a long believer that the mass media – television and radio – are still poised to be the dominant powers of the Internet … if they can let go of their fear of the Internet.  Their current position reminds me of the stories of the railroads way back when … ignoring and afraid of the airlines.  If the railroads had recognized that they were in the transportation business … they could have had it all!

It seems that still to this day, TV and Radio are all around us, constantly pushing their content at us, and – sadly or not – the masses still flock to it.  Millions of people across the country are scheduling their lives around their “favorite” TV show that they can’t get enough of.  Even the news draws millions of people to learn more about all of the events that occurred around the nation, and in their local area, they they *must* know about.

With this huge audience, this medium is still, IMHO, the most untapped mechanism to get people to the Internet.  It is the *only* way that you can impact so many people – at nearly the same instant – with some message or meme.  TV was the original way that people or companies were “slashdotted” … when something runs on TV there might be hundreds of thousands of immediate responses.

This article demonstrates a powerful TV brand utilizing it’s communications vehicle to move people to a new medium on the Internet … and to go beyond the “reality” TV of today, and into virtual worlds.  MTV is now creating a television program, that is then being used to drive people into their online virtual world.  This, to me, is a prime example of good marketing … using the power and reach that you have through TV to then create awareness and drive the people to your web properties.  Nice!

MTV launches ‘Virtual Hills’ based on platform. Blog: MTV Networks on Monday announced the launch of Virtual Hills, a new custom virtual world created using the platform,… [CNET]

Sending E-mail from Cingular SMS Text Messages

When I got my new Nokia E70, one of the things that really disappointed me was the different way that e-mails were sent from the text messaging. No matter what I did, I was unable to figure out how to send an e-mail using the “basic” SMS text message. Instead, I was forced to use the “multimedia message” … which I quickly found out was being charged to me per message, even though I was just sending simple text. 🙁

So why do I really care about this? Well … I have formed the habit of using SMS text to e-mail as a way to send reminders to myself that I later will find in my e-mail inbox! If I am out and about, and away from my computer, I can quickly jot a message on my phone and e-mail it to myself. When I get back in front of my laptop there are my reminders sitting in my inbox! Also … I’m working on a cool SMS text messaging site that I have had under construction for years now … and I am sending messages to it also … for purposes to be announced soon. 🙂

With my older Nokia phone, I could easily send a basic SMS text message, and specify an e-mail address … the phone handled dispatching a properly formatted message to the SMS e-mail gateway at Cingular and everything worked. With the E70, although I am able to add e-mail addresses to my contacts, when sending a basic SMS text message, I am unable to pick an e-mail address to send to! Instead … I have had to use the costly “multimedia message” format, and then I get a pick list of numbers and e-mail addresses to send to.

Tonight, while experimenting more with my phone I realized something … that I could reply to a e-mail that was sent to my phone as a “basic” SMS text. If I could do that, then I figured that there must be a way to properly format a basic SMS text to send as e-mail. By searching Google, and remembering some obscure settings, I finally figured it out. So for anyone interested here it is:

To send a SMS text message to an e-mail address on the Cingular network:

  • Address the message To: “0000000000” (ten zeros)
  • Write the text with the format “{e-mail address}({subject}) {body of e-mail}

Now the exact format has to be followed. An example would be: came from my phone) I figured this out!

The key points in this are that the e-mail address and subject are separated from the body of the message by a space! Do not put a space after the e-mail address … it must be the e-mail address, then the subject – in parenthesis – with NO space between them. Then a space before the body of the e-mail message. If you want to, you can leave out the subject and the parenthesis, and just get a message with no subject.

Now I do have to admit that I am still very disappointed with Nokia, in that I can not find how to get the e-mail address from a contact to appear in the text message … so I end up having to type this EVERY time. But the cost of these messages is included in my plan … so it’s worth the extra effort!