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Archive for September, 2009

Screenshot Google Wave

September 30th, 2009 No comments
Google Wave Collaboration

Google Wave Collaboration

Google recently released their new web-based collaboration tool called Wave to developers, volunteers and select Google Apps members. The shortest way to describe Google Wave is real-time Gmail on steroids. Wave is the entire Google Product while a wave (lower case) is an individual message or document. Google is initially targeting students, colleges, and collaborative teams to test out this new paradigm of communication.

A wave can include a message with rich content (images, YouTube video, links, maps) and can be shared with other users. There is also a video playback feature that shows a new member coming into the wave the history of the changes.

A wave can also be embedded on another site such as a blog. Currently, there are still bugs to be worked out but this does seem to be a promising step forward for Google to compete with Facebook, Twitter and other crowd sourcing social networks.

Google Wave Header

Google Wave Header

Here is the Google Wave 3 Panes: Navigation, List, Rich Content.

Google Wave Default View

Google Wave Default View

A wave with rich content

Google Wave Rich Content

Google Wave Rich Content

Google Wave is similar to Gmail with search features, tagging, file uploads, and even folders. The rich web interface is completely drag and drop.

Google Docs Now Convert Images to Text

September 29th, 2009 No comments

You can now use Google Docs to perform OCR image-to-text conversions when you upload high-resolution files. It is a nice newly added feature from Google (and of course it is free)

For 3rd party webapps or services that uses Google Docs, they can use this URL parameter to accept JPG, PNG, and GIF files for conversions. Keep in mind this is still in beta.

Tell us what you think of Google Docs OCR performance. Was it good for you?

Google Docs OCR Convert Images To Text

Google Docs OCR Convert Images To Text

Via Life hacker

AT&T Introduces A-List for Free Unlimited Calling

September 23rd, 2009 1 comment
AT&T Introduces A-List for Free Unlimited Calling

AT&T Introduces A-List for Free Unlimited Calling

AT&T’s recently announced A-List plans on September 20, 2009. This calling feature lets customers talk with up to five people on any network for free, including landlines. The service is very similar to T-Mobile myFaves, which provides free and unlimited calling to customers’ five favorite people. The A-List feature is available on individual Nation plans that cost $59.99 or more. FamilyTalk customers with plans costing $89.99 or more can choose up to 10 people to talk with free of charge.

Want even more free calls beyond what AT&T offers? Add your Google Voice number to your A-list so now you can talk to anyone in North America without using your minutes. Google Voice acts like a conference call with the number you want to talk to (incoming or outgoing). The call with Google Voice is free which connects you to the number you want to talk to. When someone outside your network calls your Google Voice number, your Google Voice then redirects that call to you. So now the conversation is between your AT&T number and Google Voice. If you want to make a call outside your network, call your own Google number and sign into the Google voicemail system, you’ll have the option to place a call. Just press 2 and enter the number. You can also visit Google Voice mobile on your phone.

So what are you waiting for? Log into www.att.com/alist now and add your out of network numbers for free unlimited calls.

Google Push Email for iPhone Now Available

September 22nd, 2009 No comments
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Google Push Email and Calender Sync

Dammit.  I just spent $2.99 on an app to give me push Gmail on my iPhone and then Google goes and adds that capability through Google Sync.  Damn you Google, for making what used to cost money free.  Details at the Google Mobile blog.  Thanks to TechCrunch for alerting me.

If you have GSync already set up on your iPhone, all you have to do is go to the Exchange entry and activate the Mail option.  Simple!

Warning – the Google mobile blog servers are apparently mobbed right now, cause performance is slow slow slow.

UPDATE: In the 20 minutes since I activated this service, I’ve noticed three things.

  • You don’t get a popup alert on your screen when new emails come in.  This could be a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view.  You will get  a buzz indicating new mail (if your iPhone is set up for that).
  • There is a definite lag between receipt of email and Google pushing it to your iPhone.  It’s not huge but it can be a couple minutes.  I’m curious as to if this is due to the newness of the service or if it’s normal lag due to using Exchange.  It’s no different than what sometimes happens with the Blackberry, so unless you’re OCD about your email you probably won’t notice it.
  • My Yahoo push email has apparently never worked properly and for whatever reason I do not get my Yahoo mails pushed to my iPhone.  I only noticed this because of how Google’s push works.  Luckily I don’t care about my Yahoo accounts, since they serve as repositories of spam and junk emails for various signup lists.  Plus all my porn user names and passwords.

How To Fix AT&T iPhone Visual Voicemail Notification Alerts

September 22nd, 2009 3 comments
iPhone Visual Voicemail Notification Fix

iPhone Visual Voicemail Notification Fix

One of the most frustrating and surprisingly under reported issues is with AT&T and iPhone Visual Voicemail notifications. When you receive a voicemail on your iPhone, an alert appears and you can play your voicemail as if its a song. There is now a solution!

Since the iPhone 3GS was released, some customers experienced lack of alerts for voicemail (me being one of them). I recently found a fix for it while I was researching tethering for 3GS. Apparently, tethering your iPhone may cause this issue.

So here’s the fix. Navigate to Settings → General → Network → Cellular Data Network and within the Visual Voicemail section add “acds.voicemail” into the APN field. Your visual voicemail will now work once again.

CAUTION: This fix does break the tethering. You can’t have voicemail notifications and Internet tethering work at the same time.

Via Apple Blog

New sources of plastic

September 22nd, 2009 No comments

One of the things we (consumers) take for granted is how much plastic we use. We all know plastic is made from oil (at least I hope we all know that). So I was curious to know what people were doing to figure out what to do when there is no more oil, or at least when it’s so scarce that making plastics out of it becomes no longer an option.
In an attempt to be green I’ve been trying to eliminate a lot of plastics. I don’t buy water in plastic bottles. I got a Klean Kanteen and fill it up from a filter. I use glass jugs and a metal ice cube tray. I have reusable grocery bags and don’t put produce in plastic bags. But this all adds up to a very minimal savings in plastic use. Realistically there is no way to get away from plastic in this day and age.

Inhabitat.com recently had a few pieces on new plastic technology that I hope will really take off.

First, plastic made from plant glucose. Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have discovered a way to convert glucose from plant cellulose into something called HMF (5-hydroxymethylfurfural), a basic building block for fuel and other petroleum-based chemicals. And they’ve done it in a way that doesn’t create unwanted byproducts.
plantstoplastics

Next, scientists at Genomatica Inc have developed strains of bacteria that are able to produce plastic without the use of oil or natural gas. The process uses little more than sugar and water to produce butanediol (BDO), which can be manufactured into everything from plastics and fibers to pharmaceuticals. And the best part is that they estimate that the energy-efficient process will cost less than the current hydrocarbon process within a YEAR!
plastic bacteria 1

Finally, and this is a little different than the above since the following process is about recycling plastic, not making it (but I wanted to figure out how to get all the plastic articles into one post!)… A company in DC called Environ claims it can turn plastic into an oil-like fuel for just $10/barrel and it can be blended with other components and used as either gasoline or diesel. What’s significant about this is that the company has come up with a process that results in a net GAIN of energy (82% of all material that goes in is transformed into fuel). Previous attempts at turning plastic into fuel have resulted in a net loss of energy.
envion1

Green auto trends…

September 18th, 2009 No comments

GadgetMETER is all about trends. Technological trends. Well everything right now is trending towards green. Energy, architecture, automobiles. My friends in architecture say everything is going green. There is no debate about it. The future is green.
And that is the message that the Frankfurt Auto Show is sending now too (not surprisingly the American presence at the show was minimal, sadly).
I’ll admit, I’m not super into cars. I don’t even own one (anymore). But I’m hyper-aware of the impact cars have directly and indirectly on my own life and everyone else’s life as well. So I was super excited to see such green innovation in the cars at the show.
Here are a few of my favorites:

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Audi’s R8-based all-electric sports car boasts four electric motors — two on each axle — and a lithium-ion battery pack mounted behind the two-seat cabin for gravity and load distribution. It has an estimated combined-cycle driving range of 154 miles (248 km).
Currently just a concept but will hopefully be one of the ones that actually gets put into production.

VW1L
The VW L1 turbodiesel hybrid claims 170 mpg or a 100 km on a little more than one liter (hence the name). It reportedly has rear-view TV cameras instead of mirrors, and a small 800cc engine that gets up to 99 mph (160 km/h) and 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 14.3 seconds. It weighs only 840 lbs (380 kg) with a streamlined body that may offer the most aerodynamic and be the “most fuel-efficient automobile in the world.”
I love this one. I admit, I’m a V-dub fan.

Ecars_SS01_800_610x457
And finally, the Roadster from Tesla. The first in production all electric sports car. I’ve fantasized about owning one of these since I heard about them a few years ago. This is the only all electric car at the show that is currently in production and it makes me break out in sweats every time I see it it’s so hot.

I’d be proud to own and drive any of these. Maybe, someday, I will.

Via Inhabitat and CNET