Ball Camera - a trowable panoramic photo taker

Personal photos are part of the personal information space. But they are just "2D". This panoramic ball camera developed at TU Berlin brings taking photos at another level. Arguably we loose all the magic of composition et. such. But it seems fun! 

Ways to share large files with others

Again one PIM raleted XKCD comic :)!

We have the internet for over two decades, yet most people I know don't know what is the best way to send large files to one another. So what are the possibilities (from the comic below):

  • Send a file via email. It happens. I receive at least one file a year that is over 30MB. My email client stops responding, so I have to open the web email client.
  • Most people I know have no idea what is an FTP server, let alone have one. I was really surprised that a lot of students in Sweden (in 2004) had their own FTP servers on their own machines to share files. I wonder if it is still the case.
  • Web hosting. Who deals with it any more. In the old days, whoever wanted to have a web site, needed a web host. With web 2.0, all this is not necessary (everyone can create a blog with no technical knowledge). But to tell you the truth, this is the way I distribute files. I upload them to my web server and send URLs via email. 
  • Sharing servers such us RapidShare (part of Web 2.0 :)). Most of my students don't know such services exist :(.
  • Direct Connect? Really?
  • Dropbox. A few months ago I wanted to share something in a CS conference, and non of the people had an account :(. So again, web hosting was a solution.
We have 4 computers in the house, all on the same LAN, have shared folders. Guess how we transfer large files? USB drives!

Deborah Barreau once wrote about how people learn just enough of technology to be able to complete their tasks. We don't care if it is the most convenient, easy, reliable way as long as it works and it satisfies our needs [1]. Most of the times, we think our way is the only and best way anyway.

[1] Barreau & Nardi, Finding and reminding: file organization from the desktop, ACM SigChi Bulletin, 1995

Twiage.me - Help science and hope your personal information will sometimes be spam free

Although I don't particularly like games in general and especially games on FB (it makes me remember my students planting tomatoes), this one's a bit different.

http://twiage.me/

Helps improve your skills of splitting spam online content from real content in a game way. In the meanwhile you help science as well :). I hope it will sometimes help clean my personal (online) information from irrelevant content I don't care for. On the other hand I don't want to live in a bubble.


How world events change the visits on this blog

Siri, the personal assistant came to iPhone last week. What came as a surprise to me is that such event can change the long term ranking of visits on this blog and other related pages. The top pages so far were:

The rest were current blog posts and search results form the big G.

This trend was going on for a year and a half now with no disruption. However, this changed last week and the first place (156 visits!!) took a post about an old Apple's vision of a personal assistant (Knowledge Navigator)

 The search terms returned by the big G were:


Jobs has also passed away a few days later and has left a huge legacy of great things and some less great ones behind him. The thing is that Knowledge Navigator has arguably not have been his vision (he was working for NeXT at that time). But it looks like that Siri received his approval.

Welcome to the suburb of "his" impact on the edge of the net. 

Smartr - a way to integrate contacts from all sources into gmail

I have to admit that since very very recently I kept 5 very different address books: 2 on my phones (on from Slovenia and one from UK), one in gmail, skype and Thunderbird. Then I got an Android smartphone and decided to merge everything together.

  • I copied all phone numbers from both SIM cards to my Android phone book.
  • I did the same with Skype contacts (synced Skype contacts with Android phone book).
  • I installed an add-on in my Thunderbird to sync all contacts to gmail
  • I synced my phone with Gmail
  • In gmail I merged everything together. Voila!

But it could be more simple.

Remember Xobni. An academia project that made it into Outlook? They released Smartr for gmail and phones. It integrates all contacts from social media sites, phone books, address books together in gmail. It also shows some insight at rhythms of conversations with your contacts. Nice!

Smartr Inbox for Gmail from Smartr on Vimeo.

May be also of interest:

 

Context of the email in everyday usage

More than 21 ways to visualize and explore email inbox