In the spirit of opening up Microsoft's Kinect gaming peripheral to more types of user control schemes, the Blitz marketing agency tomorrow is planning to release software that will let the Kinect work with Adobe's Flash, as well as other interface tools like Microsoft's own Silverlight.
Blitz's workaround for this was to go through a socket server to transmit Kinect's data stream to other applications. In terms of Flash, this turns three-dimensional movements into coordinates that can be read by Flash applications or games. In the example video (embedded below), you can see that turns … Read more
Google just fired a broadside in the Web's codec wars.
With its alternative WebM video-encoding technology now entering the marketplace, Google announced plans today to remove built-in Chrome support for a widely used rival codec called H.264 favored by Apple and Microsoft. The move places Google instead firmly in the camp of browser makers Mozilla and Opera, who ardently desire basic Web technologies to be unencumbered by patent restrictions.
"Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed … Read more
A small company called Kindle Lending Club plans to launch a beta site today or tomorrow that will let it profit from Amazon's e-book ecosystem.
The five-person start-up has a simple business model. First, connect people who are willing to lend the electronic books to those who want to borrow them. Second, when the borrowers discover that they didn't finish with Amazon's 14-day lending window, offer a link to buy the e-book and share a portion of the resulting revenue through Amazon's affiliate program.
It might not be enough to acquire Facebook, but site founder Catherine … Read more
As with other services such as Bit.ly, the goo.gl service can share data about the expansion of the URLs. That's useful for companies that want to know how many people clicked a link in some … Read more
The API, announced Friday, has very limited features and is only an alpha release that the company doesn't promise will remain stable. But it's an important milestone nevertheless for the company as it charts a course through the complexities of building a business on today's Net.
That's because an API, if rich enough, means people using a service don't necessarily have to use that services' Web site. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Part online bookstore, part e-reader, and part social network, Copia has just added Windows 7 tablets to its lineup of supported devices.
Being demonstrated this week at CES, Copia for Windows 7 tablets uses the same reading and social-networking environment found on other devices and platforms. The Copia app makes its Windows 7 tablet CES debut on such systems as the new Samsung Sliding PC 7, also on display at CES.
Reading an e-book through Copia is similar to reading one on most other e-readers, except there's a social aspect. Your Copia library list is shareable, should you choose to share it. So when you add a new book to your library, other people can see the books you're reading.
You can share your library list with everyone in the Copia community or just with friends that you've added to your own network. You can even create Copia discussion groups centered on different books or topics and make those groups either private, open by request, or open to everyone.… Read more
A service bug that left a group of Windows Live Hotmail users without access to new messages and entire folders for days has been explained and remedied against future instances.
Writing on the Windows Team Blog, Mike Schackwitz of the Hotmail team says the problem stemmed from an error with an automated script that Microsoft uses to test the service for errors in every day usage. Part of the script's function is to clean its tracks once it's done creating test accounts, but this time around the testing jumped the test group and went to real user accounts. … Read more
Google has made it possible for Google Apps customers to sign their outgoing e-mail using a technology called DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) that makes it easier to ensure a sender is who he or she says he is.
Google has been using DKIM since 2008 to show Gmail users when incoming mail really is from PayPal and eBay--two major brand names often caught up in spoofed e-mails used in phishing attacks. Now the technology is available more broadly and for the e-mail Google Apps users send.
"Today...we're making it possible for all Google Apps customers to sign … Read more
Microloan organization Kiva.org is adding a new set of partners to its roster of do-gooding collaborators. Skin care company Dermalogica, Lifetime Television and Movie Networks, women's clothier Eileen Fisher, and Seventh Generation eco-cleaning products are some of the partners kicking off a campaign that focuses specifically on female entrepreneurs.
As part of its stated goals, the FITE project (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship) will attempt to assist 25,000 low-income women around the world with their businesses over the next two years.
The campaign targets corporate sponsors to match or otherwise contribute to what is traditionally a consumer campaign. … Read more
In part 1 of this two-part series, I highlighted my thoughts on why the long-term future of the cloud, at least for consumer and small business, belongs to integrated "one-stop" cloud suites, and why Microsoft and Google are the two companies best positioned for this opportunity. However, I was also clear that success in this space for both companies is far from guaranteed.
The truth is that several potential competitors could overtake either--or both--companies, if they should fail to execute successfully. Here are some of my favorites, and a few that should be contenders but really aren't, … Read more