Justin.tv-- the live helmet-video blogging site we wrote about last month--went live this morning. The site combines a live video feed, public chat room, and head blogger Justin Kan's daily schedule--which loosely resembles a content programming guide. Entertaining bits of content are archived for later viewing, complete with a blog post with context for what's going on. The entire production is run through Kan's backpack, which holds a laptop hooked up to an EV-DO card.
I've been using the GotVoice (review) voicemail retrieval service for almost a year, and for the most part I've been happy with it. The free system retrieves voicemails that go to my home phone's message box and sends me e-mail links to them. Handy. On Monday, the company is releasing a major update to the service that fixes a few usability snags and adds outbound message utilities.
Current users should like the new interface. It's easier to use, and there's finally a "delete" button on each individual message.
The real action is on … Read more
With the release of Apple's iPhone just a few months away, we're already seeing phone companies scramble to to keep customers by adding value to their phones and services. WHERE, from start-up uLocate, is no different, providing a bevy of GPS-enabled widgets for mobile phones while managing to use a drag-and-drop Web interface. Subscription to and use of the widgets requires a monthly fee of $2.99. For now, the service works with only six of Sprint's handsets, though about a dozen more are being added next Monday.
The widgets range from weather information providers to locators … Read more
See bird. Look it up. Bird gone.
This is the usual sequence of events whenever we've tried our amateurish hand at birdwatching. That's why the pocket-sized "Audio Visual Handheld Bird Encyclopedia"--a specially outfitted Palm Tungsten E2--would be tempting were it not for its $450 price. (The regular PDA goes for around $200, and Palm's future might be a consideration if support is an issue.)
If you are so inclined, however, the Hammacher Schlemmer device is a treasure trove of birding information that's searchable by name, color, size, location and other parameters: 867 … Read more
We covered Twitter in early January, and since then it's gotten a lot of buzz (especially at SXSW this week.) As cool as it is, there are several ways to improve the experience. You can make viewing posts faster, read "tweets" through RSS, and more. Check out these Twitter accessories:
1. Twitter apps and widgets: Get Twitter out of your Web browser and onto your desktop. For Windows users we recommend Twitteroo, a simple and small desktop app that's good for monitoring and posting to your twitter feed. Vista users also can try Twadget, which runs … Read more
Why? Because Twitter's default mobile channel is SMS, and SMS is a rotten medium for reading a constant feed of trivial posts from a ton of people, which is what you get with Twitter. First of all, no one wants their phone buzzing every five seconds, and second, a lot of people have to pay for each SMS. Until now, I've been using Twitter's Web site on my … Read more
Mig33 is a mashup I came across at the O'Reilly ETel conference, which mixes Web-based social networks with cell phone technology in a very interesting way. Mig33 lets users create profiles and interact with friends from their phones or their Web sites. You can also text chat with people through the Web interface or your mobile phone.
There's also a VoIP angle, allowing you to make low-cost international calls using Mig33's phone app, or set up the call to connect on both ends using Mig33's third-party connection service. There's still some cost involved, but in … Read more
GrandCentral, the cell phone enhancement service we covered last year, is adding really handy customizable instant call widgets to their service next week. The new widgets work a little bit like Jaxtr's widget we checked out in December. You can create customized voicemail widgets with personalized greetings for your callers. There are three different styles of widgets to choose from, and they can be placed on social networking profiles, blogs, or Web sites.
GrandCentral is also adding a way to share your voicemail with other people by letting you embed it like you would with their call widgets. There'… Read more
I discovered Hotspotr at SF Beta this past week. It's a neat little service that mashes up Google maps with a local Wi-Fi hotspot finder. The real pull of the service is you can rate and comment on hotspots as you would with restaurant reviews on a review site like Yelp. It's the perfect service for the casual Wi-Fi traveler to benefit from road warriors who are willing to take the time to review a wireless access point.
The ratings aren't just things such as the overall quality of the wireless signal either; you also can rate … Read more
I'm surprised that more Web sites aren't mobile friendly. By now, all content management systems and blogging platforms should be creating lightweight versions of their hosted sites automatically for users that come in via a mobile phones or WAP browsers. And even major sites that do have mobile versions (like most of the travel sites out there, bless them) don't automatically redirect users there when they should.
But one can rant, or one can find a workaround. I choose to do the latter and find ways to get my favorite sites onto my mobile phone in the … Read more