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Form your own opinions – be an eye witness November 30, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Business, Education, Information Technology, News, News and politics, Technology, Web.
1 comment so far

One of the more remarkable benefits of modern technology, especially video on demand and live video over the Internet, is the ability to hear and see the news event first hand so we can formulate an educated opinion. We are no longer hostage to a single (or group) of reporters trying (but failing) to give an unbiased overview of a speech or public event. In today’s media rich world everything is recorded and most of that content winds its way to the Internet. Much of it on YouTube. That, I think, is a remarkable thing that promotes opportunities for people everywhere to be truly informed and less influenced by any particular news organization.

What reminded me of this emerging fact is a video I just stumbled across through a post in Twitter. It’s a speech by Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, at a keynote session of a New America Foundation conference. Schmidt gives a review of where we are and were we can go of we put our minds to it. Being the head of one of the most progressive and successful Internet companies should at least cause us to wonder what he might have to say, but having heard most of it (before pausing to write this post) I can say that it will certainly make you think. I don’t say I agree with everything he says, but he has some provocative ideas and promotes a positive future.

YouTube Video of Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, keynote address at the New America Foundation (Nov. 2008)

The times have changed… November 2, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Business, News and politics, Random.
3 comments
The Times Are Changing

The Times Are Changing

Today is when people all across America change their clocks back an hour. Time is literally changing, but I want to also point out the other changes that have been happening at this time.

I can’t help but be amazed at how much has changed in the past 4 to 6 weeks. It has been about six weeks since I wrote this post about the average price of gas hitting a record $4.00 per US gallon and the shortages that were caused by the hurricane hitting the Texas coast. Now, only a little over a month later, the price of gas has dropped to half that price, or less. The other day I saw regular unleaded gasoline for only $1.98 per gallon (US). That’s the lowest it has been in years. Which is certainly good news.

In this same period we have seen the US Congress approve a massive bailout plan for financial institutions hit by the mortgage defaults and credit crunch. Then the New York stock exchange has plunged to half its value and rebounded slightly.

The rapid pace of these changes will certainly takes its toll on the nation. Not to mention the long term affect of the economic crisis and the ever-present problem of dependency on foreign sources of oil based fuels. It will be a long time before that changes.

In these difficult times you can at least say, “I now have more time.” Because today, if you live in America, you have been given an extra hour. Use it wisely.

Google delays new SMS feature for Gmail November 1, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Information Technology, Software, Web.
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You may already be aware that the Google used to have a send to SMS text message (send to cell phone) but it has been retired. On Friday, Oct. 31, 2008, Google released a new SMS texting feature for Gmail. Only, it proved to be too buggy and too unstable, so they pulled it back from the public and posted this announcement:

Oh snap. Last night, we started rolling out a new feature to Gmail Labs that lets you send SMS text messages right from Gmail. It combines the best parts of IM and texting: you chat from your computer and reach your friends no matter where they are. Your friends who are away from their computers get your messages as texts and can peck out replies on their little keyboards. It was pretty cool for a few minutes last night when we were sitting around texting each other.

Then we found a glitch. When you’d try to turn it on, it wouldn’t fully enable. We thought about keeping it out there — bugs and all — but the experience wasn’t that great. So, in the spirit of Labs, we’ve pulled SMS chat back to fix it, and we’ll get it back out to you as soon as it’s ready — probably within 2 weeks, so stay tuned.

Gmail SMS screen

I guess the good news is there will be a way to send SMS messages through Gmail. The bad news is we will have to wait a little longer for the software to get debugged. Hopefully, it will only be a couple of weeks. In the mean time, if you want to read how the feature works, this article provides a good overview of the new service and includes screen-shots.