Are you ready for Halo 2?
I am. I sure wish I could talk about Halo 2 (they've asked us to wait). Let's just put it this way. Some things live up to the pre-release hype. Some things don't. Halo 2 does. We'll talk more November 9.
I've been thinking of writing about mapping service sites for a while. Tonight, Jamie Foley, over on the Sun Microsystems' blogs, pointed to a new mapping site that prompted me to do it.
See, in my quest for a great map I started with Mapquest. Many of you might even use Mapquest. It was among the first sites where you could stick in an address and get a map. Or, stick in two addresses and get directions.
It was the coolest thing. And everytime someone shows up to a party, invariably they have a printout from Mapquest.
But, something was missing. The maps were small and weren't really nice. I was looking for something, um, more glorious.
One day a coworker said "visit Mappoint." Oh, these are nicer, larger, more colorful, easier to read maps! And life was good. My quest for a better map was satisfied.
At least until I saw Jamie's post tonight.
Oh, Jamie, why did you need to shake my perfect map world up?
Since we're talking maps, anyone got a better map service than one of these three? Yeah, I already looked at Yahoo Maps too. Not as nice as Mappoint or Map24.
George Dearing: "And why shouldn't I believe the RSS hype?"
To tell you the truth, we needed a bit of anti-hype. No good technology goes mainstream without having its hype tested.
Jeff Fansler: "Let's see if I get discovered since I am now linking to [Scoble]."
Yes, the system does work. Now, the problem with Jeff's post is that he got my attention, but then his blog was disappointing. Only two posts all month long? What, you trying to join the Eric Rudder fan club or something like that?
See, I only told you how to get discovered. I didn't tell you how to get readers to visit again.
When I figure THAT one out, I'll let you know. :-) I have some theories that it means posting more than twice in one month, though.
Hi, I'm Johnny. I hack stuff.
Lots of Google hacks.
I kept watching for a better search idea to come along. I kept seeing people talking about A9 and thought to myself "it couldn't be any better than Google, could it?
But, tonight I tried it and found that the new A9 search engine is very interesting. Similar results to Google (on several searches I didn't see much noticeable difference). Google's ads, though, actually make Google better. While the addition of images and other datatypes to A9 make it better for some searches. On a search for "Seattle Hotel" Google also reported that it is looking at almost double the number of pages. Google's "Local results" is better. Google's page layout is better too (more results fit into one screen so a little less scrolling).
Have you tried it yet? What did it do well on? What did it do poorly on?
Joshua Bair is blogging his attempts at building a .NET-based video game named StarLynx.
Julian Botta told me a great evangelism story (he's a high school student). He bought a Tablet PC a while back. Then he convinced four other students to get Tablets instead of new laptops. Eventually other students at his school decided to get Tablets as well. Soon afterward he joined a committee at his school in Englewood, New Jersey called "Learning Unleashed" devoted to bringing more tech into the classroom and using it effectively. This school year many of the teachers have gotten Tablet PCs, he told me in an email. Next year, he says, plans are that students entering the sixth and ninth grades will be required to buy Tablet PCs.
The local TV news recently filmed a story on the school's program.
All due to one high-school-student's evangelism? I'm sure more than that came into play, but a passionate student certainly can change the world.
Better software is coming. Someone from the Tablet PC team just showed me a Physics Illustrator that's coming soon. Very cool stuff.
OK, I listen to a LOT of AM talk radio. I sure miss KGO Radio down in San Francisco. Jeff Sandquist came in my office this morning all excited because he had found a piece of software, Replay Radio, that let him "Tivo" any streaming media feed. Whoa.
So, you mean I could tell Replay Radio to record all of Ronn Owens' radio shows and put that on my Tablet PC so that I could listen later? Freaky awesome!
Anyone else have any cool software tools like this?
Adam Curry, you need to check this out! Oh, forgot, you use a Mac.
Dan Grigsby wrote a cool little RSS service (Superfan) to notify him when people add new feeds to their Bloglines accounts and want to read the feeds of people that he reads.
Later tonight I'll update my Bloglines account with my latest feeds.
Are you using a mobile phone to read blogs? I just mentioned Winksite. They also have a blog, specifically designed for small mobile devices, er phones.
Two blogs that Dave Harper pointed out to me in email:
The WINKsite Difference: Part 2 -- http://www.winksite.com/site/help_bl_view.cfm?blog_id=1014
The Present And Future Uses Of Feeds & Syndication On Mobile Phones -- http://www.winksite.com/site/help_bl_view.cfm?blog_id=3730
> Note: Be sure to scroll down to the section titled, "How Are Feeds Used To Publish And Access Content On Mobile Devices?"
Anyone else have any blogs that you like that are aimed specifically at the mobile device reader?
Tablet PC and Outlook users: Josh Einstein today released Tablet Enhancements for Outlook 2.0. I'm using it and so far it's very interesting! Makes using Outlook much more ink friendly. The interface has some rough sides, though (I had trouble figuring out how to schedule an appointment this afternoon with my pen).
Manish Vij, a former Microsoft guy, has built a blog tool that he says is "for non-technical users that looks and feels like an email program."
He's looking for beta testers. Interested? Check out Anconia RocketPost.
Dang, who knew that a little conversation over coffee on Saturday would turn into a flamewar between Dave Winer and Adam Greenstein, the guy who invented the term "moblog." (See the comments here).
I thought it would be fun to look at the term again. Some people seem to think that a cell phone must be used for it to be called a Moblog. Other people said it needed to be done in real time. I don't, and didn't, buy into either and thought we needed another look now that the act of blogging while mobile is quite a bit different than it was in 2002.
Anyway, visit WinkSite for some mobile blogging. More mobile blogging coming.
I think Dave and I will have some more coffee soon. Moflamewars ahead!
Greg Reinacker is holding a contest to rename the News Aggregator that I use (NewsGator).
He's expanding his business outside of the core bring-RSS-into-Outlook application that I use.
Hmmm, how about:
RSR (Really Simple Reader)
News Aggregator 1000. After all, I have almost 1000 feeds again. Whew.
Hmmm, I'm not coming up with any good ones. I guess someone else will have to win that contest. Thanks Steve Rubel for the link!
Yeah, I overreacted this morning to Rich Manalang. I'm still subscribed. Sorry Rich.
I'm really tempted to say more, but I'm too close to this and there are too many smart people working at Google now to give them any ideas.
That all said, I'm expecting more from Google than just another browser or a few more browser toolbars. Is that the biggest idea the blogosphere can come up with? I'm disappointed.
I have unsubscribed from Rich Manalang's feed. Why? Because I can't trust what goes on his blog anymore. The photo I pointed to yesterday wasn't attributed. Turned out to be a hoax. I bit on it, and bit on it hard. Shame on me. I should have known not to because he didn't explain where the image came from.
You only get one shot to ruin your credibility. I ruined some of mine by putting that on my blog. It's a cautionary tale. Know where stuff comes from.
Thankfully my readers pointed out this was a hoax.