Randomness on a Friday

My Garbage brain needs to unload some stuff too brief for posts, too long for tweets.

  • Google Finance is the best example of data design I have seen. Remember Edward Tufte? The charting function – I strongly recommend you visit the Dow Jones Industrial Average and drag the time-slider back to 1970 – and its integration with news headlines, makes Google Finance my favorite financial tool on the web.
  • Sponsored applications. This morning’s New York Times has a short profile of Spiceworks – a web service for IT managers to track their tech assets. It’s also a community and advertising opportunity – free to the users, but supported by sponsorships by the same companies who’s products are being used and tracked by the Spiceworks users. That, and the news earlier this week that there would be an advertising supported version of Office coming is proof to me that we could be moving to a new ad model in 2010 that sees adjacent/relevance targeting shift from media to services and functions. Anyone know of any other sponsored applications?
  • Omniture does Twitter. Coming out of the Omniture Summit was the news that one can use Omniture’s SAINT API to track Twitter. Adam Greco blogs the details: ““SiteCatalyst has a Data Insertion API that is used to inject non-website data into SiteCatalyst and Twitter has an API associated with itssearch.twitter.com website, so if you put the two together, why couldn’t you pass Twitter information into SiteCatalyst?”
  • Networked Insights: I met CEO Dan Neeley at CES, introduced by Pooj Preena, head of biz dev at DropBox. Networked Insights is an interesting twist on the social media/online reputation monitoring space – differentiated from Visible Technologies, Radian6, and the other detect & monitor applications in that their tool, SocialSense, is more of a “what-if” analyzer, segmenting detected conversations and expressions of brand engagements against different demographics, competitive sets. I took a WebEx demo last night. Neeley is smart and SocialSense is actually one of the first track and monitor systems I’ve seen that has shown some promise above our homegrown Google Reader solution inside of Lenovo.
  • Next-Gen Wireless Broadband: I’m looking hard at LTE – “Long Term Evolution” or 4G wireless. I have two years on WWAN 3G, having tried Verizon’s EVDO and now AT&T’s HSDPA GSM solution, integrated into my ThinkPad X200, and while both were great for dodging paid 802.11 paid WiFi charges in airports and coffee shops, neither is slick enough to make ugliness like Lotus Notes and a VPN, or streaming video truly workable. I sense we’re still in early generations of wireless data (and keep in mind I have a certificate on my wall from some early wireless association for filing the first story wirelessly using a thing called a Mobidem from a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute research vessel in the early 1990s) and thinks like the Kindle’s Whispernet are harbingers of “invisible” solutions that will make devices just unconsciously connected. Think about Wifi in its earlier iterations. Used to be a total pain in the ass to configure. Now WiFi is pretty much unconscious (at least with the ThinkPad’s Access Connections properly configured). I had a long discussion the other day with my buddies at Intel about WiMAX and am very interested in finding someone in Portland who would be willing to blog about their WiMax experiences on a properly configured ThinkPad. Any guinea pigs? Please ping me.
  • Hard drive dock: At Uncle Fester’s recommendation I bought a cheap external hard drive dock. Basically a plastic box with a power supply and a USB connection that you can plug an internal hard drive into. As I scavenge old notebooks and desktops I want to first comb through their drives for photos, personal files, etc.. I bought a NexStar dock from Vantec. Here’s a review from Virtual Hideout. I need to get the whole ghost thing down and find a good file replicator management system. I did buy a utility called FileScavenger to help recover files from a corrupted 200 gig 7200 Barracuda that I had in an old HP tower. I got a couple years worth of family photos and low bit Napster MP3s as a result.
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