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Monday, May 14, 2007

Google - the other part of my brain

There’s an interesting aspect of Google’s impact on our daily lives. The Internet is so useful - despite its quite chaotic organization - and Google is so good at retrieving information, that we don’t bother to remember anything anymore. How many times did you catch yourself typing some keywords into Google to get to a specific website? Do you realize that by doing this, you’ve subconsciously chosen to remember what keywords you need to type into Google instead of remembering the actual address of the web site in question? Your brain is telling you that you don’t need to remember these things because Google knows them all. Capital cities? Presidents? Math?
I used to be able to quickly convert pounds to kilograms. Currently, I lack this knowledge, because I know that Google has built-in unit conversion capabilities. Simply type X pounds to kilograms into Google and you get the answer. How hard it is to remember that 1 pound is 0.45359237, or 0.45 kilograms? Not that hard. But, there are many units that need to be converted. In the end, my brain gave up this battle, because it knows that Google already knows this stuff, and Google is always available. What happens if I’m abroad and need to quickly convert between pounds and kilograms? Problem.
James Thomas from CenterNetworks recently did an interesting experiment - he tried to completely eliminate Google from his online life. He doesn’t go into too many details, but this quote is revealing enough: “I’m not going to lie, life without Google has been hell online.” Yes, there are alternatives, but Google is so damn good at what it does, that going without it makes gathering information - and we’re all becoming information junkies - much, much harder.
Ask yourself the following questions:
How many times did you use Google to find an article within a specific website instead of using this website’s search?

How many times were you offline and annoyed because you couldn’t just look some info up on Google?

How often do you use Google to do really simple tasks, the type of tasks you used to easily do with pen and paper in highschool (like unit conversion, simple math, calculating time-zone differences)?

Let’s face it: we’re not exactly becoming brighter by using Google. In fact, in the traditional education sense, we’re getting stupider, at least with certain types of tasks. However, we’ve learned to do something else. We’ve learned how to use Google to get information. It sounds like an evolutionary step, a natural progression. Instead of using your brain, you’re using something else - something that works faster and easier. It will be interesting to see how this - if it keeps up, and my bet is that it will - will affect our ability to think in the future.
Google Operating System defines Google as “The other part of my brain”. They might be onto something there.
This was seized 4 u at Mashable


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pop band for sale on Ebay - Rednex ready to go to highest bidder

The 1990s novelty band Rednex have put themselves on sale, via auction site eBay. The Swedish band had a Number One hit with 'Cotton Eye Joe' in 1994, while they had other European hits with 'Old Pop In An Oak' and 'Wish You Were Here'. The starting bid is £1,106,513 ($1,500,000). In the auction description the band explain: "Buy your own pop band! For the first time in the history of the entertainment business there is a pop band for sale....And we don't mean for sale as in, 'Hire them for your next festival'. No, we mean completely for sale as in: it's all yours!
"The buyer gets it all The Band - the Trademark - the Music. The Tour - the Record Deals - the Website. The Record Releases - the Plans - the Contacts - the Styling - the Catalogue (all previous hits and recordings).And of course... ... the opportunities... ... the future... "
Specifically the buyer will get 100% of all shares to the Swedish company Rednex AB. The new owner will be free to sign new record deals if they wish. For more information go to Ebay or

This was seized 4 u at New Musical Express / NME

Microsoft Leaks Windows Mobile oFone Video – The iPhone Killer

Introducing the Windows Mobile oFone, an apex of innovation, originality and revolution. Unlike Apple's iPhone, Microsoft's Windows Mobile oFone has literally reinvented the wheel. The company is a firm believer in this perspective. And nothing will deter it from the "O." Yes, the "O" as in the "O Starts Now" as in the oFone. It has a certain ring to it, get it? Ring? But Microsoft's Windows Vista the "Wow Starts Now" marketing strategy has paid off to such an extent that the approach will be associated with all future major products. The oFone is simply the first step.
You will be able to see a demonstration of the oFone in the video fragment embedded at the bottom of this article. And it's a guarantee that your first reaction will be "Ooo." Microsoft has showcased the oFone at MIX07 in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, and the device has blown the audience away. "People will talk about this phone the way they talk about a piece of art. This phone brakes every paradigm that we have ever had. They've done it, they've really done it, they've reinvented the wheel," are some of the modest Microsoft comments describing the oFone.
Some of Microsoft's top designers and developers have been involved in this project...
...and the video is a spoof and the oFone is not real.
This was seized 4 u at Softpedia

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Google Reader integrates Gmail inline, makes sharing easy

Google Reader just made it a lot easier to share feed items via email with friends who aren't savvy with feed readers.
The Email link at the bottom of each item nowreader-email.png pops up an inline email form that lets you address your message with the same autocomplete available for your Gmail contacts, add a note, and send the item in its entirety, images and all. Google Reader's shared items are intended to be the way you share items with Google Reader for the feed reader-savvy crowd, but I don't know of that many people who've ever done that. Email, on the other hand - god yes!
...and of course: Use Google Reader in line with Gmail with this great Greasemonkey script and Firefox!

This was seized 4 u at Lifehacker

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