JustPark app finds a spot on BMW dashboards

The British app is the first of its kind to be embedded into a car manufacturer’s dashboard displays, starting in the U.K. but soon available in other English-speaking countries, too.

BMW taps Nuance for in-car speech recognition

BMW will be the first the automaker to incorporate Nuance Communications’ new voice command and control platform into its dashboards. The German car manufacturer said today it is using Nuance’s Dragon Drive voice messaging technology in its luxury and compact sedans.

Is Ford facing off against Apple over the connected car?

A lot of automakers are lining up to support Apple’s new Siri Eyes Free technology, but Ford, the most aggressive company in the connected-car space, isn’t joining the queue. A platform war over the connected-car interface might be in the making.

Netvibes goes social with new enterprise offering

Netvibes, the San Francisco-based startup that allows people and brands to create personalized RSS feed dashboards, has added social analytics capabilities to its web content monitoring platform. But can the company hold its own in today’s world of hyper-funded and hungry social media analytics startups?

WWD Screencast: Boarrd, A Simple Online Dashboard App

Boarrd is an app that enables users to create dashboard consisting of “widgets” that pull information from various sources on the web. It could be useful for creating dashboards to keep abreast of project information and updates, or to create a monitoring dashboard, for example.

Visible Energy: Fighting Vampires With UFOs

ve-2As a rule, power strips are pretty boring-looking. Consisting of a bar of electrical sockets, often surrounded by a tangle of cords, their look can be described as utilitarian at best. But that’s begun to change over the last few years, with companies like Belkin and Power Sentry offering more stylish designs for the lowly strip.
Now Visible Energy, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup that presented at our Green:Net conference last week, hopes to corner the market on stylish strips with a new line that aims to be both good-looking and intelligent. The strips include energy-management software and electronics that will automatically record appliances’ consumption, storing such data for up to two months, and enable users to control those appliances via their iPhones, iPod Touch devices, or computers. (The company only has support for these devices available so far.)
The company plans to ship its first three products by the end of this year, CEO Marco Graziano told us this week. The first of these, called UFO Powerstrip, is a flying saucer-shaped disc about 11 inches in diameter with a rubber top that flips up to reveal four sockets in different colors, and space for hiding cords. The single-socket Monostrip, meanwhile, is both suitable for larger appliances and can fit into tighter spaces than the UFO. The third, the Load Monitor board, connects to homes’ electric panels to monitor their circuit breakers.
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Beginning Mac: Dashboard

dashboard-icon

When the Mac operating system OS X 10.4 (aka “Tiger”) was first announced, there were two things that I instantly fell in love with: Automator and Dashboard. While Automator is great when you really want to geek out, Dashboard is a great companion for new and veteran users of the Mac.

Dashboard is a semi-transparent “layer” of the operating system that contains small, self-contained applications called “widgets.” These widgets allow you to do everything from convert currency to check the local weather. With thousands of widgets available — and even the ability to create your own — Dashboard can be a very useful (and powerful) tool for a new Mac owner.
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