We are becoming police states. Everyone OK with that?

The speed of technological progress is enabling rapid change in our societies and threatening the principles we claim to hold dear. We have to decide — now — whether we want to accept or resist the loss of our freedoms.

NYT Labs: Can a newspaper think like a startup?

The New York Times has rolled out a site called beta620, to provide a home for all of its experimental web projects and apps. But can the paper successfully adopt the kind of beta culture that drives startups, or is the new site just a sideshow?

The Perils of Our Digital Communications

When 90% of what you do for work is based online, there are bound to be some glitches, and not just the technical ones. How do you handle the inevitable misunderstandings that come with today’s rapid-fire digital conversations and communications in the workplace?

StumbleUpon + Wii = Killer App for New TV?

Stumblee video on WiiAfter an hour of laughing my ass off to a dozen monkey videos, I pretty much decided I’d just happened into the next killer app for online videos since YouTube itself. Launched last Feburary (Liz blogged about it then) Stumble.TV is StumbleUpon’s version of StumbleVideo, except tailored for the Wii. Once you direct your Wii’s Opera browser to the site, videos start playing on your TV, one after the other. You get to choose from several channels showing thousands of videos, and like the Web version of Stumble, you can give each one an up or down rating, using the Wii’s controller button. (See pic.) Your Wii-based ratings are cookied, and if you have a StumbleUpon account, they’re stored there; you can rate without an account, but after 150 votes, a dialog box pops up and suggests that you register.

Right now the site is showing some 200,000 of the Stumbled community’s very highest-ranked videos, mostly from YouTube (with some from Metacafe, Google Video, and MySpace) and so when you hit Play, you get a stream of quality content on your television. When I got around to trying it out recently, I was expecting a cute widget; instead, it suggests a whole new way of watching TV— like a folksonomic TiVo, or channel surfing on steroids.

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Sony UX490 arrives this week: better CPU, more storage and GPS

Sonyux490At $2,499, Sony’s newest handheld is relatively expensive when compared to most other UMPCs, but if you want the latest model with some extra goodies, your wait is about to end. The Sony UX-490 starts shipping early next week with Vista Business, possibly first thing on Monday, according to MicroPC Talk. There doesn’t appear to be any changes on the outside, but under the hood you’ll at least two upgrades over prior models. The CPU is now an Intel Core 2 Solo running at the same 1.2 GHz speed as its predecessors. You’ll also find 50% more storage on the flash-based SSD drive since Sony opted to plop a 48 GB drive in lieu of the minimalist 32 GB that older models used. 48 GB just might work for frugal mobile device users that like storing data at home or in the cloud. Best of all, Sony is bundling a Bluetooth GPS receiver as well as two batteries: one standard and one extended. SonyStyle is offering the UX-490 direct as is Amazon (affiliate link, although I’m not seeing the extra battery or GPS mentioned here).

R U Ready for Cell Phone Spam

Macleans.ca: “According to one research study, 20 per cent of American cell users have received commercial messages on their phones…. in Europe and Asia, where cellphone spam has become a torrent clogging the systems. Japan’s largest wireless provider NTT DoCoMo, for one, stops an average of 960 million junk messages a day, a volume that represents 80 per cent of its traffic.”
I could not have said it better. So quoting verbatim from MacLeans.ca, a very respected Canadian publication.