Unusual Web Work: EveryScape Ambassador

ScreenshotPerhaps the easiest way to describe EveryScape‘s business plan is “Google Street View, only more so.” When you visit one of their sites, such as their Boston page, you can drive around and see the city in a 360-degree panning window. But you can also enter buildings and see what’s inside – places like the Paul Revere House or the original Cheers.

Right now, Everyscape only covers a dozen or so cities, and that’s where the job opportunity comes in. If you live in one of the cities that’s next on their plan, you can apply to be an “Everyscape Ambassador” – someone who drives around with the appropriate fancy equipment, taking the images to be digitized. This requires a team of two and pays on a per-mile basis – supposedly high enough to be a full-time job. Certainly it would be different from the usual run of web design, coding, and virtual assistant work!

Akeena and Sun Run Team Up for Residential Solar

Following yesterday’s cloudy performance by solar stocks, this morning some solar players announced a deal that could help them weather the storm. Residential solar designer and installer Akeena is teaming up with residential solar financier Sun Run. The partnership will connect Akeena’s “LEGO-like” Andalay panel system with Sun Run’s power purchase agreement financing, maintenance and monitoring services.

Los Gatos, Calif.-based Akeena, one of the larger solar installers, has invested in creating an integrated racking and mounting system, and had previously not been using power purchase agreements to sell its systems. San Francisco-based Sun Run has developed a business selling fixed power rates amid rising energy costs, focusing on the residential market. Using PPAs to sell solar is popular in the commercial business — Tioga Energy, MMA Renewables and Sun Edison all use a PPA model — but not so in the residential space. Sun Run’s main competitor, SolarCity, offers solar lease agreements, allowing the startup to offer residential solar with no money down.
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Open Thread: Would Visual Search Be Valuable To You?

If you have a mobile phone, you’ve probably tried to type on it; finding it to be a frustrating task.    This is the problem KDDI, a cell phone maker, is trying to tackle with their inclusion of a visual search application in upcoming mobile handsets.  The software works when the user takes a photo on with the camera phone and sends the picture to a web service.  The software sends back relevant search content around the photo, all without having to enter any text.

It will be interesting to see how this service plays out and how else the photo recognition/search market is exploited by the mobile phone market.

Is this type of service of any use to you?  Would you use it?

[via IntoMobile]

Quick Tip: Safari Double-click Tab

There are numerous ways to open a new tab in Safari. You can right click on the tab bar, use the keyboard shortcut Command + T, or use the File Menu item.

Another, less known, way is to double-click the tab bar. Double-clicking will create a new tab and highlight the address bar so you can start typing right away.

Update: Apparently (according to Simon in the comments), this is a new feature of 3.1. So if this isn’t working for you, make sure you’ve upgraded to 3.1.

Hat tip to my wife for letting me know about this one. 🙂

Could Bungee Labs Undercut EC2 Pricing?

Bungee Labs is changing the landscape of utility computing and SaaS billing options by offering pricing based on compute time, bandwidth and the number of times an application communicates back with its host server only when the program is actually in use. And the cost to startups could be less than that of using Amazon Web services.

Using Amazon’s EC2 computing service results in charges to the end user whenever the application up and running, whether they’re using it or not, because the program is still drawing on the EC2 compute power. Unless a startup wants to force customers to quit the program whenever they’re not using it, some measure of compute power is still necessary.

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Fujitsu P1620 update

I visited the Fujitsu site today and was pleasantly surprised to find that the estimated shipping date for my P1620 was moved up from the original Feb. 29 date to Feb. 19 so with any luck I may actually have this baby next week.  It is shipping 2-3 days because Fujitsu drop-ships it direct from Japan.  I can’t wait!

Critical Media to Speed News Video to Web

Almost exactly a year ago we wrote about the launch of ClipSyndicate, a widget for spreading relevant news video around the web. The tool came from the company Critical Mention (now Critical Media) wanting to extend its real-time television indexing tools to a broader market than corporate communications and investor relations departments.
Now the New York City-based company is realizing there’s a piece of the puzzle it forgot: getting content from broadcasters to the web as quickly as possible. Because news video, of all things, has a shelf life.
According to Critical Media founder Sean Morgan, the bottleneck was local affiliates transcoding and uploading their video. “I’d come in at 8 in the morning, and take a look at the log file, see that we’d hardly have anything from the 11 o’clock news until 9 or 10 in the morning. Then the 6 o’clock news we didn’t get till noon, and the news at noon till 3.”
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We’ve won quite a few InkBlot awards!

2007inkblot_thumbWarner Crocker has been having InkBlot awards for a few years now and each year they get better and better.  He’s made his awards for this year and Kevin and I are thrilled to be the recipients of quite a few of them.

There are many awards that you should check out presented in the way that only Warner can do.  We’d like to thank Warner and the InkBlot Academy, our parents, readers and most of all our pets for the support they give us.

Coffee Break- working fast and efficient

Coffee_manToday is drop-dead gorgeous in Houston, Texas.  It is 72 degrees with a cloudless blue sky and perfect convertible weather.  I am fortunate to be sitting in my local Starbucks outside on the terrace and it is the perfect day for some outside work.  I am using the HP 2710p with the brightness at 75% and can see the screen perfectly for those who are asking about the outdoor usage possibility of the 2710p.  When I first arrived at the coffee shop I got my triple-venti-sugarfree-vanilla-dry-cappuccino as usual and sat down in one of the comfy chairs inside.  I pulled the 2710p out of my backpack and in 3 seconds was happily working in slate mode using the pen.  I did this for a while when it hit me I should be sitting outside on such a nice day so I went into Sleep mode (2 seconds), put the Tablet in my bag and moved outside.

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