Reqall 2.0: Remember Better by Remembering Less

Author and productivity expert David Allen, the man behind the Getting Things Done movement, says knowledge workers are stressed because they try keep track of all they have to do, even when it’s not what they’re focusing on. The key to productivity, he says, is “making sure that everything you need is collected somewhere other than in your head.”

Researchers have been trying to collect everything you need and put it somewhere other than in your head — first in bulky backpacks and now documenting them online — for years. The collection and storage of one’s life was taken to an entirely new level with “lifelogging.”

MIT media lab alumnus Sunil Vemuri logged his own life for two years as part of a PhD thesis. His company, Reqall, has spent the year since its DEMO07 launch learning what its users want. Today it unveiled an updated offering to the service that handles delegation, keyword-based tagging, intermittent reminders to strengthen recall, and an iPhone interface designed in conjunction with folks close to Apple. With the release, the firm hopes to tackle two of the biggest challenges in memory enhancement.

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Karina’s Capsule: The Gum Thief

Random House has shown surprising savvy in using online video to promote their recent book releases. First, they sponsored a seven-minute short video collaboration between filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron and Naomi Klein to promote the latter’s latest Random House release, The Shock Doctrine. The clip was played at both the Toronto and Venice film festivals last month and was then posted on YouTube, where it’s been viewed over 300,000 times. The publisher has now taken the experiment a step further, with an online video campaign to promote Douglas Coupland’s new novel, The Gum Thief.

The three sets of videos, one representing each of the novel’s two main characters and another bringing a text within the text to life, were produced by Canadian post house Crush Inc. Each clip is narrated by Coupland, who reads passages straight from his novel, and each set has a unique look and method of production. The Bethany character is a goth girl working at a Staples, and the stop-motion animation videos that introduce her drop her frustrated musings into a monochrome swirl of staples and Post-it notes. Her co-worker Roger is a middle-aged loser whose age and lack of accomplishment essentially render him invisible; his inner monologue is transposed seamlessly onto the office supply store’s signage.

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MBC & Virginia’s ambitious Broadband strategy

The state of Virginia is so far away from Silicon Valley, that we never almost ever think about it. It is also so far ahead in terms of trying to take control of its broadband destiny. Virginia’s Gov. Timothy M. Kaine wants all businesses in his state to have broadband by 2010.

Richmond Times-Dispatch has a wonderful overview of the state’s broadband efforts. From the article, you gather that since 1998, about $312.9 million has been invested in the state’s broadband infrastructure and a large chunk of the funding has come from FCC.

But more than that, it is the $67.6 million that the state got as a result of the 1998 national tobacco settlement, that has helped Virginia realize some of its broadband dreams. A big portion of that money went into a brand new Intra Muni-Network, the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC), which connects widespread communities with fiber, and is the cornerstone of this broadband makeover. (see maps below the fold)

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Juniper’s rolls out T-Rex like router, not quite iPhone

Blame iPhone and Stevenote for my Monday long loss of reality, which made me totally overlook Juniper’s (JNPR) announcement about their new router, T-1600, the very same one, that is supposed to compete with Cisco’s uber router, CRS-1. This was a router Juniper was developing in stealth-mode, and no one expected the company to announce it this soon.

But they did, and issued a complex press release that included the requisite buzzwords like video and IPTV to justify why it was releasing the new router. While the router won’t impact revenues until the end of 2007, it will give Juniper a big morale boost (and a talking point.)

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