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Google Mobile App Voice Search November 19, 2008

Posted by fredillies in eBusiness, Gadgets n Gizmos, Society & Culture.
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googleIt seems like not a week goes by without a new iPhone app being released that fits my definition of MAGIC.  There’s the app that listens to any song on the radio and tells you the name of song, artist and shows you the album art (Shazam). There’s Ocarina (Smule) that turns the iPhone into a wind instrument and shows the coolest location-based animation of the music floating up from planet earth while it’s playing the music that other people played on their iPhone.  And now…..drum roll please….  The Google iPhone App updated to include VOICE search!  Magic indeed.  I read somewhere that Google said it’s not that they have better algorithms than they used to… they just have so much more data to go against.  Just wait till Google starts selling this technology to online retailers!

High Anxiety…and some relief November 1, 2008

Posted by fredillies in Society & Culture.
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It’s early Saturday afternoon and I just realized how much anxiety I’m feeling right now.  Reading the Globe & Mail this morning, there was an article about how much anxiety American liberals are feeling…fearing that the polls are lulling Obamacrats into a false sense of security. There was reference to someone who was sweating about Minnesota.

“Minnesota?” Mr. Schrader told his friend. “What, are you kidding me? Obama’s up 14 points there.” The friend shook his head sadly. Take off seven points for hidden racial animus. Subtract another five for polling error. It’s down to two points, which is within margin of error for sampling… and that could mean Obama could be behind.

As much as I like to think of my hometown of Minneapolis as a liberal city, once you get outside the downtown core, you’d be surprised at what you might hear.  This is an actual quote from the friend of one of my relatives (prior to the re-election of ‘Dubya’):  “Nope… I won’t go and see Fahrenheit 911 cause it’s un-American!  Jesus Christ put George W. Bush in the White House!”  All I can say is I’m glad I mailed my absentee ballot in plenty of time to be help make sure that Obama wins Minnesota.

Layered onto election anxiety, this week marks a meeting with a foot surgeon to see if I’m going to be able to have an operation that will help me play another 20 years of competitive basketball.  AND I’m working on a major proposal for very big contract. I’m both excited and anxious about the election, my surgery and the proposal.

So it was with a big smile that I read this small story:

LONDON – In English, the road sign was just fine, warning drivers that the route ahead is not suitable for heavy trucks.  But the TRANSLATION INTO WELSH didn’t work so well. “I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work that needs to be translated,” it said. Swansea Council said the embarrassing error occurred when officials didn’t realize that it was an auto-reply from the translator, and NOT the wording to be used on the sign. >AP

A Rich Online Social Experience July 8, 2007

Posted by fredillies in Communication, eBusiness, Society & Culture.
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My 2 youngest daughters graduated from University recently, and they spent the better part of their 4 years telling me how cool FaceBook was, and that I should register. (Of course I didn’t because I didn’t want to be arrested as some kind of middle-aged stalker of university age kids!) But eventually, as it began to spread to a wider community, I joined. Within the first couple of days I really got it….and I could tell you what it’s like but you really have to experience it. I will say that it’s a way richer experience than just email or instant messaging. I’m shocked at how enjoyable it is, and I am really surprised by how much this online experience feels like a real community (maybe it’s because it’s a community of your real-life friends..who knows) but IMO, the concepts employed by the site are very successful in achieving this goal. For some comments about how social networking sites will need to evolve, see an interesting post by William Bakker.