A DJ in the Netherlands uses his Wii-mote (what fans call the Nintendo Wii’s remote control) to mix techno music at dance parties while a medical student in Italy has reconfigured his to analyze results from CT scans. More uses? You bet. A software engineer in Los Angeles controls a Roomba robot vacuum cleaner with his, and a formally trained conductor in Connecticut is showing classical musicians how to conduct a Beethoven symphony. The musicians use Wii-motes to control a digital section of an orchestra.
* You are viewing the archive for April, 2007
In the latest news from the console wars, Nintendo released sales and profits. Sales soared 90%, fueled by the success of the Wii. Nintendo has now sold 5.84 million of the consoles worldwide. Meanwhile, Sony announced a partnership with Hasbro to combine the worlds of trading cards and videogames using a new Sony video camera designed specifically for the PlayStation 3 console. The camera can recognize trading cards as you place them on a tabletop mat (see picture).
At a recent show in Florida (CTIA Wireless 2007), a newcomer cellphone called the “Ocean” by Helio apparently stole the show. So much so that The Economist explains how, “the $500 iPhone is as mouth-watering today as yesterday’s cold pizza… In many ways Helio has out-Appled Apple.”
SwitchPlanet is one of the more compelling online communities I’ve seen in a while. Members can switch movies, CDs, books, and games with each other for free. The system is based on Switchbucs, an internal currency. You list whatever items you have for a Switchbucs price and get credited that amount when you ship an item to someone willing to pay that price using their Switchbucs. No real money ever trades hands, just switching with a third-party broker.
Till now, Mozy has been an up and coming backup solution for the home user with its free online backup (up to two gigabytes) or its unlimited online backup for $5 per month. Since its launch in April 2006, over 175,000 customers have signed up. But the big news is that General Electric recently bought MozyPro (the enterprise version of Mozy) for all of its 300,000+ employees. Not a bad way to more than double your customer base. And GE is a company that does its homework on purchases like these, so this is definitely a credibility boost for Mozy as well.
New York based DoubleClick came out with a public statement today, pledging that the information it collects for and about its customers won’t be shared with Google after the $3.1 billion acquisition: “Google would not be able to match its search data to the data collected by DoubleClick, as DoubleClick does not have the right to use its clients’ data for such purposes.”
But have you read any online company’s privacy section lately?
The Economist (subscription required) has an interesting piece on sex and the Internet, which revolves around the graph pictured to the right. While the online porn industry was valued at $1 billion back in 2002 by America’s National Research Council, the latest data shows that social networking traffic is set to take over the number one spot any day now. It’s also pointed out that sex is often the first mover with technology before the mainstream is ready to adopt it for everyday use (such has been the case with photography, videocassettes, and satellite television).
But before we assume all is well in Zion, let’s take a look at what these social networking sites are used for:
Microsoft software will sell for just $3 in some parts of the world in an attempt to reach the five out of six people worldwide still not using computers. The software giant has a goal of bringing computing to a further one billion people by 2015 (doubling the current number of computer users). Bill Gates made the announcement during a speech in Beijing: