About hswchris

Most Recent: hswchris Postings

Listening to streaming radio site Pandora just became a laughing matter. Today the company announced that it would begin streaming comedy, based on a newly created comedy genome. The New York Times’s Ben Sisario wrote that Pandora has 10,000 audio comedy tracks in its catalog from more than 700 comedians.

For the uninitiated, Pandora is a streaming radio Web site that gives the user some control over what he or she listens to. If you wanted to listen to Roy Clark, for example, you could start a station by seeding it with his name. The site will then populate the station with other similar artists.

Tags: , , ,

This week, Facebook launched a trial of a new social deals service, in competition with sites like Groupon or LivingSocial. It’s simply called Deals, and it’s currently available in Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Dallas; San Diego and San Francisco. Steven Musil of CNET said there are three ways you’ll encounter the specials of the day: clicking on the Deals tab on your Facebook page, by e-mail or notification, and when one of your friends buys into the deal — or just Likes it.

Tags: , , ,

If you’re a PlayStation Network or Qriosity customer, you’ve probably been frustrated with the recent service outage. But the news is getting worse: According to a blog post by Sony Sr. Director of Corporate Communications and Social Media Patrick Seybold, the network has been down due to a hacker attack that occurred from April 17 to 19, in which someone acquired customers’ personal information.

Tags: , , , ,

I admit, when I heard that Cisco was going to buy the Flip digital camcorder business a couple of years ago, I was a little surprised. I still think of Cisco as a networking company, especially for large organizations, though yes, I know Cisco makes hone networking equipment and other products, too. The Flip acquisition just didn’t seem to make a lot of sense, but at the same time, I didn’t really see any harm in it. In fact, I kind of figured it’d be an opportunity for Cisco to move into new product lines. And that’s probably what the company was thinking, too.

Tags: , , ,

I just saw this post by Blake Patterson on TouchArcade — in New Zealand, Atari has apparently released an app for iOS (the operating system that powers Apple’s iPhones, iPod touches and iPads) called “Atari’s Greatest Hits” that will allow you to play 100 Atari 2600 and arcade games. Patterson said the app would be released in the United States by the end of the day today.

This is exciting to me, partially because that means I don’t have to find the little box that lets me hook up my 2600 to the TV.

Tags: , , ,

Over the past year or so, there’s been a lot of talk about Google and Apple’s efforts at establishing cloud computing services. Apple’s been working on a giant facility rumored to be a data center for streaming media in North Carolina, and Google Music is supposed to be coming soon, too. But while the two companies have been working on their efforts, Amazon beat them to the punch today by launching its own cloud music service, called Cloud Drive.

Tags: , , , , ,

I ran into a post by Jennifer Van Grove at Mashable the other day that piqued my interest. Van Grove wrote about an application by Spotlight Mobile called Meridian. It gives iPhone users a way to get their bearings, like many other navigational apps. But it doesn’t just tell you how to get to the store or attraction, it shows you where you’re going inside the building.

Obviously, this isn’t nearly as necessary when you’re going to the convenience store (now why did they have to move the pretzels? How will I ever find them?), but for larger buildings, I think it could be very useful. According to Spotlight’s Web site, the company is working to partner with organizations that want to help customers and patrons navigate large areas. The app just launched and has only one location to choose from. As it happens, it’s my favorite bookstore on the planet, Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Ore.

Tags: , , , ,

Back in 2009, Google announced a new real-time messaging tool, one that would let you chat, share files and work on documents with others. As Google projects usually are, Wave was released as a beta — in this case, a closed beta restricted to a few users. People excited about the tool begged others for invitations to try out the service for themselves. And as more people tried Wave out, they realized it was really cool. Which led to more word-of-mouth, which led to more people begging for invitations, until the beta opened to the public.

Tags: , , , ,

Adobe picked up many software packages in its merger with Macromedia several years ago, but I think it’s probably safe to argue that the most valuable (or at least well known) of these was Flash. It was already pretty common then, but Flash has become a standard for delivering rich media on Web sites. If Flash had a rear-view mirror, it would see a new proposed standard coming up behind it quickly — HTML5, a newer version of the markup language used to write Web pages that allows developers to embed rich media without Flash. But it’ll take a while before it’s widely adopted, and many people aren’t yet using Web browsers that will run HTML5, even in its unfinished state.

You’re not still using Internet Explorer 6, are you? If so, Microsoft wants you to update. But I digress.

Of course, Adobe has a vested interest in protecting Flash, and it’s been doing its best to defend its technology from the naysayers. But the company is hedging its bets by working on HTML5 tools, too.

Tags: , , ,

Portable electronics make our lives easier, but there’s one drawback to hauling all your hardware with you — having to carry around a handful of electronics chargers as well. A company called Transphorm thinks it may have a solution. I first read about the company in an article in MIT’s Technology Review written by Kevin Bullis, who spoke with Transphorm’s cofounder and CEO, Umesh Mishra, to learn more about the new technology.

Tags: , , ,

Recent Postings by Category