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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wired's Geek-o'-Lantern Contest

Having been born in October I've always loved Halloween, and traditionally it's been my task to carve the family pumpkin. From humble beginnings of jagged teeth and triangle eyes, I've really tried to step it up a notch or two as I've garnered some experience. I've done some good ones ,and some not so good ones, but I'll have to bow to the greatness that is present in the submissions to Wired's "Show Us Your Wired Geek-o-Lanterns". You've got to check out Yoda, The Deathstar, Venom, and Frankenstien for all of their intricate beauty, but perhaps my favorite is Cannibal! It's not all that geeky but it certainly looks like Jack-o-Lantern that I might be able to re-create.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Gmail Labs Roll Out Canned Responses

The Official Gmail Blog has posted about a new feature in the Labs called "canned responses". Turning the feature on allows you to save pieces of text as canned responses that can easily be sent in reply to common questions. To take things one step further, combine canned responses with the already available "filters" option "Gmail already lets you create filters based on a combination of keywords, sender, recipients, and more in your incoming messages. Turn on Canned Responses in Labs, and you can set a filter to grab one of your saved responses, create an automated reply, and hit the Send button for you." This duo of features seem like a great solution anyone who receives a relatively high volume of mail. The canned response does not include text from the originator's e-mail but it's a time saver and it's free.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Skipping Work? Don't Let The World Know

There's a lesson to be learned in this story... According to the Register an Australian call centre employee was tripped up by his social networking updates. Kyle Doyle apparently has a contract with his employer stating that he does not require a medical certificate for 1 day leaves of absence if he has stated that the leave was for medical reasons. The Register has published an interesting e-mail exchange between Kyle and his employer where each states their position and Kyle is eventually done in by his Facebook status on the day in question. "Kyle Doyle: is not going to work, f#$% it i'm still trashed. SICKIE WOO!" (expletive removed). Perhaps Facebook should talk to Google about licensing Goggles or allow updates to be e-mailed in so that Kyle can use his G-mail account next time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SMART Table Targeting Education Market

SMART Technologies, the Calgary based maker of the SMART Board has gone horizontal with its technology producing a SMART Table aimed initially at the education market (preschool to sixth grade). The company describes the product as "... brightly colored table with a touch-sensitive surface where groups of students can simultaneously interact with digital content." The SMART Table comes complete with a PC and Projection system and is expected to have an educational price of US$8000.

Mean while Microsoft is experimenting with the Surface PC and making sure that your glass remains full while at the night club.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

British UFO Files Opened

Britain's National Archive has released a second set of UFO files to the public. This batch represents 19 files reported between 1986 and 1992 but there is a promise to release a total of 160 files over the next few years. I'm particularly curious about "legendary 'feathered serpents"' who are supposedly awaiting our permission to land on earth? Most of the released files are explained by the authorities as weather balloons, satellites, or meteors but a few are yet to be explained.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sony Delays Global Release Of LittleBigPlanet

Sony has recalled all of the copies of LittleBigPlanet and is delaying the global release because a music track that was licensed for the game contained two phrases that can be found in the Koran. "We're sure that most of you have heard by now that one of the background music tracks that was licensed from a record label for use in the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Koran. We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologise for any offence this may have caused."says a statement on the LittleBigPlanet website. The company now plans to begin shipping in North America the week of October 27th. Described as a game about making games, the title has been highly anticipated.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Google Gadgets Get Room To Grow With Canvas View

This past week Google refreshed it's iGoogle pages and to be frank I didn't really care for the changes that much. When you get used to a UI and it suddenly changes on you it takes a little getting used to, and I'm still trying to do that. What I hadn't noticed was a new option called "canvas view" that enables you to maximize any given gadget within the iGoogle page. Though I'm not in love with the left hand navigation changes yet, I do like canvas view. In particular I like what it does for my Gmail gadget, maximizing Gmail allows me to view messages and create new ones right in the gadget where previously it only displayed a quick snippet view of my Gmail messages. Check out this guided tour of the new iGoogle features. According to the Official Google Blog the changes where for users in the US, however they seem to have crept over the northern border to us in Canada as well.