How Google Earth Killed Santa !

This arrived via the blogosphere… a geek humor goodie, all in good cheer.

Click here to read the sad but true story of how our world has changed such that our little ones are being given a new, albeit perhaps less magical view of so-called “reality” 😉

Merry merry and happy happy!
JL

Microformats: The Future of Microcasting?

I’ve been around long enough to come from the cable TV daze when narrowcasting was a revolution. When I was at USA Network, MTV, CNN, ESPN etc were breakthroughs as channels for what we now call vertical audiences. I like to call the web’s quantum leap into far more finely defined audiences “microcasting.”

Technorati‘s Chairman, Peter Hirshberg (shown here) thinks that the organized tag technology called Microformats will provide important accessbility to the millions of video clips on the web… via tagged indexing. As you might expect, there’s a video clip to explain it.

What do you think?

The Truth About How Web Pages Are Read

My favorite and most highly recommended book on the subject of web usability (or in plane folks speak, the science and art of how to make web pages more useful) is Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think.”

But, arguably the “grandfather” of books on this subject is Jacob Nielsen. Another interesting info-tidbit is that people are now studying how people read web pages with eye-tracking visualizations like the one shown here. Nielsen’s comments on a new eye-tracking study include the discovery of an interesting “F” pattern.

His insights also include the not so eye-opening (common sense) insights that web designers and writers should realize that: “Users won’t read your text thoroughly in a word-by-word manner.” And, “The first two paragraphs must state the most important information.” As well as the suggestion to “Start subheads, paragraphs, and bullet points with information-carrying words that users will notice when scanning down the left side of your content in the final stem of their F-behavior.”

If this is news to you, you might want to read more…

TechCrunch & more Best of Web 2.0

TechCrunch‘s Michael Arrington does an amazing job of keeping up on the latest Web 2.0 applications. I just found his overview of the Web 2.0 companies that he couldn’t live without. It’s a great list of the leaders in the way cool, AJAX-enabled software as service world. (I’ve featured other Web 2.0 lists and definitions earlier.) The TechCrunch list highlights leaders from the WordPress blogging/publishing platform, to Bloglines web-based blog reader (which I use), to NetVibes (an amazing web desktop), to OmniDrive (free online storage that is supposed to go live as public beta tomorrow 4/17), and more. Good stuff! Thanks, Michael.

Two-thirds on US Home Internet Users Now Have Broadband Connections

Wow. Even when you think you know what’s happening out there, suddenly there’s another imporant milestone among what I might call “techno-megatrends” tracking. Beyond all the business Internet users who almost all of whom have broadband Internet connections… Amongst US Internet users at home, a full two-thirds now have broadband Internet connections. If you ask me, that’s pretty impressive. Things are continuing to change fast and, as usual, they are accelerating. No wonder there’s so much Internet video action these days. Here’s more details from the new Nielsen//NetRatings report.

Your Portable Hot Spot: Wi-Fi hot spot in-a-box

Now you can create your own wi-fi hot spot on the road, on the run and on the fly. The NYTimes’ David Pogue explains and reviews the top three models of a device that’s still in search of its own name. The device is referred to as a “portable hot spot” or as a “cellular gateway” or as a “mobile router.” Some people are even using them instead of their DSL or cable modem so that they can take their connectivity with them and share it with others almost anywhere.

More Best of the Web 2.0: link from neat techie video podcast

I decided to browse some of the video podcasts on iTunes and sure enuf found a tech video program that was actually chock full of useful information and especially web links. commandN‘s holiday episode included a link that complements the one below, “Top 10 Innovative Web 2.0 Applications of 2005.” And I also appreciated the link to LibriVox.org for free audiobook downloads! Thanks, Amber, Mike, Jeff & Brian. Good show. Keep up the good work.

In Case You Thought the Growth of the Web Was Slowing Down…

Apple’s Web Site Among Fastest Growing. Amongst the big boys at least, the likes of Apple, Google, Amazon, Wikipedia and the social networking sites are still seeing robust double-digit growth year-over-year.

Way Too Cheery, But Good Flash-Phone Integration

And for another kind of convergence… Cheerioke! I’ve been enjoying my Gizmo Project software phone (see below). Voice over IP rules. But I’m also impressed with the way that the Cheerioke Flash application for an old time advertiser (General Mills) integrates telephone recording seamlessly into an interactive singing thingy. Listen to me if you dare, of visit Cheerioke.com.

Tivo Makes a Convergence Connection with iPods and Sony PSP to Play Video

The promise of digital video providing a convergence of all kinds of video sources has remained mostly that, a promise. But, finally, with Tivo’s announcement today that it will be providing customers with the ability to playback programs recorded on it’s devices on Apple iPod and Sony PSP portable video players, maybe we’re finally starting to see real video convergence… Stay tuned.