Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

Here you are Samsung’s latest Bridge, the HZ25W in the US and WB5000 in other countries, a 12.5Mpix Capable Camera with a huge 24x optical Zoom, the possibility to record HD video in 720p (H.264), Smart Face Recognition (up to 20 faces) / Face Detection / Beauty Shot / Self Portrait / Smile Shot / Blink Detection, and capable to shoot in both Raw and JPEG.This Bridge will be sold in the US around November at around $399 USD.

News Article

Posted on 2009-09-02 13:37:00  |  by: Daimaou
Category:  IMAGE |  Tags: PANASONIC, FOUR THIRDS, LUMIX, GF-1, CAMERA, DIGITAL, VARIO

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The Olympus Pen E-P1 astonish the world by its compact size and overall quality (Still waiting for my sample to review by the way), And today, well right now, since while I am at the office writing this news, Kei is at the Press Conference (he seems to be very found of one Panasonic PR girl, and asked me, sorry begged me to go to the Press Conference) Panasonic introduced the DMC-GF1, a Pen E-P1 like Micro Four Third digital Camera with, just in case you forget about it, removable lenses… (Yeah More lenses for my GH1 !!!).Spec wise our Camera is a 12.1 Mpix Camera, with 720/30p Video recording capability (AVCHD Lite), ISO 3200 Max, a 3” LCD monitor,… This baby will be sold in Japan and worldwide within October…

Anyway, we are all waiting for Kei to get back from Panasonic Press conference to get more information on this baby and his first impression as well as live photos.

Secaucus, NJ (September 2, 2009) – Today, Panasonic announced the new LUMIX DMC-GF1, the latest addition to the award-winning LUMIX G Series, which debuts as the world’s smallest and lightest system digital camera with a built-in flash*. The LUMIX DMC-GF1 distinguishes itself from previous models with its elegant, compact design reminiscent of classic film cameras, yet builds on Panasonic’s success with the revolutionary LUMIX G Series of digital interchangeable lens system cameras based on the Micro Four Thirds system standard. With its compact size, user-friendly design and ability to record High Definition (HD) video and take professional-quality photos, the LUMIX GF1 continues to redefine digital photography standards.

“Panasonic changed the digital camera industry with the world’s first Micro Four Thirds digital camera, the LUMIX G1 – a compact “DSLR-like” digital camera that produces exceptional image quality. Then, as we continued to raise the innovation bar, Panasonic launched the LUMIX GH1, adding full High Definition 1080p video recording with continuous auto focus,” said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “The new LUMIX GF1 continues the evolution and is the perfect addition to our LUMIX G Series, as its sophisticated, small body makes it easier and more convenient to carry. The GF1 is ideal for point-and-shoot consumers looking to step-up to DSLR-quality or for current DSLR users who want greater convenience without compromising performance quality or creative flexibility.”

With its lightweight body, the LUMIX GF1 provides experienced photographers with the ideal digital camera to carry with them at all times. Like its predecessors in the LUMIX G Series, the LUMIX GF1 eliminates the pentaprism found in traditional interchangeable lens cameras. Thus, this mirror-free structure allows Panasonic to dramatically reduce both size and weight.

Though small in size, the LUMIX GF1 does not compromise in advanced features. The LUMIX GF1 thoroughly optimizes the advantages of a system camera to ensure high performance, whether capturing photos or HD video. The LUMIX DMC-GF1 can record 1280 x 720 High Definition video in AVCHD Lite, a format that enables longer recording times. With a dedicated video record button, capturing video is convenient and easy. The LUMIX GF1 can also record HD Motion JPEG in 1280 x 720 and other video recording formats include: QVGA, VGA and WVGA. The LUMIX GF1 has a unique Movie Program Mode that allows consumers to adjust the depth-of-field while shooting in HD video, so background and foreground can be blurred to give creative effects – something typically only possible with expensive professional camcorders.

The LUMIX DMC-GF1 includes the new My Color mode, which includes seven preset effects – Expressive, Retro, Pure, Elegant, Monochrome, Dynamic Art, Silhouette and Custom – all which let users manually set the color, brightness and saturation levels. With the Live View function, users can see how these settings will effect the photo before they shoot, making it easier to capture the exact mood or atmosphere desired. For even more elaborate effects, users can choose from a total of nine Film modes, and set the contrast, sharpness and saturation levels for each. A custom function lets users store their favorite settings in memory. Furthermore, the exposure meter can be displayed in other shooting modes and the correlation between shutter speed and aperture is shown, with a color-coded warning that alerts users when the settings are not in the proper range.

For those users not quite comfortable with extensive manual and creative controls, the LUMIX GF1 provides a user-friendly setting that can address a beginner’s comfort level, while helping them evolve their photography skills. For instance, Panasonic’s new Scene mode, Peripheral Defocus, lets users take a photo where the foreground is in focus and background is blurred – or vice versa. This popular effect can be intimidating for a beginner, but in the Peripheral Defocus mode, by simply selecting the objects to be blurred and focused using the camera’s keypad, it is simple for photographers of any level.

Also, helping to make the LUMIX GF1 more approachable, Panasonic’s popular iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, a system of technologies that engage automatically – no setting changes needed – allows for intuitive use when shooting still or video images. While shooting video, iA activates Panasonic’s O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization), which helps reduce video-blurring due to handshake. In addition, Face Detection automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion on it so it always turns out beautifully. Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows. For still photos, the iA system encompasses: Face Recognition (up to six faces can be registered); Auto Focus (AF) Tracking; Mega O.I.S.; Intelligent ISO; Intelligent Exposure; and Intelligent Scene Selector.

The LUMIX GF1 also comes fully-equipped with a built-in flash and a large, 3.0-inch Intelligent LCD with a wide viewing angle and a 460,000-dot resolution. The Intelligent LCD offers automatic backlight control, which when combined with its high-resolution, helps improve visibility in all light environments – from sunny outdoors to low-light interior settings. New for the LUMIX G Series, the LUMIX GF1 is compatible with an optional Live View Finder (DMW-LVF1), which provides the full-time live view function boasting 100% field of view regardless of the attached lens. To further expand the LUMIX G Series system, Panasonic Micro Four Thirds digital cameras can be used with Four Thirds System interchangeable lenses via an optional mount adaptor DMW-MA1 and with the prestigious Leica M/R lenses using Panasonic’s DMW-MA2M DMW-MA3R. These adapters give the user access to the unlimited number of lens properties.

The LUMIX GF1’s sensor technology offers the best of both worlds – the superior image quality of a CCD sensor, and the low-power consumption of a CMOS sensor. Advanced technology makes it possible to read four channels of data simultaneously, helping the LUMIX GF1 deliver 60 frames-per-second full-time Live View images, while maintaining fine detail and rich gradation. The LUMIX GF1’s Venus Engine HD records stunning high-resolution 12-megapixel images using its advanced Live MOS Sensor. This sophisticated LSI circuit separates chromatic noise from luminance noise and applies the optimal noise reduction to each, helping to capture clear and beautiful images even when shooting at high ISO levels.

The contrast AF system adopted in the LUMIX GF1 is not only accurate, but also very quick – approximately 0.3 seconds with the LUMIX G H-FS014045 lens. Users can choose from a wide-range of AF modes, including multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas; 1-area AF with a selectable focus area; Face Detection; and AF Tracking. The LUMIX GF1 also has a Quick AF function that begins focusing as soon as the user aims the camera – without pressing the shutter button halfway.

As with all Panasonic LUMIX G Series digital cameras, the LUMIX GF1 is equipped with a highly-effective Dust Reduction system. Thus, if dust gets inside the camera (when changing lenses), Panasonic’s Dust Reduction system addresses this problem by placing a supersonic wave filter in front of the Live MOS sensor which vertically vibrates around 50,000 times per second, thus repelling the dust.

The content captured on the LUMIX GF1 can easily be viewed on a Panasonic VIERA® HDTV by simply inserting the SD/SDCH Memory Card into the VIERA’s SD/SDHC Memory Card slot or into a Panasonic DIGA Blu-ray Disc Player. Alternatively, an optional mini HDMI cable can be used to output still and motion images recorded with the LUMIX DMC-GF1 directly to the TV for easy VIERA Link™ operation, with control of playback functions, such as slideshows, managed from the VIERA HDTV’s remote control.

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF1 will be available in early October 2009 with the option of two kits – both with a suggested retail price (SRP) of $899.95. One kit option includes the newly-announced LUMIX G 20mm/F1.7 ASPH, a compact and lightweight “pancake” lens, while the other kit features the LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S. The optional Live View Finder DMW-LVF1 has an SRP of $199.95; while the DMW-MA2M and DMW-MA3R both have an SRP of $249.95. All new accessories will also be available in early October.

Get your own large format printing !

Avatar

Posted on Wed Sep 02, 02:15 by BR, retired, u.s.a
Home Page:
Olympus has nothing to fear. Panasonic is their worst enemy. They can’t even supply realistic numbers of their GH-1 or LX3 digital cameras. (They are in business to sell cameras, right?) Besides Olympus has an E-P2 in the wings. (And, the E-P1 has a dust reduction system, too.) Now, the real question is whether Leica will introduce their version of this on 09 Sept. Or, will they continue to wag that an out-of-date full-frame M9 that is centuries behind everyone else using, of all things, a Kodak sensor. Or, they’ll try to get people to buy their S2 which will ultimately fail because they will price it it too high.

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Posted on Wed Sep 02, 02:27 by Daimaou, Survivor, Tokyo – Japan
Home Page: http://www.akihabaranews.com
Both the LX3 and GH1 is in no shortage in Japan and in Asia… Strange that in USA you have so much troubles to get some. Same things applies with the 5D MK II, here in Tokyo you can get one immediately… in Europe for example this item is almost impossible to get… Weird… Why Announcing product first or at the same time in EUR or USA, then only offering them in Japan

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Improving Facebook Share

Posted: September 1, 2009 in Review
Tags:

Facebook Share is one of the most powerful and simple ways for users to share articles, pages, video, or Flash content from your site with their friends on Facebook. Over 1 billion pieces of content are shared each week on Facebook, and many of those are links shared using Facebook Share. Today we’re rolling out a new design for the Facebook Share dialog to make it more consistent with other forms of sharing on Facebook.

The new dialog includes all of the key features of Facebook Share — users can post a link to their profile or send it in a message to just a few friends, choose an image to include, and add a comment. We expect the new design will increase the amount of content shared as well as the traffic back to your sites.

Enabling Users to Share Content from Your Site

We offer two ways for you to implement sharing features on your site:

  • Share links with the Share button – You can add the Share button to your website with just a couple lines of code from our Share Partners page.
  • FB.Connect.streamPublish Feed form – A few weeks ago, we announced a new dialog that enables you to invite users to publish specific stories to their profiles. An example would be publishing a story like “[User] commented on this post.” For more examples and documentation, please check out the Developer Wiki.

In addition, users can install the Share bookmarklet directly into their browsers.

Once you implement Facebook Share or FB.Connect.streamPublish, you might look into Facebook Connect to add even more social features to your site.

techcrunch_japan_event_tokyo_camp

Following last week’s startup contest WISH 2009, Japan just got another event that gave twelve selected tech companies the chance to demo their web services, apps and tools (almost all of which are thankfully available in English). This Friday, around 130 guests attended Tokyo Camp [JP], a demo event organized by TechCrunch Japan.

The occasion: The blog, which is one of Japan’s biggest and mainly translates articles from TechCrunch into Japanese, is under new management (by DESIGN IT!, LLC., a Sociomedia (Japan’s anwer to Adaptive Path) group company).

Here are my thumbnail sketches of all of the twelve demos I saw at Tokyo Camp.

ivread_logo1

I’vRead by Akky Akimoto
Officially launched at Tokyo Camp, I’vRead keeps a record of all books you’ve read via your Twitter account and lets you find users with a similar taste in books. All you need to do is to type the title of the book (or its ISBN or Amazon URL), add “@ivread” to the tweet and (as an option) write what you thought of it. Each of these tweets will then be automatically added to your personal user page on the I’vRead site (you don’t need to register at the site itself, being a Twitter user is enough). Look here for an example.

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dango
dango wants to empower online game creators worldwide to focus more on the development of content and less on the things they have to deal with after a game is finished, especially the distribution problem. The company of the same name offers a comprehensive, integrated framework called “dango-PLAY”. The system delivers online games to a number of social networks (i.e. Facebook or Japan’s Mixi) and dango’s homepage itself, using a single program and source code (dango is open source [JP]).

dango-Play aims at creating an integrated ecosystem for online games by matching users, linking to other games based on the framework, providing SMS services, managing user ID data, freeing developers from tracking user behavior etc. etc.

dango_service

One of the first games that’s been released based on the dango system is Facebook app “meromero park”, an ultra-cute mix between a social network, a virtual world and a pet-rearing game (the web version has already gained massive popularity in Japan and Taiwan). The Facebook app is available in English and French.

Jin-Magic TCP Traffic Optimization Technology by Akira Jinzaki
A veteran network technology guru and a Chief Technologist in Residence at Breakthrough Partners, Akira Jinzaki has single-handedly programmed what appears to be a powerful TCP traffic controller with the potential to change the way Internet traffic is currently being managed (99% of the Internet traffic is TCP-based). Jinzaki says his Jin-Magic software manages TCP traffic in a cost-effective way that is transparent to the network to get the most out of the exiting plumbing.

The software can sit anywhere in the network between the two end-points. WiMAX was used for the demo. Reception in the demo room was 2 to 4 bars out of 6 and TCP transfer rates were at best 1Mbps (with standard set-up). Turn on the Jin-magic on the server side configured to maximize TCP flow, the rates climbed up in the 4Mbps to 7Mbps range. The technology allows providers to maximize service for their investments. It may enable mobile data providers to serve 2 to 3 times more customers with uninterrupted video bandwidth with the existing infrastructure. Jin-Magic can be ported to smartphones, too.

pekay_little_author_logo

PeKay’s Little Author
PeKay’s Little Author is a Facebook application that lets users create a graphic story using original characters on-screen and print it out in the form of a picture storybook. Alternatively, the virtual storybook (example) can be shared with others online or turned into a web greeting card.

PeKay’s Little Author is the brainchild of a well-known Japanese artist. The video below shows how the app works:

ixedit_sociomedia_logo

IxEdit by Sociomedia
Launched at Tokyo Camp, IxEdit is a JavaScript-based “interaction design” tool for web applications that can be used from within the browser. Web designers can use IxEdit to practice DOM-scripting without having to code anything. The tool allows for elements of web pages that require “interaction”, i.e. pull-down menus, to be created with basic knowledge about HTML and CSS (no JavaScript coding is required).

IxEdit can be downloaded for free. View sample elements here.

universal_robot_logo

Mobile Vein Authentication Technology by Universal Robot [JP]
Universal Robot’s compact mobile vein authentication software (40KB core module) can be installed on cell phones, for example, and uses the camera to scan your wrist vein for identification. The technology seems to have many advantages: It works fast (I tried it myself), it’s completely software-based, compatible to a variety of CPUs and operating systems, usable for persons doing hard manual labor (who can’t use fingerprints), and most importantly extremely accurate (the company speaks of a false accept ratio of 0.001% and of a false reject ratio of less than 0.1%). The award-winning software works even with cameras with a 1MP sensor or lower.

mobile_vein_universal_robot

kuchikomi_logo

Kuchikomi@Sousenkyo [JP] by Hottolink
Tokyo-based Hottolink has shown a self-developed word-of-mouth analysis tool (dubbed “Word Of Mouth@General Election Of The Lower House” in Japanese) that’s supposedly able to predict the results of the general election of Japan’s Lower House (according to CEO Koki Uchiyama) that took place just today.

The prediction tool analyzes what’s being written in Japan’s blogosphere about political topics dynamically (it updates its projected results daily). Uchiyama said internal tests with previous elections proved to be very promising. We’ll know if the prediction model really works on Monday morning Japanese time after the election results are official (I will deliver an update here later).

logearth

LogEarth
LogEarth requires a GPS logger or an iPhone GPS logger app to work. The service then records where you move around in the world (provided there’s a GPS signal) and visualizes your route with the help of Google Maps. The log data can be posted on blogs, too.

augmented_reality_brothers_logo

The 3 Augmented Reality Brothers [JP]
The 3 Augmented Reality Brothers aren’t really brothers, but their augmented reality project certainly had the highest show value at Tokyo Camp. Watch the Japanese video below to get an idea of what these guys are doing (their Vimeo channel is here).

AR3Bros episode-i | twitter & AR from ar3bros on Vimeo.

dodaii_logo

dodaii by Feynman
dodaii is an in-app purchase management ASP created for iPhone devs. The system handles the payment records for companies offering apps in the App Store for a fee. More information on dodaii can be found in this English PDF and here. dodaii is currently in closed beta.

kanshin_kuukan_logo

Kanshin Kuukan [JP]
Kanshin Kuukan is a community site that helps its members find relevant products, restaurants, movies, songs etc. based on recommendations from users. The company of the same name showed a demo video of an iPhone app that scans the Twittersphere for relevant tweets and is scheduled for release in December (Japanese only).

Manetron
Manetron is an iPhone app that puts a Mellotron (an electro-mechanical, vintage keyboard) in your pocket. The app is available in the App Store for $2.99. Watch the video below to see and hear how Manetron works.

Many thanks to all attendees and demo companies who helped making Tokyo Camp a blast. And sorry to everyone who didn’t make it on the guest list this time (just like last time, we were overwhelmed by the response), but another event like this might happen again in the near future. Arigatou gozaimasu!

More pictures from the event were made by alpha blogger Masaki Ishitani and TechCrunch Japan’s translator Umihiko Namekawa.

Information provided by CrunchBase

By Kevin Purdy, 9:00 AM on Sat Aug 29 2009, 25,171 views (Edit, to draft, Slurp)

Being able to work just about anywhere is a mixed blessing. If you’re tired of dying batteries, lost receipts, absent files, and laptop theft paranoia, pick up on our top 10 tactics for a better life on the road.

Photo by n0nick.

10. Keep track of everything

Your car’s parked in section H14 of the airport. Dinner with the clients has been changed to 8 p.m. Your daughter would really love that bag you saw in that little shop downtown, and you must not forget to grab your raincoat from the hotel closet, like you always do. A tool that follows you everywhere, like the brain-expanding Evernote, the very iPhone-friendly reQall, or politely nagging/reminding to-do systems like Remember the Milk or Todoist might be perfect for your needs. Then again, you might be like so many Lifehacker readers and find that, for your task management and remember-it-or-else purposes, pen and paper is the ultimate portable tool.

9. Find your saving grace: free Wi-Fi

$12 per day airport Wi-Fi is like a $60 steak entree at a restaurant with leather seating—it only exists because expense accounts also exist. For those of us footing our own bill, there’s usually a free alternative to the billing demands of coffee shops and air travel waypoints. Gina did us all a favor by rounding up the definitive guide to locating free Wi-Fi, covering the bases from free-as-in-beer offerings to hoping somebody doesn’t mind you’re tip-toe-ing past their very weak encryption. It’s definitely worth the print-out or, more practically, a “Save Page As.”

8. Tether your phone for emergency email & directions

From experience, we can tell you that even a great 3G cellphone connection feels a little slow when sent through a laptop browser. That said, Wi-Fi is sometimes an absolute no-go, and you’ll need to find out exactly how to get around that parade to the conference center or dash out a long enough email that cellphone-keypad typing isn’t feasible. Before your trip, or with some time in your hotel, you can enable tethering on an iPhone or your Palm Pre, or tether an Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, (jailbroken) iPhone, or even (older) Palm OS phone with PdaNet. Android owners can also root their phones for the easiest Wi-Fi tethering we’ve ever seen.

7. Protect your laptop

First things first: If your laptop and all its data access aren’t tucked behind great but memorable passwords, they need to be. Beyond that, tools like Laptop Alarm for Windows can help prevent your system from being nabbed while it’s running (hello coffee shop snatchers), while LaptopLock is the best post-theft data protector and thief finder we know of for Windows systems. Mac users have the similarly clever iAlertU to use the MacBook’s webcam that works as a car alarm for your laptop, snapping a picture of the thief and sounding an alarm when a potential thief tries grabbing your armed laptop, then emails the pic to you so you can hopefully identify the culprit. (Original post)

6. Get set up with smart SMS services

For at least a year, I carried an iPod touch around with my “dumb” cellphone, using the iPod’s Wi-Fi and apps when I could, but using text message services whenever I really needed to pull up information or send myself something important. What I learned was that a host of services can work almost entirely through SMS, but they don’t all promote that fact very well. Google Calendar can send you today’s or tomorrow’s agenda, Amazon can price items for you, Twitter can set a timer and text you back (assuming you have direct messages sent to your phone), and many other services offer similar functionality. Even if they claim it’s an email service, you can send an SMS to that email address to follow through—all great reasons to claim your constant texting is really just practice for faster productivity. (Original post)

5. Get better life from batteries

First of all, get yourself a spare battery for rechargeable devices like your laptop or other gadgets. Use your spare batteries fully when you’re going to use them, then recharge them to around 50-percent full and keep them someplace cool, like wrapped in a paper towel inside the fridge, to increase their shelf life. Keep your cell phone out of your pocket if you want to extend its battery life (the extra heat decreases its battery life). Every so often, charge your battery all the way full, then run it completely down to recalibrate its sense of how much it can hold. Don’t run your battery somewhere it will get very hot, and turn off Wi-Fi and fancy graphics effects when you’re really just editing a Word document. Those are just a few of the take-away battery tips we’ve collected and dissected over years of use and discussion, but they’re a pretty good beginner’s course in squeezing every last bit of rare travel power from your devices. (Original post)

4. Carry an Altoids-sized “survival” kit

We’re fans of Altoids tins, as they’re durable, compact, inexpensive, and they come with a tasty treat. They can also fit easily in your pocket or go-bag and are perfect for carrying essential medical and mending gear, which will make you the hero of anyone who nicks themselves, or even needs to know which way is North in a strange city. If you’re less of a survivalist and more of a maker, you could check out the “maker’s tin,” for a big dose of DIY ingenuity in a tiny metal container. Make sure to pack it in a way that lets you keep it in your laptop/to-go bag at all times, so you’ll always be the guy who’s surprisingly prepared on every trip.

3. Manage your travel expenses

If the back of your wallet or bottom of your purse isn’t quite cutting it as a receipt management system, try out a system like Xpenser, which lets you call a free number and simply ramble out something like “dinner 58 with Albertson Associates;” alternately, you can quickly add your expense via their web site or SMS. You’ll later see a $58 dinner cost neatly tagged to the right date and client. Your accountant, your tax preparer, and your former shoebox stronghold will appreciate your small efforts. If you’d rather mail copies or take digital photos or scans of your receipts post-facto, Shoeboxed has you covered. (Original post)

2. Float between online and offline files

Until I’d talked to four different people last week who didn’t know that Zoho, Google’s Docs, Calendar, Reader, and Gmail services, Remember the Milk tasks, and many other services could be managed offline with Google Gears, I’d though it was an old-hat piece of advice. Consider this a friendly reminder, then, that the five minutes it takes to install Gears, click the “Offline” or green check mark icon on the Gears-supporting web site, and synchronize your online life is entirely worth it. And if you haven’t grabbed a free account from Dropbox, SugarSync, or another cross-platform, web-accessible synchronization service, that, too, will be a lifesaver on some rainy day when you’re much too rushed to prepare all your files before you head to the airport.

1. Properly pack your laptop/go bag

We can’t tell you exactly what you’ll need for every trip, but we can suggest the cables, containers, notepads, spare batteries, portable Wi-Fi routers, and many other items that have saved our editors’ and readers’ travel-weary butts on many occasions. A week-long, ever-so-slightly-navel-gaze-y series on what our editors pack in their laptop bags culminated in a multi-bag roundup. Further back, our endlessly creative and forward-thinking readers offered their own views at their daily and long-distance travel bags in three photo-stuffed installments. Peruse, poke fun, but more than anything, take them as examples of how you can make life on the road a bit more comfortable and predictable.

That’s how we roll, at least when we’re heading out farther than the coffee shop or coworking spot. Tell us, and your fellow weary wanderers, your most essential, trip-saving tips and tactics in the comments.

RSS is how the news flows

Posted: August 30, 2009 in Review
Tags:

Home > Archive >  2009 >  August >  26

RSS is how the news flows

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 by Dave Winer.

To Sam Diaz who says RSS was “a good idea at the time but there are better ways now,” I have many things to say.  Permalink to this paragraph

1. People confuse RSS with Google Reader. Let’s be clear that there’s a difference. Google Reader is an application that reads RSS-formatted data. There are many other applications that read and write RSS. Permalink to this paragraph

2. I think Google Reader was, on the whole, a good thing. It’s probably the best reader of its variety. You have to go find the new stuff in Google Reader. I prefer a reader that finds the new stuff for me, and presents it in reverse chronologic order. This is known as a river of news reader.  Permalink to this paragraph

3. Diaz more or less says that’s his preference too. Interesting. Permalink to this paragraph

4. My newspaper doesn’t tell me how many articles I haven’t read going back to the date of my birth. I bet it would be in the millions. Why should I care. This was the worst idea ever in news readers. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named hair.gif

5. The core problem — so many programmers who write RSS software are not themselves news junkies. If they were they’d know when they got it wrong. News is about what’s new! Show me the newest stuff first. Sorry to all the articles I didn’t read, maybe in the next lifetime. Permalink to this paragraph

6. He may not use a RSS reader, but the news is still getting to him through RSS.  Permalink to this paragraph

7. If all the RSS on the planet were all of a sudden to stop updating (key point) the news would stop flowing. Any news guy or gal who thinks they could get by without RSS — think this through a bit more. We all love the Internet, but don’t shut off your gas and electric because your computer and router wouldn’t work without electricity. Same with RSS and news. RSS is how the news flows, whether you see it or not. If not RSS, something exactly like RSS.  Permalink to this paragraph

8. The Internet is layered. New technology comes on line building on tech that already existed. RSS was like that. It built on XML and HTTP, which built on text and TCP/IP. The new things that Diaz likes so much, in exactly the same way, build on RSS.  Permalink to this paragraph

9. When news authors don’t understand how technology evolves, they propagate incorrect notions to everyone else, including would-be inventors, who have to figure it out for themselves, and then convince investors and partners they know what they’re doing — when they just read in ZDNet that things don’t evolve at all. So Mr. Diaz does us all a disservice.  Permalink to this paragraph

10. I object when technology writers tell the story of technology incorrectly. People say I should just be happy to see my name in the story, or in this case something that I fathered. No deal. I want the accurate story out there. I want people to understand how technology really works, because that’s central to users being empowered by it, instead of being controlled by it.  Permalink to this paragraph

Bonus: Marshall Kirkpatrick, my partner in the Bad Hair Day podcast (tomorrow 7PM Pacific) has his own excellent rebuttal to the Diaz piece. Permalink to this paragraph


View the forum thread.

Tweetmeme launches massive upgrade to Version 2

By Martin Bryant on August 28, 2009

Tweetmeme v2UPDATE: The new version of Tweetmeme is live. Our initial thoughts, including screenshots, are below the original post.

You may have noticed that we haven’t had retweet buttons on today’s posts here at The Next Web. Why? They haven’t been working. Tweetmeme, the company behind our retweet buttons, took the service down for maintenance this morning with no warning and it’s still down now.

There’s good reason though, Tweetmeme Version 2 is launching imminently.

The upgrade sees the service take a step forward following the recent launch of competitor Retweet.com (which, it has been claimed, uses Tweetmeme code). Tweetmeme is also working with JS-Kit to incorporate Tweetmeme into its Echo blog comment system.

Here’s what’s planned:

The upgrade is called Tweetmeme ‘V2’ as today’s release really is a complete revamp of the site that encompasses a total rewrite of the scoring system, filtering engine and a whole raft of user interface enhancements and tweaks. It also incorporates the new commenting system.

UPDATE: The new version is now live. So what’s it like?

The first upgrade we looked at is the analytics feature. For each retweeted post you get graphs for tweets in the past hour, tweets in the past day, a pie chart showing where tweets came from and analysis of recent retweets:

Tweetmeme analytics

In addition, there’s a new comments tab allowing comments to be posted directly to Tweetmeme’s site. This can be posted to Twitter (via OAuth) with a link back to the discussion on Tweetmeme. Comments are displayed in pseudo-realtime like Facebook – a notification inviting you to refresh the page to see them. As you can see, Nick Halstead, CEO of Tweetmeme, replied to my comment. These replies can optionally be sent as Twitter replies too.

Tweetmeme discussions

This is obviously an attempt to get more conversation happening directly on Tweetmeme. How likely this will be to happen, I’m not sure – Tweetmeme has always been about tracking Twitter links, not content discussion. Still, it’s an interesting move and one that sets it apart from Retweet.com.

Here’s the full changelog straight from Tweetmeme:

Highlights

·         The new ‘retweeting’ commenting platform
·         A new user timeline that shows retweets and comments in a river.
·         V3 of our Filtering Engine, codenamed ‘Pickle’
·         Better RSS feeds (by Category, Channel, User or Domain)
·         Simple story analytics (to be followed next week with full analytics package)
·         A new bookmarklet that lets you find any webpage back on TweetMeme.
·         A new ‘tweets’ analyzer that only shows ‘unique’ tweets for one particular story.

Ranking Content

The new site will have more varied and better quality content, this is achieved through better scoring of stories including a new ‘kudos’ score for individual Twitter users, plus we have a new ‘reporting’ mechanism allowing our users to flag content as abusive, spam or ‘This Sucks!’</p>

Filtering Content
The filtering engine is now at Version 3 codenamed ‘Pickle’ – this is our most advanced system yet allowing the real-time filtering of 10’s of millions of stories per day based upon our own programming language ‘Pickle Code’.  This release is future proof for scalability and also allows us to plug in new data sets as they become available. Included on the right is a screenshot of our tool that allows us to drag and drop rules that produces ‘Pickle Code’ – In the coming weeks we will do a feature on the architecture of this new system.

Commenting + Partnership Announcement

The new commenting system also goes live, this includes the ability to retweet individual comments (when they are good!) replying to multiple users, live updates and a really tight integration into Twitter.

TweetMeme is also working with the team at JS-Kit to import the comments into the Echo. TweetMeme will also be recommending and distributing Echo as the preferred solution to track the distributed conversation on blogs.