On transparency and Google Wave

2 10 2009

Google’s latest product has had the tech world buzzing (and agonizing) for some time now. Google Wave is “an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. A wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more”.

L.A. Times tech writer Mark Millian shares his thoughts on how Wave could be used in journalism. He lists live editing, collaborative reporting, interview archiving, timelined story updates,  in-text comments and instant polling. Interestingly, Mark ponders about opening up the writing process:

What if we let readers watch the text as we write it? In our own testing, we found it to be a really fascinating peek into the writing habits and minds of our associates….Maybe we can go one step further and let the observers comment throughout the writing process. Readers could help shape a story.

Now that would be real transparency. And total chaos.

You’re who you think you are

30 09 2009

A whopping 11 minutes of symphonic soul jazz. This song put honey-voiced Randy Crawford on the map and makes me dance. No matter what.

Picture courtesy of Steve Greenwood (drop.io wizard)

The Crusaders (feat. Randy Crawford) – Street life (MCA, 1979)

The Economist: Shift happens

26 09 2009

“So what used to fit in a building now fits in your pocket
what fits in your pocket will fit inside a blood cell in 25 years”

Ray Kurzweil

Nic, the computer & media literate quick

24 05 2009

My son Nicolas (aged 5) knows his way around an iPhone

My son Nicolas (aged 5) knows his way around an iPhone

Hyperwords: software that makes sense

4 05 2009

Hyperwords is software so simple that browsing is just not the same without it. Click any word on any web page and do things with it. Search. Shop. Share. Copy. Learn. Now that is a reference tool.

Via ilovenewwork.com

Classic R&B paradigms: Groove theory

29 03 2009

This song takes me back to my youth. Basketball and hip hop were all I lived for in the 1990s. The former was gaining momentum internationally, in no small part due to Team USA’s performance at the 92 Olympics, the latter was at the height of its popularity in the US, thanks to the gun totin’ weed smokin’ appeal of gangsta rap.

Soul music had discovered hip hop too. Artists like Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo and Erykah Badu started blending hip hop and soul in creative ways. Flying somewhat more under the radar, Groove Theory released this song in 1995. Romantic, yet slick and demure. A stone cold classic.

Groove Theory – Tell me (Epic 1995)

I could post this song online, but who cares about ownership when applications like these are being launched?

No shake, all bake transcription tools

26 02 2009

In discourse analysis, transcribing audio or video data is a necessary evil. In this process of entextualization and recontextualization, recordings become transcripts – the textual simulacra discourse analysts rely on to analyze what and how people ‘do things’ with language.

There are number of commercial transcription tools available but if you’re looking for a basic (Windows only) speech transcription utility, I recommend VoiceWalker (if it’s bells and whistles you want, try Transana). VoiceWalker was designed by University of California linguists John W. Du Bois and Mary Bucholtz and can be downloaded freely.

In addition, a somewhat more ambitious tool is SoundWriter. This (beta) software is designed to link a transcription to the audio source file, “to help the researcher hear and visualize relationships between utterances in conversational interaction”. Download for free here.

Slowtwitch.com debuts training log

9 01 2009

Slowtwitch.com, the leading triathlon website, has launched a workout training log. The software is free and allows users to log, plan and share workouts, create, map and integrate training routes, track and brag about progress made and challenge other users. Check the slideshow here and create your own account here.

Drop it like it’s io

9 12 2008

I have a soft spot for convenient and intuitive software. Check out Drop.io, a hassle-free, secure file sharing service. Simply name your ‘drop’, upload content and share. No user accounts, no privacy concerns and you get 100 MB for free. Plus, you can upload your digital stuff online, via e-mail, MMS, Facebook, Firefox extension, phone or smoke signals. Okay, I made that last bit up. But did you know that drops are protected from search engines and that they come with (adjustable) expiration dates? Cue The Pharcyde.

Writeboard: write, share, revise, compare

12 11 2008

Fresh off a socially and professionally revitalizing and rewarding NT&T editorial meeting in London – my favorite metropolis after Berlin – I stumbled on a just-what-i-was-looking-for software application: writeboard.com, a collaborative writing tool that allows users to

Weary of the clutter of email attachments, I’ve experimented with a number of other online writing tools but never found one I really liked. Hello, Writeboard. Free, easy to use and designed by a (ahem) Mayer Hawthornesque company: 37signals.com.