Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

Archive for the ‘web-based services’ Category

Google, Microsoft Trying To Put Your Healthcare Online

Posted by telecommatt on October 18, 2007

The health is on: Google to launch health site next year – Download Squad

It seems more likely that an individual doctor or medical practice will pick one service and then stick with it.

Are you kidding? Doctors are too busy to worry about learning how to use a new website so they can communicate with patients. The way our healthcare system is structured now, they don’t have time to communicate. That’s why they have assistants to handle things like phone calls, faxes, etc. One can argue (and I agree) that it would save time and money, but to the people in the system, it’s just one more thing to expect of an already overwhelmed doc or specialist.

And do you really think that these providers, much less the insurance providers, will feel comfortable using a public service, which they have no control over, to put this sort of thing online? I’m thinking not!

To make any venture of this kind profitable, it’s going to take a ton of time, money, patience, and lobbying.

Posted in web-based services | Leave a Comment »

Adobe Acquires Buzzword, Buzzword Acquires Buzzword.com

Posted by telecommatt on October 1, 2007

The Virtual Ubiquity Blog

We’ve got some exciting news to share today. At Adobe’s annual MAX conference this morning, it will be announced that Adobe Systems has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Virtual Ubiquity. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the year.

I’ve written quite extensively about Virtual Ubiquity’s word processor for the web, Buzzword, both here and at Emily Chang’s eHub. Buzzword is a great product that is exactly what it promises to be. That is, the first real word processor for the web.

As part of the same announcement, Virtual Ubiquity has acquired the domain buzzword.com. Prior to this, the login page resided at preview.getbuzzword.com. In addition, account registration is now open.

Congratulations VB on a successful product and the upcoming acquisition!

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Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), web-based services | Leave a Comment »

Face Recognition and Pr0n

Posted by telecommatt on September 19, 2007

Reuters launches video search powered by Viewdle facial recognition – Download Squad

We can easily see this technology being crucial to online video sites featuring news, entertainment, and of course pornography.

C’mon, saying you’re searching for faces in pr0n is a bit like saying you read Penthouse for the articles, isn’t it?

Posted in web-based services | Leave a Comment »

Jott Links Lets You Blog and Tweet From Your Phone

Posted by telecommatt on September 4, 2007

Here I am at 9:30pm, with a website to put up and two articles to write, and I’m playing with these new features from Jott.com. I’m pretty impressed though. For those that haven’t used it, Jott lets you call in and leave short messages for yourself or others on your contact list. Those messages are transcribed as text and kept in mp3 format. All your messages are stored on the Jott servers, but also emailed to you in both text and speech. I’ve been using it for awhile now, but not heavily.

With their new Jott Links feature, you can post a message to a blog, like I just did, or some other service like Twitter. Below is my text Jott. You can tell it’s not 100% accurate, but if you talk like up on stage instead of in your living room, it does a pretty good job.

So right now I got about a dozen other things that I should be doing right now but instead I’m testing out this new feature by Jott called Jott links and so far it’s pretty sweet. I can post short thought to my blog just by talking about them, so check it out Jott.com and I think this is actually gonna end up in my blog. If everything works right and all out. Cheers.

Click here to listen

Powered by Jott.com – Try it at 1 (866) JOTT123 – Jott.com

Posted in Blogging, Twitter, web-based services | Leave a Comment »

Zoho Starts Something New…Again

Posted by telecommatt on August 30, 2007

Zoho announces something new…again. I love hearing new stuff from Zoho. Their stuff is just so cool! I use Zoho a lot; most of my longer articles for this blog and for eHub are written in Zoho Writer, for example. (Although lately, for some reason, my cursor is reset whenever a document autosaves. Have to check the forums on that.) I checked out Zoho’s new Zoho Start this morning. Excellent addition to the Zoho product set! They call it a dashboard for your Zoho documents, but I think that description sells it somewhat short. Start is a tabbed interface where you can view and sort all your existing documents. What’s so cool, however, is that you can do pretty much everything from one place, whether it’s a document, a spreadsheet, a presentation, or anything else. You can create a new (document, a spreadsheet, a presentation, or anything else) with just a click, and the Zoho Apps button brings you to a menu of Zoho applications you can launch. This is so much more convenient than opening your profile (which opened in a new tab) and clicking on the application from there (which opened in a new tab). This is great stuff, and I really encourage you to check this out.

http://ustech.blognation.com/2007/08/29/zoho-start-a-glimpse-at-future-integration/

Early this morning, Zoho released a new tool called Zoho Start. Now Zoho releasing something new is hardly earth-shattering news.

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Posted in web-based services, web2.0, Websites | 2 Comments »

Zyb Releases More Zyb. Much More Zyb!

Posted by telecommatt on August 27, 2007

I attempted to review mobile backup solution, Zyb, back in June and found that my own phone was not compatible with their service. I had such a great experience with their product support, however, that I did a write up anyway.

I received an email this morning alerting me to some updates that were released and tested on the quiet. I didn’t have a chance to post at the time, but Kristen, over at Mashable, had an early morning post on this.  Honestly, my jaw dropped when I saw what these guys have been up to.  Zyb does more than back up your mobile contacts. Much more! Here is an excerpt from the email I received. Thanks Haider!

Dear Matthew Murphy,

Hope you are doing fine!

You
reviewed ZYB previously where you highlighted the importance of a
mobile data backup service, and I expect you will agree that as a
mobile data backup platform ZYB has since established its credibility.

Since
then we have been striving to provide something completely different
instead of reinventing the wheel. The goal has been to harnesses the
power of the data that users upload and “bring your mobile data
to life”.

We launched the new version in silent mode a
couple of weeks ago to get some quick feedback, and now we are ready to
go out in the open. We haven’t even notified our users yet, so
you should find the new version to be newsworthy.

If you check out our website: http://zyb.com you will see that the interface has improved with the following new features:

Users can connect to the people in their mobile
phone’s address book to keep in touch and share mobile content
• Connected friends can keep their contact information updated in each other’s phones

Users can micro-blog from their phone and
broadcast the blog to people in their phone’s address book

Users can upload pictures from their mobile phone
and tag the pictures using the phone’s address book
• Users can expand their social network by searching for people with whom they have mutual friendsThese are just some of the cool features ZYB is offering without charging a dime from its almost 200,000 users across the world.

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Posted in Mobile, Social Web, web-based services, web2.0 | Leave a Comment »

Access Your Skype Contacts and Use Google Desktop Search from Your Mobile with SoonR

Posted by telecommatt on August 25, 2007

I’ve been using SoonR for a few months now. It’s a really cool service. You have access to your email, any folders you designate, and your Skype contacts. If you use Google Desktop, you can use SoonR to search for any document on your machine. View docs on your handset, share them, or email them. (which is what I do most often.) It many cases, SoonR eliminates the need to carry a USB drive with you. My only gripe is that the I seem to get a little pop up telling me to upgrade the desktop client every other day.

Featured Download: Access Files from Your Mobile Phone with SoonR

from Lifehacker by Adam Pash. Windows/Mac: Access files, emails and search your desktop from your
web-enabled mobile phone or any web browser with freeware application
SoonR. After you install the application, set it up with folders you
want to retrieve files from and then log into SoonR from your phone.
The application’s best feature is its file viewer, allowing you to view
40 different file types (including PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and PDF
docs) rendered for your phone—meaning your phone doesn’t have to
natively support any of them. SoonR is currently free to use (it sounds
like a premium version is in the works), Windows and Mac only.

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Posted in Mobile, Productivity, Software, web-based services, web2.0 | 1 Comment »

RemoteControlMail Becomes EarthClassMail

Posted by telecommatt on August 11, 2007

I mentioned RemoteControlMail.com some time ago and I was really excited by the idea. Imagine being able to sort through your mail from your web browser and receive only the items that you select. What’s even better is that (at least reading) you can have them recycle your junk mail for you.

I received an email from the RemoteControlMail team last week with some news.

This past weekend, Earth Class Mail officially changed its Web domain
from RemoteControlMail.com to EarthClassMail.com. The new home address
for Earth Class Mail Online Postal Mail Forwarding Service is <http://www.earthclassmail.com>.

Thanks in advance,
Web Team
Earth Class Mail

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Posted in Green, web-based services | 2 Comments »

Matt’s Cuppa Interviews Reactee

Posted by telecommatt on July 18, 2007

I’m sitting outside right now blogging in the sun, and, of course, wearing my Reactee. I love my WiFi, I love summer, and I love it when I get to review a product that I believe in. I first came across Reactee in a post from the MoMB website with a rather minimalist description: “Shirts that text you back.” I mentioned the Reactee website back in June and was super excited by what I saw. Now, after I’ve had a chance to see their product, try things out for a bit, and talk to some people, I can honestly say that Reactee is doing some great things.

Reactee Home

The concept behind Reactee is pretty straightforward. You go to their site and design a shirt with your message and a customized keyword. You type up a few sentences that you want someone to see when the text your keyword to 41411. I chose “I geek for you” with the keyword “egeek”. (Want to see how it works? Go ahead and give it a try by sending an SMS with the word egeek to 41411.) You can change this text as often as you like, and when someone texts your keyword you get a nice little SMS letting you know. You can check out what other users have come up with at the Reactee Gallery.

Just being out and about with my Reactee on has gotten some great responses. People come up and ask about it. If you’re using it to spread some sort of message, you really get responses on two levels. People see the shirt and text you, but they also come up and ask about it face to face. And the shirts look cool, too. I’m definitely not embarrassed to be seen in public wearing my Reactee. The shirts themselves are rather thin, but mine has survived my washing machine so I’m happy. The print has that stylish I’ve-had-this-forever faded look. (I love that! It’s carefully crafted to make it look like all you did to look this cool is throw on the first thing you found, when you know you picked your outfit the night before!) I was really impressed that the website has a handy little chart that helps you figure out what size to order, a killer feature since clothing sizes vary so much from vendor to vendor.

Being an environmentally concerned netizen, there are a few things Reactee is doing that I definitely applaud. Their shirts are manufactured in the United States, reducing the amount of carbon required to get the shirts from the manufacturer. (Reactee is a US-based company.) Their “natural” colored shirts are made from organic materials. The shirts are also printed using water-based inks. I think that every company has a responsibility to my children minimize the impact that they have on the planet, and I’m am very pleased that Reactee is stepping up.

Reacteeism

As I’ve said, the concept behind Reactee is straightforward. What excites me, however, is much broader in scope. SMS activism is changing the political and social landscape across the globe. From elections in Nigeria to chemical plants in China, we see the true power of SMS communication. Closer to home, we see something like Live Earth and wonder, “What do I do next?” Reactee encourages you to take your message to the streets and put a face to your cause. Sure, you’re just one person, but armed with a Reactee, just imagine what you could do!

I contacted Reactee asking if they had any interest in an article or an interview, and Ariel emailed me the very same day. After wearing my Reactee around for a while, and seeing the reactions it got, I couldn’t wait to hear Ariel’s thoughts on the questions I sent. As you can see, he got back to me with some great responses:

# I understand that Reactee is a partnership between TextMarks, Inc. and Revel Industries. Can you talk a little about this? How did it all begin? There always seems to be a great story behind a successful startup. What’s the Reactee story?

The initial idea was to offer shirts to TextMarks users as a way of promoting their keywords. The idea for focusing on the shirts as a standalone product came in a meeting I had with my friend Joe Greenstein (CEO of Flixster). We thought: why limit this product to people who already had a TextMark? Why not make an “interactive shirt” that anyone can use? As to the connection with Revel, I sent an email to the alumni list at Stanford Business School asking for suggestions on people familiar with the t-shirt industry – as I had little experience in it. Someone suggested Chris Gorog, the CEO of Revel Industries and a Stanford alum. We got together at hit it off.

# What about competition? Do you feel that there is competition in your market, or has Reactee created their own market niche? What’s in store for the future of your market space?

So far, we are the only ones offering interactive t-shirts. It is actually not that easy to make this product well. You have the text messaging infrastructure on one side, designing a shirt that balances aesthetics with functionality, making the shirts on demand with good quality, and then integrating the whole thing. As to the future, we are working on a number of features to make the shirts even more interactive and fun, we are also getting lots of requests from abroad, so we are looking into that.

# Define your audience. Who is the average person who will be wearing a Reactee? Do you see a future in individuals or groups? Or will you continue to cater to both? Is there a corporate interest in your product?

We are seeing interest (and orders) from several types of customers:

– Individuals with shirts such as “Think I Am Hot” or “Love Movies”

– Lots of small business, e.g., “Need a Realtor”, “French Lessons”, “Fitness Max”, “I Design Websites”

– Non profits, e.g., “Peace Now”, “Santa Barbara Symphony”, “Change the World with Tech”

– Corporations: we’ve gotten a number of large orders from corporations for promotions, internal events, and as gifts for employees.

# In the wake of financial scandals and more recent concerns over climate change, corporate values are becoming more and more of a deciding factor for today’s consumer. Are there any values that Reactee holds dear? Does Reactee find a way to give back to the community?

Lots of non-profit organizations are using Reactee to promote great causes. In addition to helping them with promotion, we share our revenues with them, helping them financially. And we donate free shirts to some small organizations. All of us involved with Reactee care deeply about our communities and individually each one is involved with more than one project. We are a very socially responsible company. For example, we use shirts that are made in the USA and print with environmentally friendly water-based ink.

# What’s the best thing about being a part of Reactee? What is it that makes you shiver with excitement when you’re telling someone about Reactee? Is there anything in particular that makes you get out of bed in the mornings?

The most fun aspect of Reactee is seeing the creative uses that our customers find for the shirts. I love going to ourgallery to see the latest shirts that our customers have built. I also love the fact that we are producing a physical good. While it sure is a LOT more work than when you are just selling “bits”, it is also a lot more satisfying when our customers receive their shirts and send us emails telling us how much they love them and how much their friends liked them.

I really want to thank Ariel for the thoughtful and thought-provoking answers, and also the Reactee team for putting together a great product. I love what you guys are doing, I love the fact that you’re environmentally conscious, and I’m totally excited by all the possibilities that are out there for anyone with a message and a mobile phone.

Posted in Fashion, Geekstuff, Green, Interviews, Social Web, web-based services, web2.0 | 5 Comments »

It’s GoogleCentral Now

Posted by telecommatt on July 2, 2007

It’s official: Google acquires GrandCentral | Webware : Cool Web apps for everyone

Google has just announced the much rumored, acquisition of communications service GrandCentral. TechCrunch broke the news about the acquisition last week and is now reporting the deal is rumored somewhere in the range of $50 million dollars. Details about final price and terms are confidential.

It was bound to happen sooner or later. GrandCentral is just too good a gem to pass up. I only hope that the service won’t change in any major way. Apparently, GC is in invite-only mode now. That may cause people to lose interest. I think that Google will have to tread very carefully here or risk pushing existing GC’ers to Skype.

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Posted in Google, web-based services | Leave a Comment »