June, 2010

  • Steve Clayton

    The Archivist – archive, analyze and export tweets

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    The Archivist is a new lab/website from our Mix Online folks that lets people archive, analyze and export tweets. Why would you wanna do that? Well Twitter search only gives you the last 2 weeks so if you want to analyze trends, see relationships or simply just store your tweets to show to the grandkids, this is the tool for you.

    As the site says, The Archivist isn’t an archive of all tweets – but from the moment you kick off an archive, that is what it’ll become. A living, growing archive from that moment on. You then get six default visualisations (shown above) plus the ability to export your data for deeper analysis.

    Go play now at http://archivist.visitmix.com/

     

     




  • Steve Clayton

    Microsoft’s Pivot – solving the needle in a haystack

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    Pivot was first shown at the PDC last year and it’s now available as a shipping product with the Silverlight PivotViewer. This brings Pivot to your web browser and I think it’s a fine example of how we do what we call “tech transfer” – taking incubations from our Labs (in this case Live Labs) in to shipping products.

    What the hell is Pivot? It turns out the name itself is a pretty good descriptor as it allows you to “pivot” on information you’re dealing with. As always, it’s easier to see for yourself than have me explain in some arcane techno mumbo jumbo so take a look at the Wedding venues visual search. I could have done with this site a few months back when I got married – it allows you to visually sort a large amount of data using the typical pivots you would naturally use. Imagine trying to do a search for all of the venues in Cornwall, England that can accommodate 100 people and have overnight accommodation. Oh and have a swimming pool. It turns out there is one….classic needle in a haystack stuff but Pivot makes it simple to solve that little conundrum.

    I love to see this stuff shipping…not least because it means Gary Flake and his band of merry men and women are now off creating what’s next.

     




  • Steve Clayton

    Microsoft removing your 3D glasses

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    Get Microsoft Silverlight

    I just finished reading a piece in Technology Review about Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group who are working to make glasses-free 3-D a reality. Interesting…it’s not going to make me like Avatar any more but 3D without the glasses would be a result of dorktastic proportions.

    One of my challenges at Microsoft is keeping up with all the stuff that is going on so no surprise that this was a new one on me. TR explains that this new lens that is being developed is thinner at the bottom than at the top. This allows light to be steered to a viewer's eyes by switching light-emitting diodes along its bottom edge on and off. What does that mean? TR goes on to explain

     

    Combined with a backlight, this makes it possible to show different images to different viewers, or to create a stereoscopic (3-D) effect by presenting different images to a person's left and right eye.

     

    The lens is about 11 millimetres thick at its top, tapering down to about six millimetres at the bottom. TR explains how it works

     

    An optical trick means that light enters through the edge, bounces around inside the lens (much as if it were in a fiber-optic cable), and, when the light has bounced enough times to reach a specific angle (known as the "critical angle"), it exits through the front of the lens. Bathiche says that the specialized lens design, which includes a rounded, thicker end, dictates how the light bounces around and when and where it can escape

    It’s another one of those things that is better seen (ha ha) that read about so check out the video above and you can see a tonne more videos at the Applied Sciences Group site. They show large area LCD displays with very thin form factors (<2" optics, 40" diagonal) which allow simultaneous display and capture of touch and gesture on and above the surface. Tonnes of potential.



  • Steve Clayton

    Is innovation an effect or cause?

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    Noah Brier works for The Barbarian Group and I stumbled across this presentation of his via Dave Knox. I love the start with Gillette and their 5 blades and then the further analysis of what innovation truly it. What it is of course is one of the most overused words in the IT industry but it’s one that maybe needs to be used more sparingly if it’s ever to have any real meaning. I’m not sure I totally agree with the distinction Noah draws between invention and innovation but I’m going to go read it a few more times before drawing my own conclusions (which I’ll post here).

    Slides 18, 19 and 20 in particular are thought provoking. Is innovation an effect or cause?



  • Steve Clayton

    What am I?

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    Picture-22-480x484

    Not quite sure where I fit but I’m sure somebody will tell me :)

    via SwissMiss


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