Thanks for the pictures of the strawberries. Mmmm, strawberries!
New Media Picks Of The Week: Sharewood Picnic 5
It's a great, beautiful Sunday again and though not an holiday for everyone around the world, it is indeed a day dedicated to the sun and to everything that like our protecting star, shines on our horizon.
And with so many shining gems coming on my path, I can't avoid sharing with you my genuine awe for all the discoveries, inventions and new ideas popping up everywhere around me. Time is just not enough to explore, research and learn about them all.
Photo credit: Kathy McCallum
And as this week has been no slouch for announcements of great new tools and services, here is another good basket of delicious picks ready for you.
Here they are:
- Wikipedia Content Indexer and Search Engine
- Yahoo Extends Search To Subscription-based Content
- Remix Literature Classics With Penguin Remix
- RSS Search Engine and Directory
- Personal Media Player Goes Wi-Fi and adds Video and PDA
- Online storage of music, phot and media files
- Free instant-integration of an A/V chat room into your site
- Not one, but two free videoconferencing options for Skype users
Have a taste!
WikiMax is Tom Holt's most recent project and it is a search engine all devoted to make it easier to search the Wikipedia. As you start typing in a search term a full list of available contents on Wikipedia shows up, offering a one-click access to what you were looking for.
- Yahoo Search Subscriptions
Yahoo just launched a new online service which allows users to search subscription-only content captured from a growing number of content partners such as the Wall Street Journal and several others. From Yahoo's own press release:
"Yahoo Subscriptions indexes subscription-only content, presenting excerpts of it in the search results and letting subscribers click through to the full-text as long as they are subscribers to that publisher’s Web site.
To use Yahoo! Search Subscriptions, users can select from a list of subscription content sources. When a search is conducted, their subscription content appears in their Web results, and is displayed as a separate module above the standard search results. If users choose to integrate this experience in future Web searches, they can permanently add the list of subscriptions they want to search via the Yahoo! Search preferences page.
Initial content comes from the likes of ConsumerReports.org, The Wall Street Journal Online, TheStreet.com, The New England Journal of Medicine, IEEE and Forrester Research Inc., along with subscription content from Financial Times."
- Penguin remixed
This is an absolutely great cultural marketing initiative, spreading valuable passages from some of the best classical writings in remixes and mashups completely created by users. Penguin Books has in fact made available a good number of audio recordings containing the voices of some popular actors reading through classical passages. Users can freely download the recordings and remix them with music and sounds in any way they like.
The results are nothing short of astonishing.
In my personal view this has got to be one of the best ways to get exposure to the classics for today's youth. Not only. It is my personal conviction and experience that by listening to the spoken word when associated to repetitive and not dominant music patterns the human brain can memorize and remember those words much more effectively.
Don't think so? Give it a try:
From Vishal Parikh, the great guy who put together the uniquely useful AmazonAds free service there are more good news coming in.
- Palm LifeDrive
This has gotten lots of my attention, and the next one coming from the US to Italy should really get me one (yes, I'll pay for it).
Not the only animal in this category, the Palm LifeDrive is a new breed of portable personal media player which integrates mobile phone, PDA, web and email access, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth access, 4Gb of hard disk storage, voice recording and MP3 + video storage and playback.
It goes now in the US for $499 (or about EU 405). What I am most curious about is to figure out who are the competitors to this and what are they offering. Can you help?
Store about 4 hours of high-def video, 2,000 MP3s or 10,000 digital photos and send/access about 20 MP3s or 100 photos completely for free. Or spend $ 4.95/month and get online storage for an unlimited number of files and bandwidth for about 30 minutes of high-def video, 200 MP3s or 1,000 photos. More options available. Streamload is an online storage and bandwidth provider for non-technical users as schools, musicians, videomakers and photographers needing to store their material online.
Launched in April 2000 Streamload has now more than 20,000 subscribers around the world.
You know more places where to store large quantities of media content for free? Let me know. (use the comments links at the end of this article)
- Userplane Free web chat
Userplane has launched this week the free availability of his effective web-based A/V chat platform for any web site owner at absolutely no cost. The service pays itself via the ads that are displayed at the bottom of the chat room. If you want no ads there is a fee-based option as well.
Userplance chat rooms are the state of the art in terms of design, features and ease of use. They integrate text chat with emoticons, multiple-rooms, audio and video, and more. Integration on your site can be done in a matter of seconds. Check it out. http://www.userplane.com/
- Free Videoconferencing with Skype
VSkype and Spontania4Skype are two new tools that leverage the Skype open API while making it possible for the first time to hold a videoconference with other users. Spontania4Skype is for now a free one-to-one video conferencing tool, while VSkype adds the option to have as many as 200 hundred simultaneous participants without degrading overall performance. All VSkype participants in a call can broadcast video at the same time, if they choose, and each participant can view any 8 people at a given time.
With VSkype any open application, or even the entire desktop, can be viewed by other participants during a vSkype Beta call. In addition, VSkype Beta's "Add to Call" feature allows you invite other Skype contacts to your existing call. This eliminates the disruption of having to create a new call each time you would like to add new callers.
Video4Skype, already in its final release, offers the ability for full-screen display and complete end-to-end encryption of the videoconference.
With some degradation in quality and frame rate both tools can also operate at 56K. Both tools operate for now only on Windows PCs (due to Skype availability of a Windowws-only API).