April 2007



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Joost is hot.

Techlife recently posted about our invite to Joost, the free online video network currently in beta testing. We offered up an invite to people who commented in that thread. Then I ran into a snag installing and each person who requested an invite instead got a personal email from me. Basically stating, thanks for your interest but we couldn’t hand out anything until we got it working as the invites were in the software itself.

We got it working!

I plan on posting a review next week of by far one of the coolest applications I have seen in quite a long time. We also plan on providing a lucky winner the chance to try it out and tell us their thoughts. Watch for our review and our contest post.

Note: As of right now the contest has NOT started, so if you want to enter, check back or sign up for our feed. Comments in this thread will NOT enter you in the contest.

Note 2: We have never locked a thread before on Techlife, but the original Joost thread is going to be locked to avoid confusion. For our Techlife superfans who commented on the original post, an added bonus, one of those select few will ALSO get an invite to Joost from us.

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Dear Cali header by dk worldwide
A new header for DearCali.com?

A good friend of mine, Neal Campbell, producer of GeekBrief.TV recently asked me, “I know what you do, but what….do you do?” Most of you know me as Dave Kaufman, creator of Techlife. Let’s go behind the curtain in this multi-part column and I will give you a bit more about what I do. Today we cover design and branding.

Cue the time machine as the question above was not the start of our conversation. It all started when Neal asked if I could review a new site that was part of the GeekBrief.TV family, Dear Cali, a Tech Answers and Advice blog by Cali Lewis host of GeekBrief.TV. I get asked this all the time in Techlife. Now by review, he meant provide him feedback, make suggestions, critique and generally give an impression of this new site, some companies call it beta testing too. I wrote Neal a nice email pointing out various small and large observations, suggestions and even a new business idea!
(more…)


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Spring means new green on the trees.  Is your business getting ready for spring?  Do you see new green in your future?  Sit down with the marketing and technology vision of a proven “venture strategist”. Dave Kaufman will look at your business and organization and see the green. Did you know that Dave worked with Motorola? Ask him about it . Contact Dave, it’s easy: techlife [at] dkworldwide [dot] com.

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Business Notepad 2 by Steve WoodsThis month’s syndicated column dropped 21 links!  We work hard.  So do you at your business.  Maybe you need this kind of fresh perspective for your company? Can technology really save money? Want your company’s website to shimmer with new links and a new look too? Will technology improve my day to day? We can help. Hit me via email at: techlife [ at ] dkworldwide [dot] com. Did we overwhelm you with to many links this month? No problem, visit the TechLife weblog where all you need to do is point and click.(part of the print process exposed to online readers)

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Reading by Christine RondeauThis was a crazy “location” month for Techlife, starting with the request to translate the column into Japanese.  Quite an honor.  A student in New Zealand used our reviewme [at] dkworldwide [dot] com email for his creation, Searchbot, and we created “Techlife-a-tron”.  We posted unique instructions on exactly how to get from New York to London.  We were also contacted by Joost out of Europe and reviewed Chick Chick Boom designed by a German company.  And that leads us to the two stories that actually made the cut, which also focused on location, one in real estate and one in the online mapping area.  This was  huge month for visitor’s comments to Techlife, visit the site and see all the smart comments made by your fellow readers.
(part of the syndicated print column’s writing process exposed to online readers)

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New York to London with Google Maps

Google Maps is a favorite around the Techlife offices.  After our recent article on “Make Your own Google Maps” a long time friend and reader Cindy from Boston sent us the simple email outlining Google Maps directions from New York to London. We were a bit puzzled, until we followed her instructions.  Here was the email tip we were sent:

DO THIS:

1. go to www.google.com
2. click on “maps”
3. click on “get directions”
4. type “New York” in the first box
5. type “London” in the second box
(hit get directions)
6. scroll down to step #23

ha ha ha ha

To lazy – we have saved the link from The Big Apple to Big Ben right here.

Got a tip for us, send it in to techlifetips [at] dkworldwide [dot] com.


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iPhone size comparison with Sidekick and Blackberry
We saved this information for today, as it is 4/11 (if you are in the USA.) And if you are in the USA you know all about the 411, and we aren’t talking about slang meaning “giving out information” but the national directory assistance that most landlines and mobile phones charge upwards of $1.25 (know something higher? Stick it in the comments.) Well “The Google” is pumping out the 411 in a big way with free SMS information and free directory assistance.

After Techlife’s recent article on getting the price of any house via your mobile’s SMS, the reaction was really positive. People love their mobile and getting information on it. Google has had an SMS service for a long time now. Simply send an SMS to “GOOGL” or “46645” with say “Pizza and your ZIP Code” and a few seconds later a quick text message reply has you eating cheesy goodness, or at least ordering it. You can also get things like flight and airline information. Google’s free service wants to help everyone, especially frustrated travelers.
But today is 4/11 so we will give you two pieces of information on this “The 411 Day”. Google also recently released Google 411. Another free service from the ominpresent dealers of information.

Google Voice Local Search lets you search for local businesses from any phone and for free. If you’re in the US, call 1-800-GOOG-411 and say what you want to find. Here are some of the features:

You can find a business listing by category. Just say “pizza,” for example.
* You can send the listing details to your mobile phone via SMS.
* The service is fully automated, so it doesn’t rely on human operators.
* It connects you directly to the business, free of charge.

Now that you have the 4-1-1, tell us how you used it in the comments!

Thanks to all the tipsters including SportsFan Dan, Cactusphone, Abkadefgee, Lifehacker on Google SMS Flight Info, and Lifehacker on Google 411. Got a tip for us, send it in to techlifetips [at] dkworldwide [dot] com.

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Chick Chick Boom Title Screen - Easy to play, and learn.

Techlife was lucky enough to land a Wii, (not that you would know since we have been so busy playing we haven’t reported on it yet. Shame on us.) But thanks to the Wii we have been reading the blog, Nintendo Wii Fanboy for our latest news. And boy do they pump out a lot.

Recently they covered a really cool game that is super addictive NOT FOR the Wii, but for your browser. I will repeat that this small game is super addictive, that’s your warning. Meet Chick Chick Boom, a game where you control air, ground and chemical warefare attacks on baby chicks. Sound too gruesome? Well it isn’t.

Chick Chick Boom Gameplay screen - Notice the elephants, how funny is that?

You likely have already seen the graphics with this article to see that the chicks are cute little circles. This game all about cute. From falling elephants to giving the chicks hard hats. The fast paced, easy to learn gameplay and light and airy soundtrack make it really addictive. Basically you just trace shapes in your defense or offense area and that determines what your attack or defense will be on the opposing chicks.

I quickly cruised through the first 10 levels and then in my first pro game I scored 12. I don’t really have a benchmark, so please post your high scores in Pro Mode of Chick Chick Boom.

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“Barcodes for houses?” Everyone’s been shopping a big box, where the cashiers are miles from you in the front of the store, the employees are all on their 2 hour lunch break at the same time no where to be found and you need to know how much this Transformers: The Movie: The Board Game is for your nephew. So what did the big boxes install, mobile scanners. Basically you walk up scan the barcode of your item and it reads or announces the price.

Optimus Prime Toy from Transformers The Movie

Well Housefront just made price-checking a home easy. Even better is they allow you to do it when you need to: checking house prices with your mobile is the perfect application. (USA only for now). I mean how often are you out and see a for sale sign but don’t have your computer with you? Using it was simple.

As Lifehacker notes:

…just text the street address to HOUSE (46873). In a minute you’ll get back a text message listing the year the house was built, the square footage, the number of baths/bedrooms, and the estimated price.

Lifehacker and Techlife also agree that it is much easier than Zillow’s mobile app for the same purpose. I will take it one step farther. Housefront provided way more information in the SMS reply. Now the real question is accuracy, input a home you know and let us know how accurate they are?

Update 1: Housefront blogged about another cool feature today. Automated search history.  Basically by using their service via texting your mobile number creates an account of all the homes you viewed while you were out house shopping.  When you get back to your PC all the data from your searches are saved for your research/browsing.


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Joost is hot.

Joost contacted me today! Apparently the Beta has gone widespread. Want an invite? Make a comment here. I will report more as soon as I have more.

Note: Comments have closed for this article.  Please see our Techlife’s Joost Invite Contest article.

Hello Dave,

The waiting’s over! Since we received your application to join the Joost
beta test program, we’ve been very busy fine-tuning it for you.

So here’s some good news: we’re now ready to expand our beta test
program, and we’re delighted to invite you to join us.

You can download the Joost software right away, by clicking on the link
below. You’ll find instructions for installing and running the software
on our download pages.

Get Joost here: {sorry had to erase this}
Before you can watch Joost for the first time, you need to choose a user
name and password. We’ve provided instructions for doing this on the
screens you’ll see the first time you run the software. So hurry – this
is still beta software and it’s not available to the general public yet,
so this is your opportunity to get the user name you want ahead of the
crowd!

Thanks for your patience in waiting for Joost. We hope you’ll enjoy
using it as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it.

Cheers,

The Joost team

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The map of Techlife's trip from Chicago to Memphis to St. Louis.Thinking of visiting all the baseball parks on the North East Coast? It’s a trip that many baseball fans would love to make. But where to start? Beginning today you can start at your friendly, neighborhood Google. Google, the current mapping king, is releasing an add-on to their popular maps tool, Google’s MyMaps.

The  itinerary of Techlife's trip to see Elvis, caves and Busch StadiumI whipped up a driving trip you could make this summer from Chicago to Memphis to Stanton, MO to St. Louis. Check it out. If you want to see Elvis, Graceland, caves, Budweiser, the Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium it’s all planned and thanks to Google’s MyMaps feature ready for you now. It was easy to use and took about 15 minutes from start to finish to get it all working.

Techlife had previously mentioned how cool Flash Earth was, I would love to see Paul Neave tackle MyFlashEarth next. Can he do it?

List your Google MyMaps in the comments, here and we will see who has some cool ideas.

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Cali live and on the monitor.
Techlife is a big fan of Geekbrief.TV. We have been watching since nearly the beginning and have really enjoyed seeing on-screen personality Cali Lewis blossom.

Well today we were contacted by Atsushi Kikuchi, a Japanese reader of Techlife and a fan of GeekBrief.TV. Atsushi writes a blog about Democracy Player in Japanese. (Democracy is a platform for watching Internet TV.) He kindly asked for permission to translate our first article on GeekBrief.TV to Japanese for his site. Go for it Atsushi, translate us! Comment here when you’re done.

Our first article is still heavily visited. We sat down with both producer/director Neal Campbell and on-screen bundle-of-laughs Cali Lewis to talk about their show on technology. Gee, any wonder Techlife liked it from the start? Check out that show. Already watch GeekBrief.TV? What’s your favorite episode?

Note 1: GB#150 is about Grand Theft Auto IV. I think the progression of GTA games has gotten better and better as Cali notes. I would love to see Rockstar’s engine be used for some other type of game too.

Note 2: If you have a need to contact Techlife, it’s easy. Interesting use for the site? Article idea? Software, gadget or hardware we missed? Email techlife [at] dkworldwide [dot] com.


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