November 2007



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Google Image Labeler Points Screen

Google has achieved the “Field of Dreams Effect”. Simply put, this effect coined by Techlife, means there is no longer a preceding qualifier to the famous phrase by author W.P. Kinsella’s character of the “Baseball Announcer” in the book Shoeless Joe and the movie Field of Dreams:

If you build it, he will come.

Techlife’s “Field of Dreams Effect” states:

“Build it and they will.”

Purposely left open ended, this phrase intends to cover both people who build (in this case Googlers) who build cause they can, and users or customers (Google’s users) who will use what Google has built, because it exists.

Google Image Labeler is one of these creations, hatched using some licensed technology from Carnegie Mellon University. Google wanted to improve the results from the Google Image Search tool, and realized that using the power of “us” they could improve their results dramatically. They created a social game, where the blindly pair up two people for 2:00 minutes and let you race to match terms about random images that show up.

Google Image Labeler In-Game Screen
It is easy, free and rather addicting. For those of you social context types, you could be helping improve search results for a global audience. For you cynical types no question it is a sweatshop and you get paid in points redeemable for nothing. For you gamers, it is a highly addictive free game where the goal is to be cooperative with your partner to gain the most points.

Techlife previously covered Guess the Google, a very addictive game also based on Google Image Search. Which do you like better? Tell us.


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Reading by Christine RondeauLeft Brain = Logic. Right Brain = not so much. Today we are going to challenge both sides of your brain in various ways. First Samorost, a visually stunning game from the Czech Republic will dazzle your right cerebral hemisphere with mind blowing artwork, and it continues with completely non-verbal storyline. (see Link 1)

The left side of your brain will enjoy playing with ZipSkinny, a romp through the data that is the US Census. Allowing you to break it up and slice and dice it based on the US Zip Code system. (see Link 2) What better way to enjoy the holidays?
(the lead-in for the December column)

(part of the syndicated print column’s writing process exposed to online readers)

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Business Notepad 2 by Steve WoodsWhile we cover various interesting things like zip code research, flash games, and rock and roll quizes you might ask, what can they do for my company?  Techlife can do a lot.   Just ask us.   Hit me via email at: techlife [ at ] dkworldwide [dot] com. Do you subscribe to the RSS feed for Techlife? Visit the TechLife weblog where all you need to do is point and click.(part of the syndicated print column’s writing process exposed to online readers)

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For new readers, welcome your feedback is appreciated.  For long time readers, 2007 was a great year for learning and expanding.  I suspect 2008 will be even better, keep reading and sending in your questions and comments.  As a marketing and technology proven “venture strategist” I want to meet businesses and organizations, all it takes is an invitation. Contact me, it’s easy: techlife [at] dkworldwide [dot] com.

(part of the syndicated print column’s writing process exposed to online readers)


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Samorost2

In 1984 Sierra On-Line released King’s Quest I: Quest for the Throne. (Bonus: The link contains a playable remake on today’s computers, that has been downloaded 190,000 times.) It was a new kind of adventure game with a great story, amazing visuals (for the time) and a bit of humor thrown in for good measure. The player was dropped into the middle of a story, in the middle of a world they had no real connection with other than knowing it was a game. After many sequels and genre’s, the games only live in fan’s minds.

Samorost1

Techlife just finished playing a game that has a great story, amazing visuals and a bit of humor, but also has a great musical score, and an enjoyable interface from Amanita Design. Samarost1 and Samarost2 are free point and click, puzzle games built in Flash. If you get hooked they offer a downloadable extended Samarost2 for just $6.90USD. This company from Brno, in the Czech Republic was founded in 2003 by Jakob Dvorsky.

YouTube Preview Image

Amanita Design has done a few other great projects like Samorost, check out The Quest for the Rest a commission for The Polyphonic Spree. And their upcoming game Machinarium looks really amazing and already is getting a following.
Machinarium Preview

Thanks to one of my editors of all people, who pointed out Samorost1 and Samorost2. (Suck up alert) Any editors that are looking for a great syndicated column for their publication, please contact me. We welcome submissions from anyone, even editors. Send them to techlife [at] dkworldwide [dot] com.


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The Almost-Impossible Rock and Roll Quiz

In a twist of great writing and marketing the folks at Rolling Stone Magazine have done a blogger friendly job with their recent feature. Simply titled:

The Almost-Impossible Rock and Roll Quiz

58 questions.

4 decades.

It is like playing Guitar Hero 3, fun with rock and roll, but you likely won’t walk away thinking you are a master after the first time.

1960s sample question – How many songs on Abbey Road are credited to George Harrison?

1970s sample question – Which 1974 film inspired the title of Aerosmith’s “Walk this Way”?

1980s sample question – According to a 1986 El DeBarge single, who’s Johnny?

1990s sample question – What was the last officially released Guns n’ Roses single?

Surprisingly to me I scored a 29 = to “Whiz!” How did you do? Let us know in the comments.


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