Search Results for 'mash'



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Imagine gripping your handlebars tight, gunning the engine, shifting your weight while hanging on during a forward full flip of you and your motor bike all from the comfort and safety of your mobile.

bikerace

Turning back the clock to your earliest days with a Nintendo Entertainment System you may recall the classic Excitebike and exclaim, except for the flips you remember that game. Then long time fans of Techlife may recall the physics based builder Line Rider where you guide a rider and sled over a hand drawn course. It wasn’t a game as much as a chance to build your own track.

Then we have our faithful readers, you lovers of the mash-up bring us a motorbike-riding physics-based simple-line-track with user created levels and multi-player cross-platform experience. (Let’s let the rider race over the hyphens in that last sentence). How does it work? Addictivley well.

How to Play Bike Race

Visit your favorite app store and download Bike Race. Level 1 is a simple tutorial which explains the right side of the screen is “go” and the left side of the screen is “stop”. The game forgoes actual visible control elements but you shouldn’t need them. The game uses the accelerometer. Tilting left while on the ground pops the bike into a wheelie. Tilting left while in the air the rider and bike perform a backflip and tilting forward does a front flip.

You progress through each level as a time trial. Complete the level more quickly to earn the maximum three stars. Just after starting I got an invite from the loyal reader to play them in a multi-player match. Multi-player is a turn-based style game awarding you a win if you beat your opponent in head to head match of a single race. While you wait for them to race you can race other people or continue the single player racing.

Like Line Rider and the grand daddy Excitebike, Bike Race offers a track creator for those who want to build their own. Bike Race will take care of sharing them in the game and let others play your levels too. It gets addicting quickly so be careful that you have a few hours to kill before you try and build your masterpiece.

Thanks as always to the greatest readers for finding some real amazing things. We had quite a little struggle this month as reader suggestions came pouring in and made the job of curating just one a tough chore. Send those small ideas, fun things, and creativity to techlife at dkworldwide dot com.

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Chime.tv LogoDid I detect a little spark in David Berlind‘s eye? Maybe a hope that he could see his content on a featured Channel? Watch this video where Techlife TV gets the nod in Taylor McKnight’s talk with David Berlind of ZD Net.

Congratulations to Chime.tv winner of the best Mashup at MashupCamp. Taylor, now a two-time winner, sat down and showed David (Berlind) Chime.tv, even mentioning our channel and me by name at the 1:05 minute mark. (Thanks Taylor!)

What’s a Mashup? I will leave it to David to explain that in his video which of course is also on the Techlife TV Channel.

Note to David: Got more vidoes? Let me know and I will add them to Techlife TV.
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movies sex swingsilk panty moviesmovie philadelphia soundtrackstrap movie sex onmovies streetbaitteen galeries moviethe redeye movie newtomb raider 2 movie Map


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Chime.tv's player screen allows you to easily navigate videos in many genres.

Have you ever wanted to program your own tv station? Now you can. Chime.tv, is the creation of Chirag Mehta and Taylor McKnight. The premise is simple, make video sites like Blip TV, Break.com, Daily Motion, Google Video, MetaCafe, MySpace, Veoh, & YouTube all available in one place.

Chime.tv Logo Chime.tv added a few other bells and whistles, such as the ability to create and program your own channel. Here is Techlife TV, a channel composed of videos we have blogged and others that Chime.tv helped us find.

They also have created a television like experience with videos grouped by subject matter, which is nice for finding what you want quickly and easily. Of course Chime.tv’s powerful search tools also make it easy to find very specific videos by subject or all the videos from a single website. (though it should let you create a channel from your search easily. feature request)

Thanks to Chime.tv I saw a lot of video that was entertaining and informative and just what I was looking for in web video service. Be sure to check out the video of a cell phone salesman singing Nessun Dorma, an opera, on Britain’s “You’ve Got Talent with Simon Cowell.” It was really amazing. If you find any great videos or make a great Chime.tv channel post here so we can all watch.

Overall: Chime.tv makes video easy and television like. It is a sure winner. Bookmark it.

Thanks to Techcrunch for the original

Got a site in beta that you want reviewed? Find a site that would make other Techlife readers happy or productive. Email us at reviewme [at] dkworldwide [dot] com.


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Flash Earth from Paul Neave

Lombard Street in San Francisco is known as the most crooked street in the world. As someone who has driven down the street it is a unique and popular tourist attraction in a city with the likes of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and countless museums like the SFMOMA.

But maybe you can’t make it there anytime soon, let Flash Earth help. From flash guru Paul Neave’s comes the comparison tool of all things maps. It is the ultimate maps mashup. As the image shows you can see up to eight different views of a location. Not all locations have imagery for all eight views. Here are the visuals from Google Maps, Micrsoft Virtual Earth, and Ask.com comparing their view of Lombard Street all taken from the identical coordinates.

See the comparisons after the jump.

(more…)


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Here at Techlife we have had the pleasure of writing about many family and friends who needed technology assistance. Remember the reader who dropped his phone in the toilet? A fan favorite and a personal friend. How do I get so lucky knowing these folks?

As Techlife likes to pay homage to the greatest hackers, Moms, we have had past columns such as GeekDad happy for Mother’s Day and This Mother’s Day Tell the Truth. Well, now it’s personal. In a celebration of Moms’ ingenuity, I offer up How my Mom Hacked Gmail.

My mom plays this mental game with herself. Maybe you do too. “Technology is too hard, and I don’t get it,” she often exclaims. But in reality she does get it, just at her own pace. Which leads us to the recent multi-year process of getting a smart phone. Now you may be saying to yourself what special smart phone did she get that took a few years to arrive?

Well, once again this is my Mom. The smart phones have been here, it was her reluctance mentally that hadn’t turned the corner. She had a cell and a Palm and was eager to carry a single device.  After years her realization was,whatever she imagined as the perfect device still hadn’t been made apparently.

So she settled on a top of the line Android Powered G2 with Google. Immediately the questions begin. Her biggest was Palm Notes. She used the basic notes function and wanted something like it. A simple request. Searching the Market resulted in more than 1000 note apps. “But, son,” she said. Always there’s a catch, right? Hers was she wanted to access the notes even when in the basement of her work with no connection, she wanted changes to auto-sync, she wanted to search them, and wanted to organize them. So far there are still hundreds of apps that work, no problem Mom.

Life got in the way of the family helpdesk, a few days later the smart phone vs. the toilet and other tech foibles speaking circuit concluded, I checked in with Mom again and asked her how it was going.  Expecting to hear how she still had had 48 more apps to test drive in the notes. She said, “I just decided to use Gmail.” I cocked my head to the side like a dog does upon hearing an unfamiliar sound. Slowly I replied, “How does that work?”

My Mom’s Gmail Hack

  1. Visit Gmail on Desktop and log in (not all Androids can do this on the device)
  2. In the upper left click on Contacts
  3. Under the New Contact Button, scroll down to “New Group”  and click
  4. Enter a name, I chose “Notes”
  5. Click the “New Contact” Button
  6. In the “Add Name” field add a category such as Work, Home or School
  7. Click the button with the “…” and enter the Note’s subject as the last name
  8. Now begin entering your notes
  9. Upon completion, click on the groups pull down and select “Notes” and leave “My Contacts” selected
  10. Repeat for all your notes
  11. Notes are searchable on desktop and handheld and synced to Google’s back end servers

Yep, my Mom took the simplest, easiest method she knew and adapted. Creating Gmail Notes, proving once again simple beats fancy every time. If you know her, call her a geek. She earned it. Happy Mother’s Day to all those moms.

 


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Before Techlife or BT people asked me all sorts of questions both tech and non-tech related.  The questions were often, “How do you send an email to Bill Gates?” or “How do you hook up your modem to a pay phone like in War Games?” or “Will this version of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? work with my first Mac?”

Then we entered the Techlife Era or TE and while the volume of questions has increased, the range of questions has become more varied. Many questions have shifted to opinion oriented as Google handles the more mundane tasks. Let’s answer a few of these today and make sure to take the quiz at the end of the column.

What’s the best way to save my bookmarks? – Erica L.

Probably your 250 links all dedicated to velvet Elvis won’t really be missed, but I understand each person has their own curated set of important links. For years I have been a big proponent of NOT saving them in my web browser. I once read a column by writer Jim Coates (great guy who I met early in my writing career) and his advice to his readers was a simple text file saved to a thumbdrive with all your bookmarks. Today I have transitioned to Xmarks. A free service to store all your bookmarks, let you sync them to any machine and back them up.

How could I save time when taking a photo and sending it to my friends? – Jeff K.

Stop taking them. If I get another picture of Mr. Pooky dressed for Halloween I’m calling animal cruelty. But if you are taking those oh-so-creative photos on an Android or iPhone then use a smart photo sharing tool. I prefer picplz because it can post to foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and the picplz site simultaneously. That time savings coupled with filters to play with your photo adds a bit of richness. Of course I think I just made it so you can now just take more costume photos didn’t I?

Could I have a smartphone without a data plan? – Carri K.

Only if you actually are willing to buy a smartphone already! But assuming you are finally ready to make the plunge, there is a little known way to legally and ethically hack the wireless carriers. Go unsubsidized and without a data plan. Likely you have a plan today that gives you a new phone every so many months. “Maybe now I will upgrade to the smartphone,” you are thinking. Don’t. Instead be willing to shell out full price (or go on Ebay) and get a model that will work with your carrier. This hack works well for SIM card users who put their old SIM card in the new phone. Now enable wifi at home and work, and a few other frequent haunts. Your smartphone will make calls and send texts but only use data when in wifi range. Your win, no data plan costs. Also no data “all” the time.

Quiz time: Microsoft has started a catchy campaign where users trumpet, “To the cloud!” Where did this phrase originate? Leave a comment if you know. No using the cloud to find the answer.


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Critically speaking, there are few ways people name companies and products; literally, descriptively and memorily. Ok I wanted you to remember the last one. By memorily I of course mean distinctively. On the internet these days all three kinds abound from TV.com to YouTube to Hulu.  Each does video on demand albeit in various ways but their names each speak to a different way we interpret them.

Which bring us to a site that wears a name so bold it could be the considered the only site you would ever need, at least that’s their hope at Find The Best.  According to them:

FindTheBest is an objective comparison engine that allows you to find a topic, compare your options and decide what’s best for you.

Maybe they could start with finding the best description of their site.  Techlife’s view is:

FindTheBest is a mashup between search, Wikipedia, and data sets organized in a sortable spreadsheet, with the added of twist of a do-it-yourself sheet too.

Of course as with most things the easiest way to understand is simply to experience.  Find it Best in a bit of confusion, calls each of their data sets an app. For example with the NFL heating up a good example is the National Football League Franchises App, letting user sort by 14 different criteria for 85 different active and inactive teams.

The football information is easily sortable with sliders and column headers, but nothing you couldn’t find elsewhere.  So let’s turn to a more human question; What’s are some 8 person or more board games? Using the Board Games App I grabbed the “Players” slider and moved the left side to “8” and it filtered it so I could see the 21 games out of 245 in the dataset. Easy.
Of course data sets that are hand created can be confusing too.  Techlife found a Fish Mercury app that had over 1,000 species of fish and more than 37,525 matches. It gave a 5 star health rating along with the name, state, county and waterbody of each fish along with the mercury concentration.  I’m happy to see that 19,642 fish got a 5 star rating. This seems like great information but then there was a second mercury data app which dealt with Mercury in Commercial Fish. This data set had just 66 fish listed, but it did cite the source for the mercury readings which was helpful.  There was no clear correlation among these two data sets, again as will happen with user generated content.
Here are some other common and not so common apps:
Highest Grossing Movies – interesting to see adjusted gross for top 100
Nobel Prize Winners – youngest winner was just 25 years old
Luxury Resorts – For just $1,457 per night at the standard room rate stay at the Burj al Arab
Comets and Asteroids – of the near 500K items tracked, nearly 1100 are classified as potentially hazardous!
and of course we end with our headline…
Paradoxes – filter by the subcategory of self-reference for some gems.

Improving knowledge, tracking something important or something less important, despite the name paradox Find the Best is a great resource for anyone who wants some easy to sort databases.  Send us a link to your latest data set.

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Tell me, how I can help?

As a rule, the idea of calling or emailing a support service for help with a toaster, a lawnmower or your 1982 Emerson Lilac Purple boombox is akin to having a conversation with a bear at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  You know the metaphor, right? It takes a long time to get down to the bottom of a big endless hole.  Once there the conversation is pretty scary with you pleading that they understand.  More than likely you are left with growling.

Or there’s our way.

In a March 2010 Techlife column, we celebrated with you the reader how RDRR Labs was named a Top Android Developer by Google.  A few notes on this; RDRR Labs is a two person team including myself and a friend. Google’s definition of “top” was more than 3.5 stars and at least 5,000 downloads.  Nice qualifications.  But to us that was not “top” yet. At that time our most popular app, Timeriffic had just under a 4.5 rating and near 10,000 downloads and was available in a few languages.

We made an effort to improve. We added more languages, today we have eleven. We have added features and listened to our users and today have more than 50,000 downloads. Best of all we have increased our app’s rating to 4.56 stars and rising. And lastly we have gone on a customer service campaign and this is where the real magic has happened.

Our app is free.  We don’t need to listen to anyone. We want too. To listen even  better, we have a developed an easy error reporting tool to help us answer our users questions. And that’s where things get interesting.

A user reported our app was broken and would not work on his new Droid X. I should add his tone was more like we had stormed into his home, taken his Droid X and crushed it under our foot. In other words; he was mad. We tried a few calm replies suggesting various options to him. 20 emails later, the app was still not working. Now admittedly we didn’t have a Droid X. Could it be this one phone actually didn’t like our app? It was worth finding out.

Techlife reader to the rescue!  I sent a quick message to a loyal reader who had just been bragging about her new Droid X. She was happy to see if the app worked. She installed it and reported back it was great. I thanked her and now was really stumped. How could our app be showing errors so different from what was expected? I took another crack, with a long email detailing the steps our loyal reader had taken and how the app worked great. The email I got back was the key to the whole mystery.

Our efforts are exactly what you can do when getting or giving help. Stay calm. Look carefully at the problem from the user’s side and above all don’t give up. The email we got back detailed the issue and talked about a specific feature. A feature we didn’t offer! It was then I realized he wasn’t using our app at all! A quick exchange  and he replied how happy he was we had solved his problem. Case closed.


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Do you want to know a secret? Online cartography is evolving.  Why do you have to be so fancy? Can’t you just say maps have gotten better? Big changes deserve big words. While Techlife has shared hidden map gameshow to make your own maps and why street level details are so valuable; we now want to share the value of immersive photographic cartography.

Cartography is the study and practice of making maps (also can be called mapping). Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.  -Wikipedia

Using Google Maps and Bing Maps advanced features I focused on exploring a single famous monument; The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.  Both offer top down satellite views of this famous location.

Google has clearer images than Bing for satellite maps, which comes from a combination of time of day, season and hardware used to take these shots.  Google also has continuous street views for many places around the world, including the Lincoln Memorial. Finally Google has a nice ability to integrate their own street view with user generated photos from all angles of the Lincoln Memorial, with the photo set locations mapped as shown.

Bing’s satellite maps are good enough to get you to move past them quickly to what I think is the best feature of these new digital maps, a bird’s eye multi-rotational view. As you can see the ability to rotate around a building at multiple angles gives a much clearer understanding of the structure than satellite only.  Bird’s eye view, like Street View isn’t available everywhere yet but try out your home or favorite museum and see how amazing it feels to be immersed.

Bing Maps adds one more feature that Techlife drooled over in 2007, PhotoSynth. A Photosynth is a group of photos of a specific object or place that get stitched together to create highly detailed and visually stunning photographic experiences in 3D space. By geotagging user’s Photosynth’s into the Bing maps,  you don’t just see some random snapshots of the outside and inside of the Lincoln Memorial but can take a journey from the outside into the inside and look up and down with amazing detail and spatial understanding.

While I have used Google Maps to get me places and build collaborative maps (something I love). I have used Bing Maps to investigate rental property, research vacations collaboratively, and see quite a few friend’s new home purchases. Knowing how each tool can be used is the key to your own immersive photographic cartography. Share your story with me.


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Techlife 500 = 100 pushups + 200 situps + 200 squatsOk be honest, did the headline scare you?  It scared me.  Did you think Techlife did a 180 degree turn? Well we didn’t.  We still sit squarely in the camp of “where the crossroads of technology and life intersect.”  So again you ask yourself, why is Techlife covering a hundred pushups, two hundred situps and two hundred squats?

One word: Mashup.

We have covered mashups in the past, see the archives.  Basically a mashup is taking two or more separate things and combining them.   In our column we often cover technology mashups so today is something a bit different.

One hundred pushups

A little over a year ago, Steve Speirs created the website HundredPushups.com.  The concept was simple to inspire and help people achieve a goal that seems difficult to most, to do 100 consecutive pushups. Wait, wait — don’t go.  Don’t stop reading cause, ewww he mentioned fitness and feats of strength. I know this is the holiday season and Festivus is upon us.  But you can do this.

Pushups printable sheets

Steve’s idea is something we often pass on to clients.  When you are sharing information, keep it simple.  HundredPushups.com provides an easy to follow six-week plan, some simple printable worksheets and that was it.  The interest spiked enormously due to the simplicity.

Even better Steve’s community of fans stared building mashups.  For regular readers there are three iPhone/iPod touch applications that act as digital tracking tools for people in each of the three programs.  Swedish developer Viktor Nordling created a web app for those regular Techlife readers, pushuplogger.com.  Finally, a fan named Eddie created the mashup for you long time readers, a Pocket Mod of the entire program that fits on a single sheet of paper in foldable Pocket Mod format.  This was my favorite item.

200 situps200 squats

Steve was inspired by the outpouring for his well crafted website that he soon rolled out the sequel, twohundredsitups.com.  Same concept, different muscles, new goal. Most recently he launched twohundredsquats.com.  Steve’s brilliance was to keep all three sites nearly the same.  Fans who understood one program can easily start the next.

Now for mashup, the Techlife challenge.  I sit behind my monitor way to much.  Cranking out good articles for the faithful.  I have started my new year’s resolution early and I want you to join me.  My goal stated publicly, is to achieve the Techlife 500. The goal is to max out with being able to do in a continuous test, one hundred pushups plus two hundred situps plus two hundred squats totalling 500 reps.

Who’s with me?  Add  a comment below if you are joining and feel free to check back here and update us on your progress.

Techlife 500 = 100 pushups + 200 situps + 200 squats


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Motivational Poster - Travel - Leaving your worry behind, and your email to pile up.

Black border. Large eye-catching photo. Large white text. Smaller white sub-text.

If you are like most readers, you will have already read all four posters before you looped back to the top of this article. That’s ok, because I designed it to happen just like that. As I designed the layout, I realized this column’s regular text would have far less impact than usual. As a writer that’s a tad depressing. As a designer I loved it!

Motivational Poster - Mashup - The platypus of web development.

This column is not the history of motivational posters. Nor is it the effect of motivational posters on lazy folks. Apparently the motivational poster’s impact on taking the stairs versus an escalator was so compelling it was funded numerous times over multiple continents. We get it. Enough already!

I created these unique Techlife posters in just a few minutes, using Big Huge Labs: Motivator, to create my own motivational poster. It was easy. Here’s how to build your own motivational poster or de-motivational poster in 3 easy steps.

Motivational Poster - Read Techlife - Where the crossroads of Technology and Life intersect.

1. Select a masterpiece – The photo should be eye catching and keep your attention long enough to draw you in.  After you have your photo you click Browse and attach the photo.  You also should review the photo’s focus area, as most likely it will get cropped.  Motivator allows you to designate one of three areas which might be best to keep visible.  You also get to choose a landscape or portait orientation for your photo.

2. Channel your inner Shakespeare – Penning the perfect word and sub-text is no easy task.  Are you trying to be funny or serious?  Will your words live forever or be forgotten quickly?  You may even find yourself selecting a new photo for the ultimate fit with your perfect prose. Perfection is personal.

3. Click and Share – Hit the big blue “Create” button.  A few seconds later your motivation masterpiece is rendered.  After reviewing how you will change the world you can edit, save, upload, email, share and even get a high-resolution version of your image by clicking the associated button.

Motivational Poster - Creative - Where genius goes to relax.

Techlife Challenge – Motivation is powerful.  Parody is funny.  De-motivation is a form of expression too.  For this challenge share with us your favorite self-created poster.  We’ll see about getting some prizes, but until then we’ll award the famous Techlife Points!  213 for each entry with the best in each category getting 4002.  Judging purely subjective and nonsense.

Note:  The posters shown here are meant to motivate you to read past Techlife articles.  MASHUP for the “Flash Earth – Ultimate Maps Mashup.”  TRAVEL for “Travelistic.com, YouTube with a Purpose.”  CREATIVE for the “Alan Becker’s Animator vs. Animation.”


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Where in the world? Location determined screen - Nice guess of Rome!

From where in the world is Matt Lauer to Carmen Sandiego to Waldo this is an age old theme (at least to the mid 1980s.)  And now Google has their own twist on the classic called, “Where in the World?“.

Techlife readers come to learn, engage and discuss at our little corner of the world.  Be it a reader who stops me on the street, emails in a suggestion, or comments on an article in the online site we welcome the interaction.  We have heard from thousands of readers, and while not everyone gets featured in a column, sometimes they get a mention.

Today’s column harkens back to our early days, as our newest find we stumbled upon all on our own.  This little secret game is almost hidden, I would call it an easter egg, yet it is sitting there in the open.  We have always covered neat visual tools here at Techlife. From our review of Picasa in “Picture Perfect” to “Life Poster: A Picasa How-To” to our most recent “How to Create Online Tilt Shift Miniature Photos” we have covered various fun things to do with your photos.  Now we will explore other people’s photos.

Picasa Web's Explore Tab

Our adventure started one day when a reader sent us trip photos.  Are you a little surprised?  Don’t be.  We get lots of fun things from the great readers of Techlife. After viewing the photos, I noticed the tab, “Explore”  near the Picasa logo, next to “My Photos” and “Favorites.”

Hey I love to explore!

So I clicked, you are taken to a pseudo homepage with a few interesting sections, each of which could take hours of time to Explore.  There are 12 “Featured Photos” which sort of change if you hit refresh, though same stay.  Then there is “Recent Photos” which you can watch in a slideshow format.  There are also 40 of the most “Popular Tags”, which is a method for indicating what a picture contains is about.  Popular tags include, wedding, vacation, lake, house, birthday, beach, flowers, you get the idea.  Then in a small corner is our hidden gem.

Picasa Web's Explore Screen

Titled, “Where in the world?” and a button stating “Start Game” with this simple explanation, “Check out photos from around the world and guess where they were taken!”  As Sherlock Holmes said, “The game is afoot.”

In a great mashup of their own tools, Google has used Google Maps and Picasa along with Geotagging to create their game.  (Geotagging is a method for tagging a photo with location data, indicating where on the blue marble we inhabit a photo was shot.)  Play is simple, you guess where the photo they show you was taken by clicking on the map of the world.  Sometimes the photos contain clues, subtle or obvious.  Your score for that photo is determined by how close your guess was to the actual location of the photo.  The closer the better.  You get five different photos per round.

Where in the world? - game screen

The game is strangely addicting.  Five clicks and you get a score.  Then you want to beat that score, then you convince yourself you will beat it the next round.  Then you do!  To celebrate let’s see if we can beat it one more time.  Okay an hour later, this is definitely my last game.  Hey look at that I got a high score!

My high score is 2,597 can you beat it?  Let me know.


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Virtual G1: Take it for a Test Drive

How can I possibly buy a phone I have never seen? This is the number one question people ask when talking about the Android G1 or Google Phone with me.  The G1 folks have addressed this with Virtual G1. The virtual 360 degree G1 that rotates and opens to show off the full keyboard.  A guide view showing you where the battery and SIM card will go.  Best of all, an emulator view built in Flash to let you examine the software and hardware of the G1 in action.

The emulator is limited in many areas of function and there is no sound for any action.  It gives a good feel for what the device will do, at least to hold people over until the Tmobile release on October 22nd.

Thanks to Gizmodo and Engdaget for the fun tool.


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TagCow LogoTechlife had the chance to try out TagCow, an automated photo tagging service, while it was still in beta. TagCow has now emerged from beta and is open to anyone. Automated photo tagging is equivalent to Google Search for your personal digital photos. From professionals to amateurs having quick and easy ways to sift through millions of images that are accurately tagged makes this service truly amazing.

What makes TagCow a bit more unique is the method of tagging, it is automated. Other services such as Picasa or Flickr rely on your efforts to tag photos, while Google is using a pseudo-game to help improve its tagging search results. This is what sets TagCow apart.

Tagcow’s “how” tagging is accomplished is a bit hidden on the website, but in speaking with Michael Droz, CEO and co-founder, he revealed it is part automated and part human-based. I would even venture to suggest different humans were assigned to my photos, as the results were slightly different for each image I uploaded. There was even a typo! Due to this tagging says it will take 24-48 hours, mine took about 55 hours.

TagCow's automated tags

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Songza Screenshot from Techlife

Techlife has been rocking recently to an easy-to-use music search engine, Songza. Type in an artist or song title and get a choice of various versions of songs that might be what you were searching for.

Google simplifies searching for web content. Songza simplifies searching for audio content. Part of the trouble of audio search is text descriptions might not do justice to what you want to hear so Songza has a flash player that allows you to listen and keep searching. They also use crowdsourcing, which means you can help clarify if a song is what you wanted, and rate it thumbs up or thumbs down which helps make Songza better the next time around.

With Songza’s elegantly simple interface, great search, the ability to build a playlist without even giving them your name or a login, an audio player, crowdsourcing, various sharing options and vast library it is interesting to see where it goes next. Songza’s free, doesn’t ask for any information and right now is really advertising free except for a link to buy the music you are listening.

My only complaint is the very rudimentary music player. I would like to see a fast forward or reverse capability, as other sites that search video, like Techlife TV, offer this.

Overall: Give Songza a Grammy for technical achievement. Songza may sound simple, because it is. But when simple is done right it rocks.


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