WhatIs.com Word of the Day Archive


January 7, 2008  10:15 PM

Overheard: ValleyWag explains why Robert Scoble got banned from Facebook

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

ValleyWag: Why Robert Scoble got banned from Facebook

Illustrious egoblogger Robert Scoble, the Paris Hilton of Silicon Valley, has committed the geek equivalent of a DUI. He has, by his own admission, violated Facebook’s terms of service, and had his account suspended — 5,000 friends and all. Scoble’s sin? He used a script to export his Facebook address-book information to Plaxo, which runs a competing social network.

Since Robert Scoble was banned from Facebook, there’s been a lot written about the need for data portability in social networking. If social network data was portable, that would mean that if you had a MySpace account for several years but then decided Facebook was “the cool place to be” you could migrate all your stuff over to Facebook without much, if any, effort. Other than people who’ve climbed aboard the social networking bandwagon big time, does anyone really care?

Steve O’Hear’s been thinking about this for quite awhile. He asked four leading developers in the social networking space about how important data portability was to the future of social networking. The best answer IMHO?

Marc Canter (CEO of Broadband Mechanics): “Users do care [about portability] if for no other reason than they’re lazy and they don’t want to have to create all those relationships and upload their photos all over again.”

January 7, 2008  9:49 PM

Overheard: Goodbye set-top box, hello Tru2way

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
set-top_box.gif January 7, 2008 — Today marks the beginning of the end for that terminally ugly device in the living room: the TV set-top box.

Peter Lauria, Cable TV enters new era with ‘open platform’

More news from the Consumer Electronics Show. We’re one step closer to getting rid of set-top boxes.

An industry initiative, to be renamed “tru2way” after a decade in the works, is expected to allow electronics manufacturers to make TVs and other gear that will work regardless of cable provider. By making devices compatible, the standard also could encourage the development of new services and features that rely on two-way communication over the cable network.

Tru2way used to be called OCAP (Open Cable Platform).


January 7, 2008  8:08 PM

Overheard: Bill Gates’ retirement video

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

The video Bill Gates shared at his last CES keynote was a very sweet mockumentary about what his last full day at Microsoft will be like — and his attempts to figure out what to do next.

I’m not sure which I enjoyed most, the cameo guest spots — or the last scene where he comes out of the office with a box full of office supplies. Very nicely done. I can picture him as a goofy Dad now.

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://youtube.com/v/HEWMC4usElM” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]


January 7, 2008  5:19 PM

Overheard: Analog TV is already dying, goodbye rabbit ears

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
rabbit_ears.jpg On Jan. 24, the FCC will begin auctioning off the spectrum currently used for analog television. That portion of the airwaves will be sold to wireless providers and is expected to bring in as much as $15 billion.

David Sharos, Customers, companies prepare for digital TV switch coming in ’09

Aaron Kutzner, a sales associate for Sounds Deluxe, said customers have already reported they are losing channels. “I have customers who watch television in their bedroom with an analog tuner, and they tell me things like the Hallmark channel (isn’t) working anymore,” Kutzner said. “I’m sure it’s going to happen to some of the bigger stations before much longer – you could say that the revolution has begun.”


January 7, 2008  2:55 PM

Overheard: Blu-ray wins high-definition video battle

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
robin_harris.gif Warner Brothers decision to abandon HD DVD is the confirmation – for those who needed it – that Blu-ray has indeed won the battle for dominant high-def video format.

Robin Harris, Blu-ray vs HD DVD: final bonus round


January 7, 2008  2:02 PM

Overheard: What do aliens see when they look at planet Earth?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
firefox.jpg Without a doubt, the best thing that ever happened to crop circles is Google Earth.

PC Magazine, The Strangest Sights in Google Earth

With Google Earth, you can extend your brand with crop circles, a type of geoglyph. A geoglyph is simply a drawing on the ground. It can be a natural — a geographical formation that we interpret as a face, for example — or it can be man-made. Coca-Cola has a geoglyph. So does Firefox.

It’s surprising how many people spend time using Google Earth for entertainment too. Check out this video.


January 7, 2008  2:10 AM

Overheard: Google Earth videos

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

There are quite a few videos on YouTube where people have strung geoglyphs together to make a video, complete with soundtrack. In this case it’s Gustav Holst’s The Planets and you may want to turn your sound down if you’re not into drama.

The cool factor for Google Earth has moved way beyond finding the street where you live.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/-7pJeHY-fLI" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]


January 5, 2008  12:15 AM

Overheard: Intel was kicked out of One Laptop Per Child program

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
9.gif Responding to [Intel’s proactive] announcement Thursday that it was severing ties with the One Laptop Per Child project, Mr. Negroponte said, “They’ve been doing damage in the marketplace with countries since the day we started. And after we made peace with them, they did more damage.”

Steve Stecklow, Negroponte Lashes Out at Intel For ‘Damage’ to Laptop Project

Now that the dust has settled, it’s looking like Intel didn’t drop out of the OLPC program — it got kicked out for pitching their own low-end laptops, Classmate PC, to the same audience the OLPCs were intended for. Shouldn’t this little soap opera belong on All My Children?


January 4, 2008  12:07 AM

2008 Career horoscopes for geeks

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
random access memory ARIES – The ram
(March 21 to April 20)
The Wall Street bull TAURUS – The bull
(April 21 to May 20)
Twin cables GEMINI – The twins
(May 21 to June 21)
iRobot surveillance crab CANCER – The crab
(June 22 to July 22)
Sony lion cub LEO – The lion
(July 23 to August 22)
Woman using Virgo key operator VIRGO – The maiden
(August 23 to September 23)
analytical balance LIBRA – The balance
(September 24 to October 23)
Raidmax Scorpion tower SCORPIO – The scorpion
(October 24 to November 22)
Archer field pocket PC SAGITTARIUS – The archer
(November 23 to December 21)
Robotic ticket goat CAPRICORN – The goat
(December 22 to January 20)
water cooled computer AQUARIUS – The water bearer
(January 21 to February 19)
Fish skeleton mouse PISCES – The fish
(February 20 to March 20)

At the beginning of each year, I chart horoscopes for my family. Here are this year’s career horoscopes for all of you who work with technology. For those of you interested in the bigger picture — love and family and the rest of your busy life — I recommend you look here. Be sure to click into the second page of each sun sign. That’s where most of the forecast is and these charts were done quite well. It’s just kind of wierd that they’re posted on Town and Country magazine.

My two favorite daily/weekly horoscope sites are run by Bridget Walther and Daniel Whelland Dowd. Be sure to check them out too.


January 3, 2008  4:20 PM

Overheard: No texting at the table

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/RxT5NwQUtVM" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

New technology calls for new rules and Mom cliches. In this video Anita Renfroe shares “What a mom says in 24 hours.” New to the list? “No texting at the table” and “Your iPod is my iPod if you don’t listen up.”

This was the first holiday I had to enforce the “no texting at the table” rule. The kids looked at me like I was out of my mind.


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