Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Technological Digest IV

Here's a nice tech digest to read by your turkey (it's Thanksgiving in the US - also known as "turkey massacre night").

  1. My Kindle ran out - to learn what the Kindle is, read this post. However, if you want one, you're out of luck. Within 5.5 hours after putting out the first Kindle, Amazon ran out of them. You can, however, go to the product's page, and add yourself to the queue.
    In other (happier) shopping news, the Everex (the $199 computer) is back in stock. I consider getting one, upping the memory to 2GB and making it a Web/NAS server.

  2. We'll never lose your mail again - the US Postal Office intends to equip letters with GPS systems so they can track them all over the US. This is still in pilot phase, but it looks like the tiny, smart GPS devices, in conjunction with Google Maps, can mean no more lost letter. But could they please lose my bills? See the device here.

  3. "I'm sorry sir, but your genes show you have no aptitude for programming" - sounds scary? Well, we've taken a big step in that direction last week, when a company called 23andMe (a pun on the 23 pairs of chromosomes in the human DNA), backed by $3.5M from Google, launched a service, allowing you to map your DNA for $999 and analyze it for genetic anomalies, find your genealogy and help you get blond kids with blue eyes (I'm kidding about the last bit). All it takes is a swab of saliva. If you can't see why I dislike this service, please go and watch the movie Gattaca, come back here and leave me a comment. Here's their site.
    And a juicy piece of gossip: the company's CEO is Sergey Brin's wife. Yep, that guy from Google.

  4. Hasta la Vista? - You probably have read my mixed reviews of Vista. But this latest survey is probably making a lot of people bang their heads against walls in Redmond.
    This Computer World article shows that 90% of IT professional surveyed have concerns about deploying Vista and how only 50% are seriously pursuing it. This ITWorld article details how many IT analysts are just waiting for the next release, Windows 7, and may skip Vista altogether. And finally, a Forrester report showing that 44% of those professionals are considering Windows alternatives like Linux and Mac OS. Ouch.

  5. Anything you can do, I can do better - Microsoft had a "silent launch" last week of a new Live service called CommunityBuilder. What it is, is essentially Google Apps for Your Domain (i.e. email, photos and a web site for your specific domain). Unlike Google's service, there's no charge (Google charges for premium services). Also unlike Google, this currently works in IE only.
    And while on this subject, a startup called Transmedia launched an online spreadsheet ysterday and intends to take on both Google AND Microsoft with more online office apps. Good luck to the, I say. Read more here.
That's all for now, folks. Have a happy Thanksgiving!


Anonymous said...

DNA tests - At least for genealogy purposes it's an old technique and the service is available by many companies for years.
In that respect, National Geographic's Genographic Project
( is very interesting - my wife did it and traced her roots back to Africa..

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that the kindle was rated only 2.5 stars in average. I wonder if the product supply shortage is something amazon did deliberately or they just preapred a low stock.

Traveling Tech Guy said...

The statistics are real - many people rushed in to buy (including some tech gurus like Scoble - who seems to like it). I suggest you read the bad reviews - none of the reviewers actually bought a Kindle. They gave it a lower rating because (like me) they don't like the idea of $10/book or OTA transfer rather than WiFi.

Traveling Tech Guy said...

What I don't like about that company is that, in conjunction with Google, they'd add your DNA to a genetic DB, searchable by, I guess, anyone who'd pay. I'm not up to surrendering my most personal information, so someone could make a profit.

As for the National Geographic site:
1. May I ask what did you get in exchange for the $107 one of their kits cost?
2. What's the contract you've signed for this? What are they allowed to do with your genetic information later on?

Anonymous said...

Well, i guess we'll just have to wait for the "light a kindle" video on youtube. (mad kindle owners use thier kindle as a burning material)