Thursday, January 26, 2006

Cingular patents emoticons :-(

Engadget reports that Cingular has been granted the patent on using emoticons on mobile devices. Hmmm...reminds me of Unisys and the GIF format.

Create online art with ArtPad

This is an interesting web site for budding young digital artists. Actually, it's fun for anyone! Draw, paint, and share your creations.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Inventor of the mouse gives talk...virtually

Douglas Engelbart, best known for inventing the computer mouse, appeared in the virtual world of Second Life to give a talk about harnessing collective intelligence. It's great to see such notable appearances in Second Life!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Search for pictures by drawing one

An experimental service called retrievr lets you draw a simple sketch with your mouse and it searches for photographs that resemble it. It does seem to work, but it looks like it gives a lot of false positives, meaning the search parameters are too broad. Also, the drawing pad you get is very basic (smallest size brush is like 10 pixels), so no Picasso's here. Still interesting technology though!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

It's better to look good... reports about a group of Canadian researchers who determined that users can judge a web site in less than 1/20th of a second...and that initial impression will last throughout their entire visit.

Being a web designer/developer/usability guy, I could have told you that without having to fund a study. But this does lend some credibility to the importance of first impressions, perception, and corporate identity. If you want people to take you seriously as a business online, your web site better be up to snuff.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The best news in 2006!

In October, I reported on my friend Doug, who found out he had cancer. Well, the good news is that after 3 rounds of chemo, his doctor's say he is clean! More tests to come, but this is the best news, and a great way to start 2006!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Toyota sued for hybrid patent infringement

Apparently, a company is suing Toyota for infringing on their patents with their hybrid Prius and Highlander models. Solomon Technologies, Inc. claims that Toyota hybrids are using technology that is patented under patent #5,067,932, which seems to involve how the drive-train and braking system functions.

The implications here are huge. If Solomon Technologies wins, they could stop Toyota from legally importing hybrids into the US. And what about other hybrids, like my beloved Honda Civic? No word yet as to whether this patent is being infringed upon by other hybrid manufacturers, but it does make me a bit nervous!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Spammer gets fined $11 Billion! reports that a small Iowa ISP has just won one of the largest payouts ever extracted from a spammer. The spammer, James McCalla (from Florida...go figure), allegedly sent 280 million illegal emails, and under the Iowa law, the ISP was entitled to $10 per email.

Apparently this idiot used the ISP's domain as his return address to avoid complaints. He was also ordered not to use a computer for 3 years. I hope this sends a message to all major spammers out there!