Future Web
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Future Web
Future Web
The Internet inside and out: the devices we connect with, the websites and software we connect to.

The latest in web development from Unconundrum.net!
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Jelly - a Q&A app powered by your friends

Jelly - a Q&A app powered by your friends | Future Web | Scoop.it
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Jelly allows you to ask questions you can't easily Google for: what painting is this? who has the best Pizza in New York? what's this rash on my arm? - use the App to take a photo, draw on it, add a question and post it to the Jelly platform.

 

This isn't a new Social Network: you let Jelly peek at your Facebook and/or Twitter friends lists, so when people within your social networks log into Jelly they will see your questions, and likewise you can see and answer their questions. Friends of Friends are also included.

 

It's a very new service - but very easy to use. Give it a try next time you're stuck for an answer!

 

http://jelly.co/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5wLT7hKNO8

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A shape-changing Smartphone

A shape-changing Smartphone | Future Web | Scoop.it
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

This super-thin smartphone has what looks to be a Kindle style e-ink display, but it's unique feature is it's both flexible and self-flexing - so it can deform at will, such as curling about when a call comes in.

 

Think of it as the new 'vibrate' - when your phone is on silent or you have headphones, you'll either feel the phone squirming in your pocket or have the movement catch your eye as it curves up on your desk.

 

Personally I'd like to see it crawl about a bit, so if ever you can't find your super-slim phone you could SMS it a message to get it worming out from beneath whatever got put on it.

 

Check out a video of it in action at Queen's University's Human Media Lab here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqxFFD2QSL4

 

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Life with the Fitbit One activity tracker

Life with the Fitbit One activity tracker | Future Web | Scoop.it
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

The second in a series of wearable fitness/activity device reviews, CNET blogger Danny O'Sullivan takes the "Fitbit One" to task for failing to track non-leg exercise (such as rowing), it's easily confused altimeter and the inability to set goals.  

 

However the Fitbit One allows you to track calorie intake through a decent food database, and a new device - the "Fitbit Flex" looks set to address a lot of the issues in the coming month. 

 

Meanwhile read on for the full review, tested simultaneously with the "Nike FuelBand" (see our April 4th article), the "Jawbone Up" and "BodyMedia Fit Link" devices (those reviews coming up soon).

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World's first Braille Smartphone for the blind

World's first Braille Smartphone for the blind | Future Web | Scoop.it
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Sumit Dagar of India has been developing a Braille smartphone for the last few years, and his company is being incubated at the Center for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship in Ahmedabad - giving his product a real chance of becoming a reality. 

 

The phone uses a haptic touch screen with a grid of pins that move up and down to form Braille characters or outline images and videos.

 

Read the article for more information, but also check out Sumit Dagar talking at the 2011 TED conference: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2ZQU07UJXA

 

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is Pheed the next big social network?

is Pheed the next big social network? | Future Web | Scoop.it
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Facebook is where your Mum and Dad live: 80% of Pheeders are aged 25 and under, 80% of Facebook is aged 26 and up.

 

Pheed is for people that don't need to see unfunny "I'm a mom and survive by drinking wine" postcards - this is why they mock the tattooed sign-up page: they know Pheed isn't intended for them.

 

Generational change has hit the Internet - kick down the old institutions, let the innovation begin anew!

 

Read on for our insights into why Pheed is so important.

 

https://plus.google.com/+UnconundrumNet/posts/M3fzM7XcLVM

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Will Apple use Flexible Displays for Desktops and Laptops?

Will Apple use Flexible Displays for Desktops and Laptops? | Future Web | Scoop.it
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Forget the iWatch, imagine Apple using their patented flexible display technology to create a 180 degree curved display along the horizontal to triple your screen width without requiring triple the desk space, or a display curved downwards on the vertical could integrate the surface of your desk into the display, allowing for keyboard, virtual mouse and all sorts of interfaces. 

 

Combine the two and you have a compact but totally immersive experience  at your desk or with your laptop. Don't like virtual keyboards but want the rest? The flexible display tech sould be tough enough to have a keyboard sat on it - if it's going to be of any practical value it'll need to cope with a hot mugof coffee too!

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April's Patch Tuesday to fix two critical flaws in Windows, IE, Office.

April's Patch Tuesday to fix two critical flaws in Windows, IE, Office. | Future Web | Scoop.it
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

If you're still unconvinced as to why XP users need to move to a new OS before April 2014, here is the perfect example: as part of their regular monthly security updates, Microsoft is this month fixing critical vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer and all versions of Windows. 


This happens every month, but not for XP users from April 2014 - read on for details of the current update.

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Google Glass user interface - as seen and heard by the wearer.

Jonathan Stilts's insight:

If you're hungry to see what the Google Glass User Interface actually looks like to someone wearing and actively using a set, check out this short video  recently released by Google.

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Video: walkthrough Facebook Home installed on a Samsung smartphone.

Video: walkthrough Facebook Home installed on a Samsung smartphone. | Future Web | Scoop.it
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

As we predicted earlier this week, Facebooks big announcement was basically an App that takes over your phone - and here we have a video showing it in action on a standard Samsung smartphone. 

 

Main takeaways are: it's very visual and totally dominates the phone until you launch a non-Facebook app. Even then, Facebook Home will float a large notification avatar over the top of your app, although you can drag it around if it gets in your way. There are no adverts, but Facebook have made it clear they will be coming. So far the phones contact list doesn't seem to be accessed or overtaken by Facebook at all. 

 

If you need more information or want a preview before installing it on your own phone, I strongly suggest you check out this articles video!

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Chromium Blog: Blink: A rendering engine for the Chromium project

Jonathan Stilts's insight:

It's all change in the world of browsers this week: Google Chrome are forking away from the highly popular Webkit rendering engine, their architecture now so fundamentally different it makes sense to fork away to streamline their code down (click through for more details). 

 

In other news, Mozilla and Samsung have announced they're partnering to produce an entirely new rendering engine called "Servo" - but it's too early to tell if this is the future rendering engine for Firefox. 

http://preview.tinyurl.com/bwcm58t

 

Finally, Opera have also announced they're forking away from Webkit - a mere 8 weeks after they dropped their Presto engine in favour of Webkit! It turns out Opera really meant to say they were adopting the Google Chromium path of Webkit, so as Google forks to Blink, Opera follows. http://preview.tinyurl.com/ca56yl4

 

So who out of the big players are left using the standard Webkit path as the base for their browsers? Apple's Safari browser across all their devices... and that's about it.

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SEC: Companies can tweet news to investors

SEC: Companies can tweet news to investors | Future Web | Scoop.it

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday companies may use social media like Facebook and Twitter to communicate, as long as investors are notified they're doing it.

Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Naturally this only applies to the USA, but it's a big step in legitimizing social platforms as a mainstream form of public communication in the eyes of government bureaucracy.

 

Previously we've seen a writ of summons legally served to an individuals Facebook accounts in various countries: this has always seemed dodgy to me as you can't with certainty verify the right person owns the account or has read your legal document - the account could even have been fraudulently created merely to send the writ to. This new law is somewhat lighter in touch as Investor communication could previously be made in newspapers and other non-direct but publicly accessible means.

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Time Zone Map

Time Zone Map | Future Web | Scoop.it
The full temporal extent of April Fools day as shown by the two most time-zone extreme, populous english-language countries.
Jonathan Stilts's insight:
Restricting ourselves to populous English-speaking countries only, a calendar day across the timezones is highlighted in the linked map. This means April Fools Day as a nonsense-news article generating force for English-language Internet users lasts for 45 hours from 0:00 am April 1st in Auckland (New Zealand) to 23:59pm April 1st in Ancorage (Alaska, USA). Those 45 hours will generate so many fake news items we'll be checking article date-stamps for weeks - one of the few times I'd prefer Web News could be more like Print News: disposed of on a daily basis.
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Responsive Web Design is Not the Future

Responsive Web Design is Not the Future | Future Web | Scoop.it
Is responsive web design the ultimate solution for addressing the increasing number of ways people are accessing the Web?
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Some excellent insights into the overheads associated with Responsive Design, although the author admits that Responsive Design can be done well with planning. The main overhead occurs when Responsive Design is used to hide content and assets for smaller devices rather than repurpose their presentation. Responsive Design as a design philosophy and coding technique definitely has a huge part to play in the future web, but alternatives should always be considered - it's not a magic-bullet solution.

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True wearable Heads Up Display developed by Innovega

True wearable Heads Up Display developed by Innovega | Future Web | Scoop.it
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Innovega has unveiled a combination of contact lenses and glasses to project a high-definition Head Up Display across the whole of your field of vision (which is what everyone wishes Google Glass achieves, but doesn't).

 

The iOptik glasses hold two projectors that project onto the glass, not the contacts. The contacts (which can be prescription) have a sub-millimeter 'bump' in the center that allows you to see incredibly well half an inch from your eye where the imagery is being projected.

 

As you can see from the example image it doesn't necassarily obstruct your view but can be put around the peripherary - but relevant imagery can be put into your direct line of site (driving directions) or encompass it entirely (movies, for which you'll probably need a white wall to watch properly).

 

http://innovega-inc.com/press_ces_2014.php

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MYO - Wearable Gesture Control from Thalmic Labs

Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Here's a new wearable controller peripheral due to ship before 2014 - the MYO Bracelet has 6-axis motion sensors to detect arm movement, but much more interesting are the muscle activity sensors that measure the arms electrical activity so sensitively it can discern individual finger movements.

 

These sensors combined could at least spell the end for your computer mouse, gaming console movement trackers, but more importantly the MYO Bracelet opens up the possibility for true gesture-based computer control.

The device uses a low-power Bluetooth connection, and is compatible with Windows and Mac OS, with APIs becoming available for Android and iOS devices.

 

Thalmic Labs CEO Stephen Lake takes us behind the scenes at his R&D facility for some great technical insights:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV0PbKZyqg8

 

Check out the promo video leading this article for a great insight into how this device could be used to both replace and improve existing interfaces for business, education, gaming, sport, home computing as well as remote controling real-world devices from kids toys up to military drones.

 

The MYO Bracelet is available for pre-order now at:

http://www.getmyo.com

 

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radio interview: Google's Eric Schmidt. "It's amazing that we let humans drive at all!"

radio interview: Google's Eric Schmidt. "It's amazing that we let humans drive at all!" | Future Web | Scoop.it
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Eric Schmidt talks to BBC radio about the latest developments in Google's self-driving car, the Glass consumer release, some of Googles recent legal troubles around the world, Eric's recent visit to North Korea and much more.

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Samsung controls a computer with Brain Activity

Samsung controls a computer with Brain Activity | Future Web | Scoop.it
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Ever wished you could control your computer or phone with a thought? Samsung have begun researching brain-computer interfaces to enable users to control their devices by focusing their thoughts. 

 

It's not new technology by any means - Electroencephalography (EEG) devices have been used since the 1990s to allow the severely physically disabled to interact with computers: moving cursors, navigating in an up/down/left/right manner.

 

However it takes some time to master the technology, and non-invasive EEG equipment (i.e. skullcaps or headbands rather than surgical implants) suffer from poor signal resolution, making it harder for the computer to accurately analyze your brainwave activity - resulting in at best a delayed response, at worse false readings. Currently it would be easier for the user to use their hands or voice to control a device than an EEG headband - presuming they can use their hands or voice.

 

Samsung is aiming to improve non-invasive EEG to eventually create a range of wearable consumer brain-computer interfaces devices that will be intuitive to use for the average user. Hopefully they will also improve the state of the technology for disabled users while they work towards perfecting their consumer devices.

 

Read on for more details of Samsungs research.

 

https://plus.google.com/+UnconundrumNet/posts/BpeFGGRwDQT

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A Day With Glass: First Impressions

A Day With Glass: First Impressions | Future Web | Scoop.it
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Glass has finally shipped to the first developers - a few surprises: Glass doesn't actually sit in front of your eye, you need to glance up and to the right to view the screen - so it's not going to be useful for "augmented reality". Glass is not usable on it's own, it needs to be paired with an Android Smartphonevia Bluetooth at all times.

 

Read on for some first impressions and actual screenshots of the interface (self-taken by Glass).

 

https://plus.google.com/+UnconundrumNet/posts/hA3U6Hsbc6r

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in the wild: Facebook Home review

in the wild: Facebook Home review | Future Web | Scoop.it
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Dieter Bohn reviews Facebook Home, and reveals a much tighter integration of messaging than was previously described: it aggregates all forms of messaging (SMS, Facbook, Email) into one interface - but does it go far enough?

 

There are some bugs, and while most of them can be solved by changing your settings, it's amazing how fundamentally silly some of them are, such as making the PIN screen hard to locate for when you actually want to unlock and use your phone. Interestingly Facebook Home is only available to install on certain models of Android phones (with more on the way) due to the complexities of totally reskinning the interface. I imagined it would depend more on the version of Android being run, but apparently not. 

 

Read on for probably the last article you want to hear about Facebook Home this year!

 

https://plus.google.com/+UnconundrumNet/posts/Mg8NJW53QED

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Microsoft Ends Support of Windows XP, Internet Explorer 6 and Office 2003 one year from today!

Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Security updates, patches, and support will stop for Windows XP and associated products such as IE6 - businesses, governments and home users have exactly one year left to upgrade to Windows 7 or some other OS, or face the prospect of their computers becoming an easy target for hackers shortly after. 


Microsoft have extended the deadline before to allow tardy businesses the chance to upgrade away from XP before it's too late, but Microsoft have finally realised some businesses simply will not upgrade without a firm deadline. Many will fail to do so in time, as for some businesses it is more a matter of re-writing software designed explicitly to run on IE6 than just upgrading an operating system.

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The current Google Glass feature set.

The current Google Glass feature set. | Future Web | Scoop.it
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Here's a text summary of the essential current feature set of Google Glass, taken from the near hour-long video from the SxSW session hosted by Google developer advocate Timothy Jordan. 

 

Jordan stresses that the UI and feature set are both likely to evolve before Google Glass hits the market later this year.

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Life with the Nike FuelBand activity tracker

Life with the Nike FuelBand activity tracker | Future Web | Scoop.it
Looking to track your activity? The Nike FuelBand makes it easy to set and monitor a daily goal. Not so easy is keeping it updated on things it might miss. Read this article by Danny Sullivan on CNET News.
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

CNET blogger Danny Sullivan has put the Nike FuelBand to the test alongside three other wearable devices that track fitness and activity. 

 

Danny has spent two weeks with the "Nike FuelBand" and "Jawbone Up" on his left wrist, the "BodyMedia Fit Link" on his upper left arm, and the "Fitbit One" around his waist. 

 

While the tests were done simultaneously, each device has been analysed separately. First up, an in-depth look at the Nike FuelBand under real-world conditions!

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How Does Social Media Affect Website Search Rankings? [INFOGRAPHIC] - AllTwitter

How Does Social Media Affect Website Search Rankings? [INFOGRAPHIC] - AllTwitter | Future Web | Scoop.it
How Does Social Media Affect Website Search Rankings? [INFOGRAPHIC] (RT @Christinekorda: How Does Social Media Affect Website Search Rankings?
Jonathan Stilts's insight:
An interesting experiment into how using different Social Media can affect your website's search engine result placement. 6 websites were tested over 10 months for the difference made by various methods of promoting them on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and nothing at all. In the experiment search rankings changed by between a fall of 1.22 to a rise of 14.63 - read on for the details!
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Web Extra: Women, social media and influence - News Exchange - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Web Extra: Women, social media and influence - News Exchange - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Future Web | Scoop.it
News Exchange chats with FBi Radio co-founder Cassandra Wilkinson, 1000heads chief operating officer Joanne Jacobs and retail marketing consultant Nancy Georges about the online gender divide, how men and women engage on social platforms and the...
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

Great video interview covering gender and social media: the pitfalls of pinterest having an 85% female userbase, the origins and misuse of the "mummy blogger" term, social media as a force for policy change in the upcoming federal election (as opposed to policy repeating) and the true meaning of Privacy online.

 

It runs to 15 minutes, but well worth your time.

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Why Facebook Home Is Potentially Brilliant | TechCrunch

Why Facebook Home Is Potentially Brilliant | TechCrunch | Future Web | Scoop.it
Let's say we build a phone, theoretically. We're not! But if we did, we could get maybe 10 million people to use it. 20 million. That doesn't move the needle for us.


With today's leaks, it's looking like Zuck was being almost completely honest.
Jonathan Stilts's insight:

If the rumours are true, Facebook isn't building a phone - it's building an app that will totally take over your phone and make it wholly Facebook orientated, from the home screens and contact list through to your camera and Angry Birds high scores. Everything will be designed to make using Facebook as simple as possible, and get you eyeballing more Facebook ads than ever. All your existing apps will still be there and work just fine, but the interface of your phone will be rebuilt before your eyes.

 

The only question I have is: will you be able to go back to your old phone setup if you want to?

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