Back when Windows Live originally released Windows Live Search for Mobile, I absolutely loved it. Windows Live Mobile Search is a killer app, especially if you have a Windows Mobile phone. Version 1 of the application included tight integration with Windows Live Local, with support for both standard and aerial map views. The most powerful features, though, are local search and directions. You can search for addresses, restaurants, hotels, or whatever in your area and get directions to get you there. I can't tell you how many times it has helped me to figure out where I needed to … Read more
Yahoo's search has been updated with a "suggest" feature that brings up search queries it thinks you're looking for based upon what you type. Previously, the only way to get Yahoo search suggestions was with Yahoo's Firefox toolbar.
The company is promoting this new suggestion service as a way to speed up search. For people who struggle with correct spelling, suggestions can save a page load or two when a mistyped name yields the helpful, yet mildly patronizing "did you mean" message.
Owl Music Search is a cool tool that was spotlighted at a Creative Commons Salon last night. The potentially endangered Pandora and Last.fm recommend which music you'll like by matching text descriptions of albums, artists and songs. But Owl analyzes the actual waveforms of music files and matches them to similar tunes, many of which have Creative Commons licenses.
When I uploaded Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," Owl dug up 44 tracks by Loretta Lynn, Outkast, the Rolling Stones, Marilyn Manson and others, highlighting snippets of their songs that resembled parts of "Hallelujah." Owl has … Read more
Although you can't singlehandedly fix the woes of national health care that are spotlighted in the movie Sicko, many free Web sites at least put a bit more power in your hands to manage personal wellness or a medical crisis. Just share your data wisely.
WebMD (a Webware 100 winner) offers videos, virtual support groups, quizzes, blogs, doctor lookups, and a spiffy symptom checker. Look up drugs by a pill's color, imprint or shape. WebMD won't spam you, but as with its competitors, if you subscribe to e-mail updates about some unappetizing ailment, then prepare for related … Read more
Want to know where the Wi-Fi is? Check out Jiwire Wi-fi Finder, which lets you use your iPhone to enter your location and then displays a list of Wi-Fi hotspots. Choosing a location from the list brings you to a screen where you can get more information, view the location on Google Maps, or call the location immediately. We especially like the ability to only search Wi-Fi locations for free.
iPhone link: http://iphone.jiwire.com/
Web site link: http://www.jiwire.com/
Travel search provider SideStep is acquiring TripUp, a travel-focused social network and community site that is akin to a Facebook for the backpack set. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
This is SideStep's second acquisition of a start up that deals with user generated content and a second move targeted at the young adult set. Last year, SideStep acquired TravelPost, a site for user reviews of hotels. And SideStep recently built an application that lets Facebook users plan trips together within that site.
While SideStep has typically catered to the 35-to-50 age range, TripUp targets people aged 25 … Read more
Hundreds of Web developers, designers, and ordinary geeks gathered this weekend to build usable applications for Apple's iPhone. The barcamp.org event was hosted at Adobe Town Hall and featured dozens of sponsors. The hack-a-thon began on Saturday morning, and wrapped up late Sunday afternoon when each team had a chance to present its app.
Some teams included a group of Yahoo! developers, and others included complete strangers who had just met the day before. I give credit to all teams who participated, but here are the 10 most memorable creations:
10. iPhoneVote This application was the first one presented at the hack-a-thon, and it was used as a voting system for the event. You would tilt your iPhone in portrait mode to vote yay, and tilt it horizontally to give a negative vote. There was a laptop set up in the front of the room, and it was updated in real time. Unfortunately, I don't think the app reset each time a new team would present, so the votes just tallied up into the 80s. Even though it wasn't used for its official purpose, it was a great burst of hope for future apps like this, and boosted the morale of the developers in the room.
9. AppMarks If you have an iPhone, make AppMarks your Safari home page. The interface models the iPhone front door, but instead, each icon links to a Web app or HTML bookmark. I mentioned AppMarks in this blog post a few days ago. AppMarks is cool, but I want to see more functionality. If the AppMarks people want users to add AppMarks as their home page, they need to always be thinking of new features. There are other products, like Mojits, that are right on their heels.
8. PickleView The only sports application presented was called PickleView. Ryan Christianson from the Walt Disney Internet Group explained that in baseball, a pickle is a play in which a base runner is trapped between bases with fielders tossing the ball back and forth and usually ending with the runner being tagged out. Most will remember it well from the 1990s classic,The Sandlot.
Their iPhone app visualizes a box-score view of your favorite teams’s stats, and then displays a mock Twitter feed of PickleView's friends. I am not sure if that's how this app works, but the developers have a cool concept.… Read more
We've been hearing reports of lag and downtime issues involving Yahoo and several of its properties Friday morning: Yahoo's instant messaging client has been on and off, a reader reported that the Flickr photo-sharing site was down (worked fine for me, though) and the Yahoo main home page and Yahoo News portal have been fickle as well. Some CNET editors and writers encountered similar problems when testing the sites out; others found them to be working fine; still others reported unusually slow load times but no downage.
We've put out a request to Yahoo for comment but … Read more
Online consumers have become relatively slow shoppers, according to a recent report on digital window shopping.
Online shoppers are now being more cautious than they were two years ago, and are taking more than half a day longer before making a buying decision and completing a transaction, according to a report by ScanAlert, a security-certification company in Bay Area that analyzed 2.6 million online sales executed on 470 Web sites from May 2005 to May 2007.
Since May 2005, the average time between a consumer's first visit to a Web site and an actual purchase increased from 19 … Read more
There's really no better way to see how well you'll get coverage with a phone until you get your hands on it. This usually requires a purchase, or a friend or neighbor who has got the phone and service you're interested in. The next best thing is checking your carrier's site to see if it has a coverage map (here are links to AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint). A third option is SignalMap, a user-generated service that lets people search for and review cellular phone coverage by location.
It's about as simple as … Read more