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Blogged with Flock
Collaborative annotation of web pages is something many people are working on. The newest entrant in the field, Fleck, is launching tonight at the TechCrunch party in New York. The Fleck team hails from Amsterdam.
The service is clearly in its infancy but could be just what some people are looking for. The basic idea is that one person can place notes on top of a web page and other people can view, change and add to those notes at any time. It’s got standard features like movable notes and bullet points, page histories and the ability to email a unique URL to an annotated page. The URLs are Fleck URLs, not the URL of the page you are annotating. The system is remarkably easy to use and relatively easy on the eyes.
Here’s a sample of Techcrunch.com with some notes I’ve added with Fleck. You should be able to make your own changes, save them and get a unique URL to share. That functionality is reminiscent of Instacalc, the wiki-like calculator I reviewed earlier this month.
This is a relatively crowded space, the two services I’m most familiar with for collaborative annotation are TrailFire and Diigo. Stickis is just around the corner too. Fleck’s primary point of differentiation so far is that anyone can use it without creating an account or installing a browser plug-in. That could make all the difference. Other annotation services generally have a higher barrier to adoption by casual users. The primary barrier to using Fleck is that it only supports Firefox – hopefully that will change soon, because accessibility is what the service really has to offer so far.
I can imagine myself quickly adding questions to pages on a site I’m reviewing and emailing those annotated pages back to a company. They could respond immediately on the page, with no need to download anything or start an account with the annotation service. I like that. I also like that those collaborators would have a list of all the pages we’ve collaborated on created for them automatically. Fleck is even easier annotation than the similar service AmberJack is easy site tour creation.
There’s a long list of features that Fleck aims to roll out in time, including photo integration, arrows, multi-language support and Pro accounts with premium features. If they can make this a more fleshed out service while retaining the incredible simplicity it offers now, Fleck could grow into a particularly solid contender in the web page annotation space.
Crunch Network: CrunchBoard because it’s time for you to find a new Job2.0
Blogged with Flock
A couple months ago I realized the incredible amount of stuff that I had to read. I’m not an incredibly fast reader but I’ve read a book or two on speed reading. I knew that there was some speed reading software available but it all had to be installed on a particualr computer. I use a number of different computers, browsers, and operating systems, so these options didn’t work for me. I decided to write my own web based speed reading program with the features that I wanted. With that, Zap Reader was born. After sharing it with some friends, I was encouraged to make it public.
It’s really rough at this point, but I hope to make it better as I get input from the users and find out what you really want the program to do. As I’ve worked on getting it to a point where I could share it with other people, I’ve developed a business model for it, so it is a commercial venture, even though it is free to use. As of the launch, here is the text from the home page:
ZAP Reader is a web based speed reading program that will change the way you read on your computer. Current beta testers report reading twice as much in half the time—that’s a 400% increase in reading speed, without any loss in comprehension! There is nothing to install, it works with most popular browsers, and it’s totally free!
Reader – If you have some text that you want to read fast, copy it onto your computer’s clipboard, click this link, and follow the instructions to Zap read that text.
Settings – By default, Zap Reader allows you to read at 300 words per minute, one word at a time. Use the settings feature to configure Zap Reader with your own preferences.
Tools – Zap Reader is designed to be easy to integrate with other programs. Find out about browser bookmarklets, program ad-ins, and other integration tools here.
Blog – To keep up with the latest news about Zap Reader, read the Zap Reader Blog. Even better, subscribe to the RSS feed.
Forum – Want to submit a bug report, request an enhancement, or just talk to other Zap Reader users?
I’ll be posting a tutorial here later, but I think that everything is fairly intuitive, so go ahead and give it a try. Then visit the forums, or post a comment here on the blog, and let me know what you think!
Furled by 5 members.
Filed under: Wireless
Just don’t call it radio. Vital Alert’s new wireless tech uses Very Low Frequency (VLF) to penetrate earth, skyscrapers, subways and ocean with two-way digital text and voice communication. Their Emergency Broadcast Network (EBN — dang we’re good) has now been licensed by Los Alamos National Laboratory for use by emergency personnel in urban centers and underground mining. Beyond communicating with victims and rescue teams, the tech allows for location tracking, and obviously avoids the signal pitfalls of normal GPS and radio systems. Apparently the „fail-safe“ tech is also relatively cheap to implement, and should be coming soon to an emergency near you.Read | Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments
Welcome to ‘Photosynth’, Microsoft Live Labs first major Technology Preview. The team is very happy to give you a sneak peek at our latest work which we’ll be demonstrating next Wednesday 8/2 at SIGGRAPH 2006 in Boston.
Photosynth takes a large collection of photos of a place or object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed 3-Dimensional space. With Photosynth you can:
We plan on releasing some collections for you to see and experience yourself in the very near future, so add us to your RSS reader and check back often for updates. We’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions and help us shape Photosynth over the months and years to come. In the meantime, take a look at the videos and learn a little bit more about how Photosynth works.
Curious about who we are? We’re a team of Microsoft scientists and engineers on a mission to fundamentally rethink the internet experience, experiment with entirely new paradigms and change the world through ideas and software. Our founder Dr. Gary Flake, started Live Labs in February 2006 and since then many members of the team have been working around the clock to develop their concepts into a reality. Photosynth is just the start of what we hope will be a series of technologies that will change the way you use the internet.
Thanks for visiting!
The Photosynth Team.