Technolust: Aiptek MyNote

Yummy!So right after I pick up a Docupen RC800 from PlanOn (if their webstore ever works or their sales staff ever return my emails – some companies seem to fear success) I’m going to jet over the Jolly Old Germany and pick up a MyNote from Aiptek.

In essence it’s a funky clipboard that digitally records the marks you make with a special pen (don’t lose it!) on a regular pad of paper. Once the meeting’s over, just plug the clipboard into your PC and, voila, there are you notes on-screen.

No announced price or availability yet. Damn.

Meet Emily, the Nice Evil Robot

Ever since I first met Emily a few years back I’ve hated her.

She’s too nice, for one. Everything she says is drenched in that syrupy coating of an impermeable countenance.

And she never admits her mistakes or apologizes. Despite the fact that she did everything wrong when I first spoke with her, her manner was unbearably unperturbed. Anyone else would have at least sounded flustered and a tad guilty.

Not Emily; despite the fact she’d delivered me a pay-per-view porn instead of the family entertainment I’d asked for, her cherry blossom voice stayed fresh and carefree. (Even after I delivered a stream of unrepeatable obscenities back at her.)

Looking back on those early days of our torrid relationship, it’s hard to believe that Emily is still around. More troubling is that she appears to represent the future of customer service.
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Scary Thought: A Conservative Copyright Bill

On of Canada’s preemininent Internet-savvy lawyers, Michael Geist, has launched a special page and wiki on his blog, “30 Days of DRM“.

It’s an excellent overview of what copyright means in the digital age and he offers many excellent suggestions on how Canadians can avoid the pitfalls and missteps the Americans have experienced with this issue. Of course, all may be for naught with our current PM playing such an excellent role of lapdog to his US counterpart, but it’s a discussion at least.

There’s plenty of opportunity over there to get involved in Mr. Geist’s ideas and post some of your own. So if you’re even the least bit interested in copyright concerns, head over and dig in!

A Lap(top) is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Burned DellThe lap is a most important place.

Traditionally it is a location of comfort and security, a familiar spot to get a cuddle or a more convenient perch from which to reach dinner. It’s the spot you might ask for a new toy at Christmas from. It’s a good tool for pat-a-cake.

Ever since Roman times it’s the spot we hold our favourite pets. A bowl of popcorn tastes better from here.

So why do so many of us daily expose this important and tender anatomical location to one of the most dangerous and volatile pieces of technology around?
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You Can Help Stop Spam

SpamalotYou’ve probably noticed a sudden recent rise in the amount of unsolicited email, or “spam”, you receive.

You’re not alone.

Spam continues to increase on the internet, despite the best efforts of governments and technologists. There was a marked 20% jump overall just last May.

A few factors have contributed to this rise.

Spammers recently refreshed their databases by identifying valid email addresses to attract new business. They’ve also begun to engage nefarious new tactics to slip their evil wares past defensive technologies. What’s more, they even forced a major anti-spam firm out of business earlier this year.
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Mobile Web Follow Up

Typepadmobilepalm_1So close, yet…

Just a few days after my road trip my blogging service provider, Typepad, released a killer piece of software for moblogging, the former SplashBlog. Now that would have been cool to had this on the road.

They’ve rebranded this excellent application TypePad Mobile and perfectly integrated it with their own service. This clearly indicates a widespread demand for blogging capabilities away from the desktop.

Now, if the Horse would just take a small leap into the 21st Century, I could continue to enjoy moblogging within 1000 km of my home. Get it together, Bell!

The Mobile Web: A Reconsideration

Tim Horton's in Williams LakeLast week I may have been unduly harsh on mobile use of the web and internet. Initially I considered it in reference to its traditional counterpart. In fact the internet accessed through a mobile phone or handheld computer is a different beast altogether.

Whereas the desktop internet, in its most common use, is a medium primarily of information consumption, the mobile web is more about publishing and sharing.

This shouldn’t be so surprising, considering the mobile phone is an appliance designed for telecommunication whereas the computer, in common parlance, is a “workstation”. What is interesting, however, is how mobile technology makes delivering all sorts of material – from video to text – so much easier than a desktop computer, despite its size and relative lack of computing oomph.

I had the opportunity this past week to take a road trip down the Alaska Highway to Vancouver. Before I left I set up a small blog to which I planned to publish photos and stories of my short journey using just my handheld smartphone, a Palm Treo.
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