A Cool Data Visualization Tool

I was searching for stats on web browser market share and came across this very cool visualization of the data created by Axiis, which is an open source data visualization framework. Unfortunately, the data is only current up to Aug 2009, but you should still hit the link and mouseover to see how it works and displays additional data.

Netgear Stora – store, backup, share and stream your music, photos, video and data

As consumers generate or collect an ever-increasing amount of digital content in the form of photos, music and especially videos, home storage solutions are growing in popularity. But what’s also becoming more important is that this content is accessible from anywhere and not just in the home. Netgear is one of the companies trying to solve this problem, and one of such product that fits the bill is the Stora MS2110.

The Stora has a very consumer-dedicated website that shows off all of its sharing and streaming capabilities, such as:

  • share your photos and videos with your friends
  • access your files from the Internet
  • stream music to your phone
  • push photos to your Facebook or Flickr accounts
  • Back-up your PCs and/or Macs

The Stora can hold 2 SATA hard drives, so you can mirror the data if you’d like for more protection. It ships with one 1TB drive for lots of initial storage.

Just one word of warning. Some of these features, particularly the sharing/access-over-the-Internet is only possible with a premium $20/yr service via Netgear’s Stora service. See the differences in features here.

Buy now!

More info from the manufacturer
Price: $199.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

There may be a Google data-only phone in early 2010

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch is reporting that a Google Phone is imminent, possibly in early 2010. However, it may be a data-only VoIP ‘phone’ but what would be cool is if Google issues Google Voice phone numbers to those phones.

About the only bad piece of news here is that it may end up initially only on AT&T with other GSM carriers being maybes.

The hardware would in all likelihood be produced by some other hardware vendor but only have Google branding.

Wolfram Alpha promises computing that answers questions

Computer scientist, Stephen Wolfram, feels that he has put together at least the initial version of a computer that actually answers factual questions, a la Star Trek’s ship computers. His version will be found on their Web-based application, Wolfram Alpha.

What does this mean? Well instead of returning links to pages that may (or may not) contain the answer to your questions, Wolfram will respond with the actual answer. Now the caveat ‘factual’ is important. You can ask it questions like ‘why is the sky blue?’ or ‘how many bones are in the human body?’, but probably not ‘do you think abortion is wrong?’. This computational knowledge engine uses natural language to parse the questions and can also accept coded queries.

For the subject areas that Wolfram covers, they not only had to either enter or import data on those subjects, but had to build models or create algorithms for breaking down and describing that data in simpler building blocks. Long story short, my question is how easy is it going to be expand into additional subject areas?

Don’t bother trying to visit the site just yet – it’s not launching until May 2009. If this works well, this is going to revolutionize computing and in particular, the search engine market. Google of course comes to mind. Would they see this as a threat? I imagine they should. so I think what will be important here is how quickly Wolfram can expand into additional subject areas. If they give Google enough time to get into this market, then they could be sunk.

via Techcrunch

Google using search data to explore flu trends in the US

In a cool use of search data, Google’s philanthropic arm is tracking queries on illness and correlating it with geolocation data to trend flu activity in the US. The idea here is to try to predict flu trends faster than the CDC normally does based on their methodology. Google in turn works with the CDC to make this data available and useful.

You can find out how this all works by visiting Google’s Flu Trends site.

BTW, you can even download the raw data and toy with it yourself if you’d like.

Flatwire – clean up your cabling

You may love your gadgets, but hate the mess of cables that it typically involves. If you’ve got a bit of extra cash to spend on the ‘problem’, then you should take a look at FlatWire Technologies which is a company that makes FlatWire, ultra-thin, surface mounted wiring for audio, video, data and even low-voltage lighting.

FlatWire boasts the ability to be applied flat against walls and other surfaces non-invasively, then covered up with the same coloring, make 90 degree turns and run all types of signaling over it. Depending on the type of connection you need, there are specific interconnects that you need to buy.

While FlatWire by itself is more expensive than traditional cylindrical wires, the company touts total installation costs as being competitive. Of course, if you put a high value on aesthetics, then FlatWire will definitely win out.

Cradlepoint PHS300: Portable WiFi Router connects via Cell Phone conn

Fantastic. Now you can not only have an Internet connection by way of your cell phone’s data connection (tethered to your laptop), but you can also share it to create your very own WiFi hotspot! The Cradlepoint Personal Hotspot 300 is a fully featured WiFi router that uses your mobile phone’s data connection as its conn to the Net.

While it includes an AC adapter, its internal battery can be charged up for full portability. Wherever you want to work, now you can. No longer do you have to find some coffee shop and pay them $10 to get online.

The PHS300 support 802.11b/g computers, and its WiFi router includes a full set of the security and access controls that you’ve come to expect in popular home-based broadband routers.

More info from the manufacturer
Price: $149.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

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