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Bragosphere: Interactive Photo Album Browser (With A Bad Name)

Posted by Syberplanet on June 22nd, 2008 - 432 views

There are a number of ways to share digital photo albums online. Flickr does it well. Photobucket, too. But they’re very straight-laced, so to speak. Either they list photos in columns and rows, or they form slideshows. What if you’d like to take a more casual approach and publish photos for people to play with? The Bragosphere is built to serve such a purpose.

Once you get past the unusual name – and ensure that you and your friends install Microsoft’s Silverlight browser plugin – The Bragosphere, created by a duo of developers, Swami Venkataramani and Stephen Commisso, and currently in beta form, shows to be a relatively attractive service. Almost scrapbook-like in the way it functions.

Instead of organizing photos into grid form, The Bragosphere, home to “Brag Pages,” photos can be tossed inside a template of a fairly large dimension, and they can be moved around by a viewer and resized at will. Grab a photo at or near its center and pull it around the window. hover your cursor over a photo’s edge, and expand, contract or turn the photograph if you like. Double click a photo, regardless of its foreground/background position, and you’ll see it expand to fill a large portion of the viewing area.


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Posted in Web 2.0 | No Comments »

GOOG-411 Goes To Canada

Posted by Syberplanet on June 22nd, 2008 - 551 views

It’s been several months since we’ve heard much of anything about Google’s 411 service. The company has kept somewhat mum about the project. As of December 2007, it was reportedly unprofitable. But hey, maybe that’s the cost of going free with information which used to cost callers when seeking phonebook listings.

It actually turns out Google has been active on the 411 front since we last spoke of it. What were they up to? Cataloguing Canada, according to Toronto’s Globe and Mail.

It is certainly unfortunate that Canadian consumers are often the people to get the short-ended stick for technology releases. Just look at the iPhone. It’s traveled all around America, and even hopped the Atlantic to travel Europe a bit, and Canada is only now getting some fair-and-balanced treatment with the advent of Apple’s 3G edition next month. So it’s too bad that Canada has belatedly received support for GOOG-411. Better late than never?

To best honest, as a borderline New Englander, I might say that I feel for Canadians who’ve long awaited free voice-activated business contacts. The service could prove useful for many people. But given the fact that more and more of us are likely to seek guidance through relatively thorough mapping software BlackBerries and such, GPS-enhanced or not, I’ll venture to think GOOG-411 isn’t like to be a first choice for consumers.

Then again, GOOG-411 costs the user nothing more than the time to make a phone call. And it is quite accurate in reading voice commands of a fairly wide register range. So if you’d like to have Google connect you to, say, a local pizza place, and you’re situated north of the American landscape, you now may.

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Posted in Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

Web-Based Wimbledon Fans: Video Goes Live Monday

Posted by Syberplanet on June 22nd, 2008 - 446 views

Yesterday I spoke rather optimistically of the potential for NBC’s Olympic Games video venture for the Web. Live and on-demand coverage of sport in Beijing? Sounds great. Still, the torch isn’t going to get ceremonially barbecued until the second week of August. There’s a lot of time to kill before events commence. So here’s an option for fans of athletic competition that can be consumed entirely via the Web: Wimbledon.

Yes, in half a day’s time, the All England Club in London will begin to sift through tennis champions and their challengers, and while coverage of matches outside the racquet-packed complex on traditional television won’t be totally comprehensive for many viewers, those with browsers and solid broadband connections will be privileged to watch any and all they choose – for the sum of $24.99, that is.

This isn’t the first time Wimbledon has streamed its annual proceedings from grass turf to Web. According to MediaZone, the mechanism by which online coverage has been made possible, the option to view “Centre Court” and all its surroundings via IP has been available for two years prior. Still, for tennis fans who feel themselves wanting to watch any of this year’s 300 matches, spread across eight courts, will be able to do so precisely as they occur.

As an avid follower of the tennis circuit, grand slam or no grand slam, I’ll really have to go ahead and take the AEC and MediaZone up on their offer this year, laying down the requisite fee for an “All-Access Pass” of my own. If only because basic over-the-air coverage of the tournament is woefully inadequate for Wimbledon’s American audience. Keep in mind: Only a mixture of Windows XP and Vista, Internet Explorer 6.0+ and Windows Media Player 10 or 11 is supported.

While the men’s and women’s finals broadcast via their customary channels will likely suffice for most fans, I’ll enjoy watching some of the preceding sets leading up to – if predictions are indeed accurate – the first Roger Federer-Raphael Nadal upset [NYT] to occur at this particular event. Any wagers otherwise?

(Image source:

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