IN·ovation

Technology that helps us… Technology that Wows us!

My Valley Schwag has arrived

Posted by kbaggs on June 7, 2006

I received my Valley Schwag package today! What is Valley Schwag? In Silicon Valley, home of the startup; companies hand out Schwag tomarket their brand. T-shirts, caps, pens, stickers and whatever else they can think of. For those of us non-Valley types, we can now have access to that same Schwag. Valley Schwag will send you a monthly Schwag package for $15 a month. They promise at lease one t-shirt per month, plus other Schwag. I first leaned about Valley Schwag on the Techcrunch blog. They have been amazingly successful. Their first month, they sent out 60 packages. This month they sent out 1500. Yes, I admit, it is really for the true geeks out there. But hey, that’s what this blog is all about.

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IN.ovation Accepted by Blogburst

Posted by kbaggs on June 6, 2006

BlogBurst.com I received the email confirmation that I was accepted by Blogburst. Blogburst is a publishing/syndication service. They syndicate many blogs to newspapers across the US such as The Washington Post and the Houston Chronicle. When a post is used, you get a byline added in the publication. So I’m asking everyone for help. Send me post topics. Some of the upcoming posts I’m working on: Building traffic for your Blog Opinions on downloading music Staying organized with MS Outlook Do you have a Terabyte at home? So what technology do you want to know about? Click on the Comment link below and let me know.

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Ubiquitous Wireless

Posted by kbaggs on June 3, 2006

I recently attended the Mesh 2006 conference. There were a lot of great discussions. The one that interested me was a discussion on wireless and satellite radio. I sat behind Andrew Coyne from the National Post. He coined the phrase Ubiquitious Wireless.

ubiq·ui·tous
: existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered :

This means, wireless everywhere. This is not some future science fiction, but reality in the next 5 to 10 years. It is already happening in San Francisco and Phillidelphia.

Now imagine for  a minute, if all handheld and portable devices had WiFi capability. From your MP3 player, to your cell phone to your car stereo. Now that you have the hardware, you need the content. Robert Scoble posted an entry in his blog about the sort of filter he would like to see for retrieving content. It could retrieve random information and post it to his iPod. Then as he listens to the information it would track what you liked and remember to download like content the next time. There are music services that do this today. The Pandora project uses math to analyze songs and groups them together. You choose some artists or songs. It presents those and others that fit the same style. Last.FM uses community preferences. If a lot of people who picked your artist or song, also picked these other songs, then it puts those into your playlist.

Now take all the above and add it into a car stereo with WiFi. The software or your choice collects the music content for you above and either plays it, or stores it on your car stereo. Cheap flash memory is available today in 8GB sizes. So how does satellite radio compete with this. Or maybe the question is…Can satellite radio compete with this.

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Use Bloglines to read your feeds

Posted by kbaggs on June 3, 2006

I have a number of tools that I have used over the last year to read my RSS feeds. The one that I am using now is and online tool called Bloglines. I like it for a number of reasons:

  • I can read my feeds on any computer without installing software.
  • It keeps track of the articles I have already read and only shows me new ones.
  • It has a neat little tool to show others what my feeds are. (see my Blogroll on the bottom right)
  • It lets me read all of my feeds in one newspaper style page

  • Subscribe with Bloglines

So give it a try.

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Lifehacker

Posted by kbaggs on June 3, 2006

One of the best sites that I read every day is Lifehacker. It has everything anyone needs to get through life. Their focus is on productivity and software, but they have many sections about other interesting topics. They cover DIY (do it yourself) projects, like how to build your own battery charger to how to pack clothes that arrive wrinkle free. They summarize news, downloads of the day and just general questions. It’s a great site for your daily read.

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How to use Podcasts

Posted by kbaggs on May 27, 2006

I’m surprised by the number of people I know with iPods that are not using, or have heard of, podcasts. What is a Podcast? Basically it is a sound file, just like an MP3, or in Apple’s case, AAC. But the file type is really irrelevant. It is a recording of a broadcast, or interview or someone simply talking about their favourite topic. The beauty of iTunes is that is makes adding podcasts to your iPod easier than downloading music. You simply go to the podcast section. Scroll through the various topics and select subscribe. [note, watch out for whether it is a podcast or video podcast. If you don’t have a video iPod, you will not want a video podcast]. That’s it. You can also go into your iPod options and select the automatic podcast update setting, and tell it how many old podcasts to keep. Now each time you start iTunes it will download the podcasts you subscribed to. The next time you connect your iPod to your computer. It will add these to your iPod. There is a tremendous wealth of topics for podcast. Most of the ones listed on iTunes fall into 2 categories; Business and Technology. Some of my favourites are from Leo Laporte and his TWIT.tv crew [This Week in Tech]. I have Giz Wiz with Dick Dibartolo, TWIT with a cast of characters and Inside the Net with Amber MacArthur. But whatever your interest, there is a podcast available. iTunes is also not the exclusive directory of podcasts. Check out Podzinger

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FREE Long Distance Phone Calls from Skype

Posted by kbaggs on May 17, 2006

No this is not some spam that I recently received. This is not some bait and switch tactic to get you to sign some multi-year contract with an ISP or cell phone provider. This is the real deal. Out of the blue on Monday, Skype announced they would allow FREE SkypeOut calls to any phone number in North America. SkypeOut is a service where you buy credits, and it allows you to call a land line phone number for about 2 cents a minute. Well now that service is FREE until the end of the year. After that Skype isn’t saying. I can tell you from experience over the last 2 days, that is words fine. I called family in B.C. and it was crystal clear. So what are you waiting for. Download Skype and start making your free calls.

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Online Video

Posted by kbaggs on May 14, 2006

There is a trend happening on the internet. Podcasts started a new way of listening and broadcasting information to the masses. iTunes made it easy to obtain these snippits of daily or weekly broadcasts. Then Apple introduced the Video iPod and at the same time online video was growing fast. The two most talked about services are YouTube and Rocket Boom. YouTube is a website that allows anyone to post any video up to 10 minutes in length. Anything you can think of is there. The amount of bandwidth and downloads is on the edge of comprehension. They have talked about 100’s of thousands of downloads a day and 100’s of Terabytes (that’s 1000 Gigabytes) of information daily. Rocket Boom is a short news feature by Amanda Congan. She satires many of the daily news that is mainly on technology. There are a lot of questions surrounding online video. First the question of bandwidth. Right now, the quality is just barely enough to watch. In this era of HDTV growth, one has to wonder why online video is becoming so popular. The other question is copyright. When Apple started selling TV shows, it was a very short time before the networks started testing downloading they prime time shows. ABC recently announced that they would allow the viewing of their prime time shows, such as Lost, Desperate housewives, etc. for free. This is a test for 2 months. Is this another trend starting? (unfortunately, only available in the US). It is clear that the future includes watching video via the Internet. But the big question is always there. How can you make money at it. Ad dollars are the vehicle to make it happen. But when you look at the numbers from YouTube, it will take more than ad dollars. Technology will have to make some leaps before high resolution via the internet becomes as common as surfing the net.

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Get my Post via email

Posted by kbaggs on May 11, 2006

Not that I mind you checking back every day to see if I have a new post. I have a new feature that will email you the new posts as they are created. See the Subcribe Me button in the sidebar to the right. Add your email and you will be the posts each time they are added.

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Translate your Blog

Posted by kbaggs on May 7, 2006

See the flags above. These are not there for decoration. Each one will translate this blog into that flag’s language. Choose from French, German, Italian, Portugese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean or Chinese. This makes it simple for anyone in the world to be able to read your blog.

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