"Boston Skyline" by Flickr user brentdanley, cc-nc-sa license

Our hearts go out to those in Boston right now.

If you need to find someone, find a runner, or find someplace to stay, social media has you covered in the aftermath of today’s horrible events.

Google PeopleFinder: Boston Maraton Explosions: Enter information if you’re looking for someone or if you have information about someone (or yourself).

Red Cross Safe and Well: Like Google’s people finder, this lets you enter information about someone – whether you are in search of them or you have information about anyone.

The Boston Globe is working to make sure everyone has a safe Pokies place to sleep tonite. If you’re a runner in need of a place to stay, enter your information on this Google Doc. You can also check this spreadsheet for possibilities of a place to lay your head.
If you have a place to offer stranded runners, you can enter your information on a separate Google doc.

Finally, you can check on the status of a runner, and see their last check-in from the race, that option is now at the top of the Boston Marathon site.

If you know of any other social aids for those in Boston today, please list them in the comments.

Stay safe.

 

With smartphones and gadgets like Google Glass grabbing all the headlines, what some of us realize is the vast wasteland of bad reality shows, over-hyped sports events, and sensational specials we call TV is about to undergo a transformation that will forever end the viewing experience as you know it. And although tech companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft have been fiddling around with their idea of how to change TV for a few years now, it’s the big networks and pay television providers that are finally making some decisions to move TV land forward. What’s driving this change? Three biggies:

1. Viewers’ increasing multi-screen behavior — now their TV is just one screen in a world of many. People often watch TV while multi-tasking with their tablet or smartphone. More and more, people want to carry their TV shows with them, and continue watching from different locations.

2. TV execs have realized that you will actually pay for digital content. Paywalls on some online news sites such as the New York Times and revenue on iTunes and other digital marketplaces have shown the money guys that you will actually hand over your hard-earned dough for content. So, they will soon end free broadcast TV. You can start the death countdown now. Viewership on broadcast TV is at its lowest ever Pokies, down from 69% in 1993 to 42% this year, according to Nielsen.

3. Small startups like Aereo have begun to offer free access to broadcast TV over the Internet, and are winning court cases to stay alive.

After Aereo got a reprieve from a federal judge, News Corp is now considering going to cable only. And now, Intel is trying to design a new online TV service that will let you control more of your viewing experience.

The coming transformation of TV promises to offer you:

–De-bundling so you don’t have to pay huge monthly fees for just the few channels you actually watch.

–Easier discoverability through better interfaces

–Smarter content relevant to your viewing history

–Easier and more affordable subscription options

Of course, everyone is waiting for what Apple will do with its rumored TV. Will they just make hardware, or are they going full-on with hardware and content?

What all this says is there is no business model for TV right now. Programmers are unwilling to hand-over rights for online TV because they don’t know what to charge for it. But they know they don’t want to end up like the music industry when Napster came along, so they’re scrambling. Either way, you win. TV will transform based on the way you want to consume it. Stay tuned!

For what seems like months, there have been rumors of the Facebook phone. But up until now, it’s proved as elusive as a jackalope or Bigfoot.

But thanks in part to Android Police and 9to5Google, we now have a lot more information about the device, which Facebook is set to announce at a press event on Thursday. (If you want a better technical understanding of just how Facebook is skinning Android, definitely head over to the Android Police post.)

From what I can gather, Facebook is not creating a new fork of Android, which is what Amazon has done with the Kindle Fire. Instead, like Motorola and others, they are skinning Android specifically for their device. The phone, by HTC, was code-named the Myst. It’s now being released as the “First”, which fits in with HTC’s “The One” product line. The phone will be heavily skinned by Facebook and when you turn it on, Facebook is the first screen you see. The new version of Facebook, for this phone in particular, will rely heavily on Facebook’s social graph.

This will be Facebook’s first real foray into the consumer marketplace. With that comes a need for advertising to the general public, which isn’t something Facebook has ever really done. To compete in the over-saturated mobile market (not to mention the Android market itself), Facebook will have to Buy Viagra really pony up some ad dollars to make an impact in the marketplace – or it will just be another phone.

Personally, I want Facebook to explain to me why I NEED a Facebook phone. I can’t for the life of me figure out why I want to be even more plugged into a social network. In fact, I’ve given serious thought to getting out. Facebook is no longer the go-to place for the younger generation. They’re on Twitter and Instagram, with Dad and Grandma hanging out on Facebook.

Aside from Facebook’s need to market this phone to consumers, there are some other interesting ??? to come out of this development. Facebook is currently a fantastic place to advertise your products (assuming your consumers are on the network) and it’s made a huge impact in how digital advertisers approach campaigns. What effect will a Facebook phone, with deeper integration of the social network, have on mobile marketing, which is still a fledgling effort?

Next, I have to wonder about Google. I love that Google’s Android system is so open, allowing developers to do a lot of what they can’t accomplish with iOS. But will that open-ness backfire on Google if Facebook’s phone can become a serious competitor?

Just some thoughts. We’ll keep you updated on the actual specs, retail info, and pricing of the phone after Thursday’s announcement.

, via Wikimedia Commons”]

By Glogger (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL

In just a short time, wearable computing has taken off. Several devices are now flooding the market. The first phase seems to be health-related with Nike’s Fuel Band, Jawbone’s Up and Fit Bit all competing for the fitness geeks. What’s driving the craze? Well, it’s a quick convergence of three things:

– Affordable sensors

– Innovation in manufacturing

– “Always-on” connectivity with smartphones

Although it seems like wearable computing is an overnight sensation, it has actually taken a long time for this technology to come to fruition. Over the last five years, patents, manufacturing, and design have evolved so affordable devices could come to market. There’s a lot of high-tech in these devices — they are full-blown computers that are waterproof, hypoallergenic, and built to take the Generic Cialis hits that come from being worn on active bodies.

These devices are indeed complete systems as well: the wearable sensors, the software app for your smartphone, and the data stored in the cloud all combine to provide you information you’re most interested in: calories burned, miles walked/ran, hours slept, etc.

Who’s buying these devices? It seems interest cuts across gender and socioeconomic lines. Everyone is interested in their health, and knowing they can get relevant data on their activity is a major ROI on why people are jumping on the bandwagon. It helps to have the devices priced at less than $200 too.

Face it, wearable computing will go far beyond tracking your treadmill runs… soon, you’ll be wearing devices that offer you what that little computer you hold in your hand all day does… can anyone say Google Glass?

Years ago, I got suckered by a Wine Spectator April Fool’s Joke, where they announced Paris Hilton as the new spokesperson for a high-end French wine. Oops. Ever since then, I’ve been especially wary of the web on April 1. Here are some of the April Fool’s web items I’ve come across today:

Procter & Gamble announced – on Friday – that they’re going to sell bacon-flavored Scope mouthwash. Ewww.

Google, as usual, has gone over the top with Google Nose (a new scentsation in search), Google Maps Treasure Maps, and Google SCHMICK (Simple Complete House Makeover Internet Conversion Kit), which allows you to give your house a lick of fresh paint for free on Street View. Then there is Gmail Blue, which is a blatant knock at Microsoft’s upcoming Blue update and Windows 8.

Microsoft isn’t just sitting back and taking Google’s jabs though. If you go to Bing.com and type Google into the search field, a Google-style Bing page appears. Small boxes on the page take further playful (sort of) pokes at Google and the I’m confused button Buy Levitra takes you to the Bing blog.

Bing April Fool's Prank

YouTube, owned by Google and therefore pranksters themselves, has announced that the last 7 years were just a big contest for “best video” and as of tomorrow, they’re shutting down any new video submissions to the site.

Richard Branson has announced, via the Virgin blog, that Virgin Atlantic is introducing a glass-bottomed plane. While I know it’s a joke, the concept scares me a little.

Sony has introduced Animalia products, which include Cans for Cats (headphones) and home entertainment systems for your hamster.

Toshiba is proud to announce the Toshiba TubeTop - an inflatable innertube + laptop that comes in an array of colors.

But perhaps my absolute favorite is from BMW, who announces the PRAM (Post Natal Royal Automobile). With the coming royal baby, BMW just thought they’d get into strollers.

BMW PRAM for April Fool's Day

If you come across any other April Fool’s jokes on the web, be sure to share them in the comments.