Thanks to a post by @lewiszhang, I discovered a couple great products from Embed.ly. First off, they have a Chrome plugin that adds in-line previews for links from hundreds of sources in your Twitter stream. Second, they have a WordPress plugin that will change a simple URL in your post body into an embedded preview, as below. Great stuff!
This morning I tried out Aweditorium, a pretty sick music discovery app for the iPad. You start panning over a huge grid of dimmed out artist thumbnails. In the top left you can see dots representing other users, showing you where they are located on the grid in real-time. To start listening to a song, you tab the thumbnail.
Once you’re listening to a song you can view real-time song lyrics, share on Facebook and Twitter, view video interviews, and watch full-screen music videos for the songs. You can always watch Pop-Up-Video style factoids about the artists while you listen. In just a few minutes I had fallen in love with a couple groups I had never heard before.
Aweditorium combines a novel interface with rich media and tons of information about what you’re listening to. It’s a fun and rewarding experience.
While it’s not completely practical in its current form, Beautiful Modeler is an interesting study of manipulating 3D data. Personally, I use a Space Navigator, mouse, and keyboard while crunching CAD. Throwing accelerometers and multiple points of input into the mix isÂ enticing. I’m always excited at any chance to move further away from the mouse for analog input.
I’m not a big fan of this anti-Flash movement. I think it has been sensationalized because everyone in the media loves a good battle. Now that Steve Jobs has come out punching, it’s the cool thing to bash. Don’t get me wrong, I think Flash is over-used, and is certainly more resource intensive than it should be… but the “battle” is blown out of proportion.
What I do like, however, is statistics. And this is a pretty damning one.
While benchmarking the new 2010 Macbook Air, Ars Technica found that web browsing without the Flash plugin installed resulted in 2 more hours of battery life. That’s a big deal. It’s the numerous Flash web banners that load on websites, sucking up your valuable CPU cycles and burning through your battery. As I was reading the Ars Technica story, I noticed two animated banners running. My only goal is to read static text, not watch a video or listen to audio.
Uninstalling Flash isn’t the solution, at least not until alternatives like HTML5 have put the nail in the coffin. A great thing you can do, however, is install a browser plugin that will keep Flash elements from loading until you need them. Flashblock (for Chrome, for Firefox) and ClickToFlash (for Safari) should help you get those 2 extra hours out of your battery.
Tonight I came across Miso, which is basically Foursquare for TV shows. When you’re watching a show or movie, you “check in” and the show gets added to your profile. You can see what your friends are watching, and conversations can be built off of the check-ins. You also gain badges based on your viewing behavior.
I’ve been musing Boxee to watch TV for the past few months. When I listen to music in Boxee, it logs that data to my Last.fm account. (So does my iPhone, home computer, and work computer.) I’ve had this account for years, and it does a pretty fantastic job of recommending new music to me based on a huge dataset.
I hope that Miso can build a recommendation engine as well. I’d also love to see Boxee integrate Miso as well, so that I can check-in to a show from within the app.
Just a couple things on my wish list. Be sure to check out Miso. Read more at MobileBehavior.