lukegilman.com : High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

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Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at www.lukegilman.com

Real World Monopoly: Rich Uncle Pennybags (Mr. Monopoly) Discovers Google Maps

monopoly-city-streets

From the series of tubes that brought you I can haz cheezburger and stumbleupon comes the next great internet time waster Monopoly City Streets. The site softlaunched a few days ago according to the official blog and news reports such as the Guardian’s quickly brought it crashing back down again. It’s essentially exactly what it sounds like – a mashup of Google Maps and Monopoly, enabling a new look on the classic board game.

Monopoly City Streets, a link up between game owners Hasbro and Google Maps, launches on Wednesday for a four-month period. It enables one, in theory, to buy any street in the world.

Play Monopoly City Streets

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XKCD: Tech Support Cheat Sheet


XKCD: Tech Support Cheat Sheet

Amen. Read the rest of this entry »

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iPhone Goes for a Swim, Survives

Via engadget. This has got to be the best advertisement Apple never made. Read the rest of this entry »

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Microsoft Bing: The Decider of Search Engines, Saving Us from Confusing Keywords and Queries

I saw my first Bing commercial this morning (embedded below). For the uninitiated, Bing is Microsoft’s latest do-over attempt at making a search engine to compete with Google. I haven’t used Bing long enough to make any evaluation on its quality. It looks for all the world to be just another search engine. The ads, however, are so techno-culturally tone-deaf that I had to watch it twice to figure out it wasn’t (1) one of GM’s ‘rally cap’ reinvention spots or (2) a parody:


Some highlights:

While everyone was searching there was bailing. While everyone was lost in the links, there was collapse.

There you have it – it was not a faulty regulatory structure, business cycles, or ethical lapses that allowed the current economic malaise, but an overuse of search engines.

“We don’t need queries and keywords if they bring back questions and confusion.”

Ah yes, my old search engine often responded to my search queries with questions of its own. I found this confusing because I start to think it’s ME that’s the search engine and I worry that my index isn’t up to date. Phew, glad that’s fixed.

I’m also very excited that this new ‘decision-engine’ doesn’t need queries or keywords. Apparently if you go to bing.com and stare at it long enough it reads your mind.

Starting today, we need the right information to make the right decisions. Decisions to make us feel right, decisions that help us get to the right place, at the right time, even if it’s right around the corner. And we need to make decisions about what the right stuff is. Right now, it’s time for the one and only 100% engineered to cut through the crap decision engine. Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, it’s time to Bing and decide.

So Bing, is “the decider” of search engines. I don’t see how that can go wrong.
Perhaps Microsoft has uncovered a previously unknown but deep-seated desire among internet users to have their decisions made for them rather than suffer through the presentation of ‘information’?

The second commercial attacks the inexplicable refusal of search engines to do anything about homonyms.

I’m particularly grateful that they will remove “Johann Sebastian Bach” from the results of my search queries for “back pain”. I hate it when that happens.

Thankfully Microsoft has also sought the services of advertisers who bother to tell you what Bing is supposed to be or do for you (below). I still doubt I’ll ever find a reason to use it but at least now I know.

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Whither the Music Business

I got to hang around the apartment for the first time in a while with nothing pressing to do but run through some music blogs and catch up on what’s happening. I was also sort of half-watching the 2006 documentary Before the Music Dies on Hulu (embedded below):

It began to dawn on me how much had changed even since Before the Music Dies came out. After waxing nostalgic and the standard artist/label horror stories (Doyle Bramhall was the posterchild) it moves to Napster and MySpace with some indie-power-to-the-people-be-true-to-yourself optimism. In a two-hour span, I went through a couple of hundred posts from mp3 blogs, MySpace pages and mp3 aggregators like hypemachine, pandora and last.fm, downloaded a few DRM free albums from Amazon and some tracks on iTunes (giftcard)… and all this in boxers.

There’s a certain amount that’s wrong with that – some concessions to convenience that I don’t have to have the album in my hand, that it takes more and more to get me out to a live show these days, that I’ll put up with MP3 sound quality – on the other hand I just checked out about 50 new artists I’d never heard of before today. Read the rest of this entry »

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Google unveils Google Wave, Redefining the Interface for Collaboration Online

Google unveiled Google Wave a new collaboration environment at the Google IO Conference last week. Video of the demonstration is embedded below:

The feature set is nominally prosaic, marginal improvements on existing functions, i.e. better IM, better collaboration, better e-mail threads, etc. – but the implementation is a tantalizing glimpse at a braver newer interface that makes me instantly resent the inadequacy of my current set of IM, e-mail etc. even though those are also primarily google products. Counting down the days until the scheduled general release in the fall. Between this and Google Voice, the Google developers will have their hands full for a while. via techcrunch.

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Stunning BBC Surf Footage with TyphoonHD4 Underwater Slo-Mo Camera

Engadget noted a great shot posted by the BBC, made possible with the TyphoonHD4, combining high light sensitivity, high picture resolution and ultra high frame rates to create stunning images in the hands of the right crew. Gorgeous! Oh and it’s $100,000…. so it’s not coming along fishing with me next time, I suppose.

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Secrets of the Middle Mouse Button, Revealed!

Farhad Manjoo taught me something only marginally related to his post Kill Your RSS Reader: And use my amazing system for browsing the Web, but blessedly useful nonetheless.

My system also makes liberal use of one of the best, least-known shortcuts built into modern Web browsers—the tab-managing powers of the middle mouse button, also known as the mouse wheel. If you think of the wheel only as a tool to scroll with, dear friend, you’re missing out; the middle mouse button does so much more. For example, it’s the best way to open a link in a background tab. Try it: Click and release the middle button on this link and—in most newer browsers—you’ll see Slate’s home page open up in a new tab. You can use the same button to quickly close unwanted tabs, too—click and release the tab you just opened, and voila, it disappears. In Firefox, the middle button has one extra power: Click an empty space in the tab bar and you’ll open up the last tab you closed, which is a godsend if you accidentally sent away something important.

How did I spend this much time on the internet without knowing this?

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Twitter Jumps the Shark

Twitter (me here) has evolved.

Evan Williams on Twitter at TED Conference

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ROI

2009-01-25-accounting

via RRW Read the rest of this entry »

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