Roland’s Sunday Smart Trends #69
July 31st, 2005

Here is my weekly selection of articles that were not mentioned here — except if I missed them.

Wireless: Single gadget weaves phone, Internet and media services
The most interesting of the new “Liveservices” from [France Telecom] is a Wi-Fi-based cordless home phone. Called Livephone, the device uses its wireless link to Livebox’s Internet connection to provide inexpensive Internet voice calls and other services including a connection to the user’s Web-based address book to find and dial numbers. The 99.99, or $120, device will also tell users if they have new e-mail and display weather, traffic, news and sports results from online servers.
Source: Chris Oakes, International Herald Tribune, July 25, 2005

Personal Ads in a Virtual World
Dynamic ads may rescue gaming, if gamers don’t revolt.
[Here is a short example of this new technology.]
Starting in June, a player might turn a corner in the landscape and come face to face with a virtual billboard that reads “Batman Begins,” promoting the real-world Warner Brother’s flick. The ad could just as easily cover the side of a castle wall or a building somewhere in the game’s cityscape. Return to that same spot a few minutes later and the virtual sign could hawk the latest hip-hop album or a new soda drink—it just depends on who’s looking.
Source: Red Herring, July 25, 2005 Print Issue

Virtual reality exercise
Sweat’s real but scenery isn’t in video-game fitness gear.
Virtual reality is becoming part of the exercise routine in gyms and homes across the country. Recently introduced technology transforms gyms into arcades. The idea is to make fitness more compelling than just sweating on a treadmill. People are more likely to stick with their routines, the theory goes, if they are immersed in digital versions of bike rides, “American Gladiator”-style contests and dancing.
Source: Verne Kopytoff, San Francisco Chronicle, July 25, 2005

I Think, Therefore I Am — Sorta: The belief system of a virtual mind
PsychSim, a virtual reality artificial intelligence technology, is helping train the U.S. military as it crafts real-life scenarios and thrusts its trainees in the middle of them, forcing them to interact with simulations, known as agents, endowed with human intelligence. [Credit for this introduction: ACM News Service]
Source: Margaret Wertheim, L.A. Weekly, JULY 22 – 28, 2005

Breaking News – BBC lets public ‘borrow’ its web content
Following the example of internet titans Google and Amazon, the BBC has released software tools which allow programmers to borrow and “remix” its web content for free.
Tools have been made available through a project called BBC Backstage, which was launched at Open Tech 2005, a technology conference held in London, UK, on Saturday 23 July.
Source: Will Knight, New Scientist, July 25, 2005

Motorola to add Yahoo Web services to mobile
Motorola Inc. will put Yahoo Inc. Web services such as search, instant messaging, e-mail and news on its hand-held products in a new alliance to take advantage of increasingly powerful mobile devices, the companies said Tuesday.
Source: Reuters, via Yahoo! News, July 26, 2005

What’s all about?
In his blog posting entitled “ a Declaration of Gestural Independence,” Seth Goldstein writes, “Attention is the substance of focus. It registers your interests by indicating choice for certain things and choice against other things. As Steve [Gillmor] reminds, the establishment of value in the attention economy is a dual register of what one pays attention to and what one chooses to ignore (or unsubscribe, turn off or tune out).”
[For more information, go to]
Source: Dan Farber, Between the Lines blog,, July 28, 2005

See you next week…

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