Roland’s Sunday Smart Trends #201
February 10th, 2008

The Industry Standard 2.0: Their Analysis, Your Predictions

The Industry Standard — the once high-flying, and then hardest-falling, magazine of the dotcom era — is relaunching today in a public beta, nearly seven years after the original media outlet went bankrupt. It would be all too easy to write this off as a counter-indicator signaling that the current Web 2.0 mania has peaked. And perhaps that is exactly what it is. The brand carries with it so much baggage that it may be difficult to move beyond what it stands for in the collective consciousness: the excesses of Silicon Valley.
Source: Erick Schonfeld, TechCrunch, February 3, 2008

Real ID could mean real travel headaches

In just more than three months[,on May 11, 2008], millions of law-abiding Americans might face new hassles when traveling on commercial flights if they hold driver’s licenses or identification cards issued by Maine, South Carolina, Montana, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, and up to 15 other states plus the District of Columbia that have rejected the Real ID regulations on privacy and cost grounds or have not agreed to comply. [Note: check your state on the map accompanying the article.]
Source: Anne Broache and Declan McCullagh, CNET, February 4, 2008

Texting for Votes

Many young consumers have grown accustomed to ordering cellphone ringtones via text message. Text a certain keyword to a specific number, and the transaction begins. Barack Obama is reaching out to potential voters in the same demographic with a different message: “Text HOPE.” […] After texting “HOPE” to the campaign, respondents receive a follow-up message seeking their ZIP Code, which is then used to send local information to potential voters.
Source: Aaron Rutkoff, The Wall Street Journal, February 5, 2008

Text-to-pee service launched

Finland’s residents now face being caught short during car trips if their phones are out of credit, because the country’s road management agency has introduced an SMS entry system for public toilets. Called the SMS Lock System, users must text “OPEN” to a number shown on the door of various toilets and shower rooms along Highway One in Paimio and Salo, near Turku, where the texting service began operating earlier this month.
Source: James Sherwood, The Register, February 5, 2008

Johns Hopkins researcher leads international effort to create ‘proteinpedia’

A researcher at the Johns Hopkins Institute of Genetic Medicine has led the effort to compile to date the largest free resource of experimental information about human proteins. […] Like the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, Human Proteinpedia allows any researcher to contribute and edit their data as their research progresses. “Researchers will be able to quickly review what has been discovered by others about their protein of interest, speeding their own work,” says Akhilesh Pandey[, associate professor of biological chemistry at Hopkins.]
Source: Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, February 7, 2008

Robots could someday ease our loneliness

Social scientists at the University of Chicago and Harvard University found that the chronically lonely and people induced into loneliness are more likely to anthropomorphize — or make human — animal and and inanimate objects. This could confirm an assumption roboticists and artificial intelligence (AI) scientists have made for years — that humans can see objects as friends. “One of the goals of AI from the early days was the notion of creating artificial presences that would actually be able to be there for people and help them in their lives,” said Kristian Hammond, co-director of the Intelligent Information Laboratory at Northwestern University.
Source: Mallika Rao, Medill Reports, Northwestern University, February 5, 2008

Taxi! Novel location-based services hailed

European researchers are developing a range of novel technologies and end-to-end solutions for indoor and outdoor geo-location scenarios encountered by the likes of utility companies, emergency services and even taxi firms. This innovation offers a huge boost to the European market for location-based services.
Source: ICT Results, February 8, 2008

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