Roland’s Sunday Smart Trends #226
August 3rd, 2008

New search engine Cuil takes aim at Google

There’s a big new search engine launching Monday: Cuil. Developed and run by the husband-and-wife team of Stanford professor Tom Costello and former Google search architect Anna Patterson, it’s pitched as bigger, faster, and better than Google’s flagship search engine in pretty much every way.
[Note: my personal tests were disappointing: let’s wait for some weeks before concluding if this search engine is a good one.]
Source: Rafe Needleman, CNET’s Webware, July 27, 2008

Putting a virtual doctor in the ambulance

Diagnosing and treating a critically ill or injured patient as early as possible can mean the difference between life and death. A new communications system between a moving ambulance and its hospital base allows the simultaneous transmission of bandwidth-hungry video and ultra-sonic images, telephone communications and patient data, all at the same time.
Source: ICT Results, July 29, 2008

George Orwell diaries to be published as blog

The diaries of the novelist George Orwell are to published online as a daily blog. The first entry will be posted on August 9, exactly 70 years to the day since the author of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four wrote it.
[Note: Check The Orwell Prize next week to discover these diaries.]
Source: Nicole Martin, The Telegraph, UK, July 30, 2008

Radar Networks readies new release of Twine

In March, Radar Networks launched Twine, an application that organizes information and connects people, places, companies, products, Web pages, videos, and photos. Along with Metaweb’s Freebase, Powerset (sold to Microsoft), Hakia, Reuters’ Calias, AdaptiveBlue and a few other start-ups, Radar Networks is trying to crack the code on building a piece of the semantic Web. […] A major new release of the Twine platform is slated for release in the fall to address shortcomings and introduce new features.
Source: Dan Farber, CNET’s Outside the Lines, July 31, 2008

Say goodbye to virtual bureaucracy

Getting tired of filling in endless forms on the internet when you just want to make a simple purchase or find some information? Had enough of receiving a barrage of emails from companies after shopping with them online? The EUREKA project FIDELITY may have the answer.
Source: The EUREKA project, July 29, 2008

CSIRO develops technology that goes where GPS can’t

The CSIRO has developed a new wireless localisation system with the ability to track, sense and communicate in areas where GPS and other wireless technologies cannot work. […] The [new] technology would allow first response emergency workers to be tracked in dangerous environments such as in building collapses or underground mines where other tracking technologies will not work.
Source: Andrew Hendry, Computerworld Australia, July 31, 2008

If You Run a Red Light, Will Everyone Know?

Want to vet a baby sitter? Need to peek into the background of a prospective employee? Curious about the past of a potential date? Last month, PeopleFinders, a 20-year-old company based in Sacramento, introduced CriminalSearches.com, a free service to satisfy those common impulses. The site, which is supported by ads, lets people search by name through criminal archives of all 50 states and 3,500 counties in the United States. In the process, it just might upset a sensitive social balance once preserved by the difficulty of obtaining public documents like criminal records.
Source: Brad Stone, The New York Times, August 3, 2008


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