If you've … Read more
It's not exactly news that interest group lobbying affects lawmaking, but MapLight.org is showing us how by doing the math down to dollar figures. The non-profit MapLight.org had one of the least ostentatious booths in the Web 2.0 Expo hall, but brought an incredibly informative, practical service regarding the influence of money on California politics.
It's a mashup of voting records pulled from the Official California Legislative Information Web site (up to the 2003-2004 session right now, with 2005-2006 on the way), and campaign contributions kept by the Institute on Money in State Politics.
The … Read more
Google CEO Eric Schmidt went on stage yesterday at the Web 2.0 Expo and announced that the slides running on the four giant projection screens were actually Docs and Spreadsheet's newest app: a presentation service.
In an interview with John Batelle, he was asked, "Is this a competitor to Microsoft Office [and PowerPoint]?"
Schmidt: "I don't work at Microsoft."
Batelle: "Come on!"
Schmidt: "Microsoft does have a collection of Web-based products. But for people who need presentation apps on the Web, they're going to use this. This is a testament to the strength of Web 2.0."
Schmidt then went on to talk about the DoubleClick acquisition, previously reported about on News.com.
One of the companies showcasing its wares at the Web 2.0 Expo is LuckyOliver, a stock photography service that sells user-submitted digital photographs for use on Web sites and printed materials. The service has a kitschy carnival/circus theme, right down to calling its users 'carnies.'
LuckyOliver employs several Web 2.0ish technologies to categorize photos, including tags, a cloud of similar or related images, and a prestige system for heavy users of the site. Esteemed photographers also get special badges. Other users can comment on their work, and browse through their portfolio.
As a photographer, submitting photos to … Read more
VBuzzer looks and feels like a basic instant messenger download, but it packs a whole lot more. It has your standard text chat and buddy lists, but also combines a Skype-like phone service, news feeds directly into the IM window, and the ability to send and receive faxes. VBuzzer is free to download.
While President and CEO Mike Mu says his target demographic is consumers--apparently not just young ones--and small businesses, it seems as though it might be tough to drag users away from established IM services, like AIM, Yahoo IM or MSN Messenger. He says his company is in … Read more
Three new products were demo'd today at the Web 2.0 Expo, rounding out the big product launches at this conference. (Yesterday's news came from Spock [review], InPowr, and Webex.) Today the pitches came from the following companies.
Swivel makes a great data exploration service. See previous coverage on Webware and ZDNet.
No new product news from Swivel, but the company is announcing that the OECD is an official partner to the company now. Swivel is a killer demo. If you like playing with data, this is definitely worth trying out.
Vidoop has a new system that replaces … Read more
Still barely three months old, Fatdoor can probably be forgiven for delaying its promised Web 2.0 Expo launch. Originally scheduled for an April 15 rollout, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company says it will make its public debut on May 1 instead.
But Fatdoor had no qualms about setting up a booth in the Expo hall and answering--or not answering, as the case may be--questions about the social network and mapping service still in stealth mode.
Fatdoor CTO Chandu Thota, whose background is in mapping, claims the service is more Web 3.0 than 2.0, as in human … Read more
Tellme Networks, which Microsoft is acquiring, today is scheduled to launch a free service that allows people to get directory listings on their phone by voice or text message. The service is designed to enable Tellme users to call 1-800-555-TELL (8355) and say "business search" to get a business listing or to search for a category like "cafes."
People can also send a text message to TELLM (83556) with a request such as "Starbucks San Francisco" and get a text message back with listings and map links. Tellme also offers a software download for … Read more
One of the companies presenting at the Web 2.0 Expo Launchpad sessions on Tuesday is the very strange security company, Vidoop. This firm makes a system that replaces passwords with pictures. It's quite ingenious, and much more secure than standard, hackable, or keyboard-loggable passwords.
When you want to sign on to a Vidoop-protected site, you're shown a grid of pictures, each of which has a letter stamped on top of it. Your job is to select the pictures in the categories that you've selected as your password. For example, if you've selected car, boat, plane … Read more
[Note: This post has been updated with a video taken from today's keynote from the Web 2.0 Expo, to see it click the 'read more' link at the bottom of the post]
Today Adobe announced their new Media Player, a multi-platform, online-enabled application that runs on Adobe's Apollo framework. Along with a full featured desktop media player for Flash files, Adobe plans on including a themed online music store like Microsoft's XBOX Live Marketplace where people can purchase music and movies.
Adobe Media Player will join the bevy of online music and media stores like iTunes, Napster, Urge, Rhapsody and others. Like the competition, Adobe is using DRM, both for downloads and streaming media to secure purchased content.
There's no word when the service will be available, but expect details and partnerships to emerge as Apollo develops.
From their keynote presentation today, we also got a sneak peak of Buzznote, a collaborative word processor that runs off the Apollo framework.