Google Streetview oddities

Street View Gallery > Top
If you haven’t looked at Google Streetview yet you likely at least have heard of it. Google is now using web cameras to display 360 degree views of streets and has them displayed for a number of major cities already. Yes it is likely coming to your home too soon.

But what happens when you cruise around with a camera capable of viewing all around as you go? You find nude sunbathers, accidents, folks entering porn shops who may not really want a picture on the web. But here it is, 500 curiosities from Streetview…

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Google Free 411

Google Launches Free 411 Service

When I was young directory assistance was free, a human, and very good. I used it a lot and maybe folks like me are why Ma Bell dumped it.

But there is a good reason to keep information flow free and apparently Google agrees with me. What they have done now is created a robotic voice 411 service for businesses and it is free, call 1-800-GOOG-411

I’ve only begun to try it but it looks like a keeper to me.

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Get out of Cell Phone contracts?

CellSwapper Solves A Very Annoying Problem

What an idea!

I *HATE* cell phone companies. The whole Reagan revolution meant the downfall of customer service and cell phones debut in the same period led the way in customer NO-service.

A major part of the NO-service was the inclusion of terrible contracts for long time periods with exorbitantly high cancellation fees. So along comes this site, CellSwapper, which tries to mate folks trying to leave a contract with others looking to get into one.

There are many reasons to change services, poor coverage, poor sound, etc. can mean you want to change but if you are stuck, this just may be the way to go.

Have a look. Here’s hoping you don’t find it necessary, but most likely… well, good luck.

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Yugma.com Beta

Yugma : Web conferencing, Online Meetings, Free Web Conferencing, Free Online Meetings, Web Conferencing on MAC, Online Meetings for MAC

I just came across this today and I am really thrilled!

I posted recently about Virtual Networking (VNC) and a one to one ability to operate a remote machine over the Internet with Crossloop.com but this is more for presentations or collaboration but would be great for support as well.

Installing it means downloading some Java and registering an e-mail address to identify you and that’s pretty much it. It requires a relatively new Windows or Mac operating system, I have not had success running it on my Ubuntu Linux machine I believe because it doesn’t use the most up to date Java but it could be something else.

Once running you get a chat window for communicating and a phone number listing if you want to conference call though it would be a long distance call for most folks.

The program seemed quite well made to me, it runs much as GoToMeeting.com does but without some of the bells and whistles they give for their $50/month service. Yugma.com is flat out *FREE* for up to 10 connections and just $10/month to go up to 20 users and added features of taking control of a remote computer and having hard disk storage online for folks. The free version does allow passing the presenter abilities around among those connected.

All in all this is a GREAT find and I hope their business goes far.

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Vyew.com Revisited

From my PC Users Group to the church meetings I attend I am always looking for good “cheap” meeting software so that folks can attend online as well as in person.

The best I have found is GoToMeeting.com but it’s not cheap and for non-profit groups it’s over the top.

Newer on the scene is Vyew.com 2.0 which, at least while it’s still beta is free.

To make use of all of its features requires a simple registration the visitors to your meetings are not required to join the site.

Unlike the GoToMeeting.com service Vyew is less involved with computer sharing, although it is now able to do so in a limited way, but it is great for collaborating on documents, file sharing, presentation design and the like.

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CrossLoop

CrossLoop – Simple Secure Screen SharingCrossloop

All I can say about this is… WOW!

For someone like myself who is a geek and is often asked to help others with computer use problems this *FREE* program lets others allow me access to their computer over any broadband connection.

I use UltraVNC and TightVNC which are the foundation of this program, but this simplifies it so it works past firewalls and does it quickly.

Consider this a five star rating from me after it’s first uses!

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Captioned Fractals

Blue Oyster Spiral Fractal Zoom – Google Video

This is an interesting demo of two nice items.

First this is from Google’s new “Captioned” videos they have available. I am listing this one because it is a relatively short show, but you can also see full programs and movies more than an hour long now at Google and hitting the “CC” button now lets you have closed captioning with it.

This show is a dive into a Fractal. If you aren’t a mathematician it may not sound like anything interesting but if you read up on what fractals are and how they were “discovered” this show is like a jump into infinity. Well worth the experience.

From the author:

No matter how deep you go, there’s always more. This movie took quite a few days to calculate.In 1993, when i first made a poster of the
image i call “blue oyster spiral,” which is a zoom at about the 100
Billion X magnification level inside the Mandelbrot Fractal, it took 34
computers 3 days to render it. today, the same poster can be rendered
on one typical PC in just a few hours.

Google Reader Upgrade

Google Reader (100+)

Today Google updated their page format of Google Reader. It now can look much more like Bloglines or Pluck in addition to its old style of display.

Personnaly I think this is a great improvement once again making Google the big bully on the web, M$ is falling backward again.

Consider this a top recommendation from me, I think Google really made something useful here!

How is your hearing?

Mosquito Ringtone and other ultrasonic ringtones only kids can hear!

I’d never thought of this!

The link above offers some high pitched sounds for you to listen and judge how high a pitch you can hear.

The story is that if you are under 20 you may still be able to hear tones over 17kHz but older folks can’t. I could hear the 12kHz but nothing higher.

So some folks got the idea to use these tones as teen repellent! Just by blasting them in areas teens hangout and adults don’t want them the teens tend to go away.

Kids, have now begun to use these tones as cell phone text message ring tones. That way when they get a text message the teachers can’t hear them receive their messages.

What next!