Make Any Text Area Speech-Input Friendly (Chrome)

Make Any Text Area Speech-Input Friendly (Chrome)

Want to draft emails, blog comments and other little bits of writing online by speaking to your computer? I’m certainly intrigued by the idea and a newly posted userscript makes it easy to do for Google Chrome users. Userscripts are wonderful little bits of code that developers write to bring new functionality or interface elements into any…

When Gmail Plug-ins Compete, Users Win: Rapportive Ups the Ante

When Gmail Plug-ins Compete, Users Win: Rapportive Ups the Ante

Late last month Google launched a Gmail plug-in that looked an awful lot like popular startup service Rapportive’s sidebar CRM app – but with additional functionality from Google services like Calendar. What’s a little startup to do? Rapportive’s plan is apparently to move faster and adds more on top of what Google can do. That makes a must-have…

Rome2Rio: Travel Directions by Plane, Train & Automobile

Rome2Rio: Travel Directions by Plane, Train & Automobile

A quick little experiment for you if you haven’t tried this before: Go to Google Maps and ask it for directions from San Francisco, CA to Beijing, China. Now, you wouldn’t imagine any other way than to hop on a plane, right? Instead, Google figures you’d like to drive, takes you to the beach and then, somewhere around step 32, advises you to make…

RootsTech Challenges Developers to Mashup Family History

RootsTech Challenges Developers to Mashup Family History

The RootsTech conference has challenged developers to mashup social media and family history APIs in the hopes that developers will recognize genealogy as rich area for exploitation.

Here’s the challenge: use any open social media API, like from Flickr or Facebook, mash it up with any of the APIs from the five genealogy companies that offer…

BarBird Makes Twitter More Fun on a Saturday Night

BarBird Makes Twitter More Fun on a Saturday Night

Next time I’m looking to hit the town, I’m going to fire up the just-released BarBird iPhone app – a smart little interface that lets you map, view and filter Twitter updates from nearly 10,000 bars and restaurants in 50 cities around the world.

Twitter is a remarkably easy way for small business owners to use SMS or Facebook to publish their…

Lost Your Phone? Try ICantFindMyPhone.com

Lost Your Phone? Try ICantFindMyPhone.com

ICantFindMyPhone.com is an adorable little website made by New York graphic designer Dave Dawson (whose personal site, IAmDaveDawson.com, implies that he has a habit of personal declaration URLs). The site simply calls your phone, so you can find it.

The site was highlighted by design blogger Tina Roth Eisenberg today and in comments there…

Where Are Books Banned in the US? (Google Map)

Where Are Books Banned in the US? (Google Map)

It was National Banned Books Week here in the United States earlier this month and the organizations behind it put together a Google Map of bans and challenges to books around the country over the last three years. It’s worth a good look.

Banned Books Week has been running for 28 years now and is backed by some very reputable organizations, but…

Big Changes for Arduino’s Programmable Little Platform

Big Changes for Arduino’s Programmable Little Platform

Arduino, the programmable platform of sensors and corresponding device controls, will add ethernet connectivity and a web store of built products, the company announced this weekend.

Arduino is one of the best known companies enabling others to create what’s called the Internet of Things, network connected physical-world devices with web…

No Need to Keep a Light On When Your House Knows Where You Are

No Need to Keep a Light On When Your House Knows Where You Are

The phrase “Internet of Things” got to be an overused misnomer even before the technology had a chance to become common, but at least we’re on to everyday use cases: a developer has arranged for his thermostat to turn on when he’s home and switch off when he leaves.

Hans Scharler’s thermostat keeps dibs on his location, the outside temperature…

MisoTrendy Helps Find Hot Spots With Foursquare

MisoTrendy Helps Find Hot Spots With Foursquare

Say you’re sitting at a bar in Brooklyn but you’re thinking about what’s happening tonight in Greenwich Village. You look at Foursquare to see if any friends are checked-in anywhere interesting, but come up empty handed and the trending topics only show the hot spots around you. Looks like you’re out of luck.

A new mobile website, called…

Miio: If Twitter were FriendFeed, Facebook and an RSS Reader. Wait, What?

Miio: If Twitter were FriendFeed, Facebook and an RSS Reader. Wait, What?

Miio is a new microblogging service which is a bit like a mashup between Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook and an RSS reader. Now typically, we don’t like describing services as a “it’s like a this plus a that,” but Miio is precisely the kind of service that needs a little help in the “what this is” department.

Don’t get us wrong, the concept…

Mash Letter to the Past

Mash Letter to the Past

It is intriguing indeed to witness the Technology of the Future giving us a window on the past. We’ve discovered new ancestors, both biologically and culturally, using lidar, GPS and online mapping. Those discoveries, however, have been made by professionals. Most of us want to interact with history not to make large scale discoveries that change…

One Loo or Two? Google Maps Adds Properties in U.K.

One Loo or Two? Google Maps Adds Properties in U.K.

Google is determined, one way or another, to convince the Brits that its Maps and Street View are worth more than simply violating their privacy. Today, the ever-cataloging and image-capturing company has added a new feature to its U.K. version of Google Maps – “properties” listings.

According to this morning’s announcement of the new feature…

7 Tools, Apps and Mashups that Use Facebook’s New Features

7 Tools, Apps and Mashups that Use Facebook’s New Features

The tech world is still reeling from the impact of Facebook’s radical changes, announced last week a the F8 developer’s conference, and their implications for privacy, the open Web and the future of social networking. However, these newly introduced features, such as the “like” button for websites, social plugins and Facebook’s Open Graph API, have…

Maponics Releases “Ultra-Local” Data Internationally

Maponics Releases “Ultra-Local” Data Internationally

The neighborhood boundary data provider used by Google, Twitter, EveryBlock, CitySearch and other companies has expanded to include top cities in South America, Middle East, Africa and Asia. Norwich, Vermont based Maponics says it now also offers deeper coverage for leading US and Canadian markets, with new neighborhoods in 100 cities…