Wish List for a New Tablet Like Device

The industry is buzzing about a tablet like device Apple may introduce. So I thought a bit about what I need from a tablet. One note of warning. My tastes are a bit geeky. That is reflected a lot in this list. If you are an author or musician, you may want an entirely different set of capabilities. I am assuming that it will have all the functionality of current laptops but may have a smaller size (a paper back), higher battery life and an extremely good display and a pen like device.

Essential

  1. I am assuming that it will be a general purpose device and hoping it to be the next laptop and do many things my current laptop based tablets don’t do well.
  2. A Reader – Any content (books, magazines, news papers, blogs, tweets) in any of the popular formats
  3. A Sketching Tool – I doodle a lot. I draw mind maps, simple sketches, flow diagrams in free hand. These are my thinking tools. So an easy to use, simple sketching tool would be an ideal companion.
  4. Annotator – When I read, I also markup and make notes. A tool for annotating would be compelling. Ideally if there is annotation framework for plugging in any annotation tool and support popular annotation protocols it may be even better.
  5. Mark And Invoke – A framework for launching applications that take a piece of marked text and invoke a mini-app will be great. Why? This is what I do when I read serious stuff. I jot down quotes, I mark items for future research, I Google a few, I check the dictionary/thesaurus and some times Tweet. Since I do not know what I may do in future, I would rather have a framework for plugging these mini-apps than bolted in functionality.
  6. A simple scripting tool. The device may replace my laptop. So some simple scripting capability to pull together applications may help me do my own.
  7. Ability to add my own apps to my device and give a few to my friends. I should have the freedom to write and add my own apps like I do on my laptop now, in a language I choose (currently Python).
  8. A good presentation tool – I am slowly shifting to handwritten sketch based presentations instead of the powerpoint style sanitized ones. So I am ok with drawing a few sketches, some notes and linking them up as a presentation. Would love simple wiki style hyper-linking across pictures, videos, sketches, images.
  9. A web synchronized wiki tool – Most of my learn logs, daily logs and idea logs all reside in desktop wiki. I would love to have one that automatically synchronizes between my desktop and my server (hosted) account.
  10. I don’t need this now but having some external plugins for various devices like webcams, sensors would be great 

Some Random Thoughts (Just thinking aloud):

  1. Cell phones brought in single finger typing. The current generations seem reasonably comfortable sending text messages using these tiny keyboards at the speed of light. Blackberry and other copycats ushered in thumb typing. Will the new tablets bring in a different typing model (optional). Holding it with one hand and typing with the other. Will they become palm holds?
  2. With location based everything, the new device has to have GPS. That may make it a great navigation tool, some thing that replaces my current automobile driving assistant, as well. Why should assitance stop with driving? Why can’t it be extended to visual/audio instructions when I am walking around?
  3. A paper back would be an awkward thing to carry around. What new types of pockets or jackets will emerge to fashionably carry this device (I am not looking at wearing the conventional jackets).
  4. Just like email, Facebook and Twitter made every one write more, will this new device make people sketch more? Think More?

Eager to see what Apple will bring out. Even if it does not do all the items on my list, Apple is capable of starting a new revolution in computing devices and some of the competitors may jump in and do some of these, hopefully. If not, please give us a cool device with all the device drivers and an app framework. We the geeks, will take care of the rest.

Posted via web from Dorai’s Tech Log

Information About Information

I was jotting down ideas on the various aspects of Information that a business has to deal with. Not all of them are relevant to all businesses. However, as I was thinking about Information,  I was amazed by the number of attributes and activities related to information. Here is a list.

  1. Gathering – Identifying the Right Sources
  2. Finding – Search and Other tools
  3. Aggregating
  4. Validating – Verifying the authenticity and sources
  5. Deduplicating – Enormous overload occurs due to slightly modified versions of Information occurring over a period of time
  6. Normalizing – Reducing it to some kind of canonical form (who are the players, what is happenings etc.)
  7. Filtering – The essential tool to manage the overload and separate signal from noise. But the noise of one person may be the signal for another. So can we customize, individualize filters? What do we do with sediments left behind the filtering process?
  8. Detecting patterns – occurrence patterns and source bias patterns and other cause-effect patterns
  9. Classification  – Topic Aggregation, Topic Similarity, Topic Hierarchy
  10. Relating  – independent, interdependent, co-occurrence and correlations
  11. Analysis – contextual analysis, source context, use context, bias, analysis of language, overtones/undertones,
  12. Synthesis – Making sense of different pieces of information
  13. identifying Propagation Patterns – How does it propagate? What is the correlation of information paths to styles of information
  14. Insights – Detecting trends, velocity and currency
  15. Intelligence – Deriving actionable intelligence, mining, extracting facts, extracting entities, why/what/how/when/where analysis
  16. Layering  – how each layer maps to the organization’s layers?
  17. Flow – An analysis of flow of information. Tracing information between people, teams, departments, up and down the organization. Also flows between an organization, its partners and customers.
  18. Structuring  –  How do we link these different pieces – Unstructured, semi-structured and structured?
  19. identifying barriers to use – stovepipes/silos, lost information
  20. Supplementing/Augmenting Information – with annotations and collaborative editing
  21. Visualizing – Different levels and types of visualization
  22. Alerts and Notifications  – Smart alerts/notifications based on analysis and detection of patterns and occurrence of events based on rules. Needed for both internal and external information.
  23. Synchronizing – Updating internal information based on changes taking place external to the organization.

This is just a partial list. As the information increases dramatically, we need to think about these various aspects of Information and how we can leverage it to help an organization. What is your IIQ (Information Intelligence Quotient)?

Update June 2012

The team at Next Wave Multimedia were kind enough to create a presentation from this post.  Do you want to create your own fun presentations? You can try ComicsHead, an iPad app.

Our First Twitter App – CheckPage

We launched  our first Twitter app – CheckPage. It is currently in Beta.  Hopefully this will be the beginning of several nifty tools for finding, tracking, filtering, extracting and sharing Information.

CheckPage is a Twitter based tool for tracking a web page, detecting changes and sending you a notification through. It can be used for tracking:

  1. Your partners/customers
  2. Your competitor’s
  3. Government sites fo

To track a page, say Hacker News, all you do is to Tweet:

@checkpage start http://news.ycombinator.com/

Checkpage will track this page every day and send you a notification when something changes on the page. The notification will come in the form of a reply Tweet and will contain a pointer to a changed page (in addition to the original page). When you go to the changed page, you will notice that all the new content is highlighted.

Give it a try. If you need to see other commands, they are described in this help page.  Send us suggestions, either as comments to this post or by email (specified in the help page). We have a lot of features planned, but we want to hear what you think first.

Harvard and Foursquare – An Innovative Use of Social Tool

It is nice to see this initiative from Harvard to embrace Foursquare, a social tool:

“Harvard is more than classrooms and buildings. It is an interconnected community of people, ideas, and experiences, and we are actively pursuing ways to enhance those connections,” said Perry Hewitt, director of digital communications and communications services for Harvard Public Affairs and Communications. “We believe that Harvard’s participation will allow our community to engage with friends, professors, and colleagues in new ways. We also hope visitors and neighbors will benefit from the platform as it grows through use.”

“Universities are places of such incredible talent and energy,” said Dennis Crowley, foursquare’s co-founder. “And that is why we’re excited about Harvard’s participation and the potential for foursquare to bring people together.”

I hope this serves as inspiration to many other educational institutions to explore interesting ways of engaging students.

Posted via email from Dorai’s Tech Log

Conference on Information Credibility

Just a few days ago, I was asking my Twitter friends about the challenges they face with managing information. One of the problems that came up was about the credibility of information. As we depend more and more on information distributed over the web, authenticity and credibility become more and more important.I was glad to find that there is an entire conferencedevoted to topics on Information Credibility.

  • Information credibility evaluation and its applications
  • Web content analysis for credibility evaluation
  • Author’s intent detection
  • Content quality and credibility in Web archiving
  • Credibility of Web search results
  • Search models for trustworthy content on the Web
  • Conflicting opinion detection
  • News credibility
  • Multimedia content credibility
  • Credibility evaluation of user-generated content (ex. Wikipedia, Q&A)
  • Information credibility evaluation in social networks
  • Analysis of information dissemination on the Web
  • Spatial and temporal aspects in information credibility on the Web
  • Information credibility theory and fundamentals
  • Estimation of information age, provenance and validity
  • Estimation of author fs and publisher fs reputation
  • Sociological and psychological aspects of information credibility estimation
  • Users study for information credibility evaluation
  • Persuasive technologies
  • Information credibility in online advertising
  • Web spam detection
  • Data consistency and provenance
  • Processing uncertain data and information
  • Modeling trust on the Web
  • Credible interaction on the Web
  • Credibility and trust in e-commerce

LinkLog: Home Video Conference

From Cisco Announces Video Conference for Home

The gradual emergence of Internet-enabled TVs, wider broadband availability and multimedia PCs has corporate tongues wagging. An estimated 45 million TVs will be Net-enabled by 2014, says ABI Research. By 2010, there will be 32 million U.S. households with the necessary broadband connection to support a high-quality home telepresence communication experience, according to IDC.

This is exciting. Here are some uses I can see:

  1. Parents talking to their children away from home (we use skype now)
  2. Grand parents staying in touch with grand-children
  3. Tuition – one on one without the student needing to move around (has the additional benefit of locking up the TV). 
  4. Webcasting applications

Even though you can do many of these currently with an internet connection skype/oovoo etc., the convenience factor provided by TV to TV video conferencing are far superior.

Posted via email from Dorai’s Tech Log

Visualizing User Categories

This is how I did in a few steps:

1. Extracted the titles from the list of registered users’ profiles

2. Edited the titles to remove certain keywords (for example  Director, Manager, VP)

3. Copied the text and pasted it in Wordle tool using the Create option

4. Randomized the display till I found the one I am happy with

5. Used Snag it to capture the tag cloud and save it as an image

It is kind of cool. I plan to use it in the new version of iMorph website.  Here are a few more things I would have loved to have:

1. I had counts of titles (a weight) but there is no way to pass wordle the info

2. I would have liked each word to be a hyperlink (to the list of titles).

I am exploring a few more tag cloud generation tools and see whether we can mashup some data with the clouds.

Why I did this:

I was doing this as a marketing exercise to try and find “the ideal user”. When you build generic tools like InfoMinder, you tend to have a wide variety of users. But it is interesting to find these patterns from your user base which provides a sense of direction for product enhancements as well as new products. But most of all, it provides clues on who are your potential channel partners. Typically they are the same ones who sell to your users.

Posted via email from Dorai’s LinkLog

Internet of Things – Hydra Project

Internet of Things (IOT) is one of the emerging technology trends. Some indications of useful applications of IOT are given by the Hydra project team.

With Hydra, all manner of devices such as electricity meters, TV sets, refrigerators, stereos as well as heating and lighting systems, can be networked without having to know what goes on inside them.Existing devices can be adapted to work with Hydra. “We are delivering a device  development kit where you could integrate the middleware into the devices,” Eisenhauer says, “but you can make use of it with existing devices and Hydra-enable them as long as they have a certain computing power.”

Another major application is expected to be in healthcare, especially the monitoring of patients in their own homes. The partners have set up a demo using networked sensors measuring body weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and oxygen saturation. A muscle sensor gives warning of an epileptic fit.

“So we have different kinds of technologies – ZigBee, Bluetooth and others – all covered by our network manager within Hydra,” says Eisenhauer. “And then just to show that we can also use off-the-shelf devices we have used a Wii balance board as a weight scale and have connected it to our Playstation 3.”

This article describes many areas including Agriculture which can benefit from this initiative. Hydra opens up several possibilities, especially for innovative social applications, a ripe area for student projects. You can get more information on such exciting projects from ICT Results.

Posted via email from Dorai’s LinkLog