Amazing Danger Mouse, Jack White, Norah Jones HTML5 Experience

If a web page calls itself an “experience” and requires Chrome Canary, the “cutting-edge experimental version of Google Chrome,” it’s gotta be awesome…RIGHT?! Check out the behind-the-scenes video below, download Canary, and check out the experiment.

“3 Dreams of Black” is Chris Milk’s new interactive film, created in WebGL with Google for Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi’s ROME, featuring Jack White & Norah Jones. The project is a Chrome Experiment which pushes the boundaries of HTML5 and showcases the potential of video on on modern browsers. Watch the “Creation Of” video:

via hypebot.

Google’s Movie Rentals for Android Blocked for Rooted Devices

That fancy new movie rental section on the Android Market? You can’t use it if you have rooted your device. Kinda sucks and I can understand why many rooters would be upset, but I think Android Central goes a bit overboard here:

So now people who root their phones, whether to get rid of the crap “open” that’s forced down their throats, or to have a current version of Android, are punished and lumped in with folks who steal movies. Nice move, Google. That makes me want to buy more of your products and use more of your services, so I can be treated like a criminal just because I’m smart enough to get rid of CityID, or want a safe version of Android on my phone.

There is one important point we have to remember here: Google did not create these movies. In order for Google to distribute them, they need permission from the movie industry. We’ve already learned from the Netflix launch on Android that this industry forces those distributing their content to be very careful. This is one of the reasons Netflix isn’t available on all handsets yet.

Let’s also take a peak at the new Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player services. Both operate as simple cloud storage lockers which just so happen to be geared towards playing music. Without the music industry behind it, you are forced to simply upload all your junk instead of having these services recognize and match your library as Lala has done in the past. More than likely, Apple’s cloud-based music service will have this ability. Remember? Apple bought Lala and later shut it down.

Let’s not go blaming Google and try to realize that, without these restrictions, there probably wouldn’t be any movies at all for any Androids.

Are Google And Amazon’s Cloud Music Services Dead in the Water?

 

Google Music

 

As you may have noticed, Amazon and Google have both launched cloud music services. These work as storage lockers, where you can upload music from your computer and play that music, streamed directly from the cloud, to just about any computer or mobile device.

iTunes Dominates

Apple’s iTunes, the king when it comes to buying music online, has been rumored to be launching a similar service. The main difference being that Apple will launch with support from record labels while Amazon and Google are going it alone.

Why is this important?

It all comes down to how you get started on these services. With Amazon and Google, you have to upload all of your music to the cloud. As I can personally attest, this takes for-freaking-ever even for a modest amount of music.

It’s hard to overstate how critical this is. Right now, Amazon makes you upload your own library for any song you haven’t purchased from them since their service launched those you purchase from them can automatically be added to your locker. Google doesn’t even have a music purchase option at all yet, so you have to upload music.

As Jason and I talked about on OMG/JK this week, that means hours or days of uploading — that’s what he had to go through. How many people are realistically going to do that? Not a lot.

via TechCrunch

Look Mom! No Uploading!

You see, Apple could get around the uploading by scanning your music library and simply unlocking those tracks for you in their online library. You won’t have to upload, but you’ll still have access to your music in the cloud. This is exactly what LaLa used to do.

Why This is Dangerous

We have to remember that the gate keepers are gone. The music industry is desperately trying to hold onto a revenue model that consumers and artists are just not feeling anymore. They tried to lock us down with DRM, which failed miserably, so how else could they possibly limit our music?

Oh! I know. Get direct access to all the music on your local drive. Scan it and compare it with watermarks (yes, they can do that), hashes, or whatever from “official” services like iTunes and Amazon. Maybe they even compare your library to an extensive library of pirated music they snagged from torrents.

Bottom line for me is that I don’t think I want a cloud music service that has anything to do with the record labels. A dying beast is always the most dangerous. Of course, I’ve never bought anything from iTunes anyway and never plan to start.

Back to the Technical Side

You only have to upload your music once. After that, uploading an album here and there isn’t going to be a big deal. With Amazon, you don’t even have to upload anything because they’ll automatically dump your purchases into your cloud storage. Purchases made in their store don’t count against your storage limit.

What Do You Think?

I’m not down for an industry-backed cloud player, but what about you? Why? Which company will you roll with?

How I Accidentally Upgraded to Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread

 

It was just another day in the office, I was sipping my coffee, going through emails, and trying to get re-acquainted with Feedly in between taking tech support calls from clients. Eventually, I stumbled across a post from MobileLuv talking about the latest CyanogenMod 7 RC2.

I knew I would probably want to install that, but I got to thinking about my original rooting experience. My Evo had been running Myn’s Warm TwoPointTwo for a little while after I’d used this handy-dandy Rooting for Dummies thread a few of my awesome Twitter friends sent me (sorry, don’t remember who it was, but big-ups). I won’t say it was a harrowing experience, but I was definitely on edge with my baby on the operating table (if you don’t think of your phone as a close friend, relative, or partner…you have the wrong device).

So, anyways, you’ll have to remember that I’m doing a million things at once. I’m not really reading as much as scanning and my eyes fell on the phrase “ROM Manager.” I’m thinking, “Oh yeah, I have that. Let me fire that puppy up and see what it do.” ROM Manager came as a package deal when I rooted my phone and I’m glad it did. I went in and first tried to Check for ROM Updates, at which point I was reminded that I hadn’t paid to be a premium user.

Mind you, I have no idea what I’m doing at this point. Just randomly hitting buttons. Download ROM looked like a winner, so I hit and, CHA-CHING, there goes CyanogenMod right at the top. Tapped that and found the link to the RC2 ROM I’d just read about.

Now, here is where things get a little fuzzy because I think I was trying to walk someone through something on the phone while composing a blog post and playing Lord of Ultima. I know I hit the button to download, and I think it said something like “Prepare for Flashing.” I obviously switched into 12 o’clock flasher mode and just kept hitting buttons.

The next thing I know, my phone has rebooted into Recovery mode. I’m busy with a client at this point, so all I saw were green progress bars when I glanced over. I tried to pay attention to what the client was saying, but the sinking feeling in my stomach was a bit distracting.

A short time later, my Evo rebooted again and spent an excruciatingly long time on the “htc Evo” boot logo. I thought it was a wrap, but I eventually saw the CyanogenMod animation spinning on my display. I breathed a sigh of relief and started to get excited about what gems I’d find in Gingerbread. I was not disappointed at all. It was like I had a brand-new phone, which may be a story for another day.

Your Article Marketing Strategy is Crap

Google has recently made some changes in how it ranks sites viewed as content farms. These are basically sites that publish crap content to target keywords for the sake of attracting eyeballs for ad revenue. Actually, they don’t create the content. You do. That’s why your article marketing strategy is crap.

Here is what it probably looks like:

  • Write a “quality” piece of content about your niche
  • Post it on every available site that will let you, possibly with minor changes
  • Include a link to some kind of landing page with each posting
  • Profit!

The key problem here lies in duplicating your content. Sure, you just got a crap ton of backlinks to whatever you’re promoting, but it’s no benefit to a user searching for a solution to see your article 17 times in the search results.

The solution? Kill all the sites hosting your duplicate content. From ezinearticles and Associated Content to Examiner.com and Hubpages, just about any place you’d think to use has received a mighty slap from the #1 search engine.

So, what should you do now? Stop trying to game the system. Don’t be a one-hitter quitter. Create a home on the web and post your content there. Look for organic ways to grow your presence like social media, guest posts, and just being awesome in your own right.

You should be building your brand as a leader and authority in your niche, not spinning your wheels trying to get a few backlinks.

via SearchEngine Land

Eric Schmidt No Longer Google CEO. Page Steps Up.

In a Tweet former Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced a management shake-up at the search giant:

“Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!” Schmidt wrote on his Twitter account moments after Google dropped the bombshell that upstaged its fourth-quarter earnings. Schmidt, 55, will still be available to advise Page, 37, and Google’s other 37-year-old founder, Sergey Brin, as the company’s executive chairman. via msnbc

Don’t take it the wrong way. Schmidt seems to be referencing a decade-old interview on Charlie Rose’s PBS show where Page and Brin explain why Schmidt needed to step into the CEO role in the first place.

“Parental supervision, to be honest,” says Brin.

Rose laughs hard, and asks Page, “Do you agree with that – you guys need adult supervision?”

Page: “I don’t know if I’d say need, but it’s really nice to have.”

Rose: “It’s beneficial.”

Page: “Yeah.”

via WSJ

Page actually served as Google CEO for three years before investors insisted a more mature leader was needed. Eric Schmidt had executive experience at Sun Microsystems Inc. and Novell Inc., but didn’t warm up to the task until he’d bonded with Page and Brin. They formed a triumvirate that has taken Google farther than any of them imagined. Now, Schmidt says, “Larry, in my clear opinion, is ready to lead.”

According to Schmidt, now is the time to change the management structure to make it more efficient. They have been equally involved to this point, but Schmidt feels this change will simplify their management structure and speed up decision making.

Schmidt seems to be taking more of a background role, moving into the role of Executive Chairman.

As Executive Chairman, I will focus wherever I can add the greatest value: externally, on the deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership that are increasingly important given Google’s global reach; and internally as an advisor to Larry and Sergey.

Most would agree that Eric Schmidt hasn’t been a CEO in the same sense of a Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg was named Person of the Year by Time and Jobs was named Person of the Year by Financial Times. It’s not that Schmidt has done a poor job (check the earnings report), but it’s possible they felt a clear leader was needed as things start to heat up. Schmidt even admits that “managing the business has become more complicated.”

via Google Blog

How to Connect Google Reader Shares to Facebook via Hootsuite

I have a Facebook Fan page, but I rarely post there because they make it so difficult to do so. There is no bookmarklet that facilitates this action. I’m sure there is some obscure Facebook application that might help with this, but I haven’t found it yet. My only recourse has been to actually visit the page and cut/paste a link. Very time consuming and inefficient if you’re working at the level I am when it comes to social media.

I came across a discussion on piping reader shares into Twitter using Reader2Twitter. This got me thinking about Hootsuite‘s RSS/Atom feature, which lets you pipe a feed through Hootsuite and out to the social networks you choose. Rather than have to deal with yet another 3rd party web application, why not just use an existing feature in an application I already use daily?

Adding Your Facebook Fan Page to Hootsuite

The first step is to connect your Facebook Fan Page to Hootsuite. I actually stumbled across this by accident in simply trying to get my GReader shares into Twitter. Note that once you have done this, you can easily post updates to your Fan Page from within Hootsuite on a per-update basis, making it simple to keep your page updated with fresh content for your fans.

  • Click Settings at the bottom of Hootsuite
  • Click the Social Networks tab and then Add Social Network  on the right
  • In the popup, choose Pages under Facebook to connect your page to Hootsuite

FanPageHoot

Adding Your Google Reader Shared Items Feed

Adding your Shared Items feed is simple. The hardest part is finding the actual feed link. I found my Shares page from my Google Profile (your Google Profile is here). It should be listed as one of your websites. You should see the actual feed link on the right side of that page, just copy it. Alternately, you can go into Google Reader, click Shared Items on the left, and then show details on the right. The feed URL should appear, right-click and copy it.

GFeedLink

GFeedLink2

 

Back in Hootsuite and under Settings choose the RSS/Atom tab and Add New Feed. Paste your shared items feed URL into the first text box and decide how often you want the feed checked and how many tweets you want Hootsuite to send out each time. Be conservative here. If you send any more than a couple of tweets out at a time, you will look like a spammer or a n00b. Make sure you choose which accounts you want updates from this feed sent to at the bottom. Check the screenshot below to see how I have mine setup.

HootsuiteRSS

If you need any further assistance or clarification, please comment here. I would appreciate your feedback and would be happy to help. Also, if you have a better or alternate way of doing this, I’d love to hear it.

Google Buzz, PleaseRobMe, and Privacy Scare Tactics

Buzz

With Google Buzz recently launching inside of your Gmail, many people immediately became concerned about their privacy. The primary reason being that there was a social component inside their email inbox, a place normally reserved for private discussion.

The other concern that arose was the way Google built your network. Most social networks are built, brick-by-brick, by the user. This is a huge pain to repeat every time you join something new. What Google did was use the wealth of information it already has on your to build your network for you and get you started. What they also did was make this new friend’s list visible to the public on your Google Profile page, just like any other social network.

Buzz also has location sharing available, which is a whole other can of worms when it comes to privacy concerns. Which brings us to the website PleaseRobMe.com. It’s a website that monitors location-based checkins and lets the world know when you are not home. Does that scare you?

Regardless of the various arguments, anecdotes, and opinions that can be expressed by these privacy “issues,” there is one thread that remains constant and true:

These so-called privacy concerns are just scare tactics to boost traffic

Think about this logically for a moment. Do your contacts on any social network immediately imply any connection between you and another individual besides the fact that you interact with them on that social network? If my Buzz contacts include Robert Scoble, Louis Gray, P. Diddy, and Barrack Obama, does that mean anything? The answer to both of these questions is Absolutely Not. In order to be afraid (and yes, it is only fear that motivates privacy concerns) of my contacts being made public, I have to make the assumption that someone besides me can make sense of that data. My contacts alone mean nothing to an outside observer.

PleaseRobMe

The same goes for PleaseRobMe. I check in at the grocery store. Suddenly, the world knows I’m not at home. Oh no! Now I’m gonna get robbed because I’m not home. Nevermind the fact that I have a family, a security system, several dogs, a platoon of security ninjas, and nosy neighbors. Regardless of whether the world knows I’m home or not, a potential robber still has to go through the same procedure of casing the house and whatnot before they can actually rob me successfully. Again, in order to be worried about this data being public, I have to make assumptions.

I do not mean to imply that location sharing has never led to a robbery. I also don’t mean to imply that having a public contact list has ever resulted in some other type of misfortune, but these are edge cases. These situations are not the norm. Also, people were being robbed way before location sharing existed.

So, before you go getting excited about the latest privacy scare as it relates to technology, take a moment and think about it. Is it a legit privacy concern, or is it just something being drummed up by the media or the blogosphere to boost their traffic?

h/t Hutch Carpenter

Get Bookmarklets in Chrome Applications with Shortcut Manager

I accidentally stumbled across  this in looking at the Quix bookmarklet. I’m a heavy bookmarklet user, especially after switching to Google Chrome. One of the bookmarklets I use the most is for the PassPack password manager. This allows me to login to any website with a single click.

The problem is that, if I’m using an application shortcut or pop-up window, I can’t access my Passpack bookmarklet or any of my bookmarks. Then, I came across the Shortcut Manager Chrome extension. It allows you to assign a shortcut key to a block of javascript code. So, I can assign a key sequence that executes any of my bookmarklets. The steps are simple:

  1. Install the Shortcut Manager extension
  2. Right-click the Shortcut Manager icon and open the Options
  3. In the Shortcut Key box, press the keys you’d like to assign (I chose Ctrl+Shift+l)
  4. Choose the Execute Javascript option below
  5. Paste the javascript code for your Passpack bookmarklet into the text box
  6. Add a description

Now, you can hit Ctrl+Shift+l to run your Passpack bookmarklet inside of any Chrome window. This works in App shortcuts as well as in any popup windows (which I encounter with Posterous all the time). If you’re looking for a geekier solution, check out my Bookmarklet Key Bindings AHK script.


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What Do You Do When You Need iPod Repair?

4 GB blue iPod nano
Image via Wikipedia

It makes you happy. It makes you sad. It makes you reminisce. It gives you motivation. It reminds you of family and friends. It’s a huge part of your life and who you are, so what do you do when it goes away? What do you do when that piece of you dies? What happens when your iPod breaks?

Don’t act surprised, you know your iPod means the world to you. Whether it’s an iPod Nano, iPod Touch, or whatever random adjective or verb they’re throwing on the end of it this week, you need to know how to handle ipod repair. Now, I went to the apple website to inquire about how to handle this and the process seems kinda complicated. I’m also pretty sure that Apple would probably charge an arm and a leg for ipod repair, since they don’t really seem to be interested in making things all that affordable in the first place.

So, me being the do-it-yourself tech expert, I just went ahead and Google’d “ipod repair” and found a few different sites that help you fix your iPod. You can order a little kit that will help you fix it yourself, or you can simply mail your ipod in and have it repaired for you. Most sites say they fix it within a day and mail it right back. I also read that most problems with the ipod can be corrected simply by replacing the battery. Whatever the case may be, review your options before you spend too much money.

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Quick Diigo Bookmarking for Chrome

After reading an article about accelerating bookmarking to Delicious in Chrome, I got the idea to do something similar for Diigo. I like Diigo a lot better and it actually bookmarks to Delicious for me as a backup. To use this script:

  1. Download and install AutoHotKey
  2. Download the script here: ChromeToDiigo.ahk
  3. Run the script just like any other application

Now, when you want to bookmark a page to Diigo:

  1. Select the text you want as the description (or not)
  2. Hit Ctrl+Shift+D or Ctrl+Shift+B 
  3. Add tags and any modifications you see fit
  4. Click the “Add New Bookmark” button

Notes

This script overrides Ctrl+Shift+D and Ctrl+Shift+B, so you cannot use this at the same time as the above-mentioned Delicious bookmarking script. There is not a reason to run both at the same time, anyway as Diigo will send your bookmarks to Delicious for you.

However, you can always edit the script code to change the key sequences.

Get Your Blog Google-Ranked In 30 Days or Less?

WebProNews has an interesting article about getting your blog ranked. They tell you to forget about PageRank. Hey….I’m down with that.

“Blogs have been around long enough to become standard elements of the web landscape. They’re easy to construct and manage, they create fresh, user-generated content and, if well-executed, blogs draw crowds and the attention of search engines.

Whether starting out with a new domain name, or a domain that’s been around for a decade, you can rank your blog on Google if you just do what Google wants you to do. So here are 25/50 tips to get your blog ranked by the world’s biggest SE.”

Read the full article here.