Archived entries for Cool

CNET Announces closed-captioning

Earlier this week CNET began providing closed-captioning for the online video offerings. This is great for web accessibility, and needed with the rise of web video. As far as I know they’re the first large outfit to provide captioning. It’s about time, the need to “provide a text equivalent for every non-text element” is Section 1.1 of the W3C’sWCAG 1.0 specs (published in May of 1999) and retains that prominence in WCAG 2.0 (which issued its second Last Call Working Draft on 11 December 2007).

The day will come when all online video is captioned, and I’m proud of good ol’ CNET for leading the pack.

Carbon Neutral Purple

I know there’s a bit of a backlash against Green because its so trendy lately, but I can easily put that aside and be happy that things are changing. That takes on special meaning today because I just saw that Yahoo! is quickly following promises with real action, and making what seem to be excellent, well-researched green choices.

When Yahoo! committed to going carbon neutral in April, we knew it would be a global initiative. … After much due diligence, Yahoo! has decided to offset its 250 thousand metric ton carbon footprint from 2006 through hydropower in rural Brazil and wind turbines in India. We’ve partnered with EcoSecurities and CantorCO2e, who helped us source, vet, and execute these projects.

(Some are still skeptical about carbon offsets, but I see any step as a great early step.)

Moved. (Not doing that again for a while.)

Two months ago I bought a flat in San Francisco with Aimee. Very exciting – my/our first home. We closed back in February but didn’t move in until yesterday because it came with a tenant. Anyways, he moved out on Saturday night and Aimee and I moved in Sunday at 9am.

Movers just left. Home alone in new place for first time.

Last night was our first night in the new place. I love it.

We’ve done a pretty good job unpacking already, but that barely matters because I love the place. The building is a bit over 100 years old – very solid and stable and classic. Three-story SF flat. Between Guerrero and Dolores on 23rd Street.

I’ll fill you in on more details later, but for now that’s the news and part of my excuse for not writing here with any consistency as of late.

It’s Finally Here: Wireless Electricity

I’ve been dreaming about a future where wireless devices were free from their last tether — the power cord/charger — and it seems the day is finally here!

For years, electricity experts said this kind of thing couldn’t be done. “If you had asked me seven months ago if this was possible, I would have said, ‘Are you dreaming? Have you been smoking something?’” says Govi Rao, vice president and general manager of solid-state lighting at Philips. “But to see it work is just amazing. It could revolutionize what we know about power.”

The range is about three feet, with radio waves being converted to DC current by a small receiver embedded in the device. Price point seems to be about five bucks, which means it’s viable everywhere. The idea of having your ipod, camera, and phone charge while you’re sitting at your desk — with them still in your pocket — is pretty cool. A wireless mouse that never needs to dock is attractive too. It’s low-power stuff for now — including pacemakers — but as with all technology i’m sure it will improve and expand.

Here’s the article Death of the cell phone charger from Business 2.0 magazine.

Reduce Junk Mail and Plant a Tree

This new-to-me service, Green Dimes, will drastically reduce the amount of junk [snail] mail your receive by diligently and comprehensively removing your name and address from lists large and small that are bought and sold by and to marketers. They automate much of the process, and when a signature is required send you a self-addressed stamped postcard to sign and send. They have a staff of 20 working full time to discover new lists to remove your from, while as the same time providing tools to ensure you still get catalogs and charity mail you desire.

By getting less mail you save some of the 100,000,000 trees consumed by the direct mail industry. Better yet, Green Dimes will plant trees each month in your name, helping to repair a bit of the damage already done.

Pretty good value proposition for only $4/month. Sign yourself up or send a gift membership to family and friends.


Onion News Network Coming April 2007

Here’s the trailer:

I can’t wait!

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