Archived entries for Gadgets

[Invites] Filangy – Your Personal Search Engine

Filangy is a personal search engine. There are a few startups and companies playing in this space right now, but Filangy is my early favorite. Other’s have written about it, including John Battelle’s Search Blog, Larry Borsato, and a thorough write-up on Rob’s Blog. (You can always check the latest murmurings by running a Technorati search.

Filangy is an intelligent search tool integrated with a search engine to make searching productive. We offer features that allow users to personalize their search experience. Two of the features that we have launched in our beta products are WebMarks and WebCache.

WebCache
This is a secure, web-enabled archive of all your visited webpages.
WebMarks
These are your portable favorites that are accessible from anywhere.

In other words, Filangy captures every page you visit (while it’s enabled — its’ easy to pause it if you’re feeling secretive), and also allows for instantaneous bookmarking while you’re on a page. When you use Filangy to search, you can limit it to either of these groups: pages you’ve been on before; pages you’ve bookmarked.

I’ve got a few extra invites. Leave a comment or send me an email if you’d like one of them. Please include a sentence or two on the root of your curiosity and why you’ll be a good recipient. (I just want to make sure that, like extra pets, they’re going to good homes.)

Like most of my favorite apps these days, the value of the services is only slowly revealed. The more you use it, the more help it’s able to provide. The more you use it, the more advanced features on the interface become visible… While it’s somewhat counter-intuitive to hide value initially, this wonder and dare-i-say glee of discovery pays huge dividends. Anyways, let me know what you think if you’ve been using it, and like I said, let me know if you need an invite.

Casual Gaming

At last week’s Mobile Monday, which I attended, Anita Wilhelm (aka MobileGirl) presented a mobile-based game her startup is working on:

Caterpillar Mobile’s current product is a cameraphone game called Zooke. Zooke allows its members to create challenges for all members or only members of an immediate social circle. You might be on a mission to find the best George Bush bumper sticker in Berkeley and have other game players rate your findings. It is a community-driven reality play experience that makes everyone’s day a little more exciting with minimal effort.

I liked the idea of casual gaming, the idea that you can have an experience in short segments while you’re going about your normal routine. I’m also interested that this represents a shift from highly time-intensive games. Well, she follows up that with a new post last week discussing Casual Gaming and thinking about an article of the same title by Tom Hume.

He captures the essence of an important shift from hard core gaming experiences to engaging play experiences perfectly! Allowing players to engage lightly in the experience throughout their daily lives is essential to creating something compelling and addictive to be used on a mobile device. Allowing players light weight games or frameworks that they can think about while on the move, but not have to interact with continually in the virtual world is essential. Giving them tools which allow them to explore and play at their will fits the affordances of the mobile device.

I remember the days of having hours and hours to play video games, but to be honest, it’s a pretty distant memory. It’s cool to see people working to bring games and playing back into the lives of otherwise distracted and busy peeps like me. It’s also fun to watch a new medium like Mobile develop.

Send driving direction to your phone on Yahoo

Send driving direction to your phone on Yahoo
Originally uploaded by natekoechley.

Following quickly on the SMS Clipping feature, Yahoo! Maps this week quietly launched a new feature that lets you quickly send driving directions to your mobile phone via SMS text message.

Brilliant. Give it a test drive.


RoomWizard – Networked, web-based signs for scheduling conference rooms

“RoomWizard is the first web-based series of signs for scheduling rooms and other shared spaces. Manage your shared meeting spaces from any network device or grab a room on the spot for impromptu meetings. “

As my friend Chanel said in her ping, “this is sooo damn cool: http://www.steelcase.com/na/products.aspx?f=12117“.

SMS Clipping with Yahoo! Local Search

Send search results to your phone from your desktop.

Yahoo! Local released a new search feature today, allowing you to quickly send clips of search results to you phone via a free SMS text message. You can do this directly from the search results page – no page reload necessary. It couldn’t be easier:

Here’s how:

From the front page of Yahoo!, click the “Local” tab to toggle the search box, and enter a local search. (Or use http://local.yahoo.com directly.) Search for anything you’d find in a yellow pages, or anything with an address. All your saved addressed from Y!Maps and other Y! sites should be available as locations to search around.

local-1

From the search results page (SRP), click “Send to Phone” to send the listing to your phone. It’s sent via SMS I think.

local-2

The Send interface is straight forward, and let’s you enter a phone number, or select a previously used or saved mobile number. (It seems to default to whatever number you’ve registered with http://mobile.yahoo.com, though that step isn’t necessary.)

local-3

From the standard SRP view, you can click “View Results on Map” to see them graphically displayed around your search location. (Viewing results on a map is great, and also lets you quickly find nearby parking, ATMs, restaurants — even nearby public restrooms.)

local-4

From this map view, click any of the numbered representations for more information, and the option to “Send to Phone”.

local-5

Enter the recipient phone number in the same manner as from the SRP list view.

local-6

The resulting message looks something like this:

pt_localstp_silh_lg_2

Give it a shot, it’s pretty good. (And if you haven’t played with Local search, this is the perfect opportunity.)

Congrats to my friends Chris and Jason, who were both involved with the webdev work on this.

Update: Gary Price at Search Engine Watch has an entry on this now.

Yahoo! Desktop Search Launched

Yahoo! Desktop Search launched this morning (via). YDS is based on X1, which until now has been an $80 to $100 piece of software. I’ve been using X1 since January or February 2004, and it’s great. As I wrote in a testimonial last March 5th,:

It’s wonderful, and will change how you think about your information. … It doesn’t matter where the message is, you can always find what you want in … 2 seconds. … I’ve recommended it to everybody I know and work with. Find any email in about 2 seconds.

This product is terrific, and only has competition from Copernic as far as I’m concerned. Once YDS is extended to search the all the user’s content on the Yahoo! network, in addition to the desktop and web, then it will have no peers. (Yes yes, those are famous last words.)

Why is it so good?

Unlike some of the other desktop search tools out there, YDS indexes over 200 file types. Uniquely, it provides instant previews of all of them — with your search terms highlighted — right within the program. It does this for .doc, .mp3, .pdf, .gif, .ppt, .xls and many more.

Beyond those “technical specs”, the interface and overall experience set it above the crowd. YDS does not use the Web Search model (single search box) for the desktop like several other products on the market. Instead, it provides many search boxes so you can narrow by date, file size, sender, folder, or any other contextually-relevant field with blazing speed. Also, unlike web queries that don’t return results until you submit a search, YDS returns and updates the result set after each letter you type. Believe me, it makes a big difference.

Go download your free copy and let me know what you think. Read more at the Yahoo! Search Blog, or explore the blogosphere.



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