Figuring Stuff Out

Archive for April, 2007

Feeding the beast

Posted by Mike on April 17, 2007

Hello all. I’ll get back to posting about my adventures with Linux again soonish but for now I thought I would play into the hands of the Internet marketers and talk about two applications that I’ve been fooling around with recently: Joost and Particls. Joost is an attempt to create a viable Internet TV service that depends on short targeted adsJoost GUI (you can read a better description here). It’s in closed beta and I applied to get in a few months ago and recently got an invitation. I’ve played with it a bit and things look pretty reasonable at the moment. The video does occasionally stall (I imagine this is because the user base is not that big yet, it depends on p2p) and the content is a little weird, they have a lot of weak ‘game show’ format stuff from Much Music but also some pretty cool sports movies and indie films. The interface is pretty intuitive to me, which is good because there aren’t a lot of instructions, and it sure is pretty.

The other App I’ve been messing with is called Particls (not a misspelling). It’s a new approach to monitoring your various streams of information on the web. The idea is that it after giving it terms that interest you, along with the RSS feeds that you follow, and letting it look at your browser history it is able to find items that are of interest to you and bring them to your attention, while having the general feeds scroll unobtrusively along the screen (or not it’s all very customizable). It to is in private beta, but again I signed up a few months ago and recently got an invitation. I’ve had a little bit of trouble with this one, it doesn’t seem to actually be displaying most of the info it finds which is a bit frustrating. I’ve found that their support staff is very helpful and quick to respond (although we haven’t figured out what’s gone wrong yet).

On the whole, I’m a little bit more excited about Joost. If they can get some more content and smooth out the hiccups in video delivery it would be really cool (I’d love to come up with a means of cutting my TV cable, so get the CBC to sign up Hockey Night in Canada and I’m there). Particls is a neat idea, but I’ll reserve judgement until I get it up and truly running.

One last interesting discovery I’ve made while participating in these private betas is that they give us invitations that we can pass on to others. I like getting comments on this thing and they seem like a good way to bribe a few of you to do so. With that in mind I’ll give one invite, of the person’s choice, from one or the other to anyone who comments on a different post on this blog (so make sure to leave your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you). I’m not going to announce when I run out of invites, cause I want people to keep commenting (and I might get more), so it’s probably worth a shot.

See you in the comments…

Update: Seems that I have Particls working now (there was something hinky going on with my Firewall, I hate it when tech problems are my fault).  I’ve got a constant stream of information scrolling across my desktop now, although at the moment it seems to all be coming from a few of my feeds (So not that much discovery yet, but that will probably take time).  It seems kind of neat, although I think I will have to turn it off whenever I want to be truly productive, but that is probably mostly the result of my fascination with moving pictures….


Posted in application, semi-structured thoughts | 5 Comments »

Distracted, but back

Posted by Mike on April 17, 2007


 Well, the Mono is nearly gone and I’m getting primed to start posting again (soon after I finish the last few papers so I can graduate).Desktop Tower Defense  Standing in the way of my ability to post, complete papers, or eat is this crazy little flash game called, Desktop Tower Defense.  It’s super simple but it appeals to the strategy gamer geek in me and you can kind of set it up and let it run (at least on the easier settings).  I figure that if I’m not getting any work done I should at least try to pull you all down with me so have fun.

Posted in semi-structured thoughts | 2 Comments »