The iPhone 5c and 5s land in Australia tomorrow, with Apple stores opening promptly at 8:00am. Despite being one of the biggest tech launches of the year, no midnight launches have been scheduled locally. Clearly the consumer interest is there, so why isn't Apple opening its doors at the witching hour? The answer is simple: it chose to be sensible instead.
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Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
Photo-sharing site Flickr throws its hat into the ring with YouTube and Google Video and becomes a photo and video sharing site today. Flickr Pro members (only) can now upload up to 90-second video clips to the site, and everyone, pro member or not, can view and comment on the clips. The reason for the 90-second limit? The Flickr Video Help pages explain:
Star gazers rejoice! The newly launched Google Sky maps the universe from your browser. If you already loved Google Earth's addition of Sky, now you can enjoy the same eyes-on-the-sky mapping on the web. Like Google Maps but pointed in the other direction, you can navigate the planets and constellations or check out other great educational overlays, like the podcast overlay. We could already head to the moon and Mars with the previously launched Google Moon and Google Mars, but yay for the sky! The internet's looking like a great place for the amateur astronomer.Google SkyGoogle MarsGoogle Moon
Not only did Google add coloured labels to Gmail today, they're rolling out AIM compatibility in chat, too. The new AOL Instant Messenger support lets you log into your AIM account to chat with your AIM buddies right inside Gmail. Not sure yet if your AIM chat history is stored in your Gmail account the way GTalk convo's are. Update: AIM chat history does indeed get stored in Gmail. Rock! We're not seeing it just yet, but being an AIM over GTalk user, I'll keep refreshing till I do. To try it out you've got to be using the new version of Gmail in IE7 or Firefox 2. Sign into Chat and hit the Options menu to see the "Sign into AIM" option. Any readers out there get AIM in Gmail yet? Let us know how you like it. Image via Zoorgloob.About AIM in Gmail Gmail + chat + AIM = crazy delicious
Yahoo launches new social network Kickstart today, aimed at students, alum, and recruiters who want to make professional contacts. Top reason to use Kickstart in addition to all your existing social networks?
Uncle Ron may work for IBM, but it doesn't mean you want him writing on your wall or poking your friends.
In short, Kickstart's meant for separating your "fun" (read: frat party photo-studded) profile on Facebook and MySpace from your serious, professional face for potential employers.Yahoo! Kickstart
Want to check out the South Beach scene and preview the Children's Museum before you head to Miami? New 3D mapping site EveryScape focuses on attractions and businesses rather than the wide-open street-level tools offered by Google and Microsoft. The site has virtual tours posted in Boston, New York City, Aspen, Colo. and Miami right now, and puts up relevant links to review aggregator Yelp, Wikipedia, Flickr and other sites at each destination. No sign-up is required, and the site uses Flash to display the virtual tours.EveryScape
Before there was iTunes, there was Winamp. A lot of people still prefer to use this freeware music player (and a lot of people still have opinions on when Winamp jumped the shark into bloatville, but don't let's get started on that). Wired's just written up a detailed review of Winamp's 10th anniversary edition, AOL Winamp 5.5, which boasts a revamped interface, iPod syncing, remote music access and other advanced features:
"Best of all, Winamp makes it far easier than iTunes or Windows Media Player to discover new music online and incorporate it into your library without having to download MP3s through a browser and import them into your media player manually."
After I stop feeling really, really old, I think I'll download it and give it another whirl.
Today Microsoft unveils new web application HealthVault, a medical records manager that will let users—and their doctors—store and track personal health information online. As for privacy? The NY Times reports:
The personal information, Microsoft said, will be stored in a secure, encrypted database. Its privacy controls, the company said, are set entirely by the individual, including what information goes in and who gets to see it. The HealthVault searches are conducted anonymously, Microsoft said, and will not be linked to any personal information in a HealthVault personal health record.
Microsoft's secured a few major partners in the health industry (with more to come, they hope) who will be able to zap your blood pressure or cholesterol level right into HealthVault during your checkup. You willing to entrust the big MS with your medical records? Let us know in the comments.HealthVault
The Zoho suite of online office apps takes a geeky turn with the launch of DB & Reports, a web-based relational database manager and data visualisation tool. Zoho DB can import and export spreadsheet data of various formats (.XLS, .CSV, .TSV) and offers drag and drop reports with charts, pivot tables, summary and table views. Embed charts in your blog and issue full-on SQL commands (of many flavors from MySQL to Postgres) on your database. While most civilians won't be writing SQL queries, Zoho DB looks like a very powerful tool for data nerds who want to slice and dice their stuff in the cloud—more like Microsoft Access than Zoho Creator. Several templates and sample databases (like world population census data and NBA game results) are available to get you started.Zoho DB & Reports