Jo-Jo-Joost

imageThanks to Georg who provided me an invitation, i was able to digg a bit into Joost. At the core, Joost is very similar to Babelgum. It provides some additional Features like a widget gallery where – as far as i’ve seen – you can provide your own widgets and there is also a chat application integrated so can chat with your friends right out of the Joost client. They’ve organized their Content into several Genres. At the time of writing, they have the following:

  • Cartoons & Animation
  • Comedy
  • Documentary
  • Entertainment
  • Lifestyle
  • Music
  • Music Entertainment
  • Sports & Games

The performance of Joost seems to be slightly better than Babelgum but that might be affected by the network performance on my site that varies over daytime. Another thing that does not vary over daytime is the user interface. My favorite is definitely the Babelgum UI. It’s more intuitive, much nicer than the Joost UI and more fun to use.

From a content perspective, the point goes to Babelgum but this is a personal choice so everyone has to decide that for themselves.

The biggest disadvantage of Joost – at least in my environment – is the need to shoot some holes into the firewall just to get Joost running. For a fun product like Internet TV, this is a No-Go for me.

Babel-Babel-Babelgum

imageThese days, i checked out Babelgum, a free on-demand TV which is currently in Beta. As soon as you’ve installed the Babelgum client, you can instantly begin to watch fullscreen TV. I’ve tried it out on the second screen (1280×1024) of my Notebook and it looks pretty good. The client application has a nice design and is easy to use. I found plenty of content across a variety of topics. To get their users started, they’ve organised content into nine thematic channels:
Babelgum Channel Directoryimageimageimage

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What i found remarkable is that there are a lot of contributions with a length between 10 to 25 minutes. Very well for a quick relaxing break during a hard day.

Erst denken, dann posten

Web 2.0 und “User generated Content” sind in aller Munde und auch hier sind die USA natürlich einmal mehr der Vorreiter. Allerdings scheinen sich dort schon die ersten negativen Folgen des allzu sorglosen Umganges mit Plattformen wie MySpace, Friendster, Xanga bzw. dem Netz als solchem abzuzeichnen.

Einer US- Studie zufolge haben 61 Prozent der 13- bis 17-Jährigen ein Profil auf Plattformen wie den oben genannten. Die Hälfte davon hat zudem persönliche Fotos online gestellt und 20 Prozent der Teens halten das unter Sicherheitsaspekten für unbedenklich. 37 Prozent gaben an, dass sie “überhaupt nicht” oder “nicht sehr” besorgt darüber seien, dass jemand ihre veröffentlichten Daten in missbräuchlicher Weise verwenden könnte.

Ob dieser Sorglosigkeit ist man auf anderer Seite umso besorgter und entschlossen, dieser Entwicklung entgegenzuwirken. So haben sich das National Center for missing and exploited Chidren (NCMEC), das US- Justizministerium und die private Non-Profit Organisation Ad Council zusammengeschlossen, um die Kampagne “Think Before You Post” neu aufzulegen. Die folgenden beiden Videos sind Teil dieser Kampagne.

Das erste zeigt, wie ich finde, auf eindrucksvolle Weise allen Sorglosen und Unbedachten, wie das Internet halt nun mal funktioniert.

Spam Call

Das Telefon klingelt. Im Display wird keine Nummer angezeigt. Ich denke “Grummel” und hebe ab.

Sie: Guten Tag, ich rufe an vom medizinisch-orthopädischen Irgendwas. Ist Ihre Frau zu sprechen?

Ich: Nein

Sie: Naja, das macht auch nicht, dann können Sie stellvertretend mitmachen. Sie wurden vom medizinisch-orthopädischen Irgendwas für die Teilnahme an einem Quiz ausgewählt. Sie können jetzt direkt ein kleines Präsent gewinnen. Sie müssen mir nur folgende Frage beantworten: Wer moderiert “Wetten dass…”? Ist es Thomas Gottschalk oder Harald Schmidt?

Ich: Pff, keine Ahnung, würde mal auf Gottschalk tippen. [Und ich denke mir, was wollen die eigentlich? Daten abgreifen, was verkaufen???]

Sie: Richtiiiiig, HERZLICHEN GLÜCKWUNSCH! Jetzt brauche ich nur noch das Geburtsjahr Ihrer Frau….

Ich: Aha!

Sie: …nur das Jahr. Brauchen wir nur, um das richtige Präsent auswählen zu können.

Ich: [Ja genau.] Nö, das fällt unter den Datenschutz, dann behalten Sie mal lieber ihr Präsent.

Sie: Öh, ähm, ja, na dann auf Wiederhören.

Ich: Bitte nicht!

Mannomann, so langsam nähert sich die Telefon- Spamrate der Mail- Spamrate. Ich bin echt sooooo knapp davor, der Telefonanlage beizubringen, dass sie alles was anonym reinkommt einfach in den Harz kicken soll. Mann, bin ich geladen.

Windows Installer fails on Vista with error code 2869

The day before yesterday was my personal 2869 nightmare day. My 2869 occured during the uninstall of Guidance Automatic Extensions CTP June 2006. I have tried all that “msiexec /blablabla wahwahwah.msi” stuff with/without UAC disabled, from an admin-command-shell and from a batchfile. Everything without success. Finally i was able to uninstall my package by following the procedure that Greg Duncan describes in his blog (although it’s about another error). Give it a try.
Oh, schould not forget to give you the link to Gregs blog 😉

patterns & practices – Smart Client Guidance – Discussions

Demofuse

DemofuseA few days ago, i received an invitation for Demofuse. Demofuse is a tool to author annotated website tours right in your browser. All you need to get started ist to include two lines of code into every page you want to have Demofuse-enabled. Then, you have to go to the Demofuse website and create a new tour. This will open your website with a nice little control panel on the bottom containing everything you need to create the show.

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The concept of Demofuse is slide based. You can create a number of slides, each showing a certain web page. To guide your audience and to explain what’s going on, you have a toolbox with the following tools in place:

  • A floating window contains explaining text about the current page. It also contains navigation elements to give the user control over the show.image
  • Highlights are used to mark an area of the screen. You can use regular highlighting in a color of your choice or you can use inverse highlighting. The latter dims your screen except of the area of interest.image image
  • Arrows can be used to point to a certain elemnt on teh page. You can determine the arrow direction (left or right) an wether the arrow should be animated or not. Unfortunately i haven’t found a way to select the arrows color.image
  • To visualize mouse clicks, Demofuse offers the “Curso Click” tool. It marks the place where the user have to click in real live with a red dot.image

Working with Demofuse smells a little bit like doing a series of screenshots but in real, Demofuse is using the life website and injects script code to create the web tour experience.

SampleTour When you’re done, you can save you tour and Demofuse will provide you script snippets and a nice button that can be used to integrate the tour in your site. You have the choice between code that starts the tour using a link and code that start the tour using script. The latter doesn’t need to refresh the page which is the best choice whenever the user has already fille a form or something like that. Just click on the “Sample Tour” button to see a demo tour.

If you are interested in trying out Demofuse yourself, feel free to Sign Up. Because Demofuse is not yet completely public, you have to provide the following invitation code: 731125

See also: TechCrunch