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Chris Thiessen developed Zoomii full time over the course of almost 1.5 years since December 2006.

If you know how to look for books in a bookstore then you basically know how to use Zoomii. Big Grin

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Introduction

image For book lover, have you ever love the experience and thrill of casually skimming over wide range of books on the bookshelf at a glance hoping for something interesting to spontaneously catch your attention ?  If you do, you might have thought that such experience could only be found in real bookstore but not anymore since image (www.zoomii.com), a fantastic service whose mission is to bring back that kind of ‘fun’ experience on the web, has been available publicly since 16 June 2008. Simply imagine all the books in a bookstore is directly layout on a screen and available for pick and purchase, and that is exactly what the underlying concept of Zoomii is all about. Zoomii also draw its inspiration from Google Map with its all familiar navigation control for panning and zooming. Indeed, the user interface of Zoomii can be perceived as Google Map for Amazon Books. As its name implies, the concept of zooming in and out of the bookstore is the cornerstone of the service, which akin to the same physical experience of walking from one bookshelf to another to check up the book.

Given the advantage of using the lightning-fast online search that return the book information efficiently with a blink of eyes, why will one still bother to browse books in a tedious physical way ? For many, it turns out that the thrill and joy of discovering new and related book in a physical bookstore is not something a computing experience can easily replace. Many still prefer the challenge and curiosity to discover something in a raw way within a familiar and conducive physical environment that piques them further. In addition, the relaxed ambience and the environment are what make going to a bookstore fun and enjoyable.

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imageDavid Hardtke, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, worked for 13 years in experimental particle, nuclear and astrophysics.  David specializes in searches for very rare patterns hidden in enormous (many terabyte) data sets using advanced automated statistical data mining techniques. 

Read more at http://www.surfcanyon.com/search/team.jsp
So is it any wonder that Surf Canyon is so innovative ?

Once a while, there comes a simple utility that becomes so indispensable that one probably asks “Why didn’t I think of it >?”. It happens that while as usual piling through daily review of Web 2.0 startup and happenings by Techcrunch, I came across a very interesting post Search Startup Surf Canyon Raises a Seed Round that caught my attention. I have to admit what pique my interest initially is not what image is, after all  there are abundant of daily news about startup, existing or new, that look likes the “Next Big Thing” but prove otherwise, but rather what’s in the world will any sane investors will want to throw US$850,000 dollars to fund such a ‘dubious’ simple idea especially it works primarily as a plug-in to browser ? Notwithstanding that name of Surf Canyon sounds anything but a serious startup.

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image Indeed, how can that ever be possible since image only allows officially approved widgets (Youtube, Google Video etc) to be embedded directly due to security reasons. All other widgets are out of luck and must be added through plug-in allowable only in paid WordPress hosted site.

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image VodPod by Remixation, Inc., is based in downtown San Francisco, California, and found in late Spring 2006. Development of Vodpod started on June 1, 2006 and it was launched publicly on December 4, 2006.
Review in http://www.techcrunch.com/tag/vodpod/

 

Please be reminded that WordPress.com prohibits any form of advertisement that will generate revenue for the blogger and has been known to unhesitatingly remove any blog hosted on its site that infringes its non-advertisement policy. So for those who wish to serve advertisement using widget will want to use paid WordPress hosting service instead of WordPress.com.

Although the review focuses on WordPress.com, the free blogging service, it also applies to those paid WordPress hosting service as well. 

 

Introduction

Have you ever get disappointed with imagebecause in order to embed your favourite Embeddable Flash Widgets (EFW) like

Google Picasa Slideshowsimage

Imeem Playlist
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Comiqs Comics
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(Click here to review a post that contains the above widgets)

into your WordPress.com blog, you have no choice but to pay monthly subscription to WordPress hosting service just to allow full access for installation of widget’s plugin ? Moreover I yet to even talk about time wasted in searching and installing individual plug-in for each widget.

So how you wish that the free blog hosting WordPress.com allows virtually any flash widget to be embedded without restriction. In other words, unless you constraint yourself using ‘supported’ widgets like YouTube, Google Video, you find WordPress.com wanting. In addition, image‘s recent announcement of giving 5GB of free hosting storage space over the previous 50MB really exacerbate the frustration over the limited supported for EFW.

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Your site need to be WOW to keep these people busy and happy !

Have you make your site so visually appealing but yet somehow still feel it lacks a WOW factor ? Perhaps what you need is some background music to jazz up the site for a lively user experience. But then how do you get started ?

Webware has the answer for you by recommending a few promising web music players with playlist capability that can be embedded into a web or blog site. The August article, Eight (and a half) free Web music players, briefly cover the offering from Imeem, SeeqPod, FineTune, Last.fm etc.

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However, some of the web music player reviewed by Webware actually search through audio sites and play the music straight from external audio server. This means that streaming audio playback is inconsistent and quality of service maybe compromised. The audio file may come and go. Still, it is worth trying this out as every service is unique.

Still, those are not the only game in town. Deezer (Review) and Songza (Review. Though yet to have embeddeable playlist) have recently joined the fray of legal music service and make for an impressive showdown. The advantages of such service is that it leverage on more reliable or own dedicated system to serve the audio, and hence, more consistent in playback with better quality and service. Moreover, the audio doesn’t suffer from hit and run symptom !

To see how Deezer, Imeem, Songza are been used, why not take a look at Geezer and Geezer_songza.

 

In the future, look for many more players like MediaMaster coming out in these crowded market. Indeed, choice has never been so good.

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image is developed by a team of dedicated and passionate individual from image


Introduction

Just almost a week ago (8Nov2007), imagedebut to the world after round of private beta, and like honey to bee, immediately attract music lovers that looking for a better way to listen to popular music quickly and reliably.

So what exactly is Songza ? What better way to describe Songza than to perceive it as Google for YouTube Music, as the interface mimic the famous minimal Search look. Unlike Google Search though, Songza is a free Web2.0 music site leveraging AJAX in any possible way. For example, the search list area is updated without the whole page refresh.

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Introduction

imageIs Powerset capable of dethroning Google ? Only time can tell. For now, Powerset is facing problem keeping its promise and now undergoes management change to appease its investor. Not surprisingly, Techcrunch has been monitoring its progress since the company formation, and among the blog written is PowerHype At Powerset where Mike quote PowerSet as

in some ways they are very secretive – everyone who gets to see “The Demo” (as it’s now being called) have to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

People who’ve seen The Demo say it is a completely controlled environment. The index is limited to just a very small sample of high quality sites like the New York Times website, and the search queries are driven by Powerset employees as well. With that kind of setup, almost anyone could show a stunning demo.

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