Dec 21, 2009

Monday Miscellany: Gadget of the Year, RIP Encarta, and Wiki’s for Everyone.

Time Magazine’s 2009 Gadget of the Year? Not Apple’s iPhone 3GS – that came in at #4 – but DROID, thanks to a creative alliance between Motorola and Verizon and use of Google’s Android platform. It’s sleek, features a big display and is fully customizable with apps downloaded from the Android Market. See all of Time’s Top 10 Gadgets of 2009.

Rest In Peace, Microsoft Encarta. This year saw the demise of the once very popular digital encyclopedia which first launched as a CD-ROM in 1993 but couldn’t keep up with the (free) real-time capabilities of Wikipedia and other web-based search tools. Encarta joins Circuit City, Saturn, Kodachrome and four more brands on’s list of familiar names you won’t see in the future.

Meanwhile, Microsoft researchers are busy experimenting with a new wiki-like search application that can generate summaries of web entities from billions of crawled pages. In Microsoft-speak, this new application, dubbed EntityCube, “is a research prototype for exploring object-level search technologies, which automatically summarizes the Web for entities (such as people, locations and organizations) with a modest web presence.”

press_img_20706_1And finally, announcing the 2010 Color of the Year. Pantone, the color chip provider to designers, has declared PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise as its next big hue: “Combining the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green, Turquoise inspires thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a comforting escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of wellbeing.”

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