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TMCNet:  Jelly wobbles [Northern Echo (England)]

[January 20, 2014]

Jelly wobbles [Northern Echo (England)]

(Northern Echo (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) When is a search engine not a search engine? When it's a social network for searching through your friends' eyes.

Giles Turnbull finds out more IF you had to build a brand new way to search the internet, starting from scratch, where would you start? What would you build? Those were the questions Biz Stone and Ben Finkel asked themselves while taking a walk through San Francisco.


It occurred to them that the search engines we're used to, including market leader Google, were all designed in the days when desktop computers ruled the internet.

For today's young people, those days are ancient history. Their computers don't sit on desks, they move around. Very often, they don't use "computers" at all, but tablets and mobile phones.

So Stone and Finkel decided they needed to build a search that takes advantage of this mobile technology, and the constant interconnectedness that comes with it.

The result is Jelly (jelly. co) and at first glance it's, well, a bit odd.

Its creators say it's a way for you to ask your friends about stuff you encounter. Snap a picture, share it with friends, and ask them "What is this thing?" or "How do I fix this?" Your friends can supply their own answers, or forward your question to other people they think might be able to help.

Yes, you can already do this with a simple email. Or even a Tweet.

That's partly why Jelly will seem odd. But install it on your smartphone and give it a try - although it's very early days, there's something compelling about flicking through the conversations happening there.

Similar conversations could never happen by email, because everyone hates email and you'd be accused of spamming, and they wouldn't happen on Twitter because they'd be too long.

Jelly might be strange but perhaps Stone and Finkel are on to something. After all, "strange" worked pretty well for Twitter, and dozens of others.

EMAIL WITHOUT ADDRESSES GOOGLE surprised everyone last week, with a new feature for Gmail users - allowing anyone on the company's Google Plus social network to send them email without knowing their email address. If you're connected on Plus, you can email someone simply by typing their name. A controversial decision on Google's part, but at least there is an opt-out switch in Gmail's settings.

YAHOO'S NEW TECH SITE YAHOO, once famous for search, is trying to become famous for what unimaginative executives call "content". In other words, news. New York Times columnist David Pogue is its chief technology editor, and there's a new site at yahoo. com/tech.

It's a varied mix of weird (desks that become beds) and wonderful (a printer that prints cakes).

UGLY WEBSITE AS JOB AD ONLINE clothing store Beta Brand (betabrand. com) needed to hire web developers, so it turned its homepage into the ugliest mess you've ever seen on the internet. Featuring animated "under construction" signs, and a "save us from this terrible homepage"message, the site is a masterpiece of dreadful design.

And as a recruitment tactic, it's bound to work perfectly.

Websites of the week - new gadget ideas Babolat Play, a tennis racket that talks to your phone babolatplay. com Grillbot, the robot that cleans your barbecue grillbots. com The phone case that's also a taser yellowjacketcase. com Polaroid's new Socialmatic camera polaroid. com/socialmatic Ozobot, a "multi-surface smartbot" ozobot. com Keecker, a remote controlled robot projector keecker. com/v2/ Thing of the week Album sleeves made of Lego legoalbums. tumblr. com (c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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