Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

Social Mail and 360 Video

The ZDnet First Takes blog is one of the site's group blogs, where Mary and I regularly post quick reviews of devices and applications we've found on our travels...

Here are a couple of recent posts.

Outlook Social Connector beta 2 and the LinkedIn connector
Outlook gets LinkedIn.

Microsoft today rolled out the latest version of the Outlook Social Connector, its Xobni-like tools for exploring the social network in your mailbox. Built around Outlook’s own search tools, the Social Connector adds a new pane to Outlook’s reading view, filling it with links to mails you’ve exchanged with your correspondents, meetings you’ve had and will have had, as well as feeds from external social networks.

This is the second beta of OSC, the first shipping with the Office 2010 beta. The new release adds support for Outlook 2003 and 2007, as well as changing some of the connector’s APIs. Microsoft has been working with social network partners since the release of the first OSC beta, and this release adds functions and features that simplify connecting with external social networks. It’s a quick and easy install, and once you’ve downloaded and installed OSC you can install the first third-party plug-in, from business social network LinkedIn.

Configuring the LinkedIn OSC plugIn
Read more.

Sony Bloggie PM5
Sony’s PM5 Bloggie HD video camera was unveiled at CES 2010 in Las Vegas. They’re Sony’s answer to Cisco’s popular Flip, and they could have been just another pocket video camera. Instead the Bloggie is innovative and interesting, and together with Sony’s desktop software suite, it’s doing something very different with video.

At first glance the Bloggie looks very like a Flip. Designed to fit in a pocket, it’s small and compact, with a lens that rotates 270 degrees. Point the camera lens one way, and it’s a standard video camera, recording 720P HD video and taking 5MP still images. Rotate it the other, and you can film yourself while still seeing what’s being captured. That’s why Sony calls it the Bloggie, suggesting that video bloggers can use it to record themselves before using the built-in software to upload videos to the Internet.

The real innovation comes if you’ve bought the optional 360 degree lens adapter. All you need to do is swivel the camera so it’s vertical, and connect the adapter to the lens. The result is a recording of everything that happens around the camera – in a distorted fisheye view. You can see what’s going on, but it’s hard to parse the images. That’s where Sony’s software comes in. It unpacks the 360 degree view, turning it into a long, thin, undistorted panoramic video.
Read more.
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