by Lauren Fackler
David Pogue, the personal technology columnist for the New York Times, brought “Dave’s Mobile Show and Tell” – part lecture, part comedy routine – to Lillie Auditorium on Wednesday. The event, sponsored by the MBL Associates, was a benefit for the Falmouth Forum Endowment.
The audience was well entertained by Pogue’s brand of humor, as well as by his slides, videos, and live demonstrations of his favorite tech gadgets and developments.
Some of the most interesting services and products Pogue described were:
Skype – This free software application allows free instant messaging, voice calls, and video conferencing through the Internet to other users of Skype. (A fee is charged for calls made to landlines).
Google Voice Local Search – A free business search telephone service from Google. Call 1-800-GOOG-411. After telling them what business you are looking for, it will connect your call, send you a text message, or speak the business address and phone number to you.
ChaCha Mobile Search – A free mobile search service. Text any question to ChaCha (242 242) and a person will reply with an answer in about one minute. You can also call 1-800-2ChaCha with questions.
MiFi – A personal WiFi hotspot small enough to fit in your pocket. It requires a cellular network since it works by converting 3G radio waves to WiFi 802.11b/g for LAN connectivity. A great way to get wireless wherever you go!
Twitter – A free social networking site where users can post messages (up to 140 characters each) on their personal pages or other pages. On his own Twitter page, Pogue posted one random question every night for a couple of months. He received thousands of responses and a book containing the questions and best (and probably funniest) answers is due to be published next month!
One cool new product not discussed by Pogue is the CellScope – a clinical microscope that attaches to your cellphone. Although not available for sale yet, it is already receiving rave reviews. Using the cell phone’s battery and camera, it offers resolution of just over a millionth of a meter!
The CellScope prototype configured for fluorescence microscopy. Developed by UC Berkeley researchers, it is described in the July 22 issue of PLOS ONE. Photo by David Breslauer