Quick bits

MSN/Live lays out their intended marketing campaign for the next few months. (Hat-tip to Barry). They also just added the ability to make your own QR barcodes, which are popular in Japan. Worked great in IE, but in Firefox I only got this and the page never loaded:

Barcode

Also, there’s a new interview with Shashi Seth about the future direction of Google’s Custom Search Engine.

36 Responses to Quick bits (Leave a comment)

  1. Ah. Well I guess you might have to try IE 7.0 after all. It won’t kill you.

  2. am I missing something? What does one use to read one of these barcodes? Am I that behind technologically?

  3. Is it not able to run on FF because of activeX? do you know?

  4. Ryan, I believe that cameraphones in Japan can process these. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code for more info, including scripts that can make QR bar codes for you.

  5. /pd

    yeah QR stuff is really freaky in JP. The user base there , is highly adopter to handheld devices . The markets are big in space.

  6. Safari says there’s a secure certificate problem, since their scripts are being served from https://secure.shared.live.com and the website is served from https://barcode.ideas.live.com — could be related to the Firefox problem as well.

  7. Haha

    Matt, here’s a tip.
    Why don’t you get Google to use its own cse and export snapnames list of dropping domains and put it in your excluded sites list.
    It would make it a 1000% better se straight off.

  8. Interesting, I can think of some cool ideas for websites using the generators..

    too bad I don’t have a phone to play around with this stuff though..

    but why stop at QR? Why can’t my camera phone read regular bar codes too?

    I’d love to be able to snap a picture of a barcode, and have my phone present me with prices at other local stores in my area, possibly even reviews.

    There ya go Matt… have somebody use their 10% time to work on that for me.

  9. The QRs are a fantastic idea and I see more and more eveidence that they may become mainstream sooner rather than later. Such a great idea and perfect for outdoor advertising and the like.

    You can download apps to read QRs from a number of third party vendors (trying to find a link of an Irish company that offers a java app that opens QR links in your phone’s browser but cant remember their name at the minute :( )

    Regarding the site not working in FF: I don’t know if you ever look in the Google’s Webmaster Group board, but quite often it’s not working in any browser, never mind IE Vs. FF (ok, it’s not the browser’s fault). Some of the sever error messages are worthy of the Daily WTF e.g. ‘Oops we could not display the error’…

    Now I shall say sorry for going OT and retreat to the corner as my punishment.

  10. Trogdor

    but why stop at QR? Why can’t my camera phone read regular bar codes too? I’d love to be able to snap a picture of a barcode, and have my phone present me with prices at other local stores in my area, possibly even reviews.

    Heh, sounds like somebody’s been reading John Battelle …

  11. Completely off-topic but what a let down the keyword projection in the Google lobby was :(

    I found this image: http://www.google.com/press/images/gallery/searchterms.jpg

    I had it in my head that it was going to be some top notch system which had an earth graphic with keywords swooping into the sky and then fizzling out and such like.

    That’s my dream down the drain :(

  12. Any idea whether QR barcodes can be read off of computer monitors via a camera phone and whether a certain resolution/refresh-rate is needed?

    The following site appears to offer QR Software for Windows Mobile phones:
    http://www.quickmark.com.tw/download.html
    My Sony Ericsson K800i isn’t listed though, so I can’t test it out. :(

  13. Harith

    Ok. I had it :)

    Neither my Netscape 7.2 neither FireFox 2 are able to “decode” that thing. It keeps on loading and loading and nothing happening.

    Looking forward for your next post (maybe Gadgets!), Matt. Better luck next time ;)

  14. Esrun,

    That’s too bad the display didn’t meet your expectations. Personally I love it, I can sit and zone out on the keyword projection for long periods of time.

    Maybe you were expecting a mashup of the keyword projector and the GeoDisplay:

    http://flickr.com/photos/case/2287072/

  15. The Bar Code page doesn’t work for me either (Firefox). Typical.

  16. David

    I wonder what Googlebot thinks of it ;-).

    Maybe it will be considered poor user experience and that site will get a serp placement at about 1000 or further down.

    What ya think Matt?

  17. Thanks for the IE Tab Link, no more annoying Internet Explorer EVER! I hope :P

  18. It loads fine for me. I suggest using the Web’s standard browser (y’know – the one that almost everybody uses) to avoid these and other problems ;)

  19. David

    PhilC that’s nice, however that page isn’t up to standards.

    http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=https%3A%2F%2Fbarcode.ideas.live.com%2F

  20. Ryan, I think that would be a fun 20% project. :)

    Esrun, you need to come to my building. We have cooler displays, like this one:
    http://web20.weblogsinc.com/2004/10/06/google-party/
    (That’s not Google Earth, it’s a homebrewed app.)

    Oh, and for some reason, a spaceship appeared in the lobby recently too.

  21. I heard that a qode software http://www.qode.com can read these barcodes… does anyone know if this is the case?

  22. Just as with that, er, what was it called “experts” thing you guys launched not long ago that regular people just could not fully understand this CSE has a similar feel to it. I have become bored with it already and removed it from my site.

    There is just not enough hours in the day but I am sure a few geeks will make some good CSE’s that are useful to their small web2.0 like crowd. In a future world maybe but not today. Ever find something that was made a long time ago that is really cool and useful, same idea…could be wrong but I am rarely so at this hour of the night.

  23. Ryuji

    Ryan, you will not only be able to compare prices.
    QR codes store text data which can be saved on mobile phones as txt files. But they can include HTML like code to make URLs, e-mail addresses and phone numbers clickable.

    QR codes are usually placed on offline advertisement, allowing users to scan and jump into a mobile web site with more information about the product, registration forms for campaigns, online strores or contact details.

    Some campaigns, as the iPod nano campaign in Shibuya (http://blog.wired.com/cultofmac/2005/10/ipod_nano_on_to.html) allowed users to download screen savers or wallpapers for their phones.

    I guess that in the future, as most Japan mobile phones have a built-in GPS system as well, QR codes could let you scan the coordinates of an advertised place in an ad and navigate you to an specific point (say a restaurant?)

  24. I don’t get it, why would MS make something that does not work in FF?… Oh yeah, That’s right.

    On the plus side, 90% of the internet looks screwy in IE.

  25. Matt, I might just hold you to that(coming to look around your building).

    I have to admit, what you have linked to is much more similar to the idea I have in my head of how it would be. Why don’t you take your video camera up there and take a recording of it? I’m sure people would love to see it! I think it would be amazing.

    I’m working on something similar myself right now, although it’s not going to be quite as impressive since graphical things aren’t quite my forte.

  26. Hmm

    I might be more impressed id they explained WTF you need to read the damm things – if this is an example of the professionalism d attention to detail that live is going to feature – looks like Google doesn’t have to worry.

  27. Maurice, as Cutt’s already pointed out, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code for info.. What’s 5 + 7? =/

  28. Ah, that’ll be like the new version of Google Reader, which doesn’t appear to work in Opera then.
    Strange, the old version did, though that was rubbish. A colleague was raving about the new version, so throught I’d try checking it out. But nope, couldn’t get into it.

    Back to Bloglines for me.

  29. Just a short note on the QR codes: The Deutsche Bahn (our railway provider) is using these codes for a few years now to sell tickets online. The conductor comes and peeps you up with a little handheld device that can also process credit cards and has a little thermo printer!

  30. shane

    Adrian, Google Reader has always worked ok for me in Opera. Perhaps try the latest build.

    It has the occasional quirk where items arent marked as read, but otherwise it works fine. I do wish items clicked on openend in the background instead of the foreground, but thats an Opera setting which doesnt seem possible to change. Middle clicking the item opens it in the background though.

  31. Chris S

    Microsoft is a failure at making any of their products work in anything other than IE. It’s pretty disgraceful. Just try the new Live! mail in FF… I’ve seen prototype apps that are more functional than that!!!

  32. haha
    Live mail in FF ))
    Yahoo did the same last couple of years
    ((((

  33. swamp thing

    Qode can read QR codes and so much more check out http://www.qode.com, http://www.neom.com.

    One click navigation with your mobile device.

  34. By the way, it’s unaccessable now… I wish I could see it myself.

  35. I don’t get it, why would MS make something that does not work in FF?… Oh yeah, That’s right.

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