According to the site, the agency provides beautiful women to accompany men to bars, lounges, clubs and so on. In a nutshell, the theory goes, women are often attracted to guys who have other attractive women around them. So for $50 per "Wing Woman," a dateless dude becomes a ladies man. The dud becomes the stud.
Says the site:
"Women want what they can't have." "Women are very jealous and love to compete with one another." "Women tend to lower their defenses around men who have other women around them. Most women tend to see these men as having a seal of approval and being less hostile."
So for those guys who continually whiff at the plate in the pickup game, Wingwomen.com may be just the ticket to get them to first base and beyond.
I'm not sure this is what Ron Johnson had in mind when he set out to create Apple's chain of retail stores, but recently the shops unexpectedly topped a list of hot spots.
Cosmo says that if you are looking to meet a man , you can't do much better than heading to your nearest Apple store.
The magazine notes that guys are natural gadget lovers and with Apple's sales soaring, "more men than ever are stopping by Apple boutiques."
"The vibe at the stores is conducive to man meeting too: You can check your email among cuties, take a free workshop on anything from Photoshop to podcasting , or just survey the, ahem, good-looking merchandise," Cosmo concludes.
Not a Mac lover, not to worry. Another of the magazine's recommendations is going to work for a tech company. More than a fifth of workers meet their spouse on the job, the magazine notes, adding that Cisco Systems is 78 percent male, while Hewlett-Packard's workforce is 68 percent men.
The article would appear to suggest that geeks could be faring better than ever in the social scene, though the weight room at the gym was also on the list. So perhaps it still takes brains and brawn.
It sure looks like Google Earth, but it's not.
A company called Sentinel, funded by the U.S. Defense Department, has posted a demo of its client software on YouTube that shows the viewer flying through 3D cityscapes with live videos embedded in them.
A higher-quality version is on the Sentinel site.
The software, AVE Video Fusion, "combines Google Earth-like features with live camera videos projected on a 3D model" the video caption says. "This program is NOT Google Earth. It is written from scratch using C++ and OpenGL." It runs on PCs and requires no custom hardware.
Applications include wide-area surveillance systems such as those at military bases, airports, railroad stations, borders, coastlines, harbors, and power plants, according to Sentinel's site .
The El Segundo, Calif.-based company was founded in 2005 by computer science and electrical engineering professors at the University of Southern California.
Here's the five-minute YouTube video:
The AVE Video Fusion software seamlessly blends five video streams onto a 3D model of 14th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C., in this screenshot.
This screenshot shows a live USB camera and 18 live TV feeds projected onto monitors in a lab in Hong Kong.
Google invited a few journalists to the Googleplex on Tuesday to meet with Susan Wojcicki, vice president of product management for the company's advertising programs. She didn't make any big announcements , but she talked about the industry and reminded us that online advertising isn't going away anytime soon.
"The business we have is a huge business, and it is still growing at a healthy rate," she said in response to a question about concerns that Google is a one-trick pony. "We expect to continue to see growth."
One tidbit of new information--Google has been testing for the past few weeks a method of providing targeted ads based on multiple searches in one session in what could be seen as a tame form of behavioral advertising. For instance, someone who searched on "Italy vacation" and "weather" could be served ads related to weather in Italy, Wojcicki said.
She was quick to add that no data is stored or remembered, as opposed to behavioral targeting, which serves ads based on a user's online activity over time and which rivals Yahoo and Microsoft are experimenting with. "We want to be sensitive to users' privacy, and I think we believe that task-based information at the time is the most relevant to what a user is searching on," she said. "If you wanted to buy a car two weeks ago and you bought it, you don't necessarily want to see ads for cars today."
She also talked about how Google is experimenting with in-stream, pre- and post-roll ads in video and looking at different "overlays" to the video and banners around it. Video ads should be shorter than 15 seconds, she opined. "The jury is still out on video advertising."
Wojcicki gave an update to the company's offline ad efforts. All U.S. advertisers can buy Print Ads or Audio Ads , and "a large number of publishers" are involved in the print program, while more than 800 radio stations, most owned by Clear Channel, are partners in the radio program.
Google is working with a limited number of advertisers on TV, and EchoStar is the largest partner , she said.
Currently, Google is modifying its Web-based automated ad system for each medium type, but eventually the goal is to have "one unified platform to help advertisers make media decisions," she said.
Each medium offers its own ability to measure how well an ad is doing. For instance, TV advertisers can see exactly when viewers changed the channel and either started or stopped watching an ad, Wojcicki said.
"The ad industry is in the process of a lot of change," she said. "There are more dollars coming online. There is more accountability, more measurement, more alternatives in terms of what those creative formats are...and Google has an opportunity to play a key role in that market."
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press. E-mail Elinor .
Surveillance cameras are everywhere. Every ATM snaps your mug, and each time you get into a taxi your photo is recorded as well. According to the BBC, our images are captured an average of 300 times each day . While we've grown used to these security cameras in our malls and at stoplights, the influx of surveillance cameras in our public spaces should be of great concern to everyone.
As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle , Chicago has 560 crime cameras that are actively monitored for criminal activity. In London there are more than 10,000 cameras . These so-called "crime cameras" have multiple roles: they are intended to provide evidence of crimes when they occur, they are meant to deter criminals, and they are a reminder that Big Brother is watching.
Though proponents of crime cameras celebrate how the technology can reduce violent crime and bring murderers to justice, Earl Gardner's experience with Chicago's cameras tells a story of harassment and illustrates why the expanding use of surveillance cameras is downright frightening.From a control room a mile away, Gardner was seen sipping a beer in front of his house. The Chicago police quickly sprung into action and within minutes the 55-year-old resident was under arrest and wearing handcuffs. As the Chronicle reports: It might seem like a steep expenditure of police resources for a small-time arrest, but Chicago authorities say busts like this serve a higher purpose. They let everyone know that police are watching as the city's 560 anti-crime cameras look in on the toughest street corners, a strategy intended to deter small-time and big-time crime alike.
While the message is certainly being heard, and Chicago credits more than 1,400 arrests to its crime cameras, it's unclear whether crime has actually been reduced. Violent crime in the city decreased by 2.5 percent between 2005 and 2006, but that isn't necessarily a result of the cameras. Even if the cameras are responsible for the lower rate of incidence, it is important to consider how much our personal privacy is worth.
The Chronicle goes on to explain how Chicago plans to expand the cameras.
Chicago has bigger plans. Mayor Richard Daley said recently that the city will have cameras on "almost every block" by 2016, when the city hopes to host the Summer Olympics.
The city is exploring so-called smart cameras, which could recognize faces and compare them to mug shots of wanted offenders, or sound an alarm and zoom in if a certain movement is detected, such as two cars colliding or a person falling to pavement. Lewin said police had spoken to manufacturers about whether a camera could detect the shape of a gun.
George Orwell foretold of a future without privacy and a world where children are encouraged to spy on their neighbors and their parents. He wrote about a world where the truth is constantly being rewritten to fit the current political conditions, and offered his book as a warning to the world of a future he feared.
The story of Chicago's cameras and how they landed Earl Gardner in jail for drinking a beer should trigger an alarm for all of us. The promise of smart cameras that can recognize faces and track citizens as they go about their daily business is an even scarier proposition and we only need to look to the story of Winston Smith in 1984 to realize that though such technology may reduce crime, it comes at a great cost that cannot be ignored.
The Google Docs team, has posted on their blog about the availability of a few new features for Google Presentations to start off the new year. The most significant of the new features is the ability to embed slide shows in web pages. It's not a surprise that Google decided to go this route, given the huge success of embeddable video with YouTube and other embeddable content around the web.
As you can see in my slide show that I have included at the end of this post, it works in a similar way and looks very much like YouTube's embeddable player. Overall, sharing and embedding your slide shows is a fairly painless process. As I said in my original article about Google Presentations , their strong point is collaboration and sharing. This latest feature has continued that trend.
While this is all great, my big problem with Google Presentations is still the lack of a professional look to the slide shows. The feature set just is not quite there yet. I am sure that Google is hard at work, implementing features like transitions, animations, etc., so I can't penalize them too much for that yet, being such a young product. However, if they want to capture any significant portion of the market share, Google Presentations needs the more advanced features.
Other features included in this release are importing slides from other presentations, drag and drop image insertion, and an improved UI. Check out my embedded slide show after the jump.
In case you can't read from the screenshot above, Blippr lets users browse and rate commercial products including books, video games, movies, and music. The twist is that these reviews are incredibly short at just 160 characters, or the limit on an SMS message on your mobile phone. Twitter , the popular micropublishing tool pioneered this idea, and the folks at Blippr think it might work on product reviews.
The fact that I need to write more about it is also one of the reasons that Blippr doesn't fit he bill for what it was created for. Sometimes reviews just need to be longer to give a product or service justice.
Coming back to the review system, the written reviews are coupled with a 1-4 rating system that uses emoticons to establish a metascore for how good an item is. In addition to the rest of the Blippr users scores, you can get see a quick friends score as long as your Blippr friends have rated said item. These scores are shown at the top of each review and help sort through content.
Blippr doubles as a social bookmarking tool, letting you create custom lists and subscribe to the day's hot list of products that are getting buzz. There are no ads on the site, so to supplement an income for the creators, the entire thing runs off affiliate links to various online retailers.
Here's the thing, I like this service at a very visceral level. It rips off a lot of GUI from Flickr , but I'm OK with that because writing 160 word reviews is simple and brings that same publishing happiness that Twitter does. What I don't like is that same limitation ends up amounting to something more like one-line comments on a blog post than something constructive or substantial like you'll find on the native user review systems on popular Web retailers such as Amazon and Netflix . Sometimes the details really do amount to something.
The service is in private beta, although the folks at Blippr were kind enough to offer Webware readers some invites. To get yours, click here . More shots after the jump.
Product pages give you a chance to scope out the metarating and user reviews, which are scant in size at just 160 characters.