Emerging Technology

Webcasting’s next big thing… Economic growth CAN be green… Online car parking spaces… Microsoft’s answer to iPhone

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What is the web coming to?

There are companies that can help you web-cast your funeral. A new type of web casting is making the mainstream, Trendhunter.com reports.

Companies like Funeral-Cast are enabling mourning and funeral services to be broadcast over the internet. It may sound morbid, but it makes sense for friends and relatives who would like to be there but can’t travel.

Funeral-Cast is, so far, one of the few consumer-oriented webcasting companies to make a go of it. But webcasting is picking up steady momentum among businesses, and tech analysts expect more consumer services as well.

The technology “will continue to gain traction, the more people get used to it”, Steve Vonder Haar, analyst at Interactive Media Strategies, told USA Today. “Five years from now, it’ll become technology’s biggest overnight sensation, a decade in the making.”


Being green need not hold us back

There are some who argue that Australia’s economy can keep growing without destroying the environment, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. Sounds like a win-win.

Technological change, the way increased national income allows us to better afford to deal with problems like pollution, and the shifts in the lifestyles and buying habits of more environmentally-conscious consumers can “decouple” the rate of economic growth from the rate of environmental degradation.

But some social trends, like increasingly small household sizes and bigger dwellings increasing our demand for power, are not helping. The Australian economy is forecast to grow by around 100% in the period of 1990 to 2010, yet the amount of greenhouse gases produced will be only 9% higher.


Online exchange for parking spaces

Some days you know it will be difficult to get a park. How about hopping online before you leave home to search and book your space? Peasy.com is an online marketplace for parking spaces, enabling British homeowners to make money out of their unused parking spaces and relieving the stress of drivers circling the streets looking for a park.

Springwise reports that to rent out a parking space, the owners register and enter all relevant details, including price, when the space is available, and whether it will be rented out daily, weekly, or both. Any off-street parking spaces can be rented out: driveways, garages and secure allocated spaces.

Those who require parking can then search for suitable parking spaces and securely book them online, or first negotiate a better price. Listing is free and Peasy takes a 12% commission on each rental.


Microsoft spin-off develops its answer to the iPhone

A new startup called ZenZui is licensing user-interface technology from Microsoft Research (MSFT) to create a new way to navigate data, images, and other web-based information on mobile phones, reports the.next.net.

Like the approach that Apple is taking with its yet-to-launch iPhone, ZenZui’s answer is to push the data to the phone in the form of little widgets, or “tiles,” that people can subscribe to. Unlike Apple, though, ZenZui is not making its own phone and actually will have fewer restrictions than Apple on who can create the widgets.

Microsoft owns a minority stake in the start-up.


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