Off the grid vacation (geeky way to say “road trip”)

It’s been a while since I, well, just stopped writing the blog, reading Twitter, talking on Facebook or Google Buzz, etc, and just hung out with the family. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I’ve done that for more than a day or two while flying or something like that.

For the next two weeks we’ll be hanging out on a beach down in Southern California, just, well, trying to be present for my family. Fred Wilson’s post on the topic made a big impact. Too often I’ve been staring at the iPhone or working on a video to be present for those who I love.

Anyway, see you on the other side. My calendar says I’ll be on vacation until July 20th, but we’ll see how long this off-the-grid vacation lasts. Where are we going? Our custom Google Map shows some of the places we might be seen in next few days.

Oh, and just to tempt me, the place we’re spending most of the time at, Sunset Cove, just tweeted that they upgraded their wifi network. Ahh, getting off the grid will be a challenge!

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Meet the team that knows who is REALLY influential on Twitter (Klout)

Last Friday I dropped in on Klout’s offices because I wanted to know more about the team that’s making waves by studying the influence of Twitterers. You might be shocked to know it doesn’t have much to do with how many followers you have. They monitor a whole range of things. Anyway, you can see that by trying Klout out on your own Twitter stream. Check out my score and compare it to yours. Then watch the video and meet the team.

First look video: Toshiba “touch” netbook prototype shows how Japanese might fight back against iPad (oh, and a cool 3D laptop, too)

The iPad is highly popular around the world and is taking market share away from netbooks. That much you can see all around you.

But, how could the other manufacturers fight back?

Here Toshiba shows a new prototype they are calling the Libretto W100 that has two seven-inch touch screens that could make the netbook more interesting to potential iPad users.

Now, hardware is only 1/8th the battle. The rest is software and there Apple is way ahead, especially if Toshiba is forced to use Microsoft’s Windows, which, even with Windows 7, doesn’t feel as good on touch devices as Apple’s iOS does. Note, too, that for this prototype Toshiba had to custom build a new touch keyboard. But, at least you can see that such a hardware, if matched with Android, or with HP’s touch OS that it bought from Palm, that there’s a future for Japanese manufacturers. I found the idea to be compelling when I saw it, and could see lots of uses for a two-screen touch netbook. I hope they take it further than just a prototype.

Here’s Engadget’s report on the W100 prototype and here’s Gizmodo’s report. Reported pricing is way too high to gain any mass-market share and they need to dump Windows 7 and get a fully-touch-oriented OS to get me interested.

While there I also saw a new 3D laptop, the A665 3D, which has a new kind of screen designed for 3D gaming. I played some games on this and the effect is stunning. Unfortunately it requires special glasses and won’t be for everyone, but if you are a gamer or want to see a 3D movie, this new laptop is stunning. Gizmodo has more info on this laptop from Toshiba.

A few weeks ago I visited with Toshiba, and made this video demo of both models.

Features available on the Toshiba libretto W100 include:
 Dual 7.0-inch diagonal multi-touch displays7 (1024 x 600)
 6-mode virtual keyboard with haptic response
 Windows® 7 Home Premium operating system
 Intel® Pentium® U5400 processor1 (1.2GHz)
 2GB DDR3 memory2
 62GB Solid State Drive3
 1.0 megapixel HD Webcam with Toshiba Face Recognition
 802.11 b/g/n wireless4
 Bluetooth 2.1+EDR5
 MicroSD card slot
 One USB 2.0 port
 TOSHIBA Bulletin Board, ReelTime™ and PC Health Monitor software
 8-cell battery
 7.95” (W) x 4.84”(D) x 1.2”(H)
 1.8 lbs.6