Monday, December 11, 2006

Holiday Gadget Guide 2006

Tech Expert Segment for 20061211

Nintendo Wii Logo/LinkBuying tech gifts for the holidays can be a daunting task. Just knowing where to start can be overwhelming. Never fear, your resident Tech Expert tackled the topic on-air today and is here with a replay for online listening. iPod vs. Zune? Wii vs. Xbox 360 vs. PS3? Extended warranties? All covered in this holiday gadget guide wrap-up... for more "Features on the :40's" with KXL's Tech Expert Brian Westbrook, listen live at Mondays @ 6:40am and 8:40am.

Listen to today's report: kxl_techexpert-gadgetguide_20061211.mp3

If you're still looking for gift ideas for me... check out my Amazon Wishlist! ;-) Have a Geeky Holiday!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Did stranded Oregon family use online mapping?

google vs. yahoo vs. mapquest
I did an interview today with Newsradio 750 KXL about online mapping sites and how GPS technology may have helped the family stuck in Oregon for a week. (The father remains missing as of this post.)

In preparation for the interview, I looked up the route the stranded family took from Grants Pass to Gold Beach. Curiously, Google (shown at left, top) sends travelers on a more direct (albeit closed during the winter months) route while Mapquest (middle) and Yahoo (bottom) send drivers south through California. This must be what they mean when they say "this information is for reference only" ... bet the Google lawyers are glad they insisted on *that* disclaimer today. :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Microsoft signs on to Portland's free WiFi network

You may recall back in July when I talked about the City of Portand approving a proposal from a silicon-valley startup to grant free wireless internet (or "WiFi") access to residents (listen: MP3). Now, Microsoft® has teamed up with MetroFi to provide advertising and content support.

According to the recent announcement, Microsoft’s MSN® service will become the "home page" containing local news, information, and (of course!) advertising. The free service, which will be subsidized by ads on this MSN launch page and a 1 inch banner on the top of all web pages viewed during a user’s online session, is slated to be active by mid-2008.

From my friends in Portland: Thanks Microsoft! Now if only we could get free WiFi in Seattle... (and light rail... and tax-free shopping... and... and...)

Listen to my report here: KXL Live Report: Microsoft Signs on to PDX WiFi (11/15/06) (or anytime at:

For more on this story:
  • Oregonian coverage:
  • The Willamette Week chimes in with a report on filtering:
  • Microsoft official press release:

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Yahoo! advertises on Google?

screenshot of google mail page with yahoo text link ad highlightedMaybe I'm alone, but this struck me as somewhat odd: A *Yahoo* ad in my Google Mail window. You'd think Google would block the competition from advertising -- but I guess if they're willing to pay for it... Kinda tells you where Yahoo! thinks the traffic comes from. ;-)

I'd dig in further if I were truly interested... ehh.

I did brainstorm some possible explanations:
  • "Ask Yahoo why a stock splits, Google's stock just keeps rising?"
  • "We're too busy making money to think about splits, maybe Yahoo knows?"
  • "Yahoo cares about the stock market, we care about collecting the world's data!"

...submit yours in the comments section.

Monday, October 30, 2006

KXL Tech Expert Segment for Logo/Link
My friends have found me a bit addicted to a Google site called Dodgeball. I haven't done so well in the rankings in past months (Alex has me beat!!), but the service has a special place in my heart (was it the front page photo in mid-August?).

Anyway, before I get too far off topic... today's "Features on the :40's" segment on Newsradio 750 KXL in Portland, Oregon (and online at was about Dodgeball. Listen here: kxl_techexpert-dodgeball_20061030.mp3

And speaking of my weekly tech show... If you have ideas for topics you'd like to see covered, let me know. :) (Tech related -- please -- I can't help with your relationship problems and my investment advice is rubbish!)

Enjoy and thanks for listening (for yet another week)... ;-)