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The Real Hitchhiker's Guide?

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the glimpses-of-what's-to-come dept.

Portables 130

An anonymous reader writes "The UK's biggest selling newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, has a news story about a UK company that has developed the real version of the Hitch-hiker's Guide to the galaxy. It is a kind of portable media player that allows you to travel the world's surface and receive media tailored to who you are, where you are and what you are looking at."

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Hype machine VS reality. (0, Troll)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207440)

Wow, you'd think that the country that started English would know the difference between the words 'galaxy' and 'planet'? Information on one spec of sand in the milky way hardly constitutes the Hitchhiker's Guide.

A cool invention sure. An ode to a science fiction classic, no.

Re:Hype machine VS reality. (1)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207556)

Where does it say ".. to the Galaxy", in any of that, or maybe don't you speak English natively?

Re:Hype machine VS reality. (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207714)

Um, on the second link?

Re:Hype machine VS reality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13207768)

Read the article please. Galaxy is mentioned twice but not once in the context where they mean planet. First it's used in the title of the book, second "All of which leaves one question: never mind the rest of the galaxy, what does this mean for conventional guidebooks here on earth?". I don't see them getting planet and galaxy confused.
 
And anyway The Telegraph is a load of drivel.

It's the Telegraph, stupid (0, Troll)

panurge (573432) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207662)

The newspaper that thinks that, if there is fog in the English Channel, the Continent of Europe is cut off from civilisation.

Yeah, but maybe it can teach /. editors to spell (1)

wilsonao (888480) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208092)

Good job with spelling receive... I before E except after C.

Re:Hype machine VS reality. (1)

Kippesoep (712796) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208927)

You should try it on another planet before complaining. If it can't tell you where to get the best pangalactic gargleblaster on Comodoar LXIV, you may be able to get a refund.

Wifi wiki? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13207448)

What, you mean wikipedia?

Re:Wifi wiki? (2, Interesting)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207581)

That's what I was thinking...

Simply a handheld device (in the formfactor of the old Sharp Wizard PDAs) with a GPRS connection (remember, the real guide took a little while to DL over the subetha), linked to Wikipedia or that version of the guide on the BBC site (although, Wikipedia makes more sense)...

Of course, even if they made such a thing, they certainly wouldn't get it here to the US.

However, any smartphone'll be able to read Wikipedia, so it's all a moot point...

Re:Wifi wiki? (4, Funny)

stoborrobots (577882) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207942)

Simply a handheld device (in the formfactor of the old Sharp Wizard PDAs) with a GPRS connection (remember, the real guide took a little while to DL over the subetha), linked to Wikipedia or that version of the guide on the BBC site (although, Wikipedia makes more sense)...

Yeah, but could you do it with only two weeks and a $100 budget? [slashdot.org]

Re:Wifi wiki? (4, Insightful)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208209)

That'd be "the hitchiker's guide to things we consider important enough". The actual galaxy contains things such as hotels, bars, pubs, cafes, elementary schools, malls, shops, streets, and bus stops.

The hardware is not important (5, Insightful)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207451)

We have had GPS, PDAs and satellite phones for years, they just need to be tied together to make a 'guide'. More important is the *data* and no one company could possibly generate or manage the quantity required.

The closest things to the guide we will ever see have been around for a while already - h2g2, wikipedia and the internet as a whole.

Re:The hardware is not important (1)

david614 (10051) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207512)

You would think that Wikipedia would be able to fill the gap in fairly short order. Properly integrated, this thing could be fantastic.

Re:The hardware is not important (5, Funny)

JahToasted (517101) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207604)

Yeah, the most important thing is that is has the words "DON'T PANIC" written on the cover.

Agreed... (2, Interesting)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208059)

Seriously, I've been waiting for something like this ever since I first picked up a PDA and then learned that wireless networking was possible.

Sure, we don't have a "Sub-etha-net" yet, but if the world ever gets to the point where some kind of wireless is possible no matter where you are, then this kind of device coupled with something like Wikipedia could easily lead to at least a "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Earth".

It seems to me that, a good chunk of this for the part most could be done today given enough volunteers to fill in the data. If we ever get to the point where satellite recievers/transmitters will fit into a small enough device, then it will work pretty much anywhere (in the world) at any time.

Now, if I could just figure out how to pick up 15 years of back-pay for writing the words "Mostly Harmless". The first one took the most time, but the second one came to me over lunch. ;D

I already got a Treo 650 (2, Insightful)

infonography (566403) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208120)

every bit of funtionality and more is present in that. And this is just begining. If it wasn't for the Hitchhiker's Guide ref, would we even be discussing this?

Wikipedia, Wikitravel, WIkicompany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13209276)

Indeed, geo-coded data services will be the key. Wikipedia, Wikitravel [wikitravel.org] and Wikicompany [wikicompany.org] look like the first steps to creating these services.

All these Wiki projects already have some geo-coded articles, eg: Air Wales [wikicompany.org] and its maps [wikicompany.org]

hhgttg (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13207455)

No, the The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is here [vogon.com] . I recommend the Infocom version if you want to play games.

Yes, but ... (5, Funny)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207463)

... can it collapse possibilities in alternate universes, destroying the world in every parallel universe simulatenously and preventing the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything from being discovered?

What do you mean, it's just a portable media player? Pish. I'm waiting for version 2.0.

Re:Yes, but ... (1)

mog007 (677810) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207667)

Does version one have the words "Don't Panic" written in large friendly letters on the cover?

Not a new research area... (1)

reset_button (903303) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207474)

I've heard of projects doing this for at least two years now. This is actually more simple, because it doesn't take any input from the user (other than GPS coordinates). There are similar projects that use natural language techniques to customize what information the user receives.

Of course, the limiting factor here (I believe), is that all of this information has to be inputted by somebody - that's why this model only works in this specific place.

the galaxy? (1)

l33td00d42 (873726) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207475)

it gives detailed information throughout the whole milky way?

Re:the galaxy? (2, Informative)

dangitman (862676) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207651)

it gives detailed information throughout the whole milky way?

C'mon, the fictional guide didn't even provide detailed information throughout the milky way. Quote:

In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it
has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words Don't Panic inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.

Re:the galaxy? (1)

Savantissimo (893682) | more than 8 years ago | (#13209431)

Actually, it expands considerably on the HGG's local coverage, which consisted of: "Mostly harmless".

Hmmm... (3, Informative)

TheHarker (841979) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207476)

...First off, I don't think the Telegraph is even the biggest selling conservative/rightwing paper in the UK (never mind the UK as a whole). I think someone's PR machine is trying to be resourceful.
Secondly, Mr Adams and the BBC had already started an earth version of h2g2 [bbc.co.uk] quite a while back.

Statistics (1)

ThreeDayMonk (673466) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207513)

I believe that they market themselves as the largest-selling "quality" daily. Presumably, that excludes the red tops.

According to the National Readership Survey [nrs.co.uk] , they are sixth. All the higher-placed papers are tabloids.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Sirch (82595) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207521)

Actually, The Daily Telegraph has the highest circulation of daily broadsheets in the UK by quite a ways.

Their figures here. [telegraph.co.uk]

Re:Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

Zwack (27039) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207601)

Stop Redefining the question... The Daily Telegraph has 900,000 subscribers (roughly, but the Sun claims to have nearer 3,000,000. The original comment was that the Telegraph was not the highest selling newspaper. If you don't count the tabloids then you might be right, but the original comment is quite cleearly wrong.

Z.

Re:Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207647)

The sun majorly outsells it and guides the average "white van drivers" opinion more then anything else in history. It's porn and news (with a racist-pro Britian-anti Europe biast) in 1.

And in related news... (5, Funny)

HugePedlar (900427) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207491)

Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon 6, is filing for bankruptcy after facing a tax audit for 25% of her last financial year's earnings.

Re:And in related news... (2, Funny)

chuckmo (867432) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207720)

Sounds like she sassed too many hoopy froods. She should learn where her towel is.

Re:And in related news... (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208337)

Her accountant has urged her to spend the next year dead.

Great! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13207496)

who you are, where you are and what you are looking at.

Sounds like a less annoying replacement for my social worker.

Don't Panic (4, Funny)

DigitalDwarf (902246) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207500)

Does it say "Don't Panic" In Bright Friendly Letters on the back?

Amusing... (2, Informative)

Ender_Stonebender (60900) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207509)

I find this amusing, seeing as Douglas Adams had the idea for "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" as he was hitchiking through Europe - accompanied by a book called "The Hitchiker's Guide to Europe." [wikipedia.org]

--Ender

Re:Amusing... (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207757)

I've read this somewhere before, just not sure where it was. Thanks for the link. Wikipedia doesn't touch on it much, but I wonder if the book is still useful?
Seems like a damn good idea the next time I lose/quit my job.
Anyone know if it is good, or any alternatives?

Re:Amusing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13207999)

I bet it's too outdated, the Soviet Union still existed back then! Things have changed much in the last decade or two.

Re:Amusing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208576)

Funny how a friend and I were thinking about doing the exact same thing yesterday. We will plan/gather money for it in the next few months and probably leave next summer.

As another person mentionned, chances are the book is outdated, but it might still have useful survival (food/camping/etc.) tips. I have been looking around a bit for alternatives, and 'Europe on a shoestring' seems good, I'll check it out today at the library, I could send you feedback on it if you want.

ps: buying a cheap car when you get there might be a bit simpler than hitchhiking if you have budget for gas (or you could get small jobs once in a while to pay for it).

Hitchikers guide to Wales (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 8 years ago | (#13209250)

Hitchiking through Wales is easy, just find any number of hooded yobs driving at breakneck speed on joyrides in shitty old MGs. You get the added benifit of being given access to the black market in the locale as well.

Here on earth (5, Funny)

xenoxaos (731206) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207523)

If it only works here on Earth....It would be relatively easy to make. Whereever you go, it would just repeat, "Mostly harmless."

Mostly? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207626)

Whereever you go, it would just repeat, "Mostly harmless."

Unless of course, you're in Redmond, where it would shout: "DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!"

Re:Mostly? (1)

Alephcat (745478) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207642)

especially since it runs on Linux

Re:Mostly? (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208397)

Unless of course, you're in Redmond, where it would shout: "DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!"


More likely it would just make your sunglasses go completely opaque.

Re:Here on earth (1)

lustforlike (867068) | more than 8 years ago | (#13209228)

h2g2 already does that [bbc.co.uk] , at least for New Zealand: "Nobody pays much attention to New Zealand at the best of times."

LifeDrive + Wikipedia dump (2, Interesting)

ThreeDayMonk (673466) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207526)

I'm sure that you could make a real HHGG substitute with a Palm LifeDrive (or indeed anything with a few gigabytes of storage, a screen, and input) and a dump of Wikipedia. It could even have a conduit to synchronise your offline changes with the master on the internet.

Re:LifeDrive + Wikipedia dump (1)

david614 (10051) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207555)

I agree with this. I assume an application exists that can translate a wireless ip address into gps coordinates/lat-long for the location-based services part. That, or a GPS based pda might do the trick (Garmin, are you listening?)

Re:LifeDrive + Wikipedia dump (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13207684)

Even though it's the Wikipedia, it might be a little too accurate to be truly HHGG-alike.

Re:LifeDrive + Wikipedia dump (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207685)

I don't know if the book needs large amounts of storage, per se. Really we have had most of the technology for this book for many years. The only thing that is missing is the Sub Etha Net. As long as we can get online, we hav the book. A nice titanium enclosure, homepage H2G2, and worldwide wireles.

From the story, the graphics were very small, text was breif, and one only retrieved a page at a time. The bandwidth would not even need to be that much. And localization was never a feature. In fact localization is just another word for push ads. Can you imagine the damn contraption telling you every two minutes 'I see you are driving by a starbucks. Why not have a drink?" Now that would have the movie funny. Oh, and while we are at it, lets give if GPP.

"Localisation" (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207979)

And localization was never a feature. In fact localization is just another word for push ads.

Where I come from, "localization" means "accessibility to people who read another language instead of English". It's necessary at least until the Babel Fish [altavista.com] becomes more practical.

Re:"Localisation" (1)

kv9 (697238) | more than 8 years ago | (#13209825)

Where I come from, "localization" means "accessibility to people who read another language instead of English".

and where is that? weirdland [reference.com] ?

Re:LifeDrive + Wikipedia dump (1)

learn fast (824724) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207717)

What you really would want is a dump of WikiTravel [wikitravel.org]

wikipedia != tour guide. (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207876)

The new trick here is that the content is tied to GPS coordinates, something you can't get (very often) from wikipedia.

Also, wikepedia is an encyclopedia, not a tour guide. When I stop at a research lab I want interesting factoids about what important discoveries have been made there and some bios on the scientists, not a detailed description of the process of photosynthesis.

Wikipedia is also mostly text, and I got the impression that this toy was heavy on the video and images. I'd much rather a narrative with video and images or audio than just what amounts to one of those books on tape.

Wikipedia is a great source for information, but it's not necessarily an interesting/entertaining read, and that's what this little toy they're working on is all about. It's not an information tool, it's an entertainment tool.

Wikitravel (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208425)

Try wikitravel.org instead.

 

Kinda cute ... (4, Insightful)

threaded (89367) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207528)

Kinda cute, yet when you leave the Earth you'll be a little stuck as it uses GPS to work out where it is.

Re:Kinda cute ... (1)

Dante Shamest (813622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207737)

Kinda cute, yet when you leave the Earth you'll be a little stuck as it uses GPS to work out where it is.

Yes, god knows how often that happens. Everytime those little green men pick me up they never tell me where I am.

Re:Kinda cute ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13207900)

Yeah, damn, that makes this product pretty much unusable. :-p

Prior art (2, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207534)

You mean something like Alan Kay's Dynabook [wikipedia.org] ?

sounds like a GPS version of what the EMP uses (1)

pathfnder (606263) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207539)

http://www.emplive.org/ [emplive.org]

The experience Music Project is an interactive music museum in Seattle. When you go in, you get a satchel with a device in it, which links to a nice pair of headphones, and a handheld PDA/scanner which displays interactive media as you tour.

When I was there several years ago, I took off my headphones in a gallery full of people looking at rock memorabelia... and found myself taken from a movin' - groovin' world of blues and rock, to the quietest museum hall I've ever been in, and it was packed.

View the EMP's Tech Fact Sheet [emplive.org]

There is an important technical difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13207777)

The devices at the EMP are glorified radios. Stand in the right place and you get to listen to the program. When I visited, the reception wasn't that great. I gave up on the darn thing.

The British device has all the content on it. There's still a radio involved but it just provides location information so the correct content can be played. Radio-wise this is a much simpler problem and I expect it to be much more reliable.

In fact the radio part becomes very very inexpensive. You could build the transmitters for about ten bucks. The tour company could put these up everywhere; nail them to telephone poles and power them with solar cells. This could revolutionize tourism. You would just rent the player and go for a walking tour of the city. It could even have useful information like: "Don't go there if you don't want to be mugged."

I realize that devices that do the same thing have already been tried but it looks like these guys got it right. Sort of like; everything else is Hurd and this is Linux.

They got things the wrong way round (4, Funny)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207560)

1) Explore the galaxy
2) Get overwhelmed by it
3) Write a guide to it
4) Post a story to Slashdot publicising this amazing guide.

How can you publicise step 4, when you've yet to cover steps 1-3? Don't these people read Slashdot?

Re:They got things the wrong way round (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207706)

what's even worse,there are no "???" and no "Profit" steps. This is surely doomed to failure.

Shouldn't that line read... (2, Funny)

spike1 (675478) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207565)

Who you are, where you are and when you last had lunch with Zaphod Beeblebrox?

Oh, bollocks. (2, Interesting)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207627)

I've already got a h2g2: basically my palmpilot loaded with stuff coupled with my cellphone. Hell, actually my cellphone is more of a h2g2 all by itself, seeing as I do google searches on it.

I wonder if (1)

Geak (790376) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207648)

it tells you where you can get a pan galactic gargle blaster. All the diodes in my left side are aching - maybe one of these will numb the pain...

Best selling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13207674)

Wrong! The Sun is the best selling paper in the UK.

Re:Best selling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208320)

The article submitter meant a real newspaper. The Sun should not be legally called a newspaper, neither should the Daily Mail. Thus, The Daily Telegraph is the leading newspaper (900,000 sales) with The Times coming in 220,000 sales behind.

3D graphics capability? (1)

Anonymus Bosch (893140) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207683)

I want cool wireframe flythroughs like they had in the TV series .. I wonder how long the hardware of the day took to render those :-)

One of these devices with realtime 3D graphics technology would be great - imagine the visualisation possibilities for a film director.

Also, why just historical data? Businesses could broadcast stuff too. You'd never need to get lost in a shopping centre/department store again.

Re:3D graphics capability? (1)

aaribaud (585182) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207745)


I want cool wireframe flythroughs like they had in the TV series .. I wonder how long the hardware of the day took to render those :-)

IIRC, they did no rendering at that time (there was no such equipment available) and all the "computer-like" effects were... hand-made.

Re:3D graphics capability? (1)

ImprovGuy (541110) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207748)

Hardware of the day?

The "computer screens" of the HHGTTG tv show were made using traditional, hand drawn animation. They did a pretty good job, don't you think?

Re:3D graphics capability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13207752)

I believe you'll find that the cool wireframes in the TV series were all, in fact, hand drawn animation...

Re:3D graphics capability? (1)

Anonymus Bosch (893140) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207832)

OK, point taken re: the TV series - thanks everyone! ;-) - but what about the other ideas?

Re:3D graphics capability? (1)

david614 (10051) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208723)

I would think that the new playstation psp would be perfect for this *software* application. It is better looking than the hideous node device as well.

Repeated story (3, Informative)

ChunKing (513714) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207749)



Haven't we had this story two weeks ago:

http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/ 18/1759259&tid=100&tid=193&tid=218 [slashdot.org]

Or is today's story that the Daily Telegraph has run a story about this gadget?

Re:Repeated story (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 8 years ago | (#13209241)

Will someone give this guy an editoral job; even though it is highly improbable I think it might have momentum if enough people reply to this, maybe.

Node (2, Informative)

PlasticMonkey (863080) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207833)

Not meaning to troll but I'm sure node has been posted at lease four times in the past year...

Hitchhiker's Ad to the Galaxy (3, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207848)

And as soon as that company gets bought out by Clear Channel:

It is a kind of portable media player that allows you to travel the world's surface and receive advertisements tailored to who you are, where you are and what you are looking at.

Re:advertisements (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208170)

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
Try
It is a kind of portable media player that allows you to travel the world's surface and receive advertisements tailored to who is paying them to show their ads.
You will be bombarded with ads for crazy frog ringtones , personal loans and other crap wherever you go.

Re:Hitchhiker's Ad to the Galaxy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208325)

I expect this already violates the recent Google Patenet on Advert Placing so will never become available in the USA so, IMGO, should be renamed

The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (Except for the USA and certain parts of the Greater Vogon Empire(otherwise known as Milton Keynes) which are overly pungent due to a total lack of water so the locals never wash anything)

Node The solution for location based media (1)

pg133 (307365) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207861)

The company website gives more information, Node [nodeexplore.com] "The solution for location based media"

There are pictures of the Node Explorer [nodeexplore.com] hardware.

torygraph (1)

mr_tommy (619972) | more than 9 years ago | (#13207925)

The Daily Telegraph is not the UK's biggest selling news paper by a long shot/a. [pressgazette.co.uk]

Re:torygraph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208426)

Please don't call The Sun a real newspaper. [slashdot.org]

pfft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13207973)

Who needs a guide anyway? We all know it's 42.

its marketing mission bullshit detector ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13207996)



To contribute advances in our fundamental knowledge and understanding of people's relationships with urban space and with public pervasive technologies; to develop a set of well-founded, empirically tested and practically applicable principles, tools and techniques for the design and implementation of city-scale, long-term pervasive systems. These developments will involve advances in knowledge, theory and practice in the areas of designing space, context awareness, service discovery, trust, security and privacy.

Look , it's not big and it's not clever
but it's definitely bullshit

Making this possible (3, Interesting)

foo23 (722487) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208048)

I am asking myself the following: It would be really nice if this could be made possible by the following small changes in already existing technology:

1) Make wikipedia entries searcheable by proximity to global coordinates. The data is probably very quickly entered by the community and the search function does not sound difficult to me.

2) Owners of private wireless access points make them open for everyone ... but all unknown or unidentified users/MAC addresses will _only_ be able to access wikipedia. Nothing else, everything is redirected. This is naturally the more difficult point.

Has anybody experience with configurations like this? I am interested ...

Re:Making this possible (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208715)

"Make wikipedia entries searcheable by proximity to global coordinates. " - this would (speaking as a wikipedia admin) require a tremendous amount of metadata which mediawiki does not support (they were considering adding some *very basic* relational metadata tags and scrapped the project because it was particularly difficult) and a flexible search algorithm, similiar to something you might find on Google maps.

"The real" HHG (1)

Jesus 2.0 (701858) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208058)

Is nothing more than a handheld with a WiFi connection to the internet.

Better than h2g2... (1)

Digi-John (692918) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208073)

I much prefer Project Galactic Guide [galactic-guide.com] to such things as h2g2 and the vogon.com project. It has lots of "non-real" articles, but quite a few are fun _and_ informative. We need some new submissions, so anybody interested should get writing!

wiki on an ipod (1)

Jaryn (880486) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208078)

someone could create the guide tomorrow, right? I mean, I guess it wouldn't have the GPS, or a live feed.. ..but photo/color iPod can hold like 60 gig right there. http://www.apple.com/ipod/color/ [apple.com] and the entire wiki database is only 4.2 gig while the english parts, just 1.5 gig http://en.wikipedia.org/wikistats/EN/TablesDatabas eSize.htm [wikipedia.org] of course, that may say more about what's missing in the wikipedia than how easy it would be to cart it around in your hand. but a good start, no? (at least the wikipedia and THHGTTG seem to have the same feel -- both have got the cavalier roving (roving in a cybersense) researchers whose information at best may be considered unreliable.. But at least the wiki-entry for "Earth" is longer than "mostly harmless". It's neat that the wikipedia article actually mentions that phrase though.) (:

This isn't new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208081)

Shortwave radio has been around for years.

Rubbish (0, Troll)

sameyeam (587571) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208167)

The UK's biggest selling newspaper, the Daily Telegraph

That is not even close to being the truth.

More like a museum walkthrough (2, Insightful)

mblase (200735) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208179)

On screen, I see myself as a little red dot moving slowly over the grass. Depending on where I wander, an entirely different heritage or cultural story is presented through a combination of pictures, sound effects and narrative, all related to where I'm standing and what I'm looking at.

How, exactly, is this anything like the Hitchhiker's Guide? I mean, it's cool to have a device that will give you interesting information about whatever's near where you're standing now, as long as you're within a certain area. But that's not even close to what Douglas Adams described in his books, or even to what's in the movie.

BBC's h2g2 On the Move (1)

bigberk (547360) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208277)

Geez, this isn't news. The BBC's H2G2 site [bbc.co.uk] (they took over from the failed dot-com project) and links to their h2g2 mobile [bbc.co.uk] page. A much more elegant solution than a dedicated device, I think:

"h2g2 On the Move is a version of h2g2 specifically designed with smartphones and PDAs in mind so that the Edited Guide can be accessed from anywhere within range of a mobile/cellphone transmitter."

Make magazine (1)

phr4gmonk3y (660092) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208442)

Make Magazine (http://www.makezine.com/ [makezine.com] ) has a short how-to this month on using a Sharp Zaurus as something similar to the device described here. They use a text-only snapshot of wikipedia and convert it into some propietary dictionary format. The database end up only being 300-400 mb, not bad considering how cheap flash media is getting these days.

UK's biggest selling newspaper the DailyTelegraph? (1)

orlinius (181137) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208556)

UK's biggest selling daily newspaper is the Sun.

The Telegraph is the highest selling British "broadsheet" newspaper, with an average daily circulation of 920,000.

In comparison the Sun sells about 3,200,000 copies daily which is quite impressive and I think makes it the biggest selling newspaper in Europe. It is a "tabloid" newspaper owned by News Corporation.
Page three girls have their tops off every day, hence the name :)

Re:UK's biggest selling newspaper the DailyTelegra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13208697)

The article submitter quite obviously meant a real newspaper, as in, a paper which actually has news in it, so The Sun should not legally qualify as such, and neither should The Daily Mail. The Daily Telegraph is the United Kingdom's best-selling newspaper, 220,000 issues more than The Times.

The Sun is bullshit for ignorant people, nothing more, nothing less.

Re:UK's biggest selling newspaper the DailyTelegra (1)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 8 years ago | (#13209174)

Personally, I'd list the Telegraph as bullshit for ignorant people as well.

Sun of a (1)

roosterx (739030) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208602)

Too bad MS already holds the patent to this.

:/

does it have a babelfish attachment? (1)

cojsl (694820) | more than 9 years ago | (#13208658)

Customer: "What's this fish shaped accessory for?" Salesman: "Oh, that goes inside your ear......"

It's content, not hardware that will make this fly (1)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 9 years ago | (#13209078)

This is a good idea, but hardly revolutionary. The technology behind this is all preexisting; a tablet PC with a GPS and a wireless NIC card. Any number of manufactures could put this together (or end users who spend a little bit on extras).

Like most "new and exciting" applications, it's not the hardware (or even the software) that makes it, it's the content. If these folks think for one moment they're going to make it big by selling tablets that use a (I assume) proprietary tour guide standard which provides content for a few hundred spots, they're sorely mistaken. Organizations aren't going to develop content unless a sufficient number of people buy these things, and people aren't going to buy these things unless there's lots of content.

On the other hand, if they develop and license a standard that's platform independent and easy to produce content for, they may be on to something. Things like the online Hg2g or Wikipedia show that, as a general rule, people love to share information. Keep the standard open (let any manufacturer imbed it into cell phones, tablet PCs, etc. for a small licensing fee), and people will develop content for it.

Without the ease and openness to allow anyone to produce content, and the versatility to operate this on any platform, it's really nothing more then a novelty.

Perhaps this would be a good time... (1)

QuantaStarFire (902219) | more than 8 years ago | (#13209775)

...to invest in the growing towel market, 'cuz when the guide is a reality, towel futures should SOAR. :)

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