I haven’t written anything for a couple of weeks now, but thought I’d highlight a couple of nifty sites/apps that I’ve stumbled across recently.

Videoclix is a video system that allows you to click within videos and find out more about the things you’re watching. It will be fantastic to get background info on movie scenes at the touch of a button, without having to have the director’s commentary switched on. But sadly the most obvious application of this is advertising. In the example video on the site we see James Bond zooming around in a car, which we can click on to find out more about (as well as where to purchase, no doubt). We can access info on the island he’s on, the watch he’s wearing etc etc. Developments like this could bring a huge surge of product placement in films (something that the last Bond was pretty blatant about), knowing that revenue streams from the resultant clicks would easily recoup the exorbitant amount the manufacturers are no doubt charged by the film-makers.

Solovietalk is a small app that sits on your mobile and allows you to make conference calls to other mobiles. My limited understanding is that until now you would have had to route all calls through a call handler, which was expensive. This software allows you to manage the whole process yourself at a pretty reasonable minute-by-minute rate. I’ve not tried it myself, but the developers assure me it’s a smooth process. Seems pretty ideal to me, as more and more of us are out and about most of the time.

Qik allows live videocasting from a web-enabled phone, meaning that instead of having to wait for your video to be uploaded and processed (à la Youtube), your video will be streaming live to the world with just a 5 second delay. It’s worth just going to the site to see what other people are broadcasting. It’s compulsive viewing. Soon we’ll all be producing our own private Truman Shows….

News just in as I’m writing this: “Microsoft has offered to buy the search engine company Yahoo for $44.6bn (£22.4bn) in cash and shares”. More here from the BBC…