Saturday, March 12, 2011

Google's Person Finder (Japan) + the Kindle 3G lookup for emergencies. UPDATE

At the left is Google's new Person-Finder: 2011 Japan Earthquake tool.   Like others, I added it in the top area of the webpage yesterday, and Google already has a database of over 40,000 names in it.

 You enter the  name of the person you're looking for or the name of someone you have information about.

  In connection with that, I saw a story last night about a Melbourne family looking for their son/nephew, Jason, who was visiting Sendai and had called his mother to say he was fine, after the earthquake, but then the tsunami hit and they didn't hear from him after that.  Disconcerting.

  There are several stories included but that's all there was about him, so I put his name into the Person Finder web form and found information from someone about Jason -- that he was okay, and it also let the family know where he was staying.  Phones weren't working on Sendai of course.  You can click on the image at the right to see the web page result.

That was offtopic.  What about the Kindle?
   It was hard to think about the Kindle last night but someone sent me a story from the site that does involve the use of the Kindle's free 3G cellular wireless capability, which often comes in handy.  Glenn Reynolds's article was about reader Mary Forman's note "in praise of the Kindle":
' “We have been unable to reach our daughter in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, since the earthquake struck almost 20 hours ago.  We just received an email from her (she’s fine) which she sent from a friend’s 3G Kindle!  Put that on your disaster list!”

  Noted.  As a test, I blogged from my Kindle once. It worked, but it wasn’t easy with that tiny keyboard. . . .

  UPDATE: Reader Matt Potter emails: “Just a follow up to the Kindle email comms. My friend’s daughter was a missionary in Haiti at the time of the earthquake.  They primarily used text messages to arrange evacuation.  The layering of communications in the modern world now offers these kind of capabilities.” Yes, text-messaging often works when regular calls won’t get through. '
That was actually done via email with the experimental free 3G web-access feature, in its 4th year, included in the purchase-price of the Kindle (UK: K3).  And I agree with Reynolds -- I wouldn't want to blog on the Kindle, but it's great for needed web lookups wherever you happen to be.

Web-lookups you can do almost anywhere
  . Get step by step directions to drive, walk or bicycle to your destination (when lost).
  . Free, downloadable Kindle Bookmarks or WebLinks file for sites optmized for the Kindle.  In book form, this has workarounds for various oddities you might encounter when using gmail and other Google features and includes good links to mobile-device optimized sites, with some links that are to menu trees of many good links.

On this Kindleworld website, I also have links, near the top, to BBC's very informative live reports and constant video of the situation in Japan, as the situation is overwhelming.

 HuffPo also has aggregated news updates and video at the bottom of their Japan earthquake page.  Amazon has Red Cross donation boxes on their pages if you'd like to help in that way.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle

(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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