The best, and worst, of Demo Fall 2008

72 companies showed their stuff, with many intriguing options for businesses and consumers. But a few stood out far above the rest

Ah, but there is a catch. You can stream them off the Internet for free, but should you choose to save the file to a device, such as an iPod, you'll have to pay something to the composer, with MixMatch taking a small cut. Musicians who live far from each other could collaborate and jointly sell the song as well. The monetization/community aspect is a good idea; most musicians need every chance they can to earn a little money.

The worst of Demo

I don't like to pick on small companies, but sometimes you gotta say what's on your mind. And in this case, I'm here to tell you that HeyCosmo by Arsenal Interactive needs to die a quick death.

The premise is this: You want to hook up with a group of friends for a vacation or dinner or some such thing. You could call or e-mail or tweet them, but no, HeyCosmo wants you to set up a series of robo-calls -- you know, those infuriating messages you get around election time or from some bozo holding a sale on carpet cleaning.

The Web-based software lets the initiator spell out a number of questions you specify, and the recipients (if they haven't already hung up), must answer by pressing the appropriate number on their keypad. I suppose if they have questions or need clarifications, they can subject you to this same impersonal service.

But, wait, there's more! HeyCosmo's business is being a concierge, so its goal is to take these interactions and convert them into a business referral, such as finding a plumber or getting reservations at a restaurant. So, HeyCosmo will find all suppliers in range of your location or where you want to be, and robo-call all the providers it finds for you. Imagine 20 Las Vegas steakhouses getting robo-calls asking them to press 1 if they have a table for 4 at 7 p.m., 2 if they have a table at 8 p.m., etc. And then if they do enter an answer rather than just hang up, they're told you'll call back to confirm the reservation -- once you've seen all the responses and know who's got a table at your desired time. Yeah, I'm sure they'll welcome those calls.

Sorry, HeyCosmo. I'm hanging up now.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags demofall08

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Bill Snyder

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?