Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Google +1 : Unraveling the Mystery

 

The mystery is there only because people just can't get something very straight forward into their heads. Google is NOT trying to dethrone Facebook here. Not as a social network at least.

Let me back it up a bit. Over the past few weeks Techcrunch has really really been on a roll with regard to grabbing inside details about Google's social project which was earlier dubbed Google Me. Check it out over here.

Gist of it is this, Google's social project seems to be coming off as just a toolbar with a share button which I can only imagine allows you to share across several networks. Oh. And it would probably include the goo.gl ur shortener too. 

Doesn't seem like a big deal to you? Well you are probably right. On the surface this probably doesn't mean anything but some convenience in sharing stuff. But what if it was looked at from a different angle? I decided to observe the comments first. Yeps. Everyone is screaming how utterly useless this will be to them and that Google sucks for working on this for 6 months. Here's my view.

ok if this is it... Well I wouldn't say it sucks entirely. I think people are missing the point. I'm not entirely sure Google wants people to leave Facebook and come to them in droves. I honestly hope that isn't their strategy because there is very little hope that they could do a project like that in secret and hope for it to work with a bunch of techies as testers. Nah. For a social product to overwhelm Facebook they'd need to be very open about the whole thing and have a lot of people on board to test it.
Here's a reality (or is it sanity) check. Google might finally have realised that they are about to lose search ground to Facebook. The day Facebook says "use this search bar to search for stuff you'd normally search for on Google" the game might be up. Why? Friend recommendations come to the top. Why is that important? Human psychology. We need to be part of a group. Why do you think everyone is on FB. Because that's where their friends are.
Point is, friend recommendations. So if this is Google +1 then imagine this. Every link you share/like, whether the share goes to twitter or facebook it doesn't matter. To Google if you do this through their system then it's a +1 to them and it dominoes down into a possible way of enhancing their search engine.
Now do you see where this is going?
At least... That's where I hope it's going. If this is just a share button. For goodness sake. Just embrace www.rockmelt.com . Yes. I'm in love with it.
edit : something else to think about. Google reader. "Add your friend's +1s to your reading list" (that's about the max in real social that i can see coming from this)
edit 2: to all the people yelling a share button can't be what they worked on for this long. well. a brand new social graph oriented algorithm could take that long. heck. probably longer.

I just had to get caught to a troll after that who had been trolling this post and I missed that before responding but I felt my response carried a few additional points.

From him to me

No offense, but that is an extremely stupid and simple minded way of thinking. The "Any gain is better than nothing!" idea doesn't take into account how much money they spent developing it.
And again...newsflash to all the delusional morons out there...the average person does NOT have a Google account. Gmail...the biggest reason people sign up for a Google account has TWENTY PERCENT market share. So 4 out of 5 users do not have one, and they sure as hell won't sign up for this.

And my reply

um no offense but dude. Do you have any idea how valuable a social oriented search algorithm added into their existing algorithm is? Or have you not been watching the news as to how scary the FB Social graph is to Google's search? Did you not read about Mark's interview where he outright said that Google has it all wrong? That people don't want to see a plain old algorithm generated result anymore which is essentially only what Google's algorithm wants you to see.
Did you miss the article about how a guy gamed the system into pushing his site to the top by fueling negative comments? He discovered that it doesn't matter how bad the comments are, as long as a lot of people have commented or discussed on and about his site it still drove the Google bots to his site.
Welcome to reality. This isn't an "any gain is better than nothing" idea. If my general observation is anything to go by, people don't mind clicking the like button. But you know what they for some reason like more? Being able to share a link from wherever they go into twitter or facebook without having to leave the site. Trust me on this one. Rockmelt allows this and everyone, without exception, who I have demoed it to at my University, techies and non techies alike, have gone wild over it.
The only argument I'm willing to accept here is the whole Google Account bit. And that, well you are just assuming it'll happen the way they roll out their other products. Let's just wait for that bit shall we?
My only argument was to clear out the fact that I think everyone is getting it wrong. They don't want to dethrone FB as social engine. They want to make sure it stays clear off their turf. That turf happens to be the search and ads business. nuff said

So my final argument summarized for anyone to read.

  • Google isn't trying to create a new social network.
  • Google doesn't want to create a new social network.
  • Google can’t create a new social network without extensive user testing and public feedback
  • Google is under threat from FB on the search front. Sure you don't use FB to search for how to cook or how to code today but it'll take a few UI changes to disrupt all of that (over simplified but big picture view that's it)
  • Google wants you to interact through them to all your other social networks. You do this and you don't have to switch anything but you'll soon start seeing stuff recommended by your friends showing up on the side. What would you click? Those dodgy links or a link saying "Friend qwerty +1ed this"
  • In the end it's about Google bringing social to search. Oh, and telling FB to stay off their park.

At least, that is what I really hope this is if it is for real.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Android app quality: Time for a change, and here's how.

Have you ever heard the line that iOS apps currently rock the crap out of Android apps. Well what the people have spoken is true. So today as a good citizen and user of Android I'm putting forward my idea on how Google should change the working of its app market to increase the quality of the applications submitted to it. You see, today Google announced that Android was getting a rating system for its apps. This is the article I read on Mashable. The sentence that actually interested me the most was this,
The mandatory rating system represents the maturation of the market
What interested me even more was a comment left behind by tom dahm.
now all they need to do is filter out all the crap in the market and we'll be set. I know its 'open', but theres a lot of just plain garbage apps in it. having quality standards in the app market would be a great move imo.
I’ve responded to several comments already left behind on this post on how Google should actually set about improving their app market quality which is what I need to put down here in proper point format.

Since I’m going to be taking into consideration only the quality of apps here I’m not going to head into problem areas like searching within the app market which everyone knows is clunky at best. Looking at the comment left behind on the post, I thought to myself, should Google actually embrace Apple’s model? Sure the app market is filling up a lot faster but with what? I can actually search for “Hello world” apps out there. Seriously? Those are all included in the final tally of apps which Google so proudly pronounces every quarter. Let’s get serious here. Android can no longer be regarded as a maturing platform. It is mature and it is big time. The developers can’t be regarded as new comers. There’s been plenty of time for seasoned developers to be around now. Developers new to the platform can’t complain of not knowing how to develop a good quality app. Android has in fact released a very well documented guidelines platform on how to develop applications for it. From performance to icon design it has it all. The recent move of adding ratings proves even more that Google is actually making that shift towards making their app market more accessible, more professional and overall a lot healthier. Maybe this is to do with the advent of tablet form factors about to burst out from the Droid side. They certainly don’t want people using absolute layouts when that comes after all right?

On to business then. What does Google do? Embrace the Apple philosophy? Continue to show their support of open? Spend more months dreaming up ways to help people identify which apps out there on the market are crap and which aren’t? A bit of all of that actually. Fear not Google! I can haz your solution! Take the following steps and call me in the morning. You can thank me then too.

Warning. This solution is human resource intensive, but there is always a price to pay to beat Apple at their own game. No pain, no gain.


Following Apple’s philosophy?


“We don’t like it so there’s no way your app can make it into our app store. Kindly redo this before attempting to join the ranks of the upper elite”
– Apple (with my own salt and pepper chucked in liberally)

Ok so maybe that is a little unfair to say they are totally snobbish since they give feedback too but you get the idea. It’s a closed world and it can be discouraging for aspiring developers to spend 99 bucks while knowing there’s a fair chance that they can be rejected with whatever they come up with for some time. Yes it is good in a way since it instantly sets a bar for even the new developer to aspire to reach. But fact remains, it is Closed. C.L.O.S.E.D!

Google should NEVER follow this sort of thing. It isn’t in their philosophy and the amount of backlash they would face not to mention the fact that it doesn’t even feel right just makes the Apple philosophy a no no. But if Google does want to up the look and feel of the apps out there on the market, how about introducing,


App developer feedback program


Introduce this concept to the app market. Every app submitted to the app market goes through the same process that an app would go through if submitted to Apple. Check for bugs, check for performance, check for conformance to standards set for Android developers. Rate each factor. Put down recommendations. For a better experience have app developers submit a small document with what the functionality of the app is. Check what percentage of that functionality actually exists.

We still haven’t really stepped outside of what Apple does by the way. You can ask Apple for recommendations if they reject your app you know. Once all of this is done, send a full feedback report to the app developer. DON’T block the app if it doesn’t perform well. Let it go online but every app that goes online will go online with the Google ratings attached to it.

So why should developers be worried about this if their app goes to the market anyway? Well for one I’m fairly sure a lot of developers out there would love to have reviews straight from the Google staff. Second those ratings will still go with the app onto the app market and that means a lot since a high rating will have users downloading the app knowing that its quality is good and that the app does what it’s meant to do.

Oh and finally. This all matters because Google’s next step should be,


Bring on the Top Apps zone


Well fine that’s a crappy name. But bring in a new area for the Android Market which carries only the apps which have passed all the tests. To put it simply, if Apple were in charge of the app market, the apps that get through Apple’s checks, put those apps into this special zone. Now picture the enthusiasm. Users would go straight there knowing they would find the best of the best applications within it. Developers would instantly get it into their heads that if they really want to be there they need to be better. So there, happy day scenario. People can still develop their hello world apps and upload them while the more serious developers would actually be working hard to get their apps into the elite zone.

Ok this brings up a problem. What if there’s a hello world app that does what it should and conforms to the user guidelines. Well. Introduce one more rule that the app should actually do something useful. Yes unfortunate step there but no way around it really. More importantly however, give a choice for opting in to the program

So it might be a mistake to say go through all apps. After all how do you make recommendations to the infinite list of “Hot girls” apps you see out there. Give people a chance to opt in to get their apps on the list.


Summing it up


Essentially the plan here in its simplest form is, create one more category in the App market where if people want their apps in it they have to apply for it while uploading the app. And basically whether or not you get in would be governed by a set of rules very similar to what Apple has set.

There you have it. Best of both worlds in one simple easy package and no one gets hurt.

Yes you’re welcome.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Where is Facebook headed next?

Or rather where I think they should head. Just one place that’s all. This is not going to be some exhaustive list that spans 10 points of what Facebook should do next to be the next big thing on the net and to make sure they stay relevant forever. No. As much as people can hate Facebook for some of the things they’ve done you still have to respect them in the way they play their cards which keeps them juggernauting over the competition.

So take a step back. I just want to take a look at Facebook’s timeline and watch how it has evolved to become what it is; a one stop eco system for your entire life. Don’t quite believe me? Fine I don’t support the whole deal of people living their lives out there on Facebook. People need to get out more yes. What I do mean by a one stop eco system is this,

In the past do you remember how you would plan out a trip with a group of friends? Even if it was just to the theme park a few blocks away. Or how about planning an outing even to a simple movie and a concert a little while after? Painful call after call, texting, checking, rechecking, planning and more planning and shifting plans. Today it’s a message on Facebook to the friends and there. Everything is on that thread.

You go on the trip and then you and your friends all take photos of each other. Back in the day it was an album uploaded on the ridiculously <sarcasm: “fast” /> Kodak photo service. Then there was Picasa and oh yes, Flikr. Now? Facebook. They even introduced support for high res photo uploads. Tag people, set visibility settings to just them. It actually does work that way. One stop.

You just got into university. Time to set up a group for the people of your batch. Oh and your sports teams, and yes that club you are involved in. You could use Google groups. Sure it’s good no doubt about that. You could use Groove. Still handy. But you know what was wrong with those services? Well not much was wrong with the service as there was with who used it. Rather, who DIDN’T use it. Personal experience has shown me that trying to get people onto Google groups will involve the steps of finding out their email addresses, mailing them, getting the ones who don’t have a Google account to setup a Google account. Of course there’s the pain of dealing with the less tech savvy ones (which is a given thing one HAS to account for. Geeks don’t usually do this with their technical snobbery). So they actually try and sign up for gmail accounts to get Google accounts and overall it’s a glorious mess. Now with the revamped interface for Facebook groups the choice should be pretty obvious. 500 million users, searchable by name for the most part, and you can add them without waiting for them to get online so that they don’t miss the update.

What about geo location? Used Foursquare? Used Latitude? Had to get your friends to sign on for those services as well? Sure those services could get people to sign in with their Facebook accounts but then why bother. Eventually every Facebook user will have their own Places account activated by default. By the way, just another example that Facebook is the one stop eco system, “sign in using your Facebook account”. But let’s leave that aside. Fact is, geo location which ties in with their groups, their comments, your friends (who don’t even have to be active users of Places), photo albums and everything else is now inside of Facebook. Yes. One stop.

Does the list stop there? I don’t think so. Facebook recently acquired the service drop.io. What’s that? A file sharing service? Well gee. Whadya know. No more sharing rapidshare, megaupload, 4shared links. No more signing up for all of that. No more visiting different pages. There you are, sign in to Facebook and you can upload and share straight from that. To put it in the words of Steve J. “Isn’t that wonderful?”

So what’s next? Well do you recall how buddy Facebook has become with Microsoft? Even the recent Bing partnership. There is something there beyond a casual relationship. So how about this? Google docs would be a norm for online document collaboration (Yes I know there are other services but just to keep the examples consistent). Yes again as with Google accounts, the moment you say Google accounts/docs, the non tech savvy guy goes “What’s that?” and “How?”. But what if there was document integration in Facebook itself. What if I could create and edit and share AND collaborate on documents within Facebook?

What IF I could upload a document to a group or store a file using the file sharing stuff I hope they do implement and edit it and share it within Facebook? What IF I could connect to Office live apps and work directly on that from my Facebook account? Sure the idea sounds a little strange. Is this the crowd that comes to Facebook? Is this what people want to do on Facebook? My answer… With 500 million users. Damn right they do.

As for the consequences. Well, for Facebook what it means is that it takes another step towards becoming your one stop corner for everything. For Microsoft. I think Steve Ballmer can tell you what 500 million users would do for him. As for me. I just think it’s a really exciting possibility. There could be even freemium services offered if this happened. Even more importantly, There’d be no headache of takeovers that Facebook would have to worry about. No headache of creating their own service. Nothing. It’s all there. Ready, and waiting.
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update : Few hours later when I checked tweets in the night looks like that prediction might have hit jackpot. Mary Jo Foley who breaks the Microsoft rumors as they come on zdnet posted this http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/not-so-crazy-microsoft-rumors-facebooks-new-e-mail-to-feature-office-web-apps-integration/7949 . Ah well. Like she said. Wait for Monday to see. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trademarking “Twitter”

 

Twitter released a new post to their blog sometime yesterday regarding a fresh look in terms of logos, buttons and a few guidelines on how to get yourself associated with Twitter. When reading through their list of requirements it feels very much like a lot of them are ensuring that they don’t lose exclusive control of their trademarks. Then again I can’t help but feel it serves them right for leaving the definition of a tweet out on the side of one’s homepage as if it belongs in the Oxford dictionary. I suppose that they do wish to control the use of the word “Tweet” so that social networking sites and IM clients can’t refer to status updates as a “Tweet” eventually but whatever impact these guidelines might have on that, only time will tell.

What is more concerning is the way these guidelines have been put across. It isn’t like something you might read when you browse through the Apple App Store guidelines (PDF format). To Apple’s credit, as restricted as they may feel in many cases, it is a concrete guide that doesn’t feel like there are any doubts that could really be found. Looking at the “Twitter” resource guide however, I find some strange guidelines that have been put forward without any real specification on how it’s supposed to be defined.

For example their point

Using Twitter Screenshots

Do:
Don't
  • Use screenshots of other people’s profiles or Tweets without their permission.

One reading this would immediately think of the number of Tweets have been screen capped and used in new stories. Specially the breaking news sorts where someone has slipped up on Twitter, but before they can realise it and take it off, it’s already being posted around the internet. So a question that springs to mind is first up, how does Twitter plan on implementing all of this? Would they go throughout the internet searching for people who have used screen captures? Public flikr albums, blog posts etc etc? Thankfully Tech Crunch being a news blog that constantly uses screenies of Tweets to break news was kind enough to call on twitter for a few explanations. The fact that Twitter had to be contacted just to explain the rule at this level indicates the grey area they have left for everyone to misconstrue. Their response to this does very little to remove the questions.

This isn’t a new part of the policy and was stated in the guidelines before. This serves primarily to protect users from their tweets being used as endorsements without their knowledge. Public tweets are public. But if you’re going to use tweets in static form (e.g. in a publication), you should have permission from the author/user. For instance, if someone famous were to tweet about liking something and then it was used on a billboard.

This doesn’t apply to broadcast — there are separate display guidelines about that. Our policies also don’t attempt to control the appropriate use of tweets in news reporting.

For news, whether online or print, it’s okay to use screenshots of Tweets. The permission applies more to merchandise, billboards, etc. Users’ rights are key.

In today’s world what exactly do you define as the process of advertising to say that a Tweet cannot be used in it. What if there was a news article that hinted at the fact that someone’s Tweet endorsed something in particular? What if there was a Tweet that was used in a news article to say that a politician endorsed Anti gay movements? Isn’t this the sort of thing that Twitter wishes to protect its users from?

Question is, where do they draw the line.

If that wasn’t bad enough,

Naming your Application or Product, Applying for a Domain

Do: Use Tweet in the name of your application only if it is designed to be used exclusively with the Twitter platform.

Don’t: Use Tweet in the name of your application if used with any other platform.

So what happens to Tweetdeck, a point which was brought out, again, by Tech Crunch who were kind enough again to provide the official answer from Twitter.

Twitter responds briefly: “case by case basis”, suggesting Tweetdeck has nothing to worry about. The startup’s founder, Iain Dodsworth, echoed that sentiment on Twitter.

Wait, “case-by-case-basis”? Leaving aside Tech Crunch’s assumption let’s just look at the gray area caused over here already. That guideline is clear enough here. Why distort it at all? Somehow something about this set of guidelines just feels very incomplete. Sure hope Twitter makes an effort to clear this set of points that could be easily misunderstood.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

A word about Internet Explorer 9

 

This blog really isn’t meant for my code related stuff, I have another blog for that which is pretty dormant right now after a few failed attempts to insert code. That is of course beside the point. The point is I wanted to bring up a certain detail about IE9 beta. While it is by far the best browser I have used in beta stage I still think there’s one killer feature missing in it.

Custom pinned sites.

See there are plenty of sites I use that haven’t made use of the great feature of jump lists for pinned sites. What if there is a site that does have jump lists but goes all the places I don’t need it to go?

So I propose something like this. For those sites what we do is we create our own HTML file and give it the standard head and body and what not, and then where the meta data for jump lists should go, we write our own meta data stuff. We add our locations we wish to have the jump lists enabled for and then set the start page of it to whatever site we want. In my case, www.deviantart.com .

Then we drag the file out of explorer and pin it right there on taskbar. Ta daaa.. Custom jump list for the customizing fans. I’d be first in line to make a tiny application to create “custom jump list sites to be pinned”.

Yea. Imagine the possibilities.

Cheers.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Welcome to the AppLe Store

 

Well Apple decided to have a press conference recently and at this conference everyone by now knows that they released their brand new Mac which frankly speaking looks rather sweet. The being said, one of the more momentous pieces of news was that the App store was finally coming to Mac. Upon hearing this piece of news some people have become more than a little upset. People such as the chief of Mozilla Firefox has gone as far as to say, “Apple is looking to bypass the web”

Whoa whoa whoaa.. Back it up a bit. Now I’m no real fan of dearest Steve Jobs but bypassing the web? Apparently he feels that the Mac OS X App store requirements will not work well with the firefox open beta development process. In fact in the article from Read Write Web there are others who have been quoted saying

“a computer means you have choices as to what apps you run on it, what apps get developed for it, and how you express yourself using it.”

Well bully for you. I think all of them are just jumping up and down making a lot of noise without understanding both the guidelines of the App Store and more importantly, the whole purpose of the App Store being there in the first place.

So to make things absolutely clear to all of these folks, specially Mike Beltzner, just because Apple went and introduced the App Store for the Mac DOES NOT mean that you will never find your software showing up on the Mac itself. If someone wishes to install software from outside the App Store then that’s fine. They have that option. You don’t need to jailbreak your Mac to be able to install third party software not approved by Apple.

You see, the whole purpose of the App Store is very simple. Have a single repository of software which has the stamp of approval from Apple on it. This means that if I (ever buy a Mac) wanted an application to increase my productivity, something to work with Twitter and if I wanted an application that worked for sure, all I would have to do is get on the App Store and search for what I want. It’s as simple as that. So to summarize what I can get out of the App Store,

  1. Applications that work!
  2. Applications that are safe!
  3. Applications that provide a uniform user experience throughout!

Just to make one thing clear, I use an Android, HTC Desire to be specific, and while I will argue to the death that Android is better in productivity, I will not argue that the applications are of the same level of polish that you see on the iPhone. The main reason for this standard is that Apple keeps such strict rules on their App Store.

So what about the point that affects Firefox.

“Beta releases of applications will be rejected”

So essentially what Firefox is complaining about is that Apple doesn’t want to release an application which HAS BUGS onto THEIR App Store where THEY HOST your applications. And if your application is free, well then they are hosting your application for free too. What makes me scratch my head even more is this, isn’t it really only the tech interested people who actually participate in open beta programs? So wouldn’t they anyway go to the beta download page and download the darn thing? Not having it on the App Store wont kill them. Doesn’t Firefox also have links on their beta page warning users that they will be downloading a beta program so if they want to download a stable release they can do so at whatever other page? So why the complaints?

Drama.

While reading through the rest of the guidelines there were two other points that caught my attention. The first one that came out was the fact that if the application developed was dependent on any other run time frameworks like Java, then they would be rejected. I can see this causing a few problems for people but I think I understand where Apple is going with this one. Apple wants the user experience on their platforms to always be as simple as possible. That’s why there was no right click. That’s why there’s only one button on the iPhone too. So picture this.

Simple user downloads software. Software needs Java. Software says you need to download Java. It downloads Java. It begins installing and then says installed or whatever. Later on it’ll say need to update at some random time. Sure this all sounds rather simple for the tech savvy person. But let’s face facts. We are the minority. So if Steve Jobs wants to provide an experience for the majority of people where all they do is search, click and run, then by all means we shouldn’t stop that. One more point to note about that particular condition is that if they do allow run times like Java, then where do they draw the line if they don’t want to let a particular run time framework onto their machines maybe due to security concerns. Every framework has security concerns, just that some have yet to be discovered so one can’t reject a framework based on that. After all if an accepted framework suddenly reports a huge vulnerability then would Apple have to block all of them on the Macs till that vulnerability is patched? I think I made my point.

The second point that grabbed my attention was

“Apps that are simply Web clippings, content aggregators, or a collection of links may be rejected.”

So does that mean that RSS Readers and Twitter applications are out? This is the only dodgy point I’ve noticed so far. So let’s see how this pans out.

Oh and before I wrap this up… I’ll just address one more point from the Read Write Web post. It’s a quote of some other guy who has a problem with Apple’s latest guidelines,

“If anything, ever, will make me leave Mac for good...it will be the integration of the Mac OS into Steve Jobs' vision of where mobile is going.”

What a load of nonsense. If Steve doesn’t let any applications except those on the App store be installed then even Steve knows that Macs won’t keep selling like they should. Honestly, and to think that people call children “childish”.

 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Google Instant

 

Well it seems that there is quite a stirring going on out in the search world with the latest announcement from Google that it will be rolling out an update to all its users pretty soon, Google Instant. Before I give a bunch of links to videos and lots of text explaining how Google Instant works I’ll explain it in a nutshell (so I gave the link already, sue me). Instead of showing you suggestions as you type, it’ll actually show you predicted results as you type. That means that if you hit ‘W’ it’ll start showing you pages about Weather, Wimbledon, Waterloo, Warcraft (or at least I assume that it’ll show all that stuff). In essence, no more hitting enter.

What fascinates me however is how the tech world seems to be scrambling around making such an enormous deal about this feature and discussing “what it means to the world” or “does it mean anything to the world” or “is Google instant all that necessary”. In fact it amuses me to see how people seem to be testing Google instant and as a result they just miss out on the point completely.

You see, Google or any search engine is not really used for single name searches like “Will Smith” or “YouTube”. Or to make that a little more accurate, search engines aren’t made or broken based on the results of such trivial searches. This sort of thing is what does the deal,

“How do I use Windows 7 to take a screen shot of only part of my screen”

“Shortest path from Earth to Pandora”

“How do I enlist myself in the Avatar program”

There. That’s a real search. Piers Morgan… That is not a search to decide how Instant works. So why is all of this useful?

Scenario that I constantly see at university. People seated in front of a computer desperately trying to figure something out like how to draw a pie chart on excel or how to count matching values in a list in Haskell. And they do one search using a particular wording, do another search and another and another… Each time they refine their search a bit more based on what they typed previously. And this! Is exactly what I believe Google Instant is trying to solve. While you are typing you can see that your search is going nowhere.

On a side note I also believe that creating the “appearance” of a dynamic page may be a subtle strategy to keep people with Google. The online world today demands constant information as quick as possible and with Google just giving the look that it is dynamic by just taking away the use of the enter key might actually appeal to the masses. Even though it’s definitely going to surprise people along the way.

Personal note, I can’t wait for Google Instant to come to me because this will really help the way I perform my search engine ninja tricks.

YeeHaw!

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Firefox Beta and Panorama

 

So it turns out that with the Beta 4, Firefox is finally starting to push the design envelope of the browser world after all. Even if there may be some bugs it still looks extremely promising. What am I talking about? Firefox panorama.

If there is one thing that people have always commented on when they look at my browser window its this, “That is a lot of tabs!!!”. Now if you are anything like me and you are a link clicker or a heavy news reader trying to keep up to date with the flood of information pouring in through all corners of the online world then it’s pretty obvious that at any time you’ll have at least 15 tabs open. In my case that tab count can go up to 25 (that’s the least count). The only reason I don’t go more than 60 tabs usually is because of the performance degradation and the mess that it makes. On the second point, Firefox Panorama does a good job of trying to work it out.

While tabs have been a great innovation in the world of browsers and have prevented our machines seeing a large crap up of windows there has always been a problem of over cluttered tabs. This just makes people open up brand new windows by tearing away tabs which in the end can sort of defeat the purpose of having tabs in the first place. Not entirely but close enough. Tabs were supposed to equal one browser one window.

So what does Panorama bring? Well amidst the world of browsers which are all starting to look the same, it brings a breath of fresh air and more importantly I think the next standard in how to organize tabs. Better than I could ever explain it I think this video shows a lot of it,

An Introduction to Firefox's Tab Candy from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

In case you are wondering, tab candy was the original name for it and it was an independent open source project which grew into this wonderful thing known as firefox panorama.

So go ahead and try it out.

Here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Facebook down


What I find ironic in the situation is that I deactivated my FB account just yesterday. So right now I’m sitting in front of the computer laughing at the updates that seem to be pouring off the net from twitter. Irony again. The site that is most well known for its fail whale issues (they still do a remarkable job of trying to scale up to meet incredible needs) is currently the hub of news while the hub of the online social world is down.

What’s happening over at facebook? Their twitter account gives no indication of what might be wrong so I’m guessing it is probably one of their surprise update rollouts. Either way, head over and enjoy the fun.



live updates


Edit: It seems Facebook is back up again and the world can heave a sigh of relief... Now to wait for updates from FB to find out what happened. Wouldn't it be exciting if it was a DDOS?