Tag Archives: Google
I did say something like this was coming very soon. Granted, it’s not an official extension or update from Google, but just the same, it’s something to tide users over until such an extension releases. Hey, I’m still standing firm in my belief that it will. Call me crazy, but I think integrating + into Chrome is something Google’s definitely going to be looking into as we draw ever nearer to the inevitable Google + launch date.
Anyway, there’s now a Chrome extension that allows you to stay connected to Google + anywhere on the net. You can share with your circles, respond to posts made by friends, switch between multiple Google accounts and set up notification sounds and desktop notifications. Pretty cool, right? Surplus was created by the rather talented young Antimatter Fifteen. Kid’s only sixteen years old, and already he’s got a pretty damned impressive portfolio of apps. Take a look at this excerpt from his Google + page:
I’ve written several chrome extensions including Surplus, Cloud Save, CrOS Save, drag2up, Offline Dictionary, stick2, the non functional cross platform Music Beta upload app MusicAlpha, and an Offline Wikipedia dump reader. I made Ajax Animator, a web based animation authoring tool, VectorEditor, a Raphael-based vector graphics tool, and the Khan Academy scratchpad.
Yikes. I get the feeling he might just have a bright future ahead of him designing apps and extensions. At the very least, he’s got some potential. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. Let’s take another look at Surplus. After all, that’s what we’re all here for, right? Now, while this extension’s pretty nifty, it does have one minor design flaw. Emphasis on the word ‘minor’ here.
See, for link sharing, Surplus doesn’t pull the link directly from the page you’re on. Granted, you can fix the problem with a simple copy+paste; but just the same, it would have been a nice functionality to add on. Oh, one more thing- depending on what build of Chrome you’re using, Surplus apparently has the potential to be something of a CPU hog, according to this user review on the extension page:
As soon as I enable the extension, every tab I have open starts using 3-10% CPU, even if I then disable the extension. I have to shut down Chrome completely and restart it to get the tabs to stop hogging the CPU. I’m using 14.0.803.0 dev-m.
So…basically, if you’re using that particular build of Chrome, you should probably be careful. Otherwise, this is one extension that Google + users should definitely at least try. You can grab it here.
Update: Seems there’s a few more problems with the extension. A couple more users are reporting rather considerable memory leaks, and I myself have noticed a rather…well, bizarre glitch. For some reason, the extension now brings up Google Images in the dropdown menu, almost cropping out the functional features. I’m currently using the latest dev build (Yeah, I know, I know, I told you guys to exercise caution when using this app with that build); no word yet if these problems also occur in the Stable and Beta releases. I’ve contacted Antimatter about the issue, I’ll keep you guys posted when I Get a response.
So. Very interesting video on CNET. Facbook’s apparently unveiled video calling for their social networking website, and they’re rolling it out over the course of the day. What’s more, they’re offering it through an apparent partnership with Skype. I guess this answers the question of what Zuckerberg’s doing on Google +. Et Tu, Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg made the initial announcement, coming on strong right out the door:
We’re doing this with skype, and I think that this is kind of symbolic of the kind of way that we’re going to do these things for a number of reasons…we’re using the best technology that’s out there for doing video chat with the best social infrastructure that’s out there in order to create some cool new scenarios.
They refer to Facebook and Skype as the “best” of their breed a number of times. And for the time being, I suppose Zuckerberg’s right. Facebook really is the best social network around at the moment. But that’s only because Google + is still in the beta stages. When it finally launches, well…it’s going to give Facebook a run for its money.
Facebook knows that. A move like this shows that not only are they paying attention to Google’s new social networking website; they consider it a threat. Don’t believe me? Take a look at what Facebook Engineer Phillip Su had to say about the new feature for Facebook:
“Can you believe that your least technical friend can actually get online and get connected with someone else, someone who listened to the radio this morning and thought that he might be able to connect with his grandson can he actually use this feature to get connected? Absolutely. No seperate accounts, no seperate website to go to, the download is small and easy, one button click to any online friend, on a social network that already HAS all your friends, this is by far the easiest way to get connected by video. If it was any easier than that one click it would be reading your mind basically.”
It’s pretty obvious he’s taking a few jabs at Google + there. So, the question that’s burning in everyone’s minds. Is there something to what Mr. Su is saying here? Will Facebook video make a difference in impending war between G+ and Facebook? Yeah, I don’t think it’s likely either.
First Impressions: Facebook Video
Since everyone’s going to be making this comparison anyway, let’s start by looking at how Facebook Video stacks up to Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts has video chat for up to ten users. Facebook Video is only one on one. Google Hangouts is connected to Google Chat. Facebook Video is connected to Facebook Chat. Google Hangouts lets you stream video to the folks you’re chatting with. Facebook Video….you know what, let’s just say that this is like pitting a five year old against Mike Tyson and be done with it.
True, Google Hangouts doesn’t do one on one chat all that well, but….Google’s included Google Video for that, so it’s a complete nonissue.
Honestly, I’m not impressed. If Facebook’s going to add features to make their platform more attractive, they need to do more than a half-assed job of it. That’s doubly true if they’re trying to make Facebook look better than Google +. If they want to make Facebook video more appealing, the first thing they should do is fix Facebook chat.
Unless Zuckerberg’s boys do; their new video calling feature is just another pretty decoration tacked onto a house that’s collapsing under its own weight. And there’s no way in hell it’s going to compete with Google’s chat service, which is superior in pretty much every way.
Tired of Facebook? You are not alone: according to a recent survey, Facebook is the 10th most hated company in America. Facebook’s membership is decreasing as well.
Perhaps Google+ is arriving just in the nick of time.
Andy Hertzfeld, one of the designers of the first Mac and hired by Google to work on Google+’s Circles explains “Everything on the Web can be improved by knowledge of your social connections, so Google+ is an effort to…add a social layer to Google, to YouTube, to Google Search, to every Google property.”
What is the nature of this improvement exactly? Personally, I don’t want “social” to add bloat to my experience of the web. No Farmville for me, thank you very much. (Though I understand that social gaming will be a feature that will be added later.) Google cuts the bloat and aims for intuitive and full social integration with Google services.
I can access all my Google services within the Google+ interface via the black bar at the top of the page. Imagine if your whole photo library was just a couple of clicks away from sharing with your friends and family? That’s what you get with Google+. The all important Google search also received some social integration as well. Just do your regular searching on the Google+ homepage, and if you find something you’d like to share, click “share” and you have the choice of which of your circles to share your particular article of interest.
People in my circle who aren’t on Google+ but in my gmail contacts list can be notified of my update stream via email if I add them to one of my circles. A very nice touch and personally very helpful in keeping touch with some of my family. This is also a clever way for Google to promote the service to others as well.
Perhaps the coolest feature that Google+ offers is “Hangouts.” This is the feature which isn’t offered by any other “social network.” This allows for video chatting with multiple people in your circles. Just invite people from your circle of friends and in your “stream” there will be a button in which those invited people will be able to join you. I tried it out with Daniel and was delighted how well it worked on my Cr-48. Crystal clear and smooth.
Do you think that Google+ will catch on?
I believe so.
Let’s not forget, it took years for Facebook to become the social behemoth it is. Google+ may take some time to catch on and chip away at Facebooks’s dominance. Google isn’t exactly starting from scratch. There are millions already using Google services and Google+ is an extension of them and the features that Google+ sports has the potential to inspire them to use their Google services more exclusively.
This June, Microsoft is releasing its first service pack for Microsoft Office 2010. With this update, Microsoft Office will for the first time offer support for Google Chrome, allowing Chrome to run the suite’s online applications using SharePoint 2010. Originally, Microsoft had limited support to IE, Firefox and Safari. There wasn’t really any reason given for this, and with a little tweaking and the use of Skydrive, the apps ran just fine within Chrome. So why the sudden change of heart?
Apparently, they’re not telling. They haven’t said anything about why they didn’t originally include support or why they’ve decided to add it now.
The former could have something to do with the rivalry between the two companies. For the past year or so, they’ve been slinging mud at one another over their online applications. Microsoft recognizes that Chrome is a rival to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer- and a very significant one at that. The battle kicked off in May 2010 when Google’s Enterprise product management director Matthew Glotzbach encouraged users and companies to forget about upgrading to Office 2010 and instead add Google Docs, claiming “it makes Office 2003 and 2007 better”.
In addition to adding support for Chrome, Microsoft is including the usual array of security and hotfix patches, printing support for the Word webapp, support for IE9 and the ability to insert charts into the Excel app. Other than these tidbits Microsoft hasn’t really given us a whole lot of information on what else these new features and improvements are going to entail, so I suppose we’re just going to have to wait and see. All they’ve told us on the matter is that users can now do things that they were unable to do before. Yeah…kind of vague, isn’t it?
We can all agree that Chrome OS is a rather awesome, unique idea- perhaps even revolutionary. We can probably also agree that the concept behind the Chromebooks is a pretty awesome one. I mean, who doesn’t want to worry about data being lost, right? We can also collectively nod our heads at the fact that this news has been causing quite a few waves in the PC industry. One thing we might not be able to agree on though is this: while Google Chrome sounds like an awesome OS to pre-load onto a computer, is it a viable OS around which to build your own system upon?
Now, a lot of you will probably point to Chromium and say “Well…yeah, it does.” Thing is, Chromium and Chrome are two different operating systems. While both work on similar principles- namely, cloud computing- and both are derived the same source code, Chromium is completely open source- a whole different ballgame from Chrome OS.
Now, in order to determine whether a custom Chrome machine is a viable option, I’m going to have to look at several key factors. These are, in no particular order, hardware requirements, hardware optimization, and cost effectiveness. Now, if you’re particularly astute (or just a huge tech head), you’ve already realized that these three are very much interrelated to one another- hardware optimization influences cost effectiveness and software optimization and so on. Just the same, these are the three deciding factors in whether or not this OS is suitable as a build platform.
What are the most basic, bare bones requirements of a Chrome machine? What sort of stresses does Chrome OS put on the hardware involved? If Chromebooks are anything to judge this by, the OS doesn’t really put any terrible strain on the system. To be safe, we’ll set the lowest benchmark for the system at 2 GB of RAM and at most, a 1.7 GHz dual core processor. Minimum processer benchmark, I’d say somewhere around 1.4 GHz. Hard drive space, we’ll set at 8-16 GB minimum.
Rather low end as far as custom builds go, and pretty easy to come by. Not particularly expensive too. So, as far as base hardware requirements, Google’s Chrome OS is looking like a good choice. Also, your system pretty much has to support OpenGL. That’s a given. Ah, but there are other things to consider.
Here’s the deciding factor. If Google’s OS requires specialized hardware to run, building a rig on it will either be entirely pointless, or so much trouble that it’s not worth the effort. Now, the trouble here is that…we don’t actually know a whole lot about what sort of optimization might be necessary to run Chrome. While we can infer from the Chromebooks that it’s not a horrendously memory-intensive OS, there’s really no way of telling whether or not the hardware’s been modified or optimized in some way to run with Chrome.
See, the problem here is that we don’t really have all the information on the Chrome OS yet. There’s no real word on how the software is optimized, the highest grade system that could feasibly be run to its fullest extent, whether or not the OS requires special or modified pieces of hardware to properly run.The information simply isn’t there. I’ve done a bit of research about the OS, but the problem is, nobody seems to know the details. There are so many conflicting reports; it’s hard to tell what’s true and what isn’t.
I’ve heard people say that Chrome OS will only run with hardware that’s specifically optimized and manufactured to run Chrome. Others have said that it’ll run on pretty much any system. I’ve heard people say that if you’re running Chrome OS, you need a solid state drive on which to boot it. Others have retorted that it’s merely recommended that you have it.
There’s only one thing we know for certain. Fortunately, it’s all we really need to know to render our verdict here.
Pretty much the only thing everyone seems to agree on is that Google’s Chrome OS isn’t going to be intended for desktop PCs- at least, not at first. It’s optimized for x86 and ARM-based systems. So, that’s a point against its viability as a custom rig platform right there. I mean, seriously, have you ever tried building a laptop computer from scratch? Second question, how many gray hairs did you have after such an experience? If Google’s new OS is optimized for laptop computers they are probably saying what they mean.
My name is Google Me, the future social network. I’m not real, just a figment in your head. You’ve probably heard I will be the solution to Google’s problems in terms of Facebook, and I’m glad you heard that.
I just wanted to give you a little reality here.
Let’s imagine for a second that Facebook is the “portal”, or the basis of your digital life. Perhaps let’s even consider Facebook as an operating system. Sound good?
Let’s talk about Facebook for a bit then. Facebook is a social network. Is it ever going to help you get any work done? Let’s break this down for a second.
Does Facebook have a way to contact work relationships? Well, they might have Facebook Messages but if you plan on telling your boss you’re going to miss work that’s probably not going to be the best method.
Does Facebook have a way to write documents? Unless you want to compose something that starts with “What’s on your mind?” then not really.
Does Facebook have a way to crunch numbers? Looking around the options in Facebook, I’ve yet to find a spreadsheet function. Actually, after looking at that last sentence I feel stupid for even trying.
Okay, let’s put this in my (Daniel Cawrey) perspective now.
In the end I’ll let Facebook do what they do. I’m not too concerned that if Google tries to start a social network of their own that it will be a problem. Because Google does something totally different than Facebook. They offer Gmail, Google Apps for those who don’t want Office and search that is better than anything else.
Why are they supposedly afraid of Facebook again? This seems totally different from them.
It’s possible that Google’s Chromebooks have already missed their window according to Search Engine Land.
Both Vizio and Toshiba are planning to show off Google TV products at CES in January.
Multiple profiles in Chrome browser are going to be available as a settings option in the near future.
TechCrunch’s John Biggs already believes that Chrome OS will be a top seller for next year’s holiday season.
Here is a list of five cloud operating systems that are already on the market.
The Google Public Policy Blog just released a lengthy statement that is being made jointly by Google and Verizon on net neutrality. The post lists seven topics of discussion in preventing broadband from being discriminated upon based on users, a point of contention that was made vague during a recent ruling on a Comcast case where the company was throttling bandwidth.
The statement is comprehensive and carefully crafted. Google has enormous interest in working with Verizon and other broadband providers on this; their vision of a future in the cloud necessitates a few things. One of those is allowing users and developers the ability to be connected all the time, with little room for error.
While the post admits that the wireless component of this is murky because the market it still nascent, the thinking is that the same rules should apply whether broadband is wireless or wired. Consider that a cloud device without a connection has very little value, especially considering the cost of computing hardware is becoming less in terms of price.
Yesterday’s launch of the new YouTube Mobile site (just go to m.youtube.com) further reiterates something that has been in my thoughts ever since the explosive growth in mobile apps started. This has really led to another way for large technology companies to wall off their users, much like Microsoft has done over the years. Even though it’s great that you can have a mobile application for virtually anything that you want in your pocket, there are some inherent limitations to these native applications.
TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid makes a good point in his look at YouTube Mobile that the video quality is fantastic – better, he says than the native application that came with Apple’s iOS for the iPhone and iPad. That may have something to do with the fact that the webapp is built in HTML5 and optimized for the current wireless networks that devices use.
“Video on the HTML5 app looked much better, and was snappier to boot”, remarks Kincaid in his write-up.
All the more proof that giving browsers the ability to use the web as a platform to utilize applications is the future of computing, whether it be via a smartphone or a laptop. The idea of Chrome OS or other web operating system simply doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
One of the reasons that web applications have a clear benefit over native ones is interoperability. On the web, diverse applications are able to access and communicate data between one another in order to provide a seamless ecosystem. Think about Twitter, where users allow web applications such as HootSuite access to their accounts to better understand the underlying data. Or, as Kincaid remarks, the simplistic convenience of auto-fill in the YouTube Mobile app.
But what’s wrong with the way things are done now? We’ve seen both Apple and Google take take direct control of users’ devices. Even Amazon has removed books from its Kindle e-reader, citing copyright problems with a publisher. With the new browser technologies like HTML5, a third party cannot take away something that is on the web; and no developer or group of developers is dependent on an outside partner for its applications.
Sure, there are motives behind the decisions above in the face of security and potential lawsuits. Possible hurdles abound with what could happen in a world where applications are easily installed with one click. But Microsoft led a tech space for years that allowed people to put whatever they want on their computers, and despite their flagging performance, they’ve been around for over thirty years.
Viacom sued YouTube for $1 billion dollars back in 2007 over copyrighted content in the form of video clips that were hosted on the video sharing site. Today, it was announced that Viacom has lost their suit against YouTube. A primary reason for this was that the content on YouTube has been declared as protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
This is a big deal, since it allows for people on the web to be able to share things that in the past could have proved to violate possible copyright laws. The problem up until now is that bloggers, user-generated content sites and social media mavens were in a gray area in regards to the legality of sharing certain things with other people on the internet. With this precedent today, we now have something to rely on that cements the web as a place to share thoughts and ideas about anything, as long as it is not outright stealing.
This also helps out in terms of cloud computing, as not only users were at risk previously, but also the datacenters that hold information. These massive structures full of servers are generally operated by large companies such as Google, Amazon and Apple – and I would assume that in the future possible legal disputes about user information stored in the cloud (whatever it may be) would have certain protections as well.
Content sharing and social media, along with cloud computing are starting to come out of the “Wild West” era, so to speak and it is further apparent that there is legitimacy for those who are involved in this space.
Speaking today at the Computex Cloud Computing forum, Google VP of product management Sundar Pichai said that Chrome OS will be on the market in the fourth quarter of 2010. The Cloud Computing Forum is featuring executives from Google, ARM and Quanta Computers.
Computex has been mostly focused on Microsoft products that are on display.
When asked about the Chrome vs. Android debate, Mr. Pichai said that providing open source platforms will allow the market to make the best determination about what operating system will work best in the mass market. It’s pretty clear that Android has really taken off, it will be interesting to see how Chrome OS will develop.
The Google-AdMob deal has been approved by the FTC, citing competition with Apple’s iAd platform in the mobile market.
Lilliputing has a review of the Compaq Airlife 100, a netbook that ships with the Android operating system.
Left out of a lot of I/O coverage was Google’s release of its Prediction API, which analyzes historical data to predict future outcomes.
Will Google and Rupert Murdoch eventually work together on a pay model for publishers on the internet?
Is Google’s decision to open source On2′s VP8 video codec with the WebM initiative going to create a big mess?