Archive for the ‘Web’ Category

Posted by //
Sean

Date //
Sep 26, 08 - 6:54 am

Categories //
Google
Technology
Web
Wireless

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In a blog post on The Official Google Blog, Google’s chief Internet evangelist lays out some thoughts on how the Internet will transform over the coming years. Essentially, he says that the Internet is a software artifact, and software provides for an endless frontier of possibilities.

“The Internet of the future will be suffused with software, information, data archives, and populated with devices, appliances, and people who are interacting with and through this rich fabric. The Internet of the future will be suffused with software, information, data archives, and populated with devices, appliances, and people who are interacting with and through this rich fabric.”

Source: Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google.

He has some interesting thoughts about how the Internet will be used in the future — and what will be connected to it. It will not be restrained to just computers. I found Cert’s comments about how mobile devices will interact with the Internet most interesting.

He writes:

In the next decade, around 70% of the human population will have fixed or mobile access to the Internet at increasingly high speeds, up to gigabits per second. We can reliably expect that mobile devices will become a major component of the Internet, as will appliances and sensors of all kinds. Many of the things on the Internet, whether mobile or fixed, will know where they are, both geographically and logically. As you enter a hotel room, your mobile will be told its precise location including room number. When you turn your laptop on, it will learn this information as well–either from the mobile or from the room itself. It will be normal for devices, when activated, to discover what other devices are in the neighborhood, so your mobile will discover that it has a high resolution display available in what was once called a television set. If you wish, your mobile will remember where you have been and will keep track of RFID-labeled objects such as your briefcase, car keys and glasses. “Where are my glasses?” you will ask. “You were last within RFID reach of them while in the living room,” your mobile or laptop will say.

RFID tags have some shrinking to do before they’ll fit onto a set of keys or eyeglasses. There’s also a lot more at play than just the Internet in this scenario. Wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth and GPS, will be required. The important aspect is that they will all interact to share and retrieve information seamlessly.

This is already beginning to happen today.


Posted by //
Sean

Date //
Aug 25, 08 - 6:15 am

Categories //
Google
Technology
Web
Wireless

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With 10 weeks to go before the election, the amount of news coverage surrounding McCain and Obama is set to skyrocket (as if it hadn’t already).

In order to help you parse through all the chatter, Google has set up a special Web site where mobile phone users can find the latest headlines.

Google appears to be throwing everything it has at the upcoming Presidential Election. It is using multiple avenues and products to provide coverage.

Google believes that plenty of people will be interested in accessing news from their mobile phones. So it set up a “one-stop-shop” for mobile phone users to get what they need.

The site is located at http://m.google.com/elections.

The products that it is tailoring to election coverage are mobile Search, News, Reader, YouTube and Maps.

In its search product, Google will let you “link to search results for Obama and McCain, so you don’t have to type in their names on your phone each time you want information.”

The Mobile News Web site has set up a special link that will go to a site that only houses news that is relevant to the election.

Google Reader has already set up specific places for the general public to see what Obama and McCain are reading. If you use Google Reader, you can subscribe to the candidates’ reading lists here.

On YouTube, both McCain and Obama have their own channels. These channels will be used to hold their speeches, press conferences and other public statements. Users will be able to watch the videos on their mobile phones.

Lastly, Google is suggesting that attendees of the Democratic National Convention in Denver and the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis take advantage of Google Maps for mobile to help get around town.

There you have it. If you’re a political news junkie, Google’s various mobile products will help you get your fix.


Posted by //
Sean

Date //
Aug 23, 08 - 1:13 pm

Categories //
Open Source
Software
Technology
Web

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Mozilla Labs announced the winners in their contest for the best Firefox 3 add-ons. The Extend Firefox contest received over 100 entries. Tags and bookmarks ruled the winners. See if you can find one or two new extensions to try out.

Best New Add-on

Pencil is a user interface prototyping tool. Not your ordinary extension and it could be useful, too.

Tagmarks is tagging in a click. Rather than use words to describe a bookmark, click icons.

HandyTag uses text tags, but doesn’t make you create them yourself (though you still can). Grabs common tags from del.icio.us and other sources.

Best Updated Add-on

Read It Later has almost hit 1.0. This extension makes it easy to create a “to read” list without the clutter of using standard bookmarks.

TagSifter provides several different ways to browse through the tags you’ve already created. Advanced users can use some fancy logic syntax to find just what they want (i.e., tagged with movie and comedy, but not jackblack).

Bookmarks Preview brings coverflow to bookmarks. Scroll through thumbnails of the pages before deciding where to go.

In addition to these six, the judges also chose some excellent honorable mentions (Close and Forget is a neat idea, if not a little paranoid).

Also, probably in honor of sponsor Last.fm, the judges named Fire.fm the best music add-on.


Since the time Amazon made a tabbed interface popular, web designers have been talking about the design pattern. Are tabs good? Are they bad? How do you make them?

Tab Design

Amazon has since removed tabs from their site, but it’s still a useful metaphor when done right. So what’s right and wrong? The Usability Post shares 5 tips for tabbed navigation:

  1. Connect the active tab to the content
  2. Make other tabs a different color
  3. Change the font color on the active tab
  4. Have the link area span the whole size of the tab
  5. Make sure the landing page has its own active tab

Each step is illustrated with the right and wrong way, and explained. That’s helpful. Now you can include tabs on your website without the wrath of the entire design community (you’ll never avoid all the wrath, no matter what you do). Just don’t look like Amazon in 2000:

Amazon.com Tabs

If you’d like to implement tabs and don’t know how to do them, you can’t miss with this classic A List Apart tutorial.


Posted by //
Sean

Date //
Aug 7, 08 - 9:31 pm

Categories //
Geekery
Technology
Web

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Fuelly LogoI’m always on the look out for new and exciting web applications and today I was introduced to a really cool one called Fuelly.
So what is Fuelly you might be wondering? Fuelly is a site that tracks your gas mileage over time, helping you save fuel and expenses as you drive.

If you want to stalk my MPG, you can find me over at my Fuelly profile.

It’s pretty easy to use the site as well.

Basically you sign up for a free account, add a car to your profile, then either keep track of miles driven between fuel-ups (using your car’s tripometer) or record your odometer at each fuel-up (you can choose in your settings which way to record mileage).

For technology geeks like myself who are always connected, you should check out the mobile version of Fuelly for adding data right from the gas pump. I checked it out on my BlackBerry. It looked really nice.

As an added bonus, they even have a blogtastic development blog to keep everyone up-to-date on the upcoming changes, features, bug fixes, etc.

The service is still really new… barely live 24 hours but I see this application really taking off. If you end up registering account, let me know so we can be gas mileage stalking buddies :)


Posted by //
Sean

Date //
Jul 2, 08 - 8:52 am

Categories //
Open Source
Technology
Web

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It’s been a year since the GPLv3 was introduced to the open source world — so how’s it doing? That’s the subject of two surveys currently being conducted to track open source license usage and conversion.

The first survey, conducted by Black Duck Software, shows the GPLv3 coming it at No. 7 out of the top 20 open source licenses used amongst projects polled.

Not surprisingly, the GPLv2 filled the top slot by a gigantic margin — 57.81% — while the GPLv3 had a 1.82% share.

That’s still not too bad for a license that was only introduced a year ago; the same survey puts the Apache License at 2.77% and the Mozilla Public License at 1.29%.

The second survey, courtesy of Palamida, also features some detailed quotes from various software outfits about GPLv3 adoption.

Some fairly famous names are in that list — SugarCRM’s Community Edition and Samba, for instance, have adopted Version 3, although there are still plenty of big names sticking with what they have.

I’m not terribly surprised by this, since I didn’t figure the GPLv3 was going to be an automatic upgrade for most people.

One thing that would be useful to know, although admittedly not the easiest thing to harvest, is activity statistics about the projects in question — maybe by using the activity stats from Sourceforge if the project’s hosted there.

This would give us some idea of the degree of usage or participation for each project. It’s one thing to say “2,800 open source projects use the GPLv3,” but what percentage of those 2,800 projects are, say, part of the top 100 or even 500 projects at Sourceforge?

Finally, a quick and admittedly unscientific glance at the lists of projects in both surveys shows a healthy mix of project types — a little of everything under the sun, from what I can tell.

It’ll be interesting to see where things stand in another year — or even by the end of this one.