Google Wave Drips With Ambition….

Sometimes, it’s interesting to dig a bit deeper in the Net to understand that things did not go the way we all supposed… I’m still missing Wave, it has been a revolution aborted in the initial stage. But it had all the potentiality to truly innovate the super-old email standard. I’m still disappointed about its premature disappear.

TechCrunch

google_wave_logoYesterday, during the Google I/O keynote, Google’s VP of Engineering, Vic Gundotra, laid out a grand vision for the direction Google sees the web heading towards with the move to the HTML 5 standard. While we’re not there yet, all the major browser players besides Microsoft are aligned and ready for the next phase, which will include such things as the ability to run 3D games and movies in the browser without additional plug-ins. But Google wants to take it one step further with a brand new method of communication for this new era. It’s called Google Wave.

Everyone uses email and instant messaging on the web now, but imagine if you could tie those two forms of communication together and add a load of functionality on top of it. At its most fundamental form, that’s essentially what Wave is. Developed by brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen

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Only a little game

Admittedly, there is something joyful in opening #google  in the morning and discover a little game waiting for you…

Screenshot 2013-09-27 10.08.20
My Google page this morning

This is to celebrate the 15 years of life of the popular search engine (which in passing is a very limiting definition, considering what Google has achieved till now).

 

 

Too many professional realities try to give you an image of seriousness and reliability (which is absolutely good, in itself) without indulge in any aspect connected with the discover, or the sense of wonder. I agree, this is only a little game, not intended to raise complex questions – no doubt on it. Nevertheless…

You always have to feed your sheer vision of the world 😉

Chrome, reloaded

I’m definitively a fan of Chrome browser.

To tell you all the truth, every now and then I’ll try to switch to Safari, which seems to me a bit faster in loading the pages – at least on my not-too-recent MacBook. Anyway, it happens always the same: in a few hours (or minutes, depending on my mood and on what I’m doing) I close Safari and reopen Chrome. In Chrome, I feel at home. Safari seems to me a bit too “serious” (if you know what I mean); but the real problem of that otherwise excellent browser is that the choice of available extension is still really poor (when compared to Chrome and – of course – to Firefox). There are some tools that I need almost everyday, that are still missing in Safari: one for all, the HootSuite Hotlet.

Ah, yes. Another think I adore in Chrome is that it comes bundled with a “multi user system”. Which I find extremely useful in a variety of situations. It’s very comfortable when developing websites, or updating your blog (you can easily see how a given website do appear when you’re not logged in, for example). It’s very comfortable when you want let your wife check its emails on your computer, without the hassle of having to logout/login with her username and password. And surely, in another number of situations that I still can’t imagine!

Screenshot 2013-09-26 12.02.01

Now the latest update of Chrome (29.0.1547.76 at the moment writing) bring me even more excitement, I have to say. First, I have now a direct shortcut to post on Google Plus. Which is fine, because I have just took the decision to wake up my G+ account (that was sleeping while I was wasting time in Facebook) using it for my posts in English (or I should better say, for that imaginary language that I hope can resemble English in some way). Second, the interface is now much more polished (even more minimalistic, one can say), because the applications are normally hided, even if are just at a distance of one click.

Feels that I’m rather a not-too-orthodox Apple fan. Really Apple fans use Safari, no doubt.

Ok, as a simple browser, Safari probably work better. I do recognize it.

But the fact is, Chrome is more funny.

Play Books more closed than iBook?

This morning I installed Google Play Books on my Android device. It ‘s quite obvious that Google is trying to create its own ecosystem that will be a viable alternative to Apple, so Google Books takes its place alongside Play Music, the Store, etc…

From my first impression, I’d say that I like the graphics, the rendering of the books is excellent – even on small screen (like my Xperia Ray) –  and the possibility to read a book everywhere using the browser (unlike Apple iBooks) is appreciable. Moreover, synchronization between devices is an added value.
Among the things that I do not like, I have to mention that there is no possibility to highlight text on your mobile device (or at least I’m not finding it!), and (most annoying) it seems to me that you can’t upload your books, to be added to the library.
It ‘s the thing that leaves me more puzzled, because even Apple iBooks allows you to load books in ePub format (with no or Social DRM) in order to be addet to your library. I find this is a very a useful thing, and I am disappointed that you can not do it in Play Books (if there is, let me know, please!).
Definitively, it seems to me that you can only add books from Google Play Store.
Is Google getting more “closed” than Apple?

Why I’m using gmail #0

With this post, I want to begin to put down on paper (so to say…) a short list of reason that lead me to slowly lean to Google mail (the now really famous Gmail service) as the preferred choice for my email communication, slowly but constantly abandoning other viable alternatives, many of which I adopted for long time.

I was somewhat pushed into this, from personal “ruminations” after a diffused dibate that took place in my Observatory  in several occasion, where my position (with an interestingly wide spread of different approaches) is  now shared among a good number of other researchers.

Since its first apparence, Gmail was rightly considered as “innovative” for a good number of reasons, ranging from the more technical aspects (for example, the interface carachterized by a judicious use of AIAX and other emerging technologies) to end on the more social aspects (the pecuiliar conversational model, etc…). As a consequence, the choice of talking about Gmail, far from being reductive and restricted to a particular brand or service, can easily became  (in my humble opinion) an occasion to talk about the “modern web” in a variety of its more aspects.

These posts came as an (imperfect) traslation of a series of little messages I am writing in italian in another blog. Instead of making a long post here (with a long series of grammatical errors… since English is not my first language!) I have choosen a different approach, i.e., to breack up the list of reason in a series of little “pills” to be hosted (also) on my compainion blog signal2noise (s2n). This also with the aim to explore a little bit a  form of expression expecially suitable for Posterous platform (yes, I’m addicted to web techology and services, no doubt!)

Well, at this point, I’d say that the scenario is well defined. Next post will deal with a first “motivation” for my adoption of Gmail. In passing, if you like the idea and want to add your two cents, just drop a message to s2n@posterous.com 🙂

googliferus

A guest post by Flavio Castellani
We all hate Microsoft for its amount of money making, its weight in the consumer market and for much more.
And we all love Google, for its fresh spirit, its apparent disinterested way of adding value to our technological experience and, ultimately, to our lives.
And yet, Google is arguably going to make much more money than the evil Microsoft. It’s already controlling (as a monopoly) the Internet business on a scale beyond imagination. You don’t hear about microsoft interacting with nations and government legislative organs, like google does for clearing the path to its operations. You don’t hear (yet) glamorous cases of antitrust sentences turned bad against google.
The most important thing: Microsoft gained our hate for the way their products made us feel, and for the control on what we use to surf the net.
But while we recognized and reproached Microsoft for their attempt in controlling the browser we use to surf, google increases its control on the content of it. Every day, we let increases its control and dictate more and more not just the experience on how we access the information, but the accessibility to the very information itself.
Do we think that the free gadgets and applications are really for free?
this is like believing that the free drinks in las Vegas are really for free.
Google now has tentacles in mobile networks and operators, fiber optic network and ISP providing, Internet, mobile devices and expanding.
There is something confusing about so many free applications and services, and yet a stellar share value trend in the stock market exchange.
The way I see is this: to run a business you need to have
  • an investment,
  • some assets,
  • products to sell, and
  • customers to sell them to.

This is the archetype of business. Is the minimum denominator any business have in common, and upon which they are based on.
How does it map to Google way of making money then?
  • Their protocols and their applications are not their products, those are their investments.
  • We are not their customers. We are their assets.
  • Data-mining, eyeball time, internet syndication: those are their products, the ones that they sell to increase their stellar share value and their business. Data-mining in particular is one of the most sought and profitable products to sell.

For MS office the revenue stream is the classic one and much simpler:
  • their applications are the products, the one that they sell, and
  • we are their customers (in the specific case of MS office business model, of course)

Google is not a bad thing. It’s just a huge thing now. And huge corporations relentlessly pursue the increase of their shares value in the stock market.
Above a certain critical point, the direction of a corporation drift to whatever direction satisfies its goals.

Image Credit: Google
Google contribution to civilization (I’d adventure to say) is remarkable. But it’s clear that this contribution is not its goal, is its mean to get to its goals. its goal is profit ($$$) from internet advertisement. That is what pays the freebies, and the immense funding in R&D to expand in mobile, voice, ultra-fast fiber ISP, video, authoring and whatnot.
Until its means and its goals matches with our interest, that’s great. But we need to be careful to see well all the parameters of the equation.
Google strives to position itself more and more as the internet content syndication provider for the general population. That takes away the beauty of the internet, and more sadly, diminishes its distinguished characteristic that opposes it to television.
Internet is truly the most significant informational achievement in the past 100 years. We must fear any monolithic entity that seek control over it, for lucrative scopes. My believe is that Internet is a solid answer to the past decades of the informational unbalanced entry point created with the advent of television, which generated a chain of consequences that lead to a corrosion of the democratic political debates and to an increase of influence of corporations in the nations public and political matters.
Internet could bring a ribalancing and galvanize the spirit of the debates. Its general access point for content authoring enable it to be the future arena where ideas can truly democratically compete, assuming they remain equally accessible.
[Flavio Castellani]

Official Google Mac Blog: Google Chrome for Mac goes beta!

I recently installed Chrome on my Mac, and I have to say that it starts really fast (detectably faster than Firefox, for sure…) I still can’t adopt it as main browser, since I’m too addicted to Firefox extensions (and at the moment nothing can beat the wonderful extensions system of that browser).

However, extensions are growing also for Chrome. Let’s wait and see. If I’d have a good extensions for blog posting, as Scribfire, just to start… 😉

Posted via web from Signal 2 Noise