Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Internet Devices

Around August, I bought an iPod Touch. After returning it several times because of the new model, I began to use it. Ok, so I didn’t just use it. I USED it. Everyday, every class, all the time. When I was bored during class, there was always a nice portal into the internet waiting for me in my pocket. No matter where I was at my school, I could check my email, IM my friends, and post updates to Twitter. To this day I still use my iPod touch continuously, checking email and the like.

But what does a Internet Device really need? I use my iPod way more for its browsing capabilities rather than its music player. There was a survey that showed that most iPhone users used the browser much more often than the actual phone. That leads me to conclude:

1) A Good Internet Device Doesn’t Need a Bunch of Extra Stuff.

Now this doesn’t mean that it can’t be a combination of things. I’d rather have a iPod Touch than carry around a Internet Tablet and a iPod. I’m just saying that it doesn’t need to have a lot of extra stuff. Many people would be fine with just having something with a web browser.

Another thing I’ve noticed about my iPod Touch is the fact that I don’t use it to its full capacity. I hardly play games, watch videos, and the like, which is what Apple is trying to promote the iTouch as, a gaming platform. (“The Funnest iPod Ever.”) Not only does this further the fact that you don’t need a bunch of extra stuff, it also shows that:

2) A Good Internet Device doesn’t need to cost a lot

I reach this point because it doesn’t take a lot to have a touch screen device that simply has a browser on it with a wifi chip. Meaning that it shouldn’t cost a lot.

Not only would a low cost Internet Device be very easy to make/use, it would also kickstart more people using the mobile internet. If a $100 device allowed you access to your RSS Feeds, Email, Contacts, and more anywhere there is a Wifi hotspot, I think a lot of people would be willing to buy it over the iPhone. Especially people that bought/want to buy the iPhone for its Mobile Web capabilities, but hardly ever use the phone.

Thanks for listening!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Many Devices - The Wrong One

So right now, I am stuck between using primarily my computer and my new iPod Touch for a lot of my tasks. Things like Email and using Google Reader just seem a lot nicer while using the iPod Touch. But then I spend a lot of time going into Safari, opening up Google Reader, finding the entry, or typing the email, that I begin to realize that "This would be a lot faster if I just used the damn computer."

One of the things that is very addicting about Apple's iPod is a very simple to use interface, that almost makes you want to use it for things that would be a lot easier to do on the regular, nice big sized monitor. I think I'm drawn to the Apple Interface more because there isn't anything in the way. There isn't a crud load of ads and white space. Everything is taken up to the very last pixels, which makes me like it a lot better.

Because you now have these fast internet connections and big browsers, websites try to take up that real estate using ads, or worse they forget about it and leave a lot of white space.

What I would like is for websites to be more put together. I'd like websites to use my entire browser for stuff that I want. Maybe make the fonts bigger, maybe not have all those side graphics, but take up that real-estate on my 1680x1080 widescreen. I'm loading your website and wasting my time to view what you are putting out, at least make it worth my while. I hate sites that the entire site is a fixed box in the center and each side will just be filled with the background color, the content being the same size.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Chapter 1 : Laconica Servers

You have all seen Twitter, and some of you, maybe even most of you are using Twitter. You have a lot of followers, you tweet a lot, you might even have it hooked up to your phone? But what happens when it goes down? What happens when you want to switch to another Twitter-Like service? What is a Laconica Server?

Laconica Servers
A Laconica server is open-source Twitter Server that interacts with other Laconica Servers. Each small community, that can be based around a single topic, has its own members and public feed. When you want to follow your friend on another community, you are able to because the servers are 'federated' and can talk to each other. Don't get it? Maybe this will help...

How a Laconica Server works.

So, for the most part, it is the same core functionality as Twitter. You can send messages up to 140 characters, you can send @replies, and you can follow people. (Private/Direct Messages are not supported yet) The API for all of the function Twitter offers is built in. XMPP for use with Jabber and Google Talk is built in. For the most part it is the same experience, and now with both Spaz and Twhirl supporting Laconica Servers, plus the added benefit of SMS built-in, I don't see any reasons not to use it.

So what are the benefits?

Because the entire project is open source, that means that things like 'Track' are completely available to users. 3rd Parties can expand on the Laconica servers and make features that a particular community wants. Also, these servers thrive on being able to have smaller groups of people to create more interesting conversation. In my 3-4 weeks of using the TwitArmy Laconica server (army.twit.tv), I can follow the Public Timeline instead having to filter things and use the home feed. Not only does this create more interesting discussion, but servers don't go down due to a high amount of viewers.


So what does this mean for the future?

While currently this is currently not the most used technology, it can mean big things in the future. Being able to expand on a growing community of people micro-blogging about what they are interested about can mean that you can, using track, instantly follow conversations that you are interested about. No matter what server you are on, you can connect with people from other communities. It means that we can break down the walls of Twitter and hopefully other micro-blogging services to make something even greater than it is. Its like email on steroids!

So, I hope that after reading this paragraph, you now know more than you did 5 minutes ago. I really do hope that this technology can expand into a giant web of communities all having great conversations about the world we live in. Because (from the Discovery Commerical) "The World is just awesome!"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Im Back!!!

I'm back all. I just got back from a long summer and am ready to get blogging agian. If you still subscribe to me and are interested in the blog, good for you! This year we are going to hit up subjects like the iPod Touch and applications, Google Chrome, that was released this Tuesday, and so much more. I got some cool new toys for blogging (Firefox Ubiquity), and that fasted browser ever(Chrome). So hop on board for another wild adventure as we go into the 2008-2009 Edition of "Student's Guide to Tech'

Friday, July 18, 2008

Google: The Next Social Search Engine?

Sorry I haven't posted for a little. My mind has been pre-occupied by a project I am working on. But more on that in a future date.

Techcrunch recently released a video of the closed beta Google Social Search. This incorporates likes, buries, and comments all into your search results. You can view both your likes/dislikes, and everyone's 'edits'.

I think that if something like this goes live to the world, it will introduce a large amount of people to a new way of using the Internet. Not a lot of people use social platforms that are really helpful when you are trying to find the most credible websites. I especially think it is a good idea because you don't necessarily have to look at everyone's edits. If you'd like to just use the feature on your own searches, its perfectly usable that way.

Social Searching really helps to rank websites in order of where you really go. Its really easy to glance at the websites most people visit, and find most helpful with social search, and you can always ignore them and simply look at the regular search results you would find.

Thats All! I hope to be doing the podcast some more in the next 1-2 weeks when Falko returns from his trip to Germany. Then he will probably join me weekly on Skype!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Gmail + GDocs = Virus Protection?

So.. I was just wandering through my Google Mail account where I found I had a few new email's in my spam box. I decided to take a peak at them considering I knew not to open attachments and not to download anything. I found a nice email that said 'You can get 5,000$ a week by doing nothing'! Knowing this was a complete joke, I read on. It was a bunch of B.S. of how there was no experience needed at all to make tons of money. At the bottom it read, to find out more ... wait for it... 'Open this HTML File!' I knew immediately that the HTML file somehow was intending to harm my computer. But .. still being curious, I opened it inside of Google Documents. Of course, all it said was:

To view FULL DETAILS please click on Information Bar and Allow Blocked Content in your browser. Thank you.

Well, that was the gag. But the part that I loved as that by using a website that went in and actually read the letter for me, and converted it into plain text, I was completely immune to any hidden viruses it had inside of the documents. Its like a second computer that simply reads the file! It doesn't execute anything to try to make it work, it doesn't download extra things to give the .html file some added functionality. I think sometimes we just need something that does a certain functionality without trying to compromise to get something to work.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Youtube User Data being handed over to Viacom

So, I welcome all of you here to the beginning of the end. Please take a seat and enjoy our journey into one of the very invasive privacy concerns circling around the Internet. I speak of none other than the current court case going between Viacom and Google. Possibly ran by one of the most moronic judges of all time Louis L. Stanton. Recently there has been a court order by Judge Stanton forcing Google to hand over YouTube User Data containing usernames and Videos those users have watched.

Appalling? Yes.

In an article written by Michael Arrington of Techcrunch, it was pointed out in the title that the "Judge Protects YouTube’s Source Code, Throws Users To The Wolves". Viacom was also asking for the YouTube source code. For some reason, Viacom needed this information to, as written in an article at CNet, "proving Viacom's claim against Google that YouTube is a hotbed of pirated video content, the sources said."

One of the points I find interesting that in order to prove the YouTube is a "hotbed of pirated video content", Viacom needed to see the source code of YouTube. From my point of view, the source code has nothing to do with the type of videos users post on YouTube.

Now, I do have to mention that all of this information is to be used solely for the purpose of proving YouTube's mass amount of pirated content. So any fear of you being sued by Viacom for looking at that MTV music video can be put at ease.

"Whoever wins this case and whatever issues come up, this will go to a court of appeals. It will be a powerful precedent."

- DeLong

 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Twitter vs. Friendfeed

If any of you are following me on Twitter or Friendfeed, you will have seen my multiple comments, posts, arguments, rants maybe, about the fact that Friendfeed, is not, isn't planning on being, and won't be a viable replacement for, Twitter. Well, most of those arguments are very true. I'll relay them to you right here.

Friendfeed =/= Twitter

Just incase you didn't catch on at first, the '=/=' means 'does not equal'. One of the big mistakes a lot of people are making is that they think Friendfeed is a viable replacement for Twitter, when in whole Friendfeed is a very different service. Twitter is a status updating website that allows you to both put updates as to what you are currently doing, and you can start a conversation with anyone account in Twitter simply by putting @username in one of your tweets. Friendfeed however is a medium for getting content, and it sits alongside a commenting system. Friendfeed takes content from sites and makes a single feed out of it, that friends can then comment/'like'.

Friendfeed is not the 'New' Twitter

One of the big reasons that people switch over is that they think that Friendfeed is a viable replacement for Twitter. Yes it has API integration with Twhirl making it able to have for the most part the same interface, and yes, you can put out messages of what you are doing by simply using the 'Share' form. But there are a number of things that Friendfeed doesn't have. The first and more obvious one is right not it doesn't have SMS. Really, that is a small problem because it will probably be put into an update soon enough, if FF developers can find a good format of what to put into the SMS Messages. Honestly, if Friendfeed is based around links, which it is, there isn't really a reason to receive SMS messages from Friendfeed because it would require you to visit a webpage as well.

Thats problem one, the second problem is as I mentioned above, there is no @reply feature. This is a bigger problem because if FriendFeed continues down the line of being a sharing site, there is really no need to implement a @reply feature. That really creates a problem, because there isn't a way to on Friendfeed, direct a message to someone. There is no private messages either, which might be more foreseeable in the future.

Friendfeed relies on Twitter to work.

As Louis Gray pointed out, think of Friendfeed as a pizza. The pizza is there to deliver it and the toppings to your mouth. All of the different websites Friendfeed uses to make itself useful are toppings. The pizza doesn't work well without them. Friendfeed relies more on people using Twitter than it relies on people using Friendfeed, because unless you decide to use the 'Share' link for all of your content, the only way it can retrieve items for people to comment and 'like' is if you allow it access to the 3rd party applications that you use.

Now, not everyone necessarily agrees on toppings. I might use twitter, you might use brightkite. The important part is that you use something to create content and get it onto Friendfeed. That way we can comment/link/'like'/share/etc.

Whatever you use, use it!

I am not trying to become a complete advocate for using Twitter. The fact is that it does have its problems. This giant rant is just specifically pointed to the fact that Twitter =/= Friendfeed. But, whatever you use, whether it be Brightkite, Tumblr, or even Google Talk Status Updates (lol). Make sure that you use it a lot, and keep creating content.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Stu2Tech Podcast

I am finally starting to focus a little on my 'Stu2tech' podcast. Me and my friend Falko will be talking about events often everyweek. I say often because it is highly possibly that we will do more than 1 or 2 podcasts a week over the summer. You can join us in our Skype recording if you like, just send an email to chacha102@gmail.com.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oh, Here your beta invites to Ping.fm

Just incase you want to try this new services, the beta code invites is letmeping. Have fun pinging!

Ping.fm

So, Today I discovered this great new service called Ping.fm. What it does is allow you to post to groups of social networks based on what they are like, IE: Status Updates, Blogging, Micro-Blogging, etc. I really like the fact that I can have all of my Blog posts go to all my blogs, and that I can just as easily send an update that goes to Twitter, Pownce, Tumblr and More. Plus I can have services that have ALL of my content. It really changes the web from having specific services, to instead, just having content. It doesn't matter the medium that you get it, It just matters that you get it.

This is a Test Post

What does this Do?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of those cool tools that just give the mass amount of information Webmasters are looking for. It easy to set up and definitely deserves a try from anyone who wants to do any kind of website.

One of the cool features is the fact that Google Analytics uses many very rich charts that are interactive. If you are on the time line and you select a point on the graph at say March 15th, you will go to that day specifically. For every chart there is also a table of data below it for people who would rather see a table of data.

Besides that, Google can pinpoint where people are in the world and map it out so you can view whwere your hits are coming from. You cans et up goal pages to see how many people start at your home page. Go to page x, then page y, and finally land on page z. This is helpful for marketers and sellers because it can allow you to see how a customer got to the checkout page of product x.

Overall, I am very impressed with Google Analytics. It works flawlesslly with Adwords so you can buy the correct keywords, and is very accurate. http://www.google.com/analytics anayltics for more info

Monday, June 16, 2008

Boycott the Associated Press

Go here to sign a petition boycotting the Associated Press after they came up with their new regulations on blogs. read more (unassociatedpress.net) | digg story
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So, AP (Associated Press) recently set a new lists of regulations for blogger to use, basically saying that you can only quote what we want you to, and if you don't we are going to Sue you. More information from Techcrunch Here. I've provided a shameless plug to a website promoting the boycott of Associated Press.

It gets really sad when companies have a go this low to allow for their business model to prevail. The internet and the communities on it are all changing, and paid content is one of the buisness models that just aren't going to fit into this changing world.

Do you think this is a reason to stop using AP? Or am I just overreacting? Post it in the comments

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Comments - Blog Posts in Response to other Blog Posts

Comments can be blog posts

This person has it exactly right, (as I mentioned on Twitter). Comments are just as important as blog posts, because they basically are blog posts, just responding to an article. A good commenter spend just as much time forming their comments as a good blogger spends forming their articles, and both can contain great information. I think that news aggregators should allow comments to also be listed, and that you should be able to have all of you comments you write anywhere on your blog, with a link to the article you are writing about. I defiantly think if we could find all of people's comments on their blog, it would help centeralize their content.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Monday, June 9, 2008

Pricey Pricey

Yes, one of the big announcements was the fact that the new price for the 3G iPhone will be $199, but if you look at what you are really paying for, its really not that cheap. Buying a $30/month unlimited data plan along with a $39.99/month voice plan, over your 2  year contract, you spend:

$959.76 in Voice

$720 in Edge Data

$399 for the phone

Giving a grand total of $2,078.76 for a Regular iPhone

For a 3G iPhone,

$959.76 in Voice

$1080 in 3G Data

$199 for the phone

Giving a grand total of $2238.76 for a 3G iPhone

So incase you were wondering, unless you do not get a 3G Data plan, you will be spending more on a 3G iPhone than a Regular iPhone

3G iPhone

Probably the best announcement at the entire conference, and the most anticipated, was the news of the new 3G iPhone.

Now for people who are new to this kind of technology, 3G is a faster wireless network for cell phones. And because it is so much faster, it allows for faster downloads of web pages, and music.

The battery life for the 3G iPhone has been increased, flaunting a 300 hour standby time, 5 to 6 hours of browsing the we, 7 hours of video, and 24 hours of audio. Unfortunately, the 3G feature reduces the talk time greatly, giving only 5 hours of talk on 3G, and 10 on non-3G

iPhone Applications

The next thing announced by Apple is the great new applications that will be featured on the iPhone. Apple really is trying to push the apps it has on it to be able to be used in any environment.

A few of the apps:

Typepad:  A new blogging software that allows you to blog right from your iPhone. It only can post pictures, but it allows you to add titles, categories, and text. Anything else would probably be to annoying to use on a phone anyway.

iCall: Allows you to use VOIP on your iPhone. It will allow you to switch to a VoIP network during calls so that you can save minutes when you are at home, or another place with WiFi.

Whrrl: Last app I am going to mention is a mobile social network that allows people to rate different businesses with your pals.

Also, plenty of new games were released onto the iPhone...

Games for the iPhone

The games for the iPhone would allow for a whole new generation of mobile gaming. It allows you to change the layout of the game and buttons completely. It would allow you to take the same function that made Wii so popular, in the palm of your hand everywhere. And because of the accelerometer, it has the ability to allow movement to control games. Unfortunately, this means people on subways driving their iPhone Game.

Online Apple Stores Officially Down

Yes, just like I predicted, the Online Apple stores have gone down with a message that they are currently updating. What could they Possibly be announcing today that would cause them to be updating?

Twitter is down, On the most important conference of the year

Recently, Twitter has said that Twitter would be completely up for the year's WWDC Conference, and early on, they have failed. Currently, Twitter is down to my Twhirl client, and many others are also complaining about Twitter's Down Syndrome (Literally .... 'Down' syndrome). So, we have now found out that Twitter can't keep its servers up even when they promise to. Expect a giant ranting post on Techcrunch about the failure of Twitter. Now What?

Online Apple Stores Go Down

via Engadget

All Online Apple Stores across the entire world have officially gone down. This can only mean that they want no spoilers for the upcoming announcements for the new Apple Product(s). In my opinion, this can only mean that the stores are going under maintenance  to be ready for the overflow of sales from the announcement today.

 

Currently, the Online Stores are back up, but who knows how long that may last. Nothing new on the site though, so they will probably go down again to put the new product's page up.

WWDC

So, what will happen today at WWDC? Im not listening to any spoilers, I am not looking at anything except the live coverage from Techcrunch, and the commentary from Leo Laporte and his friends at twitlive.com

My thoughts will all go up here, and expect quite a few posts by the end of the day. Afterwards, I'll get a follow up post linking to all of the WWDC hoopla and links to video from different sites.

Have Fun!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Openness Part 1: Interface Enhancements

One of my next rant's with openness is the fact that most website's that have custom built User Interfaces, really could be changed to suit the user's needs more. IE: More pleasant looking, easier to navigate, quick links to important pages, etc. I really think one of the next steps is going to be either building your page in a way that is easy for 3rd Party Apps to place enhancements in, or to allow User Customized UI's to be submitted, and then let the user choose what they want to use. Certain websites are going to be used very often if a user can easily do what they want and enjoy using the application.

Stu2Tech Podcast

Well, I've been spending the last few days recording a new podcast I have been trying to bring out called Student 2 Tech Podcast (Original Eh?). This is basically where I come on once a day and talk toy uo about things I've found over the week, and If more people start to listen to it I can talk about different emails I receive and more. I intend to ask people I know to come on an talk to you all aswell. If you have any Ideas send them to chacha102@gmail.com.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Openness

I am beginning a new set of rants called 'Openness' to help me express to you my thoughts about the need for websites, software, and other companies to be as open as possible with their customers, developers, and other users of their service. In the upcoming years, it is going to become very essential to be open with your users and to allow they to comment, criticize, and rate different articles. Websites and Software should be open to addons that add features and interface changes. The future of the internet is going to be using the brains of all the developers that are determined to add a certain versatility to their browsing experience, and then customzing the user's experience through that power.

Monday, June 2, 2008

TWiT Army Syndrome

There is a wide sickness sweeping many social networks, what is it called? TWiT
Army Syndrome. The Symptoms? Leo Laporte finding a cool new site and Twittering
about it. Your entire site will suddenly have many more users, all following
each other. Later you wwill probably experience a large crash due to the number
of TWiTs at your site, and it won't stop untill you either shut down, restrict
access, or do something else. We are collecting donations for this 3rd option
that many site owners are at risk of needing to undertake. What is this third
option? Fixing Your Site. We currently are making a huge movemeny accross
America to help site owners fix their site. We are the Site Helpers for Increased Twits, and we are here to help.

(Just Kidding, I love Leo and his work and I think it was cool for him to offer a link to it. If they can fix it I think it would be great to intergrate with Twitter.)
Ok, so this all comes from Sunday when Leo Twittered about a new site caleld plurk.com, and gave a link to the site to sign up. Instantly almost 300 people signed up (given that way how many people following Leo). A half an hour later Plurk basically shut down. It wasn't functional, kept getting errors and more. Great Site though, allows you to basically see and make Tweet like messages and see them and your friend's on a timeline. But unfourtunatly, it got borked.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Remember the Milk

Remeberthemilk.com is one of those cool little applications that you really want to fuse into the rest of your computer. It allows you to easily create tasks and recognizes common ways of writing a task down that allow you to tell it when it is due without having to individually fill out each box. This app is extremely useful because it uses all of the common Messengers like MSN, Google Talk, AIM and more. Along with Twitter and Email notifications. You can even use it with Google Calendar which really makes it useful.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Encryption - How far do you really need to go?

 

One of the questions that have recently passed my mind is how far do you really have to go with encryption. After listening to Steve Gibson at twit.tv for almost a year now, I've heard him talk a good deal about encryption. But what is enough?

The amount of encryption you should use it directly proportional to the value of the most valuable data in the folder/drive.

I've developed this theory after using a program called TrueCrypt. It allows you to basically create a container, similar to a .zip folder, that you can mount like a hard drive. But what is really cool about it is that the file looks like a regular file, so if someone is just glancing through your files, they really would never be able to tell the difference.  And if you have to work with others, but have you encrypted files open, the container looks just like another hard drive on 'My Computer', giving them no reason to be suspicious of anything. You can also encrypt whole USB Drives or even entire partitions. One of the features I find handy is the ability to set hotkeys, and most of the keys are things that would be really useful if someone is coming to look over your shoulder. I currently have the a key (Ctrl + Alt +Backspace) bound to automatically dismounting all the drives and exiting TrueCrypt. That way if anyone is coming over, they would never know that I am working with encrypted file, or where they are.

But getting back to my theory. TrueCrypt allows you to create layers of encryption that if you have something extremely important, you can bury it upon several encryption algorithms and passwords. Plus the fact that you can require that along with the password, a keyfile is given. This is a file that about the first 1,000 bytes of are used along with the password to encrypt your container.

So, if you have some of the sensitive information lying around on a laptop, you might want to bolt it up tight with TrueCrypt or another popular encryption techniques.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Schools miss it....

I find that some schools are definitely moving in the right direction to get more involved into technology. My school has tons of computers almost everywhere, all of the grade reports are online, and all the grades are recorded online. But still all the computers take forever to boot because of the massive keyloggers and recording intentionally put on there, they miss the entire social side of the Internet by blocking any pages that say 'Social Networking', and they've really just missed the point of the Internet entirely. It is a lot like big media corps. They see all the people doing wonderful things with the Internet, and they want so bad to be able to use it for the best things they can, but then when they put an honestly effort out to try to incorporate it into the curriculum, it is a hit and miss effort. Part of this is because of the teachers that they can't fire, are so resistant to bringing technology into classrooms, or even learning how to use most computers! Sadly, that chain reacts down to the students who are missing out on great learning experiences because their teachers won't make an effort to learn some of these new technologies.

Maybe in a decade once most of the older teacher retire, there will be room to expand and bring in these new technologies, but from where I'm currently standing, it is definitely affecting my learning experience.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Instability at Twitter

If any of you have used Twitter for any length of time, you might have realized it gets very addicting, and if you've looked at the public timeline, you also might realize that a lot of people use it. Now, if you have really got to be a Tweeter, you've probably also witnessed first-hand that it goes down, a lot. No .. not just once a week, I mean A LOT. One of the big problems that many Tweeters have is the fact that Twitter goes down very often, and if you use Twitter as a means of communication, entertainment, or more, this becomes a annoying occurrence. Twitter Developers have made steps to try to reduce the amount of down time that Twitter experiences, but if there becomes a major spike in users, like say, a mention on a mainstream source, the entire system will most likely collapse. One of the technologies that might allow us to allow Twitter to stay online is a idea from Techcrunch's Michael Remmington brought up on May 5th, 2008.

The key weakness in Twitter (and therefore opportunity for a new decentralized approach) is the fact that so much Twitter activity occurs off Twitter.com. Users are getting very used to using desktop clients (Twitterific, Alert Thingy, Twhirl, etc.), IM, SMS, and other interfaces to talk to Twitter. Those third party applications can be tuned to lock in to the new decentralized Twitter-like service instead or in addition to Twitter itself. - Techcrunch - Michael Arrington

Decentralization is one of the ways Twitter can be freed of the often down time it has. The key to this is to make the 'Tweets' alot like instant messages, where the user would subscribe to a person's tweets, and then the followers would get pinged whenever there is a new tweet. Because there is no single server to be relied on, there in turn could be no site-wide outage. Thus solving the problem.

Desktop Blogging Software FTW

Yes, I have finally found my desktop blogging software. I have no idea how well it currently works, but I am going to try it out for awhile an see how it works. The program in Windows Live Writer, and I stumbled upon it while installing Windows Live Mail onto my laptop.

 

One of the things I really like is when a developer makes desktop software to easily publish things onto the Internet. I find most things require that you go to the actual web site to use the functionality of it. http://Rememberthemilk.com was not even a question of whether I would use it or not for awhile. I just don't remember to check different web sites frequently enough to make use of it. But as soon as I found it had Twitter and Email functionality, and I had desktop software to alert me of tasks, it suddenly became a very viable web site to use.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Great Conversation

In a Tweet from chacha102: "Go out today, and make a difference. Help to create the great conversation! Twitter, IM, Blog, Comment! Create Content for the Entire World!" (Me). What this tweet says is more true than anything else on the internet. In the last decades that we have had the internet, can you believe what a gigantic change the internet has made. So many great services has popped up that truly tend to the ways most people would like to use the internet. You can have discussions with groups with Google Groups, keep in touch with people with services like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and more. You can create your own website extremely easily with some of the great online free website hosting wizards. With a quick search you can learn almost anything very quickly with many sites filled with tutorials and articles on almost everything under the sun. You have easy quick ways to allow you to e-mail all your friends and share links and notes.

Getting back to the main subject is the fact that over the past few decades the internet has became a gigantic conversation between lots of people. And of those people, there are content creators, content consumers, or content creators and consumers. One of the best ways to become involved on the internet is to enter the 2-way street of communication. If you are a creator, make sure that the consumers have easy ways to give you feed back and converse with the other members of a website. If you are a consumer, push for the creators of the content you love to make sure that you and others can comment. Everyone has something to say about any news article, program, or content in any type. So embrace the great conversation going on around you!

New Age in Media

For most of the content providers that older people are used to such as TV and Radio Stations, the new age of the internet has became a double-edged sword. Most content providers want to hang onto their content and copyright and put DRM on it. But as the internet grows, we enter the new media age that wants content to be freed and opened for everyone to use on any platform, and providers just arn't ready to let go of it. But slowly, some providers are starting to let go of their content, or at least make it more accessible by allowing online movie rentals, freely accesible flash video feeds of the content, and offering DRM-Free content.
But that isn't enough! The fact is people want to be able to access media when they want, where they want, on the device they want. And people are able to do that by pirating and ripping content, making it DRM Free. And when you really get down to who uses the content and who the DRM blocks, it blocks the good guys. The people who are willing to pay for a copy of something as long as they are able to move it around. Its still their content, why can't they use it?
And is isn't like there isn't any hope. No media company is going to go broke because they begin offering DRM-Free, no cost episodes of TV shows after they have aired for a month.
No company is going to lose a large chunk off income for offering DRM-Free, no to low cost movies after they have hit the DVD stores. The easier and cheaper it is for customers to conviently access content, the more they are going to want to pay for the content instead of pirating it, because if you offer it in a way that is more convient than downloading it off BitTorrent, people are going to pay for it.

The big idea is that old providers need to starting heading towards DRM-Free content, and allowing more people to get access to really old movies and TV shows.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Firefox Release Candidate 1

Okay, it might only be a release candidate for Firefox 3 .. but it is the best browser I have used. It is lightning fast, the 'smart bar' for an address bar is absolutely phenomenal. Some of the best features of all the major browsers are incorporated into RC1, but it remains extremely fast. Let me give you a little tour:

1. The Fastest Browser so far. I'm not exaggerating at all. Lifehacker has done tests on RC1, and it has turned out to be the speediest browser:
"Mozilla VP of engineering Mike Schroepfer claims that Firefox 3 is 9.3x faster than Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 and 2.7x faster than Firefox 2 in terms of JavaScript performance. In terms of Gmail message load time, he claims Firefox 3 is 6.8x faster than IE7 and 3.8x faster than Firefox 2. And he says Firefox 3 beats Apple's Safari, which is also faster than Firefox 2." - From Lifehacker
2. Sleek New Design I don't know about you, but I spend a gigantic amount of time on the internet, in my web browser. So much so that I acctually care about how the browser looks around the page it is framing. Firefox 3 RC1 really delivers with much sleeker tabs, buttons, and ever the 'Back' button has been redesigned to be larger for when you need to go back. The regular buttons are take up less room and the tabs are shorter in height, which really adds some space.

3. Smart Bar The Firefox Address bar is offically one of the coolest address bars I've seen. Like most browsers it will look through your history, and as you begin to type it will give you a list of places you've recently visited. But the cool part is the more you use it, that smarter it becomes. If you type in 'Tw' when you are going to twitter.com, and twit.tv shows up first, you simply can press the down button a few times to get to the twitter.com entry. The next time you type 'Tw' it will bring up twitter.com before twit.tv.

Firefox 3 has certainly won me over, and now I can't wait for the offical version so developers update all of their addons.

Sorry for the Delay

Sorry for the delay for posting. Lot of great stuff on the horizon and I am just getting everything right!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Leo Laporte - Charging a Path into the future of digital media

Leo Laporte (leoville.com) has been a radio personality for a long time on his current Tech Radio show 'Leo Laporte - The Tech Guy' which airs on radio every week. When he is normally recording the radio show at 11-2 PST on Satudays and Sundays, he also is taking on a new feat by streaming his the recording of his radio show in live video.

His Live video is being served by Stickam, and has reached up to 3,000 users without completely lagging out. He is also taking a new view to taking questions on his radio show by allowing listeners to twitter messages to his twitter account (leolaporte). Besides that he also reads the Stickam chat that is conviently located right below the Stickam Screen at twitlive.tv. Along with that he has his own IRC chat at http://irc.dslextreme.com.

All of these things greatly increase the communication between him and his viewers that allow his to keep this great internet conversation going. A conversation that basically involves everyone that has access to the internet and has something to say. And it is easy to join this conversation! There are so many great sites like Twitter, Blogger, Facebook, Pownce and several others that allow you make your own content, and put your input into the grand conversation of Technology.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Twitter

Twitter has got to be one of the greatest Social Networks that has gone up on the internet. Its extremely simple.

Messages
Its very simple to send a message. There is a big box on your home page when you go to twitter.com/home . You type in there up to 140 characters, and everyone who follows you can see what you are posting. Also you can put @username of someone on twitter, and that will allow them to directly see the Tweets, the @ also has other uses.

Following
Basically, at every users personal page there is a giant button that allows you to follow that user. After that, the Tweets get displayed on your home page

Direct Messages
For those more private messages that need to be sent directly to the user, there are direct messages that are alot like replies, except they can only be viewed by the user it was sent to, and you can only direct message people who are following you AND you are following them.

Evernote: The Future of Note Taking?

Evernote (evernote.com), is one of the great new tools I've come to love over the past few weeks. In short, it is a note taking program that allows you to take content from Websites, take screenshots, import pictures, and more into a database of online media that you can search on any of your computers after they sync.

Handwriting Recongnition
Evernote is very good at handwriting recognition in pictures so if you take a picture with your phone of a California ID, and after it indexes, type California, or another word on the picture, that picture will come up in your search results.

Screen shots
Evernote comes with a great widget called the Universal Clipper, which allows you to press a 2 keys, and select a part of the screen you want to take a screen shot, press enter, and you have whatever you selected

Thats just some of the great features, check it out at evernote.com. If you would like a Beta invite, twitter me (chacha102) and I'll gladly give you one if I have any left.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Live Broadcasting

I've always loved the idea of live broadcast. It gives a sense of community and interaction between the broadcaster's and the users. There is just something about being live that is much more real and more enjoyable than having a pre-recorded show because there are flaws. It doesn't look like you are perfect and it doesn't look like you never make mistakes. It allows the user to relate to you.

I'd like to point out a great new Live broadcast on Tuesday-Sat (Except Fridays) by Leo Laporte at twitlive.tv . They are really doing something awesome there by recording all of their podcasts live and allow a chatroom usually ranging from about 1,000 people in at a time.

If you know another Live Podcast that you'd like me to check out and maybe recommend, put it in the comments or message me on Twitter (chacha102)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hulu - Videos for the Bored

Miss that last episode of The Tonight Show or The Office? Fox wants you to head to Hulu.com and sign up, watch, and enjoy the 10 second commercials every 10 minutes!

Honestly, I enjoy Hulu, its a very nice way to be able to watch things when I'm bored and really don't like whatever is currently on TV. Hollywood is going in the right direction with Hulu and offering free episodes of shows online, but it still isn't there yet. What really needs to happen is after a certain amount of time, like a 2 years after a movie comes out, it needs to be able to be downloaded for free. Because really, after 2-3 years, there is not going to be a big amount of money coming from the sale of that movie.

Monday, May 12, 2008

How important is it to design your blog well?

Lately, I've fallen to using Google Reader exclusivly for all the blogs I look at. I used to individually go to all of the blogs I read, and look through to see if there is any new news, and now I really don't have to. I know plenty of you have already discovered this, and yes I'm behind in the tech world when it comes to some diffrent Web applications, but I pose this question to you:

How important is it to design your blog well, perticularly for readablility.

Personally, after going through a entire week without even acctually going to engadget.com, techcrunch, or slashdot, except for 'read' links, I've came to realize that designing the acctual website for readibilty isn't that important, what is really important is catching a user's attention the first time, maybe the second or thrid time, and then making it easy for them to read via RSS.

And really, isn't that what it's all about. It's not about the page design or the flashy graphics, it's the content that matters and that is what is going to drive readers to your site. Estimates a few months ago declared that 1,000,000 (1 million for short) people around the globe have the resources to make a podcast. And if everyone of them did, and also wrote a blog, you would have so much content on the web that you wouldn't know what to do with it.

Think of a world that no matter where you were, what you were doing, you could open up a device that you would have hours worth of content of stuff you like.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Microsoft Tells Its Alternate Yahoo Board Members It Won’t Be Needing Them

Microsoft Tells Its Alternate Yahoo Board Members It Won’t Be Needing Them

I can't make heads or tails of this entire deal. First Microsoft wants Yahoo!, then it doesn't, and then everyone says that they are just going to try to buy out Yahoo!, and then they tell the people they were going to use to do that, that they no longer need them. Somethings is happening here, but it ain't happened yet.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Page2RSS - Create an RSS feed for any web page

Page2RSS - Create an RSS feed for any web page

This is the next service I'm gonna try. Basically it takes a website, monitors it for updates, and puts it into an RSS Format. I'm first gonna try this out for my homework for my Teachers, and see if it works that well, and how it works, and I'll post my review to you guys in a couple of days.

Macworld | Bug delays Photoshop Express update

Macworld | Bug delays Photoshop Express update

This is the kinds of applications that I think are really changing the way buisness think of customers. The fact is that Photoshop is a rather expensive program. Most people don't really want to buy that expensive program. Free Online programs allow people to develop a sense of the product, and get to use the major features in the product for Free with no time limit, so there is no end-of-use time and you have to buy it in order to continue using it. And now that Adobe is expanding its integration with Flickr, it just gives more of a reason to use it.

Microsoft and NBC working on copyright filters for Zune? - Engadget

This Update from 'Engadget' (Which Firefox does not think is a word):
Microsoft and NBC working on copyright filters for Zune? - Engadget
NBC recently told the New York Times that it's working with Microsoft to develop "copyright filters" for the Zune that would "remove pirated movies and videos."
Unfortunately, this is yet another reason why NBC isn't exactly the most liked of all the corporations. Putting DRM on content that you have purchased as reserve the right for Fair Use. Just makes life alot more difficult for everyone else. I personally like the DRM on Audible.com, very light and simply is put there to make sure that the authors get their money. This is what the DRM on movies is suppose to do. But they fail at it. BIG TIME. Big Corps spend way too much effort into trying to make movies only work on certain players and certain devices, when in the long term, they would get a lot more money if the movies worked on many different devices. That way they arn't going just to a sepcific audience of Zune users (Its a real time waster to make a DRM that will be block 5 people.) Instead allow it to be used by many people, you spend less time in making the DRM, you save money.
Update: Although a spokesperson told the NYT that Microsoft was working with NBC on anti-piracy efforts, the company is now saying that it has no plans to implement a "copyright cop" in the Zune, and the Zune Insider blog confirms. Great, now just cancel the ISP-level filtering system and we'll be all set.
Meh .. No Comment

Faster than a Speeding Bullet!

Faster than a speeding bullet, more swift than Cat Woman and with the finesse of a drunken irish dancer, I have conveniently posted my Twitter updates onto the side of my blog! All of this without breaking a sweat! How do I do it? No body knows!

Welcome Once Agian!

Welcome once again to my attempt to force myself to publish a blog. Whether or not this attempt will succeed or not, nobody does know. But at least I have conviently taken up another blogger.com sub address! Reachable at stu2tech.blogspot.com. Not only will I attempt to post onto this blog, I will use it to test my Blogger PHP API skills. So, sit back, relax, refresh a couple times, and watch as I attempt to give you a Students Guide to Tech