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.