Sunday, December 26, 2010

Newsday (LI) Drops Paywall Temporarily

On occasion, I think we all check on the news in a place we used to live.

For many years, Long Island's Newsday was, in large part, the primary newspaper for those who lived in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

I grew up reading it .... as did my parents and grandparents.

Newsday has changed hands a few times over the years and some time ago became one of the first major newspapers in the nation to put up a paywall. (IE: If you wanted to read it online, you had to subscribe).

Those of you that have read my stuff know how I feel about monetization via paywalls (except in certain circumstances).  Newsday (and their advertisers) lost this guy's business when the paywall went up a while back ... and it wasn't too difficult to find alternate sources.  In fact, a few entrepreneurs found opportunity and started brand new websites.

This evening, I was curious about how Long Island was doing with the first major snowstorm in a while.  I was also curious if Newsday would drop the paywall during an emergency (for visitors and others?!).

I wandered over to to find the site wide open.

The photos were good.  The copy was (very) current.   Overall the paper looked great ... online.

The official explanation had nothing to do with a pending emergency:

"Enjoy open access to the new until January 7, 2011, courtesy of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular".

Cablevision's News 12 (which still has it's paywall in place) can also be viewed live (and open) via a link at the bottom of the Newsday main page.

I'm writing this piece not only for those that might be interested in the weather (and airport) coverage .... but also because if enough people point to this (Tweet it?), maybe, just maybe, the Cablevision / Newsday Interactive oligopoly might just realize how many pageviews the site is capable of ... without the paywall.

I'm not hopeful considering the past, but for now, if you're stuck on Long Island (all the major New York area airports are closed at this hour) or you're just curious, Newsday and the live feed from News 12 Long Island can be found here.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas (and Changing Times)

I just took a look at the site analytics for this blog, that I started back when 'early adopter' was a relatively new phrase.

Given the fact that I haven't had time to update it as often as I used to, I was surprised to find that over 90 per cent of you (recently) have been new visitors.  (So much for 'sticky' ? :)

That's a long road from when it was the complete opposite and SEO and Tech Daily had a 'regular following'.

First .... welcome!  I hope you'll find something here occasionally that you find interesting (or just makes you smile :)

2010 was a year of hyper change on the Internet and all industries effected directly or indirectly by the web.  Governments, Social structures and Businesses everything literally ran to adapt and ...

..... There are more websites and blogs (and others) trying to get your pageviews than ever before.

That has never been a real mission here.

Originally the blog was started to re-brand my own name after having spent over 5 years very quietly doing in-house SEO.

Then came Friendfeed (now owned by Facebook) and a community that I truly believe has yet to be rivaled in it's intimate networking by like minding people.  Friendfeed has changed since it's acquisition but suffice to say I met more of you (electronically or in person) there than on any other Web 2.0 start-up, rivaling only going personally to a conference or meeting.

Two years ago, I made a career switch (Think that's easy at 54 ?? :), but I continued to self-educate myself on the rapid changes on the Internet and tech in general ... something I've done my whole life.

If I write something here now, it's either some sort of experiment, or because the fact is, that I simply enjoy doing it, and, over the years, so many of you have dropped e-mails that just make me feel good.

I continue to prognosticate occasionally, or report unreported news.  I also still maintain a few legacy accounts ... people or companies that I just LOVE helping out.

So there's a very brief update.  No Year in Review (yet?!) ... No Negative or title-blazing stuff.

Just Thanks ...

.. to the many of you ... way to many to count ... that have been part of my tech life one way or another or contributed to this blog in some way since it's launch.

From my family to yours ..

Happy Holidays .... and many years of health and happiness!

Your friend,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Paid (Promoted) Tweets Move to More Clients

Twitter's first attempt at monetization is called 'promoted Tweets'.

Paid trends that usually appear in the top ten with a defining label.

It started with the Twitter home page (both new and old versions) and the popular Twitter client Hootsuite.

It appears the Adobe Air version of Tweetdeck has joined the fray this morning, automatically turning on Worldwide Trends for some users including promoted Tweets.

A screenshot from earlier this morning appears below.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Google Sends Mass Thank You E-Mail and 20 Million for Charity

Checking my Gmail tonight, I came across this:

Well, you're welcome Google, and even though my wife is going through the same thing that Kristine Gray is going through, we're very happy to be part of your success ... and certainly grateful that you were able to give $20 million to various charities in 2010.

It's an exciting (and challenging) time for the web.  It's been a fun ride, and I, for one, can't wait for the next chapter.  I don't ever remember technology and communications changing at this pace, and the success and failure stories that have come along with that change.

I should point out that the link in the e-mail goes here.

Enjoy .....

.... and the Happiest of Holidays to readers of this blog and the occasional others I contribute to ....

Together, we ALL can make a difference.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Significant Windows Update Later Today

Users of Microsoft operating systems and software will be receiving some significant security updates later today.

Most users with Windows Update (or Microsoft Update) set to auto-update will likely be prompted to re-boot sometime Tuesday (as some of these updates effect core OS components).

17 bulletins, addressing a variety of security issues, will be patched on current and some supported legacy operating systems.  The December version of the 'Malicious Software Removal Tool' will also be part of this package.

Office and SharePoint products are on the complete list, which can be found in the Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification for December here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Microsoft Montage Takes a Direct Shot at

Microsoft's latest from Fuse Labs was introduced at LeWeb.

It's a personal aggregator that you can set up and publish to the web dubbed Montage.

Personal web-based aggregators are nothing new but they've have been maturing.

In the right column of this blog you can click through to my own 'personal collection' at, created just after the service was introduced. (Admittedly, it hasn't been refined in months but still serves a purpose for me).

The most talked about personal aggregator in past months and weeks has been  LOTS have already been set up an are posting updates to Twitter.

It's notable that Guy Kawasaki maintains an interest in both Alltop and  Kawaski has shown a keen interest in 'online magazines'.

I wandered though the Montage Gallery this morning.  The tech crowd, as can be expected, have already created more than anyone else.  It's a interesting journey and can be found here.

Take the ride.  See what you think.

Great Weekend All

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Firefox Updates to Version 3.6.13

Firefox users should check their latest version number if they haven't been auto-updated.

Earlier today, Mozilla released the latest stable version of Firefox, now version 3.6.12 .

This latest version fixes a variety (over 50) of security and stability issues.

Simply tap 'Help' at the top of the browser then 'Check for Updates' in Windows.

Linux and Mac users can find the latest version of Firefox here.

The Year in Review - According to Google (Updated)

A short time ago, Google posted a new video to YouTube.
As of this writing, it's only had about 300 views so it's pretty 'fresh'.

Sort of Google - ized Year in Review 2010 ... (so far).

I found it interesting, disturbing, thought provoking ... and actually pretty good considering it's short length.

Thought you might too.

The first of many I'm sure. Google's version of 2010 is here:

Update: Apparently this post was a touch premature.

More on Google's Zeitgeist 2010 video has now been posted to the Official Google Blog here.

Update 2: Google apparently changed the 'embed code' earlier today.  The video is now back above.

The NY Times Best Seller List and The Best of the FREE

Earlier in the week, I noted the opening of the new web-based Google Book Store.

Since then, Google has hit the web with a barrage of announcements.

The difference, this time, is that Google is delivering stuff you can use right now.
Some fun ... some productive ... and some simply mind-boggling.

I'm the first to admit I stayed up late (very late) last night with Canary messing with various apps in the new Google Chrome WebStore.

Previous to that, I had been dual-booting the closest thing to an easy, out-of-the-box simplified Linux (Ubuntu) based product, Jolicloud (who notably, yesterday, released their much improved Version 1.1).

Jolicloud is probably the closest thing you can find right now to the upcoming Google Chrome OS but Google has chosen (for now) to stay hardware specific, which should, after some testing, make it MUCH faster.

I'm pretty much thinking the 'cloud' is coming home in 2011 (and NOT liking the way Microsoft appears to be attempting to brand the term "to the cloud" in it's TV commercials).

But I digress?

Back to the title.

Unlike my late Grandfather, my Mom ... and my daughter, I've never been much of a book reader.  No doubt I've missed a lot .... but with the attention span of a hamster, it's always put me off.

Revisiting the Google Book Store this evening, I noticed two cool changes on the greeting page.

The NY Times Best Seller List is there.  It was kind of sad to see Elizabeth Edward's book being discounted.

The next section was the 'Best of the Free'.

I paged through and one notable title was Moby Dick.  There were others, most in their original typeface (cool stuff).

It's never too late for a little catching up.

A vision that others have tried and ailed in the past is here.

I might just curl up later ... with my laptop ... and a good book.

If you missed the first post, be sure and checkout the Book Store here (as well as the online reader).

Kudos to Mountainview this time around.

Just great stuff.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Google Chrome Canary 10 - Designed To Mess With

There are numerous versions of Google's Chrome web browser that have been released for different audiences.  Most often mentioned here have been the 'Stable', 'Beta', and 'Dev' versions.

Earlier this year, Google released a separate version of Chrome (for early, early adopters) they call Canary.

The difference between Chrome Canary and the others is that it can be run along side any of the other versions ... without changing them.

That's where today's barrage of announcements from Google comes in, and how you can try them out without effecting your current settings in Chrome.

If you missed any of this press from Mountainview, there's a whos who of coverage at Techmeme.

An update on the development of the much anticipated Chrome OS (along with a 'test notebook'), a re-launch of the Chrome App Web Store, and Chrome itself with a new 'Crankshaft' V8 compiler, taking the browser to yet another speed benchmark.

(The Official Google post can be found here and a great rundown from Danny Sullivan's Search Engine Land is here).

Back to Chrome Canary.  Earlier today, I tapped the Canary 'wrench' (at the riht top of the browser), then 'about' and the browser updated to version 10.0.603.3.  Significant or not, this is the first time we've seen a 'Ten' in any release of Chrome.

Crankshaft, a new compliation infrastructure for V8 is already onboard for testing.

More importantly, you can test out the apps in the Chrome Web Store while leaving your existing Chrome install just the way it is.  Canary will run separately and even, in most cases, simultaneously with other versions of Chrome.

I had a lot of fun trying out various apps this afternoon using Canary.  Printing from anywhere to your home and office printer has been made easier. Tweetdeck has a new web app and much more is in store at Google's App Store.

In the past two days, Google has just gone from 'throwing stuff at the wall' to see what sticks (or what users like) .... to taking on just about every competitor in some way while embracing a slew of new 'partners' ...... not the least of which is Verizon who was chosen to deliver 3G to the test laptops in the US.

This launch event was 'Preview 2011' andit looks like an exciting year for developers ..... and all of us!

Edited 1:15 ET 12/8/2010 for content, links

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Google Opens eBook Store Just In Time For The Holidays

Amazon found the market in late 2007 with the introduction of the first Kindle.

Many doubted it's success.  Others touted it as the next big thing.

Other companies had tried in this space for over a decade but Amazon's Kindle was destined to change the way people read books.

The competition came quickly with Barnes and Noble introducing the Nook and many others including Sony entered the market with numerous devices.

Apple's iPad added to the market disruption and upcoming Android-based tablet computers are destined to do the same thing.

This past year, even die-hard paper book readers have become fans of e-readers, as the latest generation of devices improved features, contrast, connectivity .... and cost A LOT less.

There's a good chance that you may get one of these from someone for the holidays.  A very good chance.

Enter Google.  Their new Google eBookstore is now live on the web.

All of those devices you see lined up in Borders now have a home and a source of millions of books, both current and out-of-print.

Over 3 million.

An excellent take on the publishing 'deals' and more has been posted by Matthew Ingram at GigaOM here.

The official announcement from Google to the Official Google Blog is here ... or ... you can head on over and check out the eBookstore here ... It's live ... for now ... just in the US.

Google Continues Local Advertising Push

Google is serious about local advertising and all indications are the company is just beginning to integrate their 'local' initiatives.

Local advertising online is becoming more and more important.  With a host of local products in the marketplace having success in attracting users over the past few years, Google isn't about to be left out.

Foursquare is on the move to San Francisco from New York with their expansion.  Numerous other location based products, mostly for mobile, are growing.

Geo-location is now the norm for both home and mobile users, and it's a target market that's hot .... very hot.

One sign, an important one, was the job description shift of veteran and highly respected Googler Marissa Mayer to the position of Vice President of Geographic and Local Services recently.  Mayer was Google's first female engineer and is largely credited with many of the innovations and growth of Google Search as well as the 'look' of various Google products (and more) in her previous role as Vice President of Search Products and User Experience.

Earlier today, Google announced integration of Google Places with the Enterprise (paid) version of Google apps.

Google Places needs current information and users to be relevant.

In an increasingly connected mobile society and with businesses both opening and closing, user input is imperative in keeping Google Places a viable, relevant and growing product.

Introducing Google Places to the existing Google Enterprise audience, a place where you can list your local business for free (and/or multiple locations, etc.) is a solid step in that direction.

Keeping it current may prove to be difficult as has been demonstrated recently as questions begin to crop up about occasional glitches with the main Google indexes and pure algorithmic search. Google responded directly to the issue raised last month by the NY Times on the (main) Official Google Blog. (Google's webspam team, no doubt, with have their hands full in the coming years).

In the meantime, one step at a time, Google continues to do everything they can to keep you searching ...

.. and to use Google to do it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

AVG Releases Fix for Windows 7 Nightmare

Users of Windows 7 64-bit version that use AVG Anti Virus may have encountered more than a little problem with the most recent security update.

The update is crashing computers.

Apparently, AVG has gone into stealth mode to rectify the problem and has begun to address the issue on both Twitter and Facebook as well.  They have also posted information on their blog and website including a 'fix' (which may be a little challenging for some).

Update nr. 3292 is the culprit and so far has effected only 64-bit versions of Windows 7.

If you are using the product and don't have it set to auto-update, AVG is advising that the coast is now clear (with the file removed from their servers), and the most recent update works fine.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another New Toy for Gmail Users

If there's one thing that Google's Gmail users can count on, it's not only ongoing development, but coders 'playing with new toys' within the product .... for you to try first .... in 'Labs'.

(Note: Labs add-ons are available on numerous Google products)

A hodgepodge of experimental features (and just some fun stuff) that Googlers try out first in Labs. Turn them on or off.  It's up to you.

Some even make it as permanent features, or as Google calls it ... "graduate" :)

Clicking Labs in Gmail greets you with the title "Gmail Labs : Some Crazy Experimental Stuff".

Productivity, fun ... and a little tongue-in-cheek like the lab feature that lets you return Gmail to Beta (in case you miss it).

Each time the team launches a new one, it usually makes it quickly to the Gmail Blog, and this evening is no exception with the announcement of Smart Mute, which can be read about in the actual blog post here.

For me, it's another opportunity (or reminder) to re-visit 'Labs' and tweak my own settings.

This latest visit was eye opening.

Be sure and check out 'Labs' at the top of your Gmail screen ... there's some neat stuff waiting ....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Quiet Black Friday Deal from Microsoft

Many of us expressed disappointment when Microsoft discontinued the Windows 7 Family Pack, especially those of us that had extensively tested the beta(s) and provided extensive feedback.

Last month, Microsoft returned the Family 3-Pack to the Microsoft Store (... at least for now).

While the software giant is busy promoting the new Windows Phone on TV, radio, newspapers and the Internet, the best deal from Microsoft is hiding in the fine print at the Microsoft Store.

It's a safe bet that many aren't ready to adopt cloud computing and there are still tens of millions of people using (very) outdated versions of Microsoft Office.

For the holidays, Microsoft has cut the price of Office Home and Student 2010 .... but it's the fine print that makes the difference.

The special includes 3 licenses (for use on home PCs only) making it a family pack. 

The Home and Student version includes Word 2010, Excel 2010, Powerpoint 2010 and OneNote 2010, and unlike the Windows 7 copies I've purchased so far, this bundle includes both 32 and 64 bit versions.

As with the Windows 7 Family Pack, there's no saying whether or not the Office Family Pack will continue, but at this price,  it's simply a great way to upgrade those home PC's .... including the one you'll probably come home with tomorrow :)

More info can be found at the Microsoft Store here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Google Doodle You Can Eat ?!

Google is rolling out their latest home page 'Doodle' here in the US, celebrating the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Clicking on the Doodle, you'll find six (inspiring!) recipies from cookbook author and TV chef Ina Garten.

Hunting for that last minute recipe?

Google's got you covered from the main dish to desert.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The New Google Journalism Tag Could Work in Reverse

Yesterday, Google announced a new Meta tag for journalists and bloggers.

The new tag is designed to give credit to the publisher who originally 'broke' or published a story.

Anyone who's worked in the news field knows that breaking a story is considered a huge accomplishment.

The writer, publication, and every one who worked on the piece feels good .... not to mention bringing additional credibility to the organization.

Back in the day, you had a local news team and two teletype machines.  One was from UPI and the other, if I remember correctly, was AP.  You paid for these services and could use the content in your publications and/or broadcasts.

These days, especially since the advent of 'real-time' and more specifically Twitter, coupled with almost instant RSS delivery of press releases, the lines of who's breaking what have not only become grey, but at times, it's simply been impossible to determine who published what first.

Last year, the FTC issue a ruling (PDF) that bloggers and others disclose any affiliation between their posts (tweets ?!) and the company they were promoting.  I wrote this at the time and it's pretty much panned out.  The ruling has gone largely ignored, even by some pretty prominent writers.

Now, in what appears to be a good faith effort by Google, they re proposing two news Meta tags.  One for attribution and the other for syndication.

Two problems:

1) Many reputable blogs and news organizations have, in fact, been crediting their source with a link.  They could decide to drop that protocol and just use the tag in which case the original writer loses ... big time.

2) With LOTS of publications switching to popular blogging software, it would take time for some sort of plug-in to be developed for this, and, in some cases, would necessitate a complete re-write of code.

At one point, 'copping stories' from Twitter became so prevalent that Reuters informed their staff NOT to break stories there.

My thinking is that those that have been 'generous' enough to cite the original article (complete with a link) will now implement the tags instead, feeling completely justified with their 'lift and run'.

The syndication tag, on the other hand makes complete sense.  Google is trying to prevent duplicate content in their index but that too could be ignored as some content appears in the main index and some syndicated content appears in Google News.

Time will tell but, over time, there's gotta be a better way.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Google Launches hotpot - Your Reviews in Places and More

Google has just launched a new product called Google hotpot.

hotpot (not capitalized) let's you join the reviewers from Google's partners and others in Google Places.  You can network and review restaurants, hotels, and just about any type of place ... in any place.

In addition, hotpot is it's own social network (surprise ? :), letting you connect with others using your contact list from Gmail.

Accessing hotspot, you are greeted by a welcome screen which lets you upload a photo and choose a hotpot nickname:

From there, you're taken to a simple screen (which seemed very accurate in both city and rural searches), where you can look for hotels, restaurants and more.

Photos, ratings and existing reviews all come together there with links mostly going to Google Maps.

Photos are collected from both Google and non-Google web properties, making extensive use of Google owned Panoramio, which up until now appeared mostly in Google Earth.

If all of this is starting to sound confusing, perhaps the best part is .... that it's not.

Using hotpot is a snap and self-explanatory.

Your recommendations could appear in Google Places as well as your own Google Profile and you can select whether to view Friends, Rated or ALL reviews.

Privacy?  Google makes absolutely no secret that the more you interact with hotpot, the more Google is going to try and tune recommendations to your specific tastes:

In fact, the second time you log in, Google will try and geo-locate you and provide a local page full of restaurants, hospitals, even public school systems ... and you can do it right from your PC (No smartphone required).

You can try out Google hotspot right now here.

It's live ..... and no 'invite' is required.

Refreshing :)

Update: You can find out more about Google hotpot on the Google LatLong blog here.
Two more good pieces have been published by Vanessa Fox here and Jolie O'Dell here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

GoDaddy and Columbia - Crazy (Updated)

GoDaddy is trying a little experiment on their front page.

At first, I thought it was a web designer's mistake.

Not so much.

Domain Name Wire first reported the story here.

It's virgin territory for domainers (or squatters?) ..... for as long as it lasts.

In a move that 'domainers' are considering brilliant and others are calling an outrage, the largest domain registrar in the world has defaulted their home page domain search to the .co domain.

You read that right.  DOT CO.  Not DOT COM.

So what gives?

Large brands (and even small brands), as well as lots of others, are always cognizant of owning their own name.  Most also buy a variety of misspells just to be sure you land on their page when you're typing in the browser bar.

It's BIG business.

Back when I did in-house SEO in the travel industry, the company I worked for owned hundreds of domains for this very reason.  The other reason, of course, is that there are still those that type domains into the browser address bar thinking they're automatically searching.

Nobody wants you to 'land' somewhere else.

Back to GoDaddy.

I've had relatively good experiences with them over the years.  I even still host some stuff there for myself and others.  Say what you will about his edgy advertising, Bob Parsons has been a marketing genius.

In this case, I'm hoping GoDaddy has doubled their customer service staff.

.co is the domain name for the country of Columbia.  GoDaddy is betting that you'll want to reserve this potential mispell to preserve your brand or website (at 29.99 US).

Back when Twitter was a brand new company (and when Facebook offered personalized suffixes), the prevailing wisdom among social media experts was to grab those before someone else did.  Of course, they were FREE.  You can see just a few of mine here.  I still do it, and so do MANY others.

If you combine the social media logic with big brands outright fear, GoDaddy already has a potential million dollar hit on their hands.   

On the flip side, the amount of people registering these by mistake will probably also be pretty huge considering it's the default.

It's brilliant.  It's sneaky.  It'll probably work well for GoDaddy.

I seriously doubt Google or any other search engine is going to be hot on this although most buyers will probably redirect those domains (if they're smart) to their primary.

I'm not buying it.

Are you?

Update: Nov 14, 2010 10 PM ET: The Next Web is reporting that GoDaddy was running an experiment and has returned to .com as the default on their main page.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mozilla - The Browser Wars Are Far From Over

The browser buzz this week was all about RockMelt.

There were many that wondered why anyone would enter this crowded field, especially with 'giants' like Google, Apple and Microsoft competing ... with FREE products.

There actually are some pretty good answers but that's another post for another time.

Of course, the continued favorite of many bloggers and techies remains alive 'in the wings'.  Mozilla's Firefox remains a favorite of many, especially developers and Linux users.

With the 'big three' actively playing in the browser space, some had expressed some wonder about the future of Mozilla.

Then, there was ... ugh ... today.

Mozilla released the latest beta of Firefox 4.0, now version 7.

Simply put, these guys aren't kidding around.  They're not done yet.  Nowhere close.

I wrote this a while back.  Sure .... "Your results may vary ..." but there was simply no question, at that time,  that Firefox (using Windows 7) showed visibly improved speed on several test boxes.

Earlier today, Mozilla raised that bar again (for real) with the release of Firefox 4b7.

On two computers with completely different configurations (both Windows 7), Firefox 4 Beta 7 screamed speed, especially when I wandered over to Hulu to take in a few favorite shows.

No Steve, Flash isn't dead.

It's even faster, smoother ....

..... and hasn't crashed here at all least, so far :)

More info can be found on the Mozilla blog here.

The download is here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

RockMelt Updates Already

The latest browser to hit the Internet landscape on Sunday has already issued an upgrade.

There's already been enough written about RockMelt to fill several books.  Some love it, some like it and some are viewing it as Chrome with Facebook and Twitter attached.

My personal feelings after two days on the RockMelt train?

1) It might tempt me to go to Facebook more often (or at least look at others statuses).

2) It works .... and the team is working on making it better. (Keeping in mind that Google's Chrome works, and RockMelt is using the Chrome architecture).

3) I'd expect something slightly more revolutionary from the person that originally brought us Netscape, but then again, simplicity these days seems to be the ticket.

RockMelt rolled out slowly all day Monday on an invitation basis (and more invites are included in each  install).

Logging in briefly this morning, it appears that the RockMelt team is listening and are already addressing user comments and concerns:

(click to enlarge)

In any event, the buzz is still alive but RockMelt still has a long way to go to win over users of other browsers.

You get the feeling that they're headed there.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

TweetDeck on Steroids

One of the most popular desktop clients for Twitter (and more), TweetDeck, took a quantum leap in real-time updating on Friday, introducing version 0.36.1.

Yes, TweetDeck now updates in Real Time ... which they readily recognize "may be a little overwhelming".

TweetDeck is one of those apps that has been improving steadily since it's introduction.  The new real-time feature can be throttled making it easier to get used to.  Other new features have also been added.

In addition, previous releases have added Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Google Buzz, and Foursquare (Yes, you CAN post to Foursquare from your desktop.  I'm not sure why you'd want to, but you can :)

Other versions of TweetDeck support iPhone, iPad, and Android.

The latest hyper-active desktop version of TweetDeck is powered be the latest version of Adobe's Air cross platform engine, version 2.5 and can be downloaded free here.

Warning.  If you follow as many people as I do, You WILL be overwhelmed ... but that's part of the fun .. and there are some tips and help (to calm any fear?) here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Yahoo! launches Weekend Edition

It's probably not a bad idea.

While most of the the web players have become obsessed with 'real-time', Yahoo! is trying something in the opposite direction.

After posted moderately bad financials this week, Yahoo! has announced another initiative.

Sponsored by General Motors division Buick, Yahoo! is introducing Weekend Edition on Yahoo! News.

While it may sound relatively simple, the fact remains that there are lots of people that simply don't have the time to soak up much of anything other than work during the week.  Both AOL and Yahoo! have made significant investments in original content this past year, so the announcement by Yahoo! just makes sense as an extension of capabilities.

The question becomes ...

Will they be able to steer a large enough audience there and more importantly, not only make it 'sticky' but keep people coming back.

I guess we'll see, starting tomorrow, possibly today.

The press release from Yahoo! is here (at Business Wire) and the announcement just made to the Yahoo! Corporate blog is here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Google Chrome goes to NINE

Google's Chrome Browser took a leap today (in the dev channel) to Version 9.

To be exact, 9.0.570.0.

This is the first time that Chrome, the web browser that will be the foundation for the upcoming Google Chrome Operating System, expected to be released during this quarter, has hit the '9' number, usually signaling a significant release.

According to a post late today to the Google Chrome Release Blog, this new version effects Windows, Linux and Mac versions of Chrome, and addresses a variety of known issues and a security fix.

To easily update the Windows version, tap the small 'tool' in the upper right corner, then 'About Google Chrome'.  Chrome will update itself and prompt you to restart.

Microsoft recently released an open beta of their next generation browser Internet Explorer 9 ... to the public.

Coincidence?  In this case ... probably :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blekko Launches Early - Tells All (Update)

There's already been a lot written about the new search engine, Blekko, but up until a few hours ago, you needed an invite to try it out.

Unlike the days when I had a lot more time on my hands, I didn't have an invite or request one, but after watching the buzz on Twitter tonight, I decided to give it a spin.

While Google and others might be data-mining, Blekko is giving a lot of it away.

First, I wandered around the search engine a bit.  It didn't take me long to find co-founder Mike Markson and wish him luck.  It was obvious that Mike was not only monitoring the launch and adding content, but in Googley-style, he was actively interacting with users:

Blekko seemed, at first blush, to be all about content curation and I subscribed to a bunch of topics (Yes, I was creating a profile but if 1000+ companies don't already have that on me, I'd be surprised).

Robert Scoble, Danny Sullivan and others appeared on my Blekko front page, before signing up.  It was soon apparent why Sullivan was there.

Well, I suppose he should be.  Danny has probably been following search engines for more years than anyone on the planet but there's more.

I searched for this blog and found a few choices under the result:

Clicking the SEO link, I was presented with a fairly accurate group of SEO tools and graphs.

(click to enlarge)

I remember the first time this blog was featured on Techmeme.  I was humbled, even a little excited .... but I always wondered how many times it had been mentioned.  According to Bekko? Well .....

While I only remember 2 or 3 headlines (that's where the Techmeme traffic comes from folks :), it was refreshing to see the premier Tech aggregator had picked up 363 stories from here in the discussion links.

Almost enough to get me writing more often again .... almost.

There's A LOT more to explore in Blekko, not only for your own sites, but for others as well.

While much of this information is readily available using other tools, both free and pay-for, Blekko is a gold mine for advertisers, SEO's and many, many others .....

..... and the search works too!

We'll see how all this goes .... but for now, Kudos to Markson and company on a fascinating launch ...
and I guess, while I'm at it, Thanks to Gabe Rivera and the gang at Techmeme for the recognition.

Shows how often I look at my own analytics :)

Update: Responding to a few chat comments, I think Blekko may find a place in the market with it's toolset as it grows .... and improves.  So far, I completely agree with most others that, for now, it's NOT a Google killer.  It's different and it remains to be seen how many people become editors (ala Mahalo?) and/or create new slash tags. 

Here's a few more takes:

Good week you guys

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Windows 7 SP1 Graduates from Beta to RC

Microsoft quietly rolled out Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate yesterday.

The software is a one-year trial version (It expires Nov 11, 2011) and will ultimately replace the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Beta introduced a while back and currently in use by many public testers.   Installation of the new RC requires a licensed and validated copy of Windows 7 for installation.

Available in a variety of downloads, the new 'test' service pack embraces Dynamic Memory and Remote FX, rolls up many of the security and other enhancements introduced since the Beta, and generally seems targeted at businesses.

The catch?  You're going to have to uninstall that very stable and just solid copy of Windows 7 SP1 Service Pack Beta (which you would have had to do at some point anyway).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More About That Google Doodle

In a follow up to the earlier Google Doodle post, I thought it might interest some of you (that may not be seeing it?) to know that Google maintains an archive of previous logos (or Doodles :) along with which specific countries they have appeared in.

"There have been 300 designed by the team and 700 internationally".

IE: There are a lot more 'Doodles' than most people probably have ever seen .... and they're posted very often.

The archive can be found here, along with an explanation and history here ... and even a Google Doodle Store (?!) here.

Firefox Updates Stable Version to 3.6.11

Mozilla has released a security and stability update for Firefox 3.6 bring the current 'stable' version to 3.6.11.

While many users will be auto-updated over the next few days, the complete list of language specific versions for Windows, Mac and Linux can be found here.

Alternatively, current users can simply tap 'help' at the top of the browser, then 'check for updates'.

Update Oct 28, 2010 11 PM ET - Mozilla has fixed a heavily publicized security issue and has moved today to Firefox version 3.6.12.

Latest Google Doodle celebrates Dizzy Gillespie

When it comes to Google's Doodles, you never know what the search giant is going to do next.

Whether it's an interactive display that captures the imagination of an entire generation, or recognition of times and dates and birthdays that many people wouldn't even think about, Google's front page 'occasional artwork' is usually a pleasant surprise.

Today's Doodle is no exception.  Celebrating what would have been his 93rd birthday, Google paid tribute to jazz great Dizzy Gillespie.

An excellent rundown of Gillespie's life can be found at Wikipedia here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Friday launch for webOS 2.0 from HP and the Palm Pre 2

H-P this morning confirmed the launch of their new mobile operating system, webOS 2.0 to be released for the Palm Pre 2 first in France, the United States and Canada.

The device and software will be available on Friday.

webOS 2.0 could revive sagging Palm sales as it brings to market a host of competitive features, some of which include HP's Synergy which simultaneous connects you to a variety of social services including Facebook, Google, Microsoft Exchange, LinkedIn and Yahoo!.

True multitasking is on board, and for those who crave Flash (Hello Apple users ?!), the latest version of Adobe's Flash Player is included as well.

SFR will do the France roll-out and Verizon Wireless will market the phone in the United States and Canada.

Verizon users with have a native Skype app.

Other features include a full (HTML5) web browser with geo-location support, Facebook 2.0, a multi-service messaging client app and a variety of unique features and available apps.

The launch comes one week after Microsoft's announcement of Windows Phone 7 and will also compete with a host of smartphones including Apple's iPhone 4 and the dramatically growing selection of Google Android powered phones.

Update Oct 19, 2010 10 AM: H-P has just confirmed the Friday launch date via Business Wire here with additional information and more links.

Update 2 (Clarification): The Palm Pre 2 will be available Friday in France and then in a 'couple of months' here in the states from Verizon Wireless (Thanks for the notes :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Google and Techmeme Break News Simultaneously

I was taking a brief read of the headlines for Monday (Sunday night) on Google News when I noticed something new.  A red tag depicting 'Breaking News':

I clicked and wandered over to tomorrow's edition of the Wall Street Journal to see who the Female  'Models of Sadness' were .... and why it was breaking news??

Firstly, whatever Google is experimenting with, the link took me to an article about .. ugh ... Facebook.  I   double checked it (with cookies cleared) on several browsers ... before it disappeared entirely.

The WSJ Facebook article was a new chapter in the ongoing Facebook privacy issue discussion ... so I tweeted it to my personal stream.  It was news.

When it appeared in my Twitter stream, it looked this way in TweetDeck:

Techmeme had auto-posted the Facebook story about the same time I did both to their main stream and the Techmeme firehouse.

Nothing about those models of sadness though. 

This is all getting weird.

I'll usually turn to Techmeme and my Google Reader collection for updates on the latest a couple of times a day.

This time, I had decided to go for a general news overview at Google News. (I've made no secret of the fact that I liked the 'old' Google News a LOT better than the 'try to fill the page up with everything we can' version).  That hasn't changed.

What apparently has is that Google News is now 'breaking' aggregated news, or at least trying to.

Have to wonder what the reaction to this is going to be .... and how long it'll take to fix it? :)

The other question, of course, is .... Is Google News using Techmeme to break .. ugh ... breaking news?

Think I better leave it there? ... :)

Good week all!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Huge Set of Windows Updates Today

With the live telecast from New York yesterday introducing Windows Phone 7 still in the news (which is getting generally good reviews on Techmeme), any other Microsoft news might seem pale.

On the other hand, you should be aware of what's coming to your computer TODAY, assuming you're using just about anything from Microsoft.

October has generally been a big month for 'Microsoft Updates', and this year apparently is no different.

Depending where you are around the world, and how your updates are configured, you'll see at least a portion of this significant group of updates appear at different times.  In most cases, you can visit Windows Update mid-day on Tuesday (October 12) to see if your particular updates are available to you. (Don't forget to update The XP Mode in Windows 7 too!)

IT Managers can visit Microsoft's TechNet and chances are, by the time you read this, the updates will also be posted to the Microsoft Download Center.

Numerous Microsoft Operating Systems and Programs will see updates including:

Windows XP Service Pack 3
Windows XP Professional x64
Windows Server SP3 2003 (32 and 64 bit versions plus Itanium based systems)
Windows Vista SP1 (32 and 64 bit)
Windows Server 2008 SP2 (32 and 64 bit and Itanium)
Windows 7 (32 and 64-biit versions)
Windows Server 2008 R2 (all)
Microsoft Office XP, 2003, 2007 and for the first time, Office 2010
Office 2004 and 2008 for Mac
Sharepoint 2007
Sharepoint Services 3.0 and Sharepoint Foundation 2010
Office Grove 2010
and Microsoft Office Web Apps

Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal tool for October is also included.

Updated: October 12, 2010 11:59 PM ET with additional content

Monday, October 4, 2010

What is Google TV ?

Chances are you've heard about one of new and somewhat ambitious initiatives from the leader in search.  Google has been prepping Google TV , but up until now the details have been sketchy.

Earlier today, Google announced (a lot) more on the relatively new Google TV blog.

Details?  There's also now lots more on an all-new Google TV website.

A barrage of high profile content partners and two different ways to get it.

We know that broadband Internet is the new delivery system.  The question still remains unclear what devices (or devices) will dominate user habits.

While the world seems concentrated on mobile for now, there are numerous ways that people will interact with the Internet over the next few years.  In fact, the predominant device many in fact end up being bigger than any single web service or social network.

Apple has already showed that it's not just the software.  The hardware and various 'twists' such as the iPod and iPad have changed the landscape.

It's just the beginning.  It is also the most important phase in the next chapter of the Internet.

It appears Google is covering all bases with a rather impressive launch today (and a pretty cool website :)

Here's one of the videos demonstrating some of the upcoming Google TV apps:

Google Launches New Display Ad Campaign

There's a good chance that if visit any of the major advertising, tech or social media sites today, you're going to see a banner ad similar to the one at the left.

Google is, once again, building a buzz for a change (or new) initiative using the phrase "Display ads are big. They're gonna be HUGE".

The preview page takes you here, and apparently the  new (and/or improved) product is going to be launched in a keynote at the 2010 MIXX Conference (not to be confused with Microsoft's MIX10).

Friday, October 1, 2010

Will 500 Million Users Go To The Movies? - The Social Network Debut

The reviews were mostly already last week, after the New York Film Festival.  They were in my Twitter stream, my inbox, and, of course, all over Facebook.

As goes the usual migration goes these days, the next day (earlier in some cases :), they were all over what we still call 'the mainstream media'.

The Social Network, the movie depicting the start-up and proliferation of Facebook was already a hit. I literally couldn't find one person who didn't like it.

The PR machine went into high gear yesterday.  There weren't too many places you could go where there wasn't an ad for the movie.  TV, Radio, ... ugh even the Internet ! :)

My wife asked me if I wanted to go. That told me something. Although she does frequent Facebook (for the old fashioned reason .... keeping up with friends ?!), we usually don't do movies. If we do, it's usually in the living room.

That was my first signal (among many). The movie, which debuts in LOTS of movie theaters across America today (prediction) is likely to tip the scales of first weekend blockbusters.

I went over to the movie's official website just now. There's a remarkable accurate 'theater finder' (apparently powered by I say remarkably accurate because if it can deliver showtimes here in the back country of Pennsylvania (and in not one, but two theaters), these local ticket networks have come a long way.

Unlike Major League Baseball or NASCAR, movies overall haven't seen dramatic declines in ticket sales.  They've simply adjusted to the Netflix, pay-per-view, and DVD aftermarkets.

Apparently, The Social Network is just about everywhere here in the US beginning today.

My guess is, if you're reading this (and knowing the demographics of this blog), you probably will too.

Feel free to chime in here (or at The Faster Times which has ongoing permission to syndicate anything written here) with your review.

... and do everyone a favor while you're out with your special someone.

Turn your iPhone or Droid-powered thing off.

Update: Oct 3, 2010 10 PM ET - Recently acquired TechCrunch (Yes, by AOL) is pointing to the box office rundown from the LA Times with The Social Network in the No. 1 position at $35.9 million.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Microsoft to Launch Live Essentials 2011 Today (Free)

There have been some significant and useful developer and IT beta releases since the release of Microsoft Windows 7.  Most are upgrades of existing products.

MSFT has released a 'beta' level service pack (Windows 7 SP1 build 7601), numerous tools for IT administrators, a new beta of Microsoft Security Essentials, a beta level upgrade to the free Live Essentials add-on (dubbed Live Essentials 2011) ... and of course, the re-designed and much more compatible Internet Explorer 9 beta.

Live Essentials is a group of programs that include Windows Live Mail, a very versatile e-mail client, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Family Safety, Windows Live Sync (essentially a replacement for Live Mesh and an easy way to remotely access another desktop), Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Messenger and Windows Movie Maker.

For Windows 7 users that haven't yet tried them, they're 100% FREE.

Later today, according to rumors apparently confirmed by Liveside.Net, the latest Live Essentials is already graduating from beta to Final and will, in fact, be called Live Essentials 2011.

Graphic Updated 10 PM ET Sept 30: Live Essentials 2011 is now live here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

60 Minutes To Go Interactive on YouTube

It's one of the longest running and most watched TV shows in television history.

CBS's 60 Minutes has literally spanned generations.

Like other long lasting 'brands', it appears 60 Minutes is looking to attract a  younger (and/or wider) audience with the network's latest experiment.

They've already done Twitter and yes, there's a 60 minutes Facebook page.

Now, at the start of the show's 43rd season (Yes, you read that right), 60 Minutes is trying out some viewer interaction on YouTube.

Announced a short time ago on the YouTube Blog, you can now upload a short video (or comment) to the producers of 60 minutes directly to YouTube.

If CBS does this right, it could be potentially be a lot more interesting than when CNN (beginning with anchor Rick Sanchez) was arguably the first to introduce the multimedia (TV) audience to Twitter ... and other media quickly followed suit.

What would you say to Andy Rooney ? :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

SMX East - This Year, A Must for Search Marketers

This year, SMX East, the search marketing expo put on by Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan and co. returns to New York City on October 4th-6th.

That's less than two weeks from now.

Let me qualify this post.  I have NO connection to SEL or SMX, other than making a very occasional appearance on the social network Sphinn.  Over the years, I have attended more than a few SMX conferences in New York, Boston, Chicago and elsewhere. Most were a win - win, particularly when I was doing 'independent' SEO consulting.

So why the reason for this piece?

A couple of weeks ago, Google literally changed the game.  It was sort of predicted here (Yeah .... I'm a little proud of that :) and in one day, search changed in a big way.

Google Instant, contrary to numerous articles predicating that it will now cost advertisers more for their PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, in my view, provides a new an exciting opportunity.  An opportunity for SEO and certainly an opportunity for PPC.

Keywords and 'Keyword Phrases' are now more important than ever ..... and Google still represents approximately 65-70 per cent of the searches done on the Internet.

Just do it.

The Google Instant dialog is just beginning among search experts. It's going to be fascinating ... and it's important.

According to the SMX East website (as of this post), there are still discounts available and there's a stellar roster of speakers this year.

I doubt you'll find anyone in the business whose thinking wasn't changed just a little but attending SMX in the past  ... from beginners to experts.

If you can't afford it, go the 'networking' or' 'expo' route.

I'm predicting this will be one of the more important east coast advertising / search conventions in recent years.

The parties aren't bad either :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Week Mark Zuckerberg Becomes a Household Name

A few days before a new movie about web phenom Facebook and it's founder Mark Zuckerberg is set to debut, the social network did a little double damage control.

Numerous publications have portrayed Zuckerberg's 100 million dollar donation to the Newark NJ school system as a preemptive strike against any negative light he may be portrayed in, in the movie.

Next chapter :  On Thursday, Facebook faced their longest outage in 4 years followed quickly by an apology to users.

The social network that rocketed to fame continues that trend unabated despite numerous privacy advocacy groups protesting new 'open' policies and literally forcing the company to change many user options .... more than once.

In the meantime, the 'average Facebook user' might be found checking out their friends' latest status message on their iPhone or Droid X.

This piece is about two simple FACTS.

1) The 'average' user has no clue about the numerous changes to Facebook.  Most could actually care less.  Factually, businesses worldwide continue to embrace Facebook as a significant part of their marketing programs at an incredible pace.

The Facebook express continues to roll and embrace more users ... home, mobile and business,  perhaps eclipsing the unprecedented growth of Google as well as striking a challenge to the search giant's primary income source ... web advertising.  More importantly, unlike other popular advertisers' favorites like Twitter, Facebook is already making money .....

2) Despite the fact that it would be more than difficult to currently define what an 'average Facebook user' is, one thing is certain.  Pretty much everyone that you know knows what Facebook is, and most of them probably have an account.  Considering Facebook's timeline, that alone is HUGE.

As for Zuckerberg, like it or not, this is his big week. 

Ask your buddies (preferably non-techies) who he is.  The reality is that very few people will recognize his name.

Simply because 'the movie' is all about Facebook, this is the week that Mark Zuckerberg will become a household name.

Yes, the 26 year old that was just named to the Forbes 400 wealthiest list this past week above Steve Jobs, joins Jobs, Bill Gates and others in the tech gallery of this generation's most recognized names.

Ask your pals in a couple of weeks if they know who Zuckerberg is.  It's a safe bet they will.  As for Zuckerberg, it's a pretty safe bet he'll be doing a few more interviews than he has in the past.

Want to know more about 'the real' Mark Zuckerberg.  You can follow him on Facebook here.

Links, content updated Sept 24 2010 2:39 AM ET

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Firefox Updates Stable Version to 3.6.10

Mozilla has released an update to the stable version of Firefox 3.6.

While some users are already seeing automatic upgrades as of this post, others are still waiting.

You can expedite the process by simply tapping 'help' at the top of your browser, then 'check for updates' ... and follow the prompts.

Note: This is for the stable version of Firefox, not the Beta and either requires a version of Firefox 3.6 or a complete download here.

Firefox was most recently updated on Sept 7th to version 3.6.9.  Today's update mostly addresses a stability issue effecting a number of users.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Internet Explorer 9 Set to Debut Later Today

After a series of four 'platform previews', Microsoft is expected to release the first fully functional beta version of it's next generation web browser, Internet Explorer 9, later today.

In recent months, both Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox have made serious strides in their beta channels addressing speed, hardware acceleration, security, newer web standards and more.

Chrome now has four versions including an auto-updating 'canary' build.  Mozilla's Firefox 4.0 browser is now at beta 6.

Today, it's Microsoft's turn.

Expected at 10:30 AM PT at a special website launched last week by Microsoft last week, you can check out the new IE 9 here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Google Instant - The Next Chapter of Search

After a week of teasing the media (in classic Google fashion), the company today, did, in fact, have a BIG announcement.

To those that don't follow tech or internet marketing, it may not seem like a big deal ..... yet.

To those that study user habits, buy web advertising or practice SEO, this very well could be considered a HUGE change.

Google has made no secret in the past of their desire to ultimately have their search bar simply give you the best answer.  This has always been a goal.  Enter a question or phrase and get a result, directly from point to point, with relevance always being a top priority.

I've read, throughout the day, other people's thoughts and reactions to today's announcement about Google Instant ....  which is already appearing in many locations already (Screen shot below) and should be live everywhere in just a few days.

(Note: Once Google Instant is actually available to you, the entire results page will change dynamically as you type!)

I found Google's Matt Cutts' take on the product particularly interesting.

Over time, Google has treated the main search page as sacred territory.  There have been very few changes to their 'premier' and deliberately simple entry page.  The last time Google made a 'game changing' move was the implementation of 'Universal Search' or the list of options at the top of the page .... that now fade in.  The 'fade in' is even more recent and apparently was deployed to try and get users to search first, prior to seeing some of Google's other products at the top of the search page.

Unlike changes to other web-based products recently that have set off firestorms of controversy (can you say Facebook? :), this subtle yet powerful change from Google should be welcomed by most.

Although some may not yet see it this way, Google just changed the game again and with an estimated 65 plus per cent of the search market .... and that IS huge.

The coming weeks will tell the story on how Google Instant effects user engagement, PPC, SEO and more.

[ Links, content updated Sept 9, 2010 4 AM ET ]

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Yesterday's Google Logo Morphs Again !

Later today, Google will have an announcement for the media.

Yesterday, the search giant toyed with the press on Twitter and elsewhere but gave no exacting reason for the wild Google 'Doodle' on the main Google search page ..... that bounced colored balls when you moved your mouse.

The subtle campaign was successful (and another great example of media convergence) as hundreds of publications ran stories on the hyper-active logo.

Many speculated that we were about the see a significant change in Google search.  That, of course, would be big news.

The next chapter.

A short time ago, the Google logo (or Doodle as it's affectionately referred to), changed to this:


Well ... not exactly.

Try typing something in the search bar.

Hint #2?  It appears that Google Search is about to come much more interactive.

Hype or productivity?

If Google's experimental launch of Google Scribe by Google Labs yesterday is any indication, this could be getting interesting. Potentially a game changer.

Stay tuned!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Revisiting Free Stuff from Google

Over the past few years, it's a safe bet that Google has probably delivered more free products to users than anyone else.

While Microsoft was the early player in this game, trouncing Netscape by giving away Internet Explorer 'back in the day' ... Google continues to deliver (and update) gobs of cool, productive and interesting products and software.

Recently the company updated the directory of their products (and even added the newer icons being used in Google news and other pages).

I decided to try a few that I didn't already have loaded and revisit a few others.  There's been a lot of progress mostly on the positive side (although I still miss the 'old' Google News).

We all have different tastes but there's a little something for everyone.

I found PC Tools Spyware Doctor (in Google Pack) coexists nicely with Microsoft's (Free) Security Essentials, and nicely exposes those tracking cookies you may be wondering about.

If you didn't read about Google Realtime this past week, you can give that a spin.

The latest version of Picasa is an outright win, and you can spend a day or two addicted to the latest version of Google Earth.

Quick trip to Paris?  About 20 seconds or so :)

So where can you find this stuff (and a LOT more).

The Directory can be found here.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Will Google's Chrome OS Revolutionize Operation Systems?

Google has more than a few products and ideas on tap but it's primary revenue source remains Search and Internet advertising.

Sometime in the next few months, the company is expected to release Chrome OS, a complete computer operating system, that will allow you to boot in seconds, access the Internet (as well as Google's cloud-based products).

With Chrome OS, Google is doing something that Microsoft often misses.  They are re-entering an area where they've already 'played' publicly, at a point in time where it makes more sense.

Microsoft has missed this boat on numerous occasions, the most notable being Microsoft Reader, years ahead of it's time, which, if introduced last year, may have competed effectively with Amazon's Kindle, Barnes and Noble's Nook, Apple's iPad and other devices now competing and selling like hotcakes.

Back in April of 2008, I wrote about a small company working with Google and delivering a PC running a Googleized version of the Linux Operating System.  Notably, that company is still around while similar attempts in the end-user Linux arena such as Jolicloud are getting much more press.

Many, back then, mistakenly took the gOS name as the Google Operating System.  It actually stood for Green Operating System (and apparently is now a Linux build called the Good Operating System).

Google is expected to introduce the Chrome OS in the fourth quarter of this year and there have already been a variety of leaks pointing to hardware displaying the\product.  Google also owns Android which is already a rapidly growing hit in the mobile market.  One Google employee commented recently that, at some point, the two projects by Google will likely converge.

Over the past three months, I've been dual-booting Windows 7 and Ubuntu Linux (the Linux build most often referred to publicly by Google employees) on 2 PCs.  I enabled the Linux repository for proposed updates and immediately noticed that Linux has been releasing new kernels often, many with security updates.

Security in 'the cloud' is a HUGE concern and most recently saw Intel outright purchase PC security company McAfee.

Google's owns the domain name but mysteriously it still has an early expiration date :

In order for Chrome OS to be a 'wild' hit, Google will need to not only introduce devices that they know will work but make a version that can be used on older PC's, Notebooks and Netbooks.  They need to address 'superior graphics' to compete with Apple (and more recently Microsoft's Windows 7).

Low operating system overhead will allow many with moderate system resources to effectively stream video on moderate speed Internet connections.  

This could actually replace Windows XP for lots of end-users.

Google is right on when they say most users now boot-up to go directly to the web.  They could (finally?) make Linux a household name by branding a solid Chrome OS product with the Google name.

Will they do it ...... or choose to play in the 'dedicated devices' arena?

We'll have to wait and see.

If they don't, it's a good bet that the economic environment could see a whole new crop of Linux users and developers. 

Ubuntu and others have created a much more user-friendly product in the past year.

Zero to Internet in seven seconds is already here.  It's up to Google whether or not they want to own the lead in this important PC based arena.