Friday, September 19, 2008

Twitter: Changes Afoot

Check out the new twitter design, looking great. This was my number-one complaint about twitter over the other micro-blogging services. It felt too myspace-ish, all that has changed.

Twitter Blog: Changes Afoot

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mobility, Part Two

In my previous article I spoke about Mobility. Having the ability to move freely and still have access to all of your data and services. More specifically I focused on Mobile devices and interfaces to our normally Desktop centric world. This time I will skim the surface of another form of Mobility: The Cloud.

Having the ability to go from one location/workstation to another, while still having access to your data, is an important hurdle to jump. Many business tackle this issue with "roaming profiles" and other shared resources. But what do you at home do when sharing a profile between, home, work, friends, and the library isn't an option? I'd assume you use an Application Service Provider.

Application Service Providers aren't any new concept, and Google is far from the first Company in invest time, money, and resources into the idea.

From Wikipedia: "In terms of their common goal of enabling customers to outsource specific computer applications so they can focus on their core competencies, ASPs may be regarded as the indirect descendants of the service bureaus of the 1960s and 1970s. In turn, those bureaus were trying to fulfill the vision of computing as a utility, which was first proposed by John McCarthy in a speech at MIT in 1961."

The idea is simple, you register for a service/application that is provided online. All of your information/data is stored on the providers servers. When you need to access the service/data you simple visit the website, and login, no matter your location.

I personally rely on cloud-based services as much as I rely on mobile applications. I have almost all of my email in Google's Gmail (either directly or through POP support or forwarding). I use the Google Calendar on a daily bases to help keep me on track, and update others of my whereabouts (when needed). Google Reader is a dream-come-true - one of the best readers available. Even this blog is an example of a Cloud based service I use. My list could continue, just as I am sure yours could. Even social-networks are a form of cloud computing.

I can easily go from my laptop at the airport, to the desktop at my house and never miss an article, re-read an email, or forget about an appointment. But better yet, when I am in an unfamiliar place (the library, public system, friends house) I still have access to the very same data, in the very same interface. Everything just works, no matter where you go.

The release of Google Chrome shows how important the concept is to Google. They are now developing a browser that works better with web-based applications. Mozilla has also taken a stab at this technology with WebRunner/Prism. Adobe has been working in the arena with Adobe Air.

As systems progress and we continue to see items that are mobile-centric (like the netbooks, iPhones, etc) this technology will progress. We will continue to move our storage off our of system hard-drives and into data centers.

I encourage everyone to try out some ASPs, and write back with your favorites.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Some of you may have noticed a PSA (Public Service Announcement) Ad on the side of the blog, as well as a large amount of space under each post. Both of these should be filled with normal AdSense ads. However, do to some account issue they were not (lost the PIN, etc).

I have corrected all of the account issues, so you should start to see Ads soon. The ads are used simply to fund the webserver etc. I've never made even enough to do that, so in no way am I making a profit.

Look forward to some good articles soon. They are on the way.