Monday, November 5, 2007

What's up with Google?

We are all familiar with the default search engine of the computing world. We have used it at least once if you happen to be stuck or lost in the world of the internet.
Then...
It offered us an email service with 4 gigabyte storage. I can access it through my email client using POP and through my mobile phone if I want to. I'll get back to this point later.
Then...
Google bought YouTube. YouTube is the video posting web site of the world. Period. Google Earth came to map the world and let us geographically pin our photos and videos just as we would on a map on the board.
Then it offered Office productivity softwares in the web. These applications are not downloaded to your hard drives but are accessible in any computer, whatever the operating system, as long as it is connected to the internet. These applications live and work with you in your browsers.
In my personal computing, I also use Picasa and Google reader. I have waited for a service like Picasa because when you want to post a picture or graphics in the web, you need to upload it first and Picasa provides this for free. And of course if your cup of coffee is blogging instead of social networking then you go to Blogger which is another Google creation.
I have an account by the way: http://donatoroque.blogspot.com/ if you want to catch me writing.
What is my point?
The search engine is free. The email account and the 4 gigabyte storage is free. The Blogger account is free. Office productivity applications, long the mainstay of Microsoft Office, is free if you use your browser and go to google docs. It does not mean utopia where everyone exists equally with another. But what it does to access to information is revolutionary.
Google is also part of the One Laptop Per Child project which aims to deliver a sturdy kid laptop to third world countries at a cost of $100 per laptop.
Google is also partnering with Universities and libraries around the world to scan books for digital access.
So to tie this to the local situation where the latest count of mobile phone users is about 30 million, google's broad offering for the computer user is beginning to shift to mobile users. The Philippine computer population is about 15,000 users. A transition to the mobile phone if done right is truly a revolution.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Despite the controversy over the increase in the fees internet radio will be paying, I am glad to see visible signs that internet radio continue to flourish and hold its own. The technology to broadcast in the internet has never been more simple and cheap. Most internet radio are kept by hobbyist and dedicated enthusiasts.
Rhythmbox is prepared to play music from Live365 stations. Just go to the Live365 web site and pick your station. Rhythmbox will play the content by default. The next time you want to listen to the particular station in Live365, just open Rhythmbox. No need to open the browser.
There are however dedicated browser only internet radio like AccuRadio - www.accuradio.com. I hear they are offering AccuHolidays stations. Good for the Yuletide season. I also like their cross-platform policy. You can play their music in IE, firefox and Opera. I don't understand why certain people would want to stick to only IE or only Windows media player. It's dumb.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Since I downloaded Ubuntu 7.10 gutsy gibbon last October 18 it has delighted me with its fine integration. I like the update to firefox with its add-on manager. I can say that this is the firefox that conviced me that there are much better applications
out there than any put out by Microsoft especially compared with Internet explorer.
Unlike the firefox version used in windows, the Ubuntu version is simple and lightweight. The necessity of keeping the windows version more secure added to its bloat. Security should have been an OS issue and not a browser issue. Most malware and hackers attack the browser application but if the operating system itself is secure then the issue is contained. The latest version of Ubuntu uses Apparmor to address the issue of application security.
Ubuntu gives me all the time to work on my work rather than being the provider of additional worries. Internet surfing is safer therefore I can get back to writing, research and getting my music and information without the bleeding time of keeping
secure.

Guake!

Guake is a drop-down terminal application in GNOME. Installing Guake is easy. Use your distribution's package manager, most distros hav...