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The Big Boys’ Mea Culpas

I find it interesting that companies can get things so wrong. News Corp just sold off Myspace for a fraction of its original price today, effectively admitting it didn’t get social media. Microsoft famously came late to the table with the Internet, and then has been late to more or less every party since. It’s now come out with Microsoft 365, an awful name for a product that is basically an admission that Google Docs is good enough for most people, and that Microsoft Office is largely toast (an incorrect assumption, I reckon; I still can’t do without it.) Then we have Google. Google hasContinue readingThe Big Boys’ Mea Culpas

Getting Paid for Doing Bad Things

I have recently received half a dozen offers of placing links in my blogs to reputable companies’ websites. Think of it as product placement for the Internet. It’s been around a while, but I just figured out how it’s done, and it made me realise that the early dreams of a blogging utopia on the web are pretty much dead. Here’s how this kind of product placement works. If I can persuade you to link to my product page in your blog, then my product will appear more popular and rise up Google’s search results accordingly. Simple. An ad wouldn’t work. Google would see itContinue readingGetting Paid for Doing Bad Things

The Gmail Phish: Why Publicize, and Why Now?

This Google Gmail phishing case has gotten quite a bit of attention, so I thought I’d throw in my two cents’ worth. (These are notes I collated for a segment I did for Al Jazeera earlier today. I didn’t do a particularly good job of getting these points across, and some of the stuff came in after it was done. ) Google says the attack appears to originate from Jinan, but doesn’t offer evidence to support that. I think it would be good if they did. Jinan is the capital of Shandong Province, but it’s also a military region and one of at least sixContinue readingThe Gmail Phish: Why Publicize, and Why Now?

Google’s Missteps

By Jeremy Wagstaff This one needed some correcting, for which apologies, and also, unsurprisingly, attracted some opprobrium. It’s Google Notebook, not Notes, and Jaiku’s founders are Finnish, not Swedish. I’m a big fan of Google. A big fan. But I’ve finally realized what its problem is. It doesn’t know what the hell it’s doing. Take its recent decision to close something called Google Wave. Google Wave was introduced to much fanfare back in May 2009. I can’t really describe what it is, but I can tell you what Google called it. Email killer, a new version of the web, etc etc. “Wave is what emailContinue readingGoogle’s Missteps

Google Talk as a Contact Database

  (This is a shorter version of a longer post at my sister blog, ten minut.es, which take a 10 minute look at new and old products, services and websites.) One of the most undersung corners of the Google empire, in my view, is Google Talk, the search giant’s chat application (non Windows users can launch its gadget browser version.) For one thing, it’s so uncluttered it makes every other chat application look like the aftermath of Christmas dinner. It’s smooth, fast and the sound quality is good. But what I think it’s best for are the features that aren’t really features. (Most of theseContinue readingGoogle Talk as a Contact Database

Google’s New Interface: The Earth

I’ve written before about how I think Google Earth, or something like it, will become a new form of interface — not just for looking for places and routes, but any kind of information. Some people call it the geo-web, but it’s actually bigger than that. Something like Google Earth will become an environment in its own right. I can imagine people using it to slice and dice company data, set up meetings, organize social networks. Google is busy marching in this direction, and their newest offering is a great example of this: Google Book Search. This from Brandon Badger, product manager at Google Earth:Continue readingGoogle’s New Interface: The Earth

Standing Alone vs, Well, Running

Why is everyone switching to the likes of Gmail and Google Reader, even when they aren’t sure why, or that they want to? The most compelling reason, I think, is the ease with which you can get up and running if you need to switch. Your computer crashes, or you’re away from it. Or you’ve bought a new computer. Suddenly you no longer need to find your RSS feeds file. Your email settings. Import old mailboxes. I installed Vista on a new computer just now and (after a Vista crash) I was checking my email and reading my feeds almost immediately. That never happened before.Continue readingStanding Alone vs, Well, Running

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