I think this is just totally cool – WEB FONTS! Google has recently released web fonts: http://code.google.com/webfonts. For years we have been stuck with a limited set of fonts that could be displayed in web pages – Arial, Times New Roman, Courier, Georgia, Verdana, and Geneva. To do anything more interesting I’ve always had to embed them in images – such as for menus.
I saw a Twitter post about these web fonts and got pretty excited – the concept of having more options natively in a web page – not having to use a graphic or flash to accomplish this. There are some interesting fonts available – I used “IM Fell Double Pica SC” in my blog for the titles – which I think is just cool. It took me a little while to figure it out – but I found this article that shows how to use them in a WordPress blog: http://wpmu.org/how-to-use-the-google-font-directory-with-wordpress-and-buddypress/
This is another one of those items that tell me that web content is really about to blossom – in looking at the documentation (http://code.google.com/apis/webfonts/docs/getting_started.html) there are some interesting things you can do with these – such as adding shadows.
Sports Illustrated demonstrated an HTML5 demo of what, to me, is what a magazine on the web should be:http://www.electronista.com/articles/10/05/19/si.html5.demo.shows.flash.not.needed.to.demo/ Make sure you watch the video – as it’s fascinating what they can do without flash or other special apps. From what I’ve heard the native apps on the iPad just don’t touch this – and this would work on any tablet or PC. You can tell Google influenced this app – as their vision of the world is more open and based on the browser – so HTML5 takes us much closer to that reality.
I saw this article today about how Microsoft is now involved in the patent battle between HTC and Apple: http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/28/microsoft-htc-android-apple-patents/
I feel like I’m watching a tennis match – as these patent wars go back and forth. I’m not a big fan of software patents – for reasons like this. I would prefer companies spend their energy innovating – not litigating. I also find some of the software patents to be extremely questionable – as they seem obvious and easy to independently create without “stealing” from another person.
What’s interesting is that Microsoft used to be in the news about defending it’s patent portfolio – but I haven’t heard much lately. Instead I’ve heard about how successful Windows 7 has been, Office 2010 coming out and a completely new phone operating system. I think this might be a better strategy – to innovate and attract customers for the value you provide to them – not being distracted by patent wars.
Then again maybe I’m naive – maybe this suing and cross-licensing is a part of our world that goes on every day. That it’s part of the cost of the products we offer in the U.S. (doesn’t apply to some other countries) in our business ecosystem. That it’s not a big deal – the companies litigate, settle and cross-license all the time – as that’s the most efficient way.
When I purchased my Palm Pre I knew it was time to move to Gmail – as the e-mail on this phone works well with Gmail. I’d been thinking about it for some time – as Outlook was becoming somewhat annoying and the appeal of access to e-mail anywhere was compelling. So I decided to make the move for the following reasons:
- I was tired of POP3 access on my old Phone – as I would find myself deleting e-mails off both the phone and then later on Outlook.
- Gmail can pull in my various POP3 accounts (I have an ISP account, Yahoo and my own website’s e-mail) into one view.
- My Palm Pre can then connect to Gmail to show all my e-mail – but NOT download it – only view it.
- With IMAP access I can upload my set of old e-mails to Gmail.
- I felt comfortable with Gmail – as it was a secure connection and I can enable offline ability.
- The world is moving to the cloud – so I might as well go with it.
- Finally Outlook was getting annoying – as I was up to 3 different PST files and it was still slow. That and trying to access the same Outlook files from 2 different computers was problematic (as Outlook would try to re-create a default file every time it couldn’t access a network connection). View full article »
Here’s a cool site on how to embed video on your site – which handles HTML 5, Quicktime, Flash downgrading gracefully: http://camendesign.com/code/video_for_everybody
I’m starting to see the writing on the wall that HTML5 (H.264 likely) will overtake Flash for video in the future. Google and Apple are pushing hard for it – and in theory it works a lot better. I don’t have a lot of experience with it myself – but I’m learning. I just put a YouTube video on one of my clients sites: http://www.bradbuyshomes.com/. I originally made this video as an AVI and uploaded it to YouTube (which took a while). Unfortunately it didn’t work – so I then exported it as MPEG-2 and that worked better. Probably MPEG-4 is now the best choice – buy my Roxio Videowave doesn’t have any MPEG-4 at anything other than very small resolution outputs. I should have used Pinnacle Studio to create the MPEG-4 file….
I’m wondering if Palm has a future – given the intense competition in the smartphone market. There was a rumor they were shutting down production but I still wonder about the long term. I’ve been a long term Palm user – back to the Handspring day so I’m actually a fan. I’ve been using some Palm apps for quite a few years – and was an original fan of “Grafitti” I’ve been thinking about upgrading from my Palm Centro to a Palm Pre for a while -but am wondering if that’s a good long term strategy. View full article »
I’ve played with Google Buzz some the last few days and have some first impressions. Frankly I’m still trying to find my equilibrium with social networks – the best way to interact with them. I had heard about Buzz (from Twitter) so I decided to try it. This involved doing something I hadn’t done for some time – log into Gmail. I’ve never really been a Gmail user – as I’m used to my Outlook client and the multiple e-mail addresses I have. In fact recently I merged 2 different outlook files together – plus and archive file. I’m a pack rat when it comes to e-mails – keeping just about everything. View full article »
The news about Google is starting to get interesting – in terms of the scope of what they are addressing now. Google seems to be building a vertical stack of services to cover almost everything to do with the computer. This goes back to what Jeff Jarvis said – Google makes money when we use the web (advertising, advertising, advertising) – and faster means more:
- Google announced today they’re planning on testing out a new 1 gigabit internet service (http://www.google.com/appserve/fiberrfi) – so they could be in the neighborhood soon.
- Google has a DNS service (http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/) – the magic thingy that translates the names we type in into the numbers that define the internet.
- Google has Gmail – it’s free web-based e-mail service. It has a corresponding calendar, contacts, etc. service. One concept of calendars is you can share them – have group calendars, etc.
- Google has it’s Google Docs – word, processing, spreadsheets, presentation, etc. – so you can do those basics online. View full article »
For a long time I was a pretty regular IE user – never really paying much attention to Firefox or other browsers. I was impressed with tabs in IE – as this is a great usability feature. Most everything I needed to do worked fine in IE – and it was very dominant in the market share. Then I started to have problems – when IE would try to restore the tabs after a reboot (which we know doesn’t happen very often with windows) and would seem to crash. It seemed to get less and less stable over time…
Sometime last year I finally made the plunge and tried Firefox. I was quite impressed with Firefox – especially with it’s support for more standards (like curved borders!!) and the extensions. It’s just neat to be able to apply a theme to the browser so it looks cooler.
Recently I decided to try out Google Chrome as I had heard a lot about it too. View full article »
I read this article on Techcrunch: http://www.techcrunch.com/2010/01/26/lessig-calls-google-book-settlement-a-path-to-insanity/ about a view on the Google Book project. The author, Lawrence Lessig, criticizes the Google Book project settlement on concerns over how this might change copyright law. He’s concerned with if books are treated in parts – instead of in totality – it will make future usability very difficult.
I agree that this digital world has seriously challenged the role of intellectual property in our society. The power of technology has changed our ability to use “intellectual” property in new ways – to make it much easier to store, use, copy, share, etc. what is someone else’s work. View full article »
I enjoyed reading “What Would Google Do?” by Jeff Jarvis. This book, despite the title, was not so much about Google but about the impact of Google/Internet has had on companies – especially looking to the future. Overall this book was a good read – as you can tell Jeff Jarvis is a college professor by the insights he has into the effect of Google. If you wondering what the future will possibly be like for many businesses in an Internet age I would highly recommend this book.
For my own sake (and hopefully yours) I will now note some of the items I really learned from this book:
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