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Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Up in the cloud

October 1, 2008 Leave a comment

Microsoft has a number of core business revenue streams – otherwise known as cash cows. Despite strong indications that regardless of the recent lightweight application paradigm shift to the ‘cloud’ Microsoft have remained staunchly of the view that the operating system, as we know it today, will still be present in the future. So todays announcement indicating a potential branching from the desktop application centric philosophy is quite astonishing. According to ComputerWorld, Microsoft are looking to unveil a version of Windows codenamedย  ‘Windows Clouds’ within a month. It will be very interesting to see the approach Mircosoft take with this project considering they are were quite keen to emphasise this will not detract from the ongoing Windows 7 work which is the planned successor to Windows Vista.

I previously weighed in on my opinion on cloud computing and very little has emerged to change my mind so far. I recently tried gOS v3 codename Gadgets which is the lightweight Linux distribution formally its own flavour based on the Enlightenment DR13 window manager and I am not that impressed. I found the integration between Google services (presented via barely concealed HTML widgets) and the operating system felt very amateurish. This coupled with the fact that version 3 is based on the more feature rich Gnome window manager, any assertion of this being a ‘stripped down’, light weight operating system for ‘netbooks’ sounds rather strained.

I do not doubt that one day, a certain percentage of desktops and laptops will be light weight (or thin client) systems accessing storage, applications and processing power from a ‘mothership’ in much the way cloud computing is evolving now. However it seems to make much more sense for a family or household or even a group of people to buy a central ‘home server’. This will however be very different to Windows Home Server and will resemble more the old style dumb terminals where multiple clients connect to one central machine.

Well that is my prediction, we will talk in ten years! For now, long live monster power rigs! ๐Ÿ™‚ As a final note, it will be interesting to see where Apple fit into this in the coming years. iSlim? iWeb? iJot?

Chrome EULA Update…

September 5, 2008 1 comment

.. and I’d like to think its as result of the angry email I sent to google as I uninstalled their new open source browser Chrome, based on the WebKit engine, two days ago. ๐Ÿ™‚ Back then, part of the EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) explicitly stated that by using the browser, anything you type into it (i.e. search queries, comments and presumably blog posts) becomes the exclusive property of Google.

Old Section 11 of Chrome EULA

11. Content licence from you

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights that you already hold in Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content, you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

More worryingly, section 11.4:

11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above licence.

After The Register broke the news, many people just like me, promptly uninstalled Chrome. Google yesterday responded apologetically saying that they had never intended for the EULA to be interpreted in such a way, and issued an update.

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights that you already hold in Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services.

This rapid turn around is welcome, but it does make me wonder… if Google had any intention of enforcing the content appropriation their initial EULA made way for, by simply updating the EULA and not issuing updated binaries is the purported functionality still present? I guess only in-dept analysis of the code will tell, it is an open source project after all.

Slow news tuesday…

June 3, 2008 2 comments

Well this is the first post from my new laptop. So far I am mostly impressed with the penryn goodness, there are a feel little niggles which annoy me with the build quality, but overall a big thumbs up. I will review it after I have spent a few more days with it.

But anyway, to the point of this post, by now the majority of people would have noticed that Google has changed their default icon.

Am I the only one who seriously dislikes the new one? I know its just aesthetics… but for some reason it irkes me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Of reliance on Google

March 30, 2008 Leave a comment

So Earth Hour is over! There seemed to be almost no mention / enthusiasm here in London, but I diligently turned everything off for an hour. I also recorded how much power I used during that time (~1kWh +/-0.2) and I will compare it to a normal hour tonight to see how much energy was saved. That is not what I want to write about in this post. As I mentioned before, Google had turned the lights out on their home page in order to raise awareness of the Earth Hour project.

I appears this got the attention of their visitors, my one post on the topic caused 20% of my Google traffic referred over two days to be from related keywords. What surprised me however is the specific keywords being searched, let me give you a few examples:

“wtf is with black google”

“why is google black 29mar08”

“turn off black google”

“google black is pointless”

“turning google black”

“wtf black google”

…as well as several others. It never ceases to amaze me the things people search for, especially when the answer is right in-front of them.

Although the point can be made that (likely many of) these people were simply searching for more information about the initiative and it is hard to account for this. It should be noted that the specific search terms listed above only accounted for 26.3% of the traffic this topic received, but it still makes for an interesting insight into the way in which some people automatically perform a Google query when in doubt rather than reading the page.

Black Google

March 29, 2008 2 comments

Tonight when I went to Google.co.uk I was met by an unusual sight. It seems Google have jumped onto the Earth Hour initiative which seeks to turn off all lights for one hour around the world tomorrow. What started off as a social experiment last year in Australia has now turned into a global event for 2008! Its great to see a big company like Google taking a proactive stance on an issue like this.

Some of you may be familiar with the Google powered search engine Blackle (currently purports to have saved 534,242.576 Watt hours) which tried a similar scheme, claiming that PC monitors used slightly less power displaying black than white. It seemed like a nice idea, but in a moment of vanity I decided I preferred the valina white look (and also the issues of privacy and security came into play.) Interestingly enough, it turns out this was simply not correct with some evidence from recent studies that TFT monitors actually consume MORE power displaying black than white rendering the effort fairly pointless.

Despite of this, however, Google have changed their home page to this in an drive the message of climate change and it has done a great job so far of stopping people in their tracks online. So, I am going to go one step further, any and all electronic equipment I can turn off I will for one hour tomorrow. (And I am not just going make sure my laptop/PSP/<insert gadget here> is charged before hand either ๐Ÿ˜€ )

It could be kind of fun and will be nice to get away from the digital wireless world I seem to be so totally sucked into! ๐Ÿ™‚

19 Hours and 30 Minutes to go…. (Anyone else think the counter looks like the one from Armageddon?!) Anyway, it starts in the UK at 8pm local time tomorrow.

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