On Technology


Google Chrome Open Source Web Browser Released


As announced in their blog yes­ter­day, Google released its open source web brows­er today at 12pm PDT. It is called Google Chrome (Beta). It was built with the help of com­po­nents from Apple’s WebKit and Mozil­la’s Fire­fox, and some oth­ers. It is only cur­rent­ly avail­able on Win­dows; though they are work­ing on the Lin­ux and Mac ver­sions sup­pos­ed­ly.

I took it for a quick test run ear­li­er and I can say its fast and “min­i­mal” as to what they say. Although most of the key fea­tures are already in Fire­fox, I do like the “crash con­trol”. Here are the ones that have been high­light­ed:

  • One box for every­thing — Web search. Web his­to­ry. Address bar. Sug­ges­tions as you type. One uni­fied box serves all your brows­ing needs.
  • New tab page — Every time you open a new tab, you’ll see a visu­al sam­pling of your most vis­it­ed sites, most used search engines, and recent­ly book­marked pages and closed tabs.
  • Appli­ca­tion short­cuts — Use web apps with­out open­ing your brows­er. Appli­ca­tion short­cuts can direct­ly load your favorite online apps.
  • Dynam­ic tabs — You can drag tabs out of the brows­er to cre­ate new win­dows, gath­er mul­ti­ple tabs into one win­dow or arrange your tabs how­ev­er you wish — quick­ly and eas­i­ly.
  • Crash con­trol — Every tab you’re using is run inde­pen­dent­ly in the brows­er, so if one app crash­es it won’t take any­thing else down.
  • Incog­ni­to mode — Don’t want pages you vis­it to show up in your web his­to­ry? Choose incog­ni­to mode for pri­vate brows­ing.
  • Safe brows­ing — Google Chrome warns you if you’re about to vis­it a sus­pect­ed phish­ing, mal­ware or oth­er­wise unsafe web­site.
  • Instant book­marks — Want to book­mark a web page? Just click the star icon at the left edge of the address bar and you’re done.
  • Import­ing set­tings — When you switch to Google Chrome, you can pick up where you left off with all the book­marks and pass­words from your exist­ing brows­er.
  • Sim­pler down­loads — No intru­sive down­load man­ag­er; you see your down­load­’s sta­tus at the bot­tom of your cur­rent win­dow.

So after giv­ing it a spin, would I use it in my dai­ly work­flow? Not quite yet. As not­ed, it is still in Beta and only avail­able to the Win­dows-user demo­graph­ic. It will be inter­est­ing to see where it goes for sure, or how peo­ple react to it as it approach­es more and more to main­stream. That, and how Google would mar­ket it with their oth­er appli­ca­tions and ser­vices.

That being said, I over­heard through the grapevine that Google’s inten­tion for releas­ing this is due the fact that Mozil­la Fire­fox makes 85% of its rev­enue through Google Search. It does makes sense though. Whether that is total­ly true or only par­tial, its still a good idea if that’s the case. Why make some­one else mon­ey when you keep that mon­ey for yourself—right?

Anoth­er ques­tion that came to mind was: is it bad for every­one else, the every­day users? Not quite… yet. Unless every­one has been fol­low­ing Google’s blog, or are tech­ni­cal­ly savvy and keep track of Tech news, the reach of Google Chrome’s release would most like­ly be by word of mouth between those in the Tech indus­try (for now). But when it does make its stake in the brows­er mar­ket share, it can be bad and good at the same time. Bad, that there will be anoth­er brows­er to add to the list to sup­port and care for by web­sites. And good, that it can be the one true brows­er to rule them all1.

Update
Kevin Pur­dy of Lifehacker.com recent­ly released some Beta Brows­er Speed Tests ear­li­er today com­par­ing IE 8b2, Fire­fox 3.1b and Google Chrome 0.2. There are 3 impor­tant find­ings from his tests:

  1. In terms of start­up time, Chrome wins. On a cold start2, Fire­fox leads the pack. How­ev­er, on a warm start where the brows­er has just been closed and reloaded, Chrome sur­pris­ing­ly takes the deci­sive lead.
  2. In load­ing JavaScript & CSS, both Fire­fox and Chrome are near half of that of IE’s.
  3. Last but not least, with regards to mem­o­ry use, Fire­fox is undoubt­ed­ly the win­ner. But this might be arguable as can be not­ed in Chrome’s fea­ture set. That is, its abil­i­ty of “crash con­trol” which makes each tab load its own process, rather than a sole Chrome process like that of IE and Fire­fox.
  1. Will there ever be one? I real­ly don’t think so. That’s what’s good and bad about Tech­nol­o­gy, there’s always improve­ment to be done and it is wide­ly open for every­one to inno­vate. []
  2. Refer­ring to a com­put­er that just has been turned on or restart­ed. []

What is Twitter?

A cou­ple of friends and fam­i­ly have been ask­ing:

  • What’s up w/ the sta­tus updates I see quite often?
  • What’s w/ the “@” (at sym­bol) next to names on your sta­tus?
  • What the heck is a tweet?
  • etc.

Rather than point­ing them to Twit­ter’s site, I rather just show them this video:

YouTube Preview Image

I hope that makes sense. Thanks to Com­mon Craft. They have done a great job explain­ing it “in plain eng­lish” =)

Update
Some Twit­ter terms writ­ten by Peter Cash­more on Mash­able.

Adobe MAX 2008 San Francisco

Woah. I did­n’t know Adobe had peo­ple call­ing their list for their upcom­ing Adobe MAX in San Fran­cis­co:

MAX is an expe­ri­ence unlike any oth­er — an oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­nect with thou­sands of design­ers, devel­op­ers, part­ners, exec­u­tives, and Adobe staff for edu­ca­tion, inspi­ra­tion, and com­mu­ni­ty. MAX 2008/2009 will be held in San Fran­cis­co, Milan, and Tokyo. Be sure to mark your cal­en­dar for this impor­tant glob­al event.

It seems that I was able to put my Grand Cen­tral phone num­ber when I signed up for noti­fi­ca­tion to future Adobe prod­ucts. Right on.

Here’s the voice­mail from GC:

Pret­ty clear, and script­ed =)

Any­ways, you heard Lin­da, if you are inter­est­ed in going, do give her a call. Here’s what you’ll need to know:

  • (877) 451‑1592
  • The event will be held on Novem­ber 16–19, 2008.
  • There will be 2 loca­tions for MAX, Moscone West and the San Fran­cis­co Mar­riott. Look­ing at the agen­da though, it seems most of it will be at Moscone.
  • Ear­ly Bird Dis­count ends August 31st. It is $200-off the reg­u­lar price if you choose to do so.

For more info on, click here to go to the Adobe MAX San Fran­cis­co site.

Force Gmail to Use Secure Connection Via SSL

With the recent announce­ment of SF Reverse Engi­neer, Mike Per­ry, intend­ing to release his Gmail Account Hack­ing Tool to the pub­lic, there is no bet­ter time than now to secure you Gmail con­nec­tion by using the Google’s pro­vide SSL.

To do so, do the fol­low­ing:

  1. Click on SETTINGS (top-right of the Gmail page). It will look some­thing like this:
  2. Scroll all the way down, or try to find “Brows­er con­nec­tion”
  3. Select “Always use https”, and the “Save changes”

You might have to refresh/reload your Gmail page. To ver­i­fy, you may look at your Address Bar and it should sim­i­lar to the fol­low­ing:

You will also notice that the brows­er win­dow’s SSL con­nec­tion icon has been enabled/locked. In Fire­Fox, its on the bot­tom-right of the Sta­tus Bar.

Do note that if you are also using Gmail via Google Apps for work, or what have you, forc­ing SSL con­nec­tion is cur­rent­ly not avail­able. But alas, Google does have it on their to-do list last month. Hope­ful­ly, they can see the urgency and add it on some­time soon due to Mike Per­ry’s announce­ment.

But for now, you can just man­u­al­ly change the URL from hav­ing “http” to “https”. Or, if you are using Fire­Fox (which you should), you might grab this Grease­mon­key plu­g­in called GMailSe­cure. You will just need to add your Google Apps’ Gmail URL to its “Includ­ed Page” list under GMailSe­cure’s options. For exam­ple,

http://mail.google.com/a/company-domain.com/*

Fur­ther read­ing about this sub­ject can be done via Web­mon­key’s arti­cle, Why You Should Turn Gmail’s SSL Fea­ture On Now.

I hope that helps.

Sync iPhone and Google Calendar via NuevaSync

I have been tin­ker­ing around try­ing to get GCAL­Dae­mon work­ing again after the update to Leop­ard, but it just has­n’t been the same from its for­mer self of 1‑to‑1 sync. Thought you can find dif­fer­ent appli­ca­tions that may allow you to do this, it’s one thing to get it for free and do through the pow­er of the crowd. But things have been look­ing grim late­ly as get­ting GCAL­Dae­mon to work with Leop­ard is still up in the air. Enter Nueva­Sync.

Nueva­Sync allows direct, over-the-air, native syn­chro­niza­tion of cer­tain smart phones and PDA devices with pub­lic PIM, and cal­en­dar­ing ser­vices includ­ing Google Cal­en­dar. Nueva­Sync does not need any soft­ware installed on your device because it uses syn­chro­niza­tion pro­to­cols that are already built in.

I had giv­en it a chance. It requires you signup w/ nuevasync.com. Yah, I know its anoth­er account to keep track of from the many ser­vices out there, but hey… if it works—it works. The set­up is pret­ty sim­ple. You pret­ty much just have to fol­low the instruc­tions which were writ­ten in terms of a 7th-grader—easy enough.

A cou­ple of facts that I found out along with Nueva­Sync’s FAQ:

  • It cur­rent­ly sup­ports the fol­low­ing mobile devices:
    • Apple iPhone 2.0, iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2.0
    • Win­dows Mobile based PDAs and smart­phones
  • You’ll be doing push/fetch to Nueva­Sync’s “Exchange Serv­er”
  • Adding an alarm noti­fi­ca­tion on an event will default to a “Pop-up” reminder in the even­t’s Google Cal­en­dar (gCal) ver­sion. Vice-ver­sa; you’ll need to select “Pop-up” as the type of remind when cre­at­ing the event in gCal in order to have it also avail­able in your iPhone.
  • Hav­ing your iPhone’s set­ting of “Push to OFF” and “Fetch to Man­u­al­ly” will still enable to Nueva­Sync to per­form its job while allow­ing you to save your iPhone’s mojo.
  • It can sync to mul­ti­ple cal­en­dars under your gCal account of those Cal­en­dars you have a per­mis­sion to write to. You may find out which ones via going to the Nueva­Sync sta­tus page.
  • Even though you can sync with mul­ti­ple cal­en­dars, cre­at­ing an event in your iPhone would default to your main cal­en­dar. This you can say would be a step back if your try­ing to keep things very orga­nized and cat­e­go­rize your events (i.e. Per­son­al, Work, Project A, Project B, etc.).

Sounds good right? So, if you aren’t real­ly using more than one cal­en­dar or don’t care if the events from your write-per­mit­ted cal­en­dars are merged togeth­er into one in your iPhone, I’d def­i­nite­ly rec­om­mend you to give Nueva­Sync a try. But don’t wor­ry, they have that item in their TODO:

So when will you sup­port mul­ti­ple cal­en­dars on the Apple devices?
Soon, it’s one of our top new fea­ture pri­or­i­ties.

Any­ways, I hope this helps. Please do let me know if you hap­pen to find new, inter­est­ing things about it. Have a good sync!