Consolidation of stacks

Interesting discussion between Bradley Horowitz and Tim O’Reilly re Google+.  Tim O’Reilly makes interesting point about an apparent consolidation in the industry along certain stacks e.g. Apple, Google and Microsoft.  He quotes his own preference for using an Android phone because it integrates more effectively with the google calendar.  This has been my own experience also – though as an external consultant do find myself needing to work across more than one stack – depending on client preferences.

 

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uploading video from my android phone to youtube

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Experienced a great deal of frustration with this, initially.  Would have expected uploading video from a phone running a google operating system to a google owned video site would be straightforward.  Unfortunately experienced quite a lot of frustration.

The key to resolving this issue appears to have been:

While in the YouTube application on the adnroid log out.  Then add an account – not your gmail account but your YouTube account (i.e. exclude any ‘@gmail.com).  After that all seemed to work perfectly.

Found the relevant advice/ guidance eventually through one of the threaded discussions on google.

 

 

 

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Wasting or burning time with technology

As one of those curious about new applications and how things work I often wonder how much time I burn trying to figure things out.  And how much of our time is now used up by self service type support offerings.  If you want to be at the front (even if not quite the bleeding edge) you accept burning time.

Two recent examples.  My daughter’s Dell Inspiron – the touchpad was not working.  Downloaded the relevant diagnositcs from Dell, ran them, checked that most current drives etc loaded.  Eventually contacted Dell.  There is, unbelievably, a ‘;swithc-off the touchpad’ button right of the F11/F12 key.  Would not have solved this in a month of sundays.  There’s a good hour gone!

Trying to upload photos from my Samsung S-II to Picassa.  Have two accounts on the phone – one goole apps, one g-mail.  Well recognised and reported issue.  Spent, maybe, 30 mins reading the support threads.  Downloaded another tool (Picassa Tool) – provided a workable solution – althoughthe issue is still there.  Another hour gone.  And it continues.

Not to mention the various applications I have researched for my android, downloaded, tested and used or dropped.  No free lunch – you may get the efficiencies but you burn lots of time finding the solutions that really add value.  And none of that includes time spent watching programs such as Leo Laporte’s www.twit.tv, etc., reading blogs, etc.

Lot of time, every week – for how many million people?

 

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Why is google+ important to google?

Interesting analysis on use of social network id’s to log into other sites.

So perhaps, in spite of much of the inane rubbish posted on social networking sites, these same sites are going to win out because they have become the holders of profiles we use for identifying ourselves across the web.  The analysis is interesting in that it shows that Facebook leads the way – another reason that google needs to win with google+.

 

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Google+ experience of google apps users

no google profile associated with google apps – therefore no google+.

Google Appliance as shown at RSA Expo 2008 in ...
Image via Wikipedia

I am an avid user of web 2.0 solutions – in particular social networks including linkedin, facebook and twitter.  First impressions of google+ have been positive – seems to me to support, more easily, useful interaction between people sharing an interest.  Circles appears pretty logical.  Obviously uptake is very important (to obtain critical mass) but the level of uptake in the first few weeks would suggest google+ certainly has a good chance of gaining significant traction.

However – I am a google apps, paid-up, user.  google apps is at the centre of my day to day operations.

Not unusally I started with a gmail account and move to google apps as I established my own domain: http://www.barryjogorman.com.  I have a google profile – associated with my gmail account.  I do not have a google profile within the google apps world.  People interact with me using whatever medium suits them: facebook, linkedin, twitter, gmail, my google apps mail account, SMS, voice.  And now some level of interaction has commenced via google+.

Unfortunately, in order to be active in google+ I have to be logged into my gmail world – not my google apps world.  It’s almost becoming a question of accessing the google apps world from the PC and the google plus world from the smart phone – complete nonsense!

This posting seems to contain the current wisdom from Google: we hear you, we knew this would be an issue, we’ll get there because it is important to us – but it may take a few months.

 

For now it seems to be a question of ‘grin and bear it’.  Any solutions/ tips would be very welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

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(Microsoft) Shoe on the other foot (Google)

Federal Trade Commissions investigates Google

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

Interesting to read about major investigation of Google in US.  have they had it all their won way on advertising?  Have they failed to be ‘holier than thou’?  Very much feels like the old days of Microsoft being chased arising from their then dominant position.  Will be interesting to see whther this gives rise to any significant findings or actions.

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Does the end user device matter?

Why not let the end user slect the preferred device in the corporate environment?

Interesting to read of Google’s launch of the ChromeBook.

As corporates migrate their applications to the Cloud can they move away from providing corporate desktops or laptops to the end user?  Provision of these devices and their support is a major corporate expense.  Could we move to a position whereby ‘the expectation is that if you want to work for us you need to manage your own connectivity to the Internet‘?

This position has to major attractions:

  • end users can use whatever device they want to use
  • corporates avoid the cost of supply and maintenance of a fleet of end user devices
  • the end of the ens user support desk as we know it

Many end users are completely frustrated by corporate guidlenes restricting how they can use their device, which applications they can download and install, the fact that their work PC is way below the spec of their home PC fleet.  In many cases we operate Lowest Common Denomionator type thinking – the advanced user is restricted to that the LCD can use.

Corporates struggle to manage end users and struggle to meet their expectations.  And there is a vast range of devices: PCs, laptops, notebooks, phones.

Much of the technology is there to enable this move.  Many of the corporate apps (or the apps required to do your job) can be provided via the cloud.  There are many relevant and effective security solutions.

Who would support end users in this scenario? A combination of the end user, the cloud providers and, to some limited extent, the corporate. It requires a mind set change – it becomes the end user’s responsibility to be able to connect to various applications (whatever device she/he chooses to use).  This drives a different experience for the end users, the corporate and the cloud provider.  But in the long run it will result in corporates investing more time in delivering solutions and less time in providing ‘free’ support.  If you require a car to do your job it is your responsibility to have a car, maintain the car and use it safely for work.  Why not the same with end user computing?  Fleets of company cars are the not the only model.

 

 

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Browser software to help manage privacy

browser software to support ‘opt outs’ re advertising

Good to see Mozilla and Google following Microsoft in looking to assist us in managing our online privacy more effectively.

Looks like Firefox and Chrome should include functionality to assist in maintaining your ‘opt-out- option in dealing with online advertisers.  Good summary in this recent article from the Wall Street Journal.

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smart phones – privacy being undermined (or ignored)

Privacy is being ignored in the smartphone world

Disturbing report from Wall Street Journal explaining what private data is being passed when you are using various applications on either your Apple or Android phone.  not particularly encouraging wrt either platform.

As an example: ‘…TextPlus 4, a popular iPhone app for text messaging. It sent the phone’s unique ID number to eight ad companies and the phone’s zip code, along with the user’s age and gender, to two of them.’

And remember: ‘”The great thing about mobile is you can’t clear a UDID like you can a cookie,” says Meghan O’Holleran of Traffic Marketplace, an Internet ad network that is expanding into mobile apps. “That’s how we track everything.”‘

Brings Google back into the whole debate about privacy:

‘Google was the biggest data recipient in the tests. Its AdMob, AdSense, Analytics and DoubleClick units collectively heard from 38 of the 101 apps. Google, whose ad units operate on both iPhones and Android phones, says it doesn’t mix data received by these units.

Google’s main mobile-ad network is AdMob, which it bought this year for $750 million. AdMob lets advertisers target phone users by location, type of device and “demographic data,” including gender or age group.’

All in all seems that for now we are relying on self regulation – where both Apple and Google appear to be conflicted by their interests.

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How we, the public, can help with linked open data

Promote, persuade, reward open data initiatives by government

Tom Steinberg
Image by pdcawley via Flickr

Excellent piece by Tom Steinberg pointing out what we the potential consumers of data can do to encourage government to provide the data.  One of his key messages actually covers off the wikileaks type risks – that when we do see any government body about to release anything which may undermine privacy we should draw it to their attention.

Have some concerns that some of what I have seen in Ireland on this subject is effectively encouraging government departments to release data so that we can ‘bash’ them.  This is completely pointless.

I think the real point is that there are masses of potentially useful data – which cannot be exploited while buried in archives or in pdf files.  We have not even begun to imagine the value of some of this data – when cross linked, correlated with all sorts of other data.

Thanks for taking the time to put the piece together, Tom.

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