June 22, 2006
What Google Can Learn From Other Web Services Providers
It seems that all the bloggers are crazy about all of Google's web services but alot of Google's specific services are outshined by their competitors. Here's a summary of their competitor's features that I use.
Customizable Home Page - Google really needs TV listings. Excite actually has the best TV listings, with local listings and a favorite show section that tells when your favorite shows will next be on and highlights them in Pink on the grid. My.Yahoo.com My Yahoo has decent TV listings and most of Google's features making it a decent compromise.
Maps - Windows Live Local has a high res closer zoom photo mode called "Bird's Eye". It shows these spiffy closer up photos of the area. It shouldn't be hard for Google to implement if they really want to as it seems to be based on USGS data. It also has close buttons on most of the UI features to maximize the map areas.
E-mail - GMail seems pretty sweet but for me to use it I need to ability to check an external mail account. When I used HoTMaiL I remember it supporting that feature. What I'd really like is the ability to properly import and export common mailbox formats. Yes, I've tried those G-Mail imports but none of them work well. Most are slow, unreliable, mess up timestamps, and don't tag based on folders. I'd also like the ability to cache my mail locally. Why should I lose access to my mail just because my net connection is out. But I don't think any other webmail services allow that.
Shopping - MySimon lets you select categories to make sure that when you sort by price you actually are seeing the item you want and not some accessory. It also lets you enter your zipcode to calculate shipping.
Video - Make the TV Series sortable by episode number. Why would i want to watch a serial like Deep Space 9 in Alphabetical order? I'm pretty sure iTMS allows this.
That's it for now.
June 14, 2006
My Ideal Portable Music Players
As I see the world become more and more iPod centric, I start to think about why i don't own own one. Mainly the feature set doesn't match what I want. So here's what I want to see from a portable player.
Must Have Features:
- Ogg Vorbis support (I like free formats)
- MP3 support (I have a few of these files kicking around)
- 10+ GB of storage (I need space for my whole music collection and some room to grow)
- Black and White (non-back lit) mode (saves on the battery)
- Reputable manufacturer (I bought a no-name MP3 cd player that died)
- Durable (I drop things)
- Replaceable, rechargeable battery
Would be nice:
- Solid State Storage (I know there are no 10 GB flash players yet)
- AM/FM tuner (do any even come with AM tuners)
Features that I have no desire to have:
- Color display
- Photo support
- Video playback
- Any DRM Scheme
June 03, 2006
Cool new social and collaboration tools from RedHat
Two new interesting collaboration/social networking websites have been released from Red Hat. Unlike what you might expect from a company like Red Hat these sites focus on communication and discussion rather than source code or bug tracking.
First is the more technically orientedRed Hat 108. .
Second is the more entertainment oriented Mugshot.
You can hear about both of them in Szulik's keynote at the 2006 Red Hat Summit. I really don't think I can give a more accurate description of either of these because I'm still learning about them, so you should check them out for yourself.