Watching Steve Job's WWDC Keynote

I am currently watching a recorded Web Cast of Steve Job's WWDC keynote, where he previewed OS X's next version, 10.4, code-named Tiger. Damn it 's great... Some of features mentioned that i really like is Tiger's new Search Technologies. I was right when i predicted (undocumented, unfortunately) that they will just apply the iTunes paradigm to OS X's overall file system to attain the goal of a search-driver System. Made me wonder why MS is taking such a long time to deliver similar technology. Tiger is expected to be released First half of 2005, while Longhorn, if released on time will come on 2006.

Sigh. I really want an Apple.

(The audio portion of the stream stopped towards the end when Steve Jobs was doing a demo of ICHAT AV multi-conferencing. Decided to do a quick blog about the keynote)

Oh oh. Intel is in Trouble.

Intel is prepping up Prescott to become a dual-core processor.Great strategy move or an obligatory backup plan? A very good article by John "Hannibal" Stokes of Arstechnica explains the reasoning behind Intel's recent moves.

So let's say that you're Intel, and you've got this microprocessor architecture that's the backbone of your central product line, with millions invested into developing it and improving it. And let's say that the fundamental premise on which that microarchitecture was built craps out a few years too soon. What do you do? In Prescott's case, it looks like the answer is to try your best to adapt the old design to a new set of circumstances, rather than throwing it out the window. This means cranking way back on the clock speed increases, and taking advantage of Moore's Curves* by adding functionality to the die instead. This added functionality comes in the form of a whole other core, rather than a few new execution units and some cache.

Head on to Ars and read the article

A Piece on the Webmail Wars

Hotmail will not be left behind. This is according to Microsoft spokeswoman Kathleen Callaghan, as reported in the Washington Post.

Microsoft spokeswoman Kathleen Callaghan said she had not heard of any free accounts getting more storage. (this is a response to reports that some hotmail free account members have indeed seen their storage increase from 2mb to 25 mb)

But she did confirm that the company has plans in the works to beef up Hotmail: "Part of that will ensure that storage won't be an issue," she said. And a Microsoft vice president, Yusuf Mehdi, said last week that users will see a ton of innovation from Hotmail and Microsoft's other communication services over the next year.

(Bold comments in parentheses are mine).
Google is really shaking up the webmail landscape, and this is all good for the consumers. If it is not already obvious in this blog, I am strongly betting my money on Gmail, since it is the most revolutionary webmail among the three. Even with Yahoo's recent improvement, Gmail still offers the best feature set. The only problem is it's limited availability. If hotmail is serious about not giving up a big chunk of its webmail market share, they should deliver a better hotmail before Gmail opens to the public. By better I mean three things, in order of importance:

  • faster response,
  • new features that will match or top that of gmail's,
  • and larger storage.

Speed is one of the two key factors why Gmail is able to deliver the new paradigm that it promises. Google's legendary data searching capability is of course the other piece of the puzzle. Why would then one choose searching over sorting when the search is not speedily done?

Features: Gmail is the first webmail to use a sorting paradigm that goes beyond your ordinary hierarchical file-folder metaphor. This is a huge improvement in organization and management of email, because it removes the limitations of the file-folder system, where a file (email) can only exist in one folder. In fact I can discuss Gmail's great feature set in a whole article (which I'm dong next), but unfortunately it is not as good as actually experiencing it yourself. Once a user experiences Gmail's features, he/she may find it difficult to go back to his/her old webmail.

Storage: The reason why i put this last is because in reality Google's 1GB is overkill at this moment, that Yahoo and hotmail (should they choose to match Yahoo)could get away even with a tenth of Gmail's offering. As all of them have said, they are just putting the storage issue out of the table. This is of course a usability point o view, the marketing effect of a huge email storage is another issue, as we have just saw with Gmail.

To conclude; maybe just like the rest of Gmail's early adopters, i will honestly say that the 1GB storage is what made me want a gmail. The feature set is the reason why I am sticking

Why I Would Want to Root for Firefox Again

I have not rooted for firefox for a long time now, or at least not as aggressively as I could have been. I have taken a "if you don't want it, then don't get it" stand in some issues, like in the browser war, specially in this browser war. Maybe this is because I am starting to be more mature and therefore realizes now that not everyone can think or thinks the same way that I do. This has changed however.

Last night i just finished reading Arstechnica's interview of Scott Collins from Good piece. It shed some light on some aspects of the Netscape/Mozilla, the organization's ups and downs and the mistakes and achievements of the organization. Scott's last statement made an impact on me though.

It took a lot of things all happening together to make the web work and one key piece of that was the Netscape browser, and that became part of the consciousness of the world. That's the thing I learned to lust after as a programmer. It's not my ability to solve one problem, to plow this field, but the ability to build a plow that every farmer uses. The ability to make something that touches not ten people, not a hundred people, not a thousand people but a hundred million people. I want Mozilla to be there again. IE is a browser with no soul. I want it to be Mozilla because I think that people who care deserve a browser with a soul.

I work in part time in an Internet Cafe where I have at my disposal to make Firefox the default browser, but I don't. As I have said, I give our users the choice to use their favorite browser, and I have always thought that it is the right thing to do. In fact, I still do. The difference now is that I saw and agreed with what Scott said about IE being a browser with no soul. You can disagree, and that is OK with me. In fact Google Zeitgeist tells me that a lot will. But I digress. I will root for mozilla. And help them to take back the web.

Get Firefox

Firefox 0.9 is here

Get Firefox

Firefox 0.9 is finally here. Great improvements:

  • The import function makes your transition both from IE or an older version of Firefox/Phoenix a lot smoother and automated.
  • New default theme. Nice. Slick. Clean. Original. Now I can really make this as my default theme. Of course you can always chose your own. I still haven't checked if the themers have updated their themes to make it 0.9 compatible, just check them out here
  • Improvements in Tools and Options organization. Better and easier to use than ever. Frequently accessed Themes and Extensions options are now readily available in the Tools dropdown menu.
  • 0.9 Release notes here

Echoing the call from all the other Firefox users: use Firefox! Give it a try for a week, if you are really unsure about it.

Google's Next Step?

I was pondering over the possibility of Google eventually delivering an instant messenging client. Watching the company with its recent strategic moves and acquisitions, I can say that the IM is a logical next step. Of course I could be wrong. But in the case that I am right, I hope they chose to use an open protocol, or if they do choose to create their own, that they open it. AIM's Oscar protocol could be a good bet, and should Google choose to use it, then the (almost) instant interoperability with AIM and iChat could be a big plus for everyone.

Too bad Gaim is already taken. :-p

Yahoo mimics a Gmail Feature

I first read the news from the Gmail Users community in orkut, and it was only now that I noticed: Yahoo has indeed introduced a new feature in Mail: Address Autocomplete. From YahooMail:
You start. We finish.

  • Begin typing an email address.
  • AutoComplete lists matching addresses from your Yahoo! Address Book.
  • You click on the exact address you want.
  • That's it - dozens of keystrokes replaced with just one click.

Click Download Now to begin using the AutoComplete feature on this PC - but first, close any additional Internet Explorer windows you have open

Autocomplete is one of the nifty features of Gmail, and now it seems Yahoo is trying to match the feature. While both rely on your address book to look for auto-complete matches, there are differences in the implementation. In Gmail, the feature is default for all users, and is not dependent on the computer that you are working on. Yahoo however requires each user to enable the feature in each computer she uses if she wants to use it. Although installation of the features is quick and pretty straightforward (i think the trick is just a cookie), the extra steps are not good for the user. Gmail's autocomplete is also smarter. It looks for matches both in the email and name field of the address book, and provides a better feedback of the match. Parity of feature is the minimum that Yahoo should do, if it doesn't want to lose a big chunk of its user base to Gmail. And though they did make the right step here, Gmail is still ahead.

Things I want to do with this Blog

  • I want to make a user review of gmail, to discuss its current state and the features that I think should be added and or polished
  • I want to discuss FOAF, a promising RDF standard that augments our social presence in the web. It aims to unify our identity on the net. Kinda like to that thing that Passport aimed to do, sans Big Brother.
  • Maybe I'll take some quiet moments to mull over this blog, to refine its purpose and objective. I am having trouble focusing on stuff.
  • As always the case in things that we do, over all, make this a lot better. Maybe I have find more information inflow. Repeat after me: Internet is not everything.

Okay. Maybe that's all for now.

Apple's Newest Gadget

Hmmm. It's been quite a long time since Apple pulled a trick up from its sleeves. And it almost always never fails. Introducing Apple's Newest weapon:
Let's see.

  • a 802.11g repeater
  • a NAT router
  • a network usb printer server
  • a wifi link between your iTunes and your Stereo.


Toxic Dust from Your Computer

Fresh from a report by Hannibal of Arstechnica:
According to several environmental groups, "toxic dust" that are emitted by processors and monitors contain chemicals that may be linked to reproductive and neuroligal problems. The chemical identified are commonly used in electronic equipments as flame retardants

Researchers collected samples of dust from dozens of computers in eight states, including university computer labs in New York, Michigan and Texas, legislative offices in California, and an interactive computer display at a children's museum in Maine. They tested for three types of brominated flame retardants suspected to be hazardous.

One important part in the article pointed in Arstechnica:

Scientists have not directly correlated exposure to PBDEs with specific diseases or developmental impairment, although researchers are studying possible links between brominated flame retardants and autism.

Hannibal's comment about the possible link between this "toxic dust" and autism is even more interesting:

...This statement really jumped out at me, because it might make for a good explanation of the otherwise mysterious and anamolously high rate of autism in... you guessed it, Silicon Valley. Even if it's not the cause, it could very well be a contributing factor.

The news article is here
The Arstechnica report
The article about autism in Silcon Valley