nullstream weblog - January 2009

Gmail offline

Gooogly

January 28, 2009 10:00 PM PST

Google is bluring the line between desktop and web apps again. This time GMail goes offline. It is only experemental (in the labs) but it looks promising so far. When. Combined with chrome it becomes something that seems a lot like a native app. This is something people have been waiting for ever since they released gears long ago.


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You can't get there from here

January 9, 2009 10:14 AM PST

flood.jpg
I have been trapped in my town due to flooding since Wednesday night. All roads and and out are flooded and although the river crested late yesterday, there is no schedule for when the roads will be cleared or opened. It could be a couple more days. This is the second major flood we have experienced in 2 months. This time the Snoqualmie river reached the highest on record, since 1932.

What you see in the picture is the main road I take across the valley to work. The rivers normal width can be seen in the width of the structure on the bridge and in outline of the row of trees snaking along.

One annoying side effect of having a flood disaster immediately following a snow disaster is that we have only had 1 garbage pickup since December 12.


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Pre - First Thoughts

Mobile Tech

January 8, 2009 06:36 PM PST

pre.jpg
The tech world is all a buzz on Palm's new phone the Pre. It is impossible to predict whether this will be successful in the market or not. From the first reviews coming in however it is starting to look like this might be the most impressive iPhone competitor to hit the street yet.

The Pre goes directly for the iPhone's throat by hitting all its weak spots:

The new OS is rumored to be powered by Linux (what else?) People are very impressed with the UI. It appears to be the coolest of all the iPhone competitors. It looks and flows nicer than Android and is being received much better than the Blackberry UI. And of course it completely out classes TouchFlo running on Window Mobile. Some are even saying it is slicker than the iPhone itself, with more animations and other eye candy. The device itself looks very nice, certainly much better than the fugly Android G1. On the multi-tasking front Palm is aiming to prove that not only can it be done smoothly without compromising calls, or crashing apps, but that it 'should' be done. To prove this point the UI is designed specifically around this. The running apps reduce to active previews called 'cards' that provide live update and let you swipe between them smoothly. The browser is Webkit based and apparently is very good. By now it is pretty obvious that WebKit will win the mobile browser war. They are talking about an app store of course, and building apps using web technologies like html, css and Javascript. I'll reserve opinion on that strategy until more details emerge.

I won't link to the flood of information hitting the tubes on this, it won't be hard to find on your own.
One things for sure, the smart phone war is getting pretty interesting, and Microsoft is falling further and further behind.


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Go Asus Go

Cool Tech

January 7, 2009 09:31 AM PST

Asus has been busy showing off some new products today. They are releasing two new versions of the EEPC configured as convertible tablets! Oh this is cool. They are also showing a PC integrated into a keyboard with a built in 5" touch display. It drives external monitors and might be a good alternative to a Mac Mini for some.

Hmm, a computer built INTO the keyboard. That takes me back.


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Macworld, One Last Comment

Apple

January 7, 2009 12:25 AM PST

I wasn't going to comment on this Macworld. I mean what is there to say? It is definitely in the running for worst keynote ever. But then I remembered this was the last one that Apple was going present at, so it is my last chance to make a comment on a Macworld keynote.

There was only really one announcement made that didn't invoke loud snoring, and even it wasn't a surprise. So I'm only going to comment on one of the announcements, one product, and even then only one feature of that product. I want to talk about...

The 17" Macbook Non-Removable Battery
Not the part about the fact that you can't replace it yourself, or that you can't carry a second one for long trips. Not even about the fact that without the battery door how are you going to upgrade the RAM or the HD like you can with the other Macbooks. Not about the 179.00 replacement cost. Or the fact that in typical Apple form they are telling you that a product's negative feature is actually a huge positive. No I mean the battery.

They are talking up the battery big. Since the rest of the 17" Macbook is old news by now I guess it's really all they have to talk about. An 8 hour battery in a 17" notebooks is impressive there is no doubt. I am pretty sensitive to marketing hype however, especially from Apple. Also I spent considerable time last summer researching and experimenting with the various high current, high capacity battery technologies, so I want to fill in a few gaps in what they are saying.

Here are a few quotes lifted from they keynote and the Apple site.

"A giant leap for batteries"
"revolutionary"
"breakthrough"
"advanced chemistry"
"innovative new charging method"
"radical step"

Continue reading "Macworld, One Last Comment"...

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