Category Archives: Web

RSS isn't dead yet

Just because Google reader got shutdown yesterday doesnt mean rss is dead with google reader. Rss isn’t dead yet. Read that linked article and you will definitely be better person who understands web truly.

Just to tease you

I think that the presence or absence of an RSS feed (whether I actually use it or not) is a good litmus test for how a service treats my data.

Google Admits WebM infringes h.264 Patents

Google Admits WebM infringes h.264 Patents

This might seem a harsh from Marco about google, but trust me it is just the truth.

Open” has very little to do with anything they do. What they’re really doing most of the time is trying to gain control of the web for themselves and their products. If they really cared about being so “open”, they’d open up a nontrivial part of their business that hasn’t already been commoditized, like their searching or advertising algorithms.

As usual, “open” is just lip service. And it works. It works damn well.

One can’t agree more with that statement.. They want to have the web under the control. Google created chromium (opensource), but how many of us get to use chromium as it is.The chromium site gives a download link to chrome and not the chromium, atleast for windows users its google chrome that they can get their hands on instantly and not chromium. So why is chromium so hard to download from the chromium site? Is there any stable build of chromium available? No.The reason is very simple, they want us to use the google branded version, so that they can keep tabs on the web and most importantly US. Why is Gmail still free? Why chrome OS, when there is open source linux? Why do they need to create Google+ rather than partner with Facebook for social search.

I can go on on ranting, but you get the point. Its very simple they want to own as much of the web as possible, keep everything under their control and they don’t care how they do it. They will do it by hook or crook. Well that stinks.

Google, Plus – My Thoughts

Yet another attempt by Google on breaking into the social networking domain after a failure with Orkut and Buzz. After almost 5 days using Google plus, I can say that this time they have managed to stand by the expectations people have on a company like Google. Plus one is indeed a plus one site to be on for now. Plus is  Facebook with a pinch of geeky Google. The key differentiators from Face Book being the following 1. Group people into a list/ circles and each circle is private from the other. i.e What you share with circle A(friends) is not visible with circle B(colleagues) until you explicitly say so. 2. You get to follow pretty much anybody who has a plus profile, which is cool. It saves time for popular people like Scobleizer, Guy Kawasaki, Vic Gundotra, etc. Eg:- All those who want to follow Scoble (In 6 days he already has 11k people following on Plus)  can’t friend him on Facebook, if they did his profile would go for a toss, and nothing on his wall would remain personal. So he needs to create a Facebook page and keep updating that for his followers, But here on Google plus its simple, They let everyone follow every one, and with a couple of clicks you decide who see what updates. This way it seems like a middle ground between Twitter and Facebook. 3. Sparks is a stream of links to articles/videos from Google search based on your interest. So you are always engaged with latest information of your interest. This seems more a filler now, till people start getting active. Since I don’t have a lot of updates flowing in real time, I also keep checking sparks of my interest to see if some new stuff has happened in my area of interest. This way they are keeping me on Plus for some more time before I get bored and move to check Facebook :). This might seem pretty simple and might not get an attraction that much, but it has a huge value to Google moving ahead. Imagine a couple of years down the lane when Plus has a couple of million users, at least a third of those people will drive traffic to websites from these sparks and it would give the edge back to Google from Facebook as the number 1 traffic generator. 4. Huddle is a mobile feature where people can send text to one another like chat messages, where group texting as well is possible. I haven’t been able to play around with this feature, given I am on an Iphone in India. The introductory video looks interesting none the less. 5. Video and voice chat called Hangouts for groups is the most compelling feature of Plus.. This is just crazy. Imagine a Video chat with 10 people for free. BTW I like the way it highlights the person who is talking is really cool. Most of my stream ( i.e equivalent to the News feed in FB) is with very little real time data, vastly due to the reason that the amount of active friends I have on FaceBook is way more than what I have now on Google Plus. What is best about Google Plus is the privacy seems to be implemented to perfection so far. The settings provide ample options for one to decide who see what of the data you share. The iPhone still doesn’t have a native app like android, but the web app on safari works perfect and is well implemented. The UI animations are cool and feels like you are on desktop rather than on the web b. Over all Google plus seems to be a bit geeky as of now at least thats how it look like with all the geeky guys getting invites.  Hope the geekiness won’t last really long else, it won’t help Google keep up in the social wars. So do I think it will beat Facebook and become the best social network. I don’t think so. It has a potential and it has a long way to go, and i don’t think Facebook will just  sit tight and watch.  We definitely will benefit with Google having a check on Facebook  and Vice versa. It will take ages for a lot of grandpa’s and Grandma’s to Sign-up to Plus and very hardly will they signup if at all, given they already are on Facebook. Its just a good beginning for Google So far, it all depends on how they pan out.  I just hope they allow all my friends to signup before i get bored looking at a stream that hardly flows.

Is Google search getting compromised

Over the past few weeks I have been wondering (not loudly until now) if Google’s  search results were getting manipulated. So much of trust on Google that I was convincing myself it was just my whim. Now it looks like a lot of experts & geeks  like Jeff Atwood, Anil Dash and Marco are echoing the same thoughts.   After reading these blogs its apparent that Google’s search is getting compromised considerably.

Duck-going-down--34412My majority of the searches are usually for some drivers or reference guides  about installation or troubleshooting some installation or about apple and their products. I can easily say that the driver downloads or the reference guides over the past few months were mostly to spam sites with useless downloads and only keywords. My luck for such searches with other search sites also are rarely useful  which leaves me sadly with Google. I believe at least I would find something in the fifth or sixth page.

Definitely it is Google’s overwhelming monopoly on search that is getting exploited. I am no geek here to explain how and why Google’s screwing up, please head over to the blogs linked to get a better idea of it. Vaguely Google’s algorithms are getting cheated by a lot of cheap SEO experts, and ultimately users like us end up looking at some hundreds of worthless ads with the same search words written over and over again.

I am still hopeful that Google would do something about this to fix it . From the comments on Jeff’s blog by Matt looks like Google is already aware about this and is working on improving search quality. Not sure how they are going to fix this, because they  themselves taught all these guy’s to fool around with their algorithms in the name of  SEO.  To me it seems like Google has to reinvent the wheel again, till then we need to shuffle our search engines often, after all that’s what I am doing right now.

Feedly-Why its way better than Google Reader

Google reader hasn’t been under much light these days, and I have to tell you, I just see the same screen day after day and it just feels so damn boring.  To cut down the boredom I tried the desktop client FeedDemon for quite some time before I got back to Feedly.  The last time when i tried Feedly 2 years back when i used Firefox with the extension. Feedly then was in its initial days with a very minimal features. Feedly was good but since i had just started using feed readers i was quite happy with Google Reader.  I’ve been using Feedly for some time now and this is what i think it’s good at.

For those who aren’t aware of what Feedly is. Briefly Feedly is a Feed reader addon (extension), which synchronizes with your Google reader to give you a better feed reading experience.

When compared with Google Reader, Feedly gives the feel of reading a Magazine, which is so much better than the Google Reader’s layout. When I mean Magazine, yeah it looks colorful with all those Images from your feeds with a gist of the post next to it. Besides that you get to view your posts in one of the many predefined page layouts like Latest or Popular or Quick glance to get a quick index of your feeds with unread counts.  Wanna look up something you read recently for a link, there’s the handy history section which allows you to see all the recent items you have read.

Feedly Page

Social Integration is the best part of Feedly. Besides Twitter and Facebook they do have quite a good number of Social sites like Tumblr, Posterous,Ping.fm, Evernote and Instapaper integrated right into it. That’s more than enough social integration for me personally. and the sharing is pretty seamless with out any hassles.

The other interesting feature is that your twitter time line is shown in a column on the right to keep you abreast with your social conversations. The cool part of the twitter integration is that the karma section throws a quick stat of the number of clicks or retweet’s of the articles you shared. Tracking a response of your tweets seems so much fun; probably this is what they mean by measuring influence using social media. The layout is precise that twitter is not distractive, and gives you the right balance between your feeds and the twitter streamline.

Feedly in all has put user experience as their priority and have worked on the features in a focused manner.  Feedly does all that Google reader does and a lot more, only in a better way. The only down side of Feedly is that it requires you to have a Google Reader account. Feedly so far is the best feed reader that i would recommend for everyday use. Check Feedly for yourself. Here are the links for the addons for the respective browsers FireFox, Chrome and Safari. There are mobile versions of Feedly for Iphone, Ipad and Android, check their home page from your phone for a download.  BTW Feedly for Safari is still in its initial stages, Not that there are issues, just thought you should know.

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