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The way we watch TV

pic by ~tomeqq

The time to update my blog is always few.. Anyway, this time I want to talk about TVs..

Everytime we want to watch a tv show, a movie or just want to see “what’s on”, we are used to sit on our sofa and turn on the TV.. But the way we are doing that is going to change in the next future.. Maybe we’ll do the same gestures but the way programs will reach our screen will undergo some serious changes.

Let’s talk about the TV as we know it today.. The programs we watch are usually provided by the major broadcasting organisations such as the world famous BBC, or SKY, Mediaset and RAI in Italy.. They are usually aired via antenna, cable or sat and we watch them on a classic Tv. They can be free and transmitted thanks to the money granted by advertising, or we have to pay a subscription in order to enjoy them.

Quite any of this services provides a large variety of channels but we are obliged to follow the palimpsest decided by the supplying company, without the chance to decide what we want to see apart from the possibility to scroll through the many channels..

And what about when there’s nothing we like?…

Well.. this is where the future TV comes in.. Internet TV.

Internet tv is infact one of the hottest topic between the giants of  technology.. For exemple It’s since a while that Apple is interested in this kind of entertainment by giving the opportunity to rent movies or buy Tv shows online via their iTunes store, and now, as most of us already know, that even google is interested in providing a WebTv service that will be called googletv besides the well known “home made videos and not only” site:  youtube. Apple also has its own device the appleTv that is useful to download or view videos directly with the tv which could be renewed soon and named iTV.

So what are the strong point of the Internet TV?

  • First of all it’s surely the customization. You watch what you want to watch, not what they want you to watch. (nice tongue-twister =) )..
  • Targeted advertising. We will see ads that responds to our tastes not only crap we are not interested in.

The hardest thing to control are prices that don’t have to be too high but they have to satify the content suppliers too. Probably the best solution is an annual or monthly fare with unlimited downloads. Apple is already working with producers for this and probably even Google too..

Future is next, and the challenges that the incoming companies and the old-style one will face are many. I think that BBC & co. will have to review their strategy very soon, because internet Tv will take a very big slice of their market.

Google adds backgrounds to Home Page

It seems that Mountain View is getting the best from the rivalry with Microsoft Bing and from this morning on my Italian Home Page, I can see a very very high quality picture as a backgrund instead of the old white and clean abitual background.

It is also possible to choose your favourite picture from a bunch, or to use your photos from Picasa or directly from your Computer… Google also give you some advices about the best pictures for you… That’s a nice restyling!

Drag and Drop your image in GMail

This is a flash news… And it seems to be available only for Google Chrome at the moment, but from now it is possible to drag and drop your image into your e-mails body, and after that GMail gives you the opportunity to resize it in a simple way.

That’s nice… Thanks Google…

Google’s restyling

After 12 years Google’s home page gets a great restyling. As you can see, there are more brilliant colors than before, and a smooth look for the components of the web page.

Now, there are the left area of the search results page, that enable you to control and filter the results on what you are really looking for.

In my opinion the switch between the results’ category is more faster than before and it is a good step forward for Mountain View, they need to answer at the competition of Microsoft Bing and Yahoo and this is a good first step in the right direction. Well done!

Google Docs new Upload Feature..

Google has finally introduced a file hosting feature that many of us was expecting.. You can upload any kind of file you want and share it with anybody.

Just simply click on the “Documents” tab on the upper bar of google home page and you will be immediately notified of the new uploading feature..

File size is limited to 250MB and the amount of space at your disposal is 1 GB but you can uprade to bigger storage limited by paying..
These are the prices
20 GB ($5.00 USD per year)
80 GB ($20.00 USD per year)
200 GB ($50.00 USD per year) includes free Eye-Fi card
400 GB ($100.00 USD per year) includes free Eye-Fi card
1 TB ($256.00 USD per year) includes free Eye-Fi card

Google launches Google Public DNS

Google has lauched a new service: a new public DNS resolver.

The Google Public DNS IP addresses are as follows:
8.8.8.8
8.8.4.4

This will make you web pages to load faster, which is a very good news for these days of highly structured HTML web pages full of multimedia contents and any kind of flash widget.

I”m testing it and it seems that it really brings some improvements and speed to the browsing.

In my humble opinion this is very useful for google wave that is still very heavy and slow..

Here is an extract of the google code blog post announcing this service

  • Speed: Resolver-side cache misses are one of the primary contributors to sluggish DNS responses. Clever caching techniques can help increase the speed of these responses. Google Public DNS implements prefetching: before the TTL on a record expires, we refresh the record continuously, asychronously and independently of user requests for a large number of popular domains. This allows Google Public DNS to serve many DNS requests in the round trip time it takes a packet to travel to our servers and back.
  • Security: DNS is vulnerable to spoofing attacks that can poison the cache of a nameserver and can route all its users to a malicious website. Until new protocols like DNSSEC get widely adopted, resolvers need to take additional measures to keep their caches secure. Google Public DNS makes it more difficult for attackers to spoof valid responses by randomizing the case of query names and including additional data in its DNS messages.
  • Validity: Google Public DNS complies with the DNS standards and gives the user the exact response his or her computer expects without performing any blocking, filtering, or redirection that may hamper a user’s browsing experience.

And here there’s a nice guide to setup your system in order to gain the advantages offered by this service.