Tag Archive | Google

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.

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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!

Antitrust and iAd

It’s not any news that the new advertising system designed by Apple, iAd,  is going to be under the attention of the Federal antitrust commission as reported by the Wall Street Journal. You probably already heard about this.

In my humble opinion there’s no reason why they should fear the entrance of a big company like Apple in the advertising market. It’s ok that they control that everything is done legally and without any secret agreement with Google (as you know the Google’s CEO was in the Apple’s board of directors), but I don’t understand why every time a big company wants to expand its affairs, quite everyone accuse it of antitrust problems.

Prices to enter in the iAd program are the most expensive in its sector (there are also a lot of arguments about this topic). Only big companies with a lot of advertising budget can afford it and that’s the Apple’s target!! they want to do a lot of extra revenues from the iPhone and iPad and they have created the way: iAd. It’s expensive? It doesn’t mind! because they know that surely there’s someone out there that is available to invest a lot of money in it. They know very well their potential and the diffusion power of their devices, and a big firm ready to invest lots of their resources to do some marketing policy knows that as well.

The other smaller companies are cut off from the iAd service, but for the moment they do not concern Apple. If they want to advertise there are many other ways, or they could simply continue to do like they have done until now, like applying to any other advertising service, as the Google/Admob one.  Jobs has been very clear on this point.

So by now there should not be any fear that Apple could  seize the market.

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

The end of Flash?

I hope.. 🙂

I’m not teasing.. Adobe flash is one of that things that have changed our way of surfing the web.. You can see a flash animation in quite every site, every video you see on youtube for example is thank to Flash..

So what’s the problem? Flash is becoming always more powerful, but this power must be taken from somewhere, and that place is your CPU and your ram.. The result is that every time you watch a video or do something “Flash addicted”, your machine will become very slow (unless you have a very powervful machine obviously).. Without speaking about the other huge amount of problems that Flash causes.

Until now I and many others were using a nice plug-in for Safari that blocked every Flash animation until you decide you want to see them with just one click, and coverted quite every video on youtube in h264 which uses a lot less CPU with the same quality (sometimes even better) of a video watched with flash player.

But today it comes a real revolution..Thanks to the Google support, Youtube has finally become HTLM5 enabled, so if you are using a browser that runs on web kit and/or support html5 you can go on youtube at this URL www.youtube.com/html5 and gain the advantage of no more using flash on the most popular videos site.

I really hope that HTML5 will become a real substitute of Flash. Maybe Adobe will understand that they should develop better their application from the lightness point of view and not only focus on pure power.

A personal thought..

Apple decided to go without Flash on iPhone.. Maybe they already thought about the future and didn’t waste time and money on developing something that won’t be used anymore? Who knows..



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.

Google always more similar to bing..

It’s since yesterday that google.com is testing a new home page with a more modern look than the actual old school one, and even a new result page.

This one is very similar to the result page you can find on bing.. with a new column on the left for applying filters to your searchs.

It seems that google it’s beginning to feel the competition from bing, and they are trying to take some ideas from their rival.

Here are some screens..

keyboardr

an interesting search engine based on google with a very minimal interface and an instant search feature while you type..

http://keyboardr.com/

Google adds Push service

Finally google has added the push notigfication to their gMail service..

I haven’t tried it yet cause I’m still on 2.2.1 for problems with the battery on 3.x but I’ve read around that it still needs some refinements cause it’s a little slow..

Hope that the big G will create a great service..