So, it's April Fools today, and as usual, Google has come up with some random stuff...
Street View...now in 3D!
There seems to be a couple of other April Fool hoaxes Google has provided this year
After having nearly forgotten about Google Wave, today, while talking to a friend we decided to give it a go for some brainstorming/collaboaration. To my surprise when I logged in to Wave, I was greeted with this popup
My first reaction was "Cool, they finally giving us the option to have email notifications.", but then I remembered how Buzz 'spammed' my inbox with all those random messages that I didn't care about, so in the end I just clicked on "No, thanks."
If you, like me clicked "No, thanks" but then changed your mind. The elusive "notification setting" is hidden under a menu which can be triggered when you hover over "Inbox" and click on the arrow icon that appears.
Interesting thing is I do remember that Google making a firm stand on keeping Google Wave and Gmail distinctively separate, guess that is no longer the case!
ps. Compared to when I last used Wave, it seems to have improved a fair bit. The inline commenting is win!
My answer: Google. Why? Because it's simple, loads quickly and most of the time gives me results that are relevant to what I want. Chances are a good majority of people will also answer Google. As far as I know people use 'Google' as a verb, while other search engines, eg. Yahoo, Bing do not get the same treatment.
To be honest, I just took the use of Google for granted and never really thought much about it until I went to Ignite Sydney last week. One of the awesome talks "Everything I know about you" by Michael Kordahi tested to see if our perceptions to the search results (he comapred Bing, Google, Yahoo) would be the same if the branding was removed. The results of preference (and the search terms people looked for) are indeed very interesting - definitely worth watching!
Interesting thing was after the night I went home and gave it a go myself. For simple/basic searches (which were essentially keyword searches) all three search engines were roughly the same for me - but in picking the preferred one I actually rarely picked Google! Though for more complex searches (eg. ones which I just typed in a question) Google was the clear winner. The other two were nowhere close.
Random footnote - I hear some of you may be asking, what is Ignite Sydney? No, it is not an event where pyromaniacs go and set fire to Sydney landmarks. Ignite Sydney is a series of presentations with one very simple idea behind every presentation:
Make the presenters stick to a rigid format of 20 slides, each of which changes automatically after 15 seconds, giving a guaranteed 5 minute presentation.
This means no death by powerpoint - yay! and generally very interesting, entertaining and well thought out presentations - double yay! If you don't live in Sydney then don't worry - there are Ignite events all around the world. Have a look here for the full list
This week has come and gone, and somehow I don't feel as productive as I would have wanted to be. Maybe it is the stinky hot weather or maybe the time just slipped away, but either way yet another week has passed by. Hopefully I'll be able to use my time more effectively this coming week. As for the the Week 47 musings...
Sunday, 15 November 2009
#319 - Two things: Fast decision making can be critical at times and people can sometimes think very irrationally...
I was standing at the train station today waiting for the train and looking at a group of three people who were just talking to each other. Suddenly one of them accidentally drops their phone (an old Nokia 3315), all three look down at the phone, then one of them stepped forward to pick the phone up. Except when he stepped forward he kicked the phone down onto the train tracks. Now all three were staring at the train tracks. At the same time the announcement overhead starts "The train arriving at platform three...", the group looks to their right and indeed a train is coming.
So what do they do? One of them is just standing there seemingly still deciding whether he should go and grab the phone or not; the other jumps down to grab the phone while the other is yelling "leave the phone!". Luckily the guy that jumped down to grab the phone jumped back up before the train passed - he had probably only 1 or 2 seconds to spare. The fast decision made by the guy that jumped down meant that he was able to get the phone and be safe (had he hesitated he would not have made it in time), but on the other hand, I feel that it was a rather silly decision to make - risk your life for a phone.
It is no secret that I rarely update my blog - so much in fact that I feel a bit guilty myself, and also I've had "complaints" from friends that my blog is dead. On Tuesday one of my friends challenged me to write a weekly post:
i challenge you to write a weekly entry to your blog on 7 new things you learned about this world, 1 new item for each day. not too difficult hey?
There was no reason I could think of to decline this challenge, so I have decided to take the challenge! Though I'm going to cheat a tiny little bit, instead of "7 new things I have learned" it will be things I have learnt, found interesting, would like to share. So here we go - my first weekly post and hopefully the first of many more to come!
Sunday, 25 October 2009
Thought of the day: www.example.com, www.example.org, www.example.net are reserved domains that are not available for registration!
In the past couple of months, I've written and done a fair bit of testing and as expected there are always going to be "dummy" email addresses, web-links etc. The most common being ones like: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.example.com. One random day I thought to myself "Hey, what if someone registered 'example.com' as their domain name, wouldn't they get a tonne of random traffic?"
Well, to my surprise, the domain names: www.example.com, www.example.net and www.example.org are actually all reserved and not available for registration. If you want to read all the details you can have a look at RFC 2606 (warning: I've found RFCs have the tendency to be sleep inducing).
ps. didn't quite discover this on Sunday, but discovered it relatively recently - and trying to remember something that happened on Sunday when it's Tuesday is surprisingly hard!
Few months ago I had a good look into Google Charts API and it was great! If you are not aware, Google Charts API basically allows you to create pretty graphs simply by using an URL with correct parameters specified. It is fairly flexible, with many things you can change and customise - which is where it becomes bit complicated. It is quite easy to generate a chart, but it wasn't as easy to generate the exact chart I needed. So below are 6 examples charts with explanations and tips that will hopefully help you understand Google Charts better.
A few notes before I start
- The data/labels for all the graphs here have no meaning at all - just examples that I have come up with.
- I'll explain each parameter probably only once (since they are generally the same across all graphs). If something is different or special I'll explain it again.
- If you have any other tips/hints please share
When Google Maps was released in early 2005 it was quite cool to be able to see a birds-eye view of various places (even if you could only zoom in so far). Since then, there has been many improvements - more view types, clearer pictures, closer zoom etc.
In mid 2007, a new view type: Street View was made available. I must say, it is quite cool - Street View allows you to actually see the street as if you were there at the place. This view was only available to a selection of cities in the USA and Australia (the 'birth' place of Google Maps) was left out...until today!
Yes, as of today (5th August 2008) there is Street View in Google Maps for pretty much all of Australia! At first I was quite excited, as I've had a look at Street View in USA before (1 Infinite Loop ) and thought "Wouldn't it be cool if this was in Australia?". Now that it is in Australia I must say it is cool, but definitely also scary! In my opinion, being able to see your own house on Google Maps and with the correct (or a very close) address feels scary!