MySpace announced on Tuesday that it would join the Google-led alliance intended to make it easier for web developers to create features that work across a wide variety of social networks.
Facebook enjoyed an enormous spike in popularity after it opened its platform to any developer who wanted to design an application for it. The limitation of Facebook applications is that they can only be used on the Facebook platform. The "Google OpenSocial" applications would be able to be used across different platforms.
I like to see a fight against blind adherence to proprietary applications and softwares that can lead to information monopolies. I just think it's ironic that in this case it's coming from Google.
Google, which apparently has lost out to Microsoft in a bid to secure an investment in Facebook, has just announced plans to develop an open system allowing internet developers to create applications across websites-- a move that could challenge the features of the ever-popular social networking site, Facebook...
Google Docs was first mentioned to me by a colleague as a low-tech possibility for some of the features available in a wiki.
In the end, I decided to go the wiki route for group editing projects, but I have continued to use Google Docs for personal use. Mostly, I use it for the same reason that I admired the improvements in Google Desktop-- It makes a great workspace for people who use more than one computer.
Say, you started working on something at work and you wanted to finish it at home. Instead of sending it to yourself as an email, etc., you can upload it to Google Docs. Google Docs allows you to preserve formatting, and lets you save documents as word documents, spreadsheets, powerpoint slideshows, etc. A nice feature is the revisions tab that allows you to track changes. Only you have access to the documents that you've uploaded, unless you decide to share them with someone else.
It does make me pause, the idea of using different Google services to work with different aspects of practically all of the information that comes past my fingertips, but I can't help it. They make it so easy.
NB: Only approved software is allowed to be installed on your FAO computer
Unfortunately, we don't have permission to install Google Desktop search on FAO computers, but they have added such great new features that I felt the service deserved a blog posting anyway.
I have had Google Desktop installed on my home computer for a year or so. It indexes all the files on your computer and it searches them much faster and much more efficiently than the built-in Microsoft search utility. About a week ago, they upgraded the look and feel of it. It now integrates your desktop with RSS feeds for items such as news, weather, and frequently visited sites.
The best improvement to this service is the possibility to simultaneously search all files on every computer where you have installed Google desktop. For example, if you were theoretically able to install the service on your work computer, you could execute a search from your office and find files that you had accessed the night before from your computer at home.
Google Desktop searches Word files, Excel files, emails, and your web browsing history.
A list of FAO approved non-standard software can be found here.
Google has added a new dimension of imagery to its maps.
For New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver and Miami, you can now click the "Street View" option.
Do I find this useful? Yes, and no. The idea is a great one, but in practice, I find it a bit clunky. It's not easy to position the street level icon precisely on the street that you want to display. And it's a bit awkward to move back and forth along the street from within an image. But it is possible.
Have a look at this blog entry for more issues concerning privacy, etc.