… and although it’s a bit rough along the edges, today’s Chromium build for Ubuntu (184.108.40.206~svn20090710r20374-0ubuntu1~ucd1) has Flash support! Gotta love those ads all around the pages :)
Lately, two of the projects I wanted implemented badly and was thinking about implementing myself have been started by other people:
Let’s hope both produce something usable. And now I’m sort of relieved, since contributing to existing projects is simpler than starting new ones, especially with my limited knowledge on both subjects. Just like I’ve been shown by the second one, since I didn’t know about ELPA yet.
- Create this new what-are-my-friends-sharing feature, Robert Scoble is so fond of, stripping LiveJournal of one of their benefits en passant (Friends’ Feed). At this point Google and LiveJournal, as just about any social platform, are closed up silos.
- Open up Google Reader (and thus Google Account) for anyone with an e-mail address, not just @gmail.com, thus making all of my non-googlified friends willing to use Google Reader now appear in my reading list (one more point for Google as opposed to LiveJournal) and enable anyone not willing to get a Google account to get a blog at Blogger (there you are, LJ, you are actually obsolete now). Google would be halfway-open now, since anyone can use their services without opting in for a Google Account.
- Convert Google Account to a full-fledged single-identity account (technically very challenging). Et voilà!
By the way, it’s actually creating a social network “that sucks less”™, since you already have messaging and IM, and you get to choose your friends according to what they do and what they like, not according to what they look like. Could be really interesting if Google adds a small text under each Google Reader article: “Shared by XX people”. Oh well, we’d need comments too, but it’s a good start.
It seems an update for Google’s core, the search engine, is long overdue. Apart from tons of spam in it, Google also tries to be smarter than me, providing me with more useless search results. Ever tried searching for ubuntu islsm? islsm is a wireless driver. Apparently, Google doesn’t believe me I’m capable of writing my search terms correctly, so it silently corrects my search term to ubuntu islam. Yahoo is at least honest:
We have included ubuntu islam results - Show only ubuntu islsm
But, sadly, the best one in team is Live Search, which barely asks me, whether I’ve meant “ubuntu islam”.
That used to be Google’s default behaviour. It seems these glory times are over.
I’ve held my breath today, as I’ve read that some study at TU Graz has demanded for Google to be split up. It turns out, it’s all about Google “throwing privacy on the waste heap” and thus endangering the mankind, yadda yadda. This is however not something I’d have in mind when it comes to splitting up Google Inc.
It’s a rather known fact, that Google is the best place to work. The benefits are the best known in the industry and thus only the best engineers work there. However, in the recent months the situation has changed a bit. Google is still good, but apparently it lacks its startup atmosphere it used to have, otherwise it would be difficult to explain many Googlers leaving for Facebook. Google is big now, big enough to get trouble keeping up the innovation pace it once defined. Therefore, Google’s next challenge would be an economical one, not technical: they will have to decide how to split themselves up into small pieces each attractive enough for bright minds looking for a startup to join and still be a gigantic corporation with all the benefits and power. As far as I’m aware, no corporation has ever managed to do that. As you are getting big, every additional management layer adds marketing and development constraints, you can’t follow startups’ “when it’s done” principle anymore. Is it possible to expand without adding too many management layers ontop of your development teams? This is the question Google will have to answer sooner than later.
Just like many others I am a heavy RSS user and my preferred way of reading RSS is Google Reader, since I can use it almost anywhere don’t have to worry about missing something. However, there is one thing that bugged me for a long time, which I’ve actually fixed a minute ago and I just want to save it here for future reference.
The problem is that Firefox has a limitation on the number of pop-up windows/tabs produced by a single webpage. Apparently the extreme convienient “v” shortcut in Google Reader is considered a potentially unwished pop-up and so the counter gets incremented. Since I’m reading a lot of Reddit lately, I tend to scroll through the list of new articles opening the ones I’m interested in to a background tab with “v”. After some time, I suddenly get a message from Google Reader about my browser having prevented pop-ups from appearing. A simple search for “pop” in about:config revealed a limitation named dom.popup_maximum, which is by default set to 20. Setting it to -1 solved my problems and let me read a lot more stuff I shouldn’t really be interested in on a Saturday night…