Google Video, iGoogle and other products closing for good

As part of its continued pursuit of “focus” Google is shutting down five more products. That includes Google Video, iGoogle, Google Mini, Google Talk Chatback and its Symbian Search App, the company announced in a blog post Tuesday afternoon.

Adobe Partners With Gigya to Bring Flash Apps to the Social Web

adobeAdobe (s adbe) partnered with Gigya, a social widget maker, to offer a new service that lets advertisers and developers easily share their Flash-based applications across social, mobile and desktop platforms. The service, available today and called Flash Platform Services for Distribution, will enable developers to track and monetize their applications. As a result of the partnership, developers can add a button to their application and share it across 70 social networks and web destinations, including Facebook, MySpace (s nws) and iGoogle.
However, Adobe is tardy in its effort to offer this capability, as companies like Clearspring already tout widgets and applications in Flash.  Plus, Facebook opened up its API to developers in 2007, so the rush of developers looking to build apps on the social network has dried up over the years. Read More about Adobe Partners With Gigya to Bring Flash Apps to the Social Web

iGoogle Finally Goes Social

igoogle_highresGoogle (s goog) today released a host of new gadgets and an “Update” feature to its customizable home page offering, iGoogle, in the U.S. that mirror many of the functions on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, such as the ability to share story links on status updates, play multiplayer games and comment on photos and videos. The additions were made in response to users’ demands for more features that allow them to connect with their friends, according to Google’s VP of search products and user experience, Marissa Mayer, further evidence of how social networking features are becoming standard fare. Read More about iGoogle Finally Goes Social

Top 10 Web Tools for Election ’08

Election Day is just around the corner. So in order to help you get informed about the candidates, the issues, the numbers and the process, we’ve pulled together a list of the top 10 election-related tools on the web. Enjoy — and get out there and vote! [digg=http://digg.com/tech_news/Top_10_Web_Tools_for_Election_08]

  1. Refresh your memory as to what the candidates have said in their speeches. Add election-related gadgets to your site, like Google’s series of electoral map and video mashups that link to clips of major candidates’ speeches and track where and when they spoke.
  2. Check out the latest polling data on your iPhone. Polling trend site Pollster.com, published by National Journal columnist and Democratic pollster Mark Blumenthal, and contrarian news, politics and culture web mag Slate.com, have linked up to create this handy app, Slate Poll Tracker.
  3. Get a closer look at polling data and electoral projections. The breakout success of election-related sites this electoral season, fivethirtyeight.com is run by two guys who’ve said they’re voting for Obama but that the site is about poll data, not partisanship.
  4. Read More about Top 10 Web Tools for Election ’08

Periscope Puts Basecamp Control in Your iGoogle Page

Periscope Gadget

Project Management and Collaboration applications are one of the staples of the typical web worker. And while we’ve covered our share of alternatives, the ubiquitous Basecamp is the one that I seem to run into most often.

With a healthy userbase and a robust API, it’s no surprise that a number of useful add-ons have been created to make our Basecamp lives just that much easier. One such add-on I’ve been testing lately is Periscope by Ten Seven, Interactive.

Read More about Periscope Puts Basecamp Control in Your iGoogle Page

Google opens iGoogle Theme Directory

Dressing up your iGoogle just got easier with Google’s launch of a theme directory where you people can submit, rate and select new theme’s for their personalized search portal.
For the first time anyone can create and submit a theme for iGoogle – so long as it “compelling, polished, tested design that conforms to the guidelines given in the program policy.” (Don’t mess with the Google logo).
Read More about Google opens iGoogle Theme Directory

MacBook Pro all backed up with Buffalo 500 GB HDD

Buffalo_500gbI am a firm believer in keeping my devices backed up and have been saved by that practice more times than I care to admit.  When I picked up the MacBook Pro I had visions of keeping it backed up with my 160GB Seagate external USB drive but it turned out to not be compatible with the Mac OS.  I have been looking for a reasonably priced solution and found it at one of my favorite online retailers, B&H Photo in New York.  What I picked up was the Buffalo 500GB external HDD with both USB 2.0 and FireWire connectivity.  I wanted FireWire so I can use it as a boot drive with the MBP in the event something happens to the internal HDD.  The drive was reasonably priced at $195 and it arrived this week.

The drive is a speedy 7200 rpm and setup took all of 5 minutes.  The drive was formatted FAT32 to allow usage with both Mac and Windows PCs but I quickly used the Disk Utility to format it to Mac Extended for that boot capability.  I downloaded a free trial version of SuperDuper!, a simple backup program for the Mac.  The free version is full featured, just missing the ability to schedule a backup.  Buying the $28 version adds that feature so that’s what I did.  Backups are very fast with this drive and I now have peace of mind that I’m covered in the event of a disaster.  A couple of years ago I would never have imagined I would have a hard drive in my office with half a terrabyte of storage.  🙂