Applications and Services For Which I Am Still Thankful

It’s been an exciting and interesting year to be a web worker. We’ve come to rely more on services like Twitter, there has been huge buzz about Google Wave (s goog), and there are certainly no shortages of new applications being released each and every day.

Around this time last year I wrote “5 Applications and Services For Which I Am Thankful,” which was a tribute to the cream of the crop that I had chosen as my daily go-to products. With another year gone, I thought it would be interesting to revisit that list of products (at the time, I picked Gmail, BatchBook, BlogDesk, Toodledo and Google Calendar) to see what may have changed. Read More about Applications and Services For Which I Am Still Thankful

Notable: A Fun, Easy and Effective Way to Improve Web Designs

For some teams, the iterative design process has gotten out of control. Instead of focusing on how to make a product or service better, the process has turned into an approval monster. ZURB hopes to change that with Notable, a web-based app that allows teams to give direct feedback to each other. “Notable was created to solve the feedback problem in companies,” says Dmitry Dragilev, ZURB’s marketing lead. Dragilev says the company created this application to fight the philosophy of getting approval and a move toward helping teams make something better.
The tool allows everyone to provide feedback and stay in the loop with a design’s progress, as well as archiving the design’s history. You can control who can see and leave feedback on each captured design. For example, a project manager could share one page with the copywriter, another with the whole team and yet another with the developers. The feedback occurs multiple ways, instead of one-way. Read More about Notable: A Fun, Easy and Effective Way to Improve Web Designs

Cloud FUD Goes Mainstream, But It’s Still Misguided

Cloud computing has taken a lot of hits lately, not all of which are deserved, and some of which are just flat-out misguided. The latest accusation — that cloud computing stifles software innovation — came at a grand scale via a New York Times column by Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain. Although provocative, Zittrain’s piece overlooks some important distinctions, by equating web applications with cloud computing and individual platforms with the entirety of the Web.

Today in Cloud

News of Apple’s plans for a $1 billion data center to bolster its web applications coincides with Om’s GigaOM post about the exponential growth of Twitter and the infrastructure investments that accompany that growth. Both of these situations help explain why the won’t likely consist of a few large public clouds used by everybody, as some have proposed. Popular web sites have too much traffic to run on anything but a custom-built infrastructure, and the number of insanely popular sites keeps growing. Would you trust a cloud provider to meet its SLA for your app if that same infrastructure also had to handle Twitter’s 32.1 million-and-growing unique visitors per month, and maybe the load of another similarly popular site? Or vice versa?

Asus to debut 10-inch EEE PC next week- is this too big?

480_asus_eeepc1001whiteAsus will be announcing the EEE PC 1000 next week at CompuTex in Taiwan with the biggest screen yet, 10 inches.  This leads me to wonder how big is too big where these ultra-cheap laptops are concerned?  Why should this matter?  Well it’s not the size that’s the concern with me it’s the price.  The bigger the screen the more expensive to produce which translates into a higher street price.  This could be a factor as I believe that what catapulted the original EEE PC into the forefront was not the small size but the small price.  The portability was icing on the cake but what got everyone’s attention was the very low price.  Since that original EEE PC we’ve seen models that grow and grow along with the price tag.

I look at the notebook market today and you can get a pretty decent laptop for around $600 in the US.  Sure it won’t be tiny, but neither will the hardware components.  So if price is the major factor in the ultra-cheap notebook arena, and I believe it is, then these new (and bigger) ultra-cheap notebooks are entering the price range of the much better outfitted laptop.  Why buy a big EEE PC or equivalent for $600+ when you can get a Core 2 Duo 15.4-inch laptop from a major vendor with tons of memory and and an optical drive inside?  If size is not a big factor, and the bigger these little notebooks get the less a factor it will be, then go for the power.  That’s my take on it anyway.

(Mostly) Free Resources for the Web Worker Who Works on the Web

By Chris Poteet

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Everyone, especially computer people, love lists of resources. I do as well, and I decided it’s time to share many of the resources that have helped me in my career. All of these resources (except for the print books) are either freeware, open source, or the application offers a free version.
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“Hello, I’m a Bill Gates”

bill gates The Joy of Tech brings us yet another great commentary on the world that surrounds us. And by ‘us’, I of course mean computer geeks. And by computer geeks, I mean those of us who follow the silliness that has abounded lately with the release of Vista and the subsequent media blitz that Bill Gates has been on to plug the ‘next generation’ operating system. Good stuff as always, from Joy of Tech.

Via DaringFireball

East versus West

Wall Street Journal has an interesting round-up of political moves, rants and raves on the subject of outsourcing. It is not surprising all the noise coming from Washington DC, given that is an election year. On that same note, here in India, election fever is in full swing. Outsourcing related troubles in the faraway USA don’t make much news here, and whatever news that there is normally buried on the inside pages of the newspapers. It is interesting to see how two sets of politicians are dealing with an issue that is changing lives – some for better, some for worse.