Archive for July, 2009

I bet multiple times I go off-track to my usual core techie stuff and as a proof here is one such post ;). These weekends specifically considering my interest in project management I started on search for some great posts on project management and agile project management blogs and to my surprise it was great to find the oDesk blog which has pulled together a list of the top 25 Project Management blogs (here) right in one place. The list did have multiple stuff I visited usually, but more than half I had never read before, so a very good source which I thought to share in my blog..

As I was reviewing one such blog I just came across HRworld “The Top 100 Management and Leadership Blogs That All Managers Should Bookmark” (here) and I bet all of you this is as worthy as it gets, excellent info on various domains (yup, including Tech stuff, I would never miss that part) and management skills it’s really a treat to just pick one randomly and go through it..

Hope you folks enjoy as much as I did… 🙂

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YouTube XL

YouTube XL

Bored of Boxee and Hulu Desktop now experience some TV-like viewing experience from YouTube XL that lets you sit back and enjoy Web videos from the couch rather than your computer chair and yes for free. YouTube XL brings the YouTube experience into the living room. Like Boxee and Hulu Desktop, the service provides a free, TV-like viewing experience that lets you sit back and enjoy Web videos from the couch rather than your computer chair. What you get out of YouTube XL depends on your hardware setup and the type of content you prefer. HD videos look fantastic, for example, but finding watching full-length shows can be a pain. YouTube XL delivers what it promises—but that’s not saying very much..

Unlike its two competitors, YouTube XL isn’t a separate downloadable application; it’s a Web interface optimized for the TV screen. Also intended for use with modern game consoles (like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) and Web-enabled TVs rather than your computer. For XL, YouTube opted for a big and blocky interface rather than a sleek, modern design. The controls are simplified and stripped of community features like comment threads. Site navigation is broken up into spotlight, top rated, most-viewed videos, and so on.

The search feature in YouTube XL doesn’t have an on-screen keyboard, something you’ll find in both Hulu Desktop and Boxee. (If you’re using a PS3 or Xbox, this isn’t a problem as the game console provides an on-screen keypad.) Plus, searching for full-length content rarely produced reliable results. For instance, you can easily watch old episodes of Alf after looking it up in YouTube’s Shows section, but searching for it on YouTube XL returned pages of clips instead of full-length episodes.

The service also doesn’t let you browse channels or subscriptions—two big omissions that would have added a ton of value to YouTube XL. There are some ways to work around these limitations, however. By clicking the Info button when watching a video, then clicking the screen name of the user who uploaded it, you can see all of that user’s videos. To find and watch full-length shows, search for them in the Shows section on the YouTube site and mark them as your favorites; then they’ll display in XL.
YouTube XL doesn’t match up to Hulu Desktop or Boxee, but it’s not trying to—its beauty lies in its ease of use, not its extra features. There’s nothing to download or install, and you don’t have to plug your computer into your TV. Just visit youtube.com/xl and you’re good to go.

Know Youtube 😉

Website: youtube.com
Location: San Bruno, California, United States
Founded: September 11, 2005
Acquired: October 9, 2006 by Google for $1.65B in Cash

YouTube was founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal.

Late Tuesday night, the Google Blog officially announced that the Google Chrome OS was a reality and would appear on netbooks some time later next year. So it seems now is the time where a lightweight contender with enough focus, and enough driving force could succeed in tipping the balance finally from desktop to web.

Google chrome OS

Google chrome OS

If you remember the very first Micrsoft WPF demos, they showed desktop applications which were email-able, inherently connected. At the time I considered these islands in the cloud, whether that was the future of apps, indeed it seemed silly to have to start an OS, to start a web browser, to start an app. Why not cut out the middle man (as does AIR). But this big old web-browser kept on being too useful, too good at connecting the dots, so it lingers. When you turn it into the OS, that doesn’t cut out the middle man, it cuts out the old guy that was behind him. Indeed most people don’t even know what the browser is/was.

Google Chrome OS is nothing new, from the Pogo of the 90’s, to linux netbooks of this decade, to the Crunchpad of next, we’ve seen these light-weight alternatives come and go, but this is a war of attrition, and it’s the users that are the grains of sand wearing down at the walls of the Fat Operating System, not the technology.

The announcement contained a thesis statement that is a bit more significant than it might appear at first: “It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.” That statement has both strategic and practical implications, which we’ll consider in turn.

From a strategic perspective, “what operating systems should be” clearly involves a heavy dose of Google-driven Web apps, from e-mail to spreadsheets. The entire OS will be focused on getting users into a Web browser as quickly as possible; any other applications will be secondary and probably not provided by Google. Instead, once the browser launches, users can do their computing via online applications, saving their data in the cloud

Google views this as computing nirvana for users, saying, “[Users] want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files.”

But there are still a variety of applications that simply can’t be replicated within a browser, and consumers have had a mixed reaction to Google’s own apps, embracing Gmail but finding its presentation software to be severely limited compared to its desktop app counterparts. But the Chrome OS will be appearing first on netbooks, which can’t handle some of the more heavyweight desktop applications in the first place. And the new offering has the potential to drive users to rely on Google’s online offerings, which certainly would further the company’s goals.

Google expects this to be a a full fledged open source operating system built from the ground up. Its focus will be on speed, security and simplicity much like the Google Chrome web browser and Android OS.

I believe Google as a rich tech basket in themself the have a diverse portfolio of technologies to pick from. Their experience with Flash in Google Analytics and YouTube, HTML and JavaScript in applications such as Google Mail (primarily created using Java that outputs the HTML/JS), their open 3D plugin O3D, their Google Gears for offline storage of data, and of course HTML5 with JavaScript which is perhaps where we’ll see them lean should it reach sufficient fruition in the 2010’s.

Google says that they are working on making netbooks running Google Chrome OS for availability sometime in 2010 with the help OEM like HP, Dell, Acer etc… Your move Apple and Microsoft.

Let’s talk bit out of tech and let see some fresh sources of Internet humor. These Websites is full of clever blogs and funny sites, including many that collect amusing gags from users and find comedy in real life.

Click away from the cats and replenish your list of favorite bookmarks with these 8 new or lesser-known humor sites:

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Awkward Family Photos

Snapping the perfect family photo creates stress for anyone involved. Should we go casual and wear blue jeans with polo shirts on a beach or be a bit crazy, wear matching outfits and — wait for it — lean toward the camera? Ah, choices. This user-powered blog highlights the most well, awkward, family photos submitted by its contributors. Just don’t show this to your mom for portrait suggestions.

My Life is Average

Breaking news: Your life is most likely mundane and not glamorous or melodramatic like “Gossip Girl.” Thankfully, someone has finally created a Web site for average people to commiserate about their average-ness. For a taste, here is a recent posting: “Today, I ate a “Fun Size” Snickers bar. I think that the regular size is more fun. MLIA (My life is average).”

My Parents Joined Facebook

Logging on to Facebook, one is bombarded these days with pointless quizzes, embarrassing photos and a friend request from … Mom? The inevitable has happened — your parents are on Facebook. Using submissions from users, this site highlights just what a foreign place Facebook is to parents. If you think associating with them in person is uncomfortable, this blog highlights the awkwardness that comes when your mom takes a “What porn star are you?” quiz.

Garfield Minus Garfield

Someone has found a way to make the Garfield cat comic strip funny: edit out Garfield. The author, who recently released a book of these comic strips, digitally edits out Garfield for a less-than-flattering portrayal of Garfield’s owner, Jon Arbuckle. Without his lasagna-loving cat, he looks like a lonely man who talks to himself — and whose life resembles that of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” Remember, if you are having a bad day, it could be worse — you could be Jon.

Historical Tweets

Who needs high school when history can be explained in 140 characters? Did you know the origin of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech? @martinlkjr tweets: “Bought a sleep journal. I keep having dreams but forget to write them down.”

Someecards

These electronic greeting cards offer wry commentary on everything from birthdays to topical events such as swine flu and the death of Michael Jackson. A recent Father’s Day card said, “You’re the best father I can imagine unless you lost my inheritance in the economic meltdown in which case I can imagine better.”

Graph Jam

The task of illustrating a depressing point, like a company’s plunging profits, always lands on the poor graph. But no one said the lowly graph always has to be bleak — or boring. This Web site displays the best user-submitted graphs on a variety of oddball topics, from the percentage of people who dislike Michael Jackson to things people want to do in New Jersey (No. 1 option: Leave). Although GraphJam has been around for awhile, it remains one of the cleverest sites on the Internet.

This is Why You’re Fat

Feeling regretful about those French fries you had with lunch? Here is a site that makes those greasy treats look healthy. Witness the chicken finger bacon pizza, which is drenched in Thousand Island dressing and baked to golden perfection, or the Pattie LaBurger, a triple-bacon cheeseburger that uses deep-fried burger patties as buns. If you dare to eat any of these, make sure you have a cardiologist on speed dial.