Has Google inspired a game changer or another yawn?

Recently Google has introduced several new applications from Android to the Chrome Browser. I’ve watched, and in some cases, tested these technologies with varying degrees of success and satisfaction. While I use Chrome occasionally on an old Thinkpad I have in my office, I’m miffed that Google has yet to provide a Mac version…though I’m not truly in love with the browser anyway. My team have also developed web applications using GWT. Overall, they found it cumbersome and buggy. They’ve since switched to Yahoo’s YUI because it’s easier and more lightweight.

Now Google is introducing the Chrome OS primarily for netbooks. It will be available later this year. I must admit that my curiosity is piqued. While they are primarily targeting people who spend a lot of time on the web (who doesn’t nowadays?), I’m particularly interested in their OS’s UI as it sits on top of Linux. Is Google going to provide the affordable Windows killer desktop and start taking its share of the Windows space? Aside from the Mac, others such as Ubuntu (which has a great desktop IMHO) have failed to make significant corporate inroads.

Personally, I’m hoping that Google strikes gold here. One thing I loathe about Microsoft’s dominance is not Microsoft, but all the other software vendors who write their applications exclusively for Microsoft OS’s or worse, only IE. When vendors do this, they are in effect saying to organizations like mine who run multiple desktop OS environments and browsers that they don’t want our business.

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Great Open Source Article on Slashdot

If you haven’t seen this article on Slashdot, you should read it: Stanford Teaching MBAs How To Fight Open Source. Maybe B schools should spend more time teaching their MBA’s how to embrace open source software instead of proprietary software?

My favorite quote: “Glad to see that $48,921 that Stanford MBAs pay being put to good use. Having said that, such research is perhaps a great, market-driven indication that open source is having a serious effect on proprietary technology vendors”.

From 101 Geeky Things to Do With Your PC: Number 11

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m a computer geek. Not only that but I also hold a ham radio license. My callsign is KG4ZNV. Recently I downloaded a program developed by Simon Brown, HB9DRV called Ham Radio Deluxe. Using this program, I can control my Yaesu FT-817. For the uninitiated, the FT-817 is handy little portable radio that covers 160m – 70cm bands.

Anyway, while playing with the software I found out that it could be used to remotely connect to the radio via the Internet. The geek that I am, I decided to try it out. All it took was connecting the radio to my webserver’s serial port, loading a copy of Ham Radio Deluxe, and setting some configuration parameters for security and ports and I was in business. The only problem, I needed a way to stream the audio back and forth between the computers.

No biggie really. My webserver is set up with Darwin, Flash Communication Server, and JMF. I started to use one of those options to create a live streaming setup. And then, I came across a simpler solution: Skype. I set up a Skype client on my server with an auto answer option. I also set up a Skype client on my laptop. Using a mic adapter from Heil, I was able to connect the microphone to the line out jack on my webserver and connected the speaker to my webserver’s mic jack. Now, I can use Ham Radio Deluxe on my laptop and Skype to connect to my ham shack when I’m away from the house…ok I confess…I also use it when I’m elsewhere in the house via a wireless network.

Geeky huh…

Open Source RSS aggregation Classes

A few months ago my team was approached by our president to develop a website that would serve as a aggregation for employee blogs. While working on this project, I came across Informa…a set of open source Java objects for aggregating RSS feeds. I used their classes to develop the prototype. My team, working with our web designers, did a much better job developing the full site which should be live soon.

If you’re looking for a decent set of Java tools for RSS aggregation , you should take a serious look at the Informa site.

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