When will Google release an OS?

Its 2009, and the OS war still readily continues, Microsoft still have control, but for how long? I’ve been around computers for over 2 decades, and it’s become pretty clear over the years that Microsoft products are popular mainly because of the existing hook Microsoft have on the market. With MS, its all about marketing from this point on.  Microsoft generally do NOT provide us with the best solutions for the task.

Its proven that Linux is far superior to Windows. Oracle is more advanced than SQL. SharePoint is perhaps the least friendly collaboration tool. Windows Live search is just a joke compared to Google. MSN Messenger does not come close to comparing with Skype. The list continues. In Microsofts defense, Microsoft Office and Visual Studio are good solid applications. With the exception of the Office Automation APIs which are COM based, outdated and full of bugs.

In 2009, as much as I support the efforts of all Linux developers, and really enjoy using the OS, it seems that Linux is just not getting the support it needs to become mainstream. What Linux really needs is more backing from the important players in this game. Skype, Adobe, the Gaming industry and Google to name a few. This is not going to happen until one or more of these players can find a way to loosen the grip MS have on consumers.

The best way I can describe this situation is : Imagine for a minute that you’re dating a partner that makes you unhappy, in order to be with someone who makes you happy, you first need to drop the dead wood. Microsoft is this bad partner, that is indeed hindering the future of computing and future possibilities.

Is Google our new hope? Possibly! You have to admit that there is nothing inferior about any product Google have released. The company is alive with ideas that are mainly beneficial to us. What I really admire about Google is the quality of their work. Google, more than any company are in the position to know what end users really want, what true business needs we’re demanding.

Googles latest ambition is to replace conventional email, I believe they will succeed. MS will once again be forced into the position of playing catch up. Google Wave will become the next standard in communication. Wave does far more than replace the nature of email, it will also revamp the way web applications communicate with each other. You can see where this is heading right? Essentially we have the building blocks for an operating system.

If Google had to produce an operating system, I can assure you, it would far exceed anything we’ve ever seen before. It would be a smart, purpose driven operating system. I would imagine, lean, reliable and efficient. Would this be enough to break the MS Stronghold? Possibly!

Why do large corporates get involved with Microsoft if  it’s not the most cost effective or ideal solution? Microsoft have provided MOSS to be the heart of information sharing within an organisation, a product that’s so complex, outdated, and lacking that its crying out to be replaced. Imagine if these corporates could tap into the vast power of Googles information indexing, search and collaboration? Imagine how all round producivity would increase? Imagine bridging VPN access without costly solutions? I can assure you this would be a good day for IT in general if Google were to take some control of the situation. Imagine from an IT service point of view, a user never loosing another document? Imagine never loosing another email? Imagine Operating Systems so specific to the task that it would be impossible to accidently download a virus or crash the OS. This is the future, and Google I believe will make all of this a reality. I expect within the next 10 years the face of IT will change, but it will not change quick enough, so long as Microsoft still have the stronghold on the products we use, and still manage to lock themselves into the pockets of large corporates in every way shape or form.

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When do you think Microsoft will realise we’re not using Internet Explorer?

This post is for those of us with MSDN subscriptions. For those of you reading this who don’t, an MSDN subscription enables developers to download almost any Microsoft business related product (it costs a small fortune). You can also get access to a number of product keys, some even retail, depending on your subscription type.

Whats been annoying me, is that you can only download these applications if you’re using Internet Explorer. This is because the MSDN site uses Active-X for some unknown and mysterious reason.

Microsoft are sloooooooooooooooooow. Slow to understand the following concepts.

1. Most people involved in web development despise Internet Explorer. There are many reasons for this. For starters thanks to Microsoft hijacking internet standards and IE not abiding by W3C standards, developers have been forced for years to write differant versions of HTML and JS code. IE over the years has been a slap in the face to the W3C. IE poses a considerable security risk on any computer that uses it. Everyone knows IE, even the latest version is subseptible to drive-by viri. Because IE also comes with the OS, it gets preference for business use, because IT policies are too paranoid to install more than 1 web client. The point is, once a developer is used to using another browser, everytime he needs to visit a Microsoft site that only supports IE, its hard not to Loathe Microsoft and IE.

2. The Web was designed to be browser independant. The MSDN website at the end of the day is mainly used to download product keys and large binary files. The presentation of this web application can be as simple or as complicated as you want it. Its great they’ve Ajaxified it, but I can’t imagine why they would make use of Active-X. If they didn’t offer downloads via an Active-X based download manager the whole thing would work in most browsers. For some reason Microsoft always seem to f*** things up in some way or another. Which leads me to my next point.

3. We don’t want Active-X. Not now, not ever, not at all. Its a technology we want to forget about as soon as possible. HTML 5 is up and coming. The future of the web is not Active-X.

Lastly I use Chrome, next in line would be Firefox, then Opera, If for what ever reason all these browsers died, I would use Safari. And if every last browser under the sun died as well, I would then be forced to consider IE, and I would still despise it all the way.

Any comments welcome!

Google Chrome steps up to new levels

Finally Google Chrome has matured, its now stable and faster than ever. Currently in version 2.0.172.28, you can expect far better reliability with this version.

You can read up on some of the new features here: http://www.online-tech-tips.com/google-softwaretips/google-chrome-2-review-features/

Not sure why Google have opted for manual updates, maybe because products like Safari bombard you with updates? If you are running older versions, click on the tool icon menu, then click About. You’ll find the update option there.

Facebook block ahead of Iran vote hampers youth

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s decision to block access to Facebook — less than three weeks before nationwide elections — drew sharp criticism Sunday from a reformist opposition hoping to mobilize the youth voteand unseat President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The decision, critics said, forces Iranians to rely on state-run media and other government sources ahead of the June 12 election.

It also appeared to be a direct strike at the youth vote that could pose challenges to Ahmadinejad’s re-election bid.

More than half of Iran’s population was born after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and young voters make up a huge bloc — which helped former reformist President Mohammad Khatami to back-to-back victories in 1997 and 2001 but failed to rally strongly behind Ahmadinejad’s opponent, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, four years ago.

Young voters are now strongly courted by the main reformist candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, as the possible swing factor.

“Every single media outlet that is seen as competition for Ahmadinejad is at risk of being closed,” said Shahab Tabatabaei, a top aide for Mousavi, the leading reformist candidate. “Placing limits on the competition is the top priority of the government.”

Tabatabaei said the Facebook block was “a swift reaction” to a major pro-Mousavi rally Saturday in a Tehran sports stadium that included an appearance by Khatami and many young people waving green banners and scarves — the symbolic color of the Mousavi campaign.

Iranian authorities often block specific Web sites and blogs considered critical of the Islamic regime, but critics of the latest decision said the loss of Facebook — and possibly other Web sites popular with reformists — means Iranians must rely on the government for information.

“Facebook is one of the only independent sources that the Iranian youth could use to communicate,” said Mohammed Ali Abtahi, a former vice president and now adviser to another pro-reform candidate, MahdiKarroubi, a former parliament speaker.

During the last presidential race in 2005, information about rallies and campaign updates were sent by text message. In recent years, political blogs by Iranians in the country and abroad have grown sharply. Newcomers such as Twitter also are gaining in popularity.

Iranian officials did not comment on the reported block, but Facebook criticized the decision.

“We are disappointed to learn of reports that users in Iran may not have access to Facebook, especially at a time when voters are turning to the Internet as a source of information about election candidates and their positions,” Elizabeth Linder, a spokeswoman for Facebook, said in an e-mailed statement following questions from The Associated Press.

“It is always a shame when a country’s cultural and political concerns lead to limits being placed on the opportunity for sharing and expression that the Internet provides,” she wrote.

Linder said the company generally does not give out details on the number of users in a given country, and could not say how many members Facebook has in Iran.

I won’t be using Twitter

That’s right, you heard me, not today, not tomorrow… not ever! 

The world is full of different types of people, I am the type of person that cringes when ever someone happens to mention the T word.

How often should you update your Twitter status.

  •  Leaving for work
  • Arrived at work
  • working
  • craping
  • eating
  • craping
  • sleeping

If anyone has the time to document their lives like that, they should think of getting a diary, at least perhaps your grandchildren might appeachiate your memoirs, do you really think your Twitter logs will somehow suffice? 

I guess the reason why I hate Twitter so much is because its corny. I mean really corny. Its like getting passed artificial orange juice, when what you really asked for was an ice cold beer. The users of it, I would imagine are the same types of people who still take pride in screen savers, the same types who pass around chain mails and junk mails, and who think the greatest app ever created was Microsoft Powerpoint. 

Don’t you just hate getting asked, have you tried Twitter. Answer: No, and I aint going to, ever!

South African Internet has a long way to go

Typically when one thinks of South African business, the word “monopoly” comes to mind. This is because pretty much everything in SA is monopolised, this includes ISPs and mobile telecom companies. 

I could go into a lot of detail here, but what this essentially means is that large corporate companies in SA dictate the market. The price of SA Internet is amongst the most expensive in the world, and the reliability of the services offered pretty much stinks. To make matters worse, almost all South African Internet packages are capped. Some as low as 1GB, to a South African 20GB a month is a generous helping. 

Here are some calculations to help put things in perspective. Here is a quick comparison between Czech Republic and South African Internet. 

CZ – UPC 10Mbps connection – no cap, monthly fee = R250.00 (500 crowns), no phone line needed for this service, it’s cable. 

Now lets compare this to SAs Leading ISP:

South Africa, MWEB 4Mbps connection – 4GB cap, monthly fee = R847 (this includes phone line rental) , after cap is reached each 1mb will cost 25c. 

Czech Max Download 1 month = 3214.08 GBs or 3.2TB cost = R250

South African Max Download 1 month = 1270.08 GBs or 1.27TB cost = R316500.00

That means you could buy a new luxury car every month or travel around the world 3 or 4 times every month for the price of that internet connection, now so slow, no longer offerred in most cities in Europe.