Five Years of Firefox
Published by Toronto Mike on November 9, 2009 @ 11:57 in Technology
The Mozilla folks are celebrating Five Years of Firefox. As they say over there, "that's a long time on the Internet, so let's celebrate five years of working together to make the Web better for everyone".
Firefox became my default browser in June 2004 when it was version 0.9. It remains my default browser today.
My Thoughts on Google Wave: It's Complicated
Published by Toronto Mike on November 4, 2009 @ 20:23 in Technology
I've been beta testing Google Wave for about a month now, and... well... it's complicated.
I want to love Google Wave, because it's a bloody seductive premise, but it's just not intuitive enough for mass appeal. I'm one of those bleeding edge guys when it comes to web apps and I have a very hard time wrapping my feeble brain around Google Wave's advantage. I can't tell you how many folks I've been waving with who just throw up their arms and exclaim "I don't get it!". It's so hard to figure out, and life is so short...
And chatting via Wave is dangerous. Unlike every other IM that sends your message when you press "Enter", Wave sends each character over in real-time. Typos, mistakes and awkward pauses while you check your thesaurus or Wikipedia are fully exposed. It makes you not want to chat. How's that for improved communication?
Wave is supposed to be email were email invented today. It's very ambitious, but possibly too smart for its own good. Besides, Google has already re-invented email for the better. It's called Gmail.
More Invitations to Google Wave
Published by Toronto Mike on October 29, 2009 @ 18:16 in Technology
Google just gave me a bunch more invitations to Google Wave
Last time I had invitations, I gave them all out to people who requested one in the comments. I'm happy to do that again.
If you want to use Google Wave, leave a comment and I'll hook you up.
I Already Search Twitter on Google (And You Can Too)
Published by Toronto Mike on October 22, 2009 @ 11:16 in Technology, Twitter
There's big news from Google that they've reached an agreement with Twitter to include their updates in Google's search results.
We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months. That way, the next time you search for something that can be aided by a real-time observation, say, snow conditions at your favorite ski resort, you'll find tweets from other users who are there and sharing the latest and greatest information.
As I mentioned in April, my buddy wrote a great Firefox Greasemonkey script that puts real-time Twitter search results in Google. You can download it here.
Here's what I see when I google Toronto Blog.
What Browser Do You Use and Why?
Published by Toronto Mike on October 20, 2009 @ 09:00 in Technology
Judging from the comments and email I've received in response to my declaration that I actually like thestar.com's redesign, it seems a bunch of you have issues loading the site in Internet Explorer.
Below are visitors to this site over the past 30 days, broken out by web browser. As you'll see, about half of you are using Internet Explorer. That's less than the global average, but I suspect there's a correlation between those who use Firefox, Safari and Chrome and those who frequent blogs.
I have three web browsers installed on the laptop I'm writing this entry on. IE, Google Chrome and Firefox. I find Chrome to be super fast, but my go-to browser remains Firefox because I rely so heavily on the add-ons. I only use IE, and I use it via a Firefox add-on, when I absolutely have to.
What web browser do you use and why?
Now I Get Google Wave...
Published by Toronto Mike on October 16, 2009 @ 19:34 in Technology
I've had a few days with Google Wave and it's not the most intuitive tool. It's actually pretty complex.
To be honest, I'm still trying to wrap my feeble brain around the possiblities. The key to Google Wave's success is going to be widespread adoption, as its true power is best felt via mass collaboration.
As I struggle to break it in without many friends or colleagues using it, I'm grateful for this video that does an exceptional job of demonstrating Google Waves true potential.
If you liked this video, you may also like:
Free SaaS I Use Daily
Published by Toronto Mike on October 15, 2009 @ 15:09 in Technology
It's a busy Thursday, but I've got a couple of minutes so I'm going to tell you about a few web-based services I use on a daily basis. All of these can be used for free.
I'm going to skip services like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Linked In and stick with more SaaS-type services.
I manage several websites, and track metrics for each of them. Google opened up GA to the public in the summer of 2006 and now I'm wondering how I ever survived without it. I used to pay actual money for sites that did a worse job than GA and GA is complete free.
If you manage web sites, or even a single site, you've got to implement GA.
Flickr is the only site I pay for that is strictly for personal use. I host all my photos on Flickr, and even a bunch of videos. Flickr is free but you're limited, so power users will want to get the pro version. It's worth it.
On Twitter, I use shortened URLs, due to the 140 character tweet limit. bit.ly enables me to track click-thrus via Twitter. I can see which tweets get the most traction and which go viral. Conversely, you learn pretty quickly which tweets nobody gives a shit about.
Instant messaging is the new email. Haven't you heard? I use meebo.com to do all my instant messaging in the browser. You simultaneously login to Yahoo!, Gchat, MSN, Facebook and more.
My Invitation to Google Wave
Published by Toronto Mike on October 13, 2009 @ 09:29 in Technology
Google sent me my invitation to preview Google Wave. Wave is Google's shot at what email would look like today if it hadn't been invented yet.
Here's Stephanie and Greg explaining the features of Google Wave.
Google Wave looks cool and all, but it's a bit boring if you have no contacts. I need some Google Wave contacts.
If you're using Google Wave, let me know.
My Rogers Phone Doesn't Work in an Elevator
Published by Toronto Mike on October 8, 2009 @ 14:29 in Technology
For the past couple of years I've seen that Rogers ad where the guy is able to continue a conversation on his cell while riding the elevator. The one schlub's call gets dropped while the cool guy keeps talking... You know the ad.
I have a Blackberry with service from Rogers and my calls don't survive elevator rides. Those Rogers ads are big fat lies.
Making Peace with the W3C in the YouTube Age
Published by Toronto Mike on September 26, 2009 @ 09:52 in Technology
Years ago, in the pre-YouTube era, I was pretty stubborn with my HTML and CSS. It simply had to validate with the W3C or I wouldn't publish it. Here's an entry I wrote exactly six years ago today.
I'm proud to declare that all pages within MikeBoon.com conform to the W3C XHTML 1.0 standard. That means these web pages are now full-fledged XML documents, which can be validated using any XML parser. Go ahead and click that XHTML 1.0 logo to the left and see for yourself.
The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) used for MikeBoon.com have also been validated by the W3C's CSS2 standard. You're welcome to click that CSS logo to the left for proof. Impressed?
In a previous blog entry (see August 25, 2003 / 16:03 EST), I ranted and raved about my attempts to validate my HTML 4.01 code for MikeBoon.com. HTML 4.01 was the standard before XHTML 1.0. The future, it seems, is XML and since XHTML is XML-based, and ultimately designed to work in conjunction with XML-based user agents, it was really the only way to go as I saw it. I promise future blog entries will be slightly less boring.
That was then, this is now. Although I still hand-code my XHTML and CSS, and I always do my best to write well-formed, valid code that would make the W3C proud, I no longer care if I validate. That's because I know I can't validate and blog in the YouTube age.
Every time I embed a video from YouTube, I'm simply copying down their code. Their code is totally invalid. There are several errors:
- reference to entity "fs" for which no system identifier could be generated
- reference to entity "feature" for which no system identifier could be generated
- reference to entity "hl" for which no system identifier could be generated
- reference to entity "color1" for which no system identifier could be generated
- reference to entity "color2" for which no system identifier could be generated
- general entity "feature" not defined and no default entity
- many, many more
There are also several warnings. The W3C rejects YouTube's embed code as invalid, but the browsers don't seem to care. If it displays properly and works, does it really matter if it validates?
The answer, I've decided, is no. It no longer matters if your XHTML and CSS validates with the W3C because, at the end of the day, you're the only person who gives a shit.
I've made my peace with the W3C in this YouTube age. I'm invalid, and that's okay.