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Google Labs Will Shut Down

31 Jul

Part of the culture for a long time at Google has been about trying new things and simply releasing new innovations for the masses. Many of the innovations that Google has produced like Google Reader and Google Goggles have sprouted from a small idea that had been showcased in Google Labs,  Google describes Labs as

An open playground to showcase new ideas and give feedback directly to the engineer

and as sad as it may sound  Google has plans of winding down Google Labs for a good reason they have many products on their plate already and Google thinks it would be benefitial if their efforts could be centered towards the products they have aldready launched, and although this is reasonable somewhere in the back of my mind as a developer I can’t help but know that I am going to miss Google Labs and how you could go there and find out of this world programs and plugins to use. I honestly think that after this move Google will never be the same but never the less Google will wind down operations at Google Labs and they quote

We’ll continue to push speed and innovation—the driving forces behind Google Labs—across all our products

They continue to  state that they dont have any plans to change in-product experimentation channels like Gmails Labs or Maps Labs and they feel as they should continue experimenting with products they have aldready launched and I think this would benefit Google products as well due to past evenets where user experimentation has helped improve products such as Gmail.

It is also important to note that Android applications in the Google Labs testing phase will continue to be available in the Android Market.

Winding down Google Labs  I feel is a logical step for Google but I really in my heart hope that one day when Google has straightened out all of it’s products I really hope that they will bring back Google Labs because I strongly believe that the culture of Google will never be the same without Labs.

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Twit Cottage Out – Twit Brick House In!

28 Jul

For those who are not aware Twit has resided in the TWIT Cottage for almost 7 year and finally after huge growth Twit has moved into the new Twit Brick House and I have to say I am going to miss the old cottage but that said I am ready for a new era of epic from Twit.  In the video above you can experience the excitement as Twit makes the switch from old to new!

The Ultimate Plan for Microsoft

28 Jul

Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Skydrive, Hotmail, Live Messenger the list can go on forever, welcome to the Ultimate Plan for Microsoft a document that covers exactly what Microsoft needs to do if they want to succeed. The point I want to prove before I continue with this document is that Microsoft has already created products that are great useful and work well with all hardware types the only problem with these products is the implementation and this goes with all Microsoft products, in honesty as a company Microsoft is all over the place! More than anything else I hope for this document to be an organization chart of how all the ideas should be implemented to create a seamless network of gadgets that work with each other in harmony.

 

I want to start of by addressing that Microsoft should continue with their hardware development model, let companies keep producing gadgets the way they think they should develop their products because each company addresses their own community and with different hardware companies can create and innovate for various markets and on a global scale make people happy with the different choices on the contrary I think it would be beneficial for Microsoft to lock down software as for this plan to work they need to be in total control of the software.

 

I am going to being tackling the Microsoft mess by clearing out everything except for the operating systems, by this I mean Microsoft’s Windows 8, Windows Phone OS and the Windows Tablet OS assuming by their latest conference that they will be entering the market of tablets with a OS resembling the qualities of Windows Phone OS.  I want to bring Skydrive into the equation for a second, Skydrive for those of you that don’t is a cloud storage network that Microsoft a few years back released and in favor of the public audience was a big flop. Let’s start of by making Skydrive strictly only Windows compatible, next let’s move around some functionality and by this I mean if you were a user of Windows Skydrive you will know that there was the ability to create document’s online in a GUI that was similar to Microsoft’s Word, then lets add functionality to create Microsoft Powerpoints as well as Excel spreadsheets and Publisher documents and bringing in the other applications  that comes in the Microsoft Office package this enables us to create a powerful cloud platform, now let’s add the functionality of being able to sync this document to all Live ID authorized computers that are registered under you and now we are able to successfully create and edit documents while keeping all computers up to date. Currently Microsoft provides 25gb of free store that is all great and although cloud computing is becoming a closer reality the more practical use for Skydrive should be the functionality of being able to keep media files, documents, applications all up to date between the laptop, tablet and phone. When everything is synced in harmony using the devices is just that much greater of an experience. This is in a sesnse how I would like the networking between the devices work.

 

Next I want to cover the software and the application store, right now to download an application you will have to navigate to a website and download then run the executable file. That to this date isn’t a good or bad way of doing things and currently the selection is also limited on the windows phone OS application store. That’s why I propose to create a ubicoudous application store on both Windows computer OS and Windows Mobile OS, maybe something along the lines of the Live Store, this can be a centralized place to keep all the applications, music, videos and offer the content for an inexpensive price and it’s sure to be success. Also creating the “Live Store” ubicioudous on all devices will keep things simple and to perhaps login you have to use your hotmail ID, which can create additional incentive to signing up for the email service in the process of creating exposure for the app store. I have also decided that it would be in the user experience’s best intrest to use Skydrive as a way of syncing the apps automatically with out Windows Phone device logged in under your Hotmail id and then also sync the apps to the computer for “safe keeping”. This will add to the process of creating the smooth and synchronized experience that we want to achieve.

 

The next thing that I want to work on is the actual operating systems. I think it would be in the users best interest to keep Windows 8 similar to Windows 7 because the way I look at it computers are meant to complete work and with the current layout of Windows 8 for professionals many wont appreciate it for obvious reasons, although taking the home screen in Windows 8 can still be preserved by creating it as a dashboard or etc. because to take a quick look at your information the Windows 8 layout can be great for keeping as a dashboard. Although Windows 8 may not be great on the computer it certainly is good news for mobile platforms like the tablet and phone on which the Windows 8 layout is already implemented, if it hasn’t already I also think that there should be full customization options to change the arrangement of the icons, color of text and background image setting because if these setting are presented in a user friendly way there is a good chance that mainstream users will take advantage of this and use it in order to make the phone more personal.  On the tablet I recommend keeping the same layout as it would be on the Windows Phone with only addition that some of the applications become more useful with the extra screen relastate that the tablet gives them. I also recommend creating simple application development platforms and offer additional incentives such as great coding programs and easy tutorials to follow and when you have developers on you will be well of. I am not sure if I also made this clear but I will know, there should be an application store on the desktop operating system as well in order to aggregate applications into one program and it will also be a great way for users to discover new applications and take even more use of the operating system. As I have been mentioning all along I recommend using Skydrive feature that I outlined to connect the Windows Desktop OS to the Windows Phone OS to the Windows Tablet OS in order to create a connected experience in between the devices.

 

Now that we have tackled the big issues I think it’s time that we tackle some of the details. The first one being there should be better media creation and consumption applications, currently Windows Movie Maker is basic but does not even give the video maker any free room, its in words too basic. There should be more functionality more creative control, moving around text, I also recomend creating more photography editing apps perhaps just create more that Microsoft Office will bring more users to Windows because one of the main reasons people dont use Windows is because there is extremely limited Media creation programs and burning that need out is the trick to getting users attracted to Windows again. Essentially windows should continue creating programs except they should have productive funtionality but still maintaing it’s core simple user experience.

 

In essence with this document I have covered the need for cloud connectivity between devices as well how the operating systems should implemented with an application store to agriagte applications into one source. I have also presented ways of taking use of the Live ID and I have addressed the need for more pro-sumer applications. Hopefully this will help clear the mess that Microsoft has made and from then on you can continue to release updates and innovate on already launched ideas. This organization plan I know will put Microsoft back in the path of success competing with fellow competitors, creating and innovating the tech market. This could have not been previously achieved because of the mess but now that things are clear you have a path of innovation ahead of you which can help you succeed and make some certain shareholders as well as avid Microsoft users happy.

Empire Avenue: Equity Based Purchases

28 Jul

Empire Avenue for those who aren’t familiar is a social networking game where based on your online interaction on social networks you are given a score. This score can then over time increase or decrease depending on your social interaction similar to concept of a stock market interface that is the basis of Empire Avenue itself. Recently, I ventured extensively into some more areas of Empire Avenue to see if there are any new techniques I can use. Eventually I made a discovery and after doing a little bit of thinking I figured out how to make equity based purchases that can both increase your share price and help you create a brick and mortar foundation in the case that your “stock portfolio” drops in value.

To start the explanation log into your account at Empire Avenue and navigate to (http://www.empireavenue.com/profile/money/). Then, look for the grey box that states your current bank balance.

You will see that I have highlighted the Net Wealth row. Net Wealth is the combined value of your assets. In the case of Empire Avenue your assets are the people you have invested in or your “Portfolio Wealth” and the Luxury Items you bought from the in-game shop. You will notice that these two categories totaled makes your net wealth. What I am trying to prove is that the amount you have invested in people can any drop drastically similar to the stock market and if you don’t own any “Luxury Items” your luxury wealth will be zero and your Net Wealth will have to completely rely on your portfolio. This means that any drastic changes you make on your portfolio can affect your stock price and your overall dividend return. That is why the shop is such an important aspect of the game because without owning Luxury Items you have no equity and thus your Luxury Wealth is nothing. Buying from the shop can increase your Luxury Wealth and create a brick and mortar foundation in the case that your portfolio drastically drops in value.

The folks at Empire Avenue having already realized this added a cool little bonus when you buy a luxury item! When you own an item every day your item increases in value and little by little it increases your Net Wealth as well so even if you can’t buy stocks or luxury items regularly every day your Net Wealth increases by a little bit. That’s an awesome bonus  because you’re raising your wealth for free.

The higher the value of the item the higher your Net Wealth increase is. You will also find that items in the shop that you buy with real money give you an extremely high Net Wealth increase and they give you actual Weekly Earnings that you can actually spend. A good example of the benefits in paid items would be the castle.

Owning equity plays a big part in the game of Empire Avenue and obviously the people who developed the game made it a core element. Whenever you can, I strongly recommend buying Luxury Items from the in-game shop to balance out your portfolio and to grow your Net Wealth. I hope this article has given the Empire Avenue in-game shop more importance because of right now many consider it a novelty when in truth it can drastically change the tables of the game.

iCloud: Why it’s free and thoughts

28 Jul

Recently Apple held their WWDC 2011 in San Fransisco and they managed to astound the audience with iCloud, IOS 5 and other miscellaneous annoucments. But in the end the big annoucment was iCloud Apple’s cloud networking service that was clearly aimed directly at it’s competitors and to a certain extent claimed the cloud networking market. But here’s the thing about iCloud it’s not exactly like it’s competitors, it basically more like a unanimous syncing system a prime example would be that if you had an iPad and a Macbook your on your flight you type something on your iPad in the Pages app what iCloud will do is download the document and then sync it with the other devices that can read the text and as changes are being  made to the document it constantly downloaded and updates the newest versions automatically so the newest versions are ready when your are going to access the document. This all happens in the background in an instant and the way it works is quite “awesome” and as this translate’s over to the music syncing and the photo’s and iCal it’s just what we’ve been waiting for and to close it of it’s all FREE.  Which is extremly again “awesome” although for the .me email service you can pay extra to get additional storage for your .me email account but that’s besides the point it’s still all free iCloud and the 5gb for email. But your probably wondering it’s great to hear that it is free but Apple a company known for compartively expensive products, it’s just highly unorthodox for a service to be of no charge and although this may be true this is extremly intelligent marketing on Apple’s part the reason why it’s free is because Apple want iCloud to be your number one impulse and reason for buying the iDevices and Mac’s. The created the service so it works seamlessly between ownly Apple software so when PC user’s see such a seamless interface it’s gives enough reason to buy a Mac an iPad and an iPhone so that you can have a unanimous experience between all the devices and when you offer it for free there’s no reason you shouldn’t switch to the Mac platform whhen everything works seamlesly and enexpensively where are PC cloud services are all over the place done in a unorthodox fashion and in some cases not enegineered too great. After long thinking I am willing to put my word on it that when Apple is off with iCloud, IOS 5 and OSX Lion Apple will see a spike in sales without a doubt and with careful marketing plus engineering Apple is guaranteed to again dominate another industry of godly particles. Cloud. You can find out more about iCloud at www.iCloud.com.