Information, Internet & Technology

About what's been happening in the Internet.. some cool websites, tech news, high-tech stuff, new web technologies will be introduced here, keep urself up with me

Information, Internet & Technology: November 2006

Friday, November 24, 2006

Boo hoo! Boo maybe back in year 2007?

Still remember It was quite a buzz in Europe in 1999. I have no good memory, I was a bit too late and didn't manage to catch up and have a feel on how website was. I only happened to find out when a friend of mine passed me a book titled "Boo Hoo". I guess this book is now still chucked in my old bookshelf at home.

Well, just to refresh my memory, Boo was a website starting with a buzz and received lots of press in Europe of wanting to sell branded sportwear online before it collapsed. Boo was even equiped with online simulated figure, which allows buyers to add on sportwear items, such as shirt, shoes pants to the figure for a try and feel! This was really a very new idea at that time, I would consider it's almost one of the hot web 2.0 features of today, i.e animated figure on the web, but unfortunately, Boo financially could NOT sustain through the expenses on technology, such as bandwidth and software development, which was really expensive during its time and finally it collapsed. It almost burnt through $120 millions for its six months of operation! If you now take a look of the, it's got no content but only the homepage, but with a message telling that a new website on Boo is coming soon in 2006 but 2006 is almost ending soon. According to a post on Techcrunch, Boo maybe back in year 2007, lets keep an eye on what Boo will offer us in year 2007!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A summary of Web 2.0 , the new Internet standard

What is the development of the Internet, it's really a virtual space that keeps on expanding. According to a Netcraft's survey there are more than 100 millions of websites out there and still on counting.... Well, if you are hooked up and keep yourself following up with some tech news, there have been a lots of talks about web 2.0 , i.e the current hot issue, so-called a standard of the web.

When the time Yahoo and Lycos were in dominance of the web, it was the era of web 1.0. But now, it belongs to web 2.0, with the dominance of Google, and other newly upcoming web 2.0 websites, such as Flickr, YouTube, Multiply etc (Although some of these have been acquired by Yahoo! or Google or MSN etc).

Web 2.0, put it in short is the web standard having more emphasize on the users or the benefits to the users. Users will get thier own spaces, greater usability and sharing features on the web! The spaces here refer to blogging space, tagging (another way of bookmarking, categorizing web content in your own way), general storage spaces for videos, audios, documents (word processor doc, spreadsheet etc.).

Here is a summary of spaces,sharing features and greater web usability that you can have over the Internet !

The famous term that comes from "web log", which you can write your journal or diary on a web space, such as this blog. There are lots of free service providers out there, such as this blog, live space on MSN, besides you can easily get the famous ones such as this BlogSpot space by Google or LiveJournal.

The above are service providers that allow you to have your "nick" as a sub-domain under thier domain, e.g . Other than that you wanna pay a little bit of money or if you are a techchies, and you know setting up of a web space, which you can get WordPress, which is free and host your own blog with your own preferred domain name.
Video/Audio/Picture spaces The web even now is getting into "multimedia-loaded", i.e full of pictures, audio and videos. Even for users now you can quite a hand-full of service providers out there for you to create your multimedia contents such as YouTube, Multiply, Vox

General documents spaces Here are the spaces where you can create,store and share your general documents such as word, spreadsheet. The companies that are on the race for providing such a kind of services are Writely (which is now Google docs/spreadsheet), Zoho (ZohoWriter, ZohoSheet & ZohoShow for word processor, spreadsheet and presentation such as powerpoint), BoxNet (Online file storage for all sorts of files such as documents & multimedia contents) and others such as EditGrid, IRows are in the spreadsheet categories

What about tagging? Tagging is by means of adding any website URL to a common space by associating the URL with tags that you like! It's like a common bookmark space, which you can add your own "word" for the tag or category and you can also share it to your friends and family. Most web portal nowadays come with tagging feature, which you will see a big tag cloud, that comes with words in different font sizes, more popular tags having bigger font size! The most popular common tagging space is, a very special domain name with the word delicious, basically it's a .US domain name. Some other portals such as blogger's search and ping services like Technorati, classifieds spaces also provide tag clouds!

Greater Usability
Other than spaces & sharing features, web 2.0 also puts emphasize on better usability of web interface i.e enhancing usability and friendliness, this is where AJAX web comes in, the hot term for Asynchronous JavaScript And XML among the web developers/programmers.

What about this term "AJAX", what can it do ? It's a programming term, the final effect to the web, it brings greater usability of a website. In short, AJAX is the technique adopted for building websites that minimize "post back".

If you have been a web surfer for quite some time, you would have noticed that navigating thru a website require many mouse clicks and the web pages will need to be sent to and fro the web server. Especially when filling up a form when signing up for an account on a web portal, once you have fully entered all your particulars and ready to submit it, after the submission, the page will come back giving you some errors, possibly claiming that a duplicated username or email, you will need then to change the email/username and submit again. What would happen if there is another error, e.g you forgot keying in your password? There would be another post-back! This normally gives some frustration to the users, which they will claim the Internet is so slow! As the web pages will need to travel to fro back to the web server which is far away, e.g you are accessing a website in US!

The use of AJAX in developing web will minimize "post back". In short AJAX is a web technique by means of using JavaScript and XML, which verification such as above-mentioned process can be done without "post back", i.e the user will be prompted on the spot once there is a duplication of email or username before they submit the form (The mechanism behind is the web page uses AJAX to send back data to the web server "quietly" for verification and prompt the user if there is a duplication). Besides , AJAX is great , of course with some combination of programming technique such as DHTML (Dynamic HTML). The above-mentioned spreadsheet or docs creator, such as Zoho, EditGrid are done using AJAX+DHTML or flash for better usability, which will be as good as your normal Windows desktop apps! A similar post is here

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New Ipod Shuffle, smallest digital music player, will be out tomorrow !

What is the size of the smallest version of Apple's Ipod Shuffle ? It's only 1.62-inches long, just about the size of a matchbox ! The smallest digital music player by Apple, it's gonna be out in the market tomorrow (3rd/Nov/06). But this little matchbox-sized music player can hold up to 240 songs. The down side is it does NOT have a display to show what it's playing! I guess it will take another couple more years or earlier for computer chips to get even much tinier, then a matchbox-sized music player will also have a nice LCD display on it ?

This new version of Shuffle is around half the size of the original that was introduced in January, last year (2005). It weighs 14 grams only, includes 1-gigabyte of storage, has a built-in clip for portability, with the battery that can last for around 12 hours! Vice president of Apple, Greg Joswiak claims that this Shuffle is the most wearable because of its ultra compact design and built-in clip.

Some other features of the small Shuffle are, you can have continous mix of favorite songs, have songs playing in random order or simply flip a switch to listen to songs in a particular order. The small Shuffle can be connected to a Mac or PC with included dock and iTunes' AutoFill feature that automatically syncs the correct number of songs from a user's music library.

Meanwhile, it is priced at USD$79, comes with earbud phones (But according to this blog here, the first batch that has already reached the hands of those who hurried to order it, the earbud is the old type, which is NOT the new improved earbuds presented by Steve Job on 12th/Sept
! Interesting!) and a dock, and will go on sale tomorrow, 3rd/Nov, through Apple retail stores, the online Apple Store, and Apple Authorized Resellers