Astute and dedicated bloggers were all over this yesterday, but it bears repeating – IE 7 beta is now available for public consumption. But wait! Before you look at IE7 and audibly declare “Cool! Tabbed browsing!!!”, save yourself from looking like a technological has been: most of its cool new features have been available for years in other browsers like Firefox and Safari. If you want to truly be on the bleeding edge, get a browser that keeps you there. If you want to truly be on the bleeding edge, get a browser that keeps you there.
New York Times just posted an excellent review/editorial of IE 7 (beta):
ABOUT 85 percent of the Internet population uses the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser to surf the Web, even though it’s relatively ancient, crusty with neglect and about as secure as a screen door. [...] Those consumers aren’t actually choosing Internet Explorer; [...] [t]hey just use what came on their Windows computers. Thanks to this built-in following, Microsoft hasn’t felt much need to keep Internet Explorer current. Version 6 has been creaking along for five years — an eternity in Internet time.
And, as NYT writer David Pogue goes on to say, you can download the brand new version of IE, right now if you want.
“adding an extra monitor will give your output a considerable boost — 20 percent to 30 percent, according to a survey by Jon Peddie Research.” New York Times
I can attest to that! I love having two monitors, generally I use one for coding/designing/main-task and the other for reference such as googling groups, reading documenation. Also I keep my monitoring activies visible in the right screen. Unfortunatly I have one awesome LCD monitor and one old blurry kludger at work I may purchase one for myself soon. Yes, I like it that much. After all, consider how much time you spend at work – it’s worth the investment!
First thing today my IT Director says:
“Why do I have to hit the space bar to use [our web app] now?”
[screenshots below are examples of some random sites - not mine]
She was seeing a ‘Click to activate and use this control’ or ‘Press SPACEBAR or ENTER to activate and use this control’ whenever she encountered a flash component. Even after hitting the spacebar she still had to click on the flash object to get it work.
What had I done to our websites, she wondered? At first I assumed she had changed a security setting in her browser. But then I saw the message on my browser. Ack! Little did I know…it’s not a security change, it’s a new compulsory behavior autoupdated by Microsoft as a result of their losing a lawsuit.
I use Firefox and frequent web standards type tech blogs as much as possible, which is probably why I hadn’t heard of the Microsoft v. Eolas (University of California) lawsuit. Due to the patent litigation, an Internet Explorer update was released on April 11th that is autoinstalled via Windows Update which requires users to “activate” embedded objects and plug-ins before they can interact with them.
Of course, users running the Firefox, Safari or Opera web browsers will not be affected by this update. I would recommend taking this opportunity to make the switch to Firefox, it’s better over here. However, if your workplace is like mine and has web applications that rely on proprietary protocals and legacy vbscript, you may be suck with Internet Explorer. For you, Adobe has posted a flash demo showing users how to activate embedded objects on site’s that display this new message.
For developers out there who use any ActiveX controls such as Apple’s QuickTime, RealNetworks’ RealPlayer, or Adobe’s Flash, some work-arounds are emerging. You will have to change the way these objects are embedded.
Update (2006.05.10) Workarounds:
Please make it so that I can have reminders sent to my cell phone for some events and not others. Afterall, I could use the help getting up in time to get over to Arboretum on Saturday for Earth Day but I really don’t need my phone to beep for all my staff meetings!
Mahalie (a big fan)
Lifehacker asserts that it’s possible to run your office using only existing web applications, citing some great resources at IT|Redux including the blogger’s own Office 2.0 setup. Especially exciting to me is the Office 2.0 Database, a rather succinct collection of the most commonly needed business applications offering at least one online alternative for your calculator, calendar, contacts, desktop, email, fax, file manager, instant messenger, mind mapper, personal organizer, photo editing, presentation, project managmer, spreadsheets and of course word processor. And for the geekier mobile business person 2.0…command prompt, RSS feed aggregator, database (!?), and weblog.
I find the idea of web-based everything quite tantalizing, and have pontificated the emergence of Google as a provider of web-based software solutions that will replace a need for anything but a RAM-packed high-speed internet conneced dumb terminal. I’m all for it, imagine no more grueling software installs, upgrades and licensing issues. Of course, if a web service goes down, too bad for you! But would the uptime be comprable, better even, than your private network?
The real beauty of Google’s method is their sharing of source code, APIs and use of open standards…let the savant, the prolific, the prodigious programming hobbyists of the world create all these next generation web-apps – then hire/aquire/adapt away. Talk about agile development…
Ryan, accused of photoshopping the event form fields when he posted the Gmail screenshot at Cybernet on Saturday, later commented:
Yes, [Gmail officials] said that they will be rolling out the feature which I didn’t initially realize because everyone I talked to already had it.
At the time, I didn’t have this feature…but I do now. Gmail and Google Calendar integration is here…for the rest of us.
And it looks like this:
There has been a lot of buzz in the blogosphere since Google Calendar (beta, of course!) launched last Thursday night. There are already development articles such as how to integrate Google Calendar in Your Website Using AJAX and ruminations on how this fits into Google’s big plan. Here’s my summary of what’s important for the average user – e.g. you’re not a programmer, security-paranoid or an internet noob, you’re just interested in using the dang thing. Here’s the skinny:
- Web Based. If you already use a web-based RSS Feed Reader, Journal and/or Email client, you know well why this is an advantage. It’s always there, always available, so long as you have an accessible internet connection.
- Calendar Sharing. Your calendar can be totally public or not; if public, you can share all your info or just your free/busy status. If you don’t make it public, you can still share it with specific people like friend, family or collegues.]
- Calendar Import. It’s easy to import Calendar info from common calendar apps such as iCal and Outlook.
- Multiple Calendars. You can keep more than one, and you can ‘subscribe’ to publicly availbale calendars which can be searched for within the Google Calendar interfac such as Greek National and Orthodox holidays. A quick searchfor ‘Seattle’ provided me with Local Events, Seattle Mariners Schedule, ToST Lounge Music Calendar, Allstar Gym Schedule and many, many more.
- Gmail Integration. If you use Gmail. And integration should become better soon, for now it’s rather dodgy.
- Phone notifications. Self explanatory.
- Pop-up Problems. Make sure Google.com is listed in sites allowed to create pop-ups in your browser and your firewall and/or other internet security programs.
- Doesn’t Work on Safari. Oops. I expect this will soon change.
- UnSyncable. Nope, no PDA or Blackberry support as of yet. I wish there was some kind of utility you could download to make Outlook auto-publish a CSV to my Google Calendar as I have to use Outlook for work and that is not going to change. Fortunately “Google Calendar will be able to synchronize with Outlook and mobile devices [in the coming months]“, said Product Manager Carl Sjogreen (via CNet).
- Searchability. It’s not terribly accessible, for a Google product…ways it could be greatly improved are summed up here.
Early adopters are plentiful and there are a plethora of reviews and articles about Boot Camp, Mac’s new software that ships with new intel-based mac machines which allows dual booting Windows XP alongside Mac OS X.
Nerdy and fast, O’Reilly is already selling a PDF for $8 that takes you through the process of installing Windows XP on a Mac.
Related post: Winmac at mahalie.com
Well, obviously, you first have to have a website that generates over 2 terabytes of traffic a day. Then, you have to have an old and/or poorly designed website, preferably with lots of nested HTML tables for display or over-use of Flash. The answer: Web Standards Redesign. While most people don’t have the luxury/problem of that much traffic, the fact that switching to web standardards saved ESPN.com 2,000 gigs a day speaks volumes about the advantages of building with webstandards. So now we standards-luvin’ designers have a large-scale, explicit, metrics-driven example to tell the accountants…there’s no guarantee it will similarly affect fancy visual gadget loving flash-addicts.
Read Interview: The ESPN.com Redesign.