What do you get when you cross a Firefox with a chameleon?
An open-source Web browser whose user interface is adapted to the look of the operating system it's running on. One change planned for the upcoming Firefox version 3, code-named Gran Paradiso, is this more native appearance.
"The Web browser is an incredibly central piece of the user's operating system, and we don't want the user's initial reaction to be that they have modified their computer to add some type of strange, foreign application," said Mozilla interface designer Alex Faaborg in a blog posting last week. &… Read more
The New York Post reported on Tuesday morning that New York-based video-hosting community site Vimeo plans to announce this week that it will be distributing videos at a high-definition resolution of 1,280x720 pixels, making it apparently the first user-generated video-sharing site to do so.
The Post's Peter Lauria connects the new push for making high-definition technology available on user-generated video sites to the ongoing price drop in consumer-grade HD cameras--an inarguably hot item this holiday season.
This hack on open source from John Dvorak is just that: a hack. One intended to get page views. By linking to it I assist him in his quest, I suppose, but I do think his post serves as a reminder that open source needs to continue to improve its ease of use.
But see, there I go: like Dvorak's system administrator (who actually wrote the piece below), I'm treating all open-source software under a blanket description and all Windows software under its own blanket description. The truth is far more complicated: some open-source software stinks, and some open-source software is manna from heaven. (Handbrake is so easy to use that even Dvorak's system administrator could use it.)
Still, there's some truth to what he says as it relates to community-developed software:
My theory is that when people use VI it lowers their standards as to what good software should look like and causes their minds to physically alter in a way that leads to VI syndrome leading to delusions that their little piece of [expletive] software is the greatest program in the world and that they are just so superior to Microsoft that it?s just a matter of days before Microsoft collapses and everyone accepts Linux as God.… Read more
Answer a few questions to see where you fit in the typology of information and communication technology users developed by the Pew Internet Project.
A comment in my article about Amazon.com's MP3 download store took me to task for picking nits about aspects of the service, especially about the quality of the usage experience. Fair enough--one man's nit is another person's show-stopper. But when it comes to convergence--hardware, software and services all coming together as they do in digital music, for example--it's taking care of those nits that are crucial to delivering satisfying music. Good enough is just not good enough unless you are happy being an also-ran.
Why? Because convergent systems are tremendously complex--both to create and potentially … Read more
Somebody asked me a while back what my favorite product user experience was. I thought about it for a minute and, in my contrarian way, said "My wife's 1972 MGB convertible".
Now let me set the stage a little: She inherited the car from her dad when he passed away, and it's in pretty so-so shape. The top doesn't work (so it's not really a convertible, it's permanently an open-top), the body work is not in great shape, and the interior is spotty. The engine runs surprisingly well, though it burns through oil … Read more
It's not the most innovative name but the concept may be revolutionary. Metaplace, a virtual community that is currently being tested for launch in spring 2008, was one of the most talked about start-ups at the TechCrunch40 Conference. The new platform allows anyone to build a virtual world from scratch -- for the web or even mobile applications -- without any programming knowledge. Like other virtual communities such as Second Life, There, Entropia Universe, or World of Warcraft, the Metaplace worlds can be used for gaming, socializing, and e-commerce. And they come with the usual community features: forums, user … Read more
There are many pundits who herald Apple for its "convergence strategy:" iTunes is on more than 300 million computers, Apple TV has been launched, and the iPhone has emerged as the most talked about new consumer electronic device in history and is expected to fuel the launch of more all-in-one gadgets from competing consumer electronic makers. Convergence is -- once again -- all the rage.
But what does convergence exactly mean? Let's try a very simplified overview. First of all, there is the media convergence between the worlds of telecoms, TV, Internet, and computing, including fixed-mobile convergence, … Read more