Friday, March 31, 2006

Moving this Summer

Unexpectedly, a few days before the time limit was up for us to renew our rent agreement, me and Tiff decided that after all, we were going to move to a new appartment this summer. The place where I was now was all fine and good for a while, but the multi-ethnic emplacement wasn't the best for us. Not that we're racist or anything, it's just that our sense of smell is getting assaulted by the different foods of the people on our floor. Fish 2 or 3 times a week is just too much for Tiff's nose.

We've decided to go down to the south shore, because it put us closer to our family and our origin, and going to Brossard or St-Hubert will still leave me close enough for high-speed access. We haven't yet four our new address, however we're looking. If anyone knows of a 4½ on the south shore that would cost at most $700 , please give me a ring or email me. Thanks ;)

Oh, and I had a dream last night, and for some weird reason I actually saw this new appartment of ours. If you recognize the following appartment plan, I want you to tell me... now...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

How Google is going to screw Microsoft over a hundred times

Do you remember the time when everyone said Microsoft were copying Apple, their OS and their technologies? How Windows looked so much like MacOS it was a wonder Apple didn't sue them?

A few days ago, I asked myself why Google didn't do something about Microsoft copying their ideas and technologies, too. Then the answer poped up all by itself yesterday: Because Microsoft is going to collapse on itself as soon as a viable alternative that's easy to use for the average bloke gets released as Beta by Google. Google OS Beta? I drop Windows. Google Browser? Forget IE (though firefox is great of course). Google Suite? Nevermind MS Office!

I'm seeing people do the switch already - hotmail users are going for the G, and switching their contacts on GTalk. I plan to stop using Word soon, when Writely goes out of Beta (or has everything I need to work with and as easily useable as Word, which it's not). Every single Google product that comes out that replaces a MS product is *MINE*.

Now, Microsoft is hard at work copying Google. Microsoft Live! is pretty much Google Personnalized Home, Live! Local is Google Maps, and their new Live Mail service looks a lot like they're trying to copy gmail. Their Live Search has a lot to learn about simplicity - it seems MS really likes to bloat everything. Putting a white background doesn't make it more useable, Bill!

In the future, when Google has infiltrated every other area they aren't in right now, including the OS, Office and Browser markets, they probably will be free. So instead of buying Windows Vista, MS Office Vista (or whatever version there is after 2003), and using IE7, just sit tight, relax, install Linux (I recomment Ubuntu), and wait for Google's OS and software to be available.

When 25% of your average user does this, it will cut off an equal amount of Microsoft's profits. When business users do this, Microsoft will fall on it's knees, begging for mercy. When everyone does this, Microsoft will be no more. Google will rule the world, and Google will "Do no evil" by absorbing the most evil companies of them all... They will buy Microsoft. Just you see, it will happen!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Google and 3D

Oh... My... God. Let me take a second now to pick up my jaw from the floor... *snaps in place*.

Any new Google aquisition is interesting. When they bought they created Google Groups, then they aquired Neotronic and created GMail, and Pyra Labs to get Blogger. Just a few days ago they purchased Writely, which leads me to beleive they'll create an online office suit pretty soon.

But they've gone and done it again this morning, by purchassing a company called @Last Software, creators of SketchUp. And this is not only and interesting software to discover, it's an amazing revelation of ideas that all of a sudden is rushing to me.

SketchUp is a beginner-oriented 3D design program, aimed at Uncle Bob and his cousin, so that anyone in the world can just pick up their mouse and create amazing 3D places. From what I've seen it can be used to do anything ranging to a new staircase to a complete manufacturing building to create anything. Basically, the limit is your imagination.

Now, one detail makes it really interesting. It can export it's 3D stuff in Google Earth format... Think about it for a second... Think again... Read this and think harder.. about what this means...

Got it yet? No? Ok, here's the deal. You download Google Earth, and you check the "3D buildings" options in the map. You see that most of your city has allready been represented, but your house isn't there! You download SketchUp (which is now free since bought by google - hopefuly) and model your house in a few hours, upload it to the Internet on the google earth servers, and everyone sees it!

Now, a model of Earth complete with buildings might not strike you as extremely useful. But when you start thinking that maybe this model could be used in other software (for example, Simulation games)... Imaging MS FlightSim with a completely realistic city to visit. A wargame using true city maps where you can use the interior of buildings as much as the exterior. A map of houses for sales complete with architectural designs of the house...

The possiblities are endless. Just check out how cool the software is by viewing their flash demo of the software. It's just amazing!

Customers Suck Party!

Last saturday I was at Val's place with a few friends (Val, Akuma, Mitch & Eli) and with Tiff, after a nice plate of Ribs at Bar B Barns (great place, btw). The desert, a nice cake because it was Val's birthday, was eaten around the kitchen table, where conversation took a turn to our worst experiences with customers. Stupid, arrogant, annoying, you know, clients that you would like to stuff a sock in their mouth!

It was like a Customers party... Too bad I wasn't able to record them all and post them on the website. I also mentionned a recording of a videotron client's conversation with a tech. I remember hearing about this before working at videotron, and I had the recording already on my computer, but hearing the story was as interesting as the actual recording.

The way things are set up at Videotron, is that when you are on the phone with a client, at any time you can decide to hit the "Emergency" button on the phone, and the rest of the call (or until you press the "Emergency" button again" is recorded. In the past, the server where the mp3s were put was unsecured, so anyone could decide to copy it, send it to themselves at home just to get a good laugh when they wanted.

One tech went a bit too far though. He took the mp3 and started sending it to his friends all over the internet, by email.. The recording soon propagated, and eventually it was traced back to the person that had recorded it, taken it from the server and sent online. That person was sanctionned, and from that day on, a password was put on the server to protect any further outbursts. To say this was a bump in Videotron's image is an understatement, and I was surprised to hear that they tech that did it was actually kept under Videotron's employement, though his identity was kept secret to all.

For the curious ones, here's the recording. It's a fine example of Quebec's wonderful blasphemous talk, very common in rural towns and in frustrated debates between folks here.

I think this recording is becoming pretty rare, possibly because Videotron hunts down it's copies and has them deleted. I'll take my chance though and will help people find it if they google the following terms (as the mp3 was known in the past):

Y flashe ton osti de modem
Y flashe ton crisse de modem
Y flashe ton estie de modem

Monday, March 13, 2006

Until Google CL2 comes out...

You've seen my previous post about Google Calendar (CL2), and you can't wait to get your own online calendar that just looks cool?

Until Google rolls out their own solution, why don't you hop on down to 30 Boxes and signup for free? It's a very nicely done interface, with comprehensive functions, and a very cool "One Box" that lets you add events using real human language instead of checkmarks and buttons.

30Boxes is the coolest service after anything google (it's a wonder they didn't get bought by them...)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The loss of a series...

I will be brief for I have little time, Tiff and I are going out for diner tonight.

I have just finished the last episode of the last seasons of Star Trek: Enterprise. Belatedly I'll admit, but since I had been out of the Cable loop for a while the best I could do is to make with what I had right now.

The series satisified me I'll admit, but only a few minutes after ending it I find myself longing for more, cursing at UPN for cancelling a show that was so amazingly enjoyable to so many people. Like thousands of others, I put my hope in the hands of someone so that they one day start production of something new, something greater than all of them.

I implore you all, don't let Star Trek die down!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Google Drive, Google Music, Google Browser... It's all in the works.

It's all been said and done in other blogs, but for my own readers I'll compress these bits and pieces of information together.

GDrive: Some rumors from Google seem to be set up to be just that: informations is leaked on purpose for people to speculate. This seems to be the case here, as last week's Google Analyst Day yielded a powerpoint presentation that was later removed, but not before being seen by just enough people that it's content was relatively widely known. The powerpoint mentions something about GDrive as being "Infinite storage, where we can house all user files, including: emails, web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc)." This seems extremely interesting considering there is already evidence pointing towards belonging to google. I can't wait to see this coming!

Google Music / Google Tunes: Following up on an article by forbes, Garett Rogers does some research on the subject, and discovers that a google music player might be available for download soon. Considering the Google Video Player download link from which the information was deduced, in all probability Google Music will soon be available (though the rumor of their buying napster was denied by google...). I can easily imagine free songs from artists on the rise, and a small fee for commercially available songs (or does Google make enough money from ads already? :P)

Google Calendar: By sorting through source code, some curious bloggers have been able to explore pages that were not meant for publication but were available through tweaks of URLs and such. Note that those methods are no longer available, so other than conjectures and the fact that redirects to google instead of giving an error, there's not much to go about for now.

GMail enhancements: The first of possible enhancements is a Voicemail features, which is given away by the fact that the name "Voicemail" is now forbidden of use as a label on gmail. I noticed about a week ago that my voicemail filter on gmail was not working, and when I tried to recreated it it gave me an error message saying the name could no longer be used... I should have taken more attention to detail, I didn't realize at the time what this meant.

The previousely mentionned Google Calendar could also be integrated into GMail by default, and as you can see from the links, a Google Links service seems to be upcoming.

Google OS: It's logical to think that Google will come up with a centralized solution for all their software and services in the future. Some think it will be a browser, others think it will simply be a software interface. Whatever it is, it's probably going to be dubbed the Google OS by most people. It would provide access to your GDrive, GMail, Bookmarks (cached versions for speed?), your favorite news with the rss reader, and all that crazy useful stuff. Google already registered, but I wonder if they know that is already registered to someone else...

Seriousely, I just can't wait for all of these things to come alive!

Best Blonde Joke ever...

Ok so you've all heard blonde jokes, and you all laught at them.

Well, laugh at this one all you want.