Thursday, March 12, 2009

The New Facebook

Yet again... Facebook has rolled out a new version of its home page. Yet again... it's gotten lots of press in the blogosphere.

Mine rolled out today... and my initial reaction is that it isn't bad.

A few things to note:

1- If someone pokes you... you have to scroll down to the bottom of the "highlights" on the right. Ok... I get it Facebook... you want me to spend more time on the page. Fine.
2- The ability to quickly edit your feed preferences.... pretty impressive. We all have that Facebook "friend" we went to junior high with... didn't like in Jr. high, nothing's changed... but they somehow manage to invite you to every event that they are throwing (nevermind that you live 1,000 miles away). Getting that person's feed off your home page is SUPER simple. I'm a fan (of course... if that person is alerted that their feed has been blocked... I would completely stop being a fan... and seeing how I don't know of anyone who's blocked me... I am guessing it isn't the case).
3- The A.D.D.-like real time feeds are VERY reminiscent of twitter... which I guess is the point.

Either way... I can't imagine too many people being up in arms over the changes... and truthfully... they aren't bad at all.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Congrats to Amazon

Maybe I missed it... but in my mind, the blogosphere hasn't been this talkative about a product launch since the last (perhaps final?) Stevenote.

Check this out:

Tech Crunch
Crunch Gear

I'm sure there are a bunch of them I'm missing too, but I have to say... congrats to Mr. Bezos, Amazon and your PR team. This is how product launches should be done.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A few random tech observations from the subway

I took the subway into Manhattan today, and had a few random thoughts that I thought might be worth sharing:

1- I adore the iPod touch. It's such an awesome device.
2- I wish Gmail and the other Google apps worked in a sort of offline mode. When I had my last blackberry, I was very fond of typing an e-mail (or 5) while underground, and then sending at my convenience.
3- I spotted a Zune out in the wild. Hadn't seen one in... well... maybe ever?
4- I spotted a Kindle out in the while. Hadn't seen one in a few months (and let me say... it really is a cool looking toy).

All around, it was a nice little tech-filled subway ride.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Google Talk is becoming REALLY cool

Google made a very nice addition today to the Google Talk platform, by adding the ability to share YouTube videos during a conversation.

As many of the commenters on TechCrunch pointed out, this isn't something entirely new, and there are companies who have been doing this for a while (Yahoo is mentioned a couple of times).

What isn't pointed out, and isn't quite available (yet?) is integration with Android. We know that Google has previously incorporated SMS into Gchat, and that Google is making a huge push into the mobile space.

So, here's my question for you:

How cool would it be to be able to have a Gchat going, with voice and video included, while watching a Youtube video... all from your Android phone?

More importantly... how far away is that?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A great day for online media- potentially

Watching the inauguration from the position of being a tech guy, this may make sense, but I think it speaks volumes to the ways that the media is changing.

In discussion through Facebook, e-mail and twitter, I can say that I know people in 4 different countries who are watching or listening live.

On Twitter, there's an explosion of tweets about the event itself, which is to be expected. What I didn't anticipate, however (even if I should have), is how many people are complaining about how their chosen service is dropping the ball in regards to live streams, bandwidth or any other problems.

Twitter Update: I may not be the only one thinking this. I just ReTweeted @mediaphyter's request for people who are watching online or through social media, and have to assume she's writing a story about this for ZDnet (can't wait to see what she comes up with)

In my mind, while today is obviously a huge historical day, I also think it will go down in history as the day that online media took a major shift into the mainstream (you know... assuming that someone can figure out how to make the technology work consistently).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day 12 of rocking the Roku

So, I'm on day 12 of living without cable, and instead relying on net video and Netflix via the Roku set top box.

Here's my impressions so far:

1- the video quality is really, really good.
2- the ease of use is fantastic
3- the selection of movies and TV shows Netflix has available is.... well.. lacking.

Don't get me wrong, the box is great, and the move away from cable is fully worth it, but there are movies and shows I can't believe they don't have available. I'd give an example, but instead will say this:

Pick your 5 favorite movies.... now assume at least 3 of them aren't there.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Day 1 with a Roku

After a long wait (somehow, it never dawned on me that selecting 'ground' as my delivery option meant there was going to be a truck coming from California), my new Roku set top box arrived, and last night, I took it out for a test run.

Set up was unbelievably easy, and it was up and running within about 3 minutes of me getting home. Then it was on to doing exactly what I was doing prior to returning my cable box: watching random movies. Last night's selection was Groundhog Day, and I was unbelievably impressed with the picture quality.

Then I got to thinking, and realized I had some misconceptions about Netflix (or maybe that my perceptions were changing with the company).

I always thought Netflix was out to knock off Blockbuster. Well, they pretty much succeeded there. The question, I guess for me... Who's next? And I think Netflix is going after the entire DVD industry. Think about it for a second. If you could have any movie you want to see streamed to your TV, would you bother buying DVD's anymore?