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And the moral of the story is.... test, test and test again: Where did the Marks & Spencer website relaunch go wrong? http://t.co/iTMJsCWNJs, posted 7 days ago

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Chromebook and the Cloud

Chromebook and the Cloud

So Google's launching Chromebook, the device that connects you to the web instantly, and lets you do...not much else!

But with cloud computing that's not too much of an issue, right? Who needs all those pesky, cumbersome programmes running when, let's face it, all you really want to do is check a few emails, do a bit of facebook stalking and maybe order a new pair of shoes or three?

And even if you do want to create documents, and maybe update that spreadsheet of your finances, Google Docs lets you do it all in the Cloud with no need to save anything locally. Brilliant!

Or is it?

In the week when Facebook were outed as commissioning a smear campaign against Google regarding their Social Circle feature and the security of data online, is it such a good idea to have EVERYTHING in the cloud? And, more significantly, with Google?

Yes, it's very convenient that all you have to do to use your Chromebook is log in with your Google account, but when Chrome has all your browsing history, Google Docs have got all your data, your GMail account all your communications...well, you get the picture.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big Google fan, but I don't think I'm alone in thinking it's all getting a bit scary!

Created on Friday May 13 2011 12:28 PM


Tags: google social-networking facebook chrome socialmedia chromebook


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IE9 Launch - is it time for you to break up with your browser?

IE9 Launch - is it time for you to break up with your browser?

A browser can be like that comfy pair of old slippers, it’s your friend, to take your walks around the internet in. It can be hard to break the habit of those old comfy slippers though, and try a new pair of slippers, even if they may allow you to walk a bit faster and trip you up less. You might not know your way round in them so well at first, they might not be the right fit for what you need or they could be a great improvement; maybe those old slippers are holding you back? With the launch of Internet Explorer 9 last week it’s time for us all to consider if our current browser really is the best fit.

For those less technical savvy amongst you, you may be shocked to know that there is more than one way to view the internet. You may still be using Internet Explorer thinking that that is as good as the internet can get, but let me introduce you to my friends, Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. These different browsers offer different functionality some are better for macs (Safari) some are faster (Chrome) and some are safer (Firefox). 

Internet Explorer has dominated the browser market for many years; in 2002 95% of web users were browsing through it, now that’s more like 45-50%. This is because the browser market has revolutionised in the last couple of years with the invention of browsers like Chrome and Firefox which offer faster web browsing, better functionality and a more intuitive web browsing experience. Internet Explorer 9 is Microsoft’s latest offering that is trying to win back its market share. It offers integration with Windows 7 to make browsing your favourite sites easier, and gives larger screen space to site contents by reducing the tool bars. 

It’s free to download any of these browsers, so why not find out which is the right fit for you? 




Google to drop Chrome's support for popular video format

Google to drop Chrome's support for popular video format

Google announced on Monday that their increasingly popular browser Chrome will be dropping native support for the H.264 video format.

As the latest versions of browsers are being released there is increasing support for native video playback, ie. users will no longer need proprietary plugins such as Flash or Silverlight to watch video on the web. This means each browser has to support certain video formats themselves. The battle at the moment is between the proprietary H.264 (heavily supported by Apple and now Microsoft) and open-source WebM / Ogg Theroa formats (supported by Mozilla and now Google).

From the Chromium blog:

Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.

At focus we think open-source is great, in fact we build our web sites on open-source technologies every day. However, we think this move by Google (who's motto is "Don't be evil" by the way) is bad for a number of reasons.

H.264 is an established format. Millions of mobile devices support hardware acceleration of H.264 video and there are millions of videos already on the web encoded in the format (including every video on the Google owned Youtube).

Users are still stuck using Flash. Any Chrome user trying to view an H.264 video will have to use Flash as a 'middleman', slowing the process of moving away from Flash to HTML5 / native browser support for video.

This isn't about enabling open innovation at all. This is about competiton with Apple in the mobile market and trying to make life as difficult as possible for them. Which is fine in itself, but not when it's being diguised as openness.

There are licensing question marks around the WebM format. Promoted as completely open-source, there are reports that the WebM format may have licensing issues of it's own.

In the end I think despite both H.264 & Flash being proprietary technologies, H.264 is the better more transparent one for the user. The licensing cost is paid by the Browser vendors (let's face it, Google, Apple, Microsoft can afford it) not the developer or end user.

Created on Thursday January 13 2011 11:45 AM


Tags: web webm google chrome video


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