Google Talk + Yahoo Messenger

The original post is now offline, but here’s the deal:

Just announced today, Google and Yahoo are entering into a partnership where Yahoo may offer Google paid search results as part of its search offering. As part of this agreement, we are agreeing to make our IM services interoperate. From the Yahoo press release:

In addition, Yahoo! and Google agreed to enable interoperability between their respective instant messaging services, bringing easier and broader communication to users.

Why I Still Won’t be Getting an iPhone

iphone PCWorld offered up 5 Reasons to Buy the iPhone 3G and I’m here to tell you why I won’t be buying into the hype. Before I go on, I should note that I own an 8GB iPod touch and use a Motorola E815 on the Alltel network. This article specifically addresses the points made in the PCWorld article. I recommend reading it first.

  1. Price. Yeah, the price drops on the new iPhone are nice, but the rate plans suck. 3G service will now cost folks an additional $10/month. Nevermind the fact that everyone who’s already bought an iPhone and wants to upgrade will essentially need to break their contract and pay a penalty to get the latest and greatest. Oh, and did I mention there’s a two-year contract?
  2. 3G Browsing Speed. Yes, 3G is faster than what the first-generation iPhone is capable of, but I’d imagine that for most people, the load times are tolerable. Also, the switch to 3G comes at a cost: According to reports, iPhone activation will now need to happen in-store.
  3. Great International Support. Seriously? The only reason for this “push” is because iPhones are being unlocked everywhere.
  4. Applications Galore. All of which can be had on the first-generation iPhone and iPod touch (for a $9.95 fee). The App Store is going to be a great thing for Apple mobile users, but it’s not something you HAVE to upgrade to 3G (or ditch your iPod touch) for.
  5. iPhone: Still at the head of the Class. The iPhone is not the best phone out there. It still can’t record video. It can’t handle MMS. It promises the “real” web, but ignores popular plugins such as Flash which are a part of the “real” web and aren’t going away.

Where the iPhone gets things right is that it puts things together in a nice, user-friendly package, but nothing about it is truly groundbreaking. Upcoming smartphones, such as the Blackberry Thunder, Samsung Instinct or Omnia, or the HTC Touch Diamond will do more, offer greater expansion capabilities, better quality camera optics and much, much more.

I love Apple products but there just isn’t enough of a difference in the new iPhone to make me run out and buy it on July 11.

The new Twitter Transparency

One of my biggest complaints with Twitter is that users were left in the dark when the site was having problems. That’s changed. Twitter’s more transparent than ever.

Recently Techcrunch asked Twitter several questions regarding their infrastructure, policies and more (Hey Twitter I Have A Few Questions Too). Twitter answered back with “It’s not rocket science, but it’s our work.“. In their response, Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone answer each of TC’s questions honestly and directly. As TC put it: “Twitter continues to be annoyingly and constructively responsive to criticism. They respond to this post here, saying “We’re working on a better architecture.” Kind of takes the air out of the balloon when you can’t get them riled up.”

Twitter is now serving as the model for transparency. Yes, they’re experiencing growing pains, but they’ve learned from their mistakes and are embracing the idea that the more they let users know, the more understanding they’ll be. Other companies should take note.

Dreamweaver, Fireworks CS4 Betas Released

Fresh from the Adobe Labs comes betas for Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 and Adobe Fireworks CS4. It should be noted that if you’ve been using CS3, there is a new unified interface that’ll be appearing in CS4 that may take some getting used to.

Also, if you tested the Photoshop CS3 beta when it was released, I can’t stress enough that you should not install this software on a machine that is mission critical for your business. This is beta software. It may have problems. It may cause difficulties if you decide to upgrade to CS4 when it’s released.

Caveat emptor.

Getting Local with Twitter

twitterRecently I started an experiment on Twitter. I know that I’m not the only web/design geek in the area, so I decided to use Twitter to get to know some folks in the area. Using Twitter’s people search, I looked for people in and around Augusta, GA. The result? I’m not alone, and while Twitter use in and around Augusta is next to null, there are some pretty interesting folks that I’m glad I decided to follow.

What next? Well, my hope is that Twitter will grow in popularity in the area and it’ll be a means to growing a real life social network/community here in the area. Right now the tech/creative community is rather fragmented and the only organization that caters (sort of) to us is the Augusta Advertising Federation. Its focus tends to be more traditional media-centric. There is also the newly formed Augusta Developers Guild, but it’s focusing more on Software Developers/Programmers.

More thoughts on the changes in IE8

UPDATE: IE8 Beta 1 is now available for download. I’d recommend installing Virtual PC and then grabbing the latest Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Image (Virtual Hard Disk Image for testing websites on IE on Windows XP SP2). That way you can conduct browser testing in a more controlled environment, as opposed to eradicating your local install of IE6 or IE7…

Some people will say Microsoft caved; others, that they listened to public opinion; some may even buy the company’s own explanation, which is that, given a company-wide reorientation away from proprietary winner-take-all competitiveness and toward interoperability, “web standards by default” takes precedence over “supporting all those badly made websites that were created specifically to work in IE.” Jeffrey Zeldman

Did Microsoft cave, or did it see the light? It’s hard to imagine a company as large as Microsoft “getting it” all of a sudden, but stranger things have happened. Zeldman’s post gathers many of the arguments for and against IE8’s proposed version targeting. It’s definitely worth a read. I for one am glad that Microsoft has chosen to go the more difficult route and support standards first.

A step in the right direction

The news that IE8 will now display pages in “Standards” mode, instead of requiring designers/developers to force it… is music to my ears. Granted, it wasn’t that big a deal to use a META tag to force the rendering, as originally proposed… But it IS nice to see that Microsoft is taking web standards more seriously with this new approach.

AIR out of Beta

Adobe AIRAdobe AIR – (Adobe Integrated Runtime) – is out of beta. It allows developers to create desktop applications using web technologies like Flash, HTML, CSS, etc. Get AIR here.

I’m pretty excited about AIR for a couple of reasons… 1) it allows you to develop rich applications fairly quickly using standard web technologies; 2) it’s less intrusive as Yahoo! Widgets (Konfabulator) and similar “widget” applicatons.