Monday, July 23, 2007

Hokey Smoke!

Just because this made me laugh this morning - apparently Iran is being spyed on by highly trained squirrels.
"A few weeks ago, 14 squirrels equipped with espionage systems of foreign intelligence services were captured by [Iranian] intelligence forces along the country's borders. These trained squirrels, each of which weighed just over 700 grams, were released on the borders of the country for intelligence and espionage purposes....

Even Boris Badanoff can tell you, you have to be careful of "Moose and Squirrel!" Rocky Squirrel

Monday, June 25, 2007

Moving on style

Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP)is moving up in the world - GoogleTalk is now doing group chat; and Facebook's latest chat client is XMPP based. Good to see our little open source hero making its way in the world!

Monday, June 18, 2007

While you were out...

Dean and I have been on the road a lot lately, and we are woefully behind on blogging. In the meantime, our friends have been keeping quite busy:

Monday, May 07, 2007

The applications Corporate IT didn't put there

I have a shiny new laptop at work. My corporate IT folks ghosted the standard corporate app suite to my hard drive, downloaded some special applications that I have licenses for (such as Microsoft Project) migrated my MyDocuments, email, and other data folders and gave me back the machine to configure to my hearts content.

Even though all my data is there, it always takes a while to get a computer just the way I like it. I have a number of little applications that make life easier, and many of them do not come from corporate. I was at a conference last week when one of the presenters made a good point: "How many of you use Google?" Who gave you permission? Consumer applications are as much a part of my job toolkit as are the corporate issue applications. When I started listing applications I needed to download, and I was amazed at the length of the list. Some highlights:

  • Yahoo Desktop Search/X1
    I swear by this tool: It is the best email search tool ever. This is my knowledge management tool for email.
  • Opera
    I don't use opera much anymore, but its nice to have to check for browser compatibility
  • Firefox
    My usual browser. I'd use it for everything if it weren't for crappy microsoft applications (Sharepoint, Outlook webmail) that require IE.
  • Google Toolbar
    In just the 4 hours of not having this installed, I realized just how much I rely on that little search box.
  • toolbar
    So I can bookmark things I'm looking at. I particularly love the Firefox version, which replaces my bookmarks entirely.
  • Firefox extensions: Spell check
    Spell check keeps me from looking stoopid.
  • GAIM
    For the bajillion different chat logins and clients I seem to have.
  • Google Talk
  • Because Google does some non-standard things with their XMPP (like use TLS), sometimes GoogleTalk is just easier.
  • Skype
    This isn't really a work tool - this is how Dean and I talk when we're on the road, without incurring $200 in long distance charges...
  • Beyond Compare
    For syncing files between my computer and the share drive. It costs $17 but its soooo worth every penny.
  • SnagIt
    For capturing screen shots, and doing limited photo editing. Also costs $, but I have the project cover the cost because preparing documents/screen shots is what we do.
  • DeskPDF
    This little tool lets you print from any application to PDF. I use it mostly for sharing visio diagrams with other people.
  • Textpad
    For code. Costs about $30.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Location, Location, Location

Yet another buzz on the next socialnetworking idea: Kyte. Read/Write Web gets it right though - the big deal isn't that you can share things online - there are tools galore for that. The big deal is the seemless integration to phones and chat. This is where Web 2.0 has the ability to really explode - the revolution will not be televised. And it will not be online. It will be everywhere else. Phones are already everywhere, more people have mobile phones than have computers - about 2.8 billion phones, which is 1 in 3 people worldwide. Location matters: The phone is more important real estate than the browser.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Staying Tuned

Paula and I have played midway through the fourth episode of Sam & Max from Telltale Games. I've waited this long to post something about the series because of my fundamental blogging laziness, a reverence for the old Sam & Max Freelance Police game, and reservations about the new episodic gaming format in general. It's taken me a few months to overcome all three weaknesses.

Not that nostalgia for the glory days of Lucasarts adventures is a bad thing, mind you. Those games deserved all the praise they get, as I think I mentioned in a previous post. But sometimes fondness for the old can blind you to the goodness of the new.

That's not the case here. Telltale games have gotten it exactly right: They deliver compact, well-written adventures on a monthly basis. (They got the third episode to us a week early, in fact.) I settled in to the game right away, and was soon rewarded with more wacky one-liners and obscure non-sequiturs than I could shake a mixed metaphor at. Sam and Max are back, and the episodic format suits the rabbit and dog duo extremely well.

This season ends after another two episodes. I hope their experiment in reviving a classic gaming genre will be judged a success. It's a model that would work for all the adventure gaming greats. I'd like to see a few of my other favorites revived as episodic adventures, too.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

What the buzzword of 2007?

The last thing we need is another buzzword. Every year has one: ERP, CRM, Web2.0.....

I hate to encourage the development of yet another bad label, but thought I would posit the question: What will the buzz word for 2007 be? Web 2.0 is so 2006 (or heck, 2005!) what is the buzz for 2007?

Some thoughts from Read/Write web on that matter, branded Web 3.0 would be (that Web 2.0 is not). In brief: Web 2.0 + Context.

Crystal ball time: What is the buzzword of 2007?