Saturday, 22 December 2007
As it turns out, the problem was simply a full disk. On Windows, you would have had countless annoying messages saying "You are running out of free disk space on drive C:" long before the disk was full, but on Linux the program just stops functioning all together. You're not even told that the disk is full, and there are no easy tools to empty your trash and clean up unused files like there are on Windows. It's a pity when your favourite operating system lets you down like this, but I have to admit that most users are not likely to think of typing "df" at the Konsole terminal when their program stops working. Let's hope KDE4 solves this full disk problem.
Friday, 21 December 2007
"In its clearance opinion released today, the FTC explicitly rejected any current or potential competition concerns. Google and DoubleClick are complementary businesses and do not compete with each other. Google's current business primarily involves the selling of text-based ads, while DoubleClick's core business is delivering and reporting on display ads. DoubleClick does not buy ads, sell ads, or buy or sell advertising space. Rather, it provides technology to enable advertisers and publishers to deliver ads once they have agreed to terms, and to provide advertisers and publishers statistics relating to those ads."
This is good news for Google, as they will now have access to the huge market share and consumer base of their own service combined with DoubleClick. The acquisition will complement their recent offerings of Video and Image based ads, and will offer advertisers and publishers new, integrated ways of managing, showing and creating ads.
Read more: Official Google Blog: Analysis: The FTC clears our acquisition of DoubleClick
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Although the background APIs and data structures underlying KDE4 were finalized a while ago, Plasma is only nearing completion now. From the various previews around, it looks as if KDE 4.0 is going to be the introduction to a new era in the evolution of the Linux GUI. Plasma looks really smooth, and the APIs behind it are just as neat.
Unfortunately, I can't seem to build the RC2 properly. I keep getting a segmentation fault. So I can't give you a first hand account of KDE4 (yet!), but for more info check out the official announcement - it's got heaps of screenshots.
Tuesday, 18 December 2007
At the moment I have temporarily paused my Android development in order to focus on the GHOPC. I believe it is more suited to my abilities at the present time. So far I've completed 2 out of 3 tasks, so I'm looking forward to the completion of the next one! It also means I may not be around much on the blog, as the tasks have fairly strict deadlines.
Here I see yet another example of Google's support of the open source community. Regardless of whether you like Google as a company or not, you have to acclaim them for continuing a good work here. Now, with the Google SoC, and the GHOPC, open source projects have a commercial backing, even if only once a year, which encourages upcoming business leaders to contribute to open source, and reaps huge benefits for the projects involved.
In the meantime, any feedback on the site is appreciated (as always!). In particular, does anyone have any ideas about whether I should change the theme again?
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
Android does not differentiate between the phone's basic and third-party applications -- even the dialer or home screen can be replaced.) This is really going to be great for everyone who loves the iPhone's features but wished it wasn't locked down so much.
So, I started up the android emulator, and was extremely impressed with the sleekness of the interface. It's also very responsive - even with my CPU going 100% and no graphics card. The interface is very smooth and polished, with the capability to create translucent windows and animation effects.
I'm certainly looking forwards to writing apps for the Android. It uses a pseudo-Java VM called "Dalvik" (can anyone hear an "exterminate!" here?) to run third-party apps, and although there are a few new UI concepts (Activities, Views, Intents...), the API is overall very easy to learn. To encourage developers to write "great apps" for the Android, Google is offering USD$10 million worth of prizes for the most promising apps. This should create a huge incentive for developers, and I expect to see plenty of Android apps by the closing date of March 08.
Overall, the Android looks pretty darn good - it's not just the iPhone opensourced, but a whole new concept of open, integrated phones. I'll give you updates as I get used to the API and OS, but for now, rest assured that all the hype about the "gPhone" has been justified - and doubly at that. I just can't wait for the "official" release in late 2008!
Monday, 12 November 2007
Google recently changed over to using their internally developed language translation system, and they will now automatically translate 29 different languages. So far my tests have proved Google Translate to be a reasonable translation system, certainly better than a lot I have tried. If anyone is reading this who speaks another language, I would greatly appreciate it if you could tell me what you think of the automatic translation tools.
Actually I think I'm going to have to change templates again. This template just doesn't allow you to customize it much, and I think I'd prefer a 3-column one anyway. What do you think? If you've got any thoughts please post a comment or email them to me - there's no way of me knowing what you want unless you tell me! :)
Friday, 2 November 2007
"OpenSocial is going to become the de facto standard (for developers) instantly out of the gates. It is going to have a reach of 200 million users, which is way bigger than anything else out there," Chris DeWolfe, chief executive and co-founder of MySpace, told reporters.
Google lost out to Microsoft last week in a bid to invest in Facebook, but now they look like having something even bigger than MySpace and Facebook combined. When OpenSocial goes live early Friday morning, it's going to be the biggest thing in social networking since Facebook was launched earlier this year. Not only will this new platform give Google a huge boost in the area, but OpenSocial will also allow anyone from small start-ups to big multi-million-dollar companies to use a standard programming interface to interact, store and manage about the user.
Update:As a testimony to the worldwide belief in the success of OpenSocial, Google shares surged to an all-time high of $713.72 on Nasdaq on Thursday, before closing at $703.21, down $3.79. This shows the investors' support of Google's operations, and the future looks bright for Google's latest addition to their online strategy.
Keep posted for more info on OpenSocial when it is released on Friday.
Thursday, 1 November 2007
"On November 5 we’ll likely see third party iGoogle gadgets that leverage Orkut’s social graph information - the most basic implementation of what Google is planning. From there we may see a lot more - such as the ability to pull Orkut data outside of Google and into third party applications via the APIs. And Google is also considering allowing third parties to join the party at the other end of the platform - meaning other social networks (think Bebo, Friendster, Twitter, Digg and thousands of others) to give access to their user data to developers through those same APIs."
This looks like it could turn into something big. I'll give you more reports on it over the week (if I can fit it in-between exams!), but for now rest assured that Google has the beginnings of something really big here. And I mean big. It just depends on who adopts it, but this has the potential to revolutionize the whole social and consumer-based development model of the web.
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
Now, the question is: When is my account gonna be upgraded? :)
Sunday, 28 October 2007
Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.
— G.K. Chesterton
G.K. Chesterton was a wonderful writer and composed many great arguments. I think this quote fits in to today's world perfectly, despite the fact that he said it many years ago.
Thursday, 25 October 2007
IMAP has many benefits over POP, including a continuous connection to the server and more intelligent client/server interaction. This means that users of Outlook or Evolution will be able to
synchronize their read items and folders across computers. When you mark an item as read in Outlook on your desktop, the same item will be marked read on the web interface as well as your laptop and PDA.
This is a long-awaited feature which is certainly going to boost Gmail's appeal, especially to the business users of Google Apps.
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
Windows Vista's activation scheme hasn't changed much since XP. Basically, if you change a certain number of components in your system's hardware configuration, Windows will deactivate as an anti-piracy measure. The problem is, Vista counts driver updates as hardware changes. This can cause your system to deactivate unexpectedly, and without warning.
This is a very serious problem with Windows, especially for mission-critical configurations. If someone unknowingly updates the graphics card drivers to make the system run faster or use a new feature, the whole system could fail. Then the company or individual relies on Microsoft being available on the phone and ready to reactivate quickly. Although the chance of Microsoft's support center being unavailable is small, this does present a serious problem of being "reliant on Microsoft", not just for your initial installation, but for reactivation at any time you feel like upgrading your software.
Sunday, 21 October 2007
This just goes to show: no matter how closed Microsoft made the NTFS standard, somebody was bound to break it open.
Friday, 19 October 2007
Reports have streamed in that the three major search engines Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Live Search are being blocked in China, with all request for the sites being redirected to China's own Baidu Search Engine.
Some people think that the redirect was due to China's strained relations with the USA over the Dalia Lama. However, there have been some reports of Google.com functioning correctly from within China, so there doesn't seem to be a nationwide blockage. Of course, these people could just be Chinese Internet Police.... ;) Another possibility is that China is upgrading their whole blocking infrastructure, and this is resulting in irregular false-positives with the search engines. This is supported by the fact that BabelFish.com is also reported to have been blocked.
Keep watching this space and I'll get news to you as soon as some more definite reports come in. For now - if you're in China, you might only have 3 search engines to choose from: Baidu, Baidu, or Baidu.
It's here! Today Canonical officially announced the release of Ubuntu 7.10, aka "Gutsy Gibbon". This release incorporates new features from the past six months, including the latest release of GNOME and a new Deskbar desktop search feature. Ubuntu 7.10 is easier to use than ever, with automatic printer detection and fast user switching. The fast user switching is absolutely fabulous compared with Windows Vista - on my fast Vista laptop it takes over 1 minute to switch users, even with both already logged in!
Along with the release of Ubuntu, Kubuntu 7.10 has also been announced. Although it does not include KDE4 (as the release schedule has been delayed to December), the latest KDE4 Beta 3 is available in the Kubuntu Universe repositories.
I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this latest release, but unfortunately my internet has slowed to dialup speed and the CDs will take a few weeks to ship, so I'll have to wait a fair while. But I'm sure it will be worth the wait.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
Here's an interesting distro - just like China's Red Flag Linux emulates the look of Windows XP, a new Linux distribution called 'Vixta' seeks to imitate Vista's look, right down to the start menu and transparent titlebars.
There has been much controversy over the issue of whether or not Linux should copy Vista's look and feel. I think that although it doesn't need to (as the Linux KDE GUI is in my view better than Vista's), there's nothing wrong with some of Vista's good design ideas turning up in Linux as well. KDE4 is actually deliberately trying not to "copy" Vista, but they are still turning up with some similar features by innovation.
I have yet to get my hands on a copy of Vixta, but it looks like it could be worth trying. Now I can tell my friends "Hey, look, I got Vista!" and maybe even "Well, if you want I could give you a copy too...."!
Apple's Steve Jobs has taken advantage of Windows Vista's confusing multi-version release, saying that this is the 'best upgrade' Apple had ever released, and "everyone gets the ‘Ultimate’ version. The pricing is much better than Vista as well, with the single version costing just $158.
The new version of the Mac will have much the same hardware requirements as Vista, recommending a minimum of 512MB RAM with an 867Mhz or faster processor.
Overall this release is another improvement to the already excellent operating system. It certainly doesn't look like anybody will be deserting the Mac for Windows anytime soon.... :) Here's looking forward to the release.
According to the official blog announcement, with the new search tracking you can see "what people search for on your site and where these searches lead." They continue to say that "Site Search reports show you the keywords and search refinement keywords people use, the pages from which people begin and end their searches. You can also see how search on your site affects site usage, conversion rates, and e-commerce activity."
For me personally this feature will be a bonus, as I can now see what my visitors are looking for when they come to my site. It is almost as if Google Analytics is "telling me" what my visitors want. This could even turn out to be something like the Zeitgest (or Google Hot Trends) in the future. What do you think?
Monday, 1 October 2007
Anyway, I probably won't be able to update this blog for about 2 weeks. In the meantime, you might want to check out My Nature Photography Blog or have a look at Lightning-Alley, a similar blog to this one, with tech news, photography and random ideas.
Unfortunately I'm going to have to put up with Windows XP while on holidays, as my laptop has broken down (hard drive connection problem). I'm not looking forwards to using Windows that much after my installation difficulties recently!
Saturday, 29 September 2007
Firstly, I had a system already running with Fedora 5/Windows 98 dual boot. "Aha, just give her this system," thought I. But it wouldn't boot. The BIOS loaded, but trying to start LILO failed (all that showed on the screen was "LI"). Okay, so it's a bootloader problem. Why not just install GRUB? That's what I tried to do. And after trying several rescue systems, GRUB installed successfully, detecting both Fedora and Windows. Reboot, choose Windows in the bootloader, and up pops a list of errors - Could not load registry, HIMEM.SYS missing, Unidentified error, etc. Back to the old drawing board.
So I tried to reinstall Windows. But the Windows install system told be that there were operating systems on the computer that setup couldn't upgrade, and that I should start Windows on the computer and then load setup. Only problem is, I can't start Windows.
Well, to cut a long story short, I still haven't got Windows running. After just about every thing possible failed, HDDs, OSs, the lot, I haven't got a single thing to show for it. Funny thing is, every single version of Linux that I installed on that computer worked perfectly! Not a problem at all. Something fishy is going on here for sure.
For now, I'm going to tell my friend to either run the games on WINE, or buy a new version. But this is a matter of pride as well. Let me tell you, Windoze, this battle isn't over yet....
Friday, 21 September 2007
read more | digg story
Monday, 17 September 2007
From #gtkpod today:
>i think we're done.
>let me code something just to check
>[30 minutes later] can i hear a fuck yeah?
>works for both mine and xamphears :>
In case this is too obscure, here is the general gist of things. The iPod has been cracked.
Did Apple really think that they could lock down the iPod that easily? Come on, remember CSS and more recently the HD-DVD/Blu-ray encryption schemes. As sockdemon says on Digg:
"Oh, when I said that 'iPods will never work with anything but iTunes' I was using the modern definition of 'never', you know, the one that means in a few hours. What I really said was 'Ipods will work on linux in the next few hours, don't panic or sensationalize'.
Now I'm really surprised that Apple tried to lock down their platform. Especially with Linux rapidly gaining momentum in the commercial space, is this a direct hit at Linux (possibly as an alternative to the Mac), or just another instance of monopolistic vendor lock-in? Something seems very familiar here (read: Microsoft).
Please, Apple, don't follow the path of "The Big M" by locking people in to your way of doing things. Look to the future - share.
read more | digg story
Sunday, 16 September 2007
read more | digg story
Saturday, 15 September 2007
Tuesday's launch is to be broadcast live on the Internet at http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/space/bls/missions/worldview-1/
Once its third satellite is launched, DigitalGlobe said it will be collecting more than 1 million square kilometers per day of high-resolution imagery.This digital "refresh" of Google Earth's satellite imagery should help to improve it's currently patchy high-res coverage of the world, and bring some lesser-known areas into focus. However, there is likely to be a large amount of processing (i.e. cloud-analysis, selective "screening" of areas, etc.) that has to be done before the new digital data arrives on Google Earth, so don't hold your breath waiting yet.....
read more | digg story
Friday, 14 September 2007
So check it out! Now all we need is for Google to release Google Mars, incorporate them both with Google Earth, and we have a complete "Google Universe" product!
Wednesday, 12 September 2007
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
Saturday, 1 September 2007
read more | digg story
Friday, 31 August 2007
read more | digg story
Friday, 24 August 2007
read more | digg story
Thursday, 19 July 2007
read more | digg story
Tuesday, 17 July 2007
A quick check to the "robots.txt analysis" page revealed the cause of this disturbance. It tuns out that Google (Blogger) has created a default robots.txt file on all blogspot blogs, with the following lines included:
User-agent: *Disallow: /search
This change has resulted in all of the label search pages in any blogspot blog being excluded from the Google index, as well as from the index of any other search engines that obey the robots.txt exclusion protocol.
I don't know why the blogger developers have decided to do this, but I certainly don't enjoy the consequences. A large portion of my traffic came from search engines to my blog's label search pages - I will now lose all of that traffic. Also, it makes sense that when people search for "flora nature photography gallery" they will want to go to the flora search page on my nature photography blog.
Regardless of my traffic loss, the robots.txt addition is here to stay. What are your thoughts about this recent change to blogspot.com blogs, and most importantly: Do you think that this exclusion will have good long-term effects on the blogosphere?
David's Nature Photo Gallery
Thursday, 12 July 2007
Saturday, 16 June 2007
Wednesday, 6 June 2007
I've finally installed Linux! For those of you who don't know, I've chosen openSUSE, partly because of the GUI (the "K" button is almost an exact replica of the Vista Start Menu).
The installation process went mostly without hassles, although the DVD I borrowed from a friend was SUSE (the commercial version), so I had to order a $20 DVD from EverythingLinux.com.au and re-install. Since I had exceeded the measly 500MB web download allowance for the month already, I had to contend with dialup speeds for the update, which took 3 nights of constant downloading. After that, I finally had a functioning Linux installation!
The 2.6Ghz Celeron, 750MB RAM, 80G HDD computer I am running it on seems to work reasonably with just KDE apps, but when I try to run Lincity-ng it falls over, as I have yet to purchase a graphics card!
Anyway, I'm out of time now, but I'll try to provide regular updates about what I'm doing with Linux.
Saturday, 2 June 2007
The benefits of this deal will extend to the users as well. Although Google has not yet announced their plans for integrating, Feedburner is sure to benefit from Google's superior financial backing and extensive coverage. According to the official FeedBurner blog, the FeedBurner staff have three main goals they wish to achieve from the acquisition:
a) continue to provide our customers with the best feed analytics,
b) begin to provide a more comprehensive 360-degree view of audience and reach, and
c) enable publishers to most efficiently determine the best ways to distribute and monetize their content.
Basically what this means is that content providers will be able to access greater audience analysis and income-generation tools, while advertisers will be able to reach a greater user base with less effort and expense. Most likely, we will soon see Adsense for Feeds come out of testing and be incorporated with FeedBurner's advertising network to move towards this goal.
Why is everyone so excited about FeedBurner's acquisition? This is the big break for FeedBurner. Just like Blogger, Feedburner will continue to grow, and, with the help of Google, provide increased service, integration, and income for web publishers and advertisers. Just when this level of integration will be achieved is uncertain, but one this is for sure:
Google + Feedburner = ∞!
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Thursday, 17 May 2007
Google has announced that they will be merging the results from Google Book, Blog, Image, Local News, and Video Searches into the organic search results. According to the official press release, Google's vision for universal search is to "ultimately search across all its content sources, compare and rank all the information in real time, and deliver a single, integrated set of search results that offers users precisely what they are looking for".
It's going to be interesting to see exactly how Google fulfils that goal in the future. We can already see an aggressive stance taken to update it's services recently, and we can look forward to more integrated and informative searches in the future.
To be continued....
Wednesday, 16 May 2007
Try this one.......
Follow the instructions below..
Google will probably find this out and fix it pretty quickly.
Follow these steps [in order of course]
- 1. go to www.google.co.uk
- 2. click on maps
- 3. click on get directions
- 4. go from "
new york" to " london, " england
- 5. scroll down in the directions to number 24
- 6. laugh and then re-post this ASAP so other people can enjoy
Sunday, 13 May 2007
Thursday, 10 May 2007
I'm going to be using SUSE running KDE as that is the best integrated and supported version (except for Ubuntu, the "beginners OS' in my point of view). I'm waiting in great anticipation for KDE4 to be released October this year (more about that one of these days), and using SUSE should guarantee a smooth upgrade process. So, stay posted, I'll be relating my experiences living in a Linux world as soon as I get it installed (a few days time hopefully).
Long Live Tux!
David's Nature Photography Gallery
Wednesday, 9 May 2007
read more | digg story
Google Analytics Blog: New Version of Google Analytics!
Take the tour!
read more | digg story
Tuesday, 8 May 2007
Monday, 7 May 2007
Friday, 4 May 2007
There are also other minor changes, such as the change from "center" alignment to "left justified" in some sections, and the search results number + speed indicator moving to the bottom of the page.
These new changes, althought they add little loading time to the page, increase the visiblity of the various Google services. They also genuinely help users to find the information they are searching for by presenting more of the available options on the screen. Let's hope Google continues to make changes for the better like this with it's other products.
Thursday, 3 May 2007
This could well be the real dawn of Linux on the desktop. Over the past decade, many people have claimed that each successive year would be the "year of Linux on the desktop". However, many commercial and practical limitations have prevented the operating system from gaining sufficient momentum to overcome it's proprietary competitors and begin to exhibit itself as a layman's OS, not just a geek plaything. I believe that some factors are now coming into play that could change this state of affairs, allowing Linux to begin entering the desktop market it has so far been deprived of. In particular, 2 main issues are being visibly addressed right now:
1.) For many, the main limitation of Linux has been it's User-friendliness, or lack thereof. Sure, GNOME and KDE have advanced a lot over the years, but they still lack the polished and integrated feel of Mac OS, and yes, even Windows. Even if some of the basic functions are easy to use, the average user won't have a clue how to respond to an error message saying "init: Id "23" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes." This problem will be largely solved with the release of KDE4, which introduces a new era of Linux GUIs where usability is at a prime. Both the visual and functional status of KDE4 is excellent, and although it is not yet released, when it is finished in October/November this year it will be the best UI Linux has had yet. The problem of usablity also relates to the next one:
2.) Publicity. [Nearly] Everyone who is up-to-date with technology knows about Linux. However, most of the operating system market resides with inexperienced users, who know nothing about Linux, or even Mac OS. This problem is beginning to decrease, with commercial entities such as Red Hat and Novell taking up the development and marketing of Linux. This also has the added advantage of enhanced integration between OS components, as the various companies each try to produce the best distribution. With Dell beginning to distribute Linux with it's PCs, more of the public will be able to experience Linux without having to know how to rebuild the kernel, use yum, xterm, or restart the X server.
Is it the beginning of the "year of Linux"? It's a bit early to tell right now, but with Vista not delivering all that the public wants and Dell moving into Linux, I think that "Tux" the penguin has his best chance yet to put his best foot forward and show the world what Linux can do!
Saturday, 28 April 2007
Metisse offers quite a few features, including X, Y, and Z axis rotations, scaling, transparency, and the much-touted "two-fold desktop" feature. I've got a few photos below of just some of the features that Metisse sports:
At present, Metisse is only available for the Mandriva version of linux, although it is sure to be ported sooner or later. For more information on Metisse, visit the links below:
In Situ's Metisse site
Mandriva's Metisse site
David's "Images of Nature" Gallery - Nature Photography
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
According to Google Trends, the term "Google" is searched for many more times than the word "God"! Does this mean that Google is God? Well, at least the news references them both equally, so our entire religiosity has not been taken over by Google - yet....!
Monday, 23 April 2007
Saturday, 7 April 2007
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 Feature Announcement
Wednesday, 4 April 2007
Here's another desktop wallpaper you might like. If you would like to see any more "bliss"-like wallpapers, just leave a comment on this post with any features you would like to see on the next image. For more wallpapers, visit David's "Images of Nature" Gallery
http://thebigbyte.blogspot.com/2007/03/alternative-bliss.html - A "bliss" wallpaper for those of you who are tired of the MS bliss...
http://davids-pics.blogspot.com/2007/03/english-countryside.html - Another "bliss"-like hill.
Saturday, 24 March 2007
Tuesday, 6 February 2007
These are some of the headlines I saw in my junk-mail catalogues this week. When Windows Vista is 5 years late, has only half of it's planned features and costs more than any version ever sold, all people can say is WOW? This is certainly an example of Microsoft's strong marketing position. They create a new product, and BOOM!: even though the product is at a lower grade than many of the alternatives, it takes off in the market place. Of course, the shops also make a profit out of selling Windows Vista, so they will want to promote it simply for the sake of it's income.
But is Vista really worth the wait? I don't think so. One of the main things Vista is promoted for is better security, but quite a few zero-day exploits have already been found, including a fundamental flaw in the speech-recognition technology. Another much-touted feature is the better graphics: Aero, vector-based icons, etc. But no reasonably priced computer now days can actually run Aero smoothly; you need to pay $2000+ for a good Vista experience!
And then there are games. According to independent testing, Vista actually runs games slower then XP. That means that Vista really isn't a good option for your PC at the moment unless you're willing to fork out thousands of dollars upgrading your system
So Vista isn't that good after all. But I bet that lot's of people will get it anyway. The uninformed buyer will have it recommended to them by the salesman, a new computer will come with Vista pre-installed, and a lot of people will get it just for the graphics.
Overall, I believe Vista will be a success. Even though the competition is better than it in many ways (linux & mac also run on current systems well), Windows is simply the operating system that everyone uses. Vista is certainly better than XP, and this is the reason that I think most people will upgrade for.
Welcome to all you out there! The Big Byte is going to be a blog where I post the latest news and insights into technology (mainly computer-related) that come my way, and I'll also be adding some of my own thoughts on these matters. I will focus mainly on topics that I am most familiar with, so you'll get a lot of stuff about things like Google, Microsoft, Linux, and such.
I hope you like this blog, and please post a comment or email me if you think something could be improved.
See ya soon!
P.S. You might like to visit my other blog as well - David's "Images of Nature" Gallery