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Friday (Again!)

Posted by | Posted in Geek Stuff, Random | Posted on 13-11-2009

Yep, that’s right, it’s that tiome of the week again!

It’s been a strange week this week. Firstly, I’ve had to “babysit” some cats for a family member of mine. They went away to Florida last weekend and I’ve been lumbered with the task of looking after their animals for the next two weeks, so things have been a little upside-down and inside-out for me.

On top of that, I’ve had seemingly very little to do at work this week. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots to do, but I’ve just not had any of it passed my way. To top things off, most of the work was left until yesterday afternoon before it was given to me. This was partly because my direct manager is off work until Tuesday and obviously felt he had to leave me something to do between now and Monday.

After spending the morning assessing every webpage we’ve built over the last few years for database connections that are out-dated, I’ve decided to have a break, and see what’s going on in the online world of technology.

There have been a few news stories surrounding Google this week (as usual). Firstly, they aquired VoIP company Gizmo5 for a few hundred million dollars. In the same way they bought Grand Central a while back and integrated that company into Google Voice, rumour has it they’ll be doing he same thing with Gizmo5. I’m not really a massive VoIP user, so it’ll be a while before any of this really affects me, but for businesses, it can be vital.

Another exciting rumour, if you’re into that sort of thing, is the one about an early version of Google Chrome OS being launched next week! For those that don’t know, Google Chrome is an open source web browser that was released by Google around a year ago, and has since been through 3 versions. It’s a great browser, and were it not for the fact that extensions aren’t enabled (or widely available) on the standard builds, I’d probably have adopted it over Firefox. Google Chrome OS is the Google operating system that’s going to be built on top of the Chrome browser. It’ll basically be a browser-based OS.

The reason that Google think it’s a good idea to get into the OS market is because more and more typically desktop-based services and products are now moving over to the internet (or, as the nerds out there love to call it, the ‘cloud’) and so having a browser-based OS will allow for seamless integration between PCs and the internet, where all our files, data, and information will soon end up. It’s a good idea, and I can’t wait to try it out. And of course, being Google, it’ll most likely be free to use.

I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be one of those Linux-like OS’s that’s extremely cumbesome to use (for first-timers) and is a right pain in the arse when it comes to the things that Windows-based PC lovers take for granted, like installing a printer. If Google can get major hardware manufacturers on board, and a decent number of hardware drivers are available for most common types of hardware out there, then Chrome OS has a good chance of denting Microsoft’s share of the OS market.

For the HD whores out there, YouTube has announced that it’ll offer full blown 1080p HD picture quality as of next week. Previously, you could upload videos of 1080p HD quality, but the highest resolution YouTube displays the video at would be 720p. So we welcome the news that YouTube is upgrading it’s service in time for the Christmas rush of weirdos and nerds that’ll get a shiny new 1080p HD camcorder for Christmas. Oh, and if you’ve already uploaded Full HD quality videos, they’ll automatically be re-encoded to 1080p once the feature goes live.

For the Microsoft Office pirates out there, you’ll be happy to hear that Beta 2 of Microsoft Office 2010 has leaked onto some public torrent websites. Apparently, the next beta is due for release in the next couple of weeks anyway, but if you can’t wait to get your grubby mits on it, it’s out there in the ether already. Also, Microsoft is getting ready to offer Office 2010 as an ad-supported freebie. I’m not sure how well that’ll work out, but it’s good to see Microsoft trying something new. They could learn a thing or two from Google on that front.

From 18th November 2009, the BBC iPlayer will be available for free on the Nintendo Wii’s dedicated Wii channel. We’ve only just got hold of a Wii in our household, and although I haven’t played it much, I can see the potential for internet-related goodness on it, and as we don’t have Virgin Media as our ISP, or a PS3, we can’t watch the BBC iPlayer on our TV. The new iPlayer Wii channel will solve that though!

Right, that’s about it from me. I should do some work before heading to the gym. Woo!

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