Thursday, October 29, 2009

Oh wow...

...I got over 100 followers without even noticing!

In case you haven't noticed, there hasn't been much going on with Google lately.  There's Android 2.0, but that was covered elsewhere before the SDK (and therefore the emulator) was even released.  Not to mention... Android's one topic I really can't cover mainly because of the lack of money on my part.  I can't afford to get new devices very often, and I don't even have an Android device for myself at the moment.  So... sorry about that.

(Although I hear the Droid's going to be really nice.  Wish I could get my hands on one.)

Yeah, I know there's Google Music Search, but I haven't really had the time to take a look at that either.  What I will say, though, is that most of the rumors about it were a bit off.  I saw a lot of people discussing a possible "Google Music Store", and to be honest, I didn't really expect that.  Music Search, on the other hand, seems like it will really come in handy for anyone looking for a particular song.

For those of you who haven't heard yet, Google is rolling out a new feature that puts songs (along with a preview) into your search results.  You can search by artist, album, or lyrics within the song if that's all you remember.  For some reason, I haven't had it show up over here yet, but hopefully that will change soon.

For now, I'll be here enjoying Ubuntu 9.10 until Google finally releases a build of Chrome OS.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Look at Google Wave (AKA stuff you've probably read somewhere else.)

This morning, my brother and I received our Google Wave invites.  I've been using it all day, so I figured I'd post some of my thoughts on it.

I find that it's incredibly hard to describe to people exactly what Wave is and why they should use it.  In practice, it's very simple, but there's no quick and easy way to describe it.  What seems to amaze people the most is actually something that's been around for a long time: real-time transmission of text.

First of all, while I know it is a preview, it's just extremely slow when working in waves with more than a few blips.  Of course, I'm sure this will improve soon enough (before an actual public launch).  It's just something I wanted to point out.

I've actually seen one thing changed in the one day I've been using the service.  This morning, if someone were to edit a blip, it would show that it had been edited by another user, but you would have to dig into the timeline to actually see the changes.  Now, they are clearly displayed as highlighted text.  It's a very nice addition.

Gadgets and robots also need a little work.  Each gadget currently has its own button on the toolbar.  While that's great if you only have one or two, it could easily fill up the toolbar with clutter.  There's also the fact that robots are added into your Google contacts, so if you don't want a bunch of Wave robots scattered throughout your contacts, well... you'll have to play around with it a bit.  A separate section for robots would be nice.

I will say this: I'm not a developer, so the potential Wave has for me at this point is very limited.  However, once I get a few invites, I'll be able to actually invite people I know and see what happens.  It's not quite ready for the public, though. It's slow, it occasionally crashes, and at this point it would not be a very fun experience for anyone who just wants to get something done.  Google Wave does have huge potential, so keep an eye on it.  Just don't expect it to be perfect right away.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Anyone have a Google Wave Invite?

Yeah, I know, everyone is asking this, but hey.  I have two Google Voice invites, and I'm looking for a Google Wave invite so I could possibly cover it here.  (Although, granted, I'm not a developer, so my options there are somewhat limited, but... hey, I can try, right?)  I'd be willing to trade one or both.

I should have Google Wave shortly.  I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

(Updated) Huh. Why didn't anyone else notice this?

Looks like I wasn't the first to find this.  Sharkbaitbobby compiled a build of the Chrome OS version of the browser well before the debs were available for download.  There may have been other people who found this earlier as well.  Regardless, his is the earliest I've seen so far, so I think he deserves a little credit here. :P

Update: He's also created a new blog for Chromium OS browser builds.  He already has a later build than the one I posted.  (Mine was directly from Google, his are modified versions of Chromium.  The source code for the Chrome OS browser has actually been in the Chromium source for a while.)

I'll be posting any more news I find, but for the latest builds, that's the place to go. :P

Some people apparently can't read.

Half the tech sites I see seem to be claiming that the "leaked build of Chrome OS" doesn't exist.  Alright, they're correct.  One problem with that.  I never claimed to have a leaked build of the OS.

I can't tell the writers over at TechCrunch what to write.  If they feel like making the title misleading, so be it.  The article itself wasn't too misleading, but I think many people couldn't quite get past the headline.  I think PC World's article was the best so far because it wasn't misleading at all.  It clearly stated that it was the browser, not the OS, just as I did here.

Another thing I noticed was the whole "Rapidshare" thing.  Alright, so scroll down a bit and you'll see a Dropbox link I added shortly after posting it (after reading a comment about Rapidshare in the TechCrunch article).  Maybe I should have removed the Rapidshare link too, I don't know, but is it really that big of a deal?

Also, since people are complaining about that... any suggestions for a non-searchable download service that -doesn't- reward uploaders?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

PC World: Google To Host Chrome OS Event Tomorrow

Looks like Google's getting ready to announce more details about their Chrome OS tomorrow.  It'll have been just a few days after TechCrunch initially spotted the chromeos folder and I posted screenshots of it.

Oh, and also, I got linked by PC World! :D

Google Chrome OS Browser (Unstable Build 28902)

Alright, I know many of you have asked for this, so here it is.

I was a bit nervous about posting this, since it's something Google doesn't seem to want people to see, but... if there are any issues, I'll take it down.  If not, it'll stay.

No, it's not the source code.  It's just the i386 DEB package.  I wish I had grabbed that source code zip, but I didn't, so... for anyone looking for that, you'll have to wait a bit longer.

Also, please keep in mind this is a very early build and is not in any way representative of the final product.  If it crashes, so be it.  Complain about crashes when you can find this thing loaded on computers at Best Buy.  Right now?  Yes, it'll likely crash.  No, it's nothing to worry about.

(Removed Rapidshare link due to complaining, if anyone has any suggestions for a better upload service, please let me know.)

Chrome OS Browser Themes

In case anyone was wondering, this is what Chrome OS looks like if you apply a theme and use the compact nav bar.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Update on Google Chrome OS Browser

It would appear the Chrome OS folder has disappeared as of a few minutes ago. Luckily, I managed to grab a copy of the latest build available just before it was taken down. Completely by chance. Not much I can really give you here, as the latest unstable build seems identical to the stable build I tried last night from a UI standpoint.

EDIT: One noticeable change, see below for details.

Hold on, I found one functional change in this build. In the previous stable build I tested, none of the options in the "Compact nav bar" menu worked. Now, however, I get this when I choose "New Window":

Never mind, it worked in the previous build, that was an oversight on my part.

Interesting. So it merges the top bar and the navigation controls.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chrome OS Browser Tour - A Possible Look at What's to Come

As I was browsing through my usual news articles, I spotted this interesting article over at TechCrunch:

Being the curious person that I am, I just had to try it out. And look! Google was nice enough to provide prepackaged .deb files!

Click images to enlarge

Of course, that's to be expected from anything branded Chrome. Chrome is, after all, not open source; the open-source browser is named Chromium. (It would appear this version has already been open-sourced.)  Anyway, after installation, what you get looks like this:

In the top-right corner, you'll find a clock (redundant when you're running it inside a full Linux distro), a network connection dialog (non-functional here), and a battery meter (also non-functional).

In the top-left, you have what appears to be the new logo (so far I have been unable to find a larger version of that image). Clicking on it opens this Google Short Links window, which doesn't really allow you to do anything unless you have a email address, which I assume is restricted to Google employees only.

In the options menu, you'll find a new tab for "Google Chrome OS". As of the latest build, it looks like this:

Aw dangit, how did this get here?  Ignore the Picasa 3.5 window in the background.

There's also a new menu option in the drop-down menu found in the top bar. Its options are identical to those found in the standard options button below it, except for a few things. There are options to clear browsing data, import bookmarks and settings, and go into fullscreen mode. There is also a new menu option called "Compact nav bar". Inside it you'll find the "New Window" option as well as "Open tabs on left", "Open tabs clobber", and "Open tabs on right". Sorry, but I was unable to get a screenshot for the menus, as neither of my screenshot utilities would let me do so and I'm not running this in a VM.

Browser running in fullscreen mode

Aside from these changes, the rest of the browser appears to be the same as the standard Linux build.

So there you have it. A quick look at an early build of the browser that's to be included in Chrome OS. Keep in mind that this is an early build of the browser and things are bound to change before the final version of the OS is released.