Just another comment on Tablets

Today one of my friends was asking on Facebook, what are the utilities of Tablets? I commented what I thought about it, and here it follow:

Until Surface came, tablet was immature. Now, it is getting a shape and user base too. Here, at US, I see a lot of people using tablets. They have a certain, limited, but handy use case. First of all, tablet is light, weighs light and performance is low too. It is designed to be single app threaded (user will focus on one app at a time). You can use tablets while you are on the move, say attending a seminar, waiting somewhere or just not on our desk. Laptops are portable, but those ones which you can carry around with offer too small a view port (13″). They are relatively useless compared to their price range and weight.
If for only reading ebooks kindle (ink based) are best. But, tablets let you browse too.

With all these limited use cases, you can always be happy by having one tablet as your tertiary device, after your computer and phone. For tablets, I prefer Surface, probably Pro. Android tablets are still crappy (you need a great touch screen on tablets if you don’t get a real keyboard). Apple’s tablets are on per and could be best for most users.

I am currently settled with a mid weight, high performance laptop – which gives me most of the computation power I need, yet allowing me to carry it around if I have too.

Next, when I am going to change my setup, I’d like to have a full fledged desktop as primary device and a Surface Pro as on the fly device and probably a Nexus or something light as phone and no laptop.

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Google plus (vs) Facebook

Today I, and many of my friends and acquaintances, have started experiencing the new sensation on the web, Google’s new SNS – Google+ which people have already started to abbreviate as G+.

It was bit tricky starting up with G+, coz like all other projects they have started it with a limited access test phase. After getting an invitation, I opened Google plus with a great expectation to see amazing things and find some awesomeness but with great disappointment I found myself somewhere in just like another Facebook. At first I felt like I’m in a place where someone added a skin, some features of HTML5 and CSS on regular Facebook. They even have the layout noway other than that of FB! OK, I’m going to do a comparative study on this to.

Similarities

  • both have sharing (stream) options: status, links, photos, video
  • users can get connected with other users (friends on FB, people on G+)
  • the home has a 3-column layout
    • main contents (feed/stream) are in the middle
    • left column is for menus, links and chat
    • right column is for highlights, suggestions, AI generated material
  • people can comment on and re-share things of other people in both
  • you can tag and comment on photos in both
  • there is integrated chat feature from both having a link on the left column, and if you start chatting a new sub-window appears in the bottom right corner
  • there are home and profile for each users in both
  • each user have to set up a profile on both providing basic identity information and other info
  • both have notifications system
  • users can search people on both networks
  • Customizable sharing visibility; in both users can change the visibility of post while sharing

Similarities using different terms

  • Connection Cluster: You can make lists of your friends on FB, circles of people on G+
  • Click to appreciate: you can like posts on FB, click +1 on posts at G+
  • Interests: On FB you can like or show interests on things, pages, and subjects. On G+ you have spark

Differences

  • You can share locations on G+, not yet on FB
  • On G+ people can have group video chat (hangouts) but not on FB. FB have group text chats though with predefined or existing groups
  • FB has groups and networks. G+ don’t have yet
  • FB has notes and other applications, G+ don’t yet
  • FB has a lot of apps, hopefully G+ might have them as well
  • FB has public questions
  • On G+, you can add custom hyperlinks (links with texts); but on FB you can only place URLs

Who is better?

It is not yet the time to say who is better. But Facebook has the advantage of being first successful SNS and has built a nation in seven years. Google is a very popular brand with lot of fans and cults but Google plus has yet to start growing its circle. Google has advantage of having a lot of other web apps and features like Gmail, maps, web search, Picasa, Docs, voice and video chat, readers and lot more. Google has already integrated the G+ with all other of its service. Google have phone OS and going to pioneer OS for cloud user. Facebook has also plans for its own phone OS and have a good partnership with Microsoft. FB uses some of MS features like Bing and MS Office.

Google’s earlier projects in SNS were not successful; especially wave was shut down pretty soon. Buzz – which was Google soldier to battle against twitter was obviously not pretty welcome. People were forced not to disable Buzz completely because they were linked with Gtalk status. But, G+ is not same as the previous projects, it is lot better.

Let us see proves to be better.

But the ultimate question is, why and how people will move from Facebook to Google+? I’m pretty sure a lot of people will have G+ profiles, like as many of us have unused MySpace, AOL, Yahoo! Profiles. But will the total population move on to Google plus?

Facebook has a very big nation, almost every people with whom we usually make contacts have and regularly maintain FB accounts. Celebrities, brands and products have opted in FB for keeping in touch with fans, clients, users and well-wishers. It is really tough to take the risk of making another fan base right away. There are lots of pages in Facebook and they are actually acting as a ubiquitous feed reader. Instead of subscribing to RSS or ATOM of a web content provider like lifehacker or Gizmodo it has been better to like their FB pages and see their casts on FB home. There are lots more reasons people are so much into FB. So, what I’m asking, is not “if G+ can be a better alternative or not”, but is “if people would opt into another platform when the platform’s main metric of attraction is its population?”

I’ll end this post with the first posts of my friends on Google+

“facebooking in the google way!” – my first post on G+

“ফেসবুকের নয়া ভার্সন আর কি!!” – in Bengali meaning: “Whatever! Just a new version of Facebook!”

“রোদন করার নতুন অরণ্য পেলুম :-)” – in Bengali meaning: “Got another place to shout :-)”

“googling and adding (plusing)” followed by “best thing about google plus (till now) is that it is not blocked in office :D”

and some tweets:

#Google+ is a step forward but I’ll need at least 2 more social networks if I’m to become truly successful at getting Nothing done.

“Dear Steve Jobs how long will it take you to copy #google+ and call it magic?” – I found this tweet hilarious

“Is #Google+ making you guys re-evaluate your friendships?”

See also:
http://techcrunch.com/tag/google/
http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23google
http://xkcd.com/918/ – the most comprehensive definition of G+ is right there on XKCD
lifehacker on G+

HTML5, CSS3 — the lovely couple

 

Long since the inception of the idea of making a Semantic friendly HTML and designer friendly CSS…
Now, in the early summer 2011 we’ve seen a joint-force welcome initiative for HTML5 & CSS3 by all major browsers with the launch of Firefox 4, Chrome 11, Safari 5 and IE9 and the web world is ready to see the happy reign of HTML5 and CSS3. Opera seems to be bit late now in this regard. But I’m happy to see even IE is up for it!

When I’m posting this blog, HTML5 is still in Working Draft and CSS3 has a Candidate Recommendation . But, hopefully they’ll be standardized soon. For this while, to experience them, you may visit:

Check State of the support on browsers at findmebyIP.com’s this page

Now, I’m listing some links, which helped me working with CSS3 & HTML5:

Ok, you have read a lot on webpages, now you can have a cup of tea and read this book using Fx4 🙂

Fix Delicious bookmark add-on problem with Firefox 4

Warning info_blue Major text on this post is copy pasted from someone else’s original post

Delicious bookmark add-on has long been my well-utilized tool in Firefox; but problem arose as I shifted from Fx3 to Fx4. This plug-in did not work and Firefox add-on manager displayed an warning saying, “Delicious Bookmarks add-on 2.2.106 is incompatible with Firefox 4.0”. I noticed the problem with earlier beta releases of Fx4 and hoped that this issue would be resolved before the release of the stable version, but it did not.

So, I googled and found some help text as quoted below:

  • From the menu of Firefox select Help > Troubleshooting information
  • On this new tab, near the top, you’ll see a field called Profile Directory. Click the button in the field to launch Finder (File Explorer for Windows)
  • In the window which has popped up navigate to the extensions folder.
  • Inside that should be another folder named “{2fa4ed95-0317-4c6a-a74c-5f3e3912c1f9}”.
  • Inside this is a file called install.rdf Open install.rdf in any plain text editor.
  • Around line 8 you should see some XML which looks like this:
    em:maxVersion=”4.0b3pre” />
  • Update this to:
    em:maxVersion=”5.0″ />

    (See we removed the changed the version?)
  • Save the file and restart Firefox.

The original post mentioned to change the version to 4.0 only by removing b3pre part. But, for updates of Firefox 4 it did not work properly. So, I changed it to 5.0 and started to use Delicious once again Smile

References:

Firefox address-bar search: restoring Google

Firefox is a nice browser, everyone agrees, and many of its default features are really cool. One of the cool features of it is the address bar. In default setting, when you do not put a valid address it uses the Google I’m feeling lucky search and it often redirects you to the web-page you really want to go.

Many Firefox plug-in tend to change this and set it to Yahoo! search or some other engine; in such case you might want to restore the original behavior. I suffered this problem, and the remedy is pretty simple.

Restore Google I’m feeling lucky in Firefox address-bar

resetFirefoxGoogle
  1. Open Firefox browser
  2. Type about:config in address bar and press enter
  3. Search for configuration key keyword.URL
  4. Right click on the configuration key keyword.URL and choose Reset from the shortcut menu.
  5. That’s all. From now onwards Firefox uses Google’s I’m Feeling Lucky when you type keywords in URL bar.

 

Other Search Engine Keys for Firefox

If you don’t  want to go back to Google and use some other engine instead you may find this list useful:

Trying to define “Smart phone”

People want to have gadgets in their pockets. You want to call by phone, check your schedule, look at some notes, get updated with your e-mails or even read and edit documents. Once people considered carrying a laptop the only option to do all these. But now, we want all these functionality, or even more, in a small gadget that smartly fits in one’s pocket. So, there were PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants); but it made you carry a cell phone and a PDA – two things at once! Then, came  the idea of smart phones that is still a phone but has many other functionalities. In parallel with these high-end smart phones, low-end phones also experienced addition of advanced features. Today we call these phone feature phone. With the advent of technology, line of distinction between smart phones and feature phones got blurred.

Editors, on their introduction to the “IEEE Pervasive Computing” issue on smart phones described smart mobile phone as  “arguably the first realistic platform for everyday ubiquitous computing applications” [visit page]

When I wanted to know what is the difference between a smart phone and a feature phone, I heard some voices to dispute… Current article on Wikipedia says “A smartphone is a mobile phone that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a basic ‘feature phone‘” Anyway, this definition is not clear, so let’s explore some more.

TrueKnowledge, an answer engine based on knowledge base and semantics,  defines it as “a mobile telephone that has extensive capabilities”

DBpedia, another knowledge base, has the definition as: “A smartphone is a mobile phone offering advanced capabilities, often with PC-like functionality (PC-mobile handset convergence). There is no industry standard definition of a smartphone. For some, a smartphone is a phone that runs complete operating system software providing a standardized interface and platform for application developers. For others, a smartphone is simply a phone with advanced features like e-mail, Internet and e-book reader capabilities, and/or a built-in full keyboard or external USB keyboard and VGA connector. In other words, it is a miniature computer that has phone capability. Growth in demand for advanced mobile devices boasting powerful processors, abundant memory, larger screens and open operating systems has outpaced the rest of the mobile phone market for several years.”

An study described the Smart Phone as “A Ubiquitous Input Device” and the authors noted, “We use the term smart phone to describe an enhanced mobile phone. Our analysis blurs the line between smart phones and PDAs such as the Palm Pilot because the feature sets continue to converge.”

Another definition by a group of researchers from Technical Research Centre of Finland describing smart phone seems convincingly complete. It says: “Smart phones combine mobile phone capabilities with a versatile computing platform that accepts third-party software. As with the PC, the smart phone’s emergence has led to a rapidly increasing number of available applications,… Such devices facilitate novel and multimodal interaction methods, including pointing, free-form gestures, and implicit, context-based control. In addition to controlling the mobile applications, a smart phone can act as a central controller for interacting with external appliances through Bluetooth, messaging, and Internet Protocol (IP) networking, for example. Interaction convergence has already begun; most people will soon use a single device, with various modalities, for an increasing number of control tasks.” [view article]

In contrary to the line of difference between feature phone and smart phone, earlier definition come with confusions. One publication defines, “Smart Phone is an emerging mobile phone technology that supports Java program execution and provides both short-range wireless connectivity (Bluetooth) and cellular network connectivity through which the Internet can be accessed.” But today, we really don’t call a phone smart if it can just run some java app or has wireless connectivity :@ [view article]

Pei Zheng of Microsoft and Lionel M. Ni of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, in their publication, Spotlight: The Rise of the Smart Phone, described the features of a smart phone:

“Unlike most conventional cell phones, a smart phone will have these features:

  • A color LCD screen with backlight.
  • Enhanced wireless capability such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and infrared and the ability to synchronize with computers.
  • A large memory (RAM and ROM) and persistent storage (memory cards or built-in hard disk).
  • An advanced operating system with a set of applications that usually include games and calendar, scheduler, address book, media player, book reader, recorder, note, and calculator functions. Many have a camera; some even have a Carl Zeiss lens.”

they also classified cell phones into three categories, in response to industrial camps,

  • high-end cell phones by cell phone manufacturers, such as Nokia, Ericsson, and Motorola
  • PDA phones by HP and Palm
  • Enhanced wireless email devices (that is, Blackberry) by Research in Motion

I guess, so far our discussion had not brought us all into a ubiquitous ground on the “line of distinction” between smart phones and feature phones, but we all agree that “a smart phone is a phone that is smart” (hell yeh! I have given the ubiquitous definition of smart phone, now all you have to do is look, for the definition of smart! LOL).

Umm, hmm, lets stop the discussion. OK! man… from all my digging on the web and tech articles, papers and blah blah blah, I have realize,

  • A smart phone has capabilities to do more things than a feature phone and less things than a computer
  • A smart phone runs on its native full-feature OS
  • User can develop and install applications in the smart phone, just not the Java or BREW ones, but those which run on the OS and can use device resources extensively
  • Some people argue that smart phones has true multi-tasking capability.
  • and blah, blah, blah…

we can spend all day on this discussion, I am just stopping it for now 🙂