July 22, 2009

Fun and a Little Weird - Amazon and Zappos

It's just been announced that Amazon and Zappos have joined forces. It will no doubt be considered a buyout, but it's an all-stock deal that enables Amazon to help Zappos expand it's brand. As the economy continues it's belt-tightening, expect to see more deals like this. The recent renewed talks between Microsoft and Yahoo (yeah, that tired old story again) just underscore this, and show that to survive, many of the top companies must buddy up and marshal their defenses. In truth, this latest rumor doesn't have Microsoft buying Yahoo as previous rumors this past winter, just an arrangement for a search deal. And wouldn't that make Bing just that much sweeter?

July 10, 2009

Animation on the Edge

So Spider-Man has had a rough time of it lately. Last year his beloved Aunt May almost died, and he made a very controversial deal with the devil to keep her alive. What really happened is he mucked with the time continuum, such that she never died, but other people didn't either. Harry Osborn, most notably. Also, his marriage to Mary Jane never existed. Wow. Brand New Day indeed. Anyway, lately he's gotten into trouble for some borderline risque pictures in a collection found in a school library. Whoops, that little deal you made didn't erase that, now did it?

And far far away on the sexy scale, we find evidence of George Lucas having a bit o' fun with his characters in a Disney world. However, we do not want to see Mini in Leia's slave girl outfit. No, no no.

July 09, 2009

Windows 7 Deals

Calling all deal hunters: you've only got a few days to score a great deal on the next version of Windows, so-far going by the catchy moniker Windows 7. Apparently there's half-price deals to be had at Amazon and Best Buy, but you've gotta shell out the money for 'em by July 11. Still not a big deal, and a great chance to save some money and not give it to Bill Gates. He won't miss it, trust us. There's also a chance you could get it for free if you're enterprising enough. Get to work people, we need to get out of this mess Vista got us into. By all accounts, it looks as though Windows 7 just may be up to the challenge.

Also, when you finally get that shiny new OS, here's some helpful-hints for why you should always think twice before you send that nasty email (use Google's mail goggles if you must), and how to digitize your life and get rid of clutter.

July 08, 2009

The Google OS

Google's plans have always been ambitious, but they've recently stepped up their game in a big way. No longer content to have your email, documents, calendar, credit card info, and all the rest of your personal info and computing attention, now they're setting their sites on the final frontier: the entire operating system. In what can only be explained as supreme power-play, and a credible threat to Microsoft, Google apparently wants to control it all. The new operating system will be built around their Chrome web browser; apps will be hosted by Google, and will be centrally served from Google's servers, working in the browser. Fixes, updates, and such will all be handled directly at the source (Google's own servers, in the same way that updates to Gmail, documents, and all the rest of Google's properties happen). The advantages to this are enormous, but it remains to be seen if this setup will be robust enough for real work.
At it's heart, this will likely be a resurrection of the networked thin-client which was so heavily hyped in the mid 1990s.

It didn't work then.

But this is Google. And it's going to be one heck of a ride.

Two Gone, One Out of Beta

Things on the internet change all the time. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. If you were a fervent user of Geocities or Yahoo 360, chances are you're in the latter category, as those sites have been dropped. Killed. Left behind, like 10-mile stragglers during the latter stages of a marathon.

Geocities is perhaps the one to lament during this; it was the one site that truly hearkened back to the origins of the user-generated web. It was one of the first sites where anyone could set up shop, grab some online real estate, and start writing to their heart's content. Although not specifically credited with it, it was probably the originator of the blogging c0ncept, as that's what most of the sites actually were. The Heartland/Hills neighborhood (all the pages in Geocities were subdivided into neighborhoods, which gave Geocities citizens a way to relate to this new online paradigm, and also organize it's content) was where The Revision Bar started out, and we'll always have a fondness for it, even though it's now been digitally razed. Heck, we can't even go and pay homage to the parking lot where it used to be, as it's all just digital bits, and they've been returned from whence they came.

Yahoo 360 comes as less of a surprise, although it too was a nice service that's being discontinued. To be fair though, all the functions are all just being moved over to Yahoo Profiles.

But here's some actual good news: Google's Apps, including Gmail, are now officially out of beta. At last. It's only been, what, years?