It’s A Good Day To Be A Geek

The hackers cleverly bypassed battery monitor which means an overcharged Nook could very well explode! Good hack guys.

If you haven’t been watching closely you’ve missed a few geekily exciting days with new technology announcements. Some of these are pretty substantial and could be the proverbial game changers. It’s all happening… changing so rapidly.

Doesn’t anything happen at human speed anymore?

Google was the main player. First, they redefined their new unreleased operating system Chrome.

Chrome will be aimed at netbooks which should be less expensive and bothersome than current laptops. The whole paradigm of what you install, change or keep on your laptop will be shuffled.

Instant web: Chrome notebooks boot in about 10 seconds and resume from sleep instantly. Your favorite websites load quickly and run smoothly, with full support for the latest web standards and Adobe Flash.

Same experience everywhere: All your apps, documents, and settings are stored safely in the cloud. So even if you lose your computer, you can just log into another Chrome notebook and get right back to work.

Always connected: Integrated Wi-Fi for home and work, and 3G for all the places in between. 100MB of free 3G data every month* on the Verizon Wireless network. Affordable data plans with no commitment required.

Meanwhile while talking up Chrome Google also showed a new tablet computer built by Motorola and based on its Android operating system. There are tablet computers other than the iPod right now, but you’d be hard pressed to name any. I expect an explosion in tablets over the next six months and both Apple and Google will be responsible for most of it.

Speaking of explosions, someone published instructions to hack a Barnes and Noble Color Nook so it could operate as an Andriod tablet! One problem, the hack disturbed part of the battery monitoring circuitry. Every time the Nook would fire up this circuitry would shut it down.

The hackers cleverly bypassed battery monitor which means an overcharged Nook could very well explode! Good hack guys.

I’d REALLY like a tablet computer. What I want doesn’t yet exist. It’s got to be ‘friendly’ with my camera. I’ll wait. No choice.

More news from Google who pushed out a new version of their Chromium web browser. Sweet. This one comes with its own apps store. More importantly the javascript engine has been turbocharged again!

Don’t worry if you don’t know what javascript is. Take my word javascript is the thing that slows your web browser the most! Run Chrome/Chromium as your browser and you’ll immediately feel like you bought a faster computer.

If you are not using Chrome/Chromium as your browser you really should give it a try. It’s free and fast.

Finally yesterday Microsoft announced their soon-to-be released Internet Explorer 9 would have new privacy controls.

Tracking Protection in IE9 puts people in control of what data is being shared as they move around the Web. It does this by enabling consumers to indicate what websites they’d prefer to not exchange information with. Consumers do this by adding Tracking Protection Lists to Internet Explorer. Anyone, and any organization, on the Web can author and publish Tracking Protection Lists. Consumers can install more than one. By default, there are no lists included in IE9, which is consistent with our previous IE releases with respect to privacy.

This is a big deal. Everyone who knows anything about Internet security is demanding more privacy controls. Microsoft is the last player I’d expect to be stepping up for me versus advertisers and marketers.

See what you missed yesterday.

Hooked On Chrome

It was reasonably fast, had fewer security holes and was produced by hippies who’d attended Woodstock and still lived on a commune.

This blog is written mostly for my own enjoyment. That sentence prefaces this entry in an attempt to give myself permission to write about geeky, nerdy stuff. Specifically web browsers.

Are you still here?

In the enlightened 2010s most web surfers still use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. IE has been a horrendous browser. Sorry Microsoft, it has.

Users don’t notice, but developers will quickly let you know IE has been a non-standards compliant nightmare and about as secure as a pup tent! It’s gotten better in its latest iterations, but it’s still s-l-o-w.

Oh yeah–browsers vary in speed. Noticeably. That’s mostly because of how they handle javascript, a language vital to the web and executed on the user’s machine with nearly every webpage–often more than once.

Are you really sure you want to read this?

I moved away from Internet Explorer a few years ago. My browser love was committed to Firefox the open source browser from the Mozilla Foundation.

Firefox had everything a good dweeb needed. It was reasonably fast, had fewer security holes and was produced by hippies who’d attended Woodstock and still lived on a commune. OK. Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration.

Firefox, is created by an international movement of thousands, only a small percentage of whom are actual employees.

Cue the unicorns!

About six months ago I began to use Google’s Chrome browser. It was stark. Almost immediately I realized I didn’t like it.

Sure, it was faster than Firefox–noticeably faster. It just didn’t have Firefox’s huge collection of add-ons. That was the deal breaker. Yet somehow I kept getting drawn back to Chrome.

Today 90% of my web time is spent using Chrome. It’s the speed. There’s that much difference. It feels like I’ve got a new PC.

Unfortunately some sites insist I use something other than Chrome. I can’t always be sure why. Firefox and IE have to remain on standby.

Google doesn’t need my proselytizing. Chrome will catch on without me. I just wanted to give you a heads up. It’s worth checking out.