Google Desktop Search

I noticed Google has a link to its new Google Desktop Search software on their page today. I’m strongly thinking about downloading this, but before I do I’m wondering if it’s really worth it. I realize Google is very good about having uninstalls and whatnot but nevertheless I’m hoping someone that has tried it will write a comment here and say whether or not they like it.

Update: I’ve installed Google Desktop and I LOVE it. I don’t know how I found anything on my computer without it. Actually most of the time I had a hard time finding stuff…


Google’s Own Messenger

I know you’re thinking it. If you’re not well you can start now. When is Google going to come out with their own instant message program? They’re obviously working on it. Think about it — they started out with creating the world’s best search engine, then they bought out my favourite blogging service: Blogger, they own a pretty nifty networking service: Orkut and they’ve stated they want to infringe upon Microsoft’s turf. They clearly need to enter the messenger market in order to really pull the mass market of users from Hotmail to Gmail. I’m aware of Hello the IM that Blogger is pushing for the purpose of photoblogging, though I haven’t tried it. But I’m looking for something that can interact with my webmail – a true blue google product. It’s only a matter of time until we see “The Google Messenger”, and I, for one, cannot wait.

Update: Turns out Google doesn’t own Orkut, they are just affiliated. From Orkut’s help page:

Why is it called orkut?

Category: General
Updated: 2/9/2004
Answer is a new social networking service named for the Google engineer who developed it, Orkut Buyukkokten. (Orkut is easier to spell and pronounce than Buyukkokten.) This was created as an independent project and is not part of the Google product portfolio.

Update August 2005: Google Talk has just been released.


Japanese Train Sets A Speed Record Of 581 kph

Via Slashdot:

Last night a high-speed magnetically levitated Japanese train set a new record of 581 kph, topping its own record set just last month. The new Maglev high speed had real passengers on board this time. They proved that the distance between Osaka and Tokyo can be covered in one hour’s time. However, we wouldn’t see real trains for a while now since the cost is prohibitively expensive at this time. They expect that the cost would come down over the next 20 years. This seems to be the future of transportation, at least in Japan. Here is a detailed article from The Japan Times.

article technology

Behind the Scenes at Google

Via Slashdot:

Fortune Magazine published a fairly long but tremendously interesting article about Google.

“Instead of the usual exultation over PageRank algorithm and Larry-and-Sergey biographies, we get a different message – is Google growing up, and is trouble brewing at Google? Here’s Fortune’s description of the pre-IPO days: ‘Google has grown arrogant, making some of its executives as frustrating to deal with in negotiations as AOL’s cowboy salesmen during the bubble. It has grown so fast that employees and business partners are often confused about who does what. A rise of stock- and option-stoked greed is creating rifts within the company. Employees carp that Google is morphing in strange and nerve-racking ways.”

hypothetical technology

How Hydrogen Can Save America

I found this link to Wired Magazine about the pros and cons of moving to a hydrogen energy based society. I’ll summarize for those not wanting to read the article. The author believes that in order for hydrogen to be a viable solution the government has five major obstacles to deal with simultaneously:

  1. Solve the hydrogen fuel-tank problem.
  2. Encourage mass production of fuel cell vehicles.
  3. Convert the nation’s fuelling infrastructure to hydrogen.
  4. Ramp up hydrogen production.
  5. Mount a public campaign to sell the hydrogen economy.

Hydrogen Engines have been around for a while. Their biggest problem is carrying enough hydrogen for 400 miles of driving — the range consumers generally expect. What is the answer to problem number one? $15 Billion in government investing. (I’m not sure how he comes up with this figure).

Mass production of fuel-celled vehicles is the next problem. Again money is the solution. The author feels that the Bush administration should allocate $10 billion in incentive to automakers. Why $10 billion? Well it is a nice round number.

Converting the nation’s fueling infrastructure to hydrogen is another big problem with the same “easy” answer. Throw more money at it. The White House should ask for $5 billion to help gas stations convert to hydrogen stations, and the administration should also set aside $10 billion for interest free loans to oil companies in order to help them make the transition to producing mass amounts of hydrogen.

The next step is to ramp up the hydrogen production by looking at new sources of the element. Nuclear power has made huge leaps in efficiency and environmental friendliness. Using this as a source of electricity and then using the process of hydrolysis to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen.

The last obstacle that needs to be addressed is just a simple matter of advertising their objective to the nation. If the people support it right away, then it will make the transition faster and actually save money in the long run. $25 billion in tax rebates for those using the new technology, and another $1 billion for advertisements. As the author notes, $1 billion is what Nike spends on advertising in a year.

Ok, now for my personal take on the story. The author feels that with massive amounts of spending that a fuel-celled economy is possible within ten years. I think that would be great, if that were actually the case, but it seems to me that it most likely will not happen. I guess a good analogy is the US switching to the metric system. If they had done it when they had the chance, they might have pulled it off, but now they’ve waited too long and every day it just gets harder and harder to switch. A country like China that has an enormous population but not a lot of gasoline based infrastructure (relative to its population) is in a much better position to implement the new technology. If the US doesn’t act, they may end up behind in technology to China — so maybe if they felt the pressure of losing the “hydrogen race” ten years would be possible.


‘Memory Lane Computers’ Suck

I found a message on my answering machine the other day from Don at Memory Lane Computers. Apparently he is upset that I have been using my address to post my “web portfolio” and he wants me to take it down. I guess it’s no big deal now that I have my new domain but it still somewhat ticks me off especially not only working there for those three or so years, but also because he was so rude about it on the phone; not to mention that I have been giving them business by sending my clients to them for hosting. But whatever — I’ve deleted it now and I don’t plan on looking back. But I probably will not purchase my next computer from them.


Hotmail Sucks

I hate Hotmail. I hate it with a passion. I wish I had never signed up for their crappy, albeit free, service. I just tried to click on a link from a hotmail message to join a blog, but hotmail keeps it’s little frame on and that messed up the scripts on the page I was trying to load and in the end I am just very frustrated with hotmail. I’m pretty happy that I now have my own domain and my own new email address, so I can finally say goodbye to hotmail once and for all.

life technology

My New Computer

Since I can’t think of anything better to post, I’ve decided to write about my new computer. I purchased a 19 inch monitor but had to take it back. The picture on it was compressed at the top. I got a new monitor — same model (NEC AccuSync 95f) and it has the same problem. Since I live in Lethbridge and the computer store is closed for Canadian Thanksgiving, I’ve decided to let my parents take it back and I will get a new one in Lethbridge.

Update: I wish I would have written the specs — I can hardly remember but I think this had a 1.2mhz AMD processor with 2GB of RAM.