At first glance, Google+ seems promising. I like how the Circles feature gives you more control over who you share with. The desktop browser interface looks nice and works well, but the mobile experience on the iPhone leaves something to be desired. Several features are unavailable including photo uploading and profile editing, and viewing someone else’s profile still redirects to Google Buzz. The iPad just displays a larger version of the iPhone interface that doesn’t take any advantage of the increased screen size. I hope Google will do a better job with iPad support than Facebook has. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve done with the iOS app, which is supposedly just waiting for approval from Apple.
Google recently increased the size of the search box on the home page and search results. Am I the only one that thinks it looks clunky and amateurish?
When creating a new Windows Communication Foundation web service, the default extension is .svc. This can be a problem if you want to migrate an existing .NET web service where clients may have hard-coded the .asmx extension. The following article from MSDN Blogs shows how to configure a WCF web service that uses the .asmx extension:
My wife has been trying to get me to keep better track of our various family events and appointments, but I find the process a bit cumbersome. She puts together a calendar on paper, which I then have to take to work and transcribe into my Outlook calendar. Once the data is in Outlook, things work pretty well as long as I’m at work. But if I’m at home, I either have to connect to the VPN and Remote Desktop into my computer at work so I can bring up Outlook, or just ask my wife like I always did before.
With Google Calendar, we can each have a personal calendar that we share with each other so we can keep track of each other’s appointments. We also set up a shared family calendar that we can both add appointments to. And since it’s Web-based, I can access it anywhere, anytime. It’s also integrated with Gmail so I can receive email reminders of upcoming events, use Calendar to send out event invitations, and easily add appointments for invitations that I receive.
This is definitely still a Beta service and it has some quirks and limitations. It doesn’t yet support Safari on the Mac, and my wife hates the mini monthly calendar that doesn’t differentiate between the days of the selected month and the extra week or so that it shows from the previous and next months. I’m sure Google will be making lots of improvements and bug fixes in the coming months, and probably adding some new features as well, but it certainly shows a lot of promise as another one of those services that just becomes a part of your daily routine.
The Opera browser is now totally free. Opera started out as one of the few commercial competitors to Microsoft and Netscape’s free browsers. They later came out with an ad-supported version that you could use for free if you didn’t want to pay extra to get rid of the ads, and now they have finally eliminated the ads and made it entirely free.
This has apparently been out there for a while, but it doesn’t seem to have gotten much hype. Opera has long been considered one of the fastest and most standards compliant browsers available, but it’s commercial beginnings may have hurt its acceptance. It has its quirks, but it’s a pretty good browser that also includes a decent mail client and RSS reader, and all within an installed size that’s barely a third the size of Firefox.
I’ve been using del.icio.us for a while now, not so much for the “social networking” aspects of it but because it’s a great way to keep track of all the useful and interesting stuff I find scattered around the Web. Not too long ago, Yahoo! debuted a similar service as part of its My Web 2.0 Beta. I gave it a try and found that it had a nice UI and a few enhancements like the ability to limit who can see your links, but also a few drawbacks (in particular, no option to rename an existing tag). All-in-all, I didn’t see any compelling reason to switch, especially since all my existing bookmarks are already saved in del.icio.us.
Now Yahoo has purchased del.icio.us, which begs the question of what the future holds for these two services. One thing is certain, Yahoo! doesn’t need two separate bookmark tagging services so something is bound to change. Which one will stay and which one will go? What new features will be added as the services are merged? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Via Scott Hanselman, you can now display a web page with Internet Explorer directly inside a Firefox tab. The extension is called IE Tab, and it provides similar functionality to the older IE View except that it embeds Internet Explorer inside Firefox instead of opening a separate IE window. Once installed, you can right-click a page in Firefox and switch to IE mode without switching tabs. You can also right-click a link and open the link in a new IE tab. You can even configure a list of sites that will always display in an IE tab!
It’s not perfect yet, but 99% of the time it does a fantastic job. Netscape 8.0 has a similar feature, but I find it a bit cumbersome and I really like being able to do it directly in Firefox.