Google just launched its beta of Google Chrome, the in-house browser that is said to “combine a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.” The browser comes with a lot of interesting features such as a new tab look, a neat address bar giving you the options to search for keywords or auto-completing (even partial) web addresses, anonymus web surfing, web application shortcuts and the ability to isolate browser tabs in case anything goes wrong.
Cuil, the new search engine looking for relevancy rather than popularity has seen the light of day today. Developed by former Google employees,it claims to be able to crawl through 120 billion pages (that is 3x more than Google and 10x more than Microsoft’s Live search). But what does it actually do and how does it perform?
Well I had had the chance to play around with it today, and I must say I am not overly impressed. Aside from the high server load and time-outs I managed to find either one of the two things:
- Nothing, or
- Anything but what I was after
Not so long ago I received an email from a former student of mine who has just started up his own design studio asking whether or not outsourcing work to contractors, freelancers or studios makes sense and what to look out for.
Especially for upcoming design studios or companies / agencies who are lacking in a certain area (such as developers or Flash animators) it makes sense looking to outsource work to keep employment costs low and not having to worry about whether or not there will be enough work to keep someone (or a whole team) employed.
We apologise for the 15 minute downtime last night, we have just ugraded WordPress to version 2.6 and the Automatic Upgrade plugin died on us due to a read-write permission error (I think!). But we are back now, happy days! :D
I am still working on getting my Yahoo-map-based travelblog prototype online, the Flash image-uploader is working fine, but there is an error once you have a number of users trying to connect / upload at the same time. Stay tuned for updates!
If you followed my entry about Map integration with Yahoo Maps and ActionScript you will probably be wondering what I have to report about the progress. As you may remember, this mash-up is about offering a client a new spin on travel bogging: being able to log in to the client’s website from anywhere in the world and give other users (and family and friends) the opportunity to see where you are going and what you are doing there.
Last time I wrote about this Yahoo / Flash mashup I connected the Yahoo map’s API through Flash and PHP to a MySQL database and was able to write / read from the entries. My next goals were to integrate a user-login, adding links, implementing moderation and a Flash image uploader script.
Over the last couple of months I have been working on a great number of design, usability and accessibility reports for clients of mine. Some of the sites I worked on are pretty good, and all you can recommend is maybe tightening up their call-to-actions or look at a couple of points of Section 508 to validate properly. Then there are some that need a bit more help than that. That is natural, some of the sites have been up for years and could do with a new design or will need some more development work.
But what gets me going of late is the inability of some websites to display their PDFs properly…
With the arrival of FireFox 3 (and its record-breaking amount of downloads in its first 24h) more and more of us web architects and web developers are getting rid of their beloved FireFox 2 installation and are moving all their bookmarks, themes and extensions to version 3 of the popular browser. And rightfully so, version 3 is faster, much more stable and its updated Gecko engine is displaying your website creations in the best possible way… or is it?
I came across a couple of odd bits when developing a website – it seems like Firefox 3 is displaying a floated element’s width of 100% correctly, whereas FF2 would not fully acknoledge the width unless the element was previously set to “clear: both;” (or something along those lines, unfortunately I am still relatively new to the CSS cut-up world.
So we decided to install FireFox 2 again on the design-machines next to an existing FireFox 3 installation without causing any issues with the extensions or other settings between the browsers. I got it to work pretty much instantly on the first go, but since colleagues and friends were asking about how to get FireFox 2 to work with FireFox 3, here is a quick step-by-step guide after the break.
Adobe Labs has just released the beta of its Flash Player 10, code name “Astro”., and its time for us flash-developers to get stuck right in! Flash Player 10 introduces a number of new features and technical improvements to the exhaustive list of features and abilities of Flash 9, among them improved 3D effects and a enhanced drawing API.