So, blogger is discontinuing support for FTP-updated blogs, which essentially means they will no longer support self-hosted blogs. You can either point your domain (or a sub-domain) over to them, or you're SoL.
Would you like 500mb of web hosting, plus Python, plus Django, plus a lot of Google database and application goodies? Would you like it for free? Then, my friend, what you need is Google App Engine. No mention yet of what the pricing is like after you hit your 5 million hits per month. But trust me, if you're at 5 million hits per month, you don't care.
Sorry Amazon S3, but you can basically suck it.
Update: um, yeah, it's wait-listed. Though if you have Google Apps, you're probably in.
Some of this woman's statements are just so patently dumb that I still want to believe it's a hoax. "...whether Mr. Moore wants to challenge the healthcare industry, advertising is a very democratic and effective way to participate in a public dialogue" Seriously? You mean as opposed to going out and interviewing people for a documentary on the topic?
I was all set this morning to do a long rant on why we should be using this date format:
2007/05/22 (or 2007-05-22 in situations where the "/" is inappropriate)
Looks a little weird, I know, but no matter what culture you're from, there's no doubt what date that refers to. I didn't even have to tell you that it's YYYY/MM/DD--because what else could it be? My personal reason for adopting this format over 10 years ago was that it sorts well in plain-text data--like in the file system on a computer. It continues to sort well even when followed by a similarly-standardized time (like 16:22:03).
Anyway, the reason I don't have to do a long(er) rant is that a fast Google Search reveals a lot of other people thinking about this:
I guess you know it's a mature technology company when it starts releasing phantom products. Google announced (pre-announced?) new hosted software for presentations. But since when does Google announce things without anything to showcase? Shouldn't they have been in beta for a year or so first? Shouldn't I have an account before they announce it to the world?
It's interesting that Google's explanation for why their soon-to-be-comprehensive "office" collaboration platform is not a direct Microsoft Office competitor is "It doesn't have all the functionality, nor is it intended to have the functionality of products like Microsoft Office." That's at best a backhanded compliment, since one of the perceived problems with Office is the creeping featurism and overall complexity (not to mention being backed by byzantine technologies like Exchange Server that are prone to blowing up in the faces of small businesses). Many have argued that 80% of users could (and sometimes do) get by with 20% of the functionality of Microsoft Office, with improved productivity due to reduced complexity, and this would seem to be the territory Google's hosted workspace is prepared to inhabit.
By the way, if you want to sniff the vapor a little more deeply, poke around the Google cache or Internet Archive of Tonic Systems original web site. Tonic is the recent Google acquistion rumored to be tasked with making gPresentations fly. It looks like they already had a pretty dense Java-based toolkit for manipulating PowerPoint presentations.
A Halting First Step Toward Online Privacy Transparency
By telling us that personalized search data, IP addresses, etc. are to be kept for no more than 18-24 months "unless we're legally required to retain log data for longer," what Google actually revealed today is how bad the current state of online privacy protection is. Not only are companies collecting and maintaining this data almost indefinitely, but in some cases they're legally bound to do so. This constitutes one of the dirty not-so-little secrets of online existence: we have little idea about and almost no control over the data that is collected about us.
Imagine if everywhere you drove a record was kept of your route, speed, what stores you visited, who you talked to, etc. In the real world this kind of surveillance requires a warrant and an enormous amount of effort (digging into your credit card purchases, getting your cellular company to flip the switch that turns your phone into a GPS-enabled mobile bug, etc.). But to perform the same observations on line all you need is access to Google's databases--between the Toolbar, Gmail, Talk, Desktop Search, AdSense, Google Analytics, Google Checkout, etc., etc., a huge percentage of what you accomplish with a computer can be tracked, analyzed, and ultimately connected back to you. And this is just one company. There are literally hundreds of major companies that have access to and maintain this data. How much? For how long?
How long does your ISP keep logs of the web sites you surf to? How long does Yahoo keep a transcript of your chats? How much information does the web-integrated Windows Live search in Vista phone home about you? These are questions we've ignored for the sake of utility and expedience, but I have a feeling they're about to get asked. Google has broached the subject; now it's up to the industry at large to respond, and hopefully, when they realize how bad it is, online citizens to get involved.
Austin has become only the 10th city to partner with Google to offer computerized route planning via Google Transit . For some reason this is even more amazing than turn-by-turn driving directions. Perhaps because as someone who has never been a regular user of any kind of mass transit, the maps and schedules have always seemed particularly opaque and incomprehensible. In fact, I'm not sure I even believed that city buses ran on a schedule. And yet, I now know that if I were willing to walk to the bus stop (Google says 13 minutes from my house, but I'm not buying that), I could get to downtown Austin for 50 cents (the trip would consume about an hour, however, double what it takes by car). It even tells me how much the trip would cost in my car: approximately $5.25, not including parking. I guess maybe Austin is serious about that whole going green thing.