David Kirkpatrick

August 26, 2010

Makin’ phone calls with Gmail

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:58 am

Gmail gets deeper into telephony with the ability to make calls to landlines and cell phones.

From the link:

Google is shaping Gmail into the ultimate communications hub. Today, the companyannounced that United States users will be able to make and receive calls within Gmail, providing they install the company’s voice and video plug-in.

Users could already call and video chat with other Gmail users, but the new features allow them to call landlines and cellphones. Google says that calls to phones within the U.S. and Canada will be free for at least the rest of the year, and calls to many other countries will cost 2 cents a minute.

February 9, 2010

Gmail 2.0

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:25 pm

As in it looks like Gmail is about to go web 2.0 on us. To me this just seems like blurring the role of Gmail. Sometimes there is such a thing as too much functionality.

Via KurzweilAI.net:

Google’s ‘Social’ Gmail: Could It Really Work?
PC World, Feb. 8, 2010

Google‘s social networking component for Gmail will reportedly aggregate updates from friends into single tweet-like status updates.
Read Original Article>>

November 5, 2009

Google’s Dashboard feature

Filed under: Business, et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:18 pm

Apparently this thing rolled out today, but after a quick peek around I couldn’t find it.

From the link:

Google is offering a new privacy control that will make it easier for people to see some of the information being collected about them.

The “Dashboard” feature unveiled Thursday pulls together all the data that pour into Google’s computers whenever Web surfers log in to one of the company’ services.

That includes summaries of an individual’s e-mail, search requests and viewing habits on Google’s video site, YouTube. Before, a user would have to check multiple places for all that.

Update 11/6/09 — Here’s the Google Dashboard story with links straight from Mountain View.

October 30, 2009

A cloud computing primer

Filed under: Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:05 pm

I’ve done plenty of blogging about cloud computing, but as the buzzword gets more and more mainstream, more people become curious. This article lays out the basics, pros and cons of cloud computing for anyone looking for a quick primer.

From the second link:

What exactly are we talking about? The “cloud” is an IT term for the Internet, and cloud computing, or cloud integration, means storing and having access to your computer data and software on the Internet, rather than running it on your personal computer or office server. In fact, if you use programs such as Gmail or Google docs (GOOG), you may not realize you are already doing cloud computing.

Part of the confusion is that the terminology is rather vaporous, particularly for non-tech-savvy types, including many small business owners. And it does represent a major shift in how businesses and individuals use and store digital information. We’ll go through some pros and cons that may help you decide whether this is right for your firm.

September 4, 2009

Google blackout bad omen for cloud computing?

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:11 pm

Incidents like Google’s outage are exactly what gives me qualms about cloud computing. I had a pretty dodgy DSL line for a while and every time it was down for any amount of time I was a train wreck. If I was busy at the time it was even worse since I work out of a home office. I know for a fact I lost at least one contract because my service was out for an afternoon.

Thinking about going total cloud makes me imagine that scenario jacked up a few orders of magnitude. If your documents are in the cloud any outage takes them away. Running a cloud operating system? A blackout means a black desktop.

Anyone who runs a business using Gmail for a primary email and Google Apps for document storgage was totally shut down Tuesday afternoon.

Cloud computing definitely has some serious kinks to work out before it’s a serious option for real-world application.

From the link:

What have we learned from Google‘s latest outage? That 99.9 percent uptime doesn’t matter during the other one-tenth of one percent.

Yesterday’s outage was not Google’s first. They don’t happen very often, but they do happen often enough that anyone seriously considering Google for cloud computing ought to think again.

Gmail is the core of the Google Apps suite that is targeting Microsoft Office. Imagine Google does that successfully and tens, maybe hundreds of millions of users’ connected offices go offline simultaneously due to some Google glitch.

(My colleague Ian Paul agrees that the outage casts a dark cloud over cloud computing).

That prospect ought to be enough for sensible people to let others enjoy Google’s growing pains. Which is also why Gmail and Google Apps users are wise to retain other ways of getting their work done. But, if we can’t rely on Google Apps, why are we using them?