Google Linux

The Google rumour mill is at it yet again, this time with rumours that Google is developing a desktop linux-based OS. The Register writes:

Google is preparing its own distribution of Linux for the desktop, in a possible bid to take on Microsoft in its core business – desktop software.

A version of the increasingly popular Ubuntu desktop Linux distribution, based on Debian and the Gnome desktop, it is known internally as ‘Goobuntu’.

Google has confirmed it is working on a desktop linux project called Goobuntu, but declined to supply further details, including what the project is for.

It doesn’t make much sense and Google can’t make that much money from it. It would probably make more sense to just contribute the changes to Ubuntu and perhaps help Ubuntu promote their OS to normal people.

Open Letters to Google

Several people have published open letters to Google about censorship in China.

Coolz0r concludes by asking:

How long before scientific results are filtered? How long before religious results are filtered? What if a Muslim country decided Christian results are no good? What if a Jew country decided to block out all Palestinian sites or news sources? What if Bush suddenly decided Darwin’s technology should no longer be able to be researched upon?

Adsense Popups and Floaters

According to JenSense, Google is experimenting with interstitials (watch an ad for 10 seconds before seeing content), expanding ads, floating ads and popups.

Google has certainly come a long way since it proclaimed that text advertising which does not distract the user works much better than graphic ads and popups.

Google is also making a practise of bundling software (Google Toolbar is included with programs such as Winzip). Google are also releasing all kinds of new pointless software (Google Video Store is even worse than iTunes) and have agreed to censor search results in China.

It seems like Google is giving up something which makes them different from other companies every day. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a significant number of people started to claim that Microsoft do less evil than Google.

Luna Element 5

Luna Element is probably the best visual style for Windows XP out there. I’ve been using it since version 3. Luna Element 5 was released today.

It’s available in the same blue and black variants as Luna Element 4. There are a few subtle changes since Luna Element 4 and some more noticable ones; highlighted items and text now have a light blue background, the start button is circular and the scrollbar changes colour when you move your mouse over it.

At the moment I would still say version 4 was better but I need a little bit of time to get used to this new version. I remember saying the same about version 4 when it came out but it grew on me. I expect this will also grow on me.

Highly recommended. 

Cairo in Firefox

According to the Burning Edge, Cairo will be landing on Firefox trunk soon – probably next week.

What this will mean:

  • Small speedup in normal browsing
  • Better rendering
  • Some cool stuff in SVG and Canvas
  • Antialiasing, bilinear image scaling
  • Accelerated graphics (OpenGL, etc.)
  • Make it uber easy to render a web page to formats such as PDF or PNG

Digg getting bad?

Is it me or has Digg really been going downhill over the last week or two?

  • Many front page articles have spelling or factual errors.
  • An article about Firefox vulnerabilities from one year ago made the front page.
  • Digg often reports old news.
  • People linking to an article on their blog with two lines of text with a link to the source. Very annoying.
  • The CAPTCHAs suck. You need to enter a CAPTCHA every time you submit a story or a comment even though you are logged in. The CATCHAs often show capitalized letters but you must type them in lower case (took me a while to work this one out)
  • Too many n00bs.
  • Too many articles per day you can barely keep up. Very little real news.

I once said that I thought Digg was as good as Slashdot. I was wrong.

Billion Metal Homepage

Evolution has launched their version of the Million Dollar Homepage (hands up if it’s actually set to your homepage) called Billion Metal Homepage (using MMORPG currency).

Quite a nice way to use up that excess metal (although I would have preferred mineral since I have tons).

A nice thing about this is that it runs on Geneone; in fact the same installation which powers neonDragon.net so member details, etc. are automatically available and synchronized between the multiple sites.

I’m off to find a 10×10 icon which is legible  

Google Web Authoring Stats

Google has analyzed over a billion text/html webpages to generate statistics such as the number of elements on pages, popular elements, ids, classes, http headers, editors and other metadata.

You’ll need Firefox 1.5 to view since they use SVG graphs.

Should be of interest to people who write webpages and people who like web standards. Seems like they are also fans of HTML 5 at Google Code.

Among some of the interesting statistics, imagetoolbar and mssmarttagspreventparsing are two of the most popular meta name values.