Biased review from a Chromebook owner

chromebook

I got lucky for once in my life and got a surprising email from Google explaining I won a Chromebook as being part of the Google Engage program for my web agency, Sparko. I received it last week and I’ve been very happy with it. What I got is Samsung Chromebook Series 5.

Google defines it as a laptop for heavy users of the web. I am one and also a heavy Google services user: Google Apps, Docs, Android, etc. It’s extremely fast to start and to get online, its main purpose. It also makes me realize that what I spend 99% of my time on a computer being online so I rarely need something else than that, a light, fast, sleek well-made netbook. Continue reading

Twitter and Facebook : Victims of the World’s Political Instability

Cyxymu's Twitter profileYesterday morning, Facebook reported  “network issues related to an apparent distributed denial-of-service attack”. Twitter was attacked more seriously being down for several hours. Youtube, Blogger and Livejournal.com were also affected on the same day.

From Russia?

The attack was apparently launched from the Abkhazia region, the region subject to disputes between Russia and Georgia for the past years. According to the Telegraph, a pro-Georgian blogger named Cyxymu was attacked by Russians.

Social medias are down

The DDoS attack led to massive media coverage but also to many facebookers and twitterers stuck to not knowing what to do with themselves for a never-ending several hours. Does that mean Russians want companies to being more productive on a given Thursday morning? I doubt it.

Global political perspective

Cloud computing is being questioned as a result and companies which rely on social networks will again, reconsider their choices. If the lesson to learn is not that Russians want us more productive, it certainly can be that global political instability does impact more people as the world gets more interconnected. It does not sound right to say that the Georgian conflict has brought down some of the most popular and used communication platforms in the world.

GTA 5 ou la réalité?

LAPDcrimemaps.com

Cyberpresse notait ajourd’hui que la LAPD nie l’existence de certains crimes sérieux. Les crimes semblent chose courante à Los Angeles et je ne peux que comprendre la police de ne pas vouloir exposer toutes les atrocités qui ont lieu dans la ville. Ce qui m’impressionne beaucoup, c’est que tous les autres crimes peuvent être reperés par tous les citoyens sur une simple carte disponible en ligne.

Mise à la disposition des citoyens qui veulent s’informer sur un quartier avant d’y vivre ou d’y opérer un commerce, cette carte permet de faire des recherches avancés. On peut même décider de choisir par type de crimes, comme on peut voir dans le menu à droite.

J’espère que cette carte ne sera jamais disponible à Montréal.

Tout de même, elle vaut le coup d’oeil:  LAPD Crime Maps.

Instant Power to the People or How Michael Jackson killed #iranelection

Twitter iranRecent news events have pushed the popularity and the limits of some networks. In a post I made recently, I mentioned how internet is helping democracy. The reality is that internet puts social pressure on whatever we’re looking at. Yesterday it was Iran elections, today it’s Michael Jackson.

Iran banned Facebook before elections

Right before elections, the Iranian government knew their control would be tested and that social networks would create instant journalists all over the country. That’s why banned Facebook before the votes. Pointless efforts.

Twitter exploded after Iran elections

Nonetheless, “fonctionnaires”, i.e. government workers, are as good as they can be when it comes to understanding new technologies. They probably tried and failed at shutting down Twitter but the result of not having done it was impressive. Twitter has since been overloaded with #iranelection posts and its general popularity is soaring.  The coverage has been massive and even though it’s not changing the actual conflict, foreigners can at least better understand what’s happening over there.

Micheal Jackson died and became more popular than #iranelection

Now in the midst of the Iran elections aftermath, the king of pop dies unexpectedly at age 50. No one saw that coming. Especially not Google who even thought they were being attacked. In a split second, #iranelection lost its leadership position in Twitter’s trending topics and even a week after his death, Michael Jackson still ranks better that #iranelection.

Could it be Ahmadinejad who killed the King of Pop?

I really appreciated Michael Jackson’s music and I have immense respect for his career. I however find it revealing to see how a general popular event can eclipse a social and political growing phenomenon. I guess it shows both sides of the medal, when it comes to the power we have in choosing the information we consume.

La Web TV à Montréal

Les webtv sont de plus en plus populaires. Juste à Montréal, on compte entre autres les populaires 33mag.com, montreal.tv et Urbania a maintenant sa webtv. À quel point les gens consomme-t-il ce genre de contenu? C’est certain que le modèle d’affaires est ou deviendra rentable très rapidement mais il est difficile à comprendre, vu de loin.

Le concept est très intéressant car au fond, les télévisions ne font que se financer par les revenus publicitaires, à l’exception des subventions qui ne se font que plus maigre avec nos chers conservateurs au pouvoir. Comme on s’attend à ce que les revenus publicitaires soient graduellement redirigés vers le web et qu’on perd un peu de quotient intellectuel à chaque année à la recherche de contenu plus instant, il est normal d’allier tous ces maux et opportunités dans la télévision sur le web. Les grandes chaînes voient cette tendance s’amorcer et elles tardent à réagir.

Le mieux dans l’histoire de la web tv est que Montréal se classe bien dans ce domaine, notamment grâce à 33mag justement. En fait, on assiste probablement à une compétition de contenu entre la web tv et la tv traditionnelle. Alors que nos chaînes locales achètent de plus en plus de séries américaines, on ignore encore le contenu qui est généré chez nous.

La question demeure tout de même : Qui regarde la webtélé ? J’ai jamais entendu personne dans mon entourage me dire qu’il écoutait la webtélé ce soir. Ou est-ce justement ça le problème de la webtélé, le manque de hipness ?

Cloud Computing and Entrepreneurship

I haven’t been involved in the online business for a long time but I feel that of all industries, this one allows any player to get in it fast and as an entrepreneur, I really like that.

At Sparko, we use Freshbooks to manage our accounts. I don’t see when this software will become obsolete for us. I was in the lumber trading business before and we used a proprietary and customized system. Operating from a remote desktop was a revolution for the company for which I was working. Freshbooks is simply genius. It allows to reduce our backoffice to managing exceptions. It eliminates repetitive tasks and sends emails to customers automatically.

The beauty behind Freshbooks is the fee structure. As a small business, I can’t afford a customized system. Freshbooks is a monthly cost. It allows for my accounting to reflect reality. Every month, when I use a given service, I pay for it. Period. Not large risky investment in a technology tool developed by a shaddy firm that will probably never live for the next 3 years.

My next step is the one I should have done first: look into Salesforce.com and implement it before my customer becomes too large and unmanageable.

Cloud Computing - Online Billing System

Cloud Computing - Online Billing System

L’avancement de la démocratie en ligne

Le Devoir rapporte aujourd’hui à quel point les médias sociaux sont présents dans l’après-élection en Iran. Les citoyens se ruent sur Facebook, Twitter et Friendfeed pour envoyer des photos et informations au sujet des derniers développements. De son côté, le gouvernement iranien actuel d’Ahmadinejad tente de filtrer tous ces sites.

La démocratie et le pouvoir du peuple ne fait que grandir avec l’avancement techno

Rassemblement en Iran

Rassemblement en Iran

logique et cet évènement n’est qu’un exemple de plus qui le démontre. Les gouvernements mondiaux tels celui de la Chine et de l’Iran actuel peuvent tenter de contrôler la population en collaborant avec les compagnies nationales de télécommunications, avec les fournisseurs importants de contenu, avec les engins de recherche mais ils ne font que s’embourber et perdre la face. La même tentative de contrôle étant beaucoup plus facile il y a 50 ans. Le même rassemblement social et échange d’idées était parallèlement tout aussi difficile à ce moment.

Le message : il faut s’adapter rapidement, utiliser et profiter de ces media. Ils nous offrent tellement de possibilités d’échange d’idées.

Tweet for god’s sake!