Monday, June 25, 2007

Why Plaxo is Still in Beta

I'm going to put my pictures up in a post after this one, so I'll try to keep this post short to compensate. What is Plaxo? It's really cool, actually. I think it handles one of the biggest problems facing average people in technology today: integrating all your contact information and addresses and calendars together. There's a Yahoo Calendar, an Outlook calendar, a Google Calendar, etc, but you want them all to show the same stuff! Well, Plaxo will do just that for you. It cleverly will synch together all these things, plus AIM, Microsoft Live, your Mac, your phone, and more. Even better: if you manage to get all your friends on this, you'll never have outdated information for them and they'll never have outdated information for you because Plaxo will always show them your most up to date stuff and even notify them. Plus, it'll keep track of birthdays, tasks you have to do, and tell friends about changes to your Flickr account and blog. Unlike Facebook, it doesn't tell people about what you do automatically, you have to share it and you choose who it shares with. Pretty neat, huh? However, it's not without several drawbacks. It's still in beta though, mind you. None of my Google contacts were imported, and the Outlook plug-in doesn't seem to be working for me. It could just be because this is a work computer where I'm not admin, but isn't that going to be a common issue for this service since most people aren't admin on their work computer? It's a nice UI, but not everything is immediately clear. I didn't realize when setting up some synchs that creating a folder for it meant that it wouldn't synch with stuff from other services, which is not what I wanted and now it's not clear at all how to change that. Then there's the occasional graphical bug. Still, this is a great service on the right track that's only bound by the fact that you have to get everyone you know on it for it to be really helpful. Oh, and why doesn't it synch with Facebook? Doesn't that seem like a glaring deficiency? I love the idea, it just needs some refinement.

So we have our first iPhone nut jobs: they camped out this morning. That's right, a 100 hour camp out. I don't care what the device is, if you're waiting outside a store for 100 hours straight then you are a total moron. The rest of you may be interested to know how the iPhone upped its battery life numbers. I won't read the article to you, but it's a good read if you were curious like I was. Even a year of computer architecture didn't explain that kind of stuff.

Speaking of Apple, here's a cool photographic timeline of the company's history. It's just fun to flip through, to be honest.

Ever wanted to be invisible? Well, check this out:

The development of a web application is often long and sordid, and Vitamin has a cool feature about one site with an interesting lifecycle. A rather common story in this field, but still fun to look at.

Lastly, ever wanted to see a jpeg as a webpage? Yeah, I haven't either, but this is still a damn cool utility that will do that for you. Quite clever, though it seems useless.

I just wanted to bring up one piece of movie news: the trailer for Hitman. Why did they play Ave Maria in the background? I get that they wanted some kind of peaceful song, but you're talking about a holy figure while killing people in the foreground. I'm usually not one of those Christians, but this is one of my favorite hymns and they're blaspheming a classic.

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