Duke Nukem Forever, Windows ME, Google Wave, and more!
Predicting the next big thing is never easy, especially when it comes to technology. It's easy to lose count of the number of times Microsoft or Googlehave promised to create products that will revolutionize our lives. Granted, occasionally the corporate gurus are right – smartphones and wireless networks being two great examples. But for all the successful launches, there are as many products that don’t quite get it right. It could be a fantastic idea on paper, but when it comes to fulfilling the dream, they become nothing more than technology failures.
While many people were getting ready to stuff their faces with turkey and watch the Detroit Lions not suck for once on Thanksgiving (or just Thursday), Google's been busy doing some off-season spring cleaning. Again. This time, Google zeroed in on seven services it plans to shutter in the near future, including Google Wave, which will soon become a read-only service.
It was a short, strange road for Google Wave. Just a little over a year after being announced, the service was scrapped with little warning. While Google plans to use the Wave technologies elsewhere, wave.google.com is only going to be up through the end of the year. Google promised a way to get your existing Waves out, and now they've delivered on that.
Users will be able to export their waves as ZIP files. From within any wave, there will be a new option at the top called Export. Just click it, and choose ZIP, and select include attachments if you want. This will package up all the content in that Wave in one handy package. This works fine for people with only a few important Waves, but power users will find this tedious. Google claims to be working on a method for exporting ore content at once, but no details were given on that.
For most users, this should be enough. Few Wave early adopters used it enough to accumulate a wealth of data there. Are you exporting content from Wave? What sort of Waves are you keeping?
Google Wave may not have lasted long as an official web app, but the search giant announced today that it intends to use the existing code to design a fully functional application that can be hosted by anyone who wants it. The service will lose its integration with Gmail, but will still give active Wave participants a place to use and modify new and existing Wave’s after the service shuts down at the end of the year.
In many ways Wave might stand a better chance of reaching its full potential as a community open source project than as a neglected Google product. At the very least it takes the sting away from those who used the service extensively before they found out it was being given the axe.
It was one year ago that we got our first look at Google Wave. When it launched in preview it was only available by invitation. Now Google has announced that anyone at all can wander over to Wave, and get started without being invited first. Google detailed a variety of ways the public has used Google Wave in order to inspire new users. For example, Mashable's use of Wave to conduct interviews. A few educationalprojects were highlighted as well.
Showing that they are acutely aware of the state Wave was in when it launched, Google took pains to encourage disappointed users to give it another shot. According to Google, Wave is much faster and more stable than it was just a short time ago. In our experience, Google has fixed some of the major annoyances, like being unable to remove someone from a Wave. Developers will be happy to know Google has also open sourced some additional Wave components, and also released some new APIs.
Have you been using Wave all this time, or did you forget all about it? Let us know what you think of Wave now that it's freely accessible.
Google's Wave platform is one of the more interesting technologies to see the light of day (to a select few) in 2009, but it's far from the only thing that happened this year. Memorable moments abound, from the Obama inauguration, to Kanye West's antics.
These and many more have been captured in a pretty cool Google Wave rendition of the year's most memorable moments. Perhaps not as cool as Samuel Jackson describing the technology in a Google Wave (Link - NSFW), but pretty groovy nonetheless.
Cybercriminals have a lot in common with the Periplaneta americana, the common household cockroach. They seek out the dark, poking and prodding for ways to get in where they are unwanted. In their case it isn’t food, but the misery of computer users they seek out. And, just like cockroaches, once you think you’ve got them blocked, they find a new way in.
Kaspersky Labs’ Cyberthreat Forecast for 2010 says that IT managers and users are becoming more savvy, making fake programs, gaming Trojans, or web sites less useful for cybercriminals. Instead, it looks like they’ll be focusing their attention on P2P networks, botnets, and mobile platforms.
P2P networks will be used to support malware attacks. According to Kaspersky: “This method has been used to spread notorious threats such as TDSS and Virut as well as the first backdoor for Mac OS X. In 2010, we expect to see a significant increase in these types of incidents on P2P networks.”
Mobile platforms, iPhone and Android, will also be more frequently targeted. Kaspersky suspects that iPhone users, without compromised handsets, will be okay, but that Android users might be in for some pain: “The increasing popularity of mobile phones running the Android OS combined with a lack of effective checks to ensure third-party software applications are secure, will lead to a number of high-profile malware outbreaks.”
As for botnets, Kaspersky sees them as offering profitable possibilities by manipulating Internet traffic: “In the future, we foresee the emergence of more "grey" schemes in the botnet services market. These so-called "partner programs" enable botnet owners to make a profit from activities such as sending spam, performing denial of service (DoS) attacks or distributing malware without committing an explicit crime.”
Lastly, Kaspersky sees Google Wave as a potential target for 2010. It’s new. It’s untested. And therefore it’s vulnerable. Kaspersky says: “Attacks on this new Google service will no doubt follow the usual pattern: first, the sending of spam, followed by phishing attacks, then the exploiting of vulnerabilities and the spreading of malware.”
Google Wave is really just a rough pre-beta right now. So any attempts to clean it up and add features are more than welcome. Today the Wave team posted about the newest feature, following waves. This should make the process of managing public waves much less awkward.
From now on, clicking on a public wave will no longer mean it stays in your inbox forever. To stay updated on a public wave, you just hit the “Follow” button. When you are added to a wave or you contribute to one, you will be following it. Hitting the “Archive” button will remove a public wave from your inbox.
Public waves that you have only opened will now automatically fall off your inbox eventually. Finally, the “mute” feature has been replaced by “Unfollow”. Clicking the unfollow button will remove a wave from the inbox immediately. Google may eventually expand the whole “Following” idea to people, groups, and searches. So if Wave wasn’t confusing enough already, you have this to contend with.
The benefits of Google Wave are yet to be seen by the mass public. Google released an internal developer sandbox earlier this year and eventually rolled out a consumer preview to 100k users in September. Now, Google has announced its next step in the rollout process: the federation sandbox.
Federated distribution models mean that companies can build and host their own Google Wave servers and integrate them with other servers. The features and promises from Google about Wave’s capabilities mean that corporate collaboration will take on a whole new meaning. This next step, allowing corporations to control their own servers, means that Wave will more likely be adopted into business use.
The federation sandbox is strictly experimental for the current time. They have released about 40k lines of code for inspection and the Wave Federation Protocol and Conversation model. They have also demoed a terminal based Wave client.
Word has filtered out of the Google Wave Google Technology User Group’s London meeting that Google Wave will be opening an app store. The move, according to Zee over at The Next Web, signals Google’s commitment to this new technology, and provides encouragement for developers to expand Google Wave’s potential.
Google Wave is a real-time collaborative tool that permits groups to interactively ‘converse’ on a project, using richly formatted text, photos, videos and maps. Real-time here is taken to the extreme, with key-stokes shared among participants as they occur--no waiting for the press of a return key to send your thoughts along. The use of what Google calls “concurrency control technology” allows all participants in a wave to edit rich media at the same time.
Third-party developers have already come up with apps for teleconferencing, videoconferencing, and multiplayer gaming. The creation of an app store, similar to what Apple has done for iPhone apps, would provide additional incentive to developers to produce new, innovative add-ons for the Wave environment.
Other news from the London meeting includes Google’s plans to have an extension gallery up and running in a few months; ‘hooks’ which invoke actions, such as opening a new wave or launching a shortcut; merging waves; and deployment on networks and intranets for internal use by businesses. Google Mail, however, doesn’t appear headed for integration.