As smartphones grow more and more powerful, they've come to resemble miniature computers more than the rotary phones of our past. In fact, smartphones and tablets are becoming so powerful that some analysts have posited that we're moving into a post-PC world. Maximum PC's response? Post PC my ass -- but that's a lot harder to say in the wake of the new Ubuntu distro for Android devices. When you're squawking, it's a normal Android phone, but the second you connect your phone to a monitor and keyboard -- BAM! -- you're greeted by a full Ubuntu desktop experience.
[04.09.2010 Update] Hey all. Just wanted to chime in real quick and note that Blizzard has caved in and reversed its "First Name Last Name" forum policy as of 9:47 a.m. (PST) today. That's Murphy's Law: 1. Blizzard: 0...
Ugh. I was all set to write this totally awesome column about how World of Warcraft's latest Real ID measures are The Lich King's gift to proper forum management, and it's just one more reflection of much of what I talk about in this weekly column--the idea that the walls are slowly lowering between our various online identities as we transition our lives into a tell-all kind of digital tale.
Of course, resident Maximum PC gaming pundit Nathan Grayson beat me to the punch. With respect to Mr. Grayson, however, I don't think that he's really covered enough ground in regards to Blizzard's announcement that any World of Warcraft players seeking to post on the company's forums will now be identified by their first and last names--the "Real ID" I speak of.
What I find most curious is that this situation blows open the various degrees of user permissibility in an open world of data. What does that mean? Simply put, there are varying levels of sharing that people are comfortable with in the digital age, and it's funny that so many are complaining about an unsheltered digital lifestyle that we're headed toward anyhow.
There are dozens of different computing devices in my home, ranging from the common—TVs, PCs, smartphones, and digital picture frames—to the unusual. Some of the more eclectic gizmos, like smart alarm clocks and various types of music streamers, deliver kick-ass functionality on their own, but there just isn’t much communication between these devices. There are dozens of different protocols and software interfaces designed to foster communication betwixt electronics kit, but none of the manufacturers use them. Seems like all the cutting-edge hardware we buy these days uses proprietary cables, software, and communications protocols.
Sometimes propriety is the price of progress: A product includes some new functionality that requires more than existing technology allows. Sometimes a vendor chooses one standard over a different competing standard. And sometimes it’s just sheer bloody-mindedness on the part of the manufacturer. But regardless of the reason, it’s unacceptable.
Apple does a great job of integrating its gear with other Apple products, but is notoriously bad about integrating with third parties. For example, I still can’t pull photos from my Flickr account into my iPhone without using a third-party app. Likewise, there’s no way to stream the music collection stored on my Windows Home Server to an AppleTV, unless I use Apple’s proprietary iTunes software.
Zoho allows for the attachment of files from Google Docs for use in its customer relations management (CRM) apps, including Leads, Accounts, and Cases. Attachment will require authentication in Google first, with Google Docs appearing within Zoho afterward.
Zoho mail will be able to attach files directly from Googe Docs. And users will be able to upload files either to Google Docs or Zoho Docs. Zoho’s project management application will also be able to access files from Google Docs.
Zoho, which has some two million users, also offers integration to Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint, and Microsoft Outlook, as well as a mobile option and a plug-ins for Internet Explorer and Firefox.