Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hacking a MacBook Air so it works like a Lenovo

An incredible hack was performed in which someone installed a Verizon wireless card into a MacBook Air. I've stated before that it's ridiculous that the Air has to have an external, USB wireless card while the Lenovo competition, the X300, has that built-in (and more). This person went into his MacBook Air with a soldering gun, removed the Wifi card and replaced it with a Verizon wireless card so he could have a Mac with always available wireless. Brave! LINK via PowerPage.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cars in Paris 3

This is the boot of the Renault Megane. A good match-up for the so-called "Bangle butt" from BMW but really much more striking. This design grew on me. I'd buy one with a 2.0 diesel if I lived in France. On my other blog I have a longer post about the Renault Scenic we drove for several days--great car (LINK).

A nice old Mini and a new Smart. Just goes to show that the Smart isn't really all that small. And the Mini can seat 5 versus the Smart's 2. Shows what a great design the Mini was, so many years ago.
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Cars in Paris 2

You can buy this Lotus in the United States but I've never seen such a speed racer version.

Who cars that this Porsche gets only about 12mpg??!!

There are a lot of these 3 wheeled bikes around Paris.
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Cars in Paris

I love this two door Peugeot with sliding doors. Sort of like a coupe minivan.

There are some STRANGE names chosen for European cars.
Update: it's a perfume brand: LINK

That's stretching the limit on the definition of "motorcycle". Can fit 2 people side-by-side but not Americans--they have to be thin like the French.

There's a wonderful new version of the old Fiat 500 out. Saw several but forgot to snag a picture. Here's the original.
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008


What is so wonderful about GMail is that everything is archived and searchable.

What is so not wonderful about the GMail-Salesforce mashup is that . . . it's not.

The GMail to Salesforce function is pretty useless. It only chronicles outgoing e-mail, if you remember to tell it to do so each and every time you send an e-mail or automatically if you initiate the e-mail from within Salesforce. But why would you initiate the e-mail from within Salesforce? GMail isn't integrated into e-mail so you'll naturally be in GMail for e-mail, not in Salesforce. Sure, if you do this chronicling, co-workers will have access to those outgoing e-mails, but CRMs like GoldMine have enabled the chronicling of both incoming AND outgoing e-mail for a decade.

Salesforce is the old topography. GMail, like the rest of Google, relies on tags not containers. Hence, unlimited searching, sorting, organizing. Hopefully this GMail-Salesforce mashup is just the beginning, but otherwise, at least in terms of e-mail, it's doa in mho.

The documents integration is much better, and I'll comment on that in a later post.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Google Apps + Salesforce: needs more mashing

The mashup of Google Apps + Salesforce needs more mashing. GMail, the front man of this act, is hardly more than a unidirectional link. From within Salesforce you can now e-mail any contact and have that e-mail recorded in their Salesforce contact record. Similarly, you can produce the same effect from within GMail. But you'll only get that first conversation recorded, nothing more. And you'll have no link back to Salesforce because all it's really doing is bcc-ing the e-mail to your Salesforce system, looking up the receipient's e-mail address and recording the text of the e-mail. How disappointing. I'd been dreaming about a much tighter integration, ideally where GMail resided within Salesforce allowing you to record all your back and forth conversations. GoldMine, a CRM that probably predates the web, had such functionality. Why the heck can't Salesforce?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fake Steve is on his game AGAIN

Brilliant work from Fake Steve, cutting me down to size and showing just how marginalized I am in my excitement about GMail + Salesforce. One of many good points:

"[Benioff, CEO of SalesForce] ironically, has built his business around a bloated, overly expensive, outdated business model, a model that comes straight out of the late Nineties -- he's running his own data center, and he's using Sun servers and Oracle software." -- FSJ LINK

Nirvana (I hope): Google Aps and Salesforce

I've been waiting for this for years! I hope it's as good as I hope . . . LINK

Joy of Tech continues . . .

JoT continues to amaze me with their ongoing output and creativity . . .

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Google Docs Offline

How did I miss this? Google Docs are now available offline. That's a big deal!

Overview: What is Google Docs Offline?

Google Docs now allows you to view and edit your documents offline, without an internet connection. To do all of this, Google Docs uses Google Gears, an open source browser extension that adds offline functionality directly to the browser. Google Docs can be accessed offline by typing into your browser or by clicking on the desktop shortcut that is downloaded during the installation process.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

MacBook Air NOT a computer for the cloud

It's interesting to me how much the MacBook Air (MBA) is NOT a computer for the cloud.

Cloud computing is of course the Google strategy of having applications live in the cloud, delivered to the user from Google servers via a browser.

The MBA has a key limitation for cloud computing: no built-in cellular modem and not even a slot to insert an external card. For the road warrior or wealthy cafe denizen who relies on cloud applications (like GMail), access to the Internet all the time is essential. A built-in cellular modem or card slot to insert a modem is essential. The MBA can't deliver. It's impossible to rely on Wifi all the time. There just aren't enough open access connections available, and besides, security is a real concern. Watching a friend do a conference call on Skype as we drove into Boston drives this point home.

Apple's strategy continues to be to build desktop applications, rather than cloud applications. Strangely Microsoft's strategy is more like Google's: "Ozzie signals Microsoft's surrender to the cloud" (LINK). Long-term, can Apple really continue to prevail as the last holdout in the desktop wars? Will Microsoft get it together, scrap Vista, and embrace cloud computing with a new, streamlined operating system that's truly tailored to the cloud?

Or maybe the new 3G iPhone will be the sort of cloud computing accessory the MBA requires, with the MBA using it as its access to the cellular-served Internet.

More thoughts from ZDNet here: LINK

And more to the point that Microsoft may be forced to cede market share for desktop software, and by implication play catch-up to Google: LINK

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Google Presentations now Export to PPT

I think this is a big deal:
"You can now export a Google Presentation to the PowerPoint (.ppt) file format." Google Aps blog (LINK)
Sometimes the littlest innovation can have big implications.