Sunday, December 23, 2007

Google Talk and AIM "integration"

Google announced earlier this month that you can now use AIM within Gmail along with your Google Talk account. While this is quite handy, it isn't any different then using Trillian or Meebo. You still need an AIM account AND a Google account. Google isn't integrating the two services, they are running them side by side.

This isn't Google's fault though. Google's chat service is based on the open source Jabber protocol allowing it work with any other Jabber chat service. Now if the rest of the major instant messaging providers adopted the Jabber protocol users could pick their favorite instant message client [program] instead of running four or five different ones to stay connected.

Standards are a huge part of technology. Sometimes there are multiple standards to meet various applications like batteries or memory cards, but usually having multiple standards only hurts the consumer. Look at havoc HD-DVD and BluRay are causing. Standards are especially important with communication tools. Imagine how awful it would be if Hotmail and Gmail users couldn't send email to each other because they were on different email providers. If AT&T customers couldn't call Verizon since they are on different networks. Why should instant messaging be any different?


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy /c?han{1,2}uk{1,2}ah?/i

If you understand the title, you are a nerd! The title is a regular expression representing all common spellings of the Jewish holiday "Chanukah". The reason there are so many spellings of the holiday is because it's a Hebrew word. There is no standard way of transliterating Hebrew to English so the only true spelling of the word is: חנוכה

Some other חנוכה trivia about the candle lighting. A menorah isn't actually used. A menorah is a seven branched candle holder while a hanukiah is the nine candle version used for חנוכה

So have a happy winter holiday, if you celebrate one, and a happy new year!


Saturday, December 1, 2007

My new blog

I've been using Google Reader to keep up with news sites, my friend's blogs and a bunch of tech blogs (like my favorite Coding Horror). So I've decided to start a blog. This may surprise some people (like my parents) since I never really enjoyed writing, but sometimes I do want to write about things I discover. Often these things are about programming, the internet or some other tech subject but once in a while they aren't; hence the title "Tech Tangent".