February 28, 2007

Adobe To Go Online

Adobe has decided to go online by providing both image editing and video editing software online.

Seeing as Adobe has their flash product, they will most likely use flex instead of a pure AJAX implementation.

Adobe has said they’ll be providing a “lite,” online version of Photoshop within 6 months. They’ve already moved into online video editing by adding flash-based video editing to Photobucket through a partnership with them.

While premium services/features, image storage, plugin purchases and other services may be great revenue streams, Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen says he expects to make money a different way:

Chizen envisions revenue from the Photoshop service coming from online advertising.

He intends for this product to be better than anything else out there and envisions converting users to his site before Google enters their space.

…but I have to ask one question…has he done his homework to see just what the click-through rates are on these image-editing sites??? People are there to get some work done and are not looking to click on ads. Adding premium services would be far more beneficial. Imagine having a button offering a feature there and, when you click on it, you’re taken to a subscription sign up…far more effective.

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Traffic on Google Maps

Google Maps now has traffic conditions on google maps.

If you’re in San Francisco, New York , Chicago, Dallas, or any of the other cities we now include, just click on the traffic button to show current traffic speeds directly on the map. If your route shows red, you’re looking at a stop-and-go commute; yellow, you could be a little late for dinner; green, you’ve got smooth sailing.

It is being given top billing by getting its own button next to the 3 map type selection buttons. This probably implies they are getting (or expect to get) a lot of usage out of it.

If you’re zoomed out, you see traffic lights that you can click on to get area info and zoom links. Once you zoom in, the highways are color-coded. This is a much better interface than the hard to understand/read icons similar to Caltrans (and other traffic mappers). Rather than seeing where a traffic accident has occurred and that backup begins from there, you can see how far the backup goes. Hopefully this info is accurate and is not just a “point-to-point” reading where they have read the car speeds through sensors in the roads at two different locations that may be too far apart and have decided to color code the entire are between them as red (rather than using some sort of algorithmic extrapolation such as the change in speeds between the two locations to estimate where speeds slow down/stop.

Google Mobile has had this feature for half a year or so. I find mobile to be the best place for this…but a tie in with a navigation system would be far superior to a phone (do you “read” your phone while driving???).

Anyway, how long until we get the API? … Yahoo already provides us with one.

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February 22, 2007

Insider Pages Acquired

Techcrunch reports that Insiderpages has been acquired by a public company for slightly more than the total capital raised for the venture. Most everyone I know who worked there is now gone so I’ll have to wait for the details.

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February 15, 2007

Google Maps Changes: 3D Buildings, Building Names, and Mass Transit

I’ve noticed some change to Google Maps.

They include:

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February 8, 2007

More APIs from Yahoo

Both Google and Yahoo have released interesting APIs based on XML feeds and the HTTP protocol.

Under a year ago (I think), Google launched the GData API uses Atom or RSS and will read/download, update, edit, or delete the data. APIs are available for many of their products that use RSS or Atom feeds such as Google Calendar. This will allow people to create their own applications that leverage some of their products.

However, the more interesting product seems to have just arrived come from Yahoo. They launched Yahoo Pipes (I was playing with it last night but this morning they have the following message: “Our Pipes are clogged! We’ve called the plumbers!”). Hopefully they get things fixed shortly so others will be able to check it out.

Here’s what Tim O’Reilly has to say about it:

Using the Pipes editor, you can fetch any data source via its RSS, Atom or other XML feed, extract the data you want, combine it with data from another source, apply various built-in filters (sort, unique (with the “ue” this time:-), count, truncate, union, join, as well as user-defined filters), and apply simple programming tools like for loops. In short, it’s a good start on the Unix shell for mashups.

For those of you who use unix, you know that pipes (|) allow you to send the output of one command to another so you can chain lots of logic together. I like the idea a lot and it has a nice interface, much of which will have a learning curve…but not as big as Google’s since it leverages a drag and drop interface. This may mean more applications from creative people that are not as familiar with programming…which is always a good thing because it good ideas and products tend to build on existing ones.

Pretty interesting stuff. I can’t wait to see what people do with it…I also wonder if people will do things like remove ads from feeds and aggregate feeds to create their own minisites they can repurpose to create splogs or other similar sites…or if the original content creators will take any sort of action to prevent this from happening (I wonder if Yahoo uses a different user-agent which can be specified in the robots.txt file, for example).

Yahoo employee, Jeremy weighs on Yahoo Pipes in as well as Google employee Matt Cutts.

For you developers building local applications, Niall Kennedy brought my attention to a location extractor:

My favorite operator is the location extractor which analyzes an item’s text attempting to identify addresses, locations, or the URLs of popular mapping services.

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February 4, 2007

Yahoo Launches OurCity

Yahoo launched OurCity. OurCity tries to tie together local information from blogs, videos, news, events, photos, and more.

The new OurCity Blog says:

Yahoo! Our City provides a very interesting, rich and dynamically updated perspective of our city as seen and experienced by us all. You can use Our City to

  • Explore photos, videos, events, news, weather, blogs and a lot more
  • Share events, photos, videos, trip plans and blogs with others

This is the new generation of the web - City content of the users, by the users and for the users.

Currently, they’re only covering Bangalore and Dehli but they are planning on adding more cities.

Hopefully we’ll see what the US looks like shortly. I’d be interested with seeing the relevance of the information tied in together on the page. For example, I’d be more interested in “Burbank” than “Los Angeles” (which would have far too much information and would most likely show completely unrelated information mashed together on the same page.

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