RossCode Weekly #007

posted on 2005-07-04 at 01:15:32 by Joel Ross

There seems to be quite a bit of news this week. A couple of big announcements, one that's caused quite a stir. But first, the smaller news items.

Google keeps on releasing software, and they're always doing it in weeks when there's bigger things going on. This week, Google has three new items. First, Google Video now offers…video. And the player's already been hacked to allow playback from non-Google content.

Next up: Google Earth. Google makes good use of Keyhole, something they bought a while back. And it's free.

Last, but not least, Google launched personalized search. This uses your search history (something they started tracking for you recently) and based on types of past searches, targets your results accordingly.

Yahoo 360 is still beta, but open to the public. Rumors say that plans also include being able to include non-Yahoo content. I'm still trying to figure out the value I can get from the service.

Maybe I can find the value in Yahoo's My Web. Version 2.0 was released this week.
My Web 2.0 is a social search engine. This looks like an interesting use of social software. You add contacts, and as they add pages, you can search those pages for more "trusted" results. It also allows you to import your current bookmarks as saved pages that you can search. That means I have 500+ pages already saved out of the gate.

More Yahoo news. It looks like Yahoo is working on a new version of their online mail client. I haven't used the web interface in years, but I check my yahoo account on a daily basis. Want to make Yahoo Mail more useful to me? Make POP access free, like Google did.

The first big news of the week: The Supreme Court ruled against Grokster and StreamCast, saying P2P companies can be sued for content on their networks. This puts the onus on software developers to prove that their intent was not to develop software intended to get around copyright laws. Proving intent is always difficult, but this will open the door for more lawsuits.

Ok. The biggest story (at least buzz-wise) this week: iTunes 4.9 was released, adding podcast support. Lots of feedback about this. First, the positive. This brings Podcasting to the masses and makes it easy. And that's about it. Now the negative. They've added some tags to their feeds, and some of it doubles up on existing tags. After the hollering last week, it's odd to me (and others) that no one's screaming about them embracing and extending.. Well, some are, but for non-monopolistic reasons, and not exactly screaming either. Now some more good. On Friday, they announced there has been 1,000,000 podcasts subscribed to already. That's in 2 or 3 days. That's amazing. Of course, that's causing sites some headaches with bandwidth. And since Apple didn't talk to the community ahead of time about what they'd be offering, one thing missed was BitTorrent support, so feeds like DotNetRocks and Evil Genius Chronicles won't work. And then, late in the week, comes news that they're caching podcasts on their own servers. This'll cause some issues for those who are relying on download counts to get advertising.

Speaking of podcasting, CastBlaster is in beta. This is Adam Curry's baby, and he's been using it to produce the Daily Source Code for a while now. I'm not into making podcasts (yet), so I haven't tried it out, nor do I have plans to. announces that Microsoft will release Atlas, an add-on to Whidbey that will add an AJAX framework to the .NET 2.0 Framework. It'll go beyond what callbacks will offer, and will bring AJAX to the mainstream for .NET developers.

Yahoo and Google both launched their mapping APIs this week. This could make for some interesting applications, but I guess that could have been said about Google's API to their search engine. I guess only time will tell, but I think these will be more useful than the search API.

Microsoft released an API to the Windows Desktop Search. Quitely. Channel 9 had the news, but it wasn't (from what I saw) released through official channels. I guess blogs are the new official channels! Either way, you can now make a much nicer UI for the desktop search if you want, or even integrate it right into another application that users spend a lot of time in.

That's about all I saw this week. I'm expecting a slow news week next week with the holidays, but we'll see.

Categories: RossCode Weekly