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Archive for October, 2010

Is Goo.gl really the fastest URL shortener? (chart)

Goo.gl versus other URL shorteners

A few weeks ago, Google made its URL shortener, Goo.gl, open for everyone and gave it its own website, similar to Bit.ly’s. Previously, Goo.gl could only be used by Google’s own services.

When they announced this, Google made a pretty bold statement: “… we do want it to be the stablest, most secure, and fastest URL shortener on the web.”

That’s something that we should test, isn’t it?

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SlowYou probably hate slow websites. So do we, and it’s pretty safe to say that it’s a universal rule.

There are a number of factors that can make a web page slow to load, both on the client side (the browser) and on the server side, but one really big factor is page size, and that’s what we’ll be talking about in this article. Hopefully you’ll pick up some useful information along the way.

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The incredible growth of the Internet since 2000

The worldIt doesn’t feel like 2000 was all that long ago, does it? But on the Internet, a decade is a long time. Ten years ago we were in the era of the dot-com boom (and bust), the Web was strictly 1.0, and Google was just a baby.

Since then people have welled onto the Internet. You don’t actually realize how many more people are on the Internet now until you start comparing numbers. This article is an in-depth study of how the number of Internet users has grown in the past decade.

We’ll start with the whole world, then world regions, then break it down even further into countries. As you’ll see, a lot has happened.

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AppleYesterday, Apple announced that it will be launching an App Store for Mac OS X, modelled after the App Store for iPhone and iPad. It will be available 90 days from now and we believe it will be a game-changer for several reasons.

Why? Because it maps a very successful concept from the handheld world to the world of the personal computer (yes, the Mac is a PC…), and it translates very well.

Here is why it will be a success.

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How Google dominates the Web

GoogleGoogle began strictly as a search company, and it’s still their bread and butter. However, as the company has grown, it’s spread its tentacles like a giant octopus out to most parts of the Web. A benevolent giant octopus, providing lots of highly useful services, but a giant nonetheless. Try surfing the Web without touching a single Google service. It’s impossible.

Google even shows up in places you’d never expect it to. For example, you know those “captchas” that websites and online forums use to verify that you’re human? Google bought reCAPTCHA in 2009 and is currently using the captcha input from hundreds of millions of users to improve its text recognition software.

But that’s just a tiny little service. Let’s see where Google has a more dominant presence, starting with, but not ending with, search.

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REST in peace, SOAP

SOAPLooks like the tide of the web API protocol war (if there ever was one) has shifted firmly in REST’s favor while SOAP has been forced back. Web developers have cast their votes, they want RESTful APIs.

Here is the distribution of the different API protocols and styles, comparing the situation in 2008 versus that of 2010, based on ProgrammableWeb’s directory of more than 2,000 web APIs.

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Google Chrome and bookmarksGoogle Chrome is a great web browser. It has a super-fast Javascript engine, it renders pages with the standards-friendly Webkit, it’s minimalistic and easy to use. It’s also been developed at a breakneck pace, reaching version 6 (!) in little more than two years. With Chrome, Google has really pushed the envelope in terms of speed and stability.

But Chrome has one huge disadvantage compared to basically every other browser out there: Really, REALLY awkward bookmark handling. And this is completely unnecessary.

Let us explain… and propose a solution.

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Linux as a mobile OS, much more than just Android

TuxThese days it seems like Android is on the lips of every tech geek out there, and it is arguably one of the most successful Linux-based products ever. But Android is not the only Linux-based mobile OS in town. Far from it.

In fact, Linux is such a common base for mobile operating systems that you may very well have used feature phones or smartphones running Linux without ever realizing it.

Here we will present 10 Linux-based mobile OSs other than Android, and these aren’t even all that exist.

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Chrome rapidly catching up to Firefox

Google ChromeGoogle’s Chrome web browser has only been around for two years, but with an almost frantic pace of development it’s already gone through more iterations in that brief time than many other software products do in a decade. Chrome is now up to version 6, and has a rapidly increasing share of the web browser market. It’s now in third place after Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Before Chrome arrived, Mozilla’s Firefox was the darling of the techie crowd (and in many regards it still is, but Chrome is a great, looming shadow on the horizon). Now, Firefox growth has flatlined. It’s still by far the largest web browser after Internet Explorer, but it’s no longer gaining market share.

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