Archive for September, 2011

Embedded Google Calendar …

An embedded Google Calendar. Using iFrame tags, a master calendar or linked calendars can be placed on any of a number of web pages. An edit to the calendar via Google Apps updates the linked web page(s) with no further intervention needed. Using a Google Calendar also provides their mapping features, which are very helpful to visitors when listing an event location. To see an example of the mapping feature, go to June 10, 2011.

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In 2004, work began on a new web standard, HTML5. The purpose of this standard was to reduce the coding syntax errors that have piled up since the first uses of HTML. Importantly, HTML5 is designed to provide the transition to a uniform means of handling multimedia, such as streaming video, without the need for third party plug-ins such as Flash.

As of this writing, the transition is underway, but not yet completed. A particular sticking point is the acceptance of a universal video format. Several technologies are in the running, and current browsers may or may not support one of the new encoding methods. Initially, page designers will need to provide fallback coding in case an older browser is unable to decode a new multimedia file type.

Once the new standard is firmly in place, we should see better performance, browser stability, and uniformity in web page presentation, regardless of the  platform being used.

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Cloud Computing …

It’s shaping into a new world of computing out there, where applications, databases, and communications are being served via an internet connection rather than being produced and stored entirely on an individual PC.

As an example, this site is generated on a “cloud”. The design application, authoring tools and database management applications are provided from and stored on a server in Provo, Utah.

Obviously, “cloud computing” can mean tremendous advantages to IT department budgets, as numerous applications can be deployed across an entire organization without the need for single installations and constant updates to individual PCs. Many of us have been using the cloud for some time, ‘Google Apps’ is but one example of an integrated application system.

But what are the downsides? There are a few that readily come to mind.

  • There must be internet connectivity. Lose that, and you lose access.
  • Security. If a virus or hacker breaches the cloud service provider, your proprietary information could become compromised or stolen. Click here for an interesting read on the subject.
  • Stability. If the service provider becomes insolvent and goes out of business, how to recover?
  • Control. While many systems are open source, many others are not. If one chooses to deploy a proprietary system, how much control is lost or hidden costs realized?

There’s no question that technology is moving in this direction, and it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

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