Monthly Archives: June 2007

Brogan & Ryan Real Estate, Gold Coast

This afternoon Claire and I raced up to Brogan & Ryan Real Estate at Robina to sign the lease for our new home. When we arrived, the real estate agent was polite and didn’t make us wait around at all. In fact, she was so organised I commented to her that she was the most organised real estate agent I had ever seen. We walked into an office and she had with her, all neatly organised and in a folder:

  • all of our paper work
  • the documents were marked for signing
  • the documents were stamped so everyone knew which copies they were taking home
  • a little bag full of keys
  • photocopies of all of the keys, so we both had records of what keys we actually did receive
  • a pet agreement, awesome!
  • the mandatory documentation by the Rental Tenancies Authority
  • contact information for contractors if we needed any repairs done

It might not seem all that mind blowing, however every other real estate agent we’ve dealt with in the past paled by comparison. I hope that any future deals we have with Brogan & Ryan are as smooth as this process was.

Australian Stock Exchange Dummy Spit

Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) web site suffering from a fatal error which is returning random text. Error captured at 9:00pm 5 June 2007.The Australian Stock Exchange is currently spitting the dummy and returning a whole bunch of gobblygook content.

I expect they were doing maintenance or deploying a new version of the Austrlalian Stock Exchange application and didn’t think anyone would notice. As it turns out, at least one person was checking their stock information after 9 o’clock at night. Fortunately, the error was resolved by approximately 9.30pm AEST.

Google Acquires Feedburner

Google have acquired the popular XML feed distribution and advertising platform Feedburner for approximately USD$100 million. There has been rife speculation about the Feedburner deal on various web sites over the last month and the cat is finally out of the bag.

When you look at the online advertising landscape now, its incredible to think that in just a few years there has been such a massive swing in one direction. Back in the year 2000, there wasn’t really any one player that totally dominated online advertising – however companies like DoubleClick were really gaining strength and Google Adwords was growing as well. Fast forward half a dozen years and now you have:

  • Adwords (Google)
  • Adsense (Google)
  • DoubleClick (Google)
  • Feedburner (Google)
  • TextLinkAds (Independent)
  • YSM (Yahoo!)
  • MSN (Microsoft)

Without the recent additions of DoubleClick and Feedburner, Google already controlled over 60% of the online paid advertising. Yahoo! and Microsoft must be having crisis talks every other month at the moment about the marketshare that they seem unable to recoup individually; no wonder Microsoft are in negotiations to purchase Yahoo! again.

Google Gears, Shifting Into The Offline World

One of the biggest problems that have plagued a lot of new, cool web applications is that they are not available when you’re not connected to the internet. That might seem like a silly thing to say, however certain types of applications lend themselves to being used all the time in an online environment, so when you’re not connected it is a real pain.

Google have decided that its a good time to fix this problem by releasing a product known as Google Gears. The Google Gears product hopes to solve the ‘offline web application’ problem by providing a browser plugin for Windows, Linux and Macintosh which enables a web application to be tolerant of being offline.

The first public application to see the benefits of the new Google Gears is the web based feed reading application named Google Reader. After installing Google Gears, it’s now possible to disconnect from the internet and continue using Google Reader as if you were connected. After reconnecting to the internet, the changes that were made to the offline data are shipped back to the online version of your Google Reader data and everything continues as normal.

The recent release of Google Gears must come as a bit of a blow to companies like Joyent who released a product in March known as Slingshot. The Slingshot product provides similar capabilities to Google Gears, however it is limited to the Ruby on Rails development platform. I expect it won’t be long before someone provides a Ruby on Rails wrapper over Google Gears and it starts to gain momentum in the development world.

Right at this moment, the idea of providing an offline web application doesn’t appeal to me. I’m connected to the internet all day at work and its available when I get home as well. That attitude would likely change a lot if I were the type of person who travels a lot of has sporadic access to the internet; then it would really shine. I expect some pretty exciting development in this space in the very near future.