When Google Chrome came out a few years ago my curiosity was piqued and I gave it a try. I’m a fan of most of the Google line of products (Gmail, Google Reader, etc) and thought this should be a half decent browser. It was built out of WebKit after all (the same open-source layout engine that is the foundation of the Safari browser). Well I was sadly disappointed and didn’t give it another look until about a year later. By then it was definitely better and was giving Safari a run for it’s money. But it still couldn’t quite match up to Firefox at the time. How times have changed.
One of the biggest issues for me with Google Chrome was that, though it was fast, it didn’t always behave correctly with every website I went to. Like Safari, it would have some issues with some site formats. One such site was WordPress.com. Firefox was able to render every website with no such problems. Its only problem, as has always been the case, was that it was sometimes sluggish. Especially if you used a lot of extensions. Because of this sluggish issue I would keep my extensions to a minimum and only used what I considered were essential.
While I kept plowing and waiting through the load times of web pages when navigating with Firefox, Chrome was quietly, and constantly, updating itself. Currently Firefox is now up to version 9.0.1; whereas Google Chrome is up to 16.0.912.63 in, at most, 3 years time. Chrome no longer seems to have those compatibility issues with websites and it’s still super fast when compared to Firefox (I’ve done the last few blog posts with Google Chrome with absolutely no problems). Chrome has also gotten extensions. Though Google’s library isn’t as extensive as Mozilla’s they have the same ones that I use on Firefox and they haven’t affected the speed or efficiency of Chrome. I now find myself using Google Chrome more than ever before and Firefox has become a bit of an afterthought.
I usually don’t feel any loyalty ties with technology. I switch from PC and Apple without a thought except for what’s most convenient for me at the time. But with Mozilla, I feel like I’m letting them down. Firefox is built by a nonprofit organization that cares about a free and open Internet. They run a lot of programs to help steer the new generation to using the Internet in a lot of exciting new ways. They even have red pandas on webcam!
Do I abandon the cause of the everyman to use a browser that’s made by big corporation? Is the speed of Chrome enough for me to forgo my ideals because of the convenience of shaving seconds of load time? Maybe I’m making too big a deal of this. I don’t know. I haven’t removed Firefox from my dock but I’m using Chrome to write up this post. Make of that what you will.
One of the many blogs that I rarely get a chance to catch up on in my Google Reader is Cute Overload. Last night, while I was killing some time in between dance breaks at a party (I don’t dance much so the breaks were many), I did some catching up. I’m a sucker for cats (I have two of my own) so obviously there is a bias but this video of a mother cat calming down her kitten from its nightmare was just too adorable for me to resist. Play it down below for yourself and see if you won’t melt. Answer: if you don’t find it the least bit adorable something may be wrong with you. Then again, I may just be biased.
I recently read an article from USA Today discussing how social media, emails and the like are costing companies millions a year because workers are less productive now than ever before. This isn’t a new argument. It’s been going on for years since social networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace first appeared. But it is a vital one.
I definitely find myself wondering where all the time has gone every passing day and week when I feel like I haven’t gotten much done. I also feel a undescribable need to make sure I get to all my emails, status updates, blogs in Google Reader, etc. It’s almost impossible for me to sleep if I see a number greater than 5 glaring at me in my inbox. With advancement in technology, specifically smartphones, I feel more compelled than ever before to check all my social media and internet stuff. Prior to having a smartphone I would only check at night when I got back home from work and occasionally during work on my lunch break. The creation of the smartphone has made me connected to all these distractions 24/7.
There are some days when I’m able to disconnect myself from my phone and not think about it at all. It was especially easier when I had deleted my Facebook account two times before. But social media isn’t going away anytime soon. We must learn to adapt to this new distraction as we have with others in the past (radio, tv, video games, etc). The novelty of constantly tweeting has definitely worn off a bit for me. Though newer check-in apps like Foursquare and GetGlue have recently made me get in the habit of tweeting my every whims, I have gotten a better grasp of them and only use them more seldom now. Moderation is the key as it always is for all things fun and distracting.
With my personal time being scarce as it is, it’s hard for me to keep up with as many blogs as I would like. With the exception of informative blogs like Engadget and Punchline (tech and comedy blogs) I pretty much just skim a few of them through Google Reader and call it a day.
With that being said, there is one Blog that I discovered almost at random that I haven’t stop going back to and that’s “You’ve Been Hooked!” that’s written by a hotel worker in Canada. I say “almost” random because the author of that blog wrote a comment on mine (back when I was still using WordPress.com. I know it hasn’t been that long but whatever!). I appreciated the comment, noticed he had a blog of his own and decided to give it a read and after two entries I was hooked! (no pun intended).
This blog is filled with hilarious stories of The Hook’s exploits at his hotel and the patrons he has to endure . It is a fun read. I even subscribed via the email option. It’s such a good blog that I noticed it’s absence in my emails and wondered if he had stopped blogging. It turned out that my email subscription settings were reset somehow and so I reactivated them and hopefully I will be getting wonderfully funny new tales delivered to my inbox.
Worse case scenario, I also have this blog in my Google Reader but the I’d rather get the tales sent directly to me instead. Anyways, what are you doing still reading this critique? Go and check out the humor of “You’ve Been Hooked!” already!
I decided to do some more research on Safari RSS to see if my possible transition would be a good one. Needless to say, I became wary of a security issue that Safari had around a year ago. Even though a security patch has since been implemented, I’d hate to make myself vulnerable to a possible breach in the future. And then, along my net-surfing horizon, NetNewsWire appeared before me.
The NetNewsWire RSS reader software syncs with Google Reader as well as with your desktop and iPhone seamlessly (so I won’t have to spend anytime importing my feeds from Google Reader after all. Phew! Time saved). I decided to download the free app on my iPhone to give it a try. Despite it’s 3-star rating on the app store, I found it to run smoothly and comparable to Safari RSS if not slightly better. Not only that but because they’re all in-sync, unlike glitchy Apple Mail, everything is marked off as read once I mark it. So I don’t have to go to Google Reader or the desktop version of NNW to make sure everything matches (something that needs to be worked on with Apple Mail’s IMAP option w/gmail). I’m really looking forward to downloading the desktop app tonight and give it a go.
So just as quickly as that, I’m opting to using an alternative to an Apple product. I’ll stick with my MacBook Pro, and Snow Leopard because that has been my best PC experience thus far (and of course my iPhone has been my best smartphone/cellphone experience as well). But if there is an open-platform option for anything else that will work to my satisfaction I’ll gladly make that jump.