An anthropological introduction to YouTube

30 Sep 2008 (Tue)

WHAT IMPACT DO YOUTUBE and other social media have on human behavior today? Check out this 55-min video presentation at the Library of Congress, June 23rd 2008, produced by Dr Michael Wesch and his anthropology students.  More info at

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Posted by J.K. in Psychology, Social Media, Technology, Video | View Comments |

Keso’s understanding of Google Chrome

4 Sep 2008 (Thu)

GOOGLE’s NEW CHROME BROWSER, launched yesterday, promised to be faster, safer and smarter than other browsers. Key features include an Omnibox (where one can type in a website’s address or any search term), a Privacy mode (which ensures that traces of an Internet session are erased the moment one exits the browser) and Smart tabs (where tabs run on separate “processes, so if one website takes up too much resources or causes a software app to crash, that tab can be shut down individually).

Google's new Chrome browser

For some reason though, I didn’t manage to install or run Chrome on my desktop PC yesterday. Still wondering whether that has anything to do a coincidental Windows update on the PC just before that. Anyway, I’m intrigued by what Keso has written about Chrome, in particular:

I think the real reason for Google to join the browsers bandwagon two years ago are this: Google needs control of a browser that has sufficient influence. It also needs to set up de facto standards through something that can be controlled and demonstrated.

Therefore, what’s important about Chrome are these two things: A new JavaScript engine V8 and a “Webified” version of the desktop app Gears. Both are part of Google’s key strategy to expand browser functions to better support future Web apps.

We often naively assume that Desktop battles are waged for the purpose of establishing Trojan horse pipelines. Actually, the smarter purpose of such battles is not for thievery or user base, but for the establishment of de facto standards that are advantageous to one’s future plans. For Google, this standard will enable its apps to run perfectly regardless of the platform or terminal that anyone may use. In order to better release its “cloud of accumulated energy”, Google needs a well-supported standard and a popular browser.

Therefore, Google has chosen not to integrate many of its own products and services into Chrome. Some people complain that one can easily install Google Toolbar on IE, but not on Chrome. Actually, there’re many more things that one cannot do on Chrome: visit Gmail with one click, publish easily from Blogger, upload video to YouTube, and even customize the default search engine…

Like Chrome, V8 and Gears are released as open-source projects. This will undoubtedly enhance their neutrality and therefore appeal to developers. It doesn’t matter how much market share Chrome will claim eventually. The key is whether it can provide the best demonstration of Gears and V8, thereby enabling them to become de facto standards.

Some people say that the target of Chrome is neither IE nor Firefox but Windows. Considering the line of “cloud”, apps and browser, I basically agree with this judgement.

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Posted by J.K. in *Insights, Business, Possibilities, Strategy | View Comments |

BG Yeo on New Media and Politics

2 Sep 2008 (Tue)

From BEYOND SG, a blog shared with Harold Fock, Singapore’s Minister of Foreign Affairs BG George Yeo wrote:

I was reminded by Ephraim that today is the second anniversary of my first blog posting two years ago. It seemed such a long time ago. Blogging and Facebook have become a part of my routine now. They help me communicate with members of a younger generation whom I don’t often meet at house-to-house visits or neighbourood get-togethers.

Writing blogs forces me to organise my thoughts into a few short paragraphs. The blogs also serve as a kind of diary. I am grateful to Ephraim and Harold for having me post on their sites. It saves me the trouble of having to maintain my own blogsite.

Facebook is an interesting new phenomenon. The interactivity gives it a certain intimacy. For those who only read, FB must function also as a kind of reality TV.

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Posted by J.K. in Politics, Possibilities, Singapore, Social Media | View Comments |

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