Some more interesting speculation about Google’s future plans

I’ve just stumbled upon this, which seems to contain some very interesting speculations as to Google’s future plans.

They all strengthen my point about in my previous post that Gmail IDs are a Passport like system for authentication and they will be used throughout current and future services. They are already being used in most of Google’s personalization sites.

Another thing the link I started with talks about is the fact that Google Talk is also more about managing your contacts and you can see that the integration with Gmail and its Contacts into Google Talk also adds to the fact they it is heading to a more centralized authentication system.

I will not be surprised if they will join Project Liberty, or even worse, start their own initiative.

I don’t mind having a single authentication system but I don’t want it centralized in one place. I would rather have it decentralized like the DNS system or like Jabber and the XMPP specs are. Heck, even the fact that Linux is not controlled by a single vendor is one of the things that make it very compelling to a lot of organizations and people. The fact that you can switch between two distributions is very important to businesses as well as the fact that it generates a positive competition conditions that are all good for the customer.

Don’t forget that one of the few things that killed Microsoft’s Passport true vision and Microsoft’s Hailstorm project was the fact that no one wants to have all of its information stored in one vendor’s system and if Google are indeed going in that direction they will stumble upon the same issues that killed Microsoft’s projects.

IM Wars – And I’m not the only one thinking about it

It seems that there are more than a few people (well, at least 2) that have some other thoughts about Google.

I must admit that at first I was also inside the Google Talk frenzy, submersed in all the hype, but after reading Nuggest’s post and Drunken Batman’s post I started to ponder a bit about their thoughts and I must say that have some really good points.
Although Google Talk is still in v1.0 (or v0.1, depends on how you look at it) and it lacks a lot of the client features that its competitors have, we should also assume that their server software (even though based on the open XMPP standard that Jabber uses) is at v1.0 (or v0.1, as I said about the client).

Most people that only use one IM don’t know/want/take time to understand how Jabber server to server (S2S) works and how its similar to Email. Heck, I doubt most of them know how Email works, they just know that entering an Email address will usually get the message to that address.

This leads two a few things:
a) If people don’t know how Email works and they already know that entering an address will carry the message to its destination most of the time, using it in Google Talk shouldn’t be that much of a problem. So this means that either Google didn’t want to have S2S at the momet and wanted to test and establish Google Talk using their own user pool that they have in Gmail or Google is planning on doing so but still didn’t activate their servers to support it.

b) Using Email address can get users a bit confued. Why does my Email addres of foo@somewhere.com can’t be used? I don’t care there is no Jabber server at somewhere.com. I just want to put the Email address of my friend and use it, much the same I use my friend’s telephone number.
Since Google are very user scenario oriented I can only assume they didn’t want to confuse the users which found Gmail very slick and intuitve and didn’t expect anything else from Google, that can be a good enough reason not to do it.

Technology – My favorite part of any post ;-)
All of the above is without contemplating on the technology side, which has its own merits invovled but I would like to share with you some of my thoughts on that subject as well. NOTE: If you are not so technically literate you can safely skip this part.

Most of the Jabber servers I know (either commercial or open sourced) support an LDAP back-end of users. This means that if Google wanted to save a lot of development efforts they probably took an existing Jabber server implemenetation.

This means one of two things:

  1. Gmail’s backend authentication system is LDAP based or have an LDAP interface.
  2. Google had to break open the code of the Jabber server they used and implement the authentication part on top of their Gmail/Google Account authentication system.

If that is the case, Google could easily add S2S or it might even already be implemented in the Jabber server they use which makes Nuggest’s point even more serious. They have the technology but have disabled or excluded it.

The most annoying thing is that by using the Gmail account and limiting Google Talk to access only the Google Talk network, Google acted much the same as the company they just don’t want to be, Microsoft.

Microsoft did the same thing with Passport/Hotmail and MSN Messenger.

What happend to the “We are not evil!” motto? Declaring freedom of choice is not enough. Act must be made.

I’m calling everyone that reads this entry (all 5 of you ;-) ) to act now and make your voice heard. Email a nice a polite email to federation@google.com

Yell a bit so that everyone in Google Talk will hear us.

Google Talk – Let the IM revolution begin

I just installed Google Talk (talk.google.com). Its REALLY cool.
It’s a basic IM and its in Beta but the Voice has a really good quality.

I really liked the fact that they use an open standard, the Jabber/XMPP (www.xmpp.org) which is always good. This means that you can use any Jabber/XMPP supported client like iChat (for MacOS), GAIM (For Windows and Linux), etc.

Read their developer manifesto here, to see that they mean business and I do hope that they will use the built-in federation ability of the Jabber/XMPP protocol to federate messages to other IMs such as Yahoo, AIM/ICQ and MSN.

In addition to that, it seems they are also planning to take on VoIP to standard phone which means they will take on Skype and the rest.

Having a big, money full player in this market is a good thing for everyone and even more so if they are willing to open up everything and inter-connect to the other players.

This is a great day for SIP/VoIP/IM. Mark it in your calendar.

LET THE IM REVOLUTION BEGIN!

Discovery is back, and in one piece

I’m so glad to see Discovery back in one piece.

I still remember Feb 1st 2003. It was my grandmother’s birthday and we were sitting in a nice restaurant at the northern part of Israel.

After eating, we went to visit a nice little place called “Hacula Vally” which was a swamp that was dried out in the 1920s or so but was now back to its (almost) original dimension.

We got a phone call from my cousin who went home instead of continuing for the short trip saying that there was something wrong with Columbia’s landing. We went back to the car, opened the radio and there was much confusion running around.

During the drive back home (which took around 2 hours or so) we finally heard the verdict and that pieces were photographed falling from the sky.

I’ve always considered myself a bit of a space enthusiast and it was a big blow under the belt for the American space program.

Unfortunately, since the cold war ended there is little to no progress in the manned space flight arena and its a shame.

I do hope that better Crew Exploration Vehicles will be built and used for the better future of all man kind.

I can’t name all the items that got into consumer usage due to the developments made for the space program and its a bad that such a good catalyst for innovation is no longer active in full force.

Just think of the fact that we used the 1950s-1960s technology to get to the moon in 1969 (although some thinks it was a hoax). The space shuttle is built using the 1970s technology with some additional features added in the 1980s.

The youngest shuttle, the Endeavour, is from 1991 (it was built to replace the Challanger after it blew up during take off in 1986).

Just imagine where we would be if we used the 1990s and 2000s technology today.
Gives you something to think about…