Opinion

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Google just announced that it is finally launching offline access to Gmail, Google Calendar and Docs. Once upon a time, Google allowed users to access their data offline through Gears, but the company shelved this effort in xxx and never replaced it. Now, Chrome users can install a new plugin from Google that will give them offline access to their Gmail emails once again and Docs and Calendar will use HTML5's ability to cache content on a local machine without the need to install a plugin.

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German websites have until the end of September to remove Facebook's 'like' button or face a fine of up to 50,000 Euro.

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Google's expanded and enlarged sitelinks don't add much to the search experience and just waste valuable screen estate.

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If you have watched the Linux community long enough, you know that every year is inevitably proclaimed to be the year where the Linux desktop finally breaks through. Sadly, though, that has never happened. Mark Shittleworth, the founder of Ubuntu developer Canonical, thinks that a major seachange is currently happening in the corporate world that could give Linux a chance. Ironically, what's giving Linux on the desktop another chance is the fact that the desktop itself is slowly becoming less relevant thanks to virtualization and the move towards productivy computing in the cloud.

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Mozilla is getting ready to officially launch Firefox 6 tomorrow. That's less than two months after the release of Firefox 5 and not even half a year since the launch of Firefox 4. Indeed, there is now some talk in the Firefox community to get rid of version numbersin the user interface altogether. That's not a bad idea. Users really shouldn't have to worry about which version of a given browser they are running and those version numbers have now become mostly irrelevant anyway.

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Last Friday, the tech blogosphere was enamored by a study that claimed that Internet Explorer users had a lower IQ than users of other browsers. The study by AptiQuant found that the average IE6 user only scored just over 80 on its IQ test – a test score that is, in terms of real-life accomplishments, generally associated with elementary school dropouts and unskilled workers. The study was a hoax.

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Anyone who has used Google+ for more than a few hours has, no doubt, discovered a very high level of engagement. Users are sharing great content and are eager to share opinions on just about any topic, and there are many ways to share and connect. One can share, re-share, comment, +1, tag others, and even comment on comments and re-share re-shares. How, then, does one effectively participate? Are there established rules of etiquette for all of this communication?

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I still remember plugging my portable CD player into a cassette adapter so I could listen to my music in the car. Today, in-car cassette players are a thing of the past, but most cars still come with built-in CD players. According to Ford's global trends and futuring manger Sheryl Connelly, that could soon change, though. While talking to AM Online, Connelly noted that "the in-car CD player – much like pay telephones – is destined to fade away in the face of exciting new technology.”

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In many ways, the story of Google+ and Twitter is that of a planned community vs. organic growth. Twitter was never conceived to be what it is today. Its success was purely accidental and thanks to being in the right place at the right time. Its early years were chaotic. Users invented features that Twitter later canonized (@ replies,...

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Google announced its new social network Google+ earlier this morning. Given that the company now has two competing social networks – Google+ and Google Buzz (or three, if you count Orkut as well) – it’s hard not to wonder what will happen to Buzz in the long run. Google launched Buzz with a lot of fanfare and clearly thought...

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For the small application fee of $185,000 and $25,000 per year, you will soon be able to buy your own generic top-level domain. Top-level domains (TLDs) are the .com’s, .net’s, edu’s and others that we’ve become so accustomed to. Until now, if you were Microsoft or CNN, you couldn’t register .cnn or .msft, even if you were willing to...

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When Apple announced its iCloud service yesterday, the whole presentation led up to the reveal of iTunes in the Cloud, the most anticipated part of the service. As Apple went through its explanation of the service, though, I couldn't help but feel somewhat disappointed. iTunes in the Cloud is missing a central part of what I was expecting from...

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Microsoft showed off the first demos of Windows 8 at the D9 conference and on its blog today. In its current form, it's basically a blown-up version of the Metro user interface that also graces Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. That's not a bad thing at all, actually. With its live tiles, the Metro UI provides users with one...

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Cars are becoming increasingly connected and there can be little doubt that this opens drivers up to all kinds of new distractions. Some new cars can now check your Facebook account and read updates out aloud. Others connect you to your personalized music stations on Pandora or let you browse through your locally stored music collection through one of...

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When it comes to tablets, the iPad is still synonymous with the whole tablet category for most users. This doesn't come as a surprise, though, given that it took Google's partners quite a while to launch competitive hardware and Google's first efforts to launch a tablet version of Android were not up to par with Apple's iOS. For the most part, though, the forthcoming Android 3.1 and 4.0 releases will take care of most of these software issues, however, and with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Android tablet hardware is now also getting to the point where it's competitive with Apple's iPad line.What is missing, however, is the wide variety of apps that makes Apple's ecosystem so vibrant.