IPv6: The Future is Forever

…in which we celebrate the launch of IPv6. The future is here and the future is forever!

Tomorrow marks the official turning on of the next generation of the Internet, IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6). To many people, you shouldn’t notice anything. Nor should you really be concerned with anything. Being on IPv6 isn’t much of a bragging right (unless you’re a nerd/geek/computer scientist).

Why should you care about IPv6? In this video below, from Google, Vint Cerf (one of the co-creators of the Internet) explains it all. Under the current system, IPv4, there are just under 4.3 billion IP addresses available. (Think of an IP address as a telephone number or as a house address. When you go to a website, like edwardjensen.net, you’re going to a server that hosts edwardjensen.net. It’s reached by an IP address, which is 69.163.150.126.)

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Uwjt32NvVA

Happy IPv6 World Launch Day!

Google’s Project Glass

…in which we wonder if Google’s Project Glass might go anywhere.

I realize I haven’t posted on here for awhile — which is fine, I suppose. I’m working on a major think piece on downtown density and some distractions that have gotten in the way as of late. The piece will blend urban themes and deconstruct some of downtown Phoenix’s metanarratives and macrostructures. Intrigued? I can’t wait to finish it and share it with you.

But anyway, this came across my radar screen. My posting of this is a few months tardy but a friend shared this with me last night and I have to admit that I’m fairly intrigued. It’s Google’s Project Glass, which takes the mobile phone (which is practically attached to us anyway) and physically attaches it to us.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c6W4CCU9M4

The question is this: Would you wear this? I totally would. If this were integrated into some other services and had open APIs, my goodness: this thing would be useful. Take the scene at the Mud Truck food truck. Instead of just checking in there, what about doing some online payment (a la Square and Square Wallet)? Now that would be useful.

Migrating from Gmail?

Migrating from Gmail? Finding another email service that matches Gmail’s workflow is difficult. Here are some considerations for discussion.

[Author’s note: This post is the first in the series of this blog’s feature on migrating away from Google in response to Google’s changes in privacy policy and terms of use. Read the introductory post here and follow along with the rest of the series here.]

One of the hardest things to do when you’re trying to migrate away from Google is find something that is comparable in workflow. That’s the case with Gmail, Google’s eight-year-old email service. When it was launched on April Fools’ Day 2004, many people thought it to be a joke because 1 GB of storage was unheard of at that time. But it wasn’t a joke, and Gmail’s led the way in the email storage department. Today, users get 10 GB of email storage space for free and paid users of Google Apps or Google Drive get 25 GB of storage space.

What makes Gmail unique from other email providers is the archive feature. My email workflow is this: emails requiring attention from me are in my inbox and everything else is archived. From time to time, I’ll delete emails that are from email lists or alerts from various social media outlets. Other than that, I save things.

While its original selling point was the storage space, today’s Gmail is more than that. Gmail users who have Android or iOS smartphones have native synchronization with their device’s mail, contacts, and calendar applications. On iOS, the operating system that powers Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, users get push updating of new email and changes to one’s calendar or address book.

And that’s the problem. For various reasons, I seem to be using Apple products at the moment, including my MacBook Pro, my iPad, and even my iPhone. That native integration between Google and my iDevices’ mail, calendar, and address book is what’s making this whole process so difficult.

To provide some sort of soundness of research to this project, I’ve developed a list of considerations that are important to me and I sense are important to you, the reader. Those considerations are, in no particular order:

  1. What is the workflow of the proposed replacement? For email, as an example, what parallels exist between Gmail’s archive feature and that of a replacement?
  2. What integration does it have with mobile devices? Does it integrate natively with the system apps for email, contacts, and calendars on my and many other mobile devices? If so, what protocols are called?
  3. Can the email service be hosted at a domain (e.g. @edwardjensen.net) or must it be used at the provider’s native domain for email (e.g. @gmail.com, @hotmail.com, etc.)?
  4. What support does the proposed replacement have for different email addresses? Can I use the webmail interface to send email from a different email address for my work, for instance? Or does all email have to be funneled through the primary email address?
  5. What costs are involved with the proposed replacement? Is it free or is there a minimal charge to use the service? If there is a charge, what additional services are provided for that charge?
  6. What sort of authentication mechanism exists for securely logging in to the service? Is there some sort of two-step authentication involved? Google introduced two-factor authentication, in which some services, like IMAP/ActiveSync¬†authentication¬†no longer take the account’s primary password but a sixteen-character password that only works for a specific service.

Those are the considerations I’ve developed thus far. What should be added? What considerations do you have when looking at hosted email? Please share in the comments!

How to De-Google Your Life

Much has been made about Google’s new privacy policy and terms of use lately, including how they are overly broad.

Much has been made about Google’s new privacy policy and terms of use lately, including how they are overly broad. Some people have contemplated jumping ship from Google but it’s difficult when so much of our information is entangled in Google’s services.

I’m a complete Google addict: I use Gmail both through Gmail and for Google Apps for Domains, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Google Reader, Google Search, AdSense, Webmaster Tools, Google Chrome, App Engine, Google Docs, Google Drive, YouTube, and so on. (I think you get the picture. An intervention might be appreciated!)

In a series of posts to follow, I’ll try to find my way through alternate services that provide a decent feature set compared to Google’s. And it has to be free or very inexpensive. For email, it has to be domain friendly (meaning I can use that email at my domain, e.g. edwardjensen.net). And it all has to be mobile-friendly, meaning native or near-native integration with my mobile devices.

If you have any suggestions for service replacements, let me know in the comments beneath!

My breakup with Google+

It’s not me, Google+, it’s you (or: in which I break up with Google+).

It's not me, Google+, it's you.

I had such high hopes for Google+ when it came out a couple of months ago and when I got my invite to the service. “Finally,” I thought, “a service that’s sort-of like Facebook but completely not evil.” As a technophile, I am completely fine with this. The idea of circles to share content with specific people is absolutely genius. Or hangouts, which are live in-the-browser video chats with our friends. Or editing posts after I’ve posted them (as I’ve done with this post…three times!). There is so much potential here.

But there are times when the point of social media is that social aspect; more specifically, I want to create a conversation and dialogue here. (Ideally, I’d like to take that conversation and move it offline into a face-to-face setting. But that’s just me.) Of those in my circles, the last person posted something here over 36 hours ago. The last person to comment on one of my posts was three days ago. And it’s not that I care or that I demand comments to what I post. But sometimes, it’s nice to know that people are reading, internalizing, reflecting, and acting on what they’ve read.

And it’s that lack of communication here that have caused me to break up with Google+ for the time being. It has such great potential to be something absolutely so amazing but it seems like Google is hampering its development. Where’s our API so we can update G+ or see others’ posts from other applications? Why are you still playing around with Buzz? Where is integration of the “+1” buttons that are starting to dot the Internet? What is your compelling reason to use G+? Are you seeing it as a profile page? Or as a new way in which people can share content with each other?

Anyway, I’m not going away. I’ve started a tumblr blog, “#dtphx musings,” in which I post photos and share content that my friends have posted to their own tumblr blogs. It’s at downtownmusings.com — and I still tweet with great regularity at @edwardjensen.