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Calwell Tech Weekly – Week of August 6th

Information overload is a problem for most of us. For those interested in new technology it seems to be even worse. There are multiple places that cover the same news, many of them covering older news. It often hard to tell what’s going on while staring at thousands of news items. So, I decided to create a weekly column that give you the heads up on things that have happened in Tech News this week. Without more delay, let’s start the first Calwell Tech Weekly.

YouTube – The wonderful YouTube has increased video limits and now allows users to upload up to 15 minutes of video. Covered here.  The story behind this, however, is that the video size is still limited to 2 gigabytes. At 15 minutes, HD video will be much larger than 2 gigs. Will we see a size increase shortly?

FaceBook for Android – This utility was quietly updated to 1.3 during the week. You can get more about it here. The app can be updated form your Market application or searching for Facebook. The download looks to be a whopping 2 megabytes for the installation, so you better be using WiFi! Coverage: LifeHacker

100 Million Facebook Users – A “security consultant” recently released information gathered on 100 million users as a torrent file. No one really cares because the info is just information already on the Internet anyway. Even worse, outlets reporting about this are generally vague about who did it, where the information is and implications. Gizmodo says companies are grabbing this stuff and using it. Cue the fear now.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty – is released on July 27th. Lots of information and reviews coming from all parts of the internet. The lack of LAN game play is a serious sore point for many. I too have been playing the game and working on a review (no telling if it will see the light of day). Others are bothered by the inclusion of only one campaign race. Reviews: KotakuArs TechnicaCNet.  Coverage: Slashdot.

Unlocked Phone? – I found a pretty cool Wiki page that lists information on pay as you go providers and what they offer in various countries. You can check that out here. Let’s hope they add more to the list. Coverage of this here.
SysAdmin Day – Came and went without much fanfare. It’s still not too late to let your system administrator know that you appreciate him or her. When is the next one coming? Take a look at sysadminday.com

Wolfram Alpha Widgets – In the beta release stage – these new widgets bring the usefulness of Wolfram Alpha to a new level. Given that some of the stuff you might do on Wolfram is fairly specific – widgets seem to be a perfect fit. To try them out, take a look at the widget gallery.

20 Billion Tweets – As expected, Twitter passed the 20,000,000,000 tweet milestone with this one. What does it mean? Who knows. A-Rod also hit hit 600th home run against the Blue Jays this week too. Is there a link between the two? Probably not. Still that’s allot of tweets (and home runs too).

Steve Ballmer babbles on about tablets.. er.. slates – This is less news than it is just novelty. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talked at the Microsoft financial analyst meeting about slate devices and other small-formed computing devices. Most of it was clearly from a company not even close to competing in this market. More, and more. Here’s a choice quote (on slate devices):
“Some of you will say, well, when? When?  And I say, As soon as they’re ready.  They’ll be shipping as soon as they are ready.  And it is job one urgency around here.  Nobody is sleeping at the switch.”
Office 2011 for Mac – Will be released sometime in October. All sorts of pricing details have been released. What this version of Office includes the forced-on-you ribbon interface and cheaper prices. More information can be found a Boy Genius Report. There is a very good chance that the desktop Office package is in the middle of a slow death march. online Office packages will likely surpass features of bloated and slow packages sometime in the next few years. Expect to get an upgrade to office 2011 if you buy office 2008.

Android sales overtake iPhone sales – Not a huge deal, but a very important measure of how fast the Android operating system is growing on smartphones since debuting in the last two years. Problems with fragmentation, app store spam and lack of developer profits are of concern to Google. Coverage: Gigaom.

Free WiFi available at the Toronto (YYZ) Airport – In a move many years too late – but still welcome – the Toronto airport now offers free WiFi Internet access. The overpriced, cold, and painfully slow mega airport now has at least one redeeming feature. Coverage: Toronto Star, Toronto Sun.
RIM announces a new Blackberry – Yep, the Torch 9800 was announced by RIM. This is the first slider type of blackberry and also includes touchscreen technology. RIM also released a first look at their new web browser. First Impressions: SlashdotPCmag, more PCmag

JoliCloud 1.0  – Building on the popularity of mobile devices (or slates), JoliCloud has released the 1.0 version of their Linux-based operating system. The first time I tried a beta on an older netbook, it didn’t recognize the wireless network card. Coverage: Gigaom, Gizmodo

Wave Goodbye! – Google has decided to say goodbye to Google Wave, the real-time chat services it created a year ago. Wave has had all sorts of trouble finding users and just by sucking so much. Coverage of this can be found on Boy Genius Report,