Chromium Project uses Timer Resolution to debug battery life issue

Based on the information at it looks as if Timer Resolution has been used to identify and verify an issue with Chromium.

Chromium is the open-source project behind Google Chrome. I use Chrome every day on my work laptop and also no my netbook. I had no idea that Timer Resolution had helped to create such a great browser!

Twitter, the Internet, and the Victorian Bush Fires

First up my thoughts go out to those directly impacted by the fires.

I found myself in  a location that could have been at risk yesterday but thankfully we escaped with little more than some smoke and a glow on the horizon. We also has a near miss with some roof iron that fell from the smoke cloud meters from us but really compared to some of the stories it was nothing, a story for another day.

This post is to point out a problem I see with our emergency communication within Victoria and the growth of the real-time internet.

I’ve found that Twitter has been the best source of information for the fires. Two useful hashtag have been setup #vicfires and #bushfires. These two feeds have had the most up to date information. @774melbourne deserves a special mention as their tweets come from CFA and DSE and are very accurate.

The CFA and DSE sites haven’t handled the load, the following is the message on the DSE site

Please note – due to unprecedented demand on this website, DSE is requesting that people who do not need to access this information for reasons of personal safety, please refrain from doing so.

What this tells me is that the Victorian Government websites cannot handle an event that causes Victorians to go online looking for information in a large number. This concerns me, and it should concern all Victorians. How would the government infrastructure hold up if Victoria has an event that directly affects all of us? Where would we go for up to date information?

Due to the limited availability of the official communication channels others have set up their own. Google Australia has the best I’ve seen so far at

Why are the DSE and CFA not using Google maps as part of their reporting? Why do we have two disparate reporting systems on fire locations and even naming conventions and categorisations?

A friend of mine was involved in the fires last week, he stayed to protect his property. At one point a CFA truck came up to his house to ask for directions, they were not local and only had paper maps and a compass! How can we send these guys out to fight fires in the 21st century without even giving them a basic GPS? Shouldn’t they be equipped with full 2 way GPS so the the fire controllers and command centres can see exactly where every resource is at any time? I know this costs money but really if Taxis and couriers can have it then why not our fire fighters! I’m certain that this would save lives.

Now that the internet is many people’s primary information source how does it fit within the Government’s emergency response plan? The call centres are overloaded, TV too slow to update, the radio stations do an OK job but the information is sometimes difficult to visualise, in my case I was in an unfamiliar part of the state so the points of reference like roads, towns, and mountains didn’t mean very much.

This is not a criticism of the fantastic work that the fire fighters have done and continue to do, I fully support them. I do believe that our State and Federal governments can do more to support them and use technology sensibly to provide the community and the emergency services with accurate and up to date information they need when dealing with these situations.

iPhoto – Nice! Now I see the future of photos

One thing I liked at MacWorld from Apple was the new version of iPhoto. Are Apple and Google competing for digital asset management supremacy? Google releases a version of Picasa for Mac that would have been an improvement over the old iPhoto. The next day Apple announce a new version of iPhoto that takes it to the next level.

Face recognition, Geo-tagging, linked to social networks. Now they have face recognition how long till they include other objects like buildings, cars, and animals? What if this information is shared with search engines? How about Photosynth, what if it grabs all the photos tagged with a location. What if you (or the friends you share images with) have images of that location over a number of years? A small slider at the bottom on the screen allows you to see the view change over time… make that into a video and now you’ve got a screen saver I’d like to have.

Browser Wars – Return of the Choice

A long time ago before the dot com crash there was a war. The mighty Netscape lost the war and the evil Microsoft dominated the Internet ever since.

The rebel forces of Netscape went into hiding as Mozilla. Along came the New Hope, Firefox with new powers that the Death Star (a.k.a. Internet Explorer) could only dream of.

Yesterday the latest in the new breed browsers was released from Google which now means that all 3 of the big players in Web 2.0 have released browsers for Windows.

Apple Safari –

Google Chrome –

Microsoft IE8 –

And Firefox is at Version 3 –

Just like last time, these are all free products. The web has evolved into an application platform and it is clear the this is what Google aims to capture with it’s release. I’m not sure why Google decided to go it alone when they did appear to have some kind of relationship with the Firefox group.

Guess time will tell as to who will win this round of the browser wars.

Microsoft Mesh and Google App Engine – Up in the clouds

Google App Engine was publicly discussed first but the Microsoft Live Mesh project wasn’t far behind.

Somehow since I’m in Australia and that the weekend it all went live I was offline I can’t seem to get an account with either.

The Google version at least lets you download a local test server and sandbox to play in but for now it is only in Python.

The Microsoft version has more freedom in terms of the programming language you choose to use by seems more restrictive as to who they will let play with the Beta.

Although these two technologies are different on the surface (and inside in many places) they WILL end up competing for the same applications, developers, and users.

Why? Well simply because if you breakdown what each of them really offer the application developer then you’ll see that they are both going to do the same thing just in a slightly different way.

At this point in time I’d say that the Microsoft offering looks more featured and has the desktop support needed to ease users into the true Web 2.0 application world but Google isn’t one to give up easily and they will have to Open Source/Linux community on side from day one… Will this become the browser war of next few years?

What if Apple only pick one to support natively on the iPhone? Who is the bigger threat to them, Google and Android or Microsoft and Windows Mobile?