Big news this evening is the launch of Google Gears which is an “Open Source Toolkit for offline web apps”. Pretty neat idea with lots of possibilities. TechCrunch has a nice writeup and so does Scoble. After some initial apprehension, I decided to download Google Gears and try the posterchild Google Reader app. After following a few steps of relatively simple instructions, I had downloaded all of the new items from Google Reader to my computer for offline viewing. This will be an awesome tool for travelling or to catch up on some extra reading during lunch at the local greasy spoon. I can see a lot of possibilities for Gears. A blog posting app that caches posts offline and then submits them when a connection is made is the first one that comes to mind. The new mashup editor has lots of possibilities as well. While we are on the topic of news readers, why don’t they come equipped with a search feature? Anyone know how to search for a news item/link/phrase etc. in Google Reader?
You can create free screencasts with this new web tool from Screencast-O-Matic. I created one of me writing this post. The only catch is that the screen casting tool is browser based and it looks like the limit is 1024 x 768. After saving the file as a Quicktime movie, it was 34.9 MB for 2 minutes of video saved at the original 1024 x 768 resolution. Very Web 1.0 but useful nonetheless.
Jason Calacanis launched Mahalo today with a whole bunch of hoopla and a lot of private funding. The intent is to create a search engine where the results are modified and tweaked by humans to help humans and the claim is that it will make for more poignant and useful results. My claim is that it will also bring a lot of ethics questions into play; not that machines cannot be fixed. It all comes down to trust. It looks like a mssive wiki that is for profit. The scale is baffling to me but it is crazy enough that it just might work until the VCs call in their warrants.