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google chrome report by rowan simpson

When I was in San Francisco earlier this year I caught up with Ben Goodger, who I first me when he was in Wellington to speak at Webstock. He kindly took some time to show me around Mountain View and we had a nice Mexican lunch at one of his regular hang-outs.
We talked about lots of things, but exactly what he was working on wasn’t one of them.
He said he wasn’t working on Firefox any more. And, I saw that he was running Visual Studio in a VM on his Mac.
But, I didn’t press him beyond that as he was obviously reluctant to say much at that point.
Today we all find out: Google Chrome
Even before it was officially announced there was a lot of buzz about this. There is already a decent Wikipedia page with a good summary of the various features that are included in this initial release.
Here are my thoughts about this:
The rise and rise of WebKit
The number and variety of browsers that web developers need to consider has grown considerably in the last couple of years – IE7 has become the most widely used browser, although there are still plenty of people using IE6, Firefox has been steadily ticking up, and Safari has doubled (albeit from a very low base) probably on the back of people switching to OS X. IE8 is on the horizon. And, now this.
These are the most recent browser stats I have from Trade Me (from July 2008):
Browser Market Share
IE 7 54.2%
IE 6 23.1%
Firefox 2 15.6%
Safari 3.3%
Firefox 3 0.9%
All Others 2.9%
Those sites that don’t take Safari seriously at its current level may need to re-evaulate on the back of this announcement, as Google Chrome is based on the same WebKit foundation as used by Safari (and the iPhone).
Steve Job’s decision to open-source WebKit in 2005 is looking smarter and smarter.
Who said the browser wars were over?
Splendid Isolation
The Google engineers have made a big deal in this annoucement about each tab having its own isolated process and memory space and the performance benefits that will come from this design – most notably when one tab dies it won’t take the whole browser down with it.
It’s true that this is one of the big weaknesses of Firefox, especially when it’s running on an OS that doesn’t need to be re-booted too often. 🙂
But, I wonder if in time the isolation under the hood won’t pale in comparison to the isolation options presented to users.
By selecting the document options (immediately to the right of the address baromni bar in Chrome) and choosing “Create application shortcut” from the menu you can quickly and effortlessly create a single instance browser for your favourite web applications.
Over the last couple of months I’ve been experimenting with something similar using Fluid on OS X (another browser which uses WebKit).
I have created separate applications for many of the web apps I use the most: Google Reader, Google Docs, Xero, WordPress, etc.
I’ve found various reasons for doing this…
Because each site is running in a separate app I have far fewer problems with the browser leaking memory or crashing. I also don’t tend to leave Firefox running for days on end as much as I used to, as most of the sites I tend to leave open are elsewhere.
Performance is another. Apps which use a lot of Javascript like Xero seem to run much faster on Fluid than in Firefox. The Javascript environment in Chrome, which they are calling V8, promises to be even faster still.
Fluid also lets you customise each application – with a nice icon (which shows in the dock – allowing you to navigate directly to the site), user scripts (using GreaseKit) and other options, such as whether to display the address bar, which URLs are allowed etc.
For example, with Nik from Code To Customer I created a Xero application with a high-resolution icon and a simple script which shows the count of unreconciled transactions on the dock when the app is running. This now feels much more like a native OS X app.
If you’re a Xero and Mac user and you’d like to try this out: download the application and user script (the script needs to be installed manually once you’ve run the app – start with Command-Alt-N and follow your nose). I’d be interested to hear what you think of it.
Google Chrome seems to just use the favicon, which looks pretty ugly. Perhaps they could support an alternative link in the header to a higher resolution icon to use in this case?
I’ve even created a Fluid app for the web-based control panel on my home NAS, which broke horribly when I upgraded to Firefox 3.
In Firefox…
In Fluid…
Why are single instance applications important?
Lots of non-technical users don’t differentiate between their browser and the sites they visit in the browser. To them the “blue e” is the internet and Google is the new http://.
How else do you explain the popularity of sites like YahooXtra and MSN NZ, other than that people don’t realise that they can change the default home page on their browser?
For those of you who run your own site, look at your referral logs and notice how many people type your URL into a search engine. If they had a good mental model of their browser wouldn’t it make more sense to use the address bar?
My prediction… look out for icons for all of the different Google apps on a desktop near you soon (or dock if you’re one of the cool kids).
And, if you have your own site, you should be thinking about how to package it into an application.
A little bit of personality goes a long way
I’ve linked to a number of great cartoonists here, including Hugh McLeod,Jessica Hagy, xkcd, Scott Adams, HowToons, and Savage Chickens.
Add Scott McCloud to that list (see: scottmccloud.com).
The cartoon book they have put together to announce the launch and describe some of the design decisions behind Chrome is really well done and well worth a read if you haven’t already taken the time.
Perhaps this is what all technical documentation should look like?
Is there anybody in New Zealand who can do this sort of thing? If so I’d like to talk to them.
Using the engineers who built the browser as the characters is a nice touch too, and I’m sure a nice ego boost to those involved (many of the same people appear in person in this video)
They have also managed to strike a good balance with their user interface.
The blue background differentiates it from other apps and makes the tabs stand out.
They have definitely gone for the “less is more” approach, which is great.
“I have to admit, Google Chrome has one of the simplest — and the least attractive — UIs I’ve seen in a while. I didn’t realize how much I rather liked the color that the icons in most toolbars lend my apps until faced with the Spartan blue tagged interface that Chrome opens with.”
Here’s how the “chrome” part of the various browsers look in Windows Vista (via VMWare):
Internet Explorer 7…
Firefox 3…
Chrome…
When you see these side-by-side you realise how putting the tabs on
top is a great design decision (although some credit should go to the Opera team for pioneering that approach).
Also, look out for the “stats for nerds” link on Task Manager 🙂
But…
Just because Google builds it doesn’t mean they will necessarily come.
Many of the problems it solves are not problems that many people know they have. Is it really 10x better for those people?
I remember web developers getting very excited when Firefox first launched. Finally a browser to replace Internet Explorer, we all thought.
While that may have been broadly achieved amongst technical types, it’s not true at all for the general population (see: We’re Not Normal).
Firefox 1.0 launched in January 2005 (a long time ago now, eh?) By August 2006 it had achieved just over 11% market share in NZ and, as per the numbers above, has since grown to around 16%. While this is a huge number of users it’s not really the predicted global domination.
I think it was Blake Ross (one of the other original Firefox guys) who said that he appreciated Internet Explorer, because how else would people download Firefox!
He was joking, obviously, but there is an element of reality in that statement.
You could probably argue that 16% is the proportion of general internet population who have ready access to a geek to upgrade their browser for them. Everybody else is blissfully unaware. 🙂
What market share do you think Chrome will achieve?
And, how much of that will be at the expense of Firefox?

Selecting a Mesothelioma Attorney: Consumer Tips

These pages provide consumer tips for how to deal with the financial aspects of selecting a mesothelioma attorney. They do not provide any information regarding the medical aspects of this serious disease.

Since so much is at stake, selecting the right mesothelioma lawyer is very important. According the Wall Street Journal, lawyers say a typical mesothelioma award in a mesothelioma settlement is $1 million, and attorneys get 40% of this amount. If the case actually goes to trial, the average award was $6 million in 2001, which was triple the amount awarded just two years earlier.

So, mesothelioma attorneys are very eager to find mesothelioma patients. And it’s vital that patients select the mesothelioma attorneys that are best for them.

A Brief Background on Your Legal Rights Regarding Mesothelioma

Companies that manufacture products that contain asbestos have known for over 60 years that asbestos can cause serious diseases.

Unfortunately, because many of these companies wanted to increase their profits, they kept this information quiet, thereby seriously endangering their workers.

There are now laws that help protect the workers who have been harmed by their exposure to these asbestos-related products.

However, since representing mesothelioma can be so profitable to attorneys, it is important that people who have mesothelioma be especially careful selecting attorneys who are really qualified to represent them. Therefore, we have created a list of…

Important Questions to Ask When Selecting a Mesothelioma Attorney

Question #1 to Ask When Selecting a Mesothelioma Attorney:

What is your personal experience in representing mesothelioma patients? Your goal is to find out how many cases the attorney has actually handled.

You also want to know: how many of these were settled, and how many of these went to trial? What were the results of each case?

You should ask the same questions about his or her law firm. You’re goal is to find out about the firm — is this an area the firm specializes in?

Question #2 to Ask When Selecting a Mesothelioma Attorney:

Next, you want to ask if the lawyer intends to actually handle your case him or herself. Many attorneys simply refer these cases to another law firm and receive part of the fee in exchange. This may not be in your best interest.

Microsoft interview questions

The following are actual questions from actual interviews conducted by Microsoft employees on the main campus. Microsoft Consultants are sometimes allowed to have a life, so questions asked of them during interviews don’t really count and aren’t listed.
The questions tend to follow some basic themes:


Riddles

  • Why is a manhole cover round?
  • How many cars are there in the USA? (A popular variant is “How many gas stations are there in the USA?”)
  • How many manhole covers are there in the USA?
  • You’ve got someone working for you for seven days and a gold bar to pay them. The gold bar is segmented into seven connected pieces. You must give them a piece of gold at the end of every day. If you are only allowed to make two breaks in the gold bar, how do you pay your worker?
  • One train leaves Los Angeles at 15mph heading for New York. Another train leaves from New York at 20mph heading for Los Angeles on the same track. If a bird, flying at 25mph, leaves from Los Angeles at the same time as the train and flies back and forth between the two trains until they collide, how far will the bird have traveled?
  • Imagine a disk spinning like a record player turn table. Half of the disk is black and the other is white. Assume you have an unlimited number of color sensors. How many sensors would you have to place around the disk to determine the direction the disk is spinning? Where would they be placed?
  • Imagine an analog clock set to 12 o’clock. Note that the hour and minute hands overlap. How many times each day do both the hour and minute hands overlap? How would you determine the exact times of the day that this occurs?
  • You have two jars, 50 red marbles and 50 blue marbles. A jar will be picked at random, and then a marble will be picked from the jar. Placing all of the marbles in the jars, how can you maximize the chances of a red marble being picked? What are the exact odds of getting a red marble using your scheme?
  • Pairs of primes separated by a single number are called prime pairs. Examples are 17 and 19. Prove that the number between a prime pair is always divisible by 6 (assuming both numbers in the pair are greater than 6). Now prove that there are no ‘prime triples.’
  • There is a room with a door (closed) and three light bulbs. Outside the room there are three switches, connected to the bulbs. You may manipulate the switches as you wish, but once you open the door you can’t change them. Identify each switch with its bulb.
  • Suppose you had 8 billiard balls, and one of them was slightly heavier, but the only way to tell was by putting it on a scale against another. What’s the fewest number of times you’d have to use the scale to find the heavier ball?
  • Imagine you are standing in front of a mirror, facing it. Raise your left hand. Raise your right hand. Look at your reflection. When you raise your left hand your reflection raises what appears to be his right hand. But when you tilt your head up, your reflection does too, and does not appear to tilt his/her head down. Why is it that the mirror appears to reverse left and right, but not up and down?
  • You have 4 jars of pills. Each pill is a certain weight, except for contaminated pills contained in one jar, where each pill is weight + 1. How could you tell which jar had the contaminated pills in just one measurement?
  • The SF Chronicle has a word game where all the letters are scrambled up and you have to figure out what the word is. Imagine that a scrambled word is 5 characters long:
    1. How many possible solutions are there?
    2. What if we know which 5 letters are being used?
    3. Develop an algorithm to solve the word.
  • There are 4 women who want to cross a bridge. They all begin on the same side. You have 17 minutes to get all of them across to the other side. It is night. There is one flashlight. A maximum of two people can cross at one time. Any party who crosses, either 1 or 2 people, must have the flashlight with them. The flashlight must be walked back and forth, it cannot be thrown, etc. Each woman walks at a different speed. A pair must walk together at the rate of the slower woman’s pace. Woman 1: 1 minute to cross
    Woman 2: 2 minutes to cross
    Woman 3: 5 minutes to cross
    Woman 4: 10 minutes to cross

    For example if Woman 1 and Woman 4 walk across first, 10 minutes have elapsed when they get to the other side of the bridge. If Woman 4 then returns with the flashlight, a total of 20 minutes have passed and you have failed the mission. What is the order required to get all women across in 17 minutes? Now, what’s the other way?

  • If you had an infinite supply of water and a 5 quart and 3 quart pail, how would you measure exactly 4 quarts?
  • You have a bucket of jelly beans. Some are red, some are blue, and some green. With your eyes closed, pick out 2 of a like color. How many do you have to grab to be sure you have 2 of the same?
  • If you have two buckets, one with red paint and the other with blue paint, and you take one cup from the blue bucket and poor it into the red bucket. Then you take one cup from the red bucket and poor it into the blue bucket. Which bucket has the highest ratio between red and blue? Prove it mathematically.

Algorithms

  • What’s the difference between a linked list and an array?
  • Implement a linked list. Why did you pick the method you did?
  • Implement an algorithm to sort a linked list. Why did you pick the method you did? Now do it in O(n) time.
  • Describe advantages and disadvantages of the various stock sorting algorithms.
  • Implement an algorithm to reverse a linked list. Now do it without recursion.
  • Implement an algorithm to insert a node into a circular linked list without traversing it.
  • Implement an algorithm to sort an array. Why did you pick
    the method you did?
  • Implement an algorithm to do wild card string matching.
  • Implement strstr() (or some other string library function).
  • Reverse a string. Optimize for speed. Optimize for space.
  • Reverse the words in a sentence, i.e. “My name is Chris” becomes “Chris is name My.” Optimize for speed. Optimize for space.
  • Find a substring. Optimize for speed. Optimize for space.
  • Compare two strings using O(n) time with constant space.
  • Suppose you have an array of 1001 integers. The integers are in random order, but you know each of the integers is between 1 and 1000 (inclusive). In addition, each number appears only once in the array, except for one number, which occurs twice. Assume that you can access each element of the array only once. Describe an algorithm to find the repeated number. If you used auxiliary storage in your algorithm, can you find an algorithm that does not require it?
  • Count the number of set bits in a number. Now optimize for speed. Now optimize for size.
  • Multiple by 8 without using multiplication or addition. Now do the same with 7.
  • Add numbers in base n (not any of the popular ones like 10, 16, 8 or 2 — I hear that Charles Simonyi, the inventor of Hungarian Notation, favors -2 when asking this question).
  • Write routines to read and write a bounded buffer.
  • Write routines to manage a heap using an existing array.
  • Implement an algorithm to take an array and return one with only unique elements in it.
  • Implement an algorithm that takes two strings as input, and returns the intersection of the two, with each letter represented at most once. Now speed it up. Now test it.
  • Implement an algorithm to print out all files below a given root node.
  • Given that you are receiving samples from an instrument at a constant rate, and you have constant storage space, how would you design a storage algorithm that would allow me to get a representative readout of data, no matter when I looked at it? In other words, representative of the behavior of the system to date.
  • How would you find a cycle in a linked list?
  • Give me an algorithm to shuffle a deck of cards, given that the cards are stored in an array of ints.
  • The following asm block performs a common math function, what is it?
    cwd xor ax, dxsub ax, dx
  • Imagine this scenario:
    I/O completion ports are communictaions ports which take handles to files, sockets, or any other I/O. When a Read or Write is submitted to them, they cache the data (if necessary), and attempt to take the request to completion. Upon error or completion, they call a user-supplied function to let the users application know that that particular request has completed. They work asynchronously, and can process an unlimited number of simultaneous requests.
    Design the implementation and thread models for I/O completion ports. Remember to take into account multi-processor machines.
  • Write a function that takes in a string parameter and checks to see whether or not it is an integer, and if it is then return the integer value.
  • Write a function to print all of the permutations of a string.
  • Implement malloc.
  • Write a function to print the Fibonacci numbers.
  • Write a function to copy two strings, A and B. The last few bytes of string A overlap the first few bytes of string B.
  • How would you write qsort?
  • How would you print out the data in a binary tree, level by level, starting at the top?

Applications

  • How can computer technology be integrated in an elevator system for a hundred story office building? How do you optimize for availability? How would variation of traffic over a typical work week or floor or time of day affect this?
  • How would you implement copy-protection on a control which can be embedded in a document and duplicated readily via the Internet?
  • Define a user interface for indenting selected text in a Word document. Consider selections ranging from a single sentence up through selections of several pages. Consider selections not currently visible or only partially visible. What are the states of the new UI controls? How will the user know what the controls are for and when to use them?
  • How would you redesign an ATM?
  • Suppose we wanted to run a microwave oven from the computer. What kind of software would you write to do this?
  • What is the difference between an Ethernet Address and an IP address?
  • How would you design a coffee-machine for an automobile.
  • If you could add any feature to Microsoft Word, what would it be?
  • How would you go about building a keyboard for 1-handed users?
  • How would you build an alarm clock for deaf people?

Thinkers

  • How are M&Ms made?
  • If you had a clock with lots of moving mechanical parts, you took it apart piece by piece without keeping track of the method of how it was disassembled, then you put it back together and discovered that 3 important parts were not included; how would you go about reassembling the clock?
  • If you had to learn a new computer language, how would you go about doing it?
  • You have been assigned to design Bill Gates bathroom. Naturally, cost is not a consideration. You may not speak to Bill.
  • What was the hardest question asked of you so far today?
  • If MS told you we were willing to invest $5 million in a start up of your choice, what business would you start? Why?
  • If you could gather all of the computer manufacturers in the world together into one room and then tell them one thing that they would be compelled to do, what would it be?
  • Explain a scenario for testing a salt shaker.
  • If you are going to receive an award in 5 years, what is it for and who is the audience?
  • How would you explain how to use Microsoft Excel to your grandma?
  • Why is it that when you turn on the hot water in any hotel, for example, the hot water comes pouring out almost instantaneously?
  • Why do you want to work at Microsoft?
  • Suppose you go home, enter your house/apartment, hit the light switch, and nothing happens – no light floods the room. What exactly, in order, are the steps you would take in determining what the problem was?
  • Interviewer hands you a black pen and says nothing but “This pen is red.”

A Salute To Kargil Heroes

Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on July 26th

IF YOU WORSHIP YOUR BOLLYWOOD STAR OR YOUR CRICKETING IDOL.. THINK AGAIN THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE WHO Deserve IT MUCH MORE THAN THEM. READ THIS MAIL FULLY.

ESPECIALLY THE LETTER WRITTEN BY ONE OF THE JAWAANS TO HIS FAMILY

SALUTE THEM FOR ALL THEIR SACRIFICE

READ THE LETTER BELOW

WE RECAPTURED OUR LAST HILL FROM PAKISTAN
BUT WE LOST OUR MOST VALUABLE, GREAT WARRIORS, BRAVE BROTHERS .TODAY IT’S TIME TO REMEMBER THEM


A SALUTE TO


OF KARGIL WAR


KARGIL’S FIRST HERO

Lt. Saurabh Kalia

His UNIFORM as a MEMORY


Capt.Vikram Batra
Param Vir Chakra(Posthumous)

Grenedier. Yogendra Singh
Param Vir Chakra

RFN .Sanjay Kumar
(Param Vir Chakra)

Major Padmapani Acharya,
Maha Vir Chakra (Posthumous)
Of the 2nd Battalion of The RAJPUTANA RIFLES

Lieutenant Balwan Singh,
Maha Vir Chakra
Of the 18th Battalion of GRENADIERS Regiment


Major M Saravanan,
VirChakra,
1 Bihar


Lieutenant Kanad Bhattacharya,
Sena Medal (Posthumous) (22 YEARS)



Captain Saju Cherian,
Sena Medal
307 Medium Regiment

Lieutenant Keishing Clifford Nangrum,
Maha Vir Chakra (Posthumous)
Of the 12th Battalion of JAMMU AND KASHMIR Light Infantry

Captain R Jerry Prem Raj,
Vir Chakra (Posthumous) ,
158 Medium Regiment

Major Sonam Wangchuk,
Maha Vir Chakra
Of the LADAKH Scouts

Officers & Jawans from the 2nd Rajputana Rifles pray before going into battle, to get back Tololing Top. Behind the jawan in the foreground (with a 5.56mm INSAS rifle) is Captain Vijayant Thapar . His face is partly hidden and is seen sporting a beard. Lieutenant Thapar laid down his life, in the capture of Tololing Top and was awarded the Vir Chakra posthumously for his valour.


Major Padmapani Acharya, 2nd Rajputana Rifles, leads his men into battle after the successful capture of Tololing Top. The 2 Raj. Rifles’ next assignment was to capture the Knoll mountain feature in the Black Rock area, which is in the Drass sub-sector. It was here, that Major Acharya laid down his life in the highest traditions of the Indian Army on 29 June 1999. He was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, posthumously .

Making the way through narrow valley

The Leh-Batalik road is as notorious as the Srinagar-Kargil road. At its beginning lie staging areas, at its end fierce fighting and often, death. Jawans patrol the rugged slopes near Batalik. For them, there is little time for rest and little time to think, always poised on the edge of action.

Capt.Vijayant Thapar (Robin)

He Laid down for OUR BETTER TOMORROW
At the age of only 22


His Last Letter to his parents


AND AFTER THAT

HE CAME BACK HOME WITH TRI COLOR DRAPED

Jawans from the 2nd Rajputana Rifles, remember their 23 comrades who fell in the decisive battle for the Tololing Top. The battalion earned four Maha Vir Chakras, one of India ‘s highest medals for gallantry, three of them being awarded posthumously.

Captain (Dr.) Rajshree Gupta, Army Medical Corps (AMC), salutes the tricolour-draped coffin of her husband, Major Vivek Gupta of the 2nd Rajputana Rifles, who died fighting the enemies.


JAIHIND!

KINDLY SPARE A MAIL TO FORWARD THIS TO YOUR FRIENDS ALONG WITH OTHER IMPORTANT MAILS U SEND THRU.

Regards,
Sandeep.kotegar
Engg. & Design Tecnimont ICB Pvt. Ltd.
Malad (west), Mumbai 400064″
Kotegar Sandeep (Mumbai – Piping)” <S.Kotegar@ticb.com>

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Ganesh