Seeing Daylight With New Blogger Pages

A little off the news this time, but this info may lift some spirits among Blogger users.

Just wonder why it took the team at Blogger so long to decide that Page-starved blogspot bloggers deserve this Blogger Pages feature. There have been so many requests for them since way back when. But no luck, it was a long wait.

Just imagine WordPress users making snipe remarks at Blogger users for living under the rock. So at last poor suffering Blogger users can see daylight. Now Blogger Pages are available on Blogger in Draft. This was announced last week on the official blog Blogger Buzz.

Here's what Blogger Pages can do for you, according to the official site's post:
"Blogger Pages lets you to publish static information on stand-alone pages linked from your blog. For example, you can use Pages to create an About This Blog page that discusses the evolution of your blog, or a Contact Me page that provides directions, a phone number, and a map to your location.
You create a page similar to how you write a blog post. From Blogger in Draft click the Posting | Edit Pages tab, then click New Page. (Note: you can create up to 10 pages.)

Once your page is published, you can link to it from the new Pages widget. The Pages widget lets you add links to your pages as tabs at the top of your blog, or as links in your blog's sidebar.

In the Pages widget, you can decide which pages will have links, and in what order they will appear. You can also choose whether or not you want links automatically created for pages when you create them by checking or unchecking the box to the left of Add new Pages by default."

But here's a little bit of a letdown. If you are using custom templates, they may not automatically support Blogger Pages as horizontal "tabs."

Fair Warning to FTP Users

Blogger users who relied on FTP to publish their blogspot blogs have been given notice that it will no longer be supported. The official site has announced that it will stop after March 26, 2010.

According to Blogger, FTP usage has been a drain on their ability to improve Blogger.

Although it is expected, this move will not go down well with some FTP users, Blogger has promised to make the transition "as seamless as possible".

Here are the steps to be taken by Blogger:
  • Building a migration tool that will walk users through a migration from their current URL to a Blogger-managed URL (either a Custom Domain or a Blogspot URL) that will be available to all users from Feb 22. This tool will handle redirecting traffic from the old URL to the new URL, and will handle the vast majority of situations.
  • Providing a dedicated blog and help documentation to provide as much information as possible to help guide users through the migration off of FTP.
Blogger users are also promised that a number of big releases are planned for this year. - Markk


Apple iPad: It's Time For A Reality Check

The hype and the show are over. For the Apple iPad which CEO Steve Jobs described as "so much more intimate than a laptop, so much more capable than a smartphone", the time has come for a reality check.

It's time for some serious rumination of the much anticipated Apple tablet device with a touch screen, Web browser and email functions.

As the anticipatory madness wears off, sobering thoughts take over. Figuratively speaking, the cat is out of the bag.

Technology aficionados are breathing easily now. Industry watchers are weighing the pros and cons of this tablet device that "sits between a laptop and a smartphone".

But imagine if you are sitting between Hulk Hogan and a sumo wrestler, how would you feel if both sidle up to you?

If I were an iPad I would feel like something that has been squelched.

While some analysts think this Apple gadget is cool and has a bright future, some others are not so sure it could be as successful as the iPod and iPhone.

Research firm Interpret's Mike Gartenberg was quite enthusiastic about the iPad. He told the BBC:  "I think this is going to be a very successful product for them (Apple), and exceed expectations . . .Apple did what they needed to do. They gave this form factor a reason to exist."

A CNet poll, run immediately after the iPad launch, had indicated that slightly over half of the respondents said: "No way. It's not what I hope/expected."

Doesn't sound promising there. According to CNet writer Erica Ogg, a lot of people had ""expressed dissatisfaction with everything from the size, the price, the specs, and the content availbale, to the usage model."

Tech blog Gizmodo's Wilson Rothman is of the opinion that the iPad is not about replacing your netbook or your Kindle e-reader. If you love these two products, you are likely to stay with them rather than switch to the Apple tablet.

The social media guide blog, Mashable, has Stad Schroeder questioning: "If you’re sitting at your computer, will you go fetch the iPad to send some e-mails on it? I don’t think so. Will you play on your iPad if you have a PlayStation? Ask your kid, I’m sure he/she knows the answer."

However, Schroeder feels that the iPad's time is coming, but it may be "very far ahead."

Many detractors have pointed out that the iPad is not all it's cracked up to be because...
  • It lacks the ability to do multi-tasking which is already a common feature in laptops, notebooks and netbooks.
  • There's no camera
  • There's no Flash, the ubiquitous, video and animation software
  • Connectivity issues need to be addressed
Whether the iPad is "better at browsing, better at sending emails, better at reading books" the cost of owning one may put many people off.

At $599 for a 32GB iPad and $699 for a 64GB model, and with some of the features that you can find on a laptop or a cheap netbook missing, I bet not many people are going to change the balance of their bank account. - Markk

[ Image credit: mattbuchanan]

> The iPad Varieties and Padded Bras

...and what Hitler thought of it...  

Apple iPad Tablet (32GB, Wi-Fi)ZAGG invisibleSHIELD for Apple iPad (Front)