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Update 3.17.2010

Hello again, dear readers.

It’s been a while. There are a number of reasons for that. Namely, as some of you may have noticed, a “security breach” occurred on the Think of That Blog last week. We were lucky enough to get the problem resolved over the weekend, but it was a bit scary while it lasted.

In the news, there have been some interesting updates on a lot of the stories we’ve ran recently.

Starting with cloud computing. I wrote a post in January describing cloud computing as the beginning of a paradigm shift in the way we access our data. Recently, Google–itself no stranger to online applications and documents–took  another step toward getting us all up in the clouds: It has opened an online App Marketplace for businesses.

As you likely know, Google already offers free applications like Google Docs, which users can access and use from any computer with an internet connection, anywhere in the world. Well the App Marketplace takes it a step further, offering third-party “cloud applications” for small businesses, from software providers such as Intuit, eFax, and more. These are affordable internet-based programs that small businesses can use to set up a virtual software infrastructure to increase productivity and mobility. Phew. That was a lot of buzzwords.

No? Well here’s how blogger Rajan Chandras describes the role that Google’s new App Store might play in small businesses, from his recent blog post:

In this fierce and fearful economy, small businesses — and that includes you and me in our moonlighting activities, and small developers looking for a profitable outlet to their creativity — need all the help they can get. By tapping into this mushrooming cloud of computing and by thinking outside the box (the one underneath their desktop, that is) they should be able to eke out some nice savings without sacrificing effectiveness, and/or earnings without standing to lose their shirt.

Well said, Chandras. And benefits like that could be seen on a very big scale if cloud computing and cloud-apps become an more dominant force.

Speaking of apps, the Amazon Kindle will soon be offering unique “Active Content” for the slim, black and white e-reader. I complained in my review that the Kindle didn’t offer something as basic as a word-processing program (after all, it has a keyboard). With third-party developers now able to create apps for the device with the Kindle Development Kit, it shouldn’t be too long before someone hears my prayers.

This “active content” has its limits. Namely- the amount of bandwidth they can use (an abysmally small 100 KB a month) which makes it unlikely that this will help the Kindle much against the impending iPad release. At the same time though, it makes this cost-effective alternative even more versatile than it already is.

Remember the good old days, before “Apps,” when there were just applications, before proprietary technology became what it is today? Sure, there were always fundamental format wars, Mac Vs. PC, etc. But now, every device we own is becoming more and more like a computer. I predict that, in ten years, even our televisions will be indistinguishable from a computer. Even so, the idea that you could buy one application and have it work on all your devices would be laughed at today. Everybody wants to have the number one technology, and nobody wants to share. Just a fact of life, I guess.

More updates to come soon, such as– which Why Didn’t I Think of That story has nearly doubled their sales figures, and which internet radio station might soon be segueing from the information super-highway to the real life highway.

All that, plus some great original stories, coming soon.

Thanks for reading!

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