Archive for February, 2010

Google Chrome OS: All Quiet on the Western FrontFebruary 23rd, 2010

Google Chrome logoYou can always count on Google for creating a buzz  on the internet with its innovative applications, such as Google Wave for example.   In November, Google  released its first preview of its new operating system: Google Chrome OS.

Google said that this new operating system targets  netbooks that use on-line applications only, without local storage support. The entire system is stored on SDD disks – and nothing else.

That said, I wanted to see for myself what could be this new Google concept. So I downloaded the Chrome OS VMWare image (also available for Sun’s VirtualBox) from engadget web site and ran it on my PC.

Chrome OS screenshot

Actually, Chrome OS is built on a Linux kernel with an enhanced Chrome browser as the user interface. Only on-line and some off-line (based on HTML 5 off-line access features) applications can be used. Chrome OS does not handle local storage systems such as hard drives or USB keys. So, no way to use your netbook as a video or music player, except for on-line resources (YouTube, Deezer, …).

This new Google operating system left me skeptical. This OS is based on a linux kernel but restricted by Google specifications. I do not think I would ever pay for a netbook that will only work if I can access the internet, on which I cannot store my music and video library, without any way to store my files on a local device or handle external devices (at the time being, Google has not announced any solution to handle printers for instance :( ). It reminds me of the  Sun’s Network PC concept,  a comeback of  the old passive terminal, applied to the Cloud. Google seems to target the iPad-like devices, but the restrictions are so drastic that I think that Apple can sleep on both ears ;)

But we will see, as Google always surprises us …

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jacques.desmazieres

Written by Jacques Desmazières

February 23rd, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Storyboarding for multi-media projectsFebruary 12th, 2010

Storyboarding comes from movie making to describe the scenes of a film before the actual shots. It’s essential in describing the general framework of the production: casting, movement, people, transitionts etc.

On the web and for multi-media projects, this method also has many advantages. In certain cases, wireframes – used to illustrate the general page layout and navigation of a site – are not enough to illustrate special areas whith a high amount of animation or interaction.

The story board allows the client to visualize and “feel” how the future site or application will eventually turn out. It can easily be modified and different scenarios can be explored, without a line of code. This of course helps to save precious time and money, by avoiding rework later and also providing a precise scenario to the developers / animators who will implement the concept.

As an example, here is a part of a storyboard I did recently for a client.

storyboard_complet_img01 Read the rest of this entry »


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nathalie.pattier

Written by Nathalie Pattier

February 12th, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Posted in Design

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Drupal publishing solutionFebruary 11th, 2010

Drupalblue-infinity has increased its portfolio of open-source publishing solutions with Drupal. We are also now a Drupal Association Member.

Our Open Source Practice has already been serving clients namely with Joomla! and Typo 3. Through Drupal, our teams hope to bring even more functionality to clients who wish to implement a solid solution for digital media, as well as take advantage of the very complete social media solutions, which include multi-user blogs, wikis and community networks.

The Drupal social publishing system has been downloaded over 2 million times since its inception.  Assisted by a thriving ecosystem of consultants and developers, a diverse list of organisations are using Drupal including SonyBMG, Warner Brothers Records, New York Observer, Forbes, Hachette Filipacchi Media, NYU Langone Medical Center, Columbia University, Allied Advertising, New York State Historical Association and Amnesty International. A huge community has grown up around Drupal, with thousands of active contributors to the open source technology, including nearly 2000 community-developed modules for extending Drupal functionality.

Our teams have already had successes with Drupal both in the Consumer and Government sectors.

For more information on the right publishing system for you please contact Guillaume Arluison (guillaume.arluison at b-i.com).


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LIFT 10 in GenevaFebruary 10th, 2010

blue-infinity is once again a proud sponsor of LIFT. 

Lift10 will explore the most overlooked aspect of innovaLIFTtion: people.

Known in techno-parlance as users, consumers, clients, participants, prosumers, citizens or activists, they ultimately define the success of all technological and entrepreneurial projects. A decade after the rebirth of user-centered design and innovation, it is time to explore the myths and uncover the reality behind the “connected people”.

Lift10 will give you insights on how people behave online, the various usages of social media, and the differences between generations. Learn how to leverage the power of millions of supporters from a member of Obama’s social media team (Rahaf Harfoush), hear the story of the “pirate party” who made it to the European parliament with the help of online communities (Amelia Andersdotter). Listen to Catherine Lottier, head of TV program foresight at France’s most innovative TV channel, talk about the media of the future. Hear Katrin Verclas explain how mobile phones can have a bigger social impact. Jamais Cascio, who has just been named one of the top 100 global thinkers by Foreign Policy “for being our moral guide to the future” will join biologist Aubrey De Grey who treats age as a disease and wants you (yes, you!) to live well beyond the normal 100 years or so.

For more information, please contact Sonia Nair (sonia.nair at b-i dot com).

For more information on the event, visit www.liftconference.com


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Book: Maven the complete referenceFebruary 10th, 2010

You may have read interesting posts on Continuous Integration (CI), Test Driven Development (TDD) or source code and build management process (maybe even on this blog ;) ). Most of them show solutions based on Apache Maven tool.

I am not going into details about what Maven is or is not, and how to use it, as Sonatype has released a very good on-line book on the subject “Maven the complete reference“, and on top of it it’s  free. I have read it and I think this book is THE reference to learn Maven or deepen your knowledge on the subject.

Also,  take a look Nicolas Frankel’s review,  a consultant I am working with on a project.  I definitely agree with his opinions.

Maven the complete reference's cover

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How to plan desktop management without a headacheFebruary 9th, 2010

cms7_wheelThe demand could sound easy : “We  manage more than 1200 desktops and would like to migrate them from Windows XP to Windows 7.”

But in reality, the effort involved in migrating a significant number of desktops while keeping wallpapers,  shortcuts and all the application custom settings can be quite significant and the process can be daunting. However, there is often no time and not an enormous budget for the migration.

This particular customer only had a few IT people, involved most of the time with technical support, and less with more complex tasks such as mass migrations. While I was doing the interviews to gather the various demands, the idea of a single centralized management system was coming : Altiris

Well….maybe you will think : it sounds too easy to be true.

We first used  “Deployment Solutions”  to create a list of jobs. It starts by capturing all desktops, users and application settings. Then, we applied  “Deploy a Windows 7 Image”, which creates a universal image (meaning the multi- hardware support).

The applications were deployed,  previous settings restored…and all computers integrated into the domain. The proof of concept was  done in 2 weeks. Migration operation was finished after 4 months. Today, they can regenerate any PC in minutes, without the IT staff  having to leave their desks.

Next step was: Automate all the processes in relation to Active Directory integration, goods acquisition and PC re-allocation.
(No, Altiris can do that too ? Unbelivable…)

We put in place Altiris Workflow Solution, with a front-end server, able to genearate some forms into a Web portal. This helps to fill in the information and automates the process, with already other products  installed.

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Google Waves: the definitive collaboration tool ?February 4th, 2010


Google Wave logoUntil I looked at this Google wave podcast, I have to confess that, in my mind, Google was no more than a cool web application editor, adding innovation to existing concepts. But with regards to Google Wave technology, I definitely changed my mind and I now think Google is imagining the next generation of applications (and not only web applications).

Google Wave concept is to federate in a single application features of several domains such as email, chat, syndication, blog, collaboration and much more.

To describe Wave in a few words, I would say that Wave is a “real time” communication application, where collaboration is the core concept. You can use Wave like email, as the waves are persistent do not need on-line participants, but you can also use it like a chat, concurrently editing a wave with other participants. But that is only the tip of the iceberg, as Google tried to federate the best-of-breed of (Google) web applications.

But the reason why I think that Wave is the definite revolution in communication and collaboration is that it is more group_reportthan just an application. Wave is built on an open protocol, really similar to the main concept of email protocols, allowing Wave servers to communicate with each other. Wave is open source, and you can have your own wave server, opened or not onto the internet, and I think this is a key feature for companies that want to host all of their IT resources or use Wave only in their Intranet with securtiy and confidentiality concerns.
And finally, like Google Maps, Google Waves provides a Wave API allowing you to embed Wave components in web applications  to implement, customize and extend Wave client and server. Actually Wave as been built as an integration platform around a collaboration platform.

The only drawback I see  is that as a user, you need to change your way of communicating and collaborating. This may take some time, but not always, if the concept is really good and matches with the ways users actually think and act (just think of Apple with the iPhone …) .

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Attivio Enterprise SearchFebruary 3rd, 2010

blue-infiniy is now an official Attivio partner.

Our new partnership with Attivio enables us to offer clients the third major solution on the market today, adding to our offering of Autonomy and Fast.

Through our dedicated teams we have successfully ensured proper definition of user, technical and infrastructure requirements as well as configuration, deployment and knowledge transfer, with business continuity being a priority throughout the project life-cycle.

Our usability experts champion user requirements, leveraging them to design clear interface designs and task flows.


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