Yahoo! Maps: Flex/Flash/AJAX – Good on Their Word

Finally, Yahoo! has made good on their ability to showcase the Flash Platform. They built Yahoo! Maps using Macromedia Flex. If anyone remembers, part of the Yahoo! Toolbar episode was in addition to Macromedia receiving funding for hosting the Yahoo! Toolbar installation on the Flash Player installation page at Macromedia, this symbolized a deeper relationship. It was said publicly that Yahoo! was doing some amazing things with Flash, and would help push the Flash Platform.

Was about to call bs, but thankfully am eating my words.

Yahoo! has released a beta of their mapping services, much like Google Maps, but at least as far as I can see, more interesting to developers. You can utilize Flex, Flash, and/or AJAX/JavaScript to utilize them. Options rock. Frankly, I’ll never touch the latter 2 unless a gun is pointed to my head since the Flex one works so darn well, and is fun to play with.

Before the FUD gets out of control, you can embed Yahoo! Maps into your own page using Flash Player 7, NOT SHOCKWAVE. Many people associate Shockwave with Director’s Shockwave web player, and Yahoo! Maps is in no way associated with it, so ignore it since it is written a few times on the developer site.

I’ve included an example MXML file you can use to quickly get up to speed on how to use it. Here are some helpful links.

Finally, although that Techcrunch article above needs to be checked again by the editor, two quotes in it, to me, really hit home:

First, the usability improvement over Google Maps:

And as you edit the map by moving, adding things, etc., the URL in the browser bar self updates so that it can be copied and pasted at any time. This is something that really bugs me about Google Maps – the need to click a link to get a permanent URL. Yahoo’s solved that with some cool javascript coding.

And Second, a stab at the tub cleaner:

Because Yahoo Maps is built on Flash, the “back button” on the browser still works (a problem with AJAX applications).

Microsoft IM + Yahoo! IM = *yawn*

Yahoo! Media Relations

Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft Corp. today announced a landmark agreement to connect users of their consumer instant messaging (IM) services on a global basis.

Why should I care? I can already talk to MSN users, Yahoo users… AND AOL users using Trillian. 1 program, 3 communities communicated to transparently.

We tech geeks have it too good; we’re not slaves to brands’ and their whims. Maybe if Yahoo! would tell us how they got Flash games into their IM client, then maybe I’d care. Maybe.

* Update: This is actually nice because now I can just use my MSN account to talk to MSN users AND Yahoo! users. Bringing together networks of people is a good thing.

Microsoft Pays Real Bling

Sad day for the industry (not bad at all compared to the horrible earthquake in Pakistan & floods in Guatemala).

Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, agreed to pay RealNetworks Inc. about $761 million as part of a settlement that removes one of the last major antitrust lawsuits brought by a Microsoft competitor. RealNetworks shares surged as much as 48 percent.

The article goes on to quote an analyst saying the surge in stock is because of ensured cofindence in RealNetworks’ ability to survive alone in the market.

If you can’t manage $30,000, you can’t manage $3 million. Let’s hope that this rule applies to Real’s ability, or hopefully lack thereof, to stay afloat. Competition is a good thing, but they suck, ethically and technically.

Too bad their stock went up; now I can’t be afford to be a majority shareholder, and launch verbal nukes in their board meetings. Dammit.

Via her majesty.

Riot for Laptops

Violence blows, but it makes my heart feel good to know people REALLY want technology. I’d be insulted if someone gave me a 4 year-old iBook; that, to me, equates to a pimp looking paper weight, but then, I’m a spoiled rotten geek. Hey, at least I’d say, “Thank you! That is so kind of you to think of me.” And I’d be sincere, too! I mean, how cool would it be to have an iBook beer-coaster? WHO’S A YUPPIE, NOW, SUCKA!?!

My favorite quote:

One woman went so far to wet herself rather than surrender her place in line.

Panic ensues in rush for cheap laptops

Via her majesty.