Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

12/17/2009
03:28 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Review: Google Wave An Experimental Ride

The collaboration system combines e-mail, instant messaging, message boards, Wikis, and document-sharing tools -- to create something completely new.

To paraphrase Edwin Starr: Wave -- what is it good for?

The answer: A little of everything.

Almost nothing else Google has created has generated as much interest, and as much confusion, as Wave. Just describing it to others forces you to pick your words carefully -- it's not e-mail, or instant messaging, or a Web chat system, or a message board, or a collaborative-document system, but a hybrid of many features from all of those things.

"Experimental" is the most encompassing word for Wave, in the positive and negative senses of the word. Mitch Wagner believes Wave is one of Google's "concept car" creations -- a showcase for a slew of technologies that will eventually be repackaged in other forms. The most crucial being Wave's native protocol, which in theory can be implemented by anyone who wants to write a client or server for it.

In this article I'm going to walk through Wave as it embodies the aspects of a number of other things we should all be familiar with: e-mail, wikis, blogs, instant messaging, online collaboration apps, and many more. In some cases it substitutes quite ably for the item in question; sometimes, it's short of the mark (and not just because the other guy you want to involve in what you're doing doesn't yet have a Wave account).

E-mail

If Wave has been described as any one thing, it's as an e-mail killer -- a way to take the inbox/message/threaded-discussion metaphor and push it into an entirely new realm. In many ways, at first glance, Wave does resemble an e-mail client of sorts: there's an inbox, there are folders, and the messages resemble e-mail messages organized into discussion threads.

These design analogies are probably quite deliberate. Most people have trouble working with something that presents absolutely no parallels to what they know and worth with -- and if there's one environment that even most non-technical people are familiar with, it's an e-mail client (be it Outlook or Google's own Gmail). Others have superficially compared Wave to "Microsoft Outlook / Lotus Notes on steroids," since Outlook (especially in conjunction with Microsoft Exchange) sports a great deal more than just mail: contact management, calendaring, note-taking, etc.

Because Wave is an invitation-only protocol -- at least in its current incarnation -- that makes it a good deal more secure than e-mail. Conversations are only possible among trusted peers. What's not present is a sense that Wave can be transitional -- e.g., you can't take your existing e-mail and slurp it up into Wave. Maybe this isn't so bad, since it further underscores the difference between the two, and since Wave itself is not at this time intended to eclipse other, more broadly accepted things.

Perhaps Google's stance with such things is that they will provide just enough API-level functionality to allow other people to mortar over those gaps. Example: a third-party bot allows people to be automatically notified by e-mail when changes are made to a given conversation. A good idea, but it's something that belongs in Wave by default -- especially this early on in Wave's evolution.

 

Recommended Reading:

Previous
1 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/3/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
New 'Nanodegree' Program Provides Hands-On Cybersecurity Training
Nicole Ferraro, Contributing Writer,  8/3/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15479
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07
An issue was discovered in PassMark BurnInTest through 9.1, OSForensics through 7.1, and PerformanceTest through 10. The driver's IOCTL request handler attempts to copy the input buffer onto the stack without checking its size and can cause a buffer overflow. This could lead to arbitrary Ring-0 code...
CVE-2020-15480
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07
An issue was discovered in PassMark BurnInTest through 9.1, OSForensics through 7.1, and PerformanceTest through 10. The kernel driver exposes IOCTL functionality that allows low-privilege users to map arbitrary physical memory into the address space of the calling process. This could lead to arbitr...
CVE-2020-5412
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07
Spring Cloud Netflix, versions 2.2.x prior to 2.2.4, versions 2.1.x prior to 2.1.6, and older unsupported versions allow applications to use the Hystrix Dashboard proxy.stream endpoint to make requests to any server reachable by the server hosting the dashboard. A malicious user, or attacker, can se...
CVE-2020-13376
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07
SecurEnvoy SecurMail 9.3.503 allows attackers to upload executable files and achieve OS command execution via a crafted SecurEnvoyReply cookie.
CVE-2020-15907
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07
In Mahara 19.04 before 19.04.6, 19.10 before 19.10.4, and 20.04 before 20.04.1, certain places could execute file or folder names containing JavaScript.