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May 29 2009

Google's new "Wave"; was the name actually inspired by Firefly? Curious if the name of Google's new application called "Wave" might be Whedon-inspired, I watched the developer preview...

just a few minutes in to the video and I became certain of it. The presentation includes the lead programming engineers and project managers making multiple Firefly/Serenity references and even the "Wave" program itself prints the words, "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!" at the bottom of the screen when it unexpectedly crashes (it's still in development). Kudos to Google's programmers for their good taste and for creating what looks to be a frikin' awesome new application!

[ edited by Penthos on 2009-05-31 03:44 ]

Yeah, not to mention the "Shiny!" Lars uses in his email.

They've gotta be Firefly fans.
That was one of the references I was talking about. Did you notice when Lars did that the crowd started cheering? Clearly, the crowd was loaded with Firefly fans as well.
Google can go ahead and buy the US and rename it Londonium if they want.

I love Google. I want a Google computer. They need to come out with those. ;)
That's neat. Is this thing going to lend itself to use as a verb-- "I'll send a wave"?
Well since they're trying to go against traditional email, I think they'd rather "start" a wave.
Londonium works for me.

Shiny new name for mostly-existing technology, packaged in shiny new wrappers.

Ok, so I didn't have time to sit through it all. I may be wrong and this may be the coolest development in communications since... instant messaging and social networking.
That was the first thing I thought when I saw this news on Lifehacker. I can't wait to send my first wave!
Okay, I'll be the dummy. When do they use the term Wave in Firefly?
to wave someone - it's a verb
to send a wave - it's a noun

[ edited by WhoIsOmega? on 2009-05-29 20:32 ]

ETA: Melfa, I know it's in Serenity when Cap'n gets a wave from Inara. I think they get a wave from Patience in the pilot Serenity. I could be wrong.

[ edited by WhoIsOmega? on 2009-05-29 20:36 ]
I wonder if this will stay this time. It was deleted before, but I didn't see how it was pitched that time.
Yeah, I don't get it either.
They use the term 'wave' in the very first episode of Firefly, don't they?
Inara sends Mal a 'wave' in the movie to ask for his help.

As I'm probably the least knowledgeable person here re: Whedon trivia, I'm surprised you guys didn't know.
When you contact someone over the Cortex in the Serenity/Firefly universe, the messaging is called a wave or waving. There are a lot of references to sending someone a wave, or "saw your wave," and so on. In Serenity, Wash tells Mal he has a wave from Inara and bounces it down to Mal's video screen. While keeping it open on his end for convenient eavesdropping of course. The Miranda video is sent out as a "broadwave" (broadcast).

Or what Caroline just said. :)
lol. I was just readin bout that. XD Didn't watch it though, because lol I'm gonna be hooked on SPN con reports and tweets & texts all weekend. Stupid not be able to go. Grr.

But haha, awesome. :D

And yeah, Wave was apparently some kinda message thing in Firefly and stuff. They used it a few times. :D
I'm pretty psyched about this. I already wrote my haiku to request a developer account!

I'm pretty sure they were cheering for the live-update instant messaging, not shiny, though.
It's not just in an episode or two, it's used throughout the series and movie. It's just that it's the kind of subtle language tweeking that you could understand in context as "we're being hailed by another ship" or "I have an incoming video message for you" without ever noticing it at all. It's got a relatively low-level but really consistent presence throughout the scenes.

I guess I noticed because I love that kind of thing. My favorite dialogue in the entire series is the made-up technical gobbedly-gook where Kaylee and Wash are admiring Saffron's booby trap.
Doesn't Simon's dad complain that he gets a wave in the middle of a meeting, and (young) Simon mentions that it's because he has a slow 'computer' type thingie?

I wish I had the series on me or that I could find a clip.
Actually, I asked my friend who works at Google this very question yesterday and he told me that it shouldn't surprise me that there are a lot of Joss Whedon fans at Google...
Okay, now I get it! Oddly, I sort of just accepted that as normal terminology that I wasn't familiar with and therefore didn't note it.
The point isn't that they are firefly fans, it is that we are all geeks... ;)
Dev linked me to this all in a dither. He was very excited about it. First thing I said to him was, "a wave", people would be "sending a wave"! Glad someone else noticed :)
Here is a reference to "Sending a Wave" from the episode Safe
My heart just swelled. This is a feeling not unlike pride.

I love my fandom.
Awesome, wilder, that's exactly what I was thinking of.
Seems google people really likes Joss.

VeryVeryCrowded said:
Google can go ahead and buy the US and rename it Londonium if they want.

No, US is very expensive, however, if they want a more tropical third world country...
Whilst Firefly was one of the first things I thought about when i heard about this, I don't really see any Firefly references in that promo (I can't read any sudden and inevitable betrayals).

However it is clearly in the show, how could you forget:

Our Mrs. Reynolds

Mal has accidentally gotten married and seeks help to get out of it, Shepard book informs him:

"Divorce is very rare and requires
dispensation from her pastor. I can
send him a wave, see what I can do."

The Message

We open on an old crappy space station, the crew have landed and are milling about. Captain Mal walks up to the post office and says:

"I read your wave. You're holding
post for us?"

War Stories

Niska has captured Mal, the crew are preparing to get killed, Kaylee approaches and explains:

"Just got a wave from Inara. No luck
with the councilor."


Stern father Tam admonishes his son:

Gabriel: We got the wave at the Friedlichs. I had to leave your mother at the dinner table!

Simon: I'm sorry, Dad. You know I would never have tried to save River's life if I had known there was a dinner party at risk!

Seems wavey to me ;)
As one who works at Google, I can attest to a fairly large Whedon following. Not that it is surprising :)
At 56:10 Stephanie types Serenity in the "What is the best movie ever" poll. It's fuzzy, but it's is Serenity.
I was blown away by the demo. It will revolutionize the way we communicate on the internet. As the guy who has 'browncoat' as his Gmail address, I cannot wait for this to hit.
It will revolutionize the way we communicate on the internet.

She typed that? Damn, she must be drunk *g*

Yeah bix, I don't see what all the fuss is about.

But perhaps it depends on having someone to communicate with in the first place.
Perhaps people should take the time to watch the demo, lest they be perceived as being ignorant.
Actually, my friend at Google who is probably reading this right now tells me that the new crash message is "Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret!"
Brasilian Chaos Man: That's hilarious! Good catch.
Since Google Wave apparently uses new HTML5 tags that aren't supported in any of the Internet Explorer browsers (perhaps IE9?) which currently around 60% of the internet uses, I think it might a number of years before it "will revolutionize the way we communicate on the internet". More likely it will be enjoyable to a small niche market.

I didn't catch the Firefly reference and wonder if the older, but not as well known Adobe Wave was picked for a Firefly reference?
I noticed they used the colors of Kaylee's parasol in their wave design tee shirt too. Yeah, they're Browncoats.
@HUNTED -I don't really see any Firefly references in that promo (I can't read any sudden and inevitable betrayals).

The first reference is at 10:30 in when Lars is first showing how when he types a message on his side the recipient sees it instantly... He types, "Shiny, you must know a good store".

The next reference is at 13:50 right after Lar's brother Yinz(<-sp?) shows how to replay a message and then starts to his reply. He says "I think I crashed". If you look at the bottom right of his browser a message with a white font and red background popped up saying "Aww, curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal".

The last reference I saw was mentioned above by zz9. It's at 56:10 when Liz and Lars are creating a poll of favorite movies. The third option she types in is Serenity.
And the obvious parasol nod......
Since Google Wave apparently uses new HTML5 tags that aren't supported in any of the Internet Explorer browsers (perhaps IE9?) which currently around 60% of the internet uses

One suspects mobiles and whatnot will not be too worried about whether IE supports HTML5 properly. The leading mobile browsers do and the freefall in IE market share certainly suggests that more than a few will get to enjoy Wave. However... if I had a dime for every app that was going to revolutionize the way we communicate, you know the drill.
I think you might be mistaken about the reference to the parasol. Blue, red, yellow and green are the Google colours, in order.
I use the internet to communicate. When we comment "live" out reviews of Dollhouse, just think... NO REPOSTING! No "oh I missed that you already said that because I was typing". No separate tabs/windows/whathavesyou. I can be looking in my "e-mail" and see Sunfire respond to my comment on her LOLDollhouse blog.

I can check WHEDONESQUE all. the. time. AND my tweets without worrying about missing anything. And that drag and drop feature??? No more messed up code for < b > bold < / b > and what not? SWEET! Embedded videos at a drag & drop? We could host a thread of everyone's favorite Buffy moments and just have a thread of videos yanked from YouTube!

No need to "quote" our stars on Twitter- just drag and drop it right in!!

International fan? Having trouble with American/English?? That Rosy tool is great for translating over 40 languages! Awesome!!! (of course, my language skills go right out the door, but it's for the better of humanity).

Personally I can't wait for our awesome mods employ it here just to start scratching at the potential of all of this.

(And what about those live-action games, huh? Chess? Word find?? Collective groups filling in the Buffy cross-word puzzles? I say woo hooo!)
I like my old fashioned multi-tasking, thanks. #getoffmylawn
korkster, stop, you are boring some folks around here. ;P

Real-time context sensitive spell-checking is one thing, but the real-time 40 language translation in live chat is pretty amazing. Chat with someone in France who speaks no English. Instantly.

And if IE doesn't support it, BFD. Just another reason to switch to a real browser like Firefly, er, Firefox.
That might be Google's colors. But the tee shirt is screaming Kaylee to me.
The leading mobile browsers do and the freefall in IE market share certainly suggests that more than a few will get to enjoy Wave.

IE has certainly lost a lot of marketshare and continues to do so, but at the same time it still holds more market share than all the other browsers put together. Also there's a lot of mobile phones out there, but they still all together add up less than 1 percent of the internet usage.

This becomes a problem when users have to check what browsers their friends are using before sending them a message. Plus a user who might use Firefox at home, but has a locked down computer at work with IE, so they won't be able to check new messages at work. It just creates all sorts of barriers that I think will keep Google Wave in a niche market. Likely popular among the tech crowd, but without IE support I can't see it being very mainstream.
I may be wrong but I thought the "Needs something that IE doesn't have" comment was for one small bit of Wave? That it would work fine apart from one particular function.

Maybe I need to watch it again.
Wait, how do you even get a crash message in Firefox? How did they get it to say those things?

I especially like that it now has a Kaylee quote from Serenity.
Yeah, they do say it will eventually work on IE7 and newer at some point (but there is much work to be done), dunno if its in this vid or not, but it was in one of the other articles I read.
zeitgeist, if that is the case, then please ignore my rant.

From the articles I've read it won't support IE, but when something is this new, especially coming out of a developer's conference, it's often report first, check facts later.
Yep, love things like this, when it's so clear people are Joss fans. And I think I prefer the new error message everbeen's friend mentioned. I want it as the error message on my pc :)
ZDNet Australia, amongst others say:

On the question of why not go live now with Google Wave, Jens and Lars Rasmussen cited that it is not ready for the general population. Wave itself is best viewed in WebKit-based browsers or Firefox with Opera support still coming together. For Internet Explorer, Lars Rasmussen said that there will be no IE6 support for Wave, but intends to target IE7 and above.

The reason for this is due to the lack of HTML 5 support for Internet Explorer 6, in particular, the use of web workers which are analogous to threading a web application.

I hope the trend of not supporting IE6 catches on. It is the enemy of web developers. I've recently stopped supporting it in my sites, unless a client requests otherwise. That browser needs to die a quick death. IE7 is only marginally better.
I am seriously geeking out over this. Google rules. BTW, Google does have a computer, VeryVeryCrowded. It's called a G1. It can do everything my laptop can internet-wise. Love it!

[ edited by filmtx on 2009-05-31 03:07 ]
GVH, my Windows Critical Stop sound is Dawn saying "Holy Crap!"

If you want "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!" then just play the DVD of Firefly on your PC, use Windows Sound Recorder to record that clip and edit it to length, then save it and set it under Sounds for whatever Windows event you want.
My old email sound was Willow saying "That's right big boy. Come and get it"
I didn't think Firefox had crash messages/sounds.
Thanks for the tip, zz9 :). And incidentally: that was also my old email sound. Heh. I think I downloaded it as part of a Buffy themed sound pack, back in the day.
I must admit that I have strayed GVH, my new email sound is a clip from a Smallville outtake of Kristin Kreuk saying "Yeah... What's my line? Thank you."
It's a really silly line, I just love the way she says it.

For a while I did have the email sound that Scotty had in Eurotrip. You know the one....
korkster, stop, you are boring some folks around here. ;P

Yes, I was sucked into the Google Wave wasn't I? Well, I still think it's awesome, but my effortless enthusiasm on the subject has currently left me.

*still* want it though. *thinks about Webby Chat & threads merging & imploding*
Here's another article that confirms the inspiration.
Try loading Google Wave with will not like it and give you a Firefly Reference <3

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