Archive for the ‘ tech ’ Category

What Google+ could teach us about privacy

A long time ago it was MySpace and maybe a bit of LiveJournal. Now the universe revolves around Facebook and Twitter, but there’s Foursquare and Yelp and Gowalla and any number of other ways people stay connected with their social networks. The release and positive early buzz of Google+ should remind us that social media will inevitably proliferate and fragment. In light of that, social networks in general should endeavor to make privacy options more self-evident to non-technical users.

One step towards this would be to adopt consistent phraseology and iconography to describe users’ privacy options for their content.

For a napkin example, imagine if a few networks would agree on verb choices and icon pairing conventions. “Post (globe),” “Share (stick figures)” and “Store (locker)” have similar but nuanced meanings, and make the distinction pretty clear: You’re sharing with the world, or with specific individuals / groups, or just place-shifting for your private use.

The point of this is, the whole default public / private distinction needn’t (and maybe shouldn’t) be a “default” in the first place. By giving users different verbs instead of a default, user education could be faster and more effective.

Dear Google: I’m a model fanboi; where’s the Google+ love?

Seriously guys, I’ve used GMail as my main address since you opened the beta in 2004. I regularly subject my friends and family to long diatribes on how The Big G can untether them from physical machines and locations, on why they should be using GMail to free them from Outlook Express and their ISP’s mail service, GCal to organize their lives, Google Docs as the document store that can free them from MS Office, and Android as the mobile device that can free them from iPhone. I use all your Labs features and regularly turn other users on to them. I buy & set up Google Apps domains as birthday presents. I even use Google Music already, for Pete’s sake!

After all this, I have to ask for an invite to Google+? I’m hurt, guys. Really, really hurt.

The Freight Train That Is Android (via abovethecrowd.com)

Great analysis of Android and its function in the marketplace. One-line summary: “the world at large still doesn’t fully appreciate the raw power of this juggernaut.” Can’t agree that “Android may be the opposite of that, the greatest legal destruction of wealth in history” (but read the article, that doesn’t mean what you think it does). More on that in the future, but for now, consider this thought: Wealth doesn’t flow to corporations, it flows through them — and is often amplified in the process. Discuss.

The Freight Train That Is Android [Follow Me on Twitter] “People get ready, there’s a train a comin’” – The Impressions From Zacks via Yahoo: Mark Vickery, On Thursday March 24, 2011, 4:58 pm EDT “BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (NasdaqGS: RIMM – News) beat its fiscal 4Q EPS estimates by 2 cents per share, but missed slightly on quarterly revenues and offered guidance well below the current consensus. This has sent RIMM shares down nearly 10% in after-market trading…” Yeste … Read More

via abovethecrowd.com

Year of the Linux Desktop?

Seen at ArsTechnica:

I Want To Believe

NetBeans!

Oh boy… I’ve been struggling for a couple weeks trying to replace Jetbrains/IntelliJ IDEA with Eclipse for a GWT/Maven project. To make things more challenging, I’m relatively new to Java, Linux, Maven, GWT, Hibernate, Artifactory, Eclipse and IntelliJ to begin with. I’m competent enough at the primary skill every programmer needs — Googling — but I still haven’t been able to get Eclipse to debug the client-side GWT code without unplugging Maven. I could do it in IntelliJ, but that was part of the problem… IntelliJ’s built-in runner would compile Java that shouldn’t compile. It would happily sail right past missing classes (because they were mis-named), multiple methods with the same erasure in the same scope… yikes! Hey, I appreciate the “it just works” experience, but I my definition of “works” definitely doesn’t include compensating for code defects that would never run outside of the IDE.

Well thanks to AdWords’ exemplary intent matching, I kept seeing little reminders to try NetBeans 7. I asked a few Java pros for their opinion of it, and most had tried it years ago & written it off as less-than-useful. If that’s accurate, then I’m here to tell you, NetBeans has grown up quite a bit since then. I grabbed release 7 and a couple plugins, read no more than three paragraphs of instructions on it, watched the first minute of a GWT tutorial, then started fiddling. An hour later, I had Maven, Artifactory, GWT and Tomcat all cooperating nicely with each other & I was stepping through  client-side asynchronous methods in its debugger. I’m using the same source files as are Eclipse and IntelliJ without breakage, and the command-line Maven builds work fine too.

Sweet! Maybe now I can stop panicking over the complete lack of anything familiar in my environment and get back to cranking out platforms!

Oh, and did I mention the Git and Jira integration? I know, right?

Dear Google: Please Fork Java

From the Lemming Technology Blog:

October 6, 2010 — Jason

This is an open-letter to anyone at Google with a vested-interest in the long-term survival of Java as a language; and as a viable platform.

http://lemnik.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/dear-google-please-fork-java/

I tend to agree.
-p

Oh my Gnome!

Switching from KDE to Gnome…

I finally got fed up of the plethora of inexplicable crashes on my Linux system (Kubuntu 10.10 x86-64 if you must know). The Kate text editor would crash every time you clicked the Tools menu. MySQL Workbench crashed every time you hit File -> Open (or CTRL+O, or the “Open” toolbar button), and some-to-most of the time doing about half a dozen other things. Video was atrocious (any app, any source, any renderer), latency was bad enough to make you click on and type in the wrong window at times, the aesthetics were depressing… you get the picture.

So on a lark I decided to try switching my window manager from KDE to Gnome (just sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop, I didn’t actually switch distros from Kubuntu to Ubuntu or anything). Let me just say WOW! Not only is the user experience a drastic improvement over KDE (IMO, of course), but I would say it’s better than Windows 7. I’ve never experienced such responsiveness, even with animations and 3D app, monitor, and tab switching turned on, and a fancy animated 3D dock for my launchers and open apps (AWN if you must know). And it’s not just the OS-level stuff that feels smoother; video is astounding. I played two 720p videos fullscreen simultaneously, one on each monitor, with VLC, and there wasn’t the slightest hint of stutter. I could even fast forward and skip without issues. Flash works everywhere, even in the browsers you Windows junkies have never heard of before, like Reconq. Web browsing is faster in Firefox, Konqueror, Chrome, Chromium… everything I’ve tried so far.

I used to really prefer KDE, but either something was woefully b0rk3d with it on my system, or the Gnome team just has its shit together that much better these days. Either way, since switching yesterday, I’ve found myself reaching for the Windows 7 computer less and less. Thanks, Gnome!

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