Archive for the ‘tech’ Category
“What could be more natural than staring at something to select it, nodding to approve something?… For privacy, you’ll be able to use imperceptible movements, or even hidden ones such as flicking your tongue across your teeth.”
These designers think that the difference between effortless tongue-flicking and Glass’s crude chin-snapping is simply one of refinement. I’m not so sure. To me they both seem equally alienating–I don’t think we want our bodies to be UIs.
[Yeah, it's a mess. This stuff never seems to work out.]
Now that I have worked on this team for a while, I have come to realize it is anything but silly or cute; in fact, it’s quite brilliant. The impact of having this title is subtle but powerful. The Happiness Engineers truly do an incredible job helping WordPress users with every problem they report, even ones not related to WordPress. There is an infectious helpfulness that permeates the interaction between team members that can best be described as the exact opposite of the “not my problem” attitude. Your problem is their problem and they want to help resolve it.
A good development workflow is critical to producing a high-quality app, especially if there is more than one developer involved. At Day One our current team is comprised of four full time developers and one designer. The great majority of our work is focused on our Mac and iOS apps.
Aaron Swartz was not yet a legend when, almost two years ago, I asked him to build an open-source, anonymous in-box. His achievements were real and varied, but the events that would come to define him to the public were still in his future: his federal criminal indictment; his leadership organizing against the censorious Stop Online Piracy Act; his suicide in a Brooklyn apartment. I knew him as a programmer and an activist, a member of a fairly small tribe with the skills to turn ideas into code—another word for action—and the sensibility to understand instantly what I was looking for: a slightly safer way for journalists and their anonymous sources to communicate.
[An amazing story. What other bits and pieces are hanging around from AS?]
Matt Gemmell on skeuomorphism and intuitive design:
Matt, a programmer by trade, addresses the skeuomorphism debate more effectively than most designers I’ve heard arguing about it.[Here's my pull quote:]
Children don’t seem to be having problems grasping those concepts, even if Jakob Neilsen thinks they should. They’re not confused by interactive data-surfaces; they’re frustrated when actual, printed content in the physical world doesn’t respond the way they now expect it to.
Intuitiveness has become unhelpfully conflated with familiarity. The reasoning is simple enough: things that are already familiar don’t have to be re-learned, so we assume that they’re more “intuitive”. That’s a big assumption, but we treat it as if it’s fact.
Sometimes, familiar things aren’t as intuitive as they could be, and a new, unfamiliar thing might be more so. Another possibility is that a new thing might be equally intuitive, but also have other benefits which justify its initial unfamiliarity. In either case, intuitiveness cannot be divorced from context.
There are now more than 2 trillion (2 x 1012) objects stored in Amazon S3 and that the service is regularly peaking at over 1.1 million requests per second.
If you added one S3 object every 60 hours starting at the Big Bang, you’d have accumulated almost two trillion of them by now.
[Given that... would you please fix that leaky faucet? These things add up.]
That abundance is each of ours. How we organize what we watch should be up to us, not to cable systems compiling their own guides that look like spreadsheets, with rows of channels and columns of times. We can, and should, do better than that. Also better than what YouTube gives us, based on what its machines think we might want.
Today Google is the box we need to think outside of. So let’s re-start there.
[You have to read the whole thing… Doc at his brilliant best.]
Source: Doc Searls Weblog
I swore that I wouldn’t write stuff like this. “No, Ian”, I said, “skewering the stupid is pointless. You only end up bitter and twisted by maintaining the necessary level of vitriol required.” But sometimes… you’ve just got to do something.
When I learned to be a journalist, we had one rule: We did what was the right thing for the readers. That sometimes meant annoying companies like Apple, if “doing the right thing for the readers” meant giving them details of an unannounced Mac. Sometimes it meant giving large advertisers bad reviews. But whatever it meant, it always meant giving them the truth: facts we found out, put into context so the readers could understand what was going on better.
By those standards, David Gewirtz’s piece over at ZDNet entitled “iOS developers abandoning sinking Apple mothership: biggest drop ever” isn’t just bad journalism. It’s beyond that. It’s anti-journalism. Where journalism is about fact, Gewirtz brings us speculation. Where journalism adds context to make things clearer, Gewirtz removes it in order to make things more difficult to understand.
[It just keeps getting worse. I'm beginning to think the tech news is simply the very bottom of the barrel. At least some folks in the business see it.]
Google knew what it was doing when it made and marketed Android as an “open” system. It surely anticipated forks by handset makers as a manageable risk as long as Google kept advancing the system. But I wonder if it expected something like Facebook Home: an inside-out heist, made by a company after the same exact user data and advertisers Google is after. How it chooses to respond in the near future should give us an answer.
[Speed is feature. Simple is a feature. So is size. Facebook certainly has enough of the last one.]
Source: Apple Outsider
It’s sad, and scary, that anti-intellectual, anti-science superstition about common vaccines has made it more likely that our children will contract and spread these diseases than when we were younger. Anytime we make the world less safe against easily solvable problems, we need to seriously evaluate what we’re doing.
[No arg, but this is a question of trust. And it proves just how little trust many people have that "everything is just fine", when clearly for reasons not well understood something seems to have gone wrong. I can't say and won't whether there's a correlation between autism and vaccines, or the preservatives used in long shelf life vaccines or anything else. But no one trusts them when they say "it's fine" because in too many cases it turns out not to be accurate.]