Archive for the ‘tech’ Category
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.]
Rather than cram these things into Dark Sky, we decided to do something grander: create our own full-featured weather service from scratch, complete with 7-day forecasts that cover the whole world, beautiful weather visualizations, and a time machine for exploring the weather in the past and far future. You can access it from all of your devices, whether it be your laptop, iPhone, Android phone, or tablet.
[Dark Sky has been amazingly accurate. And this looks like the the online weather forecasting service I've been waiting for… well worth the visit to Forecast, and dropping it on your phone or browser. For those of you who do stuff in the outdoors this will ease the planning burden... (the open source Skycons is a nice touch as well.]
Like it or not, the Google Reader API is the feed-sync “standard” today. Until this business shakes out, which could take years (and might never happen), this is the best way forward.
We need to start simple. We don’t have much time. And if we don’t do it this way, the likely alternative is that a few major clients will make their own custom sync solutions that won’t work with any other company’s clients, which won’t bring them nearly as much value as it will remove from their users.
Let’s get Reeder and NetNewsWire to support the Hostname field ASAP so we can build alternative services to back them. Once they support it, other clients will need to follow from the competitive pressure of checklist feature comparisons. The result will be the easiest, fastest solution for everyone and a healthier ecosystem for feed-sync platforms.
[Seems like a good idea.]
Samsung has had a remarkable run over the last few years. They make more money — profit, not merely revenue — from selling mobile phones than Google makes for all of its businesses combined. But by any measurable means other than market share what they’ve achieved is the number two spot, behind Apple. You can reasonably make the argument that they’re on their way to unseating Apple, that the momentum lead belongs to Samsung. (I would disagree, but cede that it’s possible.) But no facts today suggest that it has already happened.
But that’s how news reporters increasingly are treating the state of the industry. The desire for the “Oh, how the mighty Apple has fallen” narrative is so strong that the narrative is simply being stated as fact, evidence to the contrary be damned. It’s reported as true simply because they want it to be true. They’re declaring “The King is dead; long live the King” not because the king has actually died or abdicated the throne, but because they’re bored with the king and want to write a new coronation story.
[It's crazy? No?]
Source: Daring Fireball
Above all, despite many examples to the contrary, Google appealed to manifest impartiality: its search results were algorithmically derived, untouched by human biases and thus fair. The list of grandiose promises and statements made by Google that turned out to be false and hypocritical is uncomfortably long. Unfortunately for the rest of us, regulatory capture being what it is and the rare penalties being laughable for a $275 billion company, there isn’t much of a black cloud left over Google to worry about, especially under the current U.S. administration.
[Shifting reality is ok. Making sure that everyone's awareness remains in sync seems to be slippery slope toward evil.]
I’ve been told by adtech professionals that a funny thing about their business is that Google and Facebook are terribly jealous of each other: Google is jealous of Facebook because Facebook can get especially personal with its users, while Facebook is jealous of Google because Google can advertise all over the Web. And yet both are missing real human relationships with their users, because the users are not customers. They are the products being sold to the companies’ real customers, which are advertisers.
What’s keeping Facebook from offering paid services to individuals — or Google from offering more than the few they do? Here’s one reason I got from a Google executive: it costs too much money to serve individual human customers. This isn’t verbatim, but it’s close: If our users were actually customers, we would have to support them with human beings, and we don’t want to make less than $1 million per employee (Yes, that was the number they gave.) And yet, all advertising-supported businesses could benefit a great deal by having at least some of their users become subscribers.
[What a mess...]
Source: Doc Searls Weblog