ExtremeTech: “Google is FUBAR”

ExtremeTech: “Google is FUBAR”:

Google’s “one thing well” has historically been indexed search. While they’ve had “sticky” web applications like Gmail for years, their main focus has been enabling you to get off their site as fast as possible. Google still needs to be able to do that, but now they’ve also declared that they want to keep you on their site as much as possible. I don’t see how this can be reconciled.

[They are creating quite a mess now aren’t they? I disagree with FUBAR though. SNAFU? Sure. TARFU? Possibly.]

Source: Coyote Tracks

The promise of iCloud

There’s an app on my mac called Notational Velocity. It’s a simple note taking app, that has two critical features. It’s searchable in a “that’s how you use it” kinda way. the second is that it stores your notes on Simplenote. So what’s the big deal?

I started using Simplenote because I wanted a dead simple way to share a food shopping list with my wife. And it was good. Then I got an iPhone and there was an app, so now I could add something on the fly and vice versa. And then I looked for a Mac app because it seemed like that would be an easy to capture thoughts as well. Other “To do” lists worked well in the past, but this felt different and better. Somehow less pressured and achievement oriented. There are some things that require rumination not action, and “to do” by nature is an action.

And so like that the circle was complete. Web access, device access, desktop access to all my notes. And that is the promise of iCloud. No, Simplenote doesn’t rely on iCloud. But iCloud is a system(s) service and it will become more and more common to live in the cloud in all things. Apple hit the basics for now. Music, mail, photos, calendars, contacts… these are things we desire to have on all our devices minus the bother of syncing. And it feels right. Just as right as it does for my notes.

Some thoughts on SOPA and Copyright

Franklin Veaux’s Journal – Some thoughts on SOPA and Copyright:

People who hold these ideas can not, I think, be persuaded otherwise. A person who feels entitled to something will construct rationalizations about why his entitlement is justified, whether it’s by imagining creativity as some inborn thing like race or sex, or inventing a moral system whereby anyone who does something that could make another person’s life better like create a painting or, I don’t know, haul away garbage is ethically obligated to do so for free. Such people will often spout platitudes like “True artists do it for the love of art, not for money,” setting up a false dichotomy that ignores the fact that creative people also have to eat. This argument also creates a system whereby an artist’s merits are judged not on her technical proficiency or her ability to illuminate the human condition, but rather on how much stuff she gives the speaker for free.

[It’s not easy, but this legislation was deeply flawed. Fortunately (ahem) we can count it on it being back in some form or other. Maybe we can figure out a better idea in the meantime.]

d: Why making an effort is a failure

I made an effort.

I made an extraordinary effort.

I made an “all in”, once in a lifetime effort.

They’re all a failure. Why? Because you make an effort, even an extraordinary one, and not attain your goal. I can cheat myself out of achieving a goal I desire by making an effort. We make efforts all the time, and many of us are good at making them. But it isn’t the goal.

The goal is the goal, atmo.

Improved math scores with iPad textbooks

Students’ math scores jumped 20% with iPad textbooks, publisher says:

A yearlong pilot program with digital textbooks on Apple’s iPad found that students’ algebra scores increased by 20 percent when compared to a curriculum with traditional books.

[snip -Ed]

In its test run, the “HMH Fuse” application helped more than 78 percent of students score “Proficient” or “Advanced” on the spring 2011 California Standards Test. That was significantly higher than the 59 percent of peers who used traditional textbooks.

“By engineering a comprehensive platform that combines the best learning material with technology that embraces students’ strengths and addresses their weaknesses, we’ve gone far beyond the capabilities of an e-book to turn a one-way math lesson into an engaging, interactive, supportive learning experience,” said Bethlam Forsa, executive vice president of Global Content and Product Development at HMH. “With HMH Fuse, teachers can assess student progress in real time and tailor instruction as needed.”

[It being new probably has something with the score rise. OTOH, there was a test done years ago with Mathematica that showed improved scores as well. What if these sorts of tools really do a better job, or allow teachers to do a better job?]

Can we buy your search engine?

Can we buy your search engine?:

Can we operate our own search engine? Can the developers who lead us there get unreasonably rich even if they don’t control our future? These are all questions that I believe we can address. I think we can all win. And I think that until we do this, and do it right, we’ll be stuck in the same infinite loop we’ve circling as long as I’ve been in tech.

[More to consider.]

Source: Scripting News