January 3rd, 2013
Canonical is calling this Ubuntu for phones but even in their own presentation they mention it will run on tablet devices. Yesterday I said, on Twitter, that I was happy to see another entrant into this market. Android and iOS are not enough choices (though we’ve been dealing with Mac OS vs. Windows for years and years).
Sadly, Gruber might be right. And The Verge’s video shows this. Ubuntu for phones may be a non-starter.
However, Gruber says that a gesture-based UI can never work. I don’t know if that is true. I’d hate to say that anything is impossible. Gruber and I are old men. Maybe a gesture-based UI wouldn’t work for us (though keyboard shortcuts come as second-nature to anyone my age and under) but will work for a future generation? What if every mobile OS became a gesture-based touch OS? Then humans would be forced to deal with it and get used to it.
So, I don’t know if it is a non-starter because it is a gesture-based UI or if someday that will catch on as the norm, but I do know that if it isn’t responsive or reliable than it won’t take off regardless.
December 19th, 2012
Nilay Patel, of The Verge and a guy with a law degree on his wall, chimes in about Instagram’s policy changes.
December 18th, 2012
Tom Warren, of The Verge, agrees with me about Flickr gaining from this recent Instagram policy change:
With a nicely redesigned client and support for filters, Flickr is finally catching up to battle Instagram on the photo sharing front. And its dormant community of lapsed Pro users (who are required to pay a nominal fee each year) could be awakened after Instagram users realize they’re the product of advertisers. It could be a temporary backlash, the same type we witness whenever Facebook adjusts its news feed, but competitors are ready this time and Twitter and Flickr are waiting in the wings for a share of Instagram’s unhappy user base.
He calls what Flickr charges for its Pro account a “nominal fee” and for what you get I suppose it is. Warren states that Flickr Pro users, like myself, will come out of hiding and reup their accounts. That may be true but I don’t think we’ll see new users jettisoning from Instagram and signing up to Flickr as Pro users. I would, however, see them moving over in droves if there were a cheaper account level that stated, simply, that Flickr/Yahoo wouldn’t use their information for advertising purposes.
Your move Yahoo!.
October 16th, 2012
According to The Verge:
“Microsoft listed its Surface pricing at its online Microsoft Store this morning, indicating that pre-orders will be available shortly.”
And then, promptly:
“Update: Microsoft’s online store listing has now gone offline.”
So, they tried. That was nice of them to try.
June 22nd, 2012
Kim Dotcom, as he’s now called, couldn’t be deeper in the legal mire going against non-other than the actual US Department of Justice yet he still finds the time to work on what will more than likely be his next multi-million dollar hit project. I’ve been following his successes and antics since somewhere around 1998. The guy is a tour de force.
June 20th, 2012
Yesterday I wrote:
I think Microsoft should focus and invest in making this their flagship product…
Joshua Topolsky of The Verge on Microsoft’s “shift” with the Surface:
That’s a big shift, and it’s an important one. The announcement of the Surface shows that Microsoft is ready to make a break with its history — a history of hardware partnerships which relied on companies like Dell, HP, or Acer to actually bring its products to market.
I’m really hopeful that Surface is a true competitor to the iPad. Competition is good for everyone – especially the consumer. The 45-minute keynote – although very distilled and way, way too over-rehearsed – really did give you a good demonstration that Surface could actually be quite good. Quite valuable. And extremely versatile. Yes, perhaps even more versatile than the iPad.
And, yes, Microsoft could be going solely after the Enterprise market – the business class – with Surface. Though in the keynote Ballmer did repeat, a few times, that people like “to consume”, “to play”, with devices like this.
But, as my friend Om Malik reminded me on Instagram, we haven’t yet used the Surface. No one really has. Microsoft has come out and made a magnificient demonstration of a product that they have no idea how much to charge for, have little idea of when it will be available, and will not allow anyone to touch. I, forever being an optimist, have to keep something in perspective – This is Microsoft. This is Microsoft. This is Microsoft.
June 5th, 2012
According to The Verge Apple has added a Do Not Disturb option to Mountain Lion’s Notification Center. (Wow, that was a lot of capital letters.) Might we also see this feature in the upcoming iOS 6?
This is great for my focus training program.
I’m very much looking forward to Mountain Lion.
May 30th, 2012
Paul Miller, a writer for The Verge, somewhat recently decided to take a year off from the Internet. You can call it a stunt if you’d like to – but it is turning out to be one of the most interesting public experiments I’ve ever seen online.
A recent piece and video by Miller was Against the future: inside the Jewish anti-Internet rally. Incredibly interesting, fun to watch, and definitely worth your time. And people are lining up to see what Miller covers next.
You can read all of Paul’s work on The Verge from his page. Presumably he and his coworkers have figured out a system of publishing for him. I secretly wish there was a weekly printed newspaper that could be delivered through the post of all of Miller’s entries for the week.
May 22nd, 2012
An excellent point by Alex Payne on something that always bothered him about TechCrunch:
For a publication with “tech” in the name, technology only ever seemed ambiently present in TechCrunch’s reporting. Software and hardware are background music for the site’s real interests: money and power, success and failure, who’s up and who’s down. TechCrunch often read to me like the parts of the Business section I used to skip as a kid, the boring ones with “merger” or “acquisition” in the headline and a picture of two suits shaking hands.
Although I’m subscribed to TechCrunch because I like to watch where the money is going I never really thought about it the way Payne puts it. He’s right. TechCrunch is in no way about the technology – it is about the business and financials. BizCrunch doesn’t roll off the tongue quite so well though.
If you’re looking for writing about what is new in tech that actually focuses much more on the tech – I’ve been enjoying The Verge.
March 26th, 2012
Speaking of Loren Brichter and The Verge – Loren was recently interviewed for their 5 Minutes on The Verge series. In response to what phone he uses?
A boring old machined-steel-fits-in-my-hand-scrolls-at-60-fps-with-proper-physics-glorious-retina-none-of-this-crap-pentile-display black iPhone 4S.
And then this on whether or not to build an app.
Anyway, I say make an app if it’s better as an app. If you’re not sure, then don’t bother. The folks working on WebKit are more talented than the average app developer. Just embrace the constraints of web technology — don’t make your site act like an app. Or chop down a tree with a herring. You’d think that was obvious.
He’s a quotable dude.
December 28th, 2011
Somewhat related to my last, Adi Robertson on The Verge provides a quick step-by-step on how to add personal documents to your Kindle.
I’m cataloging these in hopes of one day buying Eliza a new Kindle and I inherit her old one. Shh, don’t tell her.
December 25th, 2011
Joseph Parish on The Verge:
“Experian Hitwise has released its yearly search term statistics and once again, Facebook and YouTube top the list. The remainder of the top 10 includes three more Facebook-related terms, a couple of Yahoo! variants, craigslist, eBay, and MapQuest. Of course it’s highly unlikely that all the millions of people putting those terms in the top 10 are actually looking for information or the latest news about them; they just want a quick way to the site without having to clumsily type dots and slashes.”
The fact that people do this boggles my mind. I remember the first time I saw it – when I was doing support for a local ISP as one of my first jobs in IT – someone searched for Google.com using the Yahoo search field. I nearly fell to the ground. I asked them why they searched for Google.com instead of just typing it into the location bar. They said “What’s the difference?”
I agree with Parish that people aren’t searching for information about Facebook, Youtube, etc. They are, in fact, using search as the location bar. But I disagree that people are doing it as a way to get away from the confusing “dots and slashes”. I’ve seen people type in “.com”. They simply do not know the difference between the search field and the location field.
Think about it. Most modern-day web browsers combine the location and search fields. Safari doesn’t but it only maintains a small marketshare. Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox combine the search and location fields into one field that you can type just about anything in and the browser will figure out what you are looking for. So, are they searching for information about Facebook when they type in Facebook? Or are they simply hitting ‘Enter’ too quickly and they really want to navigate to that URL?
I’m sure extensive user testing would be needed to determine the plethora of habits of people; novice and expert alike. One thing is sure, the browsers should be doing a much better job of taking people to web pages instead of search results in different situations. But, why would they? They make their money on searches too.