Archive: May, 2013

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Friday, May 31st, 2013

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Monday, May 20th, 2013

An acquisition is always a failure

An acquisition, or an aqui-hire, is always a failure. Either the founders failed to achieve their goal, or – far likelier – they failed to dream big enough. The proper ambition for a tech entrepreneur should be to join the ranks of the great tech companies, or, at least, to create a profitable, independent company beloved by employees, customers, and shareholders.

Building the Great Libraries of the Internet with a DNS time machine by Ben Ward

Ben proposes an alternative to archive.org: changing the fundamental nature of DNS.

Regarding the boo-hooing of how hard companies have it maintaining unprofitable URLs, I think Ben hasn’t considered the possibility of a handover to a cooperative of users—something that might yet happen with MySpace (at least there’s a campaign to that effect; it will probably come to naught). As Ben rightly points on, domain names are leased, not bought, so the idea of handing them over to better caretakers isn’t that crazy.

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Onword

This is nice lightweight writing tool, kinda like Editorially without the collaboration. Just right for working on a blog posts.

It authenticates with Twitter and doesn’t ask for write permissions. Bravo!

The $12 Gongkai Phone

A fascinating analysis of a super-cheap phone from another world.

Welcome to the Galapagos of Chinese “open” source. I call it “gongkai” (公开). Gongkai is the transliteration of “open” as applied to “open source”. I feel it deserves a term of its own, as the phenomenon has grown beyond the so-called “shanzhai” (山寨) and is becoming a self-sustaining innovation ecosystem of its own.

Just as the Galapagos Islands is a unique biological ecosystem evolved in the absence of continental species, gongkai is a unique innovation ecosystem evolved with little western influence, thanks to political, language, and cultural isolation.

Monday, May 13th, 2013

You should write about yourself more

Yes! Yes! YES!

Tom is spot-on here: you shouldn’t be afraid of writing about yourself …especially not for fear of damaging some kind of “personal brand” or pissing off some potential future employer.

If your personal brand demands that you live your life in fear of disclosing important parts of your life or your experience, the answer is to reject the whole sodding concept of personal brands.

Do things I write about my personal life threaten my personal brand? Perhaps. Are there people who wouldn’t hire me based on things I write? Probably. Do I give even a whiff of a fuck? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t want to work for them anyway.

Teenage Diaries Revisited

Fascinating fodder for Huffduffer:

Beginning in 1996, Radio Diaries gave tape recorders to teenagers around the country to create audio diaries about their lives. NPR’s All Things Considered aired intimate portraits of five of these teens: Amanda, Juan, Frankie, Josh and Melissa. They’re now in their 30s. Over this past year, the same group has been recording new stories about where life has led them for our series, Teenage Diaries Revisited.

On Thingpunk

Perhaps we are fetishising physical things because our digital creations are social media junk food:

It’s easy to fetishize Brutalist buildings when you don’t have to live in them. On the other hand, when the same Brutalist style is translated into the digital spaces we daily inhabit, it becomes a source of endless whinging. Facebook, for example, is Brutalist social media. It reproduces much the same relationship with its users as the Riis Houses and their ilk do with their residents: focusing on control and integration into the high-level planning scheme rather than individual life and the “ballet of a good blog comment thread”, to paraphrase Jane Jacobs.

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Monday, May 6th, 2013

A Stormy Sky of Cranky Clouds by Scott Jenson

Scott points out a really big problem with the current state of the “internet of things”: everyone is inventing their own proprietary walled-garden infrastructure instead of getting together to collaborate on standards.

The single biggest fallacy I want to blow up is this utopian idea that there is this SINGLE thing called ‘The Cloud’. Each company today reinvents their own cloud. The Cloud as a concept is dead and has been for years: we are living within a stormy sky of cranky clouds, all trying to pretend the others don’t exist.

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Ghostlab

This looks like it could be a handy app for synchronising a whole bunch of devices when testing. I’ll have to give it a whirl on the device lab.

Also, it has a perfectly fair one-off price, rather than the Mafia-style protection fee model that Adobe uses for Edge Inspect.

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

The Case for Using Mad Lib Sign Up Forms (Hint: Mad Conversion Increases)

A look at how Huffduffer-style forms might improve “conversion”.

Whatever. Let’s face it: it’s just quite nice when a form isn’t just your typical form (which this article makes a good point of mentioning):

Where the traditional sign up form is a regular, everyday brown cow, the mad lib form is a purple cow - a shiny object. We’re naturally easily distracted by, and drawn to, what’s new or out of the ordinary! Take advantage of that.