top Uber Is Now Cheaper Than a New York City Taxi
Plus don't forget the "surge pricing" which, for some reason, always happen when you actually want to use the Uber
:P As in, when it's raining, holiday, blah-blah about a month and a half ago
top Google Removes "Search Nearby" Function From Updated Google Maps
For example old and totally non-hip version of Google Maps for regular browser had wonderful "My Location" button. That little white with blue gem in it when active thing. You click on it, and you get a marker on the map where you are. I suppose it could be "approximate" but generally
I don't care. When you are in a new city, routing from "My location" to "Blah" was a snap. Now you have "my location" eradicated. You have to find where you actually are, put a dot there and then route from there. Why?
How about returning to where you are right now on the map? Umm... no
:P Re-open the maps completely, please. It's just bad user experience through and through. It looks shiny and fast and doesn't include actually useful features of the past.
Heck, even search is getting worse. I'd think Google will go the Yelp route when searching for things nearby but... no. If there's something Zagat touched it will be at/near the top (no matter that distance is all wrong). In mobile app list of results was
so unobvious (it's that little button next to search button that shows you a list of cards with results instead of having to swipe left/right on one result set), limiting things to "nearby" is not really possible etc etc
I think they just lack common sense person somewhere in UX department.
top Bennett Haselton: Google+ To Gmail Controversy Missing the Point
It's not that they want access to you. By adding you to their circle they've probably earned a click-and-view from you. Cause most people wonder "who is this person who just added me?" Click! Oh, it's an ad. With a big graphical "APRs are at new lows get your mortgage refinanced now" background and few posts that advertise cheap loans, or such.
top Google Makes It Harder For Marketers To Collect User Data
Actually, this is rather awesome for spam/tracking of "real" addresses.
Before silly users could refuse to load external tracking pixels with unique IDs, assigned to each email. And now? It's auto-downloaded for everyone. Yay!
While absence of IP address, Referral (if tracking image was loaded via https) and Browser info is sad, "everyone now auto-loads images" waaaay outweighs it
:P You won't hide from confirming that email address that easily ;)
top NSA Broke Into Links Between Google, Yahoo Datacenters
Unless, of course, there's a clause in there somewhere, that says "even though you have rented a fiber optics channel from A to B, we reserve the right to copy all the traffic that passes through and share it with third party"
:) NSA is a third party, right?
top Microsoft Creative Director 'Doesn't Get' Always-On DRM Concerns
It's funny that he made the same argument as Google does with "native Google experience" phones/devices where you're not supposed to have any SD card/substantial local storage because, well,
cloud. Stream all the things, re-download everything every time, areas with bad connectivity be damned (though Google at least tries to prevent disruptions when you encounter connectivity blip).
I think always-connected businesses simply look too far into the future, where we all be living in hyper-connected utopia. Until then, running with always-connected idea might end badly when a wall of slow/expensive/unreliable/missing connectivity appears on that path to the bright future
top Ask Slashdot: What Was Your Favorite Web Comic of 2012?
Nerf Now was my pleasant discovery in 2012 :) Yes, some humor can be a bit weird for non-gamers, but you can't just limit yourself to XKCD (okay, maybe you can, but more regular content is better) about a year and a half ago
top Facebook Says EU 'Right To Be Forgotten' Would Harm Privacy
More specifically, as it was described before, "if an individual no longer wants his personal data to be processed or stored by a data controller, and if there is no legitimate reason for keeping it, the data should be removed from their system" (see http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/12/26&format=PDF ) and the question becomes, if
someone else published something about the person, does that information fall under the same provision. The easy way around it was to narrow it down to self-published information.
I.e. if I publish a photo of myself with a friend on FB but at a later time decide to invoke le droit à l’oubli then FB should remove the photo from all of their systems. If someone managed to re-publish it from FB, that's no longer FB's problem. And, should that friend publish a copy
I can't demand it to be removed (or sue when it isn't) as that would require a total tracking and censorship of everything other users post. So every time some other friend publishes a photo or a post that mentions me, FB would have to prevent them from doing so. Heck, all old posts with my name and photos should disappear as soon as I demand it, or have my name and face blanked out. Tell me that wouldn't freak users out :)
"I published a bunch of photos from my party and suddenly there's this blur over [REDACTED]'s face! Do I have a virus?! Wait, I typed [REDACTED] but all I get in my post is "redacted"
:( HALP!" about a year and a half ago
top Microsoft-Built Smartphone Could Irritate Hardware Partners, Harm Nokia
I understand the Surface, as many manufacturers had that dream of making The Next iPad Killer(tm) (which, incidentally, never seemed to materialized, until Amazon and Google stepped up, and even then, it's still all wobbly and transparent around the edges) but phones?
As of right now, the amount of handsets Windows Phone platform sends is
small. So, while losing that tiny percentage might be irritating, I don't see how it would really anger partners. Aside from Nokia that was being systematically destroyed ever since Mr Elop arrived at the helm, everybody else keep WP products as a bottom drawer "if, for some unimaginable reason, it suddenly works out" back-up plan. Most money are in Android anyway.
So the only real negative consequence would be if MS decides to do another patent war, and everyone, even those who still have nominal WP models, would suddenly because a target. And even then, it'll turn into "how many extra fees do you have to force Android manufacturers to pay before users rebel".
top Windows Browser Ballot Glitch Cost Firefox 6-9 Million Downloads
So, does this mean that the only reason Firefox is getting those downloads, is because users are bored and pick a pretty icon from the list?
Cause even bing.com shows Firefox download page on the first page of "Firefox" query so I'm not sure I can believe in extra 50K people not being able to get Firefox if they want it. :)
I know users sometimes are not smart enough to find and download something, but this is ridiculous...
top The True Challenges of Desktop Linux
I know I'm probably missing some (ok, many) points, but at this stage I gave up on Linux Desktop -- using mac and windows (when I have to) is easier.
> We are trying to compete with a near monopoly (Windows) Duh, that's the whole point, right? To be better than Windows and lure in corporate and home users to the glory of Linux Desktop. Try again
> Companies tend to depend on a myriad of applications to run their business, and just a couple of them not running under Linux would be enough to derail a transition to Linux desktops
So what, home users are already done for? Fine. Why not pick a few large corporations, find those pesky migration derailers and fix them? Oh, busy with something else, you say, okay.
> We were competing not only with other operating systems, but with a Office productivity application monopoly
But didn't Linux community provide something that was "totally able to replace Office" and kinda compatible? Oh, you mean that's not a Desktop Issue at that point, but Office Issue. I see.
> We are trying to compete by supporting an unlimited range of hardware options
Well, Windows does it mostly by giving manufacturers a relatively straightforward way to provide binary drivers, so as long as you don't yank the compatibility rug for some reason it'd "just work". Oh, you're saying binary drivers only over your dead body? Okay. Have you tried, I don't know, support less of a range of hardware options if it strains resources?
> We divided our efforts into multiple competing APIs (GNOME vs KDE)
Because nothing tickles people's fancies as endless fights over which one of two incompatible ways to do things is The Only Way. With inevitable hissy-fits, splits in the groups and forks into those very competing APIs. I see.
> There was never a clear method of distributing software on Linux outside the distro specific package system.
I guess the reason why there isn't one clear method is the previous reason of constant in-fighting?
> Many of our underlaying systems were a bit immature
This has been "The Year of Linux Desktop Breakthrough" for many years now. Still a bit immature?
> Software patents on multimedia codecs made it hard to create a good out of the box experience for multimedia
But the manufacturer-supplied binary dri.... Okay, okay, you think not having a binary driver is important. No multimedia for you then.
> Competing with free applications is never a tempting proposition for 3rd party vendors
Given how free applications don't seem to be a runaway success, I kinda doubt it. Given quality of some of those free apps my doubt rises rapidly.
> We never reached a critical mass where porting to desktop Linux tended to make sense
A bit chicken and the egg thing, no? If the reason why dekstop Linux doesn't get new adopters is that it has too few adopters, better give up right now.
> An impression was created that Linux users would not pay for any software
Well, the target is windows users, right? Linux users are already on a linux desktop. Windows users are known to pay for windows licenses (well, mostly)
> The different update cycles of the distributions made it hard to know when a new API would be available ‘everywhere’
Oh, so no universal APIs, conflicting distros and general "herding cats" type of problems. I see.
> Success in other areas drained resources away from the desktop
That's essentially saying "well didn't even want it to succeed that much".
I suppose if only someone had a good set of developers, clearly set goals, no in-fighting, stable APIs, predictable release schedules, support for binary drivers and whatever end user
wants/needs and not what's "ideologically right", the whole Linux Desktop Takes Over Windows World would happen. But our individual preferences are more important. And nobody is willing to sacrifice anything for seemingly important goal of luring users to Linux Desktop. So just say so, and stop blaming the world for everything. Or stop pretending that Linux Desktop adoption by Windows users is important, and live happily with geeks-oriented system. It's not necessarily a bad thing, just don't lie to yourself.
top San Francisco To Stop Buying Apple Computers
Which means they were for "select few". And I kinda doubt that those who want a new Retina MBP will not get one -- they'll probably simply expense it (instead of having the IT department buy them one).
Either that, or there will be a new exemption soon, for "ultra-thin computers" with "has to be able to disassemble" requirement removed :)
top RIM CEO: 'There's Nothing Wrong With the Company'
- Smartphone market share that's been dropping like a stone? Check
- Quarterly losses reported? Check - Large layoffs? Check - Other providers offering remote wipe, encryption of the devices that users love? Check - IT departments begrudgingly allowing users to bring their own phones instead of buying a BB for each and every user? Check - Messaging service, that was supposed to take like a wildfire on other devices "because everyone wants BB Messaging" failing to catch on? Check - PlayBook, that was supposed to be mega-popular with everyone who had BB device failing to sell, costing company shitload of money? Check - New Holy Grail Operating System Demo having just one "major sexy feature" which is a camera feature? Check (bonus - made by company that ended up being bought by Nokia) - That very same Holy Grail Operating System being delayed, thus no phones in the biggest holiday shopping season? Check - New release timeframe being after new iPhone 5 and way after Android Jelly Bean and thus playing catch-up? Check
Am I missing something? RIM seems to be super-widely off-mark, been off-mark ever since the situation in consumer smart-phones changed enough to require some sort of a response, and so far everything that they can say is "our next product is surely to be a hit" and coast on the current one. Um... oookay....
Bonus: remember what RIM said about switching platforms? "No other technology company other than Apple has successfully transitioned their platform. It's almost never done, and it's way harder than you realise. This transition is where tech companies go to die." Balsillie, April 2011. (see
here). And now they're switching platforms. Do I believe RIM 2011 or RIM 2012?
Sure, it's not dead just yet. But they're not in a "death spiral", they are in a "death nosedive" and keep on firing thrusters to the max. Unless they provide a new super-phone
now (and not in half a year with, I bet, yet another "but we really-really need to make sure everything is polished so we delay until Q2 2013" announcement coming in January) the only way is down. Less market share, less interesting products. They could probably survive by cutting staff as much as possible, dropping to 1% of market share and not even try to make phones for non-military use. But that would be a different company.
top Arizona H-1B Workers Advised to Carry Papers At All Times
I'm pretty sure that non-citizens were required to carry "registration" papers with them before. But hey, not everything gets enforced...
(e) Personal possession of registration or receipt card; penalties
Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.
top XBMC Developers Criticize AMD's Linux Driver
For me, out of nVidia and ATI proprietary drivers under linux, ATI's were always
more problematic, especially under 64 bit Ubuntu. Every couple years I try to get an ATI card and make linux work with it and every time I get very frustrated (last one was 5830 card in 2010). Yes, I don't have much expertise in kernel hacking, but I don't expect that I have to do that much tweaking to install a freaking driver. So far nVidia never presented a problem under Ubuntu. It might re-compile itself, but that's as bad as it gets. The amount of trial and error for ATI is waaay worse (how on earth can "official" binary driver complain about unsupported hardware? open driver being so slow you can see windows painting? yuk)
So, for me, out of two evils, the lesser one is nVidia. Maybe it's almost time to try a new ATI card yet again
:) Though if even mpeg2 acceleration is not working, probably I should wait another couple years.
top Google Applies For Dot-LOL Domain
Shouldn't they also ask for
.ioi, .101 and .l0l? :) While having a whole TLD dedicated to trolling Google seems unlikely, I can see someone getting .ioi for "legitimate" reasons and then offering .lol domain owners to buy the same ones, or suffer from links to ".IOI" :\
top Europe's 'Right To Be Forgotten' Threatens Online Free Speech
One aspect that doesn't seem to be obviously stated in the article, that in order to be certain what is related to the person who wants to be forgotten, online systems have to implement a rather tight tracking of this information. So if someone re-post picture on the Facebook, Facebook would have to check it against hashes of all other FB-hosted images to know where the origin is from (and re-share tags for all depicted users).
If I can't find something related to you -- I can't remove it.
And bonus -- multi-user content. If user A wants to be forgotten, but photo contains also users B and C, removing it might violate rights of other users (unless there's going to be a little digital eraser applied to the tagged face)
top Moglen: Facebook Is a Man-In-The-Middle Attack
And the public doesn't seem to care much. Remember that little skirmish about Politico.com buying analysis from FB on public and
private message mentions of republican candidates to "evaluate sentiment"? A few people complained for a bit about not being able to opt-out and then it all died out (despite questions on randomization of results etc).
Add to that clickstream selling by ISPs, and attempt to gather and sell your information pretty much by everyone (heck,
yellow pages delivery opt out form demands phone number and email) and people seem to be simply tired of fighting it.
top Amazon In Talks With HP To Buy Palm
#1. Weren't most of the Palm patents sold out already? Of course whichever is left could be "enough" but still...
#2. "Visible" problems are always better than new ones. Unless Oracle actually closely examined Palm/HP's stuff you can't say if there will be lawsuits later, so blindly buying new operating system might be actually worse than letting Oracle and Google hash it out in court.
#3. So what? Look at HTC -- the older versions of Android skinned with HTC's Sense were almost unrecognizable from the stock Android. Same is for Nook, for example -- android inside, pretty skin hiding "unnecessary functions" on the outside. In this case Amazon would have to port
all of their stuff onto webOS. On top of shelling out some money for the purchase and having developers work on the further development of OS.
While I suppose Amazon can pull in enough developers that weren't even looking at Web OS for now, there's still going to be a ramp-up time for "open" part of the system (third party apps). And I don't know how long it will take for major software houses to migrate enough of their developers onto WebOS if they haven't done it up to this point.
So I have to wonder if there's some other reason for this presumed purchase (perhaps to prevent Chinese manufactures from getting "their own" os so freshly bought asset will simply be mothballed?). Or the whole information is just wrong and Venture Beat is simply being used to pump up the price -- you know, "well, we'd sell to you for $$ but there's Amazon that's
soooo interested, would you like to increase your bid amount now?"
top Can Google Save Us From Slow Internet
Experiment is nice, lovely, news-worthy and, I think, kinda pointless.
Mostly because Universities never seemed to have suffered from the lack of or "slowness" of internet connection in the first place (though any amount of bandwidth can be readily consumed by students doing whatever students normally do ;) ). Have you seen one that'd be disconnected? Not that it would lack fiber to every dorm room, but rather a complete lack of connectivity? I thought so.
The more important experiment is that Google Fiber in Kansas. Wiring residential area is way more difficult and costly. Plus most residential areas lack any sort of substantial ISP competition, and a proof of working, profitable (at least a tiny bit) alternative means of connection that gives local telco/cable run for their money would make more difference than wiring any university. Unless you're planning to move into a dorm and live there.