Friday, October 19, 2007

Cringely strikes back on the Apple-Google relationship

And his characterization of Steve Jobs sounds a lot like Fake Steve Jobs:
This is not to say that nothing is happening between Google and Apple. I'm sure that plenty is afoot. But I am just as sure that there is an almost continuous conflict over both vision and control, with Steve wanting both.

Why, for example, haven't we seen the vaunted GooglePhone? Because we HAVE seen the vaunted iPhone, that's why. Steve couldn't let Google introduce a phone in the same year that Apple did. He would (and probably did) do anything in his power to stop or delay it.


I think we'll finally see evidence of the Google/Apple relationship toward the end of the year in the 700-MHz wireless spectrum auction. Google needs an advantage in wireless, because the future is mobile and this would appear to be the last chance to own a chunk of that future. Google needs Apple on that team for its financial power, its sense of the market, and to keep Steve Jobs in a known position so he doesn't make any trouble. But I'm also sure Steve is questioning the strategy on a daily basis and twice a month threatening to pull out of the consortium of bidders Google has assembled.
I, Cringely . The Pulpit . Strange Bedfellows | PBS

Blogged with Flock

Megareview of Flock 1.0 Beta

Last April, I read that the Firefox team was going to incorporate social networking features into a version of Firefox called Coop, including integration with Facebook. The first thing I thought -- and blogged -- was: poor Flock.

Flock is based on the Firefox codebase, but the company has added several social features that leverage social networking accounts. The bookmarks, for instance, are your or magnolia bookmarks. If Firefox makes those features standard, that's great for Firefox users, but it closes the niche that Flock has exploited.

In any case, a Flockbot posted a comment on that blog post quickly, saying that Flock was still in the game. And here we are a few months later. I've heard nothing about Coop, but I can say that the new Flock 1.0 private beta is in very good shape. It does everything that Coop promised and more.

Rather than write a long review, let me just point you to the TechCrunch review:

Flock 1.0 Beta Released: Surprisingly Very Good

Blogged with Flock

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

An Apple-Google partnership recapitulates the server-terminal architecture

Just some cloud computing speculation.

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: Google, Apple and the future of personal computing

Blogged with Flock

Speculation: Microsoft actually knows what it's doing in online office collaboration

Thanks to Ray Ozzie and Silverlight.

» Silverlight as the driver for Microsoft’s services | The Universal Desktop |

Blogged with Flock

Cali drops the accessibility bomb

The National Federation for the Blind has sued Target because of its website, which does not meet web accessibility standards and is thus impossible for the blind to use. Now a district judge has ruled that the case is eligible for class-action status. One possible consequence:
There is some suggestion from the court case that accessibility may also be required under the Americans with Disabilities Act as well, meaning that although the ruling is currently focused on California law, it could extend to the rest of the United States.
I have mixed feelings. On one side, it's really, really important to ensure that websites are accessible to all users, which means taking standards and adaptive technology seriously. On the other hand, extending the ruling too broadly may put the brakes on web-based innovation, anchoring web development too tightly to current standards and current (often flawed) adaptive technologies.

Websites May Require Visually Impaired Access In California

Blogged with Flock

Second notice: JBTC Special Issue on Social Software in Professional Communication

I'm going to be editing a special issue of JBTC on social software in professional communication. Have something that you think might be applicable? Why don't you drop me a line. Full manuscripts are due May 1, 2008 -- which means you have less than seven months to write an outstanding manuscript. Contact me at any stage and I'll be happy to give feedback.

How to argue your way to a better grade

I give a version of this presentation every semester on the day I hand back the first batch of projects. That's because some students are always stunned by their grades and tend to confront me immediately after class with the same old arguments:
  • I worked really hard on this!
  • I need an A in this class or I'll lose my scholarship!
  • I don't think this comma error is really an error. Can you raise my paper a letter grade?
  • You commented on my draft and I corrected everything, so I expected to get a perfect grade. What's wrong with you?
None of these arguments is particularly strong, so I have been trying to head them off by describing how to argue one's way to a better grade. Now I've finally committed it to presentation format. Comments welcome.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Syncing Word and GDocs

Since Google has been astonishingly slow to provide offline functionality of GDocs via Google Gears, this might be the next best thing: a service that automatically uploads all your Word docs to GDocs, then syncs them whenever you make a change in Word OR in GDocs. Sure would lower my backup time. But right now it's invitation-only and Windows-only.

DocSyncer Bridges Your Desktop With Google Docs

Blogged with Flock

Thinking outside the box

I really like this story, which reminds me of how much I have come to dislike brain teasers.

Austinist: Beyond the only Slightly Bigger Box

Blogged with Flock

RescueTime does recognize web apps as applications

As long as you indicate them as apps. See the update and comments on my earlier post.

Update: Ah, but it does not appear to be working with Flock or Firefox. With Safari it works like a charm.

Whole lotta downloads

Led Zeppelin to sell music online - Yahoo! News

Blogged with Flock

Transparency in the Ron Paul campaign - Q4 Donation Statistics & Stuff

Blogged with Flock