Friday, March 14, 2008

I don't want to punch the monkey

The problem with MySpace -- and Facebook, and Drudge Report, and many other sites -- is that they seem so ad-heavy. Especially MySpace. I'm really tired of those Flash ads that invite you to punch the monkey or take a picture of the girl in the bikini or whatever. Not only do they distract me, they slow down load times.

One great way to handle this issue is to use the mobile version of the sites. Facebook and MySpace both have decently featured mobile sites with no Flash, few or no ads, and less superfluous contextual information than the full versions. I access both sites more through my mobile phone than the desktop client anyway, so I'm familiar with them. Take a look and see what you think.

Android roundup

On Slashdot.

OpenSocial is live and on MySpace

We've been hearing about OpenSocial for months -- Google announced development not long after Facebook rolled out its Facebook Apps, turning it from a mere social network into an application platform. OpenSocial aims to do something similar, but truly open, so web applications across the Internet could share information with each other. One of the first big names to sign on was MySpace, the largest social network.

Yesterday, MySpace quietly added the first batch of apps based on OpenSocial. I added a couple of them for fun, but they are really not much to look at -- very simple, similar to the first Facebook apps. Perhaps they'll get more complicated, and we'll see more full-featured utilities such as Facebook's MyOffice app? Perhaps not: one developer says that OpenSocial is still mostly vaporware, without the sophisticated guts to handle rich social graph interaction and messaging.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Zephyr is a test management system -- a project management and collaboration system for the Quality Assurance crowd. I've blogged about several PM systems in the past, but this one seems specialized for QA and might fill a niche that the more general PM systems don't. Currently you can get a free download with three licenses.

Unlike most of the PM systems I've discussed, "Zephyr is a Windows-based server with rich interactive clients that run in any web browser." So you keep your copy on your own server, eliminating the security concerns that people have with hosted PM applications such as Basecamp and TeamWork Live. On the other hand, you need a Windows server. Since we don't have one here at the CWRL (we're using BSD), I have not tried the product. But if you do, and your team does QA, check it out and tell me what you think.