Thursday, 31 May 2012


a couple things I’ve written on the subject of third party buttons littering the web:

from 2010

“In my experience, customer preferences move faster than website refresh schedules – so by the time the ‘Facebook Like’ button is integrated in a useful manner – the visitors changed their preference.”

from 2006

“Once I’ve decided on where I’m doing my bookmarking and where I’m aggregating my feeds and set up the pre-requisite accounts – all of the other badges are irrelevant, noisy, and ignore the fact that most of those places have bookmarklets. If I haven’t set up one yet – it’s the paradox of choice.”

The Four Firkins – Drinking with the Right Brain Class

Last night, Jamie and I joined 20 others at Josh Peppers’ Drinking with the Right Brain class at The Four Firkins. It was a super fun night of subjective, emotive, beer appreciation. Josh curated a diverse and interesting selection of beers (Fat Tire, Helios, Wells Bombadier, Tripel Karmaliet, something forgettable, and DeuS)

I highly recommend the next one.

Open Loop #0 – But No Shoes

Drinking beer with our right brain. Introducing Open Loop. Being compelled. Thinking Fast and Slow. The time that Jamie deleted all of his nginx configuration files.

Notes & Links:

It’s Also an Issue for Me.

“The things I did because I was excited and wanted them to exist in reality have never let me down and I’ve never regretted the time I spent on any of them” – Neil Gaiman

While I’ve never read anything by Neil Gaiman – I feel a strong kinship towards him (of course I’ve seen his Dr. Who episode). One of my college housemates was an unbelievably huge fan. So huge he would immediately notify the entire house of Neil Gaiman sightings (not terribly unlikely where I went to school).

There are times, even 15 years in, that I still consider myself an artist. That I also feel some camaraderie for those choosing a career as an artist. This commencement speech from Neil Gaiman was one of those times.


“I don’t see programming as a job, I see it as a creative act.” – Dave Winer

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Short Term’s the Same Too

“In long-term, facebook will be the next AOL. Think about it.” – Stewie

I’ll even say Facebook is Aol in the short term.

  • Both are frequently confused for the internet.
  • Both very rigid, ad-subsidized publishing platforms.
  • Both pay their writers nearly nothing in exchange for a promise of exposure and more efficient publishing tools.

In Aol’s hay day (circa 2000), it acquired Time Warner (awkward). From a media publishing & distribution standpoint a merger sorta kinda makes sense (if you squint). Nine years later – they divorced. A blink in publishing, a generation online.

For Facebook to truly be analogous to Aol, Facebook needs a similar balls out acquisition.

There’s not a lot of candidates.

  1. Someone with a long, established history in cameras and other portable hardware (so not Opera).
  2. Someone without a great deal of cache or presence with Facebook’s target audience (so not Apple).
  3. Even better if they’ve got a huge stable of actors, musicians, and other creative assets that might be attractive to Facebook’s target audience (so not Samsung).
  4. Someone with declining revenues (so not Disney)

How about – Sony?

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


“While it is possible to find a needle in a haystack, even using specialized machines to do so takes a considerable amount of time, particularly since bone needles cannot be picked up by magnets. The task is difficult enough to still make the saying viable.” – MythBusters, Needle in a Haystack Episode

And that’s with knowing 4 needles existed somewhere within 10 bales of hay. How difficult would it be if you didn’t know the needles existed – just assumed they did.

EFF’s Computer Owner’s Bill of Rights

  1. Installation of arbitrary applications on the device.
    If the user wishes to, they should not be limited to what is included in one particular proprietary “app store.”
  2. Access to the phone OS at the root/superuser/hypervisor/administrator level.
    If consumers wish to examine the low-level code that is running in their pockets, to check for invasions of privacy, run the anti-virus software of their choice, join VPNs, install firewalls, or just tinker with their operating systems, phone and device companies have no legitimate basis for preventing this.
  3. The option to install a different OS altogether.
    If people want to install Linux on their iPhones, Boot to Gecko on their Windows phones, or just run a different version of Android on their Android phones, the company that sold them the hardware must not prevent them. Using a cryptographic bootloader to defend against malware is a fine idea, but there must be a way to reconfigure this security mechanism to (1) allow an alternative OS to be installed; and (2) to offer the same cryptographic protections for the alternative OS.
  4. Hardware warranties that are clearly independent of software warranties.
    Apple denies warranty coverage to users who have jailbroken their iPhones. While nobody is asking Apple to support jailbroken or modified software, it is inexcusable that the company threatens not to cover, say, a faulty screen, if the customer has chosen to modify the software on their device.