Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When recommandation engines start to bug...

Amazon for instance keeps recommending Freedom TM to me[1], although I marked it as "I own it" ("Gehört mir" on and also rated it... the very edition, they keep recommending to me... for weeks now...

And as if this was not annoying enough, Facebook today started recommending that I like Black Books (the hilarious UK TV series), although I liked it on Facebook months ago...[2]

So could you guys please all go back to your desks and fix your recommendation engines... they bug me.
Thank you.
[1] OK, I sort of keep recommending it to you guys as well, but that's beside the point.
[2] I just noticed that the verb "[facebook] like" works a bit different than "[real-world] like"

Sunday, June 27, 2010


It's really spooky to listen to the E3[1] review on this weeks TWiT podcast, while at about the same time reading Freedom TM by Daniel Suarez...

What is being rendered as sort of a nightmare in the latter, has just been presented an demoed as the latest and greatest at the former.

Kinda gives you the creeps.
[1] the Electronic Entertainment Expo 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

AppTabs Extension for Firefox

Today I finally tried out an extension add-on [1] for Firefox called App Tabs, which has been on my radar for quite a while now.

Not only does it reduce the tab of your favorite apps and sites to an icon (the favicon of your application/site) - thus saving tab space, which leads to a more well arranged tab bar.

It also allows to keep this app permanent, i.e. it keeps you from inadvertently closing those apps, and also opens them automatically when you start Firefox.

All you have to do (after installing the add-on from here) is to go to your favorite sites, and then ctrl-click[2] on the tab... et voilà... it's become an app tab with a fixed app.

Pretty neat.
Love it.

According to the tab bar preview video I posted yesterday, this will become a Firefox 4 feature.
[1] sorry, I'm still in old Mozilla-speak
[2] see options of the add-on

Friday, June 25, 2010

Why Tabs are on Top in Firefox 4

Nice overview of the new UI concept / ideas of FF4... and the reasoning behind it.

Facebook email replies still odd

It still bugs me that I can reply to a facebook comment-notification per email, but not to the notification of a facebook message...
If I get the notification (along with the full facebook message body) in my email client, I want to reply by email... is that so hard to understand? Or implement?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vuvuzelas and the platformness of the iPhone

I guess by now everyone knows the Vuvuzelas, those fan instruments / noise creation devices of the soccer worldcup finals 2010 in South Africa. I will not rant about them here... just report a nice observation.

There is a Vuvuzela app[1] for the iPhone/iPod which creates the sound of a Vuvuzela.

Granted, not the most useful app - but fun to annoy friends an colleagues.

But the mere existence of said app, which went viral within a couple of days only, proves to me that the iPhone with its app store is a serious platform for SW developers - as well as a serious marketing vehicle.

To me, the Vuvuzela app has proven the "platformness" of the iPhone & appstore

[1] actually there are several of those

Saturday, June 12, 2010

No more Technorati for me

I've been using Technorati for my blogs for years now. First for statistics, then for search, but then...

Their service and availability/uptime started to really suck, and Google did better for both (search and statistics).
Their ranking is really irrelevant to me, because I don't even try or pretend to have top authority.

So, today I removed technorati from all of my blogs.
Weird thing though is, it's really hard to delete your technorati account.
There is no menu / action in the account settings panel for this, and according to their support fora[1] you should write an email with your account details to some suspicious non-technoarti email address..
Also, feeback on the success of such emails is not too positive either.

Totally odd... especially for company that centered around bloggers you'd expect a more modern and open approach to account deletion.

[1] too much Latin in my past, can't say or write "forums"... sorry

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Google sniffing passwords? - Don't be stupid

Admittedly, the situation with Google "inadvertently" sniffing private data when recording the location WiFi networks is sad, annoying, stupid, ...

But what really annoys me is that "the media" keeps talking about Google collecting "private data ... like passwords for online banking".


So they decrypt SSL/HTTPS, too?
Or do online banking sites no longer provide secure login?

Come on...

Yes, they shouldn't have done it - not even by accident.
What's the damage?
Who - with an open / unencrypted WiFi network is to complain... reallly?  [1]
It's like leaving the front door wide open and the complain about burglars ...
And real sensitive data not only go over an encrypted Wifi network, but also at least over HTTPS (and in many cases) over a VPN as well.

I still don't see the actual damage.... except for the damage to Google's reputation...
It's not even evil, only stupid :-)

Friday, June 04, 2010

Blog moved

This blog has just moved to this address. Shouldn't pose any problems, since it is a DNS redirect and still on blogger, so all your links and subscriptions should continue to work.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Distracted eGovernment

So, this week Microsoft and our government[1] announced the "E-Government Browser"...

First of all, it's not a browser, just a browser plugin or toolbar. It does not add any functionality to anything. No new e-gov app... nothing.

Then, please make up your mind whether you want to call it "browser" or "explorer"... seems that Microsoft had their say with the naming here... "browser" (wrong as it is in the first place) seemed to be too generic a name for Microsoft, so they had to bring in "explorer" (as in "Internet Explorer") as well.

And by the way... WTF... it's just a toolbar with shortcuts to some Austrian e-gov and non-e-gov applications... I don't need that all the time around... wouldn't a simple link collection[2] with a proper easy-to-remember URL suffice.

And ... please... if at all you have to do this... why IE8 only?
And why in the same interview exclude the iPhone and Apple with a very bogus reasoning:
Wir möchten als Verwaltung selbst entscheiden, was wir an Inhalten dazufügen oder wegschalten können" , begründet Christian Rupp, Sprecher der Plattform Digitales Österreich
["We as the [federal] administration want to decide ourselves which content we want to add or remove", says Christia Rupp, spokesman for the platform "digital Austria"]
Well, then... where's the toolbar for IE7, Firefox, Opera, Safari, ...

Why not spend your time and efforts in getting the e-card to actually work?! Still does not work for me.

Why have anyone (in this case Microsoft) spend "a significant 5 digit Euro amount" ("hohen fünfstelligen Euro-Betrags") on this, instead of using the money for e-gov applications that work?

I wonder what the EU commission has to say about this, when they just forced Microsoft to open up the windows default browser installation with the browser ballot[3] and then one of their member states goes endorsing IE8 all over again.


[1] OK, not the federal government itself but their "Initiative Digitales Österreich" - initiative [for a] digital Austria... same-same
[2] call it "portal" or "planet" if you like
[3] no, I don't like the ballot either

HP and WebOS - pt II

Last week I mused about the HP Palm acquisition being not so much about Palm (the hardware) but webOS...

Here's what (HP CEO) Mark Hurd hast to say about it... via cnet.
He told the audience that HP did not "spend billions of dollars trying to go into the smartphone business; that doesn't in any way make any sense," according to a ZDNet report.

We didn't buy Palm to be in the smartphone business. And I tell people that, but it doesn't seem to resonate well. We bought it for the IP. The WebOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a Web operating environment...We have tens of millions of HP small form factor Web-connected devices...Now imagine that being a Web-connected environment where now you can get a common look and feel and a common set of services laid against that environment. That is a very value proposition.

I rest my case :-)