The largest Apple ever next to the new Samsung Note II: size matters! As you can see the Samsung wins on screen size ;) What you can´t see is that the Note 2 has twice the memory (2GB vs 1GB), twice the number of cores and more pixels (1280x760 vs 1136x640) and of course can be expanded with memory cards.
The real difference however is not the size or the other qualities but the highly sensitive stylus which lets you create instead of just consume; a Samsung as the choice of designers would be an ironic twist
Yes, it would help if you could fold the Samsung giant, but women have purses, and men have trouser and coat pockets which are actually large enough to carry a complete mini-tablet like the Note 2.
Not all robotic movement is cool because it´s slow and mechanical; this one is really, really fast.... and precise as well. Amazing demonstration of 2009 Japanese technology which in speed, subtlety and parallelism of movements surpasses most current robots.
BTW: First robot which can keep your cat entertained see 0:33 :)
Oh no, after patenting the rectangle Apple now got the wedge shape! No kidding. The US patent office has given them ´CLAIM The ornamental design for an electronic device, as shown and described´ see pic below.
So every ultrabook manufacturer now needs to tread carefully because Apple didn´t specify anything more than a few crude pictures. They didn´t tell what it was, so put any electronics in a wedge form and you will unleash the Boeing 747 of lawyers permanently in the air ready to run havoc on your business.
Design patents should really be outlawed. Unfortunately the Korean government has warned manufacturers not to violate these patents. A court verdict to get rid of all the rectangles and wedges would help the industry so much more.
Just before posting this I patented a circle or ellipse form containing electronics, digital content, food or other stuff people are willing to pay money for. What madness and how destructive for innovation.
Comparing iOS and Android in actual use: the 2012 state of things A shootout on usability. It addresses more than the classic stronghold of Android, the customization. +Armando Ferreira looks at general usability, consistency and the UX.
Armando goes to great length telling us he is not biased and owns several Apple devices, but no doubt a counter video by an Apple user is now in the making. If you know a good one which uses ICS or Jellybean versus the latest version of iOS let me know in the comments.
His conclusion; Android just works, but I have heard that one before
disclaimer: my most used phone is a Windows one and compared to Metro I find both interfaces look like child toys. However an interface which looks like its actually made for adults is not necessarily the best UX so I will keep switching
Dubai police expands fleet with Lamborghini Aventador The Lambo will in good company as the Dubai police also uses a Ferrari FF, a Bentley, a Mercedes SLS and there is even a rumour about the extremely rare Aston Martin One-77 being added, but that one hasn´t been spotted in the wild.
Future of home gaming? Use the room to enhance the experience This is a longer introduction to the concept of IllumiRoom by Microsoft. It´s an explanation of the possibilities gained by adding a projector and 3D room mapping.
Will this be the way to keep consoles alive in a future dominated by mobile gaming?
Social is getting old; Facebook, Twitter and G+ attract baby-boomers According to the GlobalWebIndex between Q2 2012 and Q1 2013 Twitter’s fastest growing age demographic was 55 to 64 year olds, registering an increase in active users of 79%.
Both Facebook’s and Google+’s fastest growing age demographic was 45 to 54 year olds, growing by 46% and 56% respectively.
The other driving force behind the popularity of the big three is mobile. Since Q1 2011, the number of people which access the internet via a mobile phone has increased by 60.3%.
The good news for G+ is that the percentage of active users independent of age is rising. A 100% rise in posts and 75% in photos means these new people are actively contributing content. A key to survival for the content-centered G+-.
More posts means more results in search which will attract new users for G+. Now the question is who is seeing the growth in the younger demographics. Is Pinterest the new social?
Nasa just confirmed Andromeda will definitely hit the Milky Way
Researchers just announced that Andromeda is not only approaching us at a speed of 400.000 kilometers an hour, but it´s definitely on collision course. The Hubble telescope data don´t lie. Just 4 billion years and we are gone.
Nasa scientists are now talking live about the possibility that our civilization will survive this, but let´s not be overly optimistic. They consider a merger but I can´t see the UN supporting such a proposal in a timely way.
Apple just got the most expensive court room win ever: Pyrrhic victory
This case should never have reached a jury court, but the verdict is in. One billion dollar in damages although the jury was just sent back to recalculate it as judge Koh noticed some errors.
By all means this is a commercial conflict with a worldwide impact, but it ended up before nine ordinary citizens, laymen, two women and seven man who were asked to answer a very long list of detailed questions on very technical stuff. They were treated to endless streams of expert witnesses and the few journalist who reported from the court room often noticed ´jury looks blank while expert goes on an on´.
Patents, an important part of this court case are extremely dull material. You need to read every sentence of dense technical and legal documents, look at that description and check if no prior art was found which again is not easy to do as the devil is again in the details. Patent experts are often unsure what should be the verdict; a jury of ordinary citizens has a hard time even following the argument.
So the jury didn´t. They ignored all that stuff when a document surfaced where Samsung itself said it had to study and copy Apple´s success. Do note that it didnt´t say ´copy Apple´s devices´ but it´s easy to pick up that message so they did and skipped all those boring details and just said yes to all accusations of patent violations by Samsung.
That same jury was also asked if Samsung damaged the iPhone ´trade dress´. Now this is a lot easier for laymen. Did Samsung copy the look and feel of iPhones to create consumers with consumers? Suddenly the jurors woke up: this was their territory and no, they didn´t feel consumers would not be capable to see the differences. They skipped two questions and answered the other two with a mixture of yes on some models and no on others. Home turf.
That´s jurors territory: look and feel and consumer perception, not the technical implementations of patents like ´381 which describes the bounce back at the end of list. That patent has been discussed by professional judges and is not even considered a safe Apple asset.
The jury ignored all that boring stuff and fell asleep when Samsung countered with claims about the details of 3G and UMTS implementations. The witnesses were nerdy professors who were hard to follow so these claims were refused out of hand.
What happened is that a huge commercial conflict ended up in a completely wrong setting. Judge Koh has done everything to keep this out of her court and get the parties to solve this at a boardroom table. Jurors can´t decide this conflict and this will certainly go to an appeal court with possibly different, but also inherently false outcomes.
False because these same questions will also be addressed outside of the US where juries are rare and professional judges will decide completely different. They will study the prior art and take note of all the witness statements. Net result: it will take at least another half year before some o the worldwide dust settles and meanwhile models of both parties will be temporarily banned from sales in some regions.
Meanwhile this and the other high profile cases outside of the US will damage Apple´s image enormously. Remember when an iPhone was cool? If an expert in 2010 would have testified about Apple´s brand image the taxation would have been in the tens, possibly hundreds of billions.
That same image in 2012 is tarnished. A company which doesn´t innovate (the 4s only brought the already forgotten SIRI) but tries to monopolize both the smart phone and the tablet sector by using lawyers is not cool at all.
When Samsung has to withdraw its products, consumers will feel duped. They lost their choice and they will blame Apple as Samsung will surely drive that point home; is that worth $1.05 billion?
The answer is in the market share: Samsung surpassed Apple a long time ago and even in the last stronghold, - the US -, are the high-end Samsungs outselling the iPhone.
A brand which didn´t have to spend money on advertising will suddenly find the need to rebuild an image. Marketeers can tell you this is so hard that most companies never succeed. Those who did, spend an awful lot of money doing so. The $1 billion won´t cover that bill.
Steve Jobs´ Apple did bet on a legal monopoly and for a few weeks they could possibly have one in the US. Apple reckoned that if a judge would tell it, the consumers would sympathize with Apple; victim of ´slavishly copying it´s success; the real 2012 is very different. Lawyers are not cool; underdogs are so this will turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory.
Pope breaks with tradition and will resign due to age. Real reason? The Vatican reports that Benedictus XVI will officially resign at the end of this month. That will be the first time a pope does so voluntarily since 1294.
He states “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.”
(Petrine stands for Petrus otherwise known as Peter, the first pope and one of the original Apostles).
The tradition is that popes die on the job and their (mental) health has never been an excuse. Benedictus states that He says he is resigning in "full freedom" and says he is "fully aware of the gravity of this gesture"
Interesting statement as besides 1294 there is only other pope who ever resigned from the job. We have to go back to 1415 when Pope Gregory XII left office after huge pressure from his Cardinals. Known as the Western Chism, this period saw two popes competing for recognition and in the end Gregory gave in. Not a voluntary move as his Cardinals threatened to abandon him completely.
After the Vatican scandal where a butler was arrested for stealing and leaking large number of secret Papal letters (the Vatican equivalent of the Wiki leaks) it was rumored that a power struggle over corruption and money laundering was at the heart of the matter.
After the butler was convicted by a Vatican court, the current pope pardoned him for his crime: a move which left onlookers with the strong impression that the butler was not acting on his own and that Benedictus himself tried to fight the corruption in Vatican circles.
The pope so far showed a better physical and mental health than many of his predecessors so it´s remarkable that a relative outsider in the Vatican (Benedict was a bit of surprise choice) chooses to do the unimaginable and freely step aside for new blood.
This sheds some light on the explicit statement that he is resigning in full freedom. In effect it makes you wonder if it´s even true. What´s behind this sudden move?
First shot fired with (almost all) plastic gun made with 3D printer Only the firing pin is metal and yet it survived its first shot on a firing range without exploding in the hand of owner and activist Cody Wilson.
To comply with US weapon laws a piece of metal is inserted in the grip as without it it would not be visible on older style gun detectors. As Cody and his activist group ´Defense Distributed´ want to make the CAD files available online, other makers will skip this obligatory step.
The printer used, a Dimension SST, can be obtained for $8000 and could produce a batch of these (for now) single-shot weapons. However it will be cheaper to make one yourself from hardware store supplies.
The real danger is not in the availability; manuals for producing home made guns have been in circulation for tens of years and buying one is not that difficult even in countries where it´s illegal.
The difference is that the all-plastic 3D printed gun can be made by a completely new demographic. People who don´t have contacts in illegal weapon trade nor experience in the old ´Zip-style´ DIY world.
Especially in states and countries where gun possession is illegal and rare the availability of a downloadable 3D gun will bring in a new class of weapon owners. Students in large cities are a good example; they don´t have a tool shed nor criminal friends, but they have easy access to a 3D printer and the know-how to use the online CAD-files.
The other problem is one of tracking. A gun which is sold can be traced, even an illegal gun can often be traced back. Someone sold it so you are never the only one who know you have a weapon. With a 3D printed one you would leave no trace at all and it´s easy to get rid of it after the kill by melting the plastic.
The only way to prevent a spread of guns in hitherto unarmed circles is to control the ammunition, but with Walmarts selling them without any registration this will be very hard. Maybe it´s time to start controlling the ammunition circuit. Getting a gun just became easier for a new demographic.
China surpassed US as biggest trader in the world: a world upturned! The unimaginable (ten or more years ago) finally happened: China´s total of import and export was 3,82 biljoen dollar (2,86 biljoen euro). The US ended 2012 with a total of $3,81.
The Chinese did even better when you look at import/export ratio with a trade surplus of $231.1bn with the US closing 2012 with trade deficit of $727.9bn. This year started out even better so a good chance the difference will be even larger at the end of 2013.
The US has dominated the post-war (no, neither Vietnam, nor Irak, but WOII :) period so this is a major upturn of world economics. It´s an amazing feat considering that the Chinese economy as a whole is so much smaller than the US. They truly are the traders of the world.
It won´t be long before China will start using its considerable influence on the world economy to achieve its political goals. So far the Chinese have ´played dumb´ by not bullying the world but entering into strategic agreements and avoiding saber rattling.
How to conquer the world: ´it´s the economy, stupid!´ seems to be leading principle. Why spend billions on aircraft carriers when a smart deal with African countries guarantees a steady flow of raw materials. And if needs be, a very silent submarine can create havoc around the huge battle formations employed by the US by just turning up in the middle of the flotilla.
How long before China starts using its economic power directly in achieving its political goals or did we already pass that turning point?
The whole of London in one gigantic panorama but one guy noticed... Just follow the link below and see the boy standing somewhere in the middle of London. Now zoom out with your scroll wheel and be amazed about the level of detail captured in this biggest panorama photo ever.
It took 4 Canon EOS 7D´s, each with a 400 mm lens and 2x tele extenders to capture this 320-gigapixel panorama. Photographing London from the BT tower took a few days, but stitching the images together months. Have a look as the level of detail is amazing.
Now help me find ´Waldo´ and identify him; crowd-sourcing test
A day of unrest as the G+ stream was broken, can now be put to bed Lead architect for G+ +Yonatan Zunger just confirmed that two bugs caused the stream to stagnate for many users.
The stream for All Circles as well as specific circles didn´t show new posts and many users complained about a lack of interaction on their posts.
The suspicion was that Google had introduced a new relevance algorithm overruling the users circle settings. A speculation which was fed by a change in the actual circle slider settings. Instead of a slider control over the amount of posts you would see per circle is now done with the choices normal, more, fewer and a check mark ´subscribe´
+Yonatan Zunger told me these settings are just the verbose equivalents of the old slider settings.He also confirmed there were two distinct bugs which caused streams to don´t show newer posts, but as we speak they seem to be fixed.
None -> None Some -> Fewer More -> Standard All -> More
Despite the renaming, "More" is actually "All." (Long story as to why this naming was chosen -- I would have preferred "All" myself) "All + Notifications" was changed to separate out the notifications into a separate control, so you could even have "None + Notifications" if you wanted. (And, in fact, some people did)
What it means in practice is that "more" means "take active measures to ensure that all the posts make it;" "standard" means "normally send the posts through, unless there's a particular reason not to;" "fewer" means "limit how much of this stuff actually gets in;" and "none" means "none." However, that's an unofficial summary, and you shouldn't take it as representing an invariant which will be preserved in the future.
The confirmation only came late so the day was filled with topics analyzing the problem as you can see here.below
Hello Google + World: Long Time No See; Happy New Year To You! The world goes on, but sometimes all it really needs is a dad who cares
So yes, the internet had to go on without me as there was a little girl who needed me a lot more. But I promise to be back in 2013 and meanwhile I wish all my friends who have been so kind to read my posts, comment on them - and even think about me while I was absent from G+ - a fantastic 2013 and the best family life possible.
Amazon will introduce ´Amazon Coin´ aka how to make a larger profit The largest online retailer of the world announced today that they will accept their own payment system: the Amazon Coin. Let´s have a look at the business model behind it.
It´s not yet clear how you can buy them, but the proposed value is $0.01. Now why would any retailer introduce its own currency?
For two reasons: tie-in and profit. The tie-in is simple enough and not different from all the point systems which have been introduced in the past. Once you collected the ´virtual´ currency (walmart coupons are a fine example) the only way to spend them is to buy them for that specific product or in the designated store. Amazon Coins are not a currency like bitcoins, which - although limited- can be freely spent.
The profit is a bit more subtle and depends on the fact that people never spend all of the virtual currency. They can´t as it´s not freely tradeable, so they will always end up with x coins which can´t be spent. You have x Amazon Coins and you will probably be able to buy only at y equivalents. The difference will be small per customer but at Amazon´s scale makes a sizeable amount which can be invested elsewhere.
The last major benefit and one which Amazon seems to target is a more subtle tie-in: When Amazon Coins launches in May, we will be giving out tens of millions of dollars worth of Coins to customers to spend on Kindle Fire apps, games, or in-app items An incentive to develop apps specifically for the Kindle tablet series with the certainty that the initial investment will stream back to Amazon while simultaneously growing the eco-system.
Looking at it this way, it seems a smart move by Amazon: the question is if it really offers an advantage to the customers.
Leave a flower for a deceased Google product on this virtual graveyard
From the website: It’s hard to lose a loved one, especially if that loved one is a Google service. That’s why we’re opening the gates of the Google Graveyard, a virtual space for grieving. Buried in these hallowed grounds are some of Google’s ill-fated services.
Some, like Google Reader, lived long, prosperous lives, full of admiration and glory. Most, like Google Wave and Google Buzz, struggled to carve out a place in this harsh, unforgiving world where technologies continuously clash and innovation reigns king. But whether these services transformed our productivity or only polluted our inboxes, they all touched our world in some way.
European scientists make first ever observation of the birth of a planet Planet formation was never seen outside of computer simulations. “If our discovery is indeed a forming planet, then for the first time scientists will be able to study the planet formation process and the interaction of a forming planet and its natal environment empirically at a very early stage.”
The European ESO organization operates the ´Very Large Telescope´, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and they claim first direct observation of a forming planet still embedded in a thick disc of gas and dust. If confirmed, this discovery will greatly improve our understanding of how planets form and allow astronomers to test the current theories against an observable target.
The international team led by Sascha Quanz (ETH Zurich, Switzerland) has studied the disc of gas and dust that surrounds the young star HD 100546, a relatively nearby neighbour located 335 light-years from Earth. They were surprised to find what seems to be a planet in the process of being formed, still embedded in the disc of material around the young star. The candidate planet would be a gas giant similar to Jupiter.
The video below is of course not the direct observation but an artists impression of the gas giant amidst the gas and dust left over by the formation of it´s ´nearby´ star,
HTC to introduce king of smartphones: highest display resolution ever Large 5" screen, 1920x1080 res, quad-core S4 Snapdragon Pro, 2GB ram and just 71 mm wide and 9.1 mm thick. Unfortunately this J Butterfly will only be released in Japan, but HTC promises that this screen will hit the rest of the world as well.
The Verge says: "Color reproduction is excellent, the 440 ppi resolution is astonishing, and the screen's slightly curved edges make the image look like it's melting off the side of the phone. It doesn't feel overbearing in the hands, either; the phone's 9.1mm thinness and slim bezel make it surprisingly compact, and we found it was easily pocketable."
The pixels per inch on the desktop are stuck on about 100 ppi or lower, while this HTC delivers 440 ppi. Even considering that your eye is farther away from the screen on a desktop, it´s clear that our big screens have become outdated, coarse devices compared to some of the tablets and phones out there.
It´s amazing that 5" mobile screens now offer the same resolution as desktop monitors of 24"; time for a breakthrough monitor with a much higher resolution. Would you be in the market for a higher res screen?
Europe calling: the old giant wakes up and calls on its peeps! Part II According to the latest figures 426.9 million Europeans now use the Internet
There is a is feeling that it would be great to get some attention from G+ for Europe with official hangouts from the community managers during European times, feature roll-outs from Google no longer restricted to the US, and last but not least the desire to have hangouts and interaction without having to burn the midnight oil.
To help solve this and get Europeans together on the same page I created +Europeans on G+ It already has four managers out of the community but feel to offer a bit of your time if you want to contribute. Circle the page if you didn´t already do so.
I also organized a "I will circle you" project. If people commented that they came from Europe I would circle them instead of the other way. The intention was to share this circle back to the community and the first circle of 500 went out. You can find them here https://plus.google.com/112352920206354603958/posts/PDUi13o9dB1
Now as promised it´s time for round 2: 300 people and a few European pages. Some very well known, some relatively unknown, but all certified active posters from Europe who will spice up your streams during European hours.
Check them out and please share the circle as the intention is to get much more Europeans united!
if you were left out while you signed up: my excuses as it´s a tedious job to manage all these circles. I checked all but I am only human :)
Samsung plays chess with judge Koh: asks for lifting of ban on tablet
In an amusing twist the lawyers for Samsung didn´t lose time. They studied the verdict, noticed the jury had ruled that the Samsung Tab 10.1 was not considered to infringe on Apple´s design patents so they now ask to lift the current ban. The fun part is that this puts presiding judge Lucy Koh in a difficult position.
She has ruled against Samsung wherever she could, so prior to the Apple-Samsung case hearing she put a ban in place as she considered it very likely that the tablet would infringe. Now she has to decide:
a) if she follows the jury who completely contradicted her verdict. Completely inconsistent so hard to do, and if she does her own judgement is tainted.
b) stands by her own decision and overrules the jury creating an interesting precedent for the follow up of this case. A judge saying that the jury was wrong on an important part of the case won´t help her in her career and is sure to bring out more protests by Samsung now or in appeal.
She can´t win here, that makes it amusing. Commercially it´s all irrelevant as the banned tablet has already been superseded by a new Galaxy Tab 10.1 II model, which has some slight design modifications.
(and yes, there is a C option: she finds that although the design doesn´t conflict with Apple tablet designs, it would still infringe on technical patents, but I´m pretty sure Samsung will make sure that bouncing lists etc are taken from that specific model´s software.)
The ultimate DIY home car racing track powered by superconductors! Are there people on G+ interested in makerfaire style science DIY projects?
Yesterday I posted this Art Put Into Gearhttps://plus.google.com/u/0/112352920206354603958/posts/NRtiKLqX9mi After the share of this slowly moving ingenious construct of gears some speculation in the comments caused me to ponder about makerfaire like simple projects which you could create yourself. This was just a virtual model but what about building some real stuff.
As a kid I loved model racing tracks but I always hated it that the tracks were not even close to perfect. You couldn´t do some proper racing as the track was not smooth enough.
Thinking about a solution the idea to use magnetic levitation popped up and of course a matching video could be found to show that whatever you think of has been tried by someone else :)
All that´s needed is some control over the individual ´cars´. It´s easy enough to build a few more ´acceleration stations´ which would be a start.
The cost of building it is determined by the YBCO superconductor which becomes the ´car´. The university bought a 3 cm piece for 125$ but prices seem to have come down substantially. A 1" superconductor is now sold for 24$.
The track consists of Nd-Fe-B ceramic permanent magnets, grade N42 at that time selling for 4$ a piece making a track with a total length of 2,5 meter expensive at 400$. Again prices seem to have come down. It will depend on the necessary width of the track.
Now the question left to ponder is the cost of cooling the track. Liquid nitrogen is used to cool the superconductor which when isolated runs for two to three minutes. It takes 20 minutes to cool them down so a bath of nitrogen and a few spare cars are needed.
Are there more people on G+ interested in these makerfaire type of DIY projects? If you know others on G+ with an interest, please mention them to see if we can form a shared circle of science DIY enthusiasts
Obama has to plead for science acceptance in climate debate People sometimes make fun of some non-Western nations, but it´s remarkable that an US president has to defend science in his State of the Union speech: For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.
Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense.
We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence.
Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.
Signed: President of the United States Obama in his speech last night.
Is posting links to your blog the same as spamming? G+ allows us to post reasonable length posts, but more and more people are going back to the old ´read my blog, here is the link´ style of posting.
In the early beta-phase of G+ this was quite common, but when people noticed you get more traction by posting the full text here, the amount of spammy links went down.
At that time in summer 2011 I argued that linking to your own blog was not really different from linking to other products or services. The content might be very interesting, but what´s the difference with a nice bargain for a new phone or a link to a headhunting service? The intention is always to get reader impressions and usually to monetize them as well.
Nowadays lots of people seem to have gone back to blogging and link dumping on G+ with just a few lines of introduction.
Do you follow blog links from G+ posts and do you consider that worthy posts in itself; different from links to other products or services?
and if you went back to blogging yourself, do you get the same interactivity you got on G+; is it a move which pays off?
A little survey: What causes people to circle you? I´m wondering aloud as I am still clueless after 11 months. In the first few months just participating in discussions usually triggered some people to circle you. Everyone was still searching for interesting streams so every standout post was another good reason to follow someone.
Later in the "age of circle sharing" with daily rounds of the best of G+, the ambassadors of G+, the best of the best, etc, it was clear that you had to be "in" the right circles to get circled. An incestious system that made the rich richer and excluded others. Effectively chain letters, topics were fueled by people mentioning their friends and the people they wanted to get the attraction of.
Criticizing the system meant that you were "out". Key to participation was that you joined the circle fest, mentioned the right people and shared, shared, shared that circle. If you were not yet an "in" person, there was a way around it. You just started the chain letter yourself and kicked it off by mentioning an number of names who loved the circle parties. Slip in your own name and suddenly 100 people with large followings shared your circle. Complete manuals on how to do this were posted on G+.
However, this period seems to have ended and I wonder in which _"age of G+" we are now? The regular advise is to post interesting things and comment in other people streams. Maybe this still works, but looking at the patterns from +CircleCount I don´t see this reflected in my own numbers.
There are days I hardly post, no circles are shared and I get two or three hundred sign-up´s. On days I´m very active the daily additions are below fifty. Posting a hugely popular post has no effect at all. People plus and share without noticing who created the post. Yesterday European night a post about the end of the world as we know it, got a few hundred shares without any noticeable effect on follower count.
Basically with almost a year of experience here, I still don´t know what makes people wanting to follow you. The only way to shed some light on it is to reverse the question and ask:
What makes you decide to circle someone?
My answer is still the same: an interesting comment or a shared interest
image: an exhibition by Daniel Buren in the Grand Palais in Brussels
Microsoft Surface is a Revolution shifting from Consumption to Creation
The web is full of the first impressions of the Microsoft Surface tablet and people are impressed by the nifty stand, the smart keyboard cover and the design quality. However the key (pun intended) here is that Microsoft will seriously revolutionize type display as well as typing. The device is treated like a tablet with a smartly stored keyboard, but that´s a complete misunderstanding of this landmark design.
Let´s look at the two issues and do the summary first: never will type have looked as good as on the Surface and for the first time typing will be seamlessly integrated with a touch device. This is a new class of text entry and text display which can´t be compared to anything else on the market. Bold statement? Read on...
Microsoft has a long tradition of developing input devices and they have put a lot of effort in developing both new keyboards. Apart from the question if you want tactile feedback (the "type cover " gives you the same travel as a laptop keyboard) or are happy enough with the "touch" keyboard, there is no comparison with anything on the market.
People seem to assume that instead of using half of your screen as a keyboard like most tablets offer Microsoft offers you a separate one to double as a cover and give you more space for your fingers. Totally wrong!
The pressure sensitive multi-touch sensor technology will read all keys instantly and much faster than traditional keyboards can. If you happen to hit two keys within 1 millisecond a normal keyboard won´t detect it, but both new Surface keyboards will. A normal keyboard takes 8ms to register a key, this one is ten times as fast.
These keyboards however do a lot more. They register with a very high precision the pressure you exercise. One thing this enables is to detect if you really want to hit the J and the N simultaneously or that you targeted the N but didn´t move far enough. Mistyping and double keys (ghost keys) are a serious problem for rapid ten finger typists but this keyboard will know that let´s say 80% of the force was on the N and only 20% on the J and decide to give you the output you want.
The underlying technology has been introduced and patented by Microsoft but this is the first full swing implementation of both technologies: extremely fast multi-touch combined with pressure sensitive resistors which are precise enough to measure your key pressure within grams.
If you are old enough to remember the good old days of the original IBM keyboards which were a typing dream come true, you will know that they used resistance to solve this exact problem. By making it harder to press keys you were less prone to accidentally hitting the wrong one. This perfect mechanical system has been abandoned in the name of progress.
We wanted cheaper keyboards so first we got cheap springs with an identical resistance for all keys, later even these were removed as it was costly to built reliable ones and one finger typists found it hard to work with them.
When notebooks had to get thin the typing world had to get used to the dead chicklet style of keyboards. Dead keys which responded binary: you either hit the key sufficiently or you missed it. No real feedback, no way to discriminate between intended keys and others and no smart arrangements of carefully balanced springs to avoid the common mistakes on QWERTY keyboards.
Basically the last five years computer power became available in smaller packages which lasted for many hours on a battery, screen output progressed to high res with touch interfaces, but key entry was stuck. Not surprisingly the attention shifted from work devices to entertainment. Passive consumption of content is easy with fast, mobile CPU´s on super high res screens with an incidental wipe or touch as the sole interaction with the device.
That is, until Surface surfaced.... Key entry caught up with the rest of the computing revolution
Now reports say typing speeds of 52 - 62 words per minute are achievable with the lower number for the three mm thick ´Touch cover´. We will see what happens when people get some time with the actual keyboards but Steve Ballmer made a big deal of Microsoft having to invent the mouse to make Windows possible and for new ultra notebooks and tablets to be usable for more than a casual game or watching a movie we need a revolutionary keyboard
And yes, that it travels with the tablet in a clever way helps enormously, but the revolution is in the input itself. And think about the possibilities for completely novel ways of measuring key input. How about a musical instrument? A piano that knows how hard you hit that key is a much better instrument. Games which detect forms you press simultaneously. Precise manipulation of a vehicle: just vary the pressure slightly on the old cursor keys and suddenly steering and breaking come to life.
Oh, and Steven Bathiche and the co-authors of the patent even envisioned the use of the pressure as an emotional expression. You could chat LOUD when you pressed harder and the BackSpace button could delete one character or feeling the pressure do words or complete sentences at at time. The applied science group will have progressed since the 2009 patent and the culmination is presented in the Microsoft Surface keyboards.
If you read carefully you will know I didn´t address the type display. A teaser for a next post on the revolutionary Microsoft display :)
Hope you are as excited as I am to finally see some real progress on keyboard entry in an era where consumption had to dominate devices as they fell behind in ways to create content on them
Sucking up wont increase your G+ profile Page Rank: just be yourself
As you can see from the following list of people with the highest PageRank achievable of 6 and their number of followers it certainly is not in the numbers. Looking closer you might notice that most of this select few are not active in massive circle-shares, nor in kissing up to their peers.
For one, there is no proof at all that this would in any way help you, for two chasing Google´s algorithmes has never been very fruitful. it would be best if people just engaged with whoever they like and let all those ranking indicators just for what they are: crude measurements of a value we don´t know based on indicators we don´t have access to.
Oh, and in case you are still inclined to start hanging out with these high and mighty do realize that these PageRank scores are only updated a few times a year so you could well be hanging out with yesterday´s news. You have been warned....
These are all I could find; there are G+ PR´s higher but these are all pages. The limit there is 8.
The question remains how these people got such a high PR value: do you see a pattern I missed? Could it just be that they are just authorities in their field, something you can only achieve by hard work and knowledge?
You sure you have a good password? Check the checkers first! Reading a study that Yahoo users over 55 of age have much better passwords then youngsters it was time to check my own.
I made some shocking discoveries. I thought I was smart and safe and now I doubt both statements. I wonder how you will fare....
Let´s assume you studied it all, read the great strip from http://xkcd.com/936/ which told you: "in twenty years of effort, we have successfully trained everyone to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember, but easy for computers to guess" and slowly switched to passwords you could actually remember.
The first nasty discovery is that the advise from the strip to use four random words looks like a good one, but when you try it on an actual website the so called strength indicators are not impressed.
See the table below for the result with the example of the comic "correct horse battery staple" Paypal and Yahoo call it weak, Gmail is not impressed and eBay just refuses it.
So you backtrack and try your smartly made up complex word. In this table we use again an example from the comic "Tr0ub4dour&3" The original word is easy to memorize and you get used to the character substitutions.
The strength indicators, the checkers of your password, are all very happy now, so this is the way to go. Not sure yet?
We try a website called http://howsecureismypassword.net/ and it tells us it will take 5 million years on your own PC to crack it. Mine is pretty fast so I won´t keep the NSA out for the next century, but the everyday hacker will start looking for a better victim.
Mission accomplished? Nope because as you can see this table comes from a alternative checker which is much smarter. It´s called zxcvbn and it smartly breaks up your password in parts that can be lifted from a dictionary and parts which have to be brute forced.
I have put the outcome in computing time needed in red in the table below. Notice the shocking differences. One of my stronger passwords was in that middle category and it went from a few years to 15 minutes!
The problem is that websites check the complexity of your password based on the old idea that you need special characters and numbers so you get a high score and an independent site like http://howsecureismypassword.net/ confirms your fantastic choice.
It´s even worse as lots of websites demand a number and some special character so they will force you into these variations of misspelled words.
If the open source project zxcvbn is anything to go by we are all lured into a false sense of security and you can´t trust the checkers from the websites where you have to enter them
Check your own passwords on both websites and make sure you really outwitted the hackers
As an example P@xRom@n@ which seems okay as it´s an uncommon Latin term with substitutions. Google likes it, it tests at 3 years at the first website, but on the new one it´s just 9 hours as it´s seen as a combination of three brute force characters and a female name Romana. That´s a speedup in this specific case of almost 3000!
Both are safe to use as they (claim to) to do the calculations on your own machine without sending the data to a server. However I would always use a variation on your real password because it would be extremely smart to actually add every tested password to a new dictionary :)
Another emergency patch for Java: will it ever be safe? Oracle used to update Java at a slow pace, but this is the third emergency patch in three months. They had to as the vulnerabilities were already exploited by malicious code writers.
Oracle says: These vulnerabilities may be remotely exploitable without authentication, i.e., they may be exploited over a network without the need for a username and password. For an exploit to be successful, an unsuspecting user running an affected release in a browser must visit a malicious web page that leverages these vulnerabilities. Successful exploits can impact the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of the user's system.
Now you can keep on patching, but at this rate the end-user will always be later than malware authors. It seems wise to just disable Java in your browser.
Android FairPhone: good working conditions and materials, lasting value
A Dutch initiative to produce a ´fair´ phone without child labor and a minimal environmental footprint. One of the goals is to make a phone which lasts longer thanks to upgradeable parts which will stimulate a second life in the hands of a new owner.
The first model will run on Android 4.2.2 and go in production if 5000 people actually order it for 325E ($430). Almost 13.000 people registered their interest for a socially conscious phone so it seems an achievable goal.
Fairphone works with LaborVoices, an organisation that helps workers find work with ethical suppliers, and helps companies find and deal with those ethical suppliers to build their gadgets.
The design is made by GeekPhones, so it will probably be identical to their proposed FireFox Peak model which is a 4.3" model with qHD screen.
The decision to go with Android instead of the open-source FireFox is a pragmatic one according to front-man Bas van Abel from the non-profit Waag Society. Launching a new model with strict social and environmental requirements is difficult enough without an as yet unproven OS.
Are you interested in a ´Fair phone´ or is value for money all that counts?
Julian Assange speaks from his window in the Embassy: a Q&A
On his press conference from an open window, the WikiLeaks foreman thanked the countries and people who support him. He reminded people there are people within the governments of the UK, US, Sweden and Australia who do support him and whose time will come.
Assange stressed that Obama should stop the witch-hunt against WikiLeaks and the prosecution of political prisoner Bradley Manning.
The press wants to remind you this a ´diplomatic´ asylum instead of a political one, but that´s an over simplification. Based on this word they predicted a neutral speech, but as always Assange surprised them. Good moment to clarify the real situation in this Q&A.
For the full background on Julian Assange and the alleged crimes on Swedish territory check Wikipedia or other sources. We´ll concentrate here on the stand-off between the UK and Ecuador and the asylum background.
Q: What was the compelling reason for Ecuador to grant asylum
Apart from the possibility that Rafael Correa wanted to show US his middle finger, they cite some good reasons. The key is the possibility that Assange will be extradited to the US after he goes to Sweden. Ecuador mostly respects Swedish rights but it has sought reassurances that Sweden won´t hand him over. They didn´t get these from the Swedes, The UK and the US so Ecuador considers Assange a potential victim of political persecution.
Q: Does holding a criminal violate international law on asylum
A: The question is not relevant as Assange hasn´t been convicted, not even been officially charged by Sweden. If that would have been the case Ecuador could still have granted asylum if they considered the official offense to be a scapegoat for prosecution on political crimes. It´s not uncommon that other countries don´t agree to the asylum status.
Q: But Assange is not sought for a political crime!
A: We´ll come to the US involvement later on, but Sweden gave asylum to American soldiers who deserted from the army during the Vietnam war. The US didn´t view deserters as political opponents but as violators of military laws, but Sweden didn´t agree.
This is the common situation in asylum cases. Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese human rights activist who fled to the US embassy was accused of "damaging property and organising a mob to disturb traffic" :)
Q: So why talk about ´diplomatic asylum´ if it´s about political crimes?
A: It´s a legalism which confuses the press. In South-America political asylum is called ´diplomatic asylum´ and most members of the Organization of American States (OSA) signed a treaty recognizing it.
The US just announced they don´t recognize it, but the OS will meet anyway coming Friday to discuss the case. The UK is also no party to their ´58 treaty on diplomatic asylum, but that doesn´t change the reality.
Using that word does legally bind Ecuador, but it´s of little consequence to the UK as the text in which Assange is granted asylum leans heavily on universal Human Rights, global citizenship, and the more general´Territorial Asylum´
Q: So it boils down to the question if Assange is sought for a political crime?
A: Yip. And to find the real answer we shouldn´t look at Sweden, but at the US. Sweden wants Assange for an ´ordinary´ crime which in itself is not interesting for this case. The political motives of Sweden to actively pursue this case and refused to interview Assange on British soil (and recently the new refusal to do so in the Ecuadorian embassy) are of minor interest if the US was not involved.
Q: So is the US looking for Assange or is that some unsubstantiated fear of a paranoid person?
A: Ever since the diplomatic cables leaked there have been solid rumors that the US wanted to go after WikiLeaks and its foreman. Senators have threatened him with prosecution, US businesses had to boycott WikiLeaks and presidential candidates went as far as stating "anything less than execution is too kind a penalty" (Huckabee, but his words were similar to these of other Republican candidates)
Fox news as always crowned the responses: _Bob Beckel, Fox News: "A dead man can’t leak stuff" Beckel said. "This guy’s a traitor, he’s treasonous, and he has broken every law of the United States. And I’m not for the death penalty, so...there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch."
Q: Okay, maybe there is a US witch-hunt on Assange, but is there a real threat of persecution?
A: Yesterday we got some confirmation from official sources. There have been rumors about a secret Federal Grand Jury hearing since last year.
The Australian newspaper The Saturday Age got hold of diplomatic cables after calling on the freedom of information law. They show that the Australian embassy in Washington has been tracking a US espionage investigation targeting the WikiLeaks publisher for more than 18 months.
The outcome: the embassy reported the existence of a grand jury hearing as a matter of fact. It identified a wide range of criminal charges the US could bring against Assange, including espionage, conspiracy, unlawful access to classified information and computer fraud. These crimes are carefully constructed to avoid a clash with the American First Amendment on free speech.
Q: So Ecuador has a point?
A: They have and although Britain´s foreign minister threatened to storm the embassy that won´t happen. All wrangling about words aside it´s clear that Assange got asylum. That the UK doesn´t like it, is fairly common. The Chinese didn´t like the opposition voice in the Beijing US embassy, but they didn´t storm it either.
Q: But Britain has that law which allows for entry into embassies?
A: Words. Yes, after the shooting of a police officer from the Lybian embassy the UK voted for a law giving them some rights when a diplomatic post is used for terrorist activities but that doesn´t cover this case. As long as Assange only throws up words from his embassy window the threats to storm it will be hollow.
Q: So Assange will end up in Ecuador?
A: Impossible to predict. Maybe the UK gives in, maybe the case goes to the International Court of Justice, maybe a diplomatic solution is found. A possible way out is to create a Swedish territory on Ecuadorian soil where Assange can finally be heard by the prosecutor.
If that sounds strange consider the ´Lockheed´ trial where two Lybians were accused of causing the Pan Am Flight bombing. To solve that stand-off an old US base in the Netherlands was declared to be Scottish territory for the duration of the process. Stranger things have happened in diplomatic conflicts so the outcome is impossible to predict.
There was a shared feeling that it would be great to get some attention from G+ for Europe with official hangouts from the community managers during European times, feature roll-outs from Google no longer restricted to the US, having some central point to share European circles and last but not least the desire to have hangouts without having to burn the midnight oil.
To help solve this and get Europeans together on the same page I created +Europeans on G+ It already has multiple managers out of the community and that initiative recently span off +European Photo but feel to offer a bit of your time for this community project. Circle the page if you didn´t already do so.
We need more peeps from all over Europe to participate and enjoy G+
I hope these posts can do the rounds through Europe and gets us firmly on the G+ map. So even if you´re not European yourself, but sympathize with the initiatives to form a community here, help spread the word and share it.
And don´t forget: we all love the other continents and most of us have circles which encompass the whole world. So it´s not against others, but pro us :)
Motorola Google strikes back: demands import ban for Apple The interesting thing is not that Motorola asserts more patents against Apple, but the timing and the nature of the demand.
The request for a ban on all iPhones, iPads and Macs is made at the ITC for violations on location reminders, e-mail notifications and phone/video players and includes SIRI technology. No details about the patents are available at the moment.
The timing is important as the Samsung - Apple case is drawing to an end. Judge Koh has requested that the CEO´s of both companies have a t least one discussion before the jury will be ready for a verdict. The explicit threat she aired was ´both parties could well lose substantially´ if it were to come to a jury verdict.
With another attack on Apple Google puts on the heat. Samsung and Google work closely together on the legal front and this move by puppet Motorola will strengthen Samsung´s position.
Even if Samsung were to lose partially Apple won´t have a field day with the press when stories about a breach of Motorola patents are all over the news. Meanwhile the current jurors will probably read about this just before they convene.....
The other interesting thing is that Motorola is one of the few remaining US smart phone manufacturers, although they import the phones as well. By going to the International Trade Commission (established for the very purpose of keeping foreigners out of the American market) the point that Apple is not a US manufacturer is driven home.
Google is playing its cards very precise here; the investment in Motorola has always been doubted by analysts, but the patent portfolio shows its value here in a broader war.
The friendly worded, but ominous statement by Motorola is: We would like to settle these patent matters, but Apple’s unwillingness to work out a license leaves us little choice but to defend ourselves and our engineers’ innovations.
The timing could also spoil the iPhone 5 announcement: ITC bans can strike fast and could well be in place before the roll-out
Steve Wozniak to become Australian as the US can´t deliver broadband The failing US market deprived Apple´s co-founder of a decent broadband connection to his house in California. He is not the kind of guy who insist on pulling some strings cables just for him, but he has spoken with the FCC about it and it´s just not going to happen: “I’ve sat with our FCC [Federal Communications Commission] commissioner and told him that story in his office, but it’s not going to happen. We just don’t have the political idea to bring broadband to all the people who are 1 kilometre too far away.”
Australia at the other hand is serious in its plan to get broadband to all households. Wozniak says: I support it very much. It’s one of the reasons why I actually like this country and want to become a citizen. I live in a country where we don’t have any regulation of telecommunications.”
One down for the US, maybe time to reconsider the trust in the free market in the US when it comes to infrastructure?
Apple ´cool´ but a copycat, says UK High Court: design patent fails #AppleCool will no doubt be trending today as blogs jump on these two sentences in an important High Court verdict in the UK. The real thing however is not the ´coolness´ but the blow to Apple that its design patents are shoved aside as just variations on prior art and that Samsung and Apple tablets are part of an old family of tablet like devices.
Most importantly, this could well be the end of Apple´s business model: monopolizing a market, not through technical innovation, but by patenting design. Steve Jobs wouldn´t be happy but he gambled on a strategy which is now backfiring
The battle over the design patents between Apple and Samsung is finally getting some real verdicts. Not temporary measures blocking sales nor quarrels over technical patents, but the real deal. Steve Jobs gambled the whole company on one idea: that he could use commodity hardware produced in China from known components and still have a monopoly on these products.
Design patents were key to his strategy. He had a holy belief in them while others wondered if they would keep up in real courts. It´s easy to get a design patent, but a lot harder to enforce it.
After temporary rulings in Germany and the Netherlands this is the first case where a European design patent is judged. This will no doubt be the one case which will be appealed, but it´s outcome will be leading throughout Europe.
Q: But what about ´cool´ A: The judge tried to describe the differences between an Apple tablet and a Samsung one and noted the minimalism in the Apple design and called it ´cool´ versus the way Samsung had deliberately tried to make a variation on the iPads by visibly detailing the backside of the tablets. The only part where you could really make a difference and where the judge expected the consumer to look to see differences between tablets on offer.
Q: What prior art: was the iPad not the first in its class? The judge did my job nicely so we´ll just quote him: "Apple has insisted that the three Samsung tablet products infringe several features of Apple's design right, such as 'slightly rounded corners,' 'a flat transparent surface without any ornamentation,' and 'a thin profile.' "However, the High Court dismissed Apple's arguments by referring to approximately 50 examples of prior art, or designs that were previously created or patented, from before 2004.
These include the Knight Ridder (1994), the Ozolin (2004), and HP's TC1000 (2003). The court found numerous Apple design features to lack originality, and numerous identical design features to have been visible in a wide range of earlier tablet designs from before 2004."
Equally important, the court also found distinct differences between the Samsung and Apple tablet designs, which the court claimed were apparent to the naked eye. For instance, the court cited noticeable differences in the front surface design and in the thinness of the side profile.
Q: So Samsung is off the hook? A: Nope, Apple will appeal, Apple will get verdicts from other jurisdictions, so the case will go on for another six months or so, but for Europe (be aware, very different from the US design patent system) this is a huge blow to Apple´s whole strategy.
Most importantly, this could well be the end of Apple´s business model: monopolizing a market, not through technical innovation, but by patenting design. Steve Jobs wouldn´t be happy but he gambled on a strategy which is now backfiring
One second extra last night and sites are in trouble
Reddit, FourSquare, Yelp, LinkedIn, Gawker, StumbleUpon and many others had problems keeping their servers up thanks the leap second which was introduced last night. I guess you didn´t notice that the evening was longer than normal, but if you had an atomic clock it should have shown you 23:59:60, a time normally impossible.
As the earth rotation is not exact as our globe wobbles and earthquakes distort rotation as well from time to time the clock time needs to be compensated so a leap second is added. Since unix time, okay officially Coordinated Universal Time, was implemented in the seventies this happened 17 times.
However it still caught a number of well known sites off guard. It seemed to affect Debian Linux 3.2.x installations, but maybe there were others as well. Rackspace warned its customers that the cloud servers showed abnormal high CPU activity due to the leap second bug.
Amazing that handling leap seconds still caused problems after 40 years!
P,S. The smart boys and girls at Google had no problems with it as they ´smear out´ the extra second over the day.
A mystery shrouded in an enigma: My Top 99 circle These are the 99 users who are on top of my relevance list and I considered myself quite relevant to myself so I overruled Google there :)
Many of these folks are engaging with me through posts or comments, but it´s still a surprise circle. Some people have a magic link thanks to Google´s relevancy algorithm which is a mystery shrouded in an enigma. If anyone has a clue what determines relevancy I would like to know.
It´s clear that it´s something like ´interaction * no. of followers as I rarely comment on +Robert Scoble and vice versa. Most of the others are completely understandable, but then again some names are missing..
I have removed some people who I know mostly through work related email or don´t post in English and added instead the profiles next in line.
Want to create your own? ► Click circles on the tab on the right ► Make sure relevance is selected (default) ► Select the top 99 users. (Drag a box around them) ► Drag the whole group to "drop here to create new circle" ► The new circle will open up. Make sure its 99 and adjust it if needed ► Share it and use the hashtag #top99 and #sharedcircles
The circle of madness is closing: we have seen this movie before Roger Ebert wrote an excellent op-ed on the Aurora shooting. He says this tragedy should encourage the debate about the gun laws in the US, but he is deeply pessimistic it will actually happen as even Obama is avoiding the issue.
A telling quote: "That James Holmes is insane, few may doubt. Our gun laws are also insane, but many refuse to make the connection. The United States is one of few developed nations that accepts the notion of firearms in public hands. In theory, the citizenry needs to defend itself. Not a single person at the Aurora, Colo., theater shot back, but the theory will still be defended.
I was sitting in a Chicago bar one night with my friend McHugh when a guy from down the street came in and let us see that he was packing heat.
“Why do you need to carry a gun?” McHugh asked him.
“I live in a dangerous neighborhood.”
“It would be safer if you moved.”
What to add, except that this circle of madness is sure to continue How come this false sense of security, the right to possess and carry a gun doesn´t diminish over time as the US gets away from its violent and anarchist past? Even worse: support for private possession of guns grew the last decade.
A clear majority of the U.S. public -- 73% -- believes the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to own guns. And almost 7 out of 10 Americans are opposed to a law that would make the possession of a handgun illegal, except by the police.
FBI ordered to copy MegaUpload data, states it can´t copy fast enough
The judges in New Zealand completely had it with the American intrusion into their legal system and try to turn this case into a normal legal business question. The latest move is that they have ordered the FBI to copy the 150TB of data to make sure they are available for a court case.
The FBI, capable of a mega raid on the Kim Dotcom imperium, now says it can´t copy faster than 3TB a day. On top of that the FBI claims to have difficulty in making copies of encrypted data.
If we were to believe this it would have been best if the FBI never started this case as they would just be incapable of handling a digital crime. That or they still expect New Zealand judges to believe in every lie which is ´FED´ to them :)
Time for the American public to rethink this case. From the defense motion I quote this crucial part: The Government’s case against MegaUload rests on a host of novel theories of criminal liability for copyright infringement. These theories extend U.S. copyright laws well beyond their intended reach, their territorial scope and the limits of the Constitution.
Basically every cloud provider in the world is threatened by this case as MegaUpload has been made responsible for the content on their servers and not with a DMCA notice but by taking away all servers and data no matter what people had stored on them.
Why is everyone in arms when a law like SOPA threatens the freedom and turns a blind eye when the US constitution is violated for an alleged copyright infringement and a company is killed without even a normal court case? There has only been a secret court case in Virginia to get a warrant for the seizure of data.
Meanwhile the Fed´s could take a paid subscription to RapidShare and make sure these copies are available within the 21 days the judge gave them. Photo shows special agents copying the data.
Circle Sharing: Does it gain you the audience you are looking for? An amazing number of circles have been shared and tracked by +CircleCount and some interesting stats can be found in the attached post. Some people where in more than a 1000 shared circles which is amazing, but what is the real effect on G+?
Circle sharing can go two ways: it can be an excellent tool to group like-minded people (or more precisely people with shared interests) and it can be an 'incestuous´ process where a small group of people ´share´ the goods circles to get more followers.
Incestuous as it has a very strong ´you´re in or out´ character not unlike your school playground. Some have it, some don´t and rising in the ranks is hard. It´s also self-diminishing as the same group of people gets to see the same circles so the net effect is much smaller than one would expect from the raw numbers.
Shared interest circles are a more viable - or sustainable - method. Effective as you get to know new people with whom you have at least something in common and sustainable as G+ grows and most people have more than one special interest.
The disadvantage however is that you´re almost certainly not like-minded so although you share a passion, a goal or a hobby, you probably disagree on about everything including the style of posting and commenting. Chances are that the shared circle ´won´t work´ for you.
It may well be that communities are the better answer to the combination of shared interests and a feeling of togetherness. If true it begs the question why sharing communities is so much less common.
The most plausible answer is that the personal incentive is nil: you don´t gain followers by sharing communities. Your community does. With that in mind would it not be better if ´community sharers´ aka the people which establish and maintain these communities would automatically get the followers of those who subscribe?
Difficult questions as they touch on selfishness versus ´the sharing love of G+´ embedded in the circle and community concept. Asking questions is easy and I trust readers will do the hard part and try to answer them :)
Richard Branson: no longer a Virgin, but still a good sports Seen here serving passengers as a stewardess after losing a bet with F1 owner and AirAsia-ceo Tony Fernandes.
Branson lost the bet to Fernandes more than two years ago. The pair wagered on which one of their Formula One racing teams would finish ahead of the other, in the debut season of the 2010 Formula One Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi.
Let me tell you about a suicide bomber named Nematullah, a bomber who failed. He was 17 years old. He was stopped by security forces a few years ago at a place called Company, just at the edge of Kabul, before he could detonate a minibus loaded with explosives.
After the police separated him from his bombs, he asked if he could go home. The next week were his school exams, he told them, and since he was still alive, he’d like to pass them.
Boys like Nematullah become suicide bombers for one reason: their families will be given some money in return for their lives. They will be able to buy some rice and flour and maybe a sheep.
Imagine if I had been able to give some of my ghost money to that boy. Or to all the other ghost boys who have blown themselves up to support their families, or the others who have joined the Taliban to earn a couple of hundred dollars each month.
I know what they would have done with it. They would have started businesses. We are Afghans; this is what we do. If I have one dollar today, by tomorrow I will find a way to make it two. Those kids only want a chance at life, like every other young person anywhere in the world.
If ghost money were going to the people who needed it, Afghanistan would have a lot fewer ghosts.
Best news photo of 2012: crowdsourcing your submissions
Last year I did a series of best news photos per country. This year I´m asking you to enter the best photo(s) capturing the 2012 news. Countless websites have made up their mind and of course we will have the official World Press Photo, but crowdsourcing seems the way to go in 2013 so let me know which photo captured the news in the most compelling way.
Your choice, not a jury, just your personal pick. The only condition is that it needs to be related to 2012 news items. The best illustration of an issue which concerned you and made the (local) news.
My take: a shot of the Ukraine female protesters ´Femen´ who spread out over Europe to show people that women should be protected from all sexism. This particular photo is a great illustration of unarmed (and harmless) resistance and the suppression by authorities. This happened in Brussels to get the attention of Russian president Putin. Overall I picked it because it´s just an excellent photo illustrating an issue.
#Imagine social networks would be owned by the people that fuel it: would ´disruptive´ innovation like today´s new features be acceptable? Should a social network disrupt the user experience or should it just offer new options for those who want to use it?
Check this post for the description of the new roll-out of today. It destroyed most people´s carefully tuned profiles and the work put into their banners. Cover photos just got bigger like there is no choice and we are all happy with blurred text and superimposed profiles.
YouTube will no longer be free for premium content channels According to the Financial Times YouTube will get a paywall for quality content channels. Subscriptions will be offered for $2/E1,5 per month to enable channel operators to produce different content, such as TV shows and films, a person familiar with the plan said.
Google was not prepared to confirm this move to the Financial Times, but they do admit that they are “looking into creating a subscription platform
With YouTube actively stimulating new quality channels and even advancing substantial amounts of money to channel startups ($200 million) it´s clear that it won´t be long or they will compete with the likes of NetFlix and Hulu.
Although the fee itself is low, one specialized channel will rarely satisfy the needs of current YouTube users. Music is a typical example where a single channel won´t work. Can you see this working for series or films?
The subscription service will enable channel operators to produce different content, such as TV shows and films, a person familiar with the plan said. which is a clear hint that Google doesn´t purely want to redistribute existing material but actively promote tailor-made YouTube content as well.
Would you be prepared to pay $2 per month for good YouTube content? and if this would be a per channel fee, how many channels would you subscribe to?
RESHARE: Aaron Swartz lived his short life defending a free internet, while the US prosecutor lives a lie; but +Linus Torvalds exposes her
US attorney Carmen Ortiz has done everything to prosecute the young internet activist who tragically committed suicide a few days ago. His goal: information should be free, his crime: he shared academic papers mostly paid by public funds, so the government sued him.
However instead of being open about it, ms Ortiz now backtracks and is weasel-wording herself out of her own statements that she ever asked for monetary fines. Please spread the word and help +Linus Torvalds in exposing the ugly truth.
Reshared text: I haven't bothered to mention the whole sad Aaron Swartz saga, because it's been covered elsewhere.
But having the involved US attorney then basically lie about it all in a very public statement is something that I find particularly offensive. Compare these two statements - one from July 2011, one from yesterday, and tell me Carmen Ortiz isn't lying..
Yesterday (as reported by the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere):
"At no time did this office ever seek – or ever tell Mr. Swartz’s attorneys that it intended to seek – maximum penalties under the law."
"SWARTZ faces up to 35 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and a fine of up to $1 million"
Maybe that official and very public PR thing wasn't "telling Mr. Swartz’s attorneys", right? Because in private, Ms Ortiz was probably talking about how she wanted to pay Aaron for his services, and just hug him. Right? Anybody?
Ms Ortiz, just admit you were an ass-hat, and apologize. Instead of this kind of crap. Weasel-wording and misleading about your actions is not making your office look any better.
Here are the sources, so that people can compare them for themselves.
Horse meat found in hamburgers upsets English speakers Hamburgers and other processed food are central in a scandal where up to 100% horse meat is used instead of the labeled beef. Brits and Irish consumers are shocked and their papers produce horror stories, while other parts of Europe consider it a fraudulent mislabeling and nothing more.
At the root is a cultural taboo where English speakers not only fear diseases, but are most of all shocked by the very idea that their burgers and lasagna´s contains meat of the noble equines. This while large parts of continental Europe consider it a perfect alternative to pork and beef. Horse meat can be found in the best French cuisine and is served in large quantities in countries like Italy.
It´s interesting that this taboo developed so strongly in some countries while the original rejection grounds: cheap alternative to proper beef hence a working class image and a ban by a pope in the early middle ages to stop ´pagan practices´ should have an identical effect all over Europe.
Is eating horse - often described as a sweet and tender meat - an absolute no go in your country or is it just one of the meal variations
Bloopers of Apple iOS maps app are collected on new website The storm of criticism on Apple´s failed attempt to replace Google Maps with its own maps app found a new outlet in a site which collects all the errors: theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com.
It´s amazing that Apple has launched this app with so many errors. It´s funny to collect all the bloopers (Shakespeare´s place of birth turned into a hospital, the Sydney university is now called the Sydney School of Mechanics and placed in the middle of the town instead of the outskirts, the Winninger Brücke in Germany pictured below suffers from an alarming landslide and hundreds of other examples).
What´s not funny is that Apple´s attempt to show Google it can do without the large search giant is considered a total fail, even by staunch supporters of Apple. With a 100 billion in cash and after taking over several specialist companies in mapping technology, this launch is clearly too little and much too early.
Crippling the user experience just for the sake of independence is a first for Apple; it will be interesting to see what will happen with the Google developed app which is waiting for approval by Apple. Will users be the victim of Apple´s pride?
Sorry about this interruption of your schedule, but I need your attention I need it so badly for the +EuroTech project that I took the liberty to ping some of you with this post. Not expecting you to volunteer, but a reshare or mentioning some friends could work miracles to find the right people. What used to be my little pet project is now a serious page with a professional team, but we want to expand.
We just know Europe has the technology, the science, the ingenuity, but we are also aware that we seem to be the Canada of publicity ;) Bloggers focus on Asia for new gadgets and on the US for new apps, while Europe is silently working on fundamental breakthroughs and some clever engineering.
We want the world to know that the old continent is still alive and kicking with new ideas and for this we need your support. Subscribing to the +EuroTech page helps us get visibility so do it while you´re reading this, but crucial is to find people who share our interest in Europe and like to write about tech and science.
Not in a dumbed down blogging way looking for page views, but producing quality articles, well researched which make people understand what´s happening and ponder about the near future.
We have a good team, we can help you with style and tone of articles, we can connect you to good sources in the science world and tech industry, but we need your enthusiasm and some of your time to be able to cover all the news coming from Europe.
We have more subjects on a daily basis than we can possibly cover with our current crew so come forward and become a member of the team.
You will learn how to write about complex subjects in an easy to understand way so you develop a skill which will always come in handy whatever career or hobby you pursue. PM me or other members of the +EuroTech team and discover what fun it is to be part of this group with a mission: getting Europe on the tech map.
Conscience is our magnetic compass; reason our chart.. How to appeal to people who want to do good, but don't know how change can be brought.
Just follow the Frog is an amusing commercial which will appeal to people who want to contribute to a better society. Folks like most of us who have only so much time but a conscience in dire need of some satisfaction.
"One must not believe, despite the silence of modern writings, that the idea of using solar heat for mechanical operations is recent. On the contrary, one must recognize that this idea is very ancient and its slow development across the centuries it has given birth to various curious devices." — Augustin Bernard Mouchot, at the Universal Exposition, Paris, France (1878).
"Eventually industry will no longer find in Europe the resources to satisfy its prodigious expansion... Coal will undoubtedly be used up. What will industry do then?" — Augustin Bernard Mouchot, after demonstrating an early industrial application of solar thermal energy (1880).
If You Wear Google’s New Glasses You Are An Asshole says +Adrian Chen from Gawker looking for some page views. What stuck however was this Wearing Google Glass automatically means that all social interaction you have must be not just on yours, but Google's terms.
The author makes a comparison with the introduction of the first mobiles when early users were often considered extremely rude by speaking loud in public. The only reason we stopped frowning upon it, is because we collectively embraced the technology so we are now all guilty.
By donning Google Glass, you, the Google Glass user, are volunteering to be a foot soldier in Google's asshole army. (In fact you're paying for the privilege.) You are saying that anyone who comes into your line of sight must agree to be possibly filmed, photographed, or otherwise data-mined, not just for your own convenience but to further Google's quest for total world domination. Wearing Google Glass automatically means that all social interaction you have must be not just on yours, but Google's terms.
Google countered the ´it´s not cool to wear glass´ early on with a very effective campaign involving fashion shoots and Google glasses, but how to beat the ´luddites´ this time?
RESHARE: Will the New Notification Circles Kill the Social Fabric of G+?
You may know that I´m the proponent of G+ as the #MOAF (Mother Of All Forums) so quality posts is what I am after, BUT even on the best of forums it´s about social as well. Yes, G+ is best serving interests, but I want to see humans here and humans post a variety of stuff.
I want to see these great topical posts, but I also want to see some character and demanding only quality posts would strip G+ of its social side. Real people suddenly feel the urge to share a frustration, a photo that moved them or a personal story.
If you want to be in my notification circle (meaning I´m going to see every post you make) keep this mind and show me the same variety you did in the past
Now excuse me for the generated emails, but there is currently no other way to ask my #top100 to respond; hopefully Google will change this again and if not these new notification circles will have to do the job
Reshared text: Are You Notification Worthy?
Google+ just rolled out one of the most disruptive features I think I've seen: the ability to put people into special circles so that every time they post, you'll get a notification. Obviously, you're only going to be able to put a couple of people into those circles before your notification bar becomes completely overwhelming.
Google+ just became the opposite of Twitter and Facebook, and more like RSS
On Twitter and Facebook, there's so many posts streaming down, so quickly, the only way to compete is to post... a lot. That's because a fraction of your audience is ever going to see it. This rising posting has become an arms race - you need to post more often to get any traction with your audience.
This is now a hybrid between a Twitter-like news stream and an RSS reader where you specifically subscribe to people.
I wouldn't be surprised if Google releases the long-requested write API now.
You want to be in a Notification Circle
If you want your circlers to see everything you're posting, you'll really want to get put into a notification circle. But if you post too often, you're going to get taken out of that notification circle as people get overwhelmed.
You'll need to make every post count.
This should increase quality over quantity
If people want to get the maximum reach, they'll need to post fewer times here on G+, but with much higher quality; probably just a couple of fantastic posts a day... at most.
You need to make your posts so good people will be willing to get notified about them all. You need to cut out all the fluff and be deeply aware of what your stream would look like to someone getting notified every time you post.
If you think my posts are interesting enough, put me in a Notification Circle. Create a new circle, if you don't have one yet. Label it something like "Notification Worthy*, and the turn the slider up to Notification. I promise I'll behave.
P.S. This ability to notify people through email seems crazy. I haven't gotten spammed yet, but I'll be turning that off right away if I get barraged by emails from Google+. Not cool.
Android takes over the world, Apple keeps the US This is the heat map of Android sales worldwide. Notice that Brazil, the Middle East, North Africa, Japan and South Korea are hot. That Android is doing fine in the rest of South America and in Canada.
It´s hard to see but from other stats it´s known that Europe loves Android and outperforms Apple by a large margin.
But look at the US: that small strip of the world, is a cold zone where Apple reigns. No wonder you still see most blogs rave about Apple as most tech journos and mags are based there. Apple is the favorite in the US and so it will keep the press attention, but for a developer it´s becoming less interesting every day.
If Apple buyers spend twice as much on apps and Apple sold a 100 million devices in 2011 and Android accounts for 400 million a developer will still make twice the profit on Android. How will 2012 fare? #SomeThingToThinkAbout
RESHARE: Google, please allow us to disable the ´kill this discussion¨ system Update: +Vic Gundotra just commented: +Marc Jansen I'll look into this. We do pay attention to feedback like this. Really +Max Huijgen I hear you too. I'll report back in a few days. I'm currently on vacation but have already started internal discussion about this. ----- Just make it an option on every post or if that´s too difficult a user profile choice. For those of us wanting to have proper discussions auto mute after 100 comments is just killing G+´s functionality as a platform. #MOAF
Reshared text: I have but one simple request, Google
Please, for the love of all that is holy - please let me decide when I am done reading a thread. The 100-comment cap on notifications is a serious hindrance for people who actually like to participate in a lively discussion!
I mean, isn't that the function of the "mute" button - to allow me to stop getting updates on a post, on my terms? If I choose to keep-up on a conversation that spans 200, 300, or even 500 comments, however, my only choice is to camp out on that thread after the comments pass that mystical 100-comment threshold. I have missed out on some great discussions because I thought they had died out, only to discover later that I was wrong.
New personalized Suggested User List will create a new filter bubble? From what I gather Google changed the SUL into a personalized version. If your interest and interaction profile matches some user´s post, he or she will be recommended to you.
However it´s not that personal as it seems to be a relatively small number of profiles which fits lots of new signups so it creates a new, more democratic and tailor-made Suggested User List. The people on it report about hundreds to thousands of new followers a day.
So there is a filter at the moment favoring the US, but apart from that there is also that more subtle filter bubble famously introduced by +Eli Pariser who explained in a Ted talk that Google will serve you the results you like, not the ones you´re asking for. As a Democrat he got more ´democrats pleasing´ search results than another user who sympathized with the republicans.
The problem of all these match-making algorithms is that they actually do work for most people. You get the results and now also the people you probably like. It´s a pity though that the chances to meet a worthy opponent of your views are getting slimmer and slimmer.
If you would welcome a lively debate, its actually a loss if you don´t get introduced to the views of intelligent Republicans (yes, they exist) or f.i. of Apple tech posters if you happen to be a left-leaning Android user.
How do you feel about this tightening up of circles and opinions you actually get exposed to by algorithmic filter bubbles?
100 Most relevant people on G+: interaction and lively threads guaranteed These folks are generated by the G+ ´relevant´ algorithm and will spice up your streams with great posts and mind challenging reactions on your contributions to G+.
Circle them and see your streams come alive...
My way to thank all of of you for making G+ such a great place.
Is the growth of the photo community on G+ stalling? After runnning a few checks it suggests there are less people circling the fairly well known photographers, but I need you to to confirm the findings! edit: some people seem to think this is a conclusion or an attack, but it´s nothing more than an attempt to crowdsource some data to see if the thesis is right. Conclusions follow data, not the other way around!
+CircleCount showed recently that overall there was still a healthy grow on G+. I contributed with a number of comments and asked +CircleCount to produce even more graphs. I noticed that the group between the 5.000 and 500.000 (the under limit of the Suggested User List) had the lowest growth.
My own topic ended in a dialogue between me and +Thomas Hawk over some claims of a photographer that he noticed a severe drop over time of 20% in six weeks. Checking the reality this turned out to be a figure of imagination, but *I noticed that this photog CircleCount growth curve was indeed almost flat.*
I started to wonder if the photo community which is very strong on G+ and has many users in the middle group of 20-50K followers could be stalling. That would explain the overall lackluster perfomance of the middle group on G+ outside of the SUL.
Now it makes no sense to check people on the SUL as they get the steady inflow of all new people on G+. However as a reference I checked +Thomas Hawk growth between April 15 and June 3. He went from 1,938,686 million to 2,450,475 which is a growth of 26%
This strongly suggest that there were sufficient photo lovers coming to G+ as Thomas is not a general celebrity. People need to chose for the Art and Photography section to circle Thomas. A good baseline to check against.
Next step was to research all the reasonably well known photographers who were not yet superstars. An impossible tasks so I ask you to help out here by complementing my data.
If you know a photographer who has a following between the 20.000 and 60.000 check his CircleCount stats and tell me by what percentage his circle grew between April 15 and June 3. Please provide the details in the format I used in the table.
The conclusion on just a few profiles: the average growth is 5% with variations between 3% and 11%. Compare this with Thomas circle growth of 26% in the same period and something doesn´t measure up!
If you are willing to help me out in determining how healthy the photo community on G+ is please do some checks yourself and comment. Maybe you know others who are willing to help out?
Notes: I only checked a more or less random group with a distribution of 6 Europeans and 5 Americans. Random between quotes, but I used circlecount, blindly pointed at the screen once I had a list of people in the right range and took the nearest person who had "photographer" in his profile.
Why look only at the people who are not on the SUL but still have a large following? To make sure we avoid all flukes. A great, new photographer could just have been discovered and be shared in circles with an enormous growth. Or someone with 2000 folllowers would have stopped posting for a month. The middle group is resistant against these variations.
and the graph should say 5% instead of 1,05 but shit happens....
An interactive social graph tool for G+ enables you to explore relations Yesterday I posted about being the center of your own universe. I said all that was missing was interactivity and today that tool is ready to go live. Interactive and more.
Social graphs show the relations between people and other entities in a visual way. They are an ideal tool to quickly explore connections. Today +Lee Smallwood introduces a completely new tool to interactively map social graphs on keywords and/or persons. By using trained artificial intelligence his software is capable of mapping these relations in real time and for G+!
As you can see in the video I start with looking at the keyword ´social graph´. There are a few sources of activity on G+ centered around the blue dots (blue being the color for content activity). The names show up next to the dots and the coloring shows the kind of interactions people had with these ´sources of activity´ which will be mostly posts. Check Lee and the +NOD3x page for more information.
Follow the video while you are reading this as it should explain the concept in a visual way and the vid is done in real-time. Be sure to play it directly in YouTube at 480p for best quality. The graph tool itself is easy to read in your browser, but in a video legibility is down. It may seem a bit static at the start, but there will be some action further into the video :)
You will notice that there are a few, mostly separated, sources of ´social graph´ discussions. I seem to be the center of one, but +John Kellden, +Kingsley Idehen+Marc Belley ´own´ this topic as well. Clicking on one dot shows you the profile of the poster. Extremely handy to quickly understand who ´owns´ a topic and with whom to connect.
Now for the fun part, it also works on individuals, yes that means you can satisfy your own curiosity. When I type my name in the search box it takes a while to retrieve and analyze the 27.000 people who chose to follow me, but after a short pause a new graph shows up with all the relations I have.
I can quickly see who are very close to me as they clutter directly around me, meaning I have strong mutual ties with this group. If you look closer you will see some other ´islands´ where people share my posts and discuss these in their own circles. My relation to these little islands is weaker as it´s based on individuals like +Jesse Wojdylo (far left), +M Sinclair Stevens, +David Amerland, +Brian Titus, +European Union to name a few I immediately recognize, following the outskirts of the circle.
Even more interesting are the ones I wasn´t aware of until today! Look at f.i. +Chris George and +Christopher Franko who interact with me and spread my content, but are otherwise completely independent centers of their own universes. Finding these people and your relations with them is were social graphing truly excels.
It would take ages to identify to find key people and pages on G+ but with this sophisticated tool by Nod3x it just takes minutes. It´s fun to explore and I have no doubt every reader will now start exploring his own universe, but do realize this is an excellent tool to find topics as well. And as you will notice this exploration tool is already integrated with CircleCount so it´s an extremely fast way to map and explore your relations.
As a business owner who is active on social networks this is an indispensable tool. All engagement expressed in simple interactive graphs. And yes, +Lee Smallwood also offers it for other networks and is open for your business enquiries so hit him with any questions you might have. The major brands will have a huge interest in this and I suggest that +Joe Fernandez of +Klout starts discussing a license as well. This is just the first glimpse of the possibilities.
Go to http://nod3x.com/ and have fun playing around! Don´t try it all at the same time :)
Split screen satellite interview standing in in the same parking lot? Watch the red striped white bus in the background. Live interview on two different cameras while the actual distance is about 10 meters.
No expenses spared to bring you the sensation of breaking news...
Recyclable cycling: $9 cardboard bike brings sustainable transportation Izhar Gafni has designed a bike which weighs 9 kg (20lbs), yet supports riders up to 24 times its weight. It’s mostly cardboard and 100% recycled materials. The bike uses a belt-driven pedal system so it´s maintenance free.
Bikes are amongst the most efficient transportation systems in the planet, converting up to 99% of a person’s power into mobility that’s up to five times faster than walking
The project is designed to be manufactured at about $9 to $12 per unit (and just $5 for a kids version). Engineers told Gafni that his idea was impossible. However he realized that paper could be strong if treated properly as in crafting origami and tearing telephone books.
He explains, “[if] you fold it once, and it’s not just twice the strength, it’s three times the strength.”
Cycling is a very energy efficient way of transportation and with cardboard sustainability is taken care of. At these low prices this could be a revolution in developing countries.
Klout uses real world influence to calculate score: Obama finally outranks Bieber The clear signal that Klout didn´t really measure influence has always been that simple metric for the president of the USA. It was lower than Justin Bieber, the reigning champ of Klout.
The algorithm +Joe Fernandez and his colleagues used to determine +Klout scores leaned heavily on social media signals, distorting the real world effects. Starting today they use much more variables to make up the magic number and the critics scored two important wins:
- real world impact will be part of the score. Happen to have your own Wikipedia article or are you the CEO of a large company: your score will be way higher than the kings and queens of twitter, facebook and G+
- a bit more transparency: so called ´Moments´ will show you how your posts from the past 90 days have impacted your Klout Score.
The final score will still be a magic number as nobody outside the company will know how the 400 indicators influence the score, but Klout has downgraded me by 15 points so maybe I´m no longer as influential as Sarah Palin ;)
can´t check Sarah Palin, whose real world influence can be doubted anyway, as the Klout database seems to be under stress updating
Did your score drop as well and do you agree, or are you busy writing an angry posts about the disgrace....
Six degrees of separation and six cups of coffee are all that separate us Timezone differences can be expressed in cups of coffee and six is a perfect number as you can see in the infographic. Very healthy apparently .
Good morning G+, have a good week and eventually it will become Tuesday ;)
Silly, but nagging questions time: how does G+ actually work? No, don´t expect answers, I have some questions. After more than a year I still don´t know how some of this stuff works. I am hardly a newcomer so I can´t be the only one.
I suggest you add your own silly little nagging questions in the comments and we will hopefully tap into the wisdom of the crowd to get some answers.
- what determines the sequence in the list of shares of a post. The latest on top? The most relevant to you? And do I get to see the same sequences as others in that case?
- how to format a post correctly. Why can I write in italic if I have quotes "marks" like this and does the reverse sequence "_fail¨"_ And how does this work with complete sentences which contain ; signs and line breaks.
- is it new that a space after formatting destroys the effect, but not if that space is followed by a word. Like this will not be in *bold* It never gave a problem as far as I recall, but nowadays it does. Try to follow a bold text with a link to a post in a comment and you see a similar effect. What are the real rules in formatting?
- why will the above be formatted the wrong way while I really did my best on them. Is that an extension of Murphy´s law I missed?
- what determines that annoying list of potential chat partners? Relevancy, earlier chats, some alphabetical sort in between?
- do you really have to go to ´Home´ and suffer from that distracting stream of posts to create a new post? Yes, I know you can use the share button, but that doesn´t allow for longer posts. And yes, a way to stop it is to enter a ridiculous search phrase but then it shows up as ´posting from ´ridiculous search term´.
edit: now that was not a silly question but a stupid one Creating a post from your profile works fine and what makes it stupid is that I knew this The question was fine.
- Why is there an Add Video button when its much faster to just use the link button for Vimeo/YouTube stuff.
- what happens to your browser when you add a photo and use ´enter url´. Chrome freezes all it tabs for a while. Does it really use all Google´s servers to calculate the answer to the mysteries of life and why can´t you just type 42 once and get a quick response.
- how do you start looking at a YouTube movie in an existing hangout: what should the app do and how does the other party get to see it.
- and more to follow. Add yours in the comments and let´s see if we can become G+ smarties.
Jury in Apple vs Samsung considers this a rip-off: spot the differences! how many can you find? One glance at the side view should be sufficient, butt notice some buttons in very different places. Oh, and that back, doesn´t really look like the design patent is it?
The front maybe? Apart from three extra buttons, speaker in a different location, camera again in another spot, that Samsung screen doesn´t really follow the lines of that nice sketch in patent ´618 is it?
Difficult game to list the differences but the jury took a very different approach: "once you determine Samsung violated the trade dress, the flat screen with the Bezel...then you go down the products to see if it had a bezel."
Spot on: this Samsung had a bezel and that screen looks flat to me! but really if anything this is the phone which looks least like that patent.
First working prototype of Apple iPhone 5 shown in video After some stills of plastic dummies here is a video of the iPhone 5 compared to the 4S. The video is made by someone who got hold of a prototype from an anonymous source.
It confirms all the rumors: longer, but same width, thinner (rumored to be 7.1 mm), larger display (rumor: 4", 16:9) and a different connector which makes it impossible for him to connect it to iTunes and startup the phone.
For people thinking this a fake because you no longer need iTunes to startup with iOS 5.0. the phone will be in recovery mode which is a good protection against usage of prototypes.
Earth now: vital signs of the planet. A NASA app for iOS and Android Check and track the state of planet Earth and visualize them in an easy way on your mobile or planet.
NASA's Earth Now is an application that visualizes recent global climate data from Earth Science satellites, including surface air temperature, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and water vapor as well as gravity and sea level variations.
Data sets are visually described using "false color" maps. Color-coded legends are provided to indicate relative strength or weakness of an environmental condition.
The resulting 3D model of the Earth may be rotated by a single finger stroke, and may also be zoomed in or out by pinching 2 fingers.
It was developed by the Earth Science Communications and Visualization Technology Applications and Development Teams at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, with support from NASA Headquarters.
Russian meteor wounding 500 weighed fraction of DA14 asteroid At an estimated 10 tonnes and a speed of 54.000 km/h this unpredicted Russian meteor wreaked havoc in the South of Russia this morning. The resulting pressure wave when it hit the atmosphere caused all the damage to buildings and resulted in 500 wounded.
The DA14 asteroid which will pass (not hit) earth later today is estimated at 130.000 tonnes. Sizeable difference at 0.00769% (thanks +Maarten Seghers for the correction :)
Unclear at the time of writing is if the Russian Federation of Science refers to the largest single piece entering the atmosphere. Presumably so, as they mention that the meteor shattered shattered up to 50 km above ground. A six metre crater was found and troops are on their way to inspect it.
ChromeBox: A little too late and way too expensive! Dubbed an iMac Mini equivalent, Google hopes to win customers for its cute little box. You will need to add your own keyboard, mouse and monitor but you don´t need an OS as it runs entirely in the clout.
TheChromebox Series 3, has an Intel Celeron B840 dual-core at 1.9GHz, 4G bytes of RAM,dual-band Wi-Fi, aGigabit Ethernet port, six USB 2.0 ports, a DVI single link output, and 2x DisplayPort++
Nice specs but the CPU is not exactly the latest speed king. If you assume you don´t need speed in an app and browser based box, think twice. There will be games based on Native Client which is a fast graphics sandbox inside your browser. Try Angrybot, a demo project at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ibdomdppnicebcgjhcjfchbonebbjkhb which will run in your Chrome browser.
Angrybot runs extremely smooth on a typical modern desktop but with a Celeron CPU and and Intel HD graphics 1000 card don´t expect to play more than a very casual game.
At $329 without a monitor, keyboard etc it´s way too expensive. Nice box, but with a decent Android ´pc´ in usb stick format available for 50$ this will never find its way to consumers.
No, when your internet goes down you will be able to do some work as Google Docs will soon be available in off line mode
The ´B-word´ back in Kentucky; topless (F/M) is legal in New York Very amusing video highlighting the reactions on a women who exercises her right in New York to walk around topless in places where man are allowed to do so as well. A law which is by now 20 years old.
In this case the woman walks around in a park and the reactions stretch from almost disinterest to the poor middle aged women back from Kentucky who can´t even say the ´B-word. :)
*Should there be a Dislike, in G+ speak a -1 button for news and websites?*
On a recent congress an expert observed that we ´like´ positive news, but when I checked on the story, Johah Perreti of Buzzfeed based this on our use of the ´like´ button. An open door as there are not a lot of people who + or ´like´ a news item about a tsunami, a deadly explosion or the news that a plane crashed so an extremely obvious conclusion from totally wrong data in Peretti´s case.
However I still wonder if it´s true that people prefer positive news. From other research and my own, completely unscientific observations, I´m under the impression that bad news gets an enormous amount of press and is read very well. We may not ´like´ it, but every school shooting generates enormous amounts of page views for blogs and newspapers.
What could be true is that we prefer to express ourselves in a positive way. If we had one, would we use a ´dislike´ button as much as its positive twin? Is our engagement with stories a positive one or would we just as happily (pun intended) dislike a story and give it a -1.
There are some ´dislike´ buttons out in the wild for Facebook but none is official so no idea if they would fulfill a huge need, but I´m sure there is a sufficient amount of people who would like to engage by telling the world they don´t like something.
YouTube is one of the sites which allows official dislikes so maybe we find some answers there. Last year Justin Bieber had the honor to be the record holder for the number of dislikes. With half a million it was almost half of his ´likes´ which provides us with the interesting observation that people not only hate Bieber, but that they are willing to use the lowest form of social engagement by clicking a button to let the world know that they get foam on the mouth when they hear Bieber.
The video ´Friday´ from Rebecca Black managed to get more than a million dislikes outvoting the likes with 4:1 so it´s clear that on YouTube people are more than willing to express their negative feelings.
It leaves me wondering if it´s true that people prefer good news and even more interesting if they wouldn´t want to value a website or a news article with a ´dislike´?
If you disliked this post, please open a comment to say so and give others the opportunity to plus it, showing your shared feeling of dislike :)
25 million LinkedIn accounts compromised, but it won´t happen again... 25 million? There were only 6,5 million leaked isn´t it? Yes, but that were the unique ´hashes´ found. Now how many people have an identical password?
I can tell you there are lots of you out there who came up with the same password. 5% of the enterprise users chose a variation on ´password´ with Password1 being the most popular as it satisfies the requirement for a capital and a number.
For LinkedIn you were smart and went with ´career´, ´work´ or ´job´, probably followed by a few numbers to get to the minimum of six. Most popular however was ´link´. Very creative of you, but you were hardly alone.
From earlier leaks (Gawker, Rockyou, Sony) it´s known that 6,5 million passwords means that at least 25 million accounts are compromised. And don´t think they are not cracked yet. There is a concerted effort going on to crack the remaining million. As there is a huge community working together on this which exchanges lists of unsolved hashes to attack them with a variety of tools and approaches it´s just a matter of time.
There are thousands of people working on this and they use sophisticated GPU accelerated programs to crack your obscure ´!mP0ss!bl@´ It´s a matter of days before 95%% will be cracked. A goldmine if the passwords were stolen complete with the email accounts.
LinkedIn just announced that from now on they will add a so called salt to every password. This will make the dictionary attacks against relatively easy to crack passwords much harder (john123, LinkedInPW, SecretWord) as they get a prefix before a hash is made. Good, but a little too late for most people.
And oh, and all your passwords now belong to us is the credo as the whole list of cracked passwords from LinkedIn, Eharmony, Last.FM and the latest twitter passwords will be part of a new database so next time round they are found in seconds. Don´t expect to be safe by just using yet another variation on any know word.
Page Rank for Individuals: numbers of followers alone are not enough As you can see in the list below sorted on number of followers Personal Page Rank differs from 3-6. Most of them have more than a million followers and the no. 1 spot is now close to 6 million.
All I did was convert some of the vanity urls of the high and mighty into usable 21 digit G+ profile codes to check on http://www.prchecker.net/.
I picked a variety of people who are on the Suggested User List and tried to make sure the list would be a mix of real world celebs, popular photographers, tech bloggers, marketing and ´G+ home grown´ folks.
My first impression: when you ´own´ a topic (Larry, Vic, Danny Sullivan, Jamie Oliver f.i.) ánd have these huge numbers of followers you end up with a PR of 6. if your scope of posting is wider it will be a 5, and if you are ´one of us´ meaning you rose from the ranks of G+ without a real world presence you will be ranked a 4.
Someone like +Fraser Cain who has a very clear and defined topic rose from the G+ ranks, got on the SUL and still has an identical page rank as your´s truly and so many others who have much lower number of followers.
Being non verified could make a difference as +George Stephanopoulos has close to a million followers and yet no verified sign. His PR rank is only 3. However comparing mine (non-verified) with +Arvid Bux (verified) both from the Netherlands, both slightly over 40.000 followers shows that we nevertheless have the same PR of 4.
Maybe this list helps the real experts in SEO and Page Rank to understand the underlying variables. And as a reference although not a personal profile but a page +Barack Obama has a PR of 7.