Apart from the price. And the battery life (although Dan Dodge told me today "you shouldn't worry about it"; he can't say, but he knows what it is and he's happy. As the head of the QNX team at RIM, Dodge knows a lot more about the PlayBook and he told us quite a bit about it, from some details about the graphics processing to broad hints that there will be a 10" model at some point.
I have to say, I was prepared to be very underimpressed with the idea of a companion tablet and I'm still unsure - but I can't see carrrying a tablet and not having my phone with me, and I don't want to pay for two data plans. And the more I learn about QNX and what they're putting in the PlayBook, the more excited I get about it; I love tablet PC and OneNote, but I think I kind of want one...
Also: BlackBerry goes social with 'super apps'
The newer your BlackBerry, the more apps you use. 75% of App World downlaods are for BlackBerry 5 and 6. Now apps can get really social by hooking into BlackBerry Messenger - and they can be written in HTML 5 and still get all the BlackBerry features...
Palm hasn't done so well at getting users and selling devices, but a lot of their strategy is aimed at the longer term; that's my view after talking to Palm’s directors of developer relations, Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith (some while before the sales figures came out.
Almaer and Galbraith say the mobile Web needs diversity and power - and an open source Facebook application; t it’s all about the power of the open Web. Despite their background with Mozilla Labs (where they were behind the open source Bespin cloud IDE project), they both emphasise the importance of the open Web over any specific browser. “It's important that the platform stays as the Web, not a specific implementation,” says Dion Almaer; “We want Firefox to do well, but you don't want it to be the 90% browser or people will start coding to Firefox instead of the Web.” Read the rest over at The H...
Age, shoe size: IBM thinks you should only disclose as much of your identity as you want; read the rest of my piece on Developer Register
The second article also explains:
where your memory is going and why you don't need to worry that it's not showing up as 'free'
why you don't have BOOT.INI any more
how to see startup process connection in Process Explorer so you know whose program is whose
This isn't tweaking information unless you're a developer, but you can see the extra levers and knobs Vista gives developers to twiddle. Plus, understanding some of these changes might give you the confidence to sit back and let Vista manage memory and schedule cpu priorities without trying any of those idiotic tweaking utilities that mess around in the registry ;-)
I can't take much of the credit for writing Adobe edits the development cycle - what I did was think that what Russell told me about the switch in development style (to an incremental, bug-delimited method) was worth writing about, persuade my editor of the same thing, ask Russell about what I thought was interesting and then see where it went. I find it fascinating to see behind the scenes, to understand the process of how people having ideas turns into features thousands of people use everyday. This one is particularly interesting because Russell has joined in the reader discussion too... Now that's my favourite kind of interview subject ;-)
I don't want my whole LiveJournal on my website; I want to use tags to generate multiple feeds and pull in a feed of posts about my writing, a feed of posts about my travels and so on. Rummaging in lj_nifty produced this service for producing an RSS feed for one of your LJ tags which does almost exactly what I want. (It would be very nice if the service went into the LJ code proper, because kind as it is of avatraxiom to host it, LJ will have better availability long term.) The LJ RSS only delivers recent posts and if there aren't any posts with your tag in the most recent batch you won't get any posts for that tag. RSS isn't all about what's new and shiny, LJ!
Another identity piece for the Developer Register, this time on an interesting project that combines Novell's directory experience with open source and the identity metasystem that Kim Cameron has been championing. I had some fun with the name too (Bandit).
Unmasking Novell's identity plans
Last week's Digital Business section of the FT had three of my pieces, all on the same page:
Finding room for photos and songs
Digital photos, MP3 and iTunes music, video clips, e-mail, downloaded bank statements. You might already have a terabyte (1,024 gigabytes) of data at home, scattered across different hard drives, DVD backups and memory cards – and you’ll have more soon.
Read more about 1TB NAS
A little (robotic) help from your friend
Ageing populations, rising healthcare costs, an increasing number of people who refuse to retire – and the robot vacuum cleaner that might help.
Read more about iRobot
Audio files: no longer too big to store nor too hard to search
We talk far more than we type. Podcasts, online video, internet radio, recordings of meetings and phone conversations – so much information today is contained in audio files. But how to index it, search it and access it?
Read more about audio searching
I expected my first piece for Tom's Hardware to be for the new UK site, where I'll be writing about home entertainment, MP3 players, media centres and other fun topics. As it happened, it was a review of the Nokia 770 Internet tablet with the new version of the OS that I collaborated on with sbisson, commissioned by the US parent site, though it's appearing on both so I'm boosting the local traffic in my link!
Rather sadly, PC Advisor will not be having an Office Advisor column for me to write any more, due to some changes in the title. I shall miss writing these pieces as I've found such a lot of useful tips and tools myself, but I count Office (both Microsoft and more generally office software) as one of my key areas so I'm sure I'll carry on covering similar topics elsewher, including possibly some more specific tutorials in PC Advisor's workshop section.
Beta 2 of Outlook adds a feature to appointments; you can pick the timezone to create the meeting in and you can have a different timezone for the start and end of the meeting. It's very simple, it's very easy to use and it will save travellers a huge amount of grief (and anyone phoning the US from the UK or vice versa). Yes, there was a timezone strip before, but it only did two timezones and it still meant doing sums.
I wasn't expecting to get the timezone feature because it wasn't in the build I saw at the Office Reviewer's Workshop at the beginning of May. So when I started working with beta 2 of Outlook the day before my accident in Seattle and saw it, I did actually sit with my mouth open gaping like a fish for nearly a minute so I took a minute to mail the whole list of thank you’s to everyone who helped me be there that day, clicking the Timezone button in an appointment and setting the start time in Pacific time and the end time in East coast time without a calculator, a headache and a 24-hour miscalculation.
I'll say it again. Thank you! Whether you pointed me at the right person to beg for the feature, put up with me begging for the feature, went back to Redmond and had someone code the feature or actually sat down and did the coding – I thank you! Everyone who doesn’t have to hear me rant thanks you! And probably more importantly, everyone who travels in more than two timezones thanks you too, though you might have to wait until they wake up to hear them ;-)
( Now I can"t take credit for this feature.Collapse )
But Colin Angle is used to robots that are form-follows-function; he built Ghengis, the 6-legged walking 'cockroach' robot and the 'behavior-controlled rovers' that became Sojourner.
Hacking your vacuum cleaner
Use a discreet recorder. When casino security fusses about photography and recordings, a tablet PC or a memory stick recorder that looks like a phone is less likely to attract attention.
Water. You need more than you think.
Locate the restrooms. Due to Water and the coffee you need to stay attentive from 9am to 9pm.
Wear comfortable shoes. The Venetian was too pricey so we're at the Imperial Palace - only two casinos away but add in the size of the casinos and the fact that the conference space is behind the casino floor and it's a half hour walk from the room.
Put your camera, business cards and the other things you want to grab often in a pocket. Put them in the same pocket each time.
If the schedule is available in advance try to prepick sessions but expect them to change. Add the sessions you're interested in to your calendar and synch that to your phone. My Vario has the conference sessions in because I used the iCal links on the MIX site to put them in Outlook. I had to update the times by hand - RSS simple list updates now please! - but I have the descriptions to hand, and I get alarms for sessions.
Go party. I grab people at the end of sessions when I can but I also look for them at the party and in the labs and chat slots. And now - I shall go party
To be able to give a user the address of the exact information they want means breaking down monolithic content like video streams and calendars and forum threads. And that means thinking about how things are indexed, and they they're presented. When Blinkx finds a video that matches what you're searching for it could send an offset to start the video playing at the right point - but content owners don't like that because they've put the ads that pay for their service at the beginning of the video. Too many groupware systems give you a link for the calendar, not a link for individual days or events in the calendar. And if a link to a forum comes up in a search you'll usually find yourself at the first post in the thread rather than the relevant post - the whole thread has been indexed rather than the individual posts.
What's the logical addressable unit of content? It's going to vary depending on the content type, but as a consumer I'm going to want more granularity than the producer expects. Often, there's a fragment of information that's exciting or interesting that I want to share rather than pointing someone at a whole work; I'm hoping they'll find the whole thing interesting, but it's the snippet I think will catch them. The smart content provider will see value in letting me push people to the interesting bit in the hope they'll want to see more rather than forcing people to sit through all of it. Addressability might look like losing control - actually it's giving both publisher and visitor finer grained control.
- Current Mood:pensive
We tend to assume that if something's been published, it's got some validity, when all it means is that it's been published. The recent spat over who appropriated what CSS from whom shows that citizen editing only works if people put in more effort than just reading and reacting to a story. Credibility online longterm needs a reputation system of some kind - what Dave Sifry called 'PageRank for people' when he was at Technorati. In the short term, the Stanford Credibility Guidelines are fairly simplistic and maybe more use as an indicator of what naive mainstream visitors are influenced by, but it's a handy list.
Chat programs and talkers and local messaging go back to the 1960s. We had floppy disks in 1970 (the VCR wasn't until 1971 and the Walkman was 1979) - and the @ was chosen for addresses by Ray Tomlinson writing email software in 1971. What Plato did have - which is probably what made an impact on Ray Ozzie that we can see in Lotus Notes and Groove - was the original Notes, which started as a bug reporting system and turned into a conferencing system, along with Talkomatic, which was different because it didn't wait for a whole line of text before it sent your message, and an online community built around them. I saw another descendant - DEC Notes - in the late 1980s, so discovering Usenet felt like coming home.
What's really remarkable is how new we think all this is. The PC world's failure to learn the lessons of the mainframe and workstation world about basic concepts like multi-threading, multiple user accounts, security and communications - let alone the more sophisticated tools that were developed long before desktop computers had to earn their living - have meant that our industry repeatedly re-invents the wheel without seeming to have any idea that there was a wheel before. At least Linux reprises an OS first coded up in 1969. It might have been clunky but I was doing mobile email in 1993 with an HP OmniBook 300, a Motorola CELLect mobile phone and CiX. What other industries routinely ignore the knowledge gained in previous developments? Never mind code re-use, we don't seem to have much interest in re-using successful designs and building on them. The ground behind most development teams is streaming with bathwater and covered with babies.
- Current Mood:busy
- Current Music:Enya - La Sonodora