Jan 7 2011

Retweet December 2010

From time to time I just blast tweets about software development, project planning, team dynamics, or whatever else comes to mind. Here is a synopsis of recent tweets and rants. If you want to follow the conversation follow me at techknow and/or juixe and I’ll be sure to follow back.

Software Development

  • I wish I could Ctrl+Alt+Delete out of everything.
  • The recommendation engine is the new search engine.
  • Loop. Break. Null. Exception.
  • How do you explain a feature is often as important as how you implement it.
  • The implications of a code change are often much larger than the code change itself.
  • There Will Be Bugs
  • Don’t trust the cloud.
  • This is my debugger. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My debugger is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I …
  • Code fist and test later is like shooting first and asking questions later.
  • I program with pen and paper.
  • The debugger is my best friend.

Team Leadership

  • Whining is not trying.
  • Doing nothing is doing something.
  • Don’t compound your problems by manifesting new problem.
  • A great team chooses a great leader and great leaders builds a great team.
  • Making good choices leads to better choices.
  • The most narrow minded perspective is that “We Versus Them” attitude. There is no them, only we.
  • If you have it, bring it, and if you brought it, don’t hide it!
  • You are not who you used to be or who you will become.
  • I am an idea artist, making you think is my master piece.
  • Productize your expertise.
  • Cheat off your own hard work.
  • Instead of making the effort, sometimes people make excuses.
  • If you can’t find reception don’t CALL ME.
  • In search of a triple rainbow.

Product Placement

  • Steve Jobs is one third innovator, one third imitator, and one third black shirt and jeans.
  • If Yahoo were to close down Flickr, there would be blood in the streets.
  • I got my hands on a Google CR-48 yesterday. It’s just a laptop with one single app, a browser. It’s a thin client for cloud computing.
  • I CAN HAZ CR-48!
  • I wouldn’t mind testing a Google CAR-48, their self driving car, for free.
  • Atlassian should buy corporate twitter clone Yammer.
  • I would like the hotel check-in process to be as easy as Foursquare check-in.
  • Taco Bell is Moctezuma’s Revenge.
  • I just had the yuckiest drink, Gatorade Recover Strawberry Kiwi. Claims to be a post game protein recovery beverage. Tastes like recovered gym shorts.
  • This day will go down in history as the Great Skype Fail Whale of 2010, when people had to remember how to use a phone to call someone…

Quote

  • It’s easier to invent the future than to predict it. – Alan Kay
  • I aspire to inspire before I expire – Alina Morelli
  • It is fun to do things others call impossible. – Emile Baudot
  • I’m a hope fiend. – Frankie/Celebrity Rehab
  • We now know that Visa, Mastercard and Paypal are instruments of US foreign policy. It’s not something we knew before. – Julian Assange
  • Guantanamo is used for laundering people to an offshore haven that does not follow the rule of law. – Julian Assagne
  • Assange had a lot of help making Sweden look like the last place on Earth that you would want to take your penis. – Scott Adams

Holiday

  • Happy Shopmas Season!!!
  • Jingle bells, cashiers ring, websites clicked.
  • Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow… cash.
  • Finishing up with xmas shopping.
  • Santa is welcomed in my house any time.
  • I think I developed carpal tunnel from opening all those gifts. Thank you santa.
  • My new year’s resolution is to double surface area of my comfort zone.
  • I’m gonna party like it’s 3999!
  • We are going to one up 2010 in 2011.
  • Getting ready for 2010++!
  • 2011 > 2010!

Jan 4 2011

The Google Chrome Notebook

Google publicly announced Chrome OS in back in July 2007. They’ve been busy building a lightweight browser-powered and cloud computing-enabled Operating System. Recently in, December 2010 Google announced a test pilot program for a Chrome OS notebook dubbed Google CR-48. On the day of the announcement, some insiders already had the CR-48 in hand but Google also opened up the test pilot program to the general public via a signup form. The signup was targeted to developers, educators, and individuals alike. By way of a Christmas miracle, I was able to land a Google CR-48 and have been using it for days now.

As soon as the details of the Google Chrome Notebook were made available I was immediately in love with the Google CR-48. It’s basically an ultra light weight cloud computing client running a slimmed down web enabled Operating System. The CR-48 is as portable as an iPad but with a full keyboard. The CR-48 has a smart track pad that supports iPad-like touch gestures. The CR-48 is always on, just like an iPad or Mac Air, so there is no boot up time when all you want is just check your email or post a tweet. That said, the CR-48 is not a official product and that is evident by the simple black frame, it’s even without a trace of corporate logo or Intel inside sticker. Because the CR-48 is not a official product, I won’t say much about the industrial design and finish of the hardware other than to say that unlike the iPad, it has a USB port and a SD slot.

Google Chrome CR-48 Notebook

Google Chrome CR-48 Notebook

As soon as you open the CR-48 it turned on magically and prompted me to sign in. Unlike the iPhone or iPad, the CR-48 doesn’t require you to connect to a computer before you can use it. After some setup steps, you can sign in and take it for a run. As soon as you log into the device, you will see a Chrome browser taking up the whole screen with a single tab. It does take some time to realize that the CR-48 is a laptop with just one application, a browser. That is all it is, a browser. There is nothing to see, move along, it’s only a browser. Your desktop is your default page as shown in a Chrome browser. It merits repeating, the Chrome CR-48 only has one installed application, a Chrome browser.

As soon as you log into the CR-48 you find a browser in full window mode and if configured correctly with your home’s WiFi, you can start surfing the net. I’ve been using the CR-48 for reading blogs, checking email, liking status updates on Facebook, and accessing the web applications I use on a daily basis. Google does have a Chrome specific Web Store where you can install free and paid applications but I’ve not found anything of interest.

Aside from the technical specification of the Google Chrome CR-48 notebook, what is more interesting for me is that this is the first cloud computing client, a sort of Web 2.0 Thin Client. I am a avid user of Google Docs, GMail, WordPress, and other online services that have a large amount of my data in their respective ‘cloud.’

Realizing that this is a cloud client, privacy issues and data mining concerns immediately become apparent. It is already known that Google saves user searches and that with this and other identifying data they modify search results. It is already known that Google Adsense ads are targeted to the sites you visit. Can you imagine how valuable your browser history and usage statistics is to a company like Google? Google has a large amount of identifying information with from all angles of your browsing experience, from Google Search, Google Adsense, Google Analytics, and now Chrome and it’s Chrome notebook. I can see a future where Google would be giving away Chrome and Android-based devises for free because they can collect so much valuable information and up sell users with highly targeted ads.

The CR-48 is a great little notebook but a machine like that would never replace my laptop. At this time and with it’s current specifications, it can’t handle the hundreds of pictures I am known to take over a weekend, it can’t handle the gigabytes of video I take on a trip, and as great as Google Docs is it’s still not Microsoft Office. I see the CR-48 as a great web surfing machine while TV surfing.


Dec 29 2010

Captcha This, Byatch!

Google announced the development of an autonomous self driving vehicle that has the potential of revolutionizing and maximizing the use of roads, fuels, and other resources. I wondered out loud, via Twitter, what other struggling industries might need some of Google algorithmic-minded engineering.

  • @techknow: In addition to moving into the automotive industry, Google should get into the airline business and revolutionize it from the ground up.
  • @SchemaCzar: Google did get into the airline biz a few months ago by buying ITA Software.
  • @techknow: You are right, I totally forgot about that acquisition. Okay, the business they still haven’t entered into: home loans! They could fix the mortgage industry

Spam and spambots are a big problem for website operators, but their solutions to get around spambots is hurting the web just as much as the spam. Personally, I despise captchas. Captchas are those cryptic and distorted letters or words that look you have to type to prove that you are a real person when signing up for a web application or service. I recently had to do an eye test and I have 20/20 vision and I have trouble entering captchas, imagine the accessibility issues that people with disabilities have to deal with because of these.

  • @techknow: I get personally insulted when I am prompted to prove my humaness with a captcha. It makes me wanna bust a cap-tcha on some webdeveloper!!!
  • @AaronBoynton: I so agree! There are better ways #downwithcaptcha
  • @techknow: The worst part is that I start thinking that maybe I am a robot because I can’t read the damn captcha. A robot with poor vision.

I’ve written about missing features in Foursquare and other location based web services before. There is little or no utility in checking into a location though Foursquare. In check into hotels more than I check into Foursquare. In check into a restaurant more than I check into Facebook Places. I want to be able to check into a restaurant and make an order. I want to check into a hotel and check in without talking to the front desk. I want to check into a parking structure and pay for parking. The following conversation started with that idea.

  • @techknow: I would like the hotel check-in process to be as easy as Foursquare check-in.
  • @ButtercupD: cool would be something similar Fastrak for bridge tolls–what about frequent guest card and walk in and autochecks you.
  • @techknow: We should patent that. ;)

I was fortunate enough to get a free CR-48 Crome notebook from Google. People outside of Google had the opportunity to sign up for one and this was the first raffle/lottery that I have ever won. This is the first time I have ever heard of a company making available a test pilot product to people outside of the company in this fashion. I think it was marketing genius and Google engineers will mine a lot of real life usage data from pilot users.

  • @techknow: My Google wish came true, and it came in a UPS box!
  • @aaronhalford: aw, everyone is getting a CR-48 but me. Enjoy it!
  • @techknow: Thanks! I hope you get one too! I also wish that Apple had a similar program. I also wish for world peace.