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November 15th, 2011 by Franki

A great read if you write or promote websites.
Google search.  Details how Google tune their search engine to remove trash sites and improve result quality.

1 Comment »

October 23rd, 2011 by Franki

It seems pretty certain that our future is going to involve mobile internet devices if it doesn’t already. By that I mean tablets and smart phones. We already have phones with resolutions higher than the 800×600 that I used to code for back a few years, (the new Google Galaxy Nexus has 1280×720 resolution). Between Apple and Google, about a million of these devices is sold a day now, so if you are not already testing your site/webapps at smart phone resolutions, you’d best be starting.

Anyway, all that aside, I’ve been reading about how Steve Jobs from Apple was determined to destroy Google Android Linux because he viewed it as stolen product. He was also prepared to blow all of Apple’s money and kill himself to do it.
So I started wondering. What in Android was stolen product from Apple?
* Was iPhone the first touch screen phone? (Nope, IBM Simon did that in 94.) There were others too, like the Motorola Accompli 008.
* Was multitasking what Google stole from Apple? (Nope, the first Iphones had no multi tasking and it was added in much later than Androids arrival which had it from the start.)
* Was iPhone the first B/G/N wireless connected phone? (Nope, this Accton page shows they were already selling Mobile wireless chips in 2006 and PDA’s with wireless were already about.)
* Was iPhone the first phone with a browser? (Nope, that happened in 1997.)
* Was iPhone the first phone with an icon based layout? (Nope, lots of phones were doing that before the iphone)
* Was iPhone the first camera phone? (Nope, Phillipe Kahn did that back in 97)
* Was iPhone the first music playing phone? (Nope, that one goes to Samsung back in 1999)
* Was iPhone the first GPS phone? (Nope, people were doing that back in 1999.)
So, what did Apple “invent” that was so ground breaking? Pinch to zoom maybe? because it seems to me that all they did was combine the functionality of a touch screen PDA with a GSM phone. And they were not the first to do that either.

So, the “invention” that Apple made that was so worth defending, was actually taking everyone else’s ACTUAL inventions, and putting them in one device and marketing it really really well.
Doesn’t seem revolutionary enough to blow 40billion dollars trying to defend though, because if you removed all the shoulders that Apple were standing on to make the iphone, you’d be standing on the ground holding a Nokia candy bar phone from the 90’s.

Steve Jobs said he’d fight to his dying breath to destroy Android, and in the end he did exactly that. He is dead and Android has never been bigger than it is today. The shame is that if he’d innovated instead of litigated he may actually have gone down in history as an real inventor rather than just a marketing/stylist/CEO guru. As it is, they are no more revolutionary as innovators than Microsoft are, and that is precious little in this persons mind. So guys, forget what everyone else is doing, and concentrate on thinking of new things you could be doing. Then you can call yourself innovative inventors of revolutionary products. (A little humility with regards to mentioning the people who’s innovations you are using wouldn’t go astray either.)

Regardless of which company you give your loyalty, the mobile future is here. If you are not targeting them in your development, you are going to lose customers because this a growth industry that will very likely soon outweigh desktop browsers.

No Comments »

March 28th, 2011 by Don

While Franki and I seem to be having a contest to see who can post least frequent on here, my daughters are trying to go in the other direction. They want to win a trip to Greece given away by a tour agency — all they need are votes.

You can vote for them here: http://getonthecontikibus.com/the-short-bus-4. It could be their trip of their lifetime — so far — if enough of you can help them. So what do you say? Takes two seconds to vote.

3 Comments »

December 19th, 2010 by Don

I can’t tell you how much time I have wasted telling people how to overcome the auto-configure of IMAP in Thunderbird since 3.0. People often want POP3 but cannot get it to install — it locks you into IMAP, or so you thought until you read this article over at http://blogwranglers.com.

That, plus the fix for outgoing Thunderbird email line-wrap issue I recently wrote about, and finally re-finding the “Allow HTML Temp” add on make Thunderbird nearly as functional as it used to be once again. Granted I don’t like the new Allow HTML Temp as much as the old one because it doesn’t offer the three pronged choice of text, safe html or html like it used to. It still allows that functionality because it starts in safe and you need to allow external content to download — it just isn’t as convenient. What it does is turn on html only for the current message and back off again vs using the built in view > message body as > text/simple html/html that then stays on for all messages when you simply wanted it for one message.

No Comments »

December 8th, 2010 by Don

In a post over at BlogWranglers (my site that advertises my expertise in moving blogs to wordpress from hubspot and other cms/blogging platforms) I note that Facebook took a step backwards — just like Thunderbird — in my opinion.

I’ve never really liked Facebook all that much anyway — great to find someone, but horrible to carry on any meaningful conversation.

As explained in my post over there, you no longer had “Send Message” available except apparently when your friends are off-line. I use it all the time even when someone is available for chat because it is threaded, has some “history” where you can look back at what was said and is less interruptive in many cases than having a chat might be — you just want to send a message and get a response, not engage in dialog.

No Comments »

November 9th, 2010 by Don

I personally believe that Thunderbird has declined in usability with the past few renditions called updates. I like it less today than I did a year ago.

One of my big complaints, wrapped lines in outgoing mail — I don’t want them wrapped, often url links are chopped off, and it’s just not pleasant.

I found a plug-in that worked on a case by case basis — about every third email I send I have to “unwrap”. Not so happy — until tonight!

Here is my salvation:
Tools > Options > Advanced (tab) > Confi Edit (button) > Confirm on Break Warranty Screen 😉 > Filter for “wrap” and change the following two settings by right clicking on them, (a) mail.compose_wrap_to_window_width sett to true, and (b) mail.wrap_long_lines set to false.

At first I also had mailnews_wraplength set to 1022, but in the end I think that is unnecessary as that is for news — I think.

Here is a screenshot of how to disable word wrapping in Thunderbird 3.0.x and above.

No Comments »

May 27th, 2010 by Franki

The recent fuss about Google sniffing open WiFi networks while driving around taking images for street view is really not as big a deal as fear mongering politicians like Stephen Conroy would have you believe. Here are some points worth considering.

1. Open wireless networks are exactly that.. they are open to anyone that wants to connect to them. In Australia at least, if you don’t secure your wireless network, it’s not illegal for others to connect to it and you only have yourself to blame.
2. Connecting to a wireless network is not instant, it takes about 3 to 5 seconds to connect, be assigned an IP address and a route and start sniffing. Now picture your wireless router with a circle of at most 80 meters around it. Now picture a car driving past at 40km an hour….. by the time they were fully connected and able to catch packets, they’d be leaving range of your wireless network anyway so the amount of data that would be captured would be fairly tiny (like maybe 2 to 5kb). What that means, is that it wouldn’t even be a full email or file or anything remotely useful, and it wouldn’t be tied to you personally anyway. Google scientists are not reading your emails or browsing though your hard disks so relax people.
3. From what I’ve read, Google collected only roughly 600 gig from the entire world, most of that would be SSID names and assigned IP’s, so as I said in point 2, the amount of data we are talking about here, per wireless network is truly tiny.
As a test. I drove down the street past a couple of open wireless networks at 30kph and each time by the time my phone connected, I was already leaving wireless range.

As far as I am concerned, if you have not secured your wireless yourself, or paid someone to, then you shouldn’t have any expectation of wireless privacy at all. If you feel violated, you have only yourself to blame as people who secured their network have nothing to worry about with this.

No Comments »







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