Now that I've moved from Google Reader to Fever, I'd like to reduce my reliance on other Google services. Switching from Google search to Bing is pretty easy, but I'm on much less sure ground when it comes to replacing Gmail. Requirements: Paid service (If you aren't paying, you are the product, not the customer) … Continue reading Alternatives to Gmail?
I'm not sure if it was Blackberry, Android, or Facebook, but something caused all the birthday events in my Google Calendar to have 36 duplicate entries each. This not only caused visual pollution but also resulted in me getting 36 notifications on my phone for every birthday. The first two apps I tried that promised … Continue reading Deleting duplicates in Google Calendar
Google+ is Google's new social network. It takes aim at both Facebook and Twitter, but I think its unique intersection of features also positions it to succeed LiveJournal in a way that neither Facebook nor Blogger ever could. Let's back up a bit. What is LiveJournal? LiveJournal, orÂ Zhivoi Zhurnal as its Russian userbase calls it, … Continue reading Google Plus as a successor to LiveJournal
I just saw an extremely insightful comment by Nick Kwiatkowski quoted whole by the High Scalability blog. Unfortunately, they buried the lede very deep, while I don't trust the original medium of Disqus comments to have any longevity. Here's the comment for posterity: Having been in a position where I was able to work with … Continue reading MySpace’s death spiral due to no test environment, no source control, no code review
I recently saw an interesting idea on reddit: that the @name notation popularized by Twitter and now adopted on many internet forums as a way of addressing someone is basically a reinvention of the vocative case. What's a case? Well, English has three cases for nouns: subjective, objective, and possessive. The subjective noun acted on … Continue reading Twitter reinvents the vocative case
Yahoo is shutting down Delicious. I've been using Delicious to share links with friends for years, so this is not a good development from my perspective. The Metafilter discussion about possible alternatives points out Unalog, Pinboard, Diigo, and a few others. I took a look and decided that Pinboard is the best bet. What I … Continue reading Migrating from Delicious to Pinboard
In 1997, Jakob Nielsen wrote How Users Read on the Web. His organization conducted a formal study of usability and found: Concise text (half the words) is 58% more readable than rambling text. Scannable text (bullets) is 47% more readable than wall of text. Neutral language (facts) is 27% more readable than marketese. Nielsen added … Continue reading Write to be read
I'm part of three Facebook networks, and I've been keeping track of their size since May of this year. Toronto has gone from 600k people in May to 800k people in September. That's 32% of the municipality or 16% of the metropolitan area, which is an impressive proportion. University of Toronto has been stable at … Continue reading Some Facebook network stats