Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Strange, strange world.

"Make A Baby" facebook app It was only a short time ago that I asked:

But do you have a digital child anywhere?

In follow up conversations with friends, we've dared to speculate as far as a Facebook app that will let you have digital children with your friends.

Well, guess what. In this wild wild web, no matter how bizarre the idea is, someone has either done it or is doing it right now.

Check out the Make A Baby app on Facebook.

It's a strange world, and it's getting stranger by the minute.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Offline Wiki - Friday - AfterGeekCon, the yearly gathering of the local geeks community, is coming up this weekend.

I'd like to use it to test an idea I had since the last KinnerNet.

KinnerNet is an uncoference created by Yossi Vardi. As such, the conference schedule is created, in the spirit of most other uncoferences, using a big white board on which people post their sessions.

This works great. I love watching the dynamics of this - the initial empty white board, the first person stepping forward and nailing down a slot with an idea, the rapid evolution of schedule, the informal conflict resolution...

But being a software-kind-of-guy, I can't help but wonder - can this process supported by a software tool?

Should this process be supported by a tool?

Will this process benefit - or suffer - from being supported by a tool?

My current thoughts are that if such a tool is to be of benefit instead of a hindrance, it should be modeled along the spirit of uncoferences. It should be flexible enough to accommodate rapid changes and evolution of the schedule, put a lot of emphasis on the individual and individual responsibility, and put accountability ahead of security and permissions.

The physical aspect may also be important. There is a certain undeniable charm in being able to approach the board, wipe out a session and move it to another slot. Can a tool reproduce this kind of intimacy with the schedule? Or will it take the fun away?

What are your thoughts on this?


Monday, July 23, 2007

Exogeny #1

You have friends on Facebook, followers on Twitters and Contacts on Flickr. You go online to see what your friends are up to. You form new relationships and friendship online. But do you have a digital child anywhere?

Are you sure?

Mike Marcus, a 34 y/o photographer and digital artist is creating digital children:

This is the world we now live in. A world where both the virtual and physical are becoming equally real. Where relationships between people do not depend on physical presence or even the ability to speak the same language. Where ideas and concepts exist outside of the brain of the individual in the collective mind of society where we call them memes. It is a world where a digital child is a serious prospect. If people can have cyber sex then why not cyber offspring? (source)

From the exhibition literature:

"The name “Exogeny” refers to the cultural practice of intentionally breeding outside of one’s cultural or ethnic community. The series is heavily influenced by the artist’s own experiences growing up in a segregated and xenophobic religious community and, more recently, as a witness to racial tensions between Israeli citizens and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. The collection aims to “exogenise” or metaphorically reach out to the wider community by digitally merging the artist’s own self-portrait with those of others. The resulting images form “digital child” portraits; beings who appear real in all ways but who never actually existed. Taken together, the work forms a distinct body, all tableaux resembling the artist in some way while retaining the features of the models. Some of the images appear to be obviously male while others are androgynous. The original models represent a mix of races, ages and personality types but the final works homogenise into a uniform collective that defies categorisation. (source)

Oh well. In its own weird way, this makes sense. For Mike, it's a statement and an experiment. Me, I know it's going to happen sooner than we think.

Check out Mike's Exogeny #1 exhibition, opening Aug 2nd.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Facebook - no RSS???

Yes, there is no RSS on Facebook. The Nomad Camera Project: Yedda HQ secret enterance

Also, it's very much a walled garden. Its URLs are ugly, and its color scheme is boring. Borringgg.

And yet, it's the best social network I've used so far. In fact, I think their own description on the Facebook home page - a social utility - may be the best description for it.

Lifestreams are great, but the Facebook News Feed is carefully balanced, well thought of and a useful combined stream of most of the things I care about. And if there is something I care about which isn't supported yet by the News Feed (e.g. is outside the Facebook walled garden), you can count on someone creating a Facebook app that will add support for it.

With interaction models ranging from casual and lightweight ("poke is the new ping!", originally by Eran) all the way to personal messages, the social interaction rules defined and implemented by Facebook strike a good balance between sharing and privacy.

Of course, as wonderful as it is, Facebook wasn't really complete until now - but now that we introduced Yedda Questions & Answers for Facebook, I think we can safely call it perfect :)

P.S. Still, I'd love to have an RSS feed on my Facebook News Feed. Duh.



Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Yahoo OMG it's HTML!

Yahoo recently launched Yahoo OMG!, a colorful sleek celebs gossip site. 

Super-large image + title thumbnails on the home page smoothly become a preview of the item when you click on them. Seems very effective - and certainly visually pleasing! (these super-large thumbnails also happen to be of the same size and design as the super-large ad banners that are interweaved between them).

But, not being too much into celebs gossip, what really caught my eye is that it's all (almost) good old HTML. (Almost) no flash. Nice!


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Monday, June 11, 2007

Twitter my Yedda

Twitter is really growing on me. 

So I am twice as happy to tell you about Twitter My Yedda.

You see, Yedda just learned to twitter. If you tell it to, it will automagically share with your twitter friends your questions (so that they can answer them), and your answers (so that they can see just how smart and helpful you are).

You can also tell Yedda to twitter your watched questions, the answers you like, and pretty much anything else you'd like it to.

It also does Twitter replies, so you can easily tell when the person who just answered your biggest question is also on Twitter.

If you're already on Yedda, set it up (it's really easy):

» Yedda > My Settings > Toolbox > Twitter

And if you're not on Yedda yet, hmpff!

Kudos to Eran for a wonderfully done mashup (and also for releasing the Twitter C# API!), and to the Twitter folks for being so helpful with this!


Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Photosynth experience

This one took my breath away. When can I have this?

Photosynth demo

From TED2007, through Idan


Monday, May 21, 2007

Hebrew is a hard language

Your Ad HereThe Google folks are trying to eat their own dog food. But as it turns out, eating from right to left isn't as easy as eating left to right.

You see, the fact that Hebrew is written from right to left has been consuming significant computing resources since,well, the dawn of time I guess.

The issue has been mostly solved back in the 90's when Microsoft forced the "logical display order" standard (a.k.a implicit directionality, RFC 1556 and other names) on the industry.

And yet, check out this Google AdSense ad, appearantly from Google:

Google Gmail ad

This ad translates into the following English nonsense:

Google - free from Gmail

Comfortable GB, less junk mail, 2.8 and more. POP storage, access.

Register today!

Oh well. I am confident that Hebrew (and Arabic) will display perfectly soon after the introduction of peace to the middle east. Don't hold your breath on either one of them though :) .


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Saturday, May 05, 2007

JPG Mag Submission: theme "America"

Friday, May 04, 2007

MS Yahoo Live

fatmanThrough Mashable: Microsoft May Acquire Yahoo for $50 Billion.

This rumor has been around before. It seems to be a tad more real this time - see NYPost article and SearchEngineWatch post for more sources, references and names.

This will be interesting, to say the least.

Will combining the efforts of the somewhat lame Live search engine with the search engine from Yahoo, the company that announced that it has given up being #1 in search create a real competitor for Google's most successful product?

Microsoft has toiled for years to shed off its "home desktop only" positioning and to become an Enterprise player. It wasn't easy, but it worked. Too well maybe. Because now, when Microsoft is trying so hard to join the cool kids playing on the Internet playground, the best it could do so far is the Live suite of services, with its oh-so-integrated but also oh-so-boring services. I hate to pick on stupid details, but did they really think that corporate blue is the best color scheme for Live.com?

Will the Yahoo infusion change this?

Oh boy. I just realized I might end up using Microsoft MSN Live Flickr. Scary thought. Well, in that case I'd like to direct the MS executives reading this post to here : )


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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

Power to the colors

Everyone is talking about the Digg User Generated Revolution (that's UGR for you) story. Good summary over @ Blonde 2.0.

Me, I've got myself a nice little theory. I say that the whole thing is a conspiracy, architected by Kevin Rose and David Sifry so that Technorati has more stuff to index and Digg has more stories to be dugg.

What will be next? Will they be starting a war in the middle east just so that we have something to blog about?

Actually, that wouldn't be very hard to do : )

Oh, I almost forgot the most important bit:

This is a very special secret encoding designed to keep the AACS from discovering this post. Viva la revoluciĆ³n!

Monday, April 30, 2007


tons of fun

It took me a while, but I finally got myself a new HTC TyTN smartphone.

It is an amazing piece of engineering - the sheer amount of functionality is amazing, and the cool sliding keyboard is a huge plus.

I love this tiny machine. It does just about everything, all wrapped into a not-too-large phone form factor.

Except it sucks.

I've been a loyal NOKIA user for many many years. Probably over 10 years by now. And since day 1, I've always appreciated the effort the NOKIA folks put into making their phones usable. The big things and the small things.

Like maintaining "shortcuts" across versions in a consistent manner.

Like the fact that the green and the buttons always do what I expect them to do - in every scenario, the green means the same - "Comeon, do that default thing that I probably want to do here and skip all the prompts", while the red one consistently bails me out of whatever prompt I am at.

And the keypad, while only a keypad and not a full size keyboard, works right. It automatically switches between numeric and alphanumeric modes exactly when I expect it to.

Using a NOKIA phone as an alarm clock "just works". I can set the alarm with my eyes closed, with a few keystrokes. And it will go off, even if the phone is in "silent" mode - in fact, even if the phone is turned off. It's been like that since my first NOKIA phone, and it stayed that way through the various operating system upgrades and form factor changes. Because it makes sense.

Now contrast that with the HTC TyTN.

The TyTN also has a key that lets you exit the current screen without making any changes. On the PC, this key is called "Escape". In Windows, you also have the "Cancel" button in most dialogs. On NOKIA, it conveniently maps to the Red key.

On the TyTN, the button that cancels the current screen is called "Ok". Which the exact name of the standard Windows button that performs the exact opposite function.

Plus, in many screens on the TyTN you get a visual "OK" button at the top right of the screen. Whose function is identical to the Windows OK button, but the reverse of the hardware OK button.

So when you'd like to tell someone using the TyTN to close a screen without making any changes, you should tell them "Use the OK button. NOT the one on the screen! The other OK!".


The TyTN also has an actual "confirm and do the default" button, which works sometimes, and has no name. It's that key in the middle of the navigation pad, or a click on the scrollwheel.


The scrollwheel is of course conveniently placed opposite from where it is on the Blackberry. And its placement is designed thoughtfully, so that its nearly impossible to push it down it without accidentally also pushing the machine "Power" button.

Which, quite naturally, doesn't really turn it off. It just turns off the screen.

I could go on and on about how hard it is to actually place a call using the impossible-to-navigate contacts list, the mostly-useless yet dominating hardware video call button, the impossible-to-find camera shutter button, and much more. But you get my drift :)

Of course, many of the issues stem from the underlying Windows Mobile 5 operating system. Windows Mobile 6 promises to fix some of these issues.

Naturally, being the technophile that I am, I will upgrade to Windows Mobile 6. But then, I've been using Windows Mobile since the CE 1.0 days, and I've hated each and every version, so I'm not really holding my breath.

P.S. If you insist on using a Windows Mobile device, do yourself a favor and get the Spb Phone Suite, it makes the pain almost bearable.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

To Photo Splice or not to Photo Splice

These are some seriously red times.

There is a button on the page! and when there is a button, well, you know, some people just have to press it. Just to see what it does :)

So, I clicked Photo Splicer on FeedBurner, just to see what it does. And then I left it on.

You see, FeedBurner (FeedBurner rocks!) Photo Splicer pushes the stuff I post on Flickr into this blog RSS feed. I guess you could call it "an identity merger" - Deb would love this.

But Idan doesn't. In fact, he took the time to complain about it. So I turned it off.

So long Photo Splicer. Welcome back split identity.

Speaking of split identities, shush... don't tell anyone yet. Still too busy to complete the move. Maybe in a few days.


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Monday, April 16, 2007

Meet Gillette, your new government agency


Got to love the TSA (<-- link love!).

I am on my way to Web2Expo. In the spirit of the Butterfly Effect, a car crashing into an aircraft in Paris delayed all flights from Israel to NY. That's a good start.

Spent hours on the phone, got on standby, bla bla, made it to an alternate flight (no, it wasn't easy), missed the connection to SF by 15 minutes, bla bla, new connection delayed by 1.5 hours (and still counting). But the real highlight so far was the TSA supervisor.

Following the New and Advanced "3-1-1" branded TSA rules about clear, 3 oz bottles, I did exactly that - got several clear 3oz bottles, and put the stuff that I need to take with me when I travel in them. And this was fine with the TSA during the last 3 or 4 trips.

But today, they realized that actually, since these bottles do not have a commercial company label attached to them, they don't know what its inside and therefore cannot allow them.

You have to ponder. Now, if I wanted to do evil, how hard would it be for me to take a commercial bottle with a nice label, empty it and fill it with a malicious substance?

And is Gillette now a government agency, in charge of approving liquid substances on board?

And by how much exactly did the cosmetics companies profits increase as a result of these amazingly smart decisions by the TSA?

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

FoxyTunes Planet is awesome!

FoxyTunes opened up FoxyTunes Planet, which has been in a private beta for a while.

Check it out, it's pretty amazing.

When I first heard about it, I thought it'd be a complementary service to their popular browser add-on. Turned out it's actually a full featured, rich, personalized all-in-one standalone music portal.

I love the implementation. Again, when I saw the earlier versions I thought it's too much. But looking at the final result, it's slick, clean, well thought of. Kudos to Alex Sirota and the team!


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From Manhattan to London, The Google Way

Would you like to get from Manhattan to London? Check out the route suggested by Google Maps:

In case the drawing isn't clear, check out step 14 in the instructions:

That's right. Have a good swim!

(Courtesy of Gilad Judes)

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Mega-Crawler for the rest of us

web crawlerDo you get this urge sometimes, to query the entire web for something?

Do you wish you had your own Mega-Crawler?

I mean, it's not like you can go to Google and type in some box

WHERE DOMAIN(PAGE-URL) IS IN  "domain1, domain2, domain3"

Lunch took a long time today, so Eran and myself had some time to brainstorm a bit about a crawler-for-the-rest-of-us:

  • Crawler code would be hosted on Amazon's EC2
  • The data would be stored on Amazon's S3
  • Anyone can add "post-crawl-processors" which will post-process crawled pages (build a full text index, extract microformats, calculate rank...). The persistent data generated by the post-processors will also be hosted on S3.
  • Anyone can submit URLs to be crawled. The system will automatically fork from these URLs to any other discovered URL. Eventually, the entire web will be crawled.
  • API for querying the crawl data, or the data generated by the post-crawl-processors.

Who will pay for this? Companies and organizations who wish to use this data:

  • The basic crawling code will be divided among the "subscribers". Initially, small database, low costs. Later, larger database, more subscribers, costs (hopefully) remain low.
  • The cost of a post-processor (CPU, storage) is divided by the number of subscribers the post-processor has. The more useful it is, the more subscribers will use it, and the less each will pay. If it's a proprietary post-processor, no need to share it, but it will naturally cost more (being used by only 1 subscriber).
  • Retrieving query result will cost by bandwidth.

The general idea is pay-as-you-use, with prices going down as more subscribers use the service. No one makes money (well, except for Amazon of course), everyone sharing costs, IP (post-processors) can be shared or protected. The more you consume, the more you pay. The more you share, the less you pay.

This is very rough of course. But what do you think? Is it feasable? Is it interesting?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Choose-your-own Google Ads

I was reading this blog (wonderful source for photography tips, thanks Gabi!) when I noticed something I haven't seen before:

Notice the "Ads by Google: View ads about: [   ]" area. Once you type in a search term, you see page with Google text ads related to the search term.

Is this a Google Ads feature I missed or some kind of Google Ads experiment? The concept of asking the user to proactively ask to see ads on a specific topic is interesting, to say the least.


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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Oh, the Places you'll go!

I received this wonderful gift from Jonny Sacks (our newest board member) -  "Oh, the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss:

And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed)

Of course, in real life, 90% (or is it %50) of

startups fail. But, as I learned from Maya in the Social Web session, "statistics lie"!

KinnerNet 2007: RobotsFireEatersPowerToolsDragRacePeoplePeoplePeoplePeople

Woosh by yghelloworld

 I got back from KinnerNet 2007 (the un-conference created by Yossi Vardi) on Saturday, but the effects still did not wear off. It was an exhilarating event, a 3 days (and nights) circus made of robots, fire eaters, drag races, jugglers, creativity and people – lots of fascinating, special, creative and positive people.

Only yesterday did I finish uploading the pictures to Flickr – all 213 of them out of, well, it’s embarrassing to say how many :)

Don’t miss Lior (Wishood) and Gil (UrbanSeeder) ’s cool Supermarket 2.0 video, and Eyal Gever (Gizmoz) and Gideon Weiler’s KinnerNet cult video.

The TheMarker COM.Vention conference was immediate following KinnerNet, on Sunday & Monday. After attending several amazing un-conferences, it becomes harder and harder to put up with the artificial rigid structure of conventional conferences. Suddenly it seems ridiculous to have to put up with fixed length, must-attend, one-speaker sessions and pre-planned orchestrated and exclusive panels.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mesibo.Net - Invitation


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

TWS 2007

The folks at the.co.ils [Hebrew] (one of my favorite blogs), which is focused on covering the Internet scene from an Israeli angle, have organized a unique event – TWS 2007. It's an opportunity for young Israeli web startups to meet, connect and present. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A Moment of Quiet Contemplation

I've upgraded to Outlook 2007.

I upgraded because of the integrated search capabilities. GDS and Lookout were both great, but I use full text search a lot, and I missed a tighter integration of the search results with Outlook.

So, now that the re-indexing is done (5 hours, thanks for asking), indeed I have a super-slick full text search capability on my 9 years worth of emails. Love it!

And, an unexpected bonus – it turns out that Outlook has yet another exciting feature. Every 2 minutes or so, my machine freezes for a few seconds. Every 10 minutes, when Outlook reaches into that deep void called the Internet to fetch my email, my machine freezes for even longer. So now I have these wonderful pauses, which I use for quiet contemplation.

They say that the new office took 5 years to develop. I guess that when they started out, the Internet was much faster than it is today, and CPUs were not as burdened, so they didn't really notice these pauses.

Oh well. Service Pack 1, I await you – in quiet contemplation.

P.S. I posted this with MS Word, in draft mode, and then hurried to check the resulting HTML. Gotta give it to them - very minimal features, but sparkling clean HTML. Nice!

Monday, February 26, 2007

OpenLaszlo 4 vs. Flex

My post on Adobe Flex and why I don't get it raised a bit of commotion. In particular, Ryan Stewart posted some well articulated objections to the points I raised, and most of the comments on his post seem to support his view. You can read my response to Ryan here.

Dan McWeeney commented on my original post and pointed me to OpenLaszlo 4, which was a delightful find: Modular, component-based XML syntax for declarative programming, JavaScript 1.3 with 1.4 extensions as the programming language. And, best of all, OpenLaszlo has an open output architecture, with support for Flash, Flash Lite 2 (for cell phones) and – standard DHTML + CSS + JavaScript 1.3. Plus there is no reason why it couldn't support Java, XUL or Avalon as well.

RUB – Refresh, URL addressability and Back button support is not part of the basic programming model, but can be added in a reasonable manner using built-in, documented functions. I'd love to see this becoming part of the declarative syntax instead though.

Check out this stunning LZPIX sample app, which implements cool Flickr picture search using OpenLadzlo 4 rendered to DHTML. It's almost had to believe that it's HTML + JavaScript underlying it. So hard to believe that I had to peek inside with Firebug, just to be sure :)

It can even be deployed as a desktop application – a good example of which is Pandora, which is built using OpenLaszlo.

For more info, check out Don Hopkins overview of OpenLaszlo.

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Bye bye Blogger lables

I removed the labels element from the blog.

Being an obsessive tagger, I use a larger number of tags (labels. whatever). And having them presented in a long list consumed way too much space.

So, I don't see anymore any value in using Blogger labels over, say, Technoarti tags. I guess I'll be going back to using Technorati tags only on my posts.

I feel that this is one of these cases where a tag cloud would make much more sense...

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

JPG Magazine

JPG Magazine uses a collaborative, user-generated approach to create a beautiful, offline photography magazine.

This is quite unique. Do you know of other services that do the same for other types of content?

Here is the photograph I submitted to the upcoming "Entropy" theme for the next issue:

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Why I don't get Adobe Flex

Mark Anders
I don't get Adobe Flex.

Actually, Flex looks great. Solid architecture, slick IDE, modern declarative markup language and scripting language, lots of productivity features.

Still, I don't get it. Why would an architect choose to rely on a proprietary runtime, available only from a single vendor to do stuff that can be done just as easily with standard XHTML, CSS and JavaScript?

I chatted on Flex with Mark Anders from Adobe. Mark worked on ASP.NET from 1998 until 2003, and then co-founded the Flex effort at Macromedia.

Mark demoed Flex at FOWA today, building a functional, slick Flickr tag browser in few minutes using the Flex markup and practically zero code. The thing is that the exact same day can be built with just as easily with an environment like ASP.NET, with the output delivered to the client using standard XHTML CSS and JavaScript. So why Flex?

Is Flex Adobe's way of leveraging the huge Flash developers community and lure them into a vendor-lockdown?

According to Mark, Flex is a way to avoid the browser compatibility issues, especially with regards to CSS and JavaScript. It's a reliable, predictable runtime that works the same way on all browsers.

Flex must have been a huge engineering effort. Could the same effort have been dedicated to delivering the same productivity and reliability advancements, but with the markup and the script "compiled" into XHTML + CSS + JavaScript instead of proprietary Flash runtime bytecodes?

And what about search engines and other content-aware tools, which cannot easily access the content delivered by Flex applications? And permalinks, which do not work as naturally with Flex as they do with HTML? How do you bookmark a piece of content in a Flex application on Delicious? And - which surprises will you run into when you hit the browser's Back button?

The upcoming Apollo server platform from Adobe promises to deliver support for rich web applications that work equally well offline and online. This is something I've been looking forward to for a long time. Of course, it will require the Flex runtime to provide this functionality. Technically speaking, I don't see a reason why the same capability cannot be delivered through standard XHTML + CSS + JavaScript + a client-side plugin, which could be a subset of the Flex-required Flash runtime.

Given Adobe's track record with Flash and its 98% penetration, I think it's safe to guess that Flex will be hugely successful. Still, I can't help but feel that in a sense, it's a step backward. Or at least sideways.

Outlook PST is backup-hostile

Backup is important. We all know that. Of course I backup! Except that sometimes I don't.

My external hard disk crashed a few weeks ago. Literally crashed - it will, unprotected, from about 1 meter high. It contained several years worth of my digital photos.

Of course I had it backed up, only not recently… recovering the damage was a prohibitively
expensive and unpleasant experience.

I've gotten much better at backing up since then. I've looked at several different backup solutions, and end up settling for SyncBackSE, which is backing up the data to a low-cost NAS storage. Which is probably a reasonable solution.

But the solution I'd really like to use is one of these online backup solutions, like Carobonite or others. I don't want my backup to reside on my home network. I don't want to worry about setting it up and maintaining it. I'd love to have my stuff accessible when I'm not connected to my home network. And online backup solutions can do all that.

And the number one reason I can't do that this is Microsoft Outlook and its monolithic PST file. I am hooked on Microsoft's Outlook, I've been using it for years and I love its features and smooth integration. But Outlook stores its data in a single binary file, which can get rather large.

My 3.85 Gigabyte will take years (alright, not years, but a very very long time) to backup over an Internet connection. But worse then that - every new email that I receive or send, or any other minor change will cause this file to be marked as "needing backup", and the entire 3.85 GB will need to be re-transferred.

I will be switching to another desktop email solution the moment I find one that (a) allows me to read, write and search my emails, calendar information, contacts and tasks when I'm offline and (b) uses a more sensible and backup-friendly storage scheme.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Toys for men

When I first tried Gillette's new Fusion blade, I loved it so much that I felt an urge to tell someone about it. And then I forgot :)

But when I saw this question on Yedda, I knew I have to answer it:

Yedda - People.Sharing.Knowledge.Changing from Mach3 to Fusion

I'm considering changing from Mach3 to Fusion.

Has anyone tried it yet? Is it really better than Mach3 ?

Topics: , , , , ,

Asked by ekuiro on February 12, 2007

View the entire discussion on YeddaYedda - People.Sharing.Knowledge.

And here is my answer:
Yedda - People.Sharing.Knowledge.Changing from Mach3 to Fusion

Well, having "upgraded" in the past from Gillette Sensor to the Sensor Excel, and then to the Mach 3, and being very happy with the Mach 3, I promised myself that this time I will not give in to Gillette's marketing blitz and will refrain from moving to the Fusion.

Surprisingly enough, I failed, and found myself grabbing it just before approaching the checkout at the drugstore. Oh well. A man gotta have his gadgets.

Having used it for a few days now though, I am glad I did this! The Fusion is actually very good. The blades are excellent and result in a smoother shave, the plastics around them feel much better, and the vibration thingie is significantly stronger then before.

The coolest thing though is the extra blade at the back, which lets you explore facial angles where no blade has been before Smile:

Topics: , , , , ,

Answered by Yaniv on February 13, 2007

View the entire discussion on YeddaYedda - People.Sharing.Knowledge.

Technorati Tags:

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Blogger labels and Technorati tags

Several weeks ago I've upgraded my blog from the old blogger interface to the new one. It was quite painful at the time, but hey, how can I not try a new toy.

The new blogger interface supports tags labels. The labels are even marked with the Rel-Tag microformat.

Too bad that the migration process did not migrate my Technorati tags (which are also marked with Rel-Tag) to Google labels. It would have been a considerate move on Google's part, especially when they took their time adding this now-standard rel-tag support.

So, I went and manually edited the older posts, copying the Technorati tags to that nice comfy Labels box.

And now Blogger is republishing my entire feed.

Oh well. Sorry for the mess!

"28% of Net users tag" ?

David Weinberger, a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society (and one of my favorite RSS feeds) points on Joho the Blog to a new Pew Internet & American Life Project report, by Lee Rainie, and summarizes it with the title "28% of Net users tag".

Back when we started Yedda, the choice to go with free form tagging was a non-trivial one. Tagging was not yet mainstream, and the concept often met objections from early testers.

Still, we chose to go with free form tagging because we strongly believed that this is the only approach that can support the dynamic, ever-evolving nature of human interests & knowledge.

However, we quickly noticed that the word "tag" often resulted in a "huh?" blank stare, so one compromise that we did make is renaming it from "Tags" to "Topics" – surprisingly enough (or not), this choice had an immediate positive impact on people's acceptance of this approach.

"28% of Net users tag" sounds great. It sounds very mainstream, and it makes me feel good about our choice. But further reading reveals that the actual question that was asked is:
Please tell me if you ever use the internet to categorize or tag online content like a photo, news story, or a blog post
Well, categorization is very different from tagging. In fact, the word is often used to describe a process that, while having the same objective, is quite the opposite of free form tagging. (Well, in Wikipedia-speak, the term categorization applies to both activities. But you get my drift. I assume that the people who answered this question did not consult with Wikipedia first).

So, while the fact that %28 of Net users actually make the effort to add that meta-data to their content and to other people content (be it in the form of categories or of free-form tags) is great, I don't think it can be summarized with "28% of Net users tag".

It'd be interesting to see a similar report focusing on free form tagging. Pew?

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Flickr Machine Tags

Flickr recently announced a new feature called "machine tags". From their announcement:
"Machine tags" is the technical term for the extra hamsters we've added to the Flickr servers to formalize how these sorts of tags are treated. I've included a "Ceci n'est pas un FAQ" below with all the details.
Machine tags follow a lightweight format:

The namespace defines a class or a facet that a tag belongs to ('geo', 'flickr', etc.) The predicate is name of the property for a namespace ('latitude', 'user', etc.) The value is, well, the value.

Like tags, there are no rules for machine tags beyond the syntax to specify the parts of a machine tag
Tags that follow this format are automatically grouped under "machine tags" in the Flickr user interface, and can be hidden or shown by the user.

Machine tags, while not having a name, have been around for a while, their usage driven by people's urge to organize tags and give them specific semantics - and then, to build applications on top of this, assuming this specific semantics. I've discussed this a while ago, when I was younger. Back then, I suggested the name "applitags" for this feature, and suggested a slightly different format for differentiating Machine Tags (or applitags) from People Tags:


I do wish the Flickr folks would have gone a step further and formalized the namespacing issue as well, as this would have made software built on top of Machine Tags more reliable. Still, this is an important move, coming from one of the tags-trend-setting players.

Are we re-building XML from the ground up all over again though?

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Wishood - make them, grant them, exchange them.

Wishood wants to help you fulfill your wishes. It's one of those simple, pure ideas. Wishes - make them, grant them, exchange them.

I've seen earlier versions of Wishood, but this one, with the cool Wisherizers is a significant step forward.

Wishood is young, and these folks still have some more work to do (say, when will I be able to embed my wish list in my blog?). But it's slick, fun, and hey - what better way is there to start off 2007 then by making someone's wish come true?

Check them out, or read a more thorough review over at Go2Web2.

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