Lots of good pros and cons for working at Google, but you have to love his simple one-word con on the “corporate culture” side of things: “Google+”.
He elaborates a bit in a footnote:
I think Google+ is an effort that does not deserve the engineering minds at Google. This is mostly a personal bias. I see Google as solving legitimately difficult technological problems, not doing stupid things like cloning Facebook. Google, in my opinion, lost sight of what was important when they went down this rabbit hole.
Admittedly, I haven’t been following the news about Windows 8 all that closely — I care because the dominant computer OS is getting a major overhaul, but I doubt I’ll end up using it much — but reading pieces like this one, my instinct is that Microsoft is in for a very rude awakening.
By most accounts I’ve read, the Metro elements of Windows 8 are good, but they clash badly with the legacy elements of the OS. Why is Microsoft insisting on both living side-by-side? “No compromises”, or something.
Then when you consider that there’s a special version of the OS — with special rules — for ARM chips, things start to sound really complicated. It’s starting to sound like consumer poison, to be honest.
Unsurprisingly, Microsoft is apparently pulling out all stops in an attempt to get developers writing new Windows 8 apps. But most of the big players are’t biting.
One bullish player was highlighed by Bloomberg for their story today:
Mobile games maker Digital Chocolate Inc. also plans to have games available for Windows 8 at launch, said Chief Executive Officer Trip Hawkins, while declining to specify further.
In a bit of unfortunately timing for Bloomberg’s story, — and really for Microsoft — Hawkins resigned from Digital Chocolate three days ago as major layoffs loom.
If you hate accidental auto-sharing, you’re in luck. Now you have to be watching or reading something for at least 10 seconds before Facebook apps can auto-share the activity to your Timeline.
A simple, good change. I’ve actually avoided clicking on things inside Facebook, worried that one would be a “landmine” — some bit of clickbait tied to Open Graph sharing. Why was I clicking on it in the first place? That’s another story…
“Shocked moviegoers will have been left wondering why a genius-level hacker would outer-join to the Victims and Keywords tables only to use literal-text filter predicates that defeat the outer joins.”—
To follow up on this quote, this whole story is fascinating.
New data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope proves, NASA says, that in 4 billion years the Milky Way and Andromeda will collide or pass each other by so closely that the gravitational force each exerts on the other will cause them to slow down to the point of merging. The merger will be completed 6 billion years from now.
"The clear finding is, we are going to merge with Andromeda," van der Marel said. "In the past, it was just a possibility, but now it is a known fact that this will happen."
There is a 9% chance that M-33, a satellite galaxy of Andromeda, will hit the Milky Way first in what van der Marel called a “one-two punch,” causing it to become a satellite of the new galaxy that is formed.
When Andromeda gets here, the sun will likely be pushed out much farther into the universe. By that time though, Earth will have become too hot to be inhabited by humans anyway.
Our sun will not be directly hit when the initial collision happens in 4 billion years. But in 6 billion years, when the merger is complete, our sun will die.
AT&T has updated their international travel data plans (following Verizon doing the same thing). On the surface, it’s a good move, the new packages are certainly a better bang-for-the-buck. But let’s be real: they’re still a colossal rip-off.
120MB of data from $30 a month? 800MB for $120 a month? They’re basically begging anyone who travels internationally to unlock their phones.
Like SMS, this insanely profitable dream is eventually going to collapse on the carriers. They could be less greedy and offer international data plans at a still-healthy markup (call it a convenience fee) and everyone would be happy. Instead, they’re fleecing customers.
Back when Google was an upstart search engine, one way it distinguished itself was to fight against a pay-to-play business model called “paid inclusion.” Indeed, paid inclusion was one of the original sins Google listed as part of its “Don’t Be Evil” creed. But these days, Google seems comfortable with paid inclusion, raising potential concerns for publishers and searchers alike.
Google is believed to also be open to a deal, but the two sides appear very far apart in the kind of deal they envision. Sources close to Microsoft say the company is interested only in the kind of deal that would see the balance of licensing revenue headed in its direction.
So Google (now the official owner of Motorola) is going to cut a deal with Microsoft to pay them a portion of each Android handset sale? Yeah… Don’t see that happening. But it would be pretty humorous.
Heins didn’t quantify the expected loss. Analysts had been forecasting a 42-cent per-share profit on a non-GAAP basis and operating profit of $264 million. This looks like a pretty serious turn for the worse and only adds to the complexity of the mess that Heins has to clean up.
That’s two in a row. One more quarter and you have a trend that they may not be able to pull out of.
“We’re keenly aware that when we develop and make something and bring it to market that it really does speak to a set of values. And what preoccupies us is that sense of care, and what our products will not speak to is a schedule, what our products will not speak to is trying to respond to some corporate or competitive agenda. We’re very genuinely designing the best products that we can for people.”—
But by most accounts and third-party research, the service is growing its number of users but not their engagement. People are “on” Google Plus, but they are not really ON Google Plus. The infrastructure is there. The street signs are there. People own plots of land. But there’s nobody actually visiting town. To make it obvious: Google Plus is the California City to Facebook’s Los Angeles.
This is an elaborate way to argue what I have before: Google+, while a pretty good product, isn’t taking off because it’s unnatural. It was set up to succeed except for one problem: it was set up.
Madrigal also has a compelling way to get Google’s social efforts back on track: scrap Google+ and focus on how people are actually using Google products. As he writes:
I think Google needs to stop looking across town at Facebook and look within itself. Google is riddled with invisible social networks surrounding a wide range of products. Even better, Google’s homegrown social networks tend to be built around Google’s core strength: organized (and organizing) information.
In other words, stop trying to build a weird Facebook/Twitter hybrid on top of Google products and instead focus on the individual (and natural) social elements of the already-in-use products.
Obviously, that’s much more easily said than done. And it doesn’t really get at what this is all really about: unified, cross-pollinated data. But it would be much more natural.
The behind-the-scenes battle going on in Hollywood: digital versus film. Movies like The Avengers are shot entirely digital while movies like The Dark Knight Rises are still done entirely with film.
While the digital camp is trying to lure moviegoers with 3D, the film camp is increasingly using IMAX — in fact, The Dark Knight Rises will have over a hour of footage shot specifically for IMAX screens on 65mm film.
One wildcard are RED Epic digital cameras, which Peter Jackson is using for the upcoming Hobbit films. Given the increase in resolution (5k versus 2k) and the move to 48 frames-per-second (up from 24), it could be enough to push everyone to digital.
Employees of Facebook and several engineers who have been sought out by recruiters there, as well as people briefed on Facebook’s plans, say the company hopes to release its own smartphone by next year.
It’s an interesting rumor from Pocket-lint citing “trusted sources”. And there are some further signs of this possibility, as Robin Wauters reports.
I’ve long-thought that Facebook would eventually build their own browser — and buying one would be significantly easier than building one from scratch. But the more I think about this now, the more I’m convinced that Facebook is going to bet the entire company on mobile. They’re already starting to. Instagram deal, etc.
That could mean acquiring Opera to take over their mobile browser project — and reports like this may back that idea up. But even that would be a temporary move. Facebook still needs to build their own phone (or at least phone OS) if they truly want to succeed in mobile.
I agree with Hunter in the update that opening a folder is easier than opening a cluttered and often slow app. But I also agree with Josh that Apple’s folder design could use some work.
Because the icons in folders are so tiny, they all basically look the same and I’m forced to search to remember what I put where (not the worst option, but still). A better option may be to let you select four key app icon images to equally fill the folder square (think something like the “Key Photo” in iPhoto, but more than one so it’s clear that it isn’t just that app). Or maybe it could cycle through the app icons in the folder slowly while maintaining the outer gray ring to show that it’s a folder and not the app…
I picked up a phrase some time ago that I think applies: “The next big thing is always beneath contempt.” Implication being that it is, of course, until it isn’t. Until it’s too big to ignore. This has happened over and over again in our society. In the middle ages, people assumed that no serious discussion could happen in anything but Latin — the so-called “vulgar” languages had no merit. And writers assumed that nothing interesting or lasting would come from this new medium of television. And, I think, people assume right now that nothing important will be created from a 10” touch screen without a keyboard (let alone a tiny 3.5” screen)….
It’s abouttime. I know this seems a bit crazy given the recent (but not yet completed) Instagram purchase. But I had heard a few weeks ago that the app was really close to being done.
Remember, the Instagram deal was done very quickly by Zuckerberg himself. I imagine they figured there was no point scrapping all the work this team was doing — at first glance, the app looks great — especially since the plan is to let Instagram operate mostly autonomously. And again, the Instagram deal isn’t done just yet (but it will get done).
One opportunity would be to formally split Android devices into three tracks: Plain-old-Android, do what you want with it; the Nexus program (significant Google control, available to select partners); and a third line (complete Google control, exclusive to Motorola, ideally the highest-quality line). We’ll see if that happens — and if it does, whether it works. Everyone has different motivations for Android: Google, phone manufacturers, carriers, and consumers. They might never harmonize.
I do think track three will happen eventually. And when it does, track two will become meaningless. You simply cannot have your cake and eat it too — and then throw it up and eat it again.
John Gruber, elaborating on the previously linked 9to5Mac report:
First, at 1136 × 640, you get a diagonal of 1,303.877 pixels after applying the Pythagorean theorem. There are no such thing as fractional pixels, but what I’m talking about here are pixels as a unit of length, equal to 1/326 inch. Divide 1,303.877 by 326 and you get 3.9996 inches. Boom, a “4-inch” display.
If Apple does indeed change the screen — which is looking increasingly likely — this thing is going to make the last few iPhone launches look very meek. There will be none in the “but it looks the same as the last one” camp. Everyone will want to upgrade.
It would be one thing to point out StarTAC once as a fun homage to Motorola’s history, but Google goes out of its way to point out the device in both their official blog post about the Motorola deal and the propagandafacts onesheet.
The money line:
Its many industry milestones include the introduction of the world’s first portable cell phone nearly 30 years ago, and the StarTAC–the smallest and lightest phone in the world when it was launched.
I mean, that was 16 years ago! Google couldn’t come up with some innovation a little more recent?