Category Archives: IT

If you think it is alarming that Facebook also collects what you decide not to post, then I have some news for you

If you think this is alarming: Facebook also collects what you decide not to post, tech consultant warns – Technology & Science – CBC News, then I have more news for you.

Not only can Facebook do this, but they can do other things. For example, if they wanted to, they could track where you move your mouse, even if you don’t click on something, using technology like the kind mentioned here: web page mouse tracking – Google Search.

In fact, you don’t even have to go to Facebook to have them track you: Facebook Is Tracking Your Every Move on the Web; Here’s How to Stop It.

And if you use Facebook on your mobile phone, there’s potentially even more information they can track about you.

So, lots of reasons to be concerned. I all but avoid Facebook, but it is not an easy thing to do. In addition, I don’t think Facebook is the only one that does this. They seem to be just the most notorious.

 

 

What you should know if you are planning to learn to code

If you are going to learn to code and you are planning to stick with it, then you owe it to yourself to read this: Why Learning to Code is So Damn Hard.

It’s well written, and it has some great graphs, including this one:

I think any area of learning where you get good initial training would look similar to this. I recommend you find some mentors to help get your through the desert of despair.

P.S. Yes, I realized they borrowed heavily from Gartner’s Hype Curve. :)

Three takes on twitter (2015): one mine, two others by WiReD and The Atlantic

Here’s two takes on Twitter worth reading for anyone still fascinated by Twitter as a company:

My take on Twitter?

  • Twitter is gunning for revenue growth.  They are sinking any profit they make into research in order to continue to grow revenue wise. It works for Amazon, so maybe it will work for twitter.
  • As they try and ramp up their revenue growth, they are cleaning up their act and acting quicker against trolls. I’d like to think it is because they are more concerned about users, but it is just as likely that they have decided trolls are bad for business
  • New user growth is flat. I am not surprised. I barely get new users following me, and if you think about it, the same is likely true for you.
  • Interaction is dying off. I still get a fair amount of interaction, thankfully. But it is much less than it used to be. Based on some recent analysis, that seems to be the case across the board, even if you are famous. Person A tweets: Person B responds, and at most, Person A favours Person B’s tweet. I believe Twitter is becoming less of a social community and settling into being just a microblogging platform.
  • I think Tweetstorms are terrible, still.

Want to learn node.js? Here’s some great tutorials

Node.js is a hot topic and technology. If you want to see some good tutorials on it to help you learn, I recommend this, from developerWorks: Learn node.js development from these top Bluemix guides.

Ten ad hoc thoughts on the Apple Watch from me

  1. It already looks like the Watch is a big success. If anything, what has surprised me is that Apple doesn’t seem to have sufficient quantity in stock to meet the demand. I am not surprised by the success: I am surprised by the breakdown** in the supply chain. (** Further reporting may show that to be not true).
  2. The timing of the Watch is perfect. What do you think will make a great present for young people as they graduate from schools and universities? Yep. Who do you think doesn’t own a watch currently? Yep, same group.
  3. The size of the Watch will likely be a non issue, now and in the future. I’d like it thinner myself, but there have been previous Apple devices that I thought were not ergonomically ideal, and they did just fine. Plus, we have become spoiled: the original iPod and iPhone slimmed down over time, but were still successful in various formats. The same will be said for the watch.
  4. The price is a non-issue too. People pay $179 (in Canada) for a Nano and $249 or more for an iPod Touch. The watch is another price point, but not all that far away from them. What is interesting is that Apple has products from under $100 (the Shuffle), to the Nano, the Touch, to iPad,  the Watch, to the iPhone, to the laptops. If you consider the Apple an aspirational product, that is smart. You can acquire an Apple product at different price points, and once you get them, you are likely to be more inclined to get the new product from them. That happened to me: I went from having no Apple devices to having a shuffle, then a touch, than a phone, then an iPad. I expect to eventually get a laptop from them too. You get used to the quality and the interoperability.
  5. The benefit of the Watch, which I have seen with my Pebble, is that I can keep aware of alerts without looking at my phone. I expect alot of people will love that.
  6. People who think the Apple Watch is just a watch likely think the iPhone is just a telephone. As we all know, the iPhone is a small computer that allows us to make phone calls but really does so much more. The Apple Watch is an even smaller computer that tells us the time but really does much more.
  7. Application developers will drive the Watch to greater success. The new device will drive new applications that couldn’t be written on other devices. The apps will make the watch go from Nice to Have to Must Have.
  8. Copycat hardware makers will also drive success. You can bet that Korean and Chinese hardware manufacturers will be coming out with their own watches soon (and some already have). Soon smart watches will be as common as smart phones.
  9. Expect an explosion of watch bands and other accessories for the watch. Also, you will see that people will own more than one Watch (something they are unlikely to do with other tech, like phones or laptops).
  10. As for the future? If you still believe in Moore’s Law like I do, eventually the Watch will not need the iPhone to work. Also, the future will only see more wearable technology, and I expect the Watch to play a big part in that.

Is ICANN extortionist? On Taylor Swift and the new TLD domains like .porn

Taylor Swift (or her lawyers) have made a smart move and went out and bought some new domain names, according to Taylor Swift buys own porn site domain names ahead of expansion – People – News – The Independent. She was able to buy “TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult before they become available”. Microsoft, who also have good lawyers, bought Office.porn.

Now you might think: big deal…domain names are cheap. But these ones aren’t, going for $2,500 a pop. And if they are like other domains, those fees must be paid annually.

You might also think: well, it was good of them to offer the domain first to individuals before others buy them. I first thought that before I knew how much the domains cost.

Does that add up to a form of extortion? That is very hard to state categorically, and if I was pressed, I would say it isn’t. But using the logic of “if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck”, you might draw a different conclusion.

Whatever you call it, it makes me think it is time to replace the ICANN and the use of domain names with something much better.

 

Periscope, Meerkat, and the future of virtual tourism

If you haven’t heard, Meerkat and Periscope are two apps that allow one person to stream an event and have others watch it. For example, here is an artist streaming her work on a painting while others watch and  interact: Wendy MacNaughton paints live on Periscope My… – Austin Kleon.

It’s an interesting idea. Once people get creative, there will be all types of events that people stream, from the obvious (porn, music concerts) to things no one thought of before.

I think one of these not so obvious ones will be virtual tourism. Essentially someone will visit a place like Japan and stream the cherry blossom festival or go to Pamplona for the running of the bulls and others will watch in real time. Maybe people will sponsor the person ahead of time, or the person will wear a shirt with ads on it, or find some way to make revenue. In return, lots of people can see something they might not be able to see otherwise.

People will use Periscope and Meerkat in all kinds of ways. Expect this to be one of them.

(Image via techcrunch)