Archive for October, 2007

Google Open Social - Don’t Believe the Hype

At first glance, Google’s Open Social sounds like a great thing.  Open… Social… two great tastes that go great together, right?  Maybe not.  “Open Social” sounds a lot like an “Open Marriage” – on the surface some may think this sounds fun but after thinking about it for a minute you quickly realize it’s a bad idea :)

Reeses

Here are some of the thoughts that crossed my mind:

  1. For anyone that has developed Java apps (especially mobile), the idea of write once run anywhere sounds great but is a pipe dream.  When you have competing “hosts” attempting to implement the open social spec to their advantage it sounds like a recipe for disaster.
  2. The first and likely best open social application will be one that takes all my contacts/friends from the also ran social networks and drops them into FB or MySpace.
    1. The effect is actually opposite of that intended (and I suspect Google hopes that they are this social network aggregator)
    2. How will LinkedIn feel when I yank all my contacts from there and drop them in FB?  Yep, kinda like the “Open Marriage” concept where you come home from work to find you best friend in your house wearing your pajamas.
  3. Wait a sec… we already have the ability to write web applications that will run across all web properties…. They’re called Widgets.
  4. An Open Social spec has to be very limited in scope in order for it to work across all the social networks.  This leads to fragmentation (see point 2) and leaves developers wanting more and only being able to build lightweight applications.
  5. Why is Google defining this – if it is truly going to be an open api shouldn’t this be a true community effort rather than a closed session of top secret meetings?
  6. Young, eager developers get all pumped about the concept and start cranking out these applications… the first place they build for is Orkut (in the Orkut sandbox) .  Orkut gets some life kicked into it.  When they attempt to move the application onto another social site all they may end up with is sand in their face.
  7. It feels like an attempt to slow down the momentum that FB has been racking up with some buzz words.

As a developer, the notion of building a deep social web app once and having it run everywhere sounds great, but so does the idea of living off the grid in some remote hilltop with my family and dogs and building cool applications for the fun of it (well sounds fun to me @ least).   Unfortunately, neither one is gonna happen any time soon.  Or perhaps, Google is truly not evil, has good intentions, and can pull it off and all the social networks will hold hands… time will tell.

October 31st, 2007

iPhone OTA Sync

For all you iPhone junkies out there, take a look at what Fabrizio and company have cooked up.  I have been lurking around the Mobile Open Source blog for a while and am always impressed with the stuff they are cranking out and discussing.  Nicely done once again!

October 28th, 2007

Circular Advertising

Ran across this after launching my NewsFriends - NewsGator Facebook application:

Circular Advertising

hmm… not sure who benefits form this (okay, well I do know) but still got a little laugh from it.

October 26th, 2007

I Know What Facebook Outta Do With All the Cash

Facebook

Ah…. just kidding. I really don’t use FB that much…. yet! But I clearly see the massive potential here. Once we move past the “craplets” (took that one from Seth Goldstein) and we will move on, I suspect FB is gonna be a place I and many others spend lots more time. Facebook is only going to get mo better and better over the next year or so.

After that, well we’ll have to wait and see :)

October 26th, 2007

Microsoft Gets a Big Hand in the Facebook Cookie Jar

Looks like MSFT “won” the right to invest a big bucket of money in Facebook for a share of the pie…

Over the last week there has been lots of speculation over who was going to win the “battle” - Google or Microsoft.  But was this really a battle or something inflated by bloggers and journalists or a play by Google to inflate the price?  MSFT has had deep relationships with FB in the ad space, and Google has announced they are going to open up the Google social graph around iGoogle and Orkut via an API in what seems like a direct response to FB’s success.
This was a no-brainer for MSFT and Facebook, and it seems like a great fit.

October 24th, 2007

Go Lance Go

So it happened again… the first time I chuckled.  By the tenth time it annoyed the shit out of me.  This time it was three guys in a Four Runner.  They pull up beside me (I am on my road bike) and they start shouting “Go Lance… you’re #1 - can I get your autograph”. Hah!

I give them the look like “grow up you boneheads”, they stop for a minute, speed up, and start taunting again.

Next time you feel like jacking with a cyclist… don’t do it:

  1. I am just trying to keep my body fit
  2. I am just trying to keep my mind fit - after 30 minutes of trail running or an hour or so of cycling i get into the meditative zone and clarity abounds, you’ll see maybe
  3. I am trying to keep the environment fit
  4. I am trying to keep my wallet fit - save about 200 bucks a week
    [some day when you grow up, have a family, and become a productive member of society, this will all make sense]
  5. And finally, not all cyclists have tooth picks for arms and struggle to tie their shoes.  I for one only started cycling after sacking football and wrestling in college.  You may catch a like cyclist on a bad day (like the day after a root canal), catch a red light, and get the five-finger autograph ;)

ps… okay, maybe it’s just punishment for all the stupid shit I did when I was a kid. Okay, I guess I can laugh again.

October 11th, 2007

To Live Forever

When I first moved to Colorado almost 13 years ago I worked odd jobs while “trying” to find a job in the oh so exciting field of Mechanical Engineering (thank God I found Computer Science).  In the interim, I climbed lots of rocks and logged lots of miles on my bicycle in and around Colorado and did whatever necessary to pay the bills.

During one of those odd job stints I met a real interesting character, David - I can’t recall his last name.  David was a unique cat, he was about 6-4 and a buck thirty soaking wet with long hair and an off the charts laid back approach to life.  David and I didn’t have a whole lot in common, but he was really sharp and we had some great conversations.  I enjoyed hanging out and rapping about all sorts of shit.

David thought he was going to live forever… no, seriously he thought he was going to live forever!  I didn’t believe him.

But I did learn some valuable lessons… one was the benefits of a cleansing fast.  I have done this off and on ever since.  David would fast on water precisely mixed with lemon slices, cayenne pepper, and pure maple syrup.  David fasted way too often which was evident in his rail thin physique.  But I am good for a fast once or twice a year.  It’s that time again.  Maybe I can live forever too ;)

October 10th, 2007

GPhone… not a phone

Just read that the rumored GPhone may actually be an attempt by Google to create a mobile OS:

“The essential point is that Google’s strategy is to lead the creation of an open-source competitor to Windows Mobile,” said an industry executive, who did not want his name used because his company has had contacts with Google. “They will put it in the open-source world and take the economics out of the Windows Mobile business.”Others say they believe that another major goal of the phone project is to loosen the control that carriers have over the software and services that are available on their networks.

I am wondering if this rumor is just a rumor… cuz it don’t make no sense! We already have mobile Linux and carriers are not gonna rush to use a Google OS/platform and give away precious ad revenue. In addition, I can already get to Google mobile properties from pretty much any mobile device either thru the browser, client apps in some cases (maps for example) and SMS.  Yahoo and Microsoft already have a mobile application platform so if Google is just building a platform on top of Linux that has already been done. Like I said it doesn’t make sense.  I bet there’s more…

October 8th, 2007


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