Just this past week, Google took the covers off their latest “me too” product, Google Music. The new service purports to allow users to store their entire music library (up to 20,000 songs for free) online for streaming in the cloud, and also purchase new music from the Android Market, all while providing deep(ish) integration with Google+ to share music with your friends. On the surface, it looks like a tremendous offering.
Oh, did I say tremendous? I meant really, really confusing. (more…)
I only ever met Steve once, and I mean that in the loosest possible sense of the word.
It was last summer on a bright, sunny day in Cupertino (aren’t they all?). I was walking back from Caffé Macs with a coworker, and we were discussing the changes we wanted to make to some mock-ups we had been working on earlier in the week. We got to the door, where, as is customary at Apple, we reached for our badges to badge in. But before we could, the man in the black long-sleeve shirt and jeans walking ahead of us turned around, smiled, and held the door open for us.
The demanding head-honcho himself, the stickler for details that some simply called “feisty,” the man with whom you supposedly never wanted to find yourself on an elevator, just turned, smiled, and held the door open for two interns.
That’s what I’ll always remember about Steve.
A couple of nights ago, my friend Stephen Poletto and I undertook a project to build a system for Brown University students that would automatically notify you when new final grades have been posted to your account. As any college student knows, this is the time of year when most free moments are consumed by frantic refreshing on your final grades website. It’s obnoxious, and we wanted a way to break away from that system.
The final product is simple: you register for the application, and whenever new grades are posted to your account, you get a text message and an email. You can even reply to the text message, and the app will call you and read your grades to you (for privacy reasons, we don’t put your grades in the text message). In spite of (or perhaps, because of) its simplicity, the architecture behind the system is — in my oh so humble opinion — a work of genius. (more…)
Web development has been a large part of my technological life for quite some time now: I started making websites at a very young age, and for two summers starting a couple of years ago, I co-taught a web development course at my old high school. People have often asked me “can you teach me how to make a website?” “Sure!” I frequently reply, and we vow to set a time when we can start working on it.
To this day, I have yet to teach a single person how to make a website. So I started trying to figure out why. (more…)
Please allow me to introduce myself: I’m a man of wealth and taste.
If that’s not the tune you started humming when you read the title of this blog post, then either you’re out of touch with your rock ‘n roll legends, or you’re far more magnanimous than the majority of the Internet-using, gasoline-consuming, taxpaying public.
If you’re a web developer, or an even slightly more than decently competent computer user, chances are you’ve grown to hate Internet Explorer; if you’ve been following current events even a little, it’s equally likely that you’ve developed a healthy dislike for oil giant BP (and by healthy, I mean anything ranging from passing disapproval to standing on a street corner with a sandwich sign proclaiming them as the devil).
I wouldn’t dare suggest that a major multi-billion-dollar corporation is in need of our sympathy. I would, however, argue that a general lack of understanding of a situation can result in some vilification that just simply isn’t deserved. Let me explain. (more…)