Social Media is dead!

Posted: October 27th, 2008 | Author: | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Recently I was thinking about the pervalence of social media sites. I am of the opinion that they are the reality TV of the internet technology. In the sense that there’s no great innovation behind them. There’s no real renaissance that’s happening. Only a re-packaging of existing material. Reading this article on Startup North I find myself agreeing with him. The fact of the matter is that in the end social media is merely a platform for the lazy.
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The Effectiveness of Icons

Posted: October 19th, 2008 | Author: | Tags: , | No Comments »

I was surfing the web today, and stumbled on an article about various application icons and how effective they are in conveying the usage of the application. The comparisons mostly deal with Mac vs. Windows icons.
Finder vs. Windows Explorer

But he also brings Firefox and Thunderbird into the picture.
Safari, IE, Firefox

In the end it looks like the UI design team at Apple has given more attention to icons and their effectiveness. It’s no secret that the various design teams at Apple are very good at what they do, from the packaging of the devices to their OS, to the hardware design, but it’s interesting to hear it from a different point of view.

The Importance of Icon Metaphors [Louie Mantia]

The World of Desktop Widgets – Part 1

Posted: October 13th, 2008 | Author: | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Back in 2003 when I still had enough time to follow up on the latest Linux applications, there was a new tool (or toolkit) developed called Karamba. It aimed to bring desktop widget functionality to KDE on Linux. Soon there was a new application called Superkaramba that improved on the old application and got a lot of attention. Curious as I was, I downloaded it, compiled it and was soon running it on my desktop.

Looks like the idea of using desktop widgets was catching on at the time. At the same time there was an application called Konfabulator (which got bought out by Yahoo and is now called Yahoo! Widgets). When I started working and was forced back on Windows, I started using konfabulator and liked it quite a lot. At around the same time Mac OS X had an application called Dashboard, which did all the things the other two were aiming for. With the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft entered the field and released native widgets called Gadgets. The final development – as far as my exposure lets me believe – was the development of Plasma in the new version KDE. There is also one other player in this game that introduced its own version of widgets. Google created the desktop search back in 2004, and soon after added a sidebar with gadgets and other plugins. As one would guess, these gadgets performed the same general tasks as all the other flavours and aimed to provide the same solutions.

I this article I will try and review each of these implementations both from a user perspective. Part 2 will carry reviews from a developer’s point of view.

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Technical Difficulties

Posted: October 2nd, 2008 | Author: | Tags: | No Comments »

Technical Difficulties I upgraded WordPress about a month back to version 2.6.2 and since then I’ve had issues. First problem was the upgrade script thought it was a fresh install so it created a new DB instance, and I had to go in change the configuration. And I just realized last week that for some reason my RSS feed generator was not working anymore. I looked into it and found out that all my pages had stopped working as well. So now, I have to do a fresh install of WordPress to fix the issues. In the meantime, the website will be somewhat flaky.