ENTRIES TAGGED "google android"
Don't Pay Developers, Teaching Programming, Second Android Screens, and Democracy
- Paying for Developers is a Bad Idea (Charlie Kindel) — The companies that make the most profit are those who build virtuous platform cycles. There are no proof points in history of virtuous platform cycles being created when the platform provider incents developers to target the platform by paying them. Paying developers to target your platform is a sign of desperation. Doing so means developers have no skin in the game. A platform where developers do not have skin in the game is artificially propped up and will not succeed in the long run. A thesis illustrated with his experience at Microsoft.
- Learnable Programming (Bret Victor) — deconstructs Khan Academy’s coding learning environment, and explains Victor’s take on learning to program. A good system is designed to encourage particular ways of thinking, with all features carefully and cohesively designed around that purpose. This essay will present many features! The trick is to see through them — to see the underlying design principles that they represent, and understand how these principles enable the programmer to think. (via Layton Duncan)
- Tablet as External Display for Android Smartphones — new app, in beta, letting you remote-control via a tablet. (via Tab Times)
- Clay Shirky: How The Internet Will (One Day) Transform Government (TED Talk) — There’s no democracy worth the name that doesn’t have a transparency move, but transparency is openness in only one direction, and being given a dashboard without a steering wheel has never been the core promise a democracy makes to its citizens.
- Compiling Android from Source (Jethro Carr) — not as easy as you might think. The documentation is minimal, and each device has its own binary blobs of not-open-source crap necessary to make them work. Open source is supposed to let users continue to do good things with the device, even if the vendor disapproves (cf Stallman’s Printer). Jethro’s experience is that with Android, not so much. Even the Google AOSP supported phones can’t run a pure open source stack, proprietary downloads are supplied by Google for specific hardware components for each model and for a specific OS release. Should Google decide to stop supporting a device with future Android versions (as has happened with earlier devices) you won’t easily be able to support the hardware. (via Don Christie)
- CSS3 Progress Bars (GitHub) — gorgeous and useful. (via Juha Saarinen)
- To Know But Not Understand (David Weinberger) — excellent excerpt from his new book on big data and computational science. We can climb the ladder of complexity [...] to phenomena with many more people with much more diverse and changing motivations, such as markets. We can model these and perhaps know how they work without understanding them. They are so complex that only our artificial brains can manage the amount of data and the number of interactions involved. Preordered his book! (via Alexis Madrigal)
Copywars, Pricing, Fragmentation, and Book Clubbery
- The Coming War on General Purpose Computation (BoingBoing) — Cory Doctorow’s barnburner talk on how the only way copyright maximalists can win is if general purpose computers are locked down like infectious disease agents or fissionable material.
- Valve Price Experiments (Geekwire) — The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work. It’s by giving those people a service that’s better than what they’re receiving from the pirates. For example, Russia. You say, oh, we’re going to enter Russia, people say, you’re doomed, they’ll pirate everything in Russia. Russia now outside of Germany is our largest continental European market. [...] We don’t understand what’s going on. All we know is we’re going to keep running these experiments to try and understand better what it is that our customers are telling us. And there are clearly things that we don’t understand because a simple analysis of these statistics implies very contradictory yet reproducible results. Read the whole thing, it’s fascinating.
- Android Updates Are a Mess Because of the Business Model (ZDNet) — interesting analysis that hardware fragmentation plus the manufacturer/carrier/consumer disconnect makes delayed updates almost inevitable. The Android community is traveling along a path that the old Windows Mobile platform followed a few years ago. It was a disaster then, and Microsoft wisely abandoned that entire business model when it developed Windows Phone 7. Alas, Google doesn’t have that option, which means that Android users are going to continue to face a mess when it comes to updates.
- Organized Readthrough of Godel Escher Bach (Reddit) — online book club, essentially, for this computing classic. First chapters kick off on Jan 17.
Internet Asthma Care, C Fulltext, Citizen Science, and Mozilla
- Cost-Effectiveness of Internet-Based Self-Management Compared with Usual Care in Asthma (PLoSone) — Internet-based self-management of asthma can be as effective as current asthma care and costs are similar.
- Apache Lucy — full-text search engine library written in C and targeted at dynamic languages. It is a “loose C” port of Apache Lucene™, a search engine library for Java.
- The Near Future of Citizen Science (Fiona Romeo) — near future of science is all about honing the division of labour between professionals, amateurs and bots. See Bryce’s bionic software riff. (via Matt Jones)
- Microsoft’s Patent Claims Against Android (Groklaw) — behold, citizen, the formidable might of Microsoft’s patents and how they justify a royalty from every Android device equal to that which you would owe if you built a Windows Mobile device: These Microsoft patents can be divided into several basic categories: (1) the ’372 and ’780 patents relate to web browsers; (2) the ’551 and ’233 patents relate to electronic document annotation and highlighting; (3) the ’522 patent relates to resources provided by operating systems; (4) the ’517 and ’352 patents deal with compatibility with file names once employed by old, unused, and outmoded operating systems; (5) the ’536 and ’853 patents relate to simulating mouse inputs using non-mouse devices; and (6) the ’913 patent relates to storing input/output access factors in a shared data structure. A shabby display of patent menacing.
Android Charting, Illusion of Insight, Mapping API, and Science Storytelling
- A Chart Engine — Android charting engine.
- The Illusion of Asymmetric Insight — we are driven to create and form groups and then believe others are wrong just because they are others.
- Urban Mapping API — add rich geographic data to web and non-web applications.
- Tell Us A Story, Victoria — a university science story-telling contest.
MongoDB Subpessimalization, Anti-Intellectualism, Teen Internet Use, Android Internals
- Optimizing MongoDB — shorter field names, barely hundreds of ops/s when not in RAM, updates hold a lock while they fetch the original from disk … it’s a pretty grim story. (via Artur Bergman)
- Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism? — focus is absolutely necessary if we are to gain knowledge. We will be ignoramuses indeed, if we merely flow along with the digital current and do not take the time to read extended, difficult texts. (via Sacha Judd)
- Trend Data for Teens (Pew Internet and American Life Project) — one in six American teens have used the Internet to look for information online about a health topic that’s hard to talk about, like drug use, sexual health, or depression.
- The Guts of Android (Linux Weekly News) — technical but high-level explanation of the components of an Android system and how they compare to those of a typical Linux system.
In-Line Computing, What Price All The Books?, Android SIM Toolkit, and Small Manufacturing Grows
- Raspberry Pi — the creator of the game Elite has made an inline computer the size of a thumb drive–it plugs into an HDMI cable on one end and USB on the other. 700MHz CPU, OpenGL, 1080p-capable, running Ubuntu. Pricetag: $25. The mission is to supply them to schools.
- A Budget for Babel (Tim Carmody) — What would you pony up for instant access to every book? Interesting insight into the value and utility of such a service.
- Android’s Achilles Heel: The Sim Toolkit — Now if you live in the States, you might not even know what the STK is, so a bit of explaining is in order. Put simply, the STK allows carriers to load a simple set of menus and ‘applications’ on your SIM card. Again, on your fancy iPhone, you may question the need or purpose for such a thing, but that’s because you are still years behind and using a credit card. Here, where credit cards are virtually unknown, the present and future of payments is Mobile Money, which is almost always delivered via.. you guessed it, the STK.
- Democratizing Design — AutoDesk partner with Ponoko and Techshop to allow anyone to design 3-D models, and then turn them into real-life products. Great to see this kind of small-run custom manufacturing heading toward the mainstream.
Android Strategy, Fad Books, Ubiquitous Product Design, and Android Headers Apology
- The Freight Train That is Android — Google’s aim is defensive not offensive. They are not trying to make a profit on Android or Chrome. They want to take any layer that lives between themselves and the consumer and make it free (or even less than free). [...] In essence, they are not just building a moat; Google is also scorching the earth for 250 miles around the outside of the castle to ensure no one can approach it. (via Fred Wilson)
- Group Think (New York Magazine) — Big Idea tomes typically pull promiscuously from behavioral economics, cognitive science, and evolutionary psychology. They coin phrases the way Zimbabwe prints bills. They relish upending conventional wisdom: Not thinking becomes thinking, everything bad turns out to be good, and the world is—go figure—flat. (With Gladwell’s Blink, this mania for the counterintuitive runs top-speed into a wall, crumples to the ground, and stares dizzily at the little birds circling overhead. This is, let me remind you, a best-selling book about the counterintuitive importance of thinking intuitively.) A piercing take on pop science/fad management books.
- Product Design at GitHub — Every employee at GitHub is a product designer. We only hire smart people we trust to make our product better. We don’t have managers dictating what to work on. We don’t require executive signoff to ship features. Executives, system administrators, developers, and designers concieve, ship, and remove features alike. (via Simon Willison)
- Linus on Android Headers Claims — “seems totally bogus”. I blogged the Android headers claim earlier, have been meaning to run this rather definitive “ignore it, it was noise” note. Apologies for showing you crap that was wrong: that’s why I try not to show weather-report “news”, but to find projects that illustrate trends.