- The Way I Work: Justin Kan of JustinTV (Inc Magazine) — I admit it, I had written Justin off as “that irritating guy who went around with a camera on all the time” but it turns out he’s quite thoughtful about what he does. I try to keep the meetings small, especially when we’re doing product design. If you have eight people in the design meeting, it doesn’t work. Everybody has an opinion. Everyone wants to weigh in on what the font should look like. The end product becomes the average of eight opinions. You don’t get excellent work, just average. (via Hacker News)
- Rhodes — open source cross-platform smartphone app development framework, with offline sync and hosted data storage.
- How Transparency Fails and Works Too (Clay Johnson) — another thoughtful piece reflecting the general awakening that “being transparent” is a verb not a noun: you don’t “achieve transparency”, but rather you have a set of actors, actions, and objects inside and outside government that provide the checks and balances we hope to get from transparency. It’s a complex system, requiring way more than just “release the data and they will come”. [L]et’s not fool ourselves into thinking though that just because a system has real-time, online disclosure that somehow the system will be cleaned up. It won’t. Data makes watchdogging possible, sure, but more data makes watchdogging harder. Plus, for the transparency solution to work, people have to actually care enough to watchdog. Imagine that your city council, facing terrible obesity rates, decided to enact and enforce a mandatory nudity law to improve its public health. Policy wonks got together and decided that in order to get people to lose weight, they’d outlaw clothing. People went outside naked, and sure, it was a little uncomfortable at first, but basically— the fat people stayed fat, and the thin people stayed thin. The town was more comfortable just averting their collective eyes.
- Meta-Optimize — a StackOverflow-like q&a site for data geeks who groove to topics like “unsupervised methods for word polarity detection”. (via Flowing Data)
Flurry's Sean Byrnes on mobile metrics and tablet apps vs phone apps.
Flurry's CTO Sean Byrnes discusses app life cycles, the specifics of user engagement, and the difference between smartphone apps and tablet apps.
Work Habits, Smartphone Frameworks, Transparency, and Data Geekery
Google does not have to dominate the smartphone business; they just have to make sure that there’s an environment in which the business of selling ads thrives. While Apple wants to dominate smartphones, Google undeniably dominates online ad sales–and they clearly see ad placement on mobile as a huge opportunity. Conversely, failure to dominate mobile ad sales would be disastrous. At best, it would limit their potential; at worst, if we’re heading for the end of the “desktop/laptop era”, it could seriously threaten their core business.
While it might be true that the number of Book apps is growing at a faster rate, Games continue to dominate the list of popular U.S. iTunes Apps. Games accounted for about a fifth of all iTunes apps over the past week†, but the category continued to have a disproportionate share of the Top 100 charts, accounting for 52% of the Top Grossing, 56% of the Top Paid, and 50% of the Top Free apps.
The short answer – Microsoft and Nokia are slipping, RIM and Apple are gaining. It’s too early to tell with Google. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Last week, UK-based analyst firm Canalys, released its findings on smartphone market share based on Q2 2009 unit shipments (see “Smart phones defy slowdown“). Before sharing Canalys’ findings, it’s important to understand how an evaluation of market share and profits relate to the players involved.
Web traffic, web design, hacker spaces, and feature spaces:
- iPhone and Android Make Up 50% of Google’s SmartPhone Traffic Worldwide — Matt Gross found this interesting tidbit in a TechCrunchIT story.
- Refining Data Tables — Luke Wroblewski gives some seriously good tips for designing usable tables in web pages. After forms, data tables are likely the next most ubiquitous interface element designers create when constructing Web applications. Users often need to add, edit, delete, search for, and browse through lists of people, places, or things within Web applications. As a result, the design of tables plays a crucial role in such an application’s overall usefulness and usability. But just like the design of forms, there’s more than one way to design tabular data. (via migurski’s delicious stream)
- Hacker Spaces (Wired) — “It’s almost a Fight Club for nerds,” says Nick Bilton of his hacker space, NYC Resistor in Brooklyn, New York. is the must-have quote, but the guts of the article is “In our society there’s a real dearth of community,” Altman says. “The internet is a way for people to key in to that need, but it’s so inadequate. [At hacker spaces], people get a little taste of that community and they just want more.”
- Related Document Discovery Without Algebra — latent semantic analysis has some scary math, but If the feature space (e.g. the terms/concepts associated to your documents) is small enough, and you make sure synonymy is not a problem, you can do without algebra. One such case is that of your blog postings and their tags. Includes Ruby code. (via joshua’s delicious stream)
2009 marks another year when Macworld and CES are scheduled for the same week. It'll be a great week for product announcements, but it'll also be a week of information overload. RSS feeds will overflow with gadget coverage. For those of us covering technology, it presents some logistical challenges, too. Which conference to attend? I'll be at Macworld again this…