Monthly Archives: March 2011

Free App Idea

Justin Williams: “A notes app with native web, Mac, and iOS clients which supports rich (or Markdown) formatting on all three, and can do inter-note linking. There are a ton of apps in this space, but you can only get at most 2 of those 3 features in any one app.”

This is from Justin’s interview of Steve Frank of Panic for his new series “Show Me Your Pixels”

Get started, now.

No Briefs on the App Store

BriefsRob Rhyne: “I feel like we’ve all been here before. Another App Store rejection and another post on my (barely can be called a) blog. Since this is likely my final tome on the subject, I’m opting for a simpler approach. Instead of a rambling post about my continued woes of app review and more logical pleas for guidance from Apple, I’m posting a FAQ. A place to direct people as more of them discover Briefs and wonder what could have been.”

This is one of those sad times for Indie Developers. Briefs is a great application that could give designers and developers the freedom to play with design concepts before actually committing to them. It’s just darned sad to see something that could be so useful not make it to the store.

Rob, I know it wouldn’t be the same, but you should grab Chameleon and make it run on the Mac. Then you could at least distribute it from your company website. You could even wrap your work in an emulator-like window so people could get the effect.

The BCS needs a March Madness

SI.com: “NEWARK — Such is the state of this NCAA tournament, that I could wake up Friday morning in New Orleans thinking there were strong odds Houston’s Final Four would include two No. 1s (Ohio State and Kansas) and a No. 2 (Florida) … and then be in Newark on Sunday night, watching No. 4 Kentucky clinch the last spot — alongside No. 3 UConn, with No. 8 Butler and No. 11 VCU filling out the other half. I was stunned to witness the Bulldogs’ second straight Final Four-clinching win, and am still stunned when I see the teams printed on this bracket t-shirt.”

The BCS still believes its system is flawless. Witness the NCAA National Basketball Championship Tournament, it’s not perfect, but it’s still better than anything the College Football boys have put together.

Tournaments can be unpredictable, it’s part of what makes sports beautiful. Is it doable in the football world? Yes, I believe it is. Can you have the Big Four traditional bowl games? Yes, I believe you can. Does the BCS want to give up all that money? No, there in lies the problem. The game is driven by money. The kids don’t make a dime, but the Universities and their affiliates certainly do. Until that problem can be addressed the BCS will remain a very flawed system that pits two supposed greats against each other. Until that problem is addressed we’ll never know who the true National Champion is in NCAA Football. I’m pulling for Mark Cuban. I hope he turns College Football on its ear.

As for NCAA Basketball, it’ll be as clear as it can be in two more games.

Woo

WooThemes has an amazing collection of WordPress Themes, as well as a nifty plugin that gives you a Tumblr-like interface called WooTumblog, you can even use it from your iPhone.

I’m always on the hunt for my perfect theme, I still haven’t found it, but Woo had a bunch I really like. I’ve been looking for one that will let me create a great CHUNKY FOOTER. Looks like they have a few that do just that.

Here are some I like, not all of them have the big footer capability, I just like the styling.

Tablet in the wild

Jerry Fahrni: “When our conversation was over and the gentleman had finished his cereal he simply picked up his coffee cup in one hand, his iPad in the other and walked out the door. I suppose that just about sums up the value of utilizing technology in a mobile form factor.”

This is how I see an iPad being useful. It’s really a personalized digital news paper. Grandpa used to sit at the table eating breakfast, reading the news paper. Now we do that with the iPad.

It’s not the Technology

Robert Scoble: “Microsoft’s technology just isn’t used by many serious web companies that I know. Stack Exchange and PlentyOfFish are two notable exceptions and neither is located in Silicon Valley and they hardly are companies with the scale of MySpace used to have (more than 50 million users).”

Stop right there. There may be a lot of problems inside MySpace, but pointing the finger at a technology stack just isn’t logical. People blamed Twitter’s problems on Ruby, I seriously doubt it had anything to do with the language. Microsoft creates serious, large scale, server software. As a platform .NET is just as good as any LAMP setup you could point a finger at. So don’t point a finger at the technology stack, point it at the team behind the code, and the management.

Watch out! It's a blog fly!If the team is not able to design a complete system that can scale you’re eventually going to run into a brick wall. I’m not sure why MySpace can’t convince quality Software Engineers and Infrastructure Engineers to come to work for them, but that will kill a large scale system faster than anything. Couple that with a large amount of turnover and you’re in for a catastrophe. Scaling for a million users is challenging, much less 100 million, and it takes constant care a feeding, just like a child.

I can buy the argument the team wasn’t right. I can buy the argument the team didn’t understand the technology. I can buy the argument the system was poorly designed. I just can’t buy the argument it had anything to do with the technology stack.

Update: From Jeff Atwood on Twitter.

“look, if Facebook and Wikipedia can build generational empires on PHP, quality of tooling is *utterly irrelevant*. It just is.”

Tech Job Destination, Detroit

Bloomberg: “Expertise in cloud computing, mobile software applications and energy management are in demand in the Motor City as automakers replace car stereos with Internet radio and gasoline engines with motors powered by lithium-ion batteries. Technology job postings in the Detroit area doubled last year, making it the fastest-expanding region in the country, according to Dice Holdings Inc. (DHX), a job-listing website.”

This is not something I expected to see, ever. Detroit reaching out to software engineers, building cloud services, and mobile software.

Since the last Detroit post was a bummer, I thought I’d post something positive to even things out.

Movie line of the week

Hot buttered popcorn and a movie, ahhh!Good morning!

Ready for a line? Here it is, good luck!

You’ve seen these movies where they say “Make my day” or “I’m your worst nightmare”? Well, listen to this one: Rubber baby buggie bumpers!

Ok, quick, what movie! Send your guesses here.

Detroit is Dying

Freakonomics: “Census data released this week confirmed what we already knew: Detroit is dying. It’s just happening much faster than we thought. From 2000 to 2010, Detroit lost a quarter of its population; 273,500 people. According to news reports, local officials are stunned, including Mayor Dave Bing, who wants a recount.”

Really sad news, and yes, I’m still taken with Detroit.

Why? I have no idea.