Monthly Archives: February 2013

Falcon Pro for Twitter hits the wall

Android Spin: “While this may work, it is only a temporary solution to a bigger problem, Twitter’s token limit. This has been a growing hassle for developers who create these Twitter clients as it stops the growth of the app and discourages any other developers from working with Twitter because just as @joenrv (Falcon Pro Creator) found out once that limit is reached, Twitter just deletes the app (see image below).”

I’m all for folks creating new Twitter clients, even when it’s not a good idea. Here’s the thing, you can’t gripe about hitting the 100,000 token limit. You knew going into it this was going to happen.

So, what should I name my new Twitter client?

iCloud vs. Dropbox

Dave Winer tweeted something today that got me thinking, so instead of tweeting back and forth with him about it I thought I’d jot my thoughts here. Twitter is pretty horrible for discussions.

In response I pointed out that Dropbox and iCloud are different because Dropbox is a file syncing service and iCloud goes beyond that. If you’re a Mac or iOS developer you can sync portions of files to iCloud along with your application settings. Apple created this as an extension of their ecosystem. As a developer you can have automagic syncing for your applications, if you choose.

Of course I misunderstood Dave’s point. His concern is lock in.

Ah, now I see what he’s referring to. Apple has created a walled garden for applications built on their platform. It’s absolutely true. Another concern of Dave’s is the inability of iCloud to share your files outside of applications.

Once again, Dave is absolutely correct. There is no way to get at your content in iCloud if you’re not using an app that implements iCloud API’s. Oh, there is support for Windows, did you know that?

iCloud for DevelopersHere’s the deal. With iCloud Apple allows you to open your document, stored in iCloud, in your local application, make changes, and those changes can/will be sync’d back to your other devices. Here’s the difference as I see it. Dropbox is an extension of the filesystem on my local computer, iCloud is an extension of my application. Subtle, yes.

I’m having a difficult time getting to the difference because it is so subtle. Imagine if you have a Pages document open on your Mac and on your iOS device. You’re making changes on the Mac and you walk away. Those changes will get pushed to your iOS devices without saving the document. As far as I know you cannot do this with Dropbox. Dropbox will sync an entire file, not portions of a file.

Minor difference, but a difference none the less.

How about this. Dropbox allows me to see all my content via the web and my local filesystem has a copy of the documents. It’s absolutely perfect in that way. What about editing? Can you go to Dropbox.com, log in, and edit a binary Visio drawing? No, you cannot. With iCloud we get this feature via apps. Again, it’s avery subtle difference, but it’s something Apple is very fond of.

I’d imagine once Apple can solve these types of issues we’ll see a more open iCloud, until then, if you’d like a great file syncing solution Dropbox is a better choice than iCloud. If you’re after great integration iCloud may be your best bet, although some applications have done a great job using Dropbox as their syncing solution.

In the end syncing of files across multiple computers is a very difficult problem to solve and Apple is just beginning to address the problem. Dropbox has created a very elegant full file syncing solution. Both are useful.

Oh, one more question. I almost forgot to ask this. If Apples’ iCloud is a lock in, which I will not argue, how is being tied to Dropbox not lock in? I would consider it lock in. To me what’s freed us from lock in are open protocols, like HTML, or RSS. They are part of the fabric of the internet and completely open. I can modify HTML with any application that can read, write, and modify simple text. Definitely no lock in. If Dropbox created an open protocol for syncing of files, that could be implemented by anyone, and their client application, as well as anyone else’s, could communicate with any server that implemented that protocol, I’d say it wasn’t lock in.

A stretch? Maybe. But we are, after all, talking about subtle differences.

Tweetbot: Change is a comin’

Tweetbot RobobirdPaul Haddad, the development half of the Tapbots super duo, tweeted a preview of a change coming to Tweetbot. This is not a surprise to anyone who followed Twitter’s summer weblog post that announced they were going to start enforcing their Display Guidelines Requirements.

Back in August when the updated Twitter Display Requirements were announced I took a look at three popular Twitter clients; Twitterrific, Tweetbot, and Twitter, to see what would have to change to make them compliant with the guidelines. Eliminating the right aligned avatar was one of the changes necessary for Tweetbot to be compliant.

Of all the display requirements I’m very curious to see how all client developers deal with Timelines – Branding(7b). It states

The Twitter logo must always be displayed directly adjacent to the timeline (e.g., top of the timeline).

Emphasis mine. The way I read that “You have to put our logo, in a very prominent place, in your app.”

Twitter for iOS includes the logo in the top bar of the app, which makes sense given the wording of the Branding requirement.

One of the requirements gave developers until March 2013 to comply. We’re just shy of that, guess we’ll see changes soon enough.

Tim Tebow, Football Player

Tim Tebow is one of those guys, you either love him, or hate him. At one point I couldn’t stand the guy, but that was mainly because I can’t stand the Florida Gators. I now like him. By all accounts he’s a great young man, but I digress.

Let’s talk about Tim Tebow the football player. Not Tim Tebow the quarterback, Tim Tebow the football player.

It’s no secret the New York Jets made a mistake acquiring him in the off season. It seems the decision was made in the corporate office and Rex Ryan was told “Make a spot for this kid.” Obviously Rex didn’t have a place for Tim Tebow.

This morning ESPN’s Adam Schefter shared a quote from an unnamed NFL General Manager:

“I think his career is over without playing another position.”

That’s a very bold statement, but probably has some validity.

Trading Places

Do you remember Pat White? If I’m not mistaken, and I could be, Pat White was encouraged to change positions once he reached the NFL if he wanted to have a career. He decided not to take that advice and insisted on remaining a quarterback. He lasted one season as a backup with the Miami Dolphins and was cut the following season. He hasn’t played in the NFL since.

How about Michael Robinson? Do you know who he is? He’s the fullback for the Seattle Seahawks, and a darned good athlete. Here’s the deal. He was a quarterback out of college and was encouraged to change positions. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2006, he listened to his coaches, became a running back, worked hard, and the rest is history. He’s still playing in the NFL.

Here’s another great example and a name you probably won’t recognize. Jim Jensen. Jim Jensen earned a roster spot on a Miami Dolphin’s team each year he played by being a football player. He was a quarterback by trade, but how can you play that position when you’re on a team with Dan Marino? You can’t. You have to play other positions. Over his career Jim Jensen was known as a great special teams player but played quarterback, wide receiver, and running back. The man kept two pair of shoulder pads on the sidelines in case he was needed at quarterback. He wasn’t a star, he was a player. He is a guy that wanted to play the game so badly he’d do anything. That man is the definition of football player.

Be A Player

Yeah, yeah, I’m an armchair analyst. What NFL loving person isn’t? I think Tim Tebow should think about becoming a fullback or possibly a tight end. He’s a big kid: 6’3″ tall and 236lbs. There is no doubt he’s a winner and he works very hard. I find it curious General Managers are writing him off after seeing what he did in Denver. Really? How can you not believe he’s a football player? That’s right, a football player, not a quarterback, just a player.

We’ll see if he lands with a team in 2013. As a fan I certainly hope he does.

Pssst, can you imagine what Bill Belichick could do with him? That’s a scary thought.

Saturday Morning Coffee, Afternoon Edition

My brother, Jay, or rather Jerry as you know him, usually has a piece on his weblog called “Saturday Morning Coffee.” It’s something I look forward to reading. There’s always something I find interesting. It looks like we’re not going to get a post today, so I thought I’d run one.

Let’s get started. Here’s how Jay starts his post:

“So much happens each and every week that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….”

Rob's Coffee MugOh, he also includes a picture of the coffee mug he’s using. Here’s mine. Unlike Jay I only have one I use regularly. Not that we’re lacking in the coffee mug department, we have quite a few, but this one is mine. It’s a hand crafted masterpiece I purchased at our local Farmers Market.

Super Bowl

Unless you’re one of those folks that don’t like football you know tomorrow is Super Bowl XLVII, in beautiful New Orleans, LA. The Baltimore Ravens will face the San Francisco 49ers. I’m pulling for the Ravens. I’ve had a hate-hate relationship with the Niners since “The Catch.” I was a Cowboys fan at the time and even though I’ve moved on to the Bears the hate for the Niners remains. Let’s hope Baltimore can pull a rabbit out of the hat.

Speaking of Baltimore. It looks like Ray Lewis has caused a bit of a crap storm over his quick recovery from a torn triceps early in the season. PEDs, or performance enhancing drugs, are not new to pro sports. This is just another in a long line of pro athletes being called out. I’d wager to bet he did use something to help him recover, so did Lance Armstrong, and Barry Bonds. Hey, it’s a part of pro sports. I’m probably in the minority here but I say let them use PEDs under the care of a licensed physician as long as they’re aware of the problems associated with them. They’re adults, let them make the decision.

Hey, how about this for goofy move. CBS has banned SodaStream’s Super Bowl commercial. Really weird. From a Forbes report:

“CBS banned SodaStream’s Super Bowl spot because, apparently, it was too much of a direct hit to two of its biggest sponsors, Coke and Pepsi.

Please pause and read that sentence again.”

That says a lot about how fragile Coke and Pepsi have become as a business. It looks like it’s time for those companies to rethink what they do if they’re scared of SodaStream. Things change. Roll with the punches guys. Good luck SodaStream.

Don’t call me RIM

It looks like BlackBerry is not the official name of the company formerly known as RIM. Does anyone else remember the “RIM Jobs” website. Good one. Anyway, BlackBerry announced the new BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 phones this week. The Z10 is a touch based device while the Q10 holds true to a traditional BlackBerry device and has a physical QWERTY keyboard. At first glance I thought the Z10 looked a lot like an iPhone 4, and tweeted as much, but later I realized it’s not as similar as I thought. At first glance the back of the device looked like the all glass iPhone 4 back, it’s not.

I think the Z10 looks pretty nice and the Q10 is a great choice for the keyboard loving BlackBerry loyalists. Will they succeed? Only time will tell.

Twitter Hacked

It looks like hackers were able to gain access to 250,000 user accounts. Whoops. I find the choice of headlines in the weblog post announcing the hack disingenuous. The headline read “Keeping our users secure” then goes on to explain:

“This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data. We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later. However, our investigation has thus far indicated that the attackers may have had access to limited user information – usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords – for approximately 250,000 users.”

Come on guys. Quit spinning bad news like it’s a good thing. You should’ve said something like “We’ve been hacked. We’re sorry.”

Weekend Box Office

It looks like Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is number one at the box office. We haven’t seen a movie since The Hobit and have missed a bunch of great films that have released since the fall. I think my wife and I need to get out a bit more often. Maybe we can catch Hansel and Gretel soon.

The Twilight Zone, A.K.A. The Stock Market

As Jay pointed out last weekend, Apple took a hit on the stock market. They reported record revenue. The largest revenue of any corporation, ever. From an Extreme Tech article:

“Yet again, Apple has broken its own record and posted revenues of $54.5 billion — the greatest quarter of any company ever — driven entirely by sales of the iPhone and iPad.”

Of course the stock tanked.

On the flip side we have Amazon. A great company? Absolutely. They did however report a $39 loss million for the year. Their quarterly report wasn’t great either:

“Net income fell 45% to $97 million, or 21 cents a share, down from $177 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago. Street consensus was for EPS of 27 cents. Sales were up 22% to $21.27 billion, from $17.43 billion a year ago. That, too, missed Street views of $22.26 billion.”

The stock was up, of course.

The market is a fickle thing.

The End

Have a great weekend and make sure to visit Jerry’s site next weekend for the real deal, not this wannabe version of Saturday Morning Coffee.