From the category archives:


What Windows users?

July 28, 2012

TUAW, on Safari 6: But [Safari] Windows users have noticed something a little strange: There are no download links for a Windows version, and the latest version is still Safari 5.1.7 on Apple's official website.... Whatever the reason, Windows users wanting the new Safari will have a bit longer to wait. ...what Windows users?

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Compiling SciPy on Mountain Lion

July 27, 2012

Update 8/1: The fix I described below has just been added to the development branch. Mountain Lion users can install the development branch with: pip install -e git+ (note this requires a Fortran compiler; see here for more detail) I've been updating my post on installing Python/NumPy/SciPy/IPython on Lion to work with Mountain Lion. For […]

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Filed under "things I did not expect to write today"

June 29, 2012

One company is doing a fantastic job of rolling out an innovative, attractive, intelligent and bold user interface across its entire product line: Microsoft. Here's a preview of their Metro-inspired home page redesign. Remember how looked stuck in the 90's until early last year? It looks positively dated next to this. For bonus points, try […]

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Facebook au lait

February 5, 2012

The NYT's Bits section, which up until now I thought was doing a wonderful job of evolving technology reporting to a higher, "post-blog" level, has left me stunned with a bizarre editorial in which the author requests compensation for his contribution to Facebook's success. Is it just a tongue-in-cheek opinion designed to attract eyeballs and -- yes […]

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If it's unclear, non-specific and vague... it's probably true

January 25, 2012

Mashable has a new standard for fact-checking rumors: ...While you should look at all of this information with a skeptical eye, a raised eyebrow and folded arms, the rumor sounds slightly more credible than the junk typically spewed out from Taiwan industry pub DigiTimes. For starters, reviewing various prototypes before deciding on the final production model […]

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The Internet is on strike

January 18, 2012

I'm very impressed by the broad reach of today's internet blackout. For those living under a rock, the logo above belongs to Google; the search giant probably reasoned that a full-scale shut down a la Wikipedia or Reddit (which got the blackout ball rolling in the first place) would be too disruptive. Just think how all the […]

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What minimum system requirements?

November 1, 2011

A few weeks ago, I complained that Google Maps' new WebGL version was being artificially -- and unnecessarily -- restricted to high-end machines, creating a sort of "minimum system requirements" for the web. Therefore, I was very interested to see that Nokia's competing maps product, Maps 3D, has just released its own WebGL product. Unlike […]

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Minimum system requirements... for the web

October 14, 2011

I remember when the concept of "minimum system requirements" became important. It was during the late 90's, as 3dfx and Nvidia battled to own the nascent market for hardware-accelerated graphics. For the first time, you had software which simply wouldn't run on a computer unless it met certain criteria, namely the ability to perform certain […]

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Quick sepia images in WordPress

September 30, 2011

The other day, I was unexpectedly asked, "What's the easiest way to make a sepia-toned image in WordPress?" The questioner has a blog with an "antique" theme, and wanted to use the sepia images inline. However, the blog is quite image-heavy and she (understandably) didn't want to dive into Photoshop for every single post. She […]

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Eloquent JavaScript: an interactive programming tutorial

September 30, 2011

Via my friend Will Gaybrick (@gaybrick), I discovered an excellent programming tutorial called Eloquent JavaScript. Not only is it extremely well-written, clear and friendly, but it features a completely interactive console allowing readers to run and experiment with every single example. You'll never have to struggle to decipher what a piece of code is doing […]

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The ghost in the machine?

September 15, 2011

I just unsubscribed from a Travelocity flier for the third time in as many days. Each time, I've noticed the following disclaimer: Your request to unsubscribe from all Travelocity promotional emails has been submitted.... Please allow 5-10 business days for your request to be processed. Let me get this straight: I can search millions of […]

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The "software company" bubble

August 21, 2011

It's amazing what you can see when you refuse to open your eyes -- or need to talk your book. Take, for example, Marc Andreessen's article in the WSJ titled "Why Software is Eating the World." I became skeptical when this line appeared in the introduction: And, perhaps most telling, you can't have a bubble […]

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Demand Media, indeed

July 28, 2011

Jason Calacanis writes: Sad to see Demand Media getting crushed in the market. Demand Media is a content farm (in every negative sense of the word) which (by some accounts) was crushed by Google's most recent "Panda" update that was aimed at removing junk spam Demand Media from search results. So to put this tragedy […]

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Value vs Valuation

July 18, 2011

I love this video from Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby: Attend a startup conference and you'll find that people there seem to believe that the mark of a successful company is the amount of money it's raised, not the amount of money it makes. Naturally, by this metric, Color is the greatest company in […]

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My new favorite study

December 12, 2010

The good news: a new study from the Pew Research Center shows that over a third of Twitter users read other users' tweets at least once a day. The bad news: nearly 50% of Twitter users do not look at other users' content more than once a week. In fact, 20% only browse other people's […]

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Breaking up is hard to do (especially on Christmas)

November 2, 2010

David McCandless's TED talk on data visualization is excellent -- you can catch it here -- and Mathias Mikkelsen has highlighted a single analysis that investigates when people are most likely to break up (according to Facebook) (Update: original here): What makes the chart so appealing is how easy it is to understand, despite the […]

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Tower graphics

October 14, 2010

Max Gadney writes on the rise of "tower graphics" - those giant infographics popping up all over the net which require scrolling endlessly to follow their narratives. He notes: Every time I try to hate these, I imagine people who are just interested in the facts finding them easy to use. (albeit hard to search […]

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Phishing by any other name...

July 12, 2010

If you visit The Huffington Post using Google Chrome, you'll see this alert bar appear at the top of your screen: It looks just like a standard Chrome alert, sharing the same coloring, fonts and icons as the browser's notification bar. But it isn't. It's generated by a piece of code on and is […]

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Are you joking right now, AT&T?!

June 15, 2010

Hours into the iPhone launch, you're still "upgrading your systems"?! Due to a system upgrade the site is temporarily unavailable, please try again later. For immediate assistance please contact customer service at 1-800-331-0500.

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Toiletries (.com)

June 4, 2010

The NYT reports on, which aims to provide drugstore items over the internet. I'm having a hard time seeing how this is really interesting news. “Nobody is really buying toilet paper online,” Mr. Bharara said. “We’re trying to shift in a big way consumer behavior over all, and take share from offline.” Merely being […]

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What is data science?

June 3, 2010

The latest in a series of articles on the topic, Mike Loukides of O'Reilly Radar asks, "What is data science?": We've all heard it: according to Hal Varian, statistics is the next sexy job. Five years ago, in What is Web 2.0, Tim O'Reilly said that "data is the next Intel Inside." But what does that statement […]

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A product only a banker could love

May 25, 2010

There's a lot of excitement about just-launched startup Betterment, but I'm very wary. At best, it's an example of "bad" financial innovation. At worst, it's a straight up scam. It goes to show that it doesn't take complexity and structured products to pull the wool over investors' eyes; all you need is a website and […]

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Adobe strikes back

May 13, 2010

Responding to Steve Job's first public shot in the Flash Wars (apart from the whole not-including-Flash-in-his-mobile-empire thing), Adobe is running a direct set of ads on major sites like the NYT. The campaign pairs a somewhat surprising banner: With a more direct sidebar ad: I predict that within a year, HTML5/Java editing tools will be […]

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The following plug-in has crashed

May 5, 2010

The new Google Chrome Beta has an integrated Adobe Flash plugin. The new Google Chrome Beta spends an awful amount of time looking like this: (Just trying to upload this screen shot with the WordPress flash uploader crashed Chrome not once, not twice, but three times... at which point I switched to the standard uploader.)

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Google allows scripting across Apps

January 29, 2010

This is huge. Google has enabled a Java scripting application across it's online Apps suite. Previously available only to premier subscribers, the scripting capability is now open to anyone with a standard account as well. This competes directly with Microsoft's cross-Office VBA, allowing users to build their own applications while using the productivity suite as […]

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What is the impact of HTML5 on Adobe?

January 22, 2010

With the recent announcements that YouTube and Vimeo are both releasing HTML5-based video players, one has to wonder about the impact of those moves on Adobe. Adobe's Flash had been (and is) THE standard for delivering multimedia content over the web, capturing something like 99% of internet users. HTML5 allows many Flash-like animations/videos/experiences without the […]

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Debating 3D TV

January 19, 2010

Here's an interesting case study in internet behavior dynamics: when Engadget publishes a story -- any story -- about 3D TVs, the comments are filled with fans and excited (potential) consumers. When the NYT publishes a story called "Do Consumers Really Want 3-D TV's?" the comments overflow with doubters and pessimists. Thanks to the magic […]

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Clay Shirky on the internet

January 19, 2010

Clay Shirky sees the internet poised between Invisible High School and Invisible College, the latter of which sounds a lot like an open source society: What did the Invisible College have that the alchemists didn't? They had a culture of sharing. The problem with the alchemists had wasn't that they failed to turn lead into […]

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Seeking Alpha's password security

January 5, 2010

As you may know, TGR is occasionally syndicated on Seeking Alpha. This weekend, Seeking Alpha underwent a redesign in order to incorporate a number of new features largely focused on enhancing discussion, like nested comments and notifications. Unfortunately, one issue that has persisted is that Seeking Alpha passwords are displayed in plaintext: This is quite disconcerting to […]

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The fine print

January 4, 2010

From the "that's a feature, not a bug" file: I always thought my iPhone's ability to continue email searches on the server (as opposed to emails stored on the phone) was broken, since it never returned any results even for emails I knew existed. Today, I learned that remote search is explicitly not supported, according […]

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