Zach's IMS 201a

It’s no secret, Apple sucks at social media and integrating it into its products. Ping. Come on. Who uses Ping? What’s the point of Ping? “Hey dude, follow me on Ping so you can see that I like Weezer!” That’s what I see Ping as. Also, another thing with Ping is that if you ask your common Facebooker or whatever “Hey do you have a Ping?” they’ll be like “What’s Ping?” the only thing I have seen about Ping was at the press conference where it was announced.

The author goes into more detail about more failures by Apple in the social arena. However, I think it’s incredibly hard for non-start-ups to innovate in the social realm. Microsoft, Google, and Apple three of the largest tech companies aren’t able to replicate the success that a 20 year old had (Marky Mark Zuckerberg) with a social network. Twitter was another that came from a start-up and has remained its own company, unlike MySpace who lost it when it “sold-out” to NewsCorp (who wants to post personal information to something owned by NewsCorp? We know they aren’t above hacking personal info anyway…). This shows that there is a growing ineptitude by large companies to innovate socially, partly because those who adapt this type of technology are college kids, who typically, are anti-corporation and all that. Despite our best efforts, college kids are fundamentally hipster… 

Pardon the harsh language…

Pardon the harsh language…

Sergey Brin, as you all know is the cofounder of Google, he and his wife donated 500,000 dollars to the charity behind Wikipedia. Fortunately this means that Wikipedia will remain free for use for everyone for quite awhile. The article also details a Mountain View “competitor” to Wikipedia created in 2007 called Knol. Not surprisingly this didn’t last, as everything Google does sucks (besides Search, Android and Chrome—the browser). 

Anyway, this relates to class because it shows that people are supportive of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia foundation. It also shows the cooperation between tech corporations which often seem to have better relations than most types of companies (besides anyone with Apple, I guess). It will be interesting to see if any other Tech billionaires (I’m looking at you Zuckerberg and Gates!) begin donating to keep essential things like Wikipedia free (though I’m not looking to fondly on Gates because his “former” company is one of the sponsors of SOPA, but anyway….)

Jimmy Wales being creepy and begging. 

Jimmy Wales being creepy and begging

My software engineering class uses this book. All the books on this site are technical in nature and are available free to Miami students. This book is pretty easy to navigate and when I read it on my iPad it reads somewhat like a normal ebook would. It has an integrated search feature and you don’t necessarily have pages, each “page turn” is really a section turn—everything for one section is displayed on one page. 

Going back to the very beginning of the class, which was about three years ago if I remember correctly, the Internet isn’t quite as protected as it should be. And this is one of the most prominent examples of that. The FCC passed some extremely LIGHT net neutrality laws and the Republicans in Congress were upset that these laws represented the Government interfering with the “free-market.” Unfortunately, the invisible-hand of Capitalism will NOT work with the Internet as it did NOT work with radio and TV (try to start a radio/tv station or get a new cable provider and see how that turns out). 

The Internet is not the economy. The Internet is free-speech. We have learned again and again that we must fight for free-speech. However even as this bill got defeated in Congress (Obama pledged a veto so a pass would have just been a waste of time), there is another lovely bill being worked on called the Protect IP Act. This bill will destroy the Internet, plain and simply. Web 2.0 will be gone. Sites will become responsible if users post links to piracy sites, or copyright infringe or whatever. Which would destroy almost all of the Internet, you cannot make sites responsible for what people post, it’s ridiculous. 

Anyway, this relates to class in a multitude of ways. First, we have net neutrality and what it means for the Internet to be on an equal footing for everyone and why the Internet cannot regulate itself via the free-market. We need protection. And also, the Protect IP Act is ridiculous and murderous toward the Internet. These bills could decidedly change the future of the Internet in the complete negative. Nothing good can come from the Internet not remaining neutral nor can anything good happen if “rogue sites” that contain copyright materials or facilitate copyright infringements. 

//self-important Internet rant = done


Apple Store humor, everyone. Thanks, TimKFin!


Apple Store humor, everyone. Thanks, TimKFin!

and use their new augmented reality app to look up prices! Amazon has released an app for iOS that allows users to scan products/barcodes and it brings up the items on Amazon’s retail store. So no longer will people have to be in bookstores, typing in long book titles to find that Amazon has it for literally 50% of whatever bookstore you’re in has it. 

This shows how the convergence between convenience and technology (and also that Amazon is not satisfied with only shutting down bookstores). Best case scenario with something like this is that retailers are more aware that customers can cross-check prices rather than just stick to what is given at the store and thus it spurs more healthy competition. Worst case is that Amazon puts everyone out of business. But anyway, this shows our demand for information as we need it. We need to be able to just scan something rather than type it. Quoth the Black Eyed Peas “We are the now generation.”

Okay, it doesn’t quite say that, but that’s what I thought of when I saw it. Philip Rosendale, creator of the Second Life (info here), is trying to reinvent the way that people provide goods and services for one another. On Coffee and Power you can do anything from tutor someone in Arabic to create a lovely quilt and all of this takes place using virtual currency (which is where the hippie aspect comes in I think). So now if someone is unemployed or something but they can quilt or are knowledgable they can help provide their talents over this marketplace rather than attempt to try so in a grueling job market. Being able to do this will allow those who are unable to find work to obtain some luxury items in return for their services. It’s all very zen. 

This relates to class because it shows how the Internet and digital networking can create a new marketplace that doesn’t discriminate whatsoever. It is connecting people in a much more focused way than Craigslist, I think. Using the digital currency is also an interesting idea; I think it will help ensure that people on the site don’t try to rip people off or whatever.