Sep 27, 2010

Is facebook doing the right thing?

No, In the mind of Facebook, locking in users by holding their data captive is equally legitimate to actually making them want to stay, and it means more power for them. The problem is very simple. They own every piece of information about you that either you or your friends knowingly or unknowingly submit to them. They control who can see every bit of it, and they control how you can access it. You can bet when you delete something, it isn’t actually gone, that when you set something to private, there’s nothing to keep it that way, that when you want to see anything on Facebook, you’ll have to do it the way Facebook wants.
Buzz on the other hand allows you to keep your data as well as generating a discussion with  your friends about the topic. You can post data and share it just with your friends as well as mute some parts of a friends feed.  To me that seems the right mix between privacy and the enjoyment of other's people's pictures. Time will tell if Diaspora will be able to do a better job.

Sep 9, 2010

Wake up to Cell Phone or Email?

Almost every morning for that last 20 years I have incorporated into my morning routine a glance at the cell phone to see if it is on and working. Now I have replaced the cell phone checking habit with a glance at my gmail's inbox / chat list.  Gmail's Call Phone Option makes email and phoning all in one place and with my eyes getting dimmer I need every advantage I can get. Remember F11 for full screen or hold down control and press + to make the font bigger.  It is also nice to be able to video chat with your brother when he gets up in the early morning, just like me.  Ed, when you make video calls, you can click on the top left corner of the video window and it will  become full-screen, to make it small again click the top left corner again.  If clicking doesn't work press alt F4 or you can setup keyboard shortcuts.  Cnet has a good video on the subject.
Happy Videoing.  Remember Jabber is Open Source so any domain (not just gmail) can do this. Now if I could only get rid of my morning cup of coffee.

Sep 7, 2010

Where has all my Hard Drive Gone? Baobab to the rescue.

This Eee PC comes with only 4 Gigs of hard drive.  I let Jesse use it so he could jabber with family ad friends when he was in Turkey. Back at PRBI now and a desktop suites him fine.  It left with over 1.5 gigs of hard drive free and came back with 0.1 Gigs -- not even enough for an update.  What to do? Gtalk for help. Lets see who is online.  My other nephew Craig pointed me in the right direction -- Baobab. Baobab is a disk use analyzer. It quickly showed me that my home folder had 1 gig of data and that most of it was under .mozilla and .thumbnails.  I guess this laptop was used to view over 18,000 photos in Turkey.  Each image viewed in F-spot had a thumbnail of it stored in .thumbnails/normal, in fact over 1/2 a Gig in that folder.  WOW Each image was only 128 x 96 but every 4K file adds up.  I just moved them all to trash and emptied trash.  Thanks for Craig for helping me out with computers! Ubuntu is people helping people.
This is what BAOBAB looks like.

Sep 6, 2010

A look at voice in the future.

With voice phoning to any number now included in Gmail, one can easily envision the death of ten digit numbers for quick access to other people's voices. A lot of companies want to expend their communication profile to include voice, but which one will win?  Companies like Google, Microsofts 's MSN, Yahoo, and Ebay's Skype, etc, realize they can make money with real-time interaction and more money with Voice and Video communications. The only open phoning protocol is Gmail's use of the XMPP. So that is why Google and others, that federate with Google's Gmail, will win.  The black horse in this race is Facebook who uses the same protocol, but they don't federate with other domains, but if they do than this point is mute. This Jabber technology will become the bases of future voice communications .  WHY?

  1. People change phone numbers and you are not automatically updated. In Gmail the cloud backs up your personal contacts and in Google / Buzz is used to search for new businesses / people.
  2. Phone Numbers belong to Operators/Countries (travel overseas for a month and your phone number belongs to someone else -- your email account is much more personal. i.e. I can log into Gmail via my android, my computer or a friend's Iphone.
  3. With Jabber you can control who can call you. On regular phone you are often the victim of unwanted calls.
  4. Your Instant Message presence indicators can relay info like "do not disturb" or how you are feeling or what you are selling. 

Sep 3, 2010

Use Ubuntu - Think about people not just about money.

As I sit here installing Ubuntu on my friend's Sony laptop, her words "you have never done me wrong" keep ringing in my ears. So instead of fixing her Windows issues, I put Ubuntu on it. I am worried about her simply accounting and game familiarity integration. Change is harder as we get older and maybe that is why I am nervous. How much faster will the computer be? I usually find Ubuntu to be twice as fast as Windows. What repositories should I install? I guess I should install WINE, just in-case.
Maybe Ubuntu gives us too much freedom or is there just too many options. It takes me 2 hours to do this. If i fixed windows $80 x 2 = $160, but it is Ubuntu $25 x 2 = $50 Or maybe I should just charge my normal rate, after all it will be better for them and the world.