John Gruber says something that I couldn’t agree more with:
“There’s an unbecoming tendency for some Mac users to contort their worldview in such a way so as to construe that Mac OS X is better than every other OS in every single way, or that its overall superiority ought to be obvious to everyone. This actually was true, or very nearly so, in the System 6 era of the late ’80s, but it certainly hasn’t been true since then; sticking to this notion just makes you look like a small-minded jackass. (Not to mention that many of the people I’m describing weren’t even out of diapers when System 6 was current.)”
(Daring Fireball: And Oranges)
technorati tags:macs, markpilgrim, johngruber
Today’s iPod rumor: designed using a “none-touch” concept
“Apple is about to unveil the next generation of iPod, the best-selling music player in the U.S., using a ‘none-touch’ concept.”
I’ve been having a bit of a play around with Flock, which has improved immensely since I first tried it out late last year. The integration with both Flickr and del.icio.us is excellent, the blogging editor is now very usable, and so on.
The only thing that stops be switching to it is that the Google Notebook extension doesn’t yet work with it – and as I use that every day, it’s a deal-breaker for me. Once it works, I’ll switch full-time.
EDIT: In what’s my first bit of hacking for some time, I managed to get Google Notebook plug in working perfectly. I took the installed extension folder from my Firefox folder (this will be in Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/XXXXX/extensions), and put it into the equivalent one for Flock. I then edited the “install.rdf” file to include the following:
<!– Flock –>
Save this, launch Flock, and it works fine – no bugs so far.
There’s a really good story on the New York Times about the incredible computing facility that Google is constructing in Washington State. It begs the question of what Google actually wants all that computing power for – but then you read something like the quote that Nicholas Carr picks out of an interview with Google’s Hunter Walk, where he claims that "when we say we want all the world’s video, we really do want all the world’s video." And they want it at high quality, too.
Nick can’t see what the end of this is, and simply puts it down to Google hubris. But that’s missing the long-term point: fast access to all the world’s information, including video, gives immense power. The ability to use that data to teach AI’s, as a pool for learning about how humans connect things together, is all incredibly valuable – in some ways, more valuable than the content itself.
Google is attempting to solve the oldest problem in AI: how to model the ability that humans have to put things into context. The process of contextualising information is at the heart of a lot of the incredibly smart things that people can do, from what we normally call "common sense" to our ability to make predictions about how things behave.
But why would a commercial organisation like Google be interested in doing something like this? Because context is at the heart of its main business: selling advertising. Put an ad in the right context, and you’re much more likely to sell something from it. So understanding how humans put things into context, how they make connections, is the core of Google’s technology.
All of Google’s efforts – from the search engine itself through Blogger and Writely to the new Google spreadsheet – are about providing it with a bigger pool of data that it can use to create something that understands context, whether you’re talking about words, numbers, audio or video. A document that lives on your hard drive is dead data to Google, unless you’re using Google Desktop Search of course. A piece of data that lives on its servers is live, and available for its use. Welcome to the Googleplex.