In August 2011, I posted an article on how the future of social network was to let users have circles of friends. Now, we hear increasingly that with Facebook is losing its charm on the young. What initially started as chat and profile pages for college kids, inevitably opened further and further until everybody’s grandmother is on Facebook. I can only imagine that having grandma stare in shock at their granddaughter’s drunken college tweaking has inspired sudden interest in privacy. Maybe everyone doesn’t need to see the latest pictures of your cat with that neat ball of yarn. Not everyone might be interested in articles like this.
Google+, the ugly step child of social networking, hardly being noticed by most, is already in the right place for this. It’s just that their image of “do no evil” has been sorely tarnished and their app connectivity is very limited. Facebook already has this with Friend Lists, but Facebook’s own shifting privacy concerns have worried users of the premier social networking service. Twitter only alternately offers complete privacy since it’s now really meant for broadcasting alerts to the world about your latest Tiananmen Square or Tahrir Square incident; all or nothing. Since going public, all of these services have really only changed gears in the direction investors would most like to see. That direction may not be in our own best interest.
One concern I have is that the media is burying Facebook while it stand perfectly healthy on both feet. Maybe Facebook has reached a point where people are bored with the current means of sharing, but maybe that’s really a problem with the content and not the method of transmission. I’m perfectly comfortable with today’s social networking, but maybe that’s wrong too. I’m also seeing that Twitter, with its all or nothing approach, is not getting painted with this brush. I’m not 100% convinced there’s a problem that requires anyone to abandon ship.
At what point do we get social network fatigue from adding new social networks? We already have peripheral social networks that ride on Facebook authentication like Classmates.com and SchoolFeed.com. All current apps offer once form or another of sharing to Facebook and/or Twitter, like this article. We’re kind of married to our existing social networks, so why yet another? Everyone loves keeping up with friends, but at some point you get tired of settings up preferences and interests and profiles in a whole new app. How many different inboxes do we need to pay attention to, and how many new information streams do we need to have distracting us? Many of us can barely keep up with everything happening in the social networks that we already have. Networks like Path found this out, when they tried to be another network that tried to be a subset of only true friends, to follow Dunbar’s number. Why more?
I feel another major social network will still need to latch onto Facebook and Twitter, whig are the backbone of the Internet. Another major social network could mean the current social networks losing subscribers and then increasingly poor service. These social networks rely on eyeballs on advertising banners, and the less eyeballs we have the more site errors you will see and the less new features we will see. Another social network could also mean the evolution of social networking since publicly traded companies are less likely to take the risky leaps that made social networking so great in the first place. Another social network could mean we see newer, shinier features. A newer social network could mean a smaller, more intimate, environment for friends to interact. Another could mean greater freedom in sharing, or greater privacy to secure our social interactions. The new social networks involve chatting or other short impermanent changes that leave you nothing to look back at, but how many times do we look back at our old social networking activity? We may finally get the social circles that people really need. I don’t know what it would look like or what we would share differently, but I look forward to this evolution.
I have been a fan of gadgets ever since my father came home with a pong machine. That machine stayed in the house for about 15 minutes before me and my brother started fighting over the single controller, and my father then went to the store for a refund. He followed that up with a C64 and C128 years later, but the seed had already been planted for loving bright and shiny new tech.
Having been a user of Newton, Palm Pilots, Palm Treos, and all sorts of cool gadgets, I naturally gravitated towards the iPhone when it came out in 2007. I didn’t get one until 2008 when it was finally proven that the iPhone was taking over, and the App Store made its debut. Ever since then I’ve been addicted to it.
I’m a very technical person. I currently work as an IT Lead for a financial software company. I work with all sorts of technologies, very new and old. I have used programs like ControlPlane on Mac. I tweak my computer interface to help me work better all the time. I have friends and family that use Android and Windows phone who have made the switch back to the light side. I have had people try to convince me about why I should switch, with honestly no points made about why it’s better other than just “uh, because it is”. In my opinion, this comes from a lack of understanding why you’re using it for in the first place. I’ve had people tell me that the Android interface flows better for them. And that’s fine because it works for them, and so they should. Maybe the new iPhone interact does that now, and they could switch, but choose to stay on Android because it’s what comfortable for them. That’s good too!
I understand about the customizability and how everyone is fascinated by how they can change ROMs and themes. Honestly, this is like the distraction people had with Windows 95 themes back a long time ago. I think of that as a distraction from using the device. What matters to me is what applications it has, and the look and feel of the application. The iPhone feels like a natural progression of what has come before. My feeling is that the Android interface is an amateurish copy of the iPhone. So why go with that when the original does it well? Sure, I know there are applications that are possible on Android that take advantage of not being in Apple’s walled garden; running those applications is just not my thing and without the app review that Apple has, there has been a lot of unsavory software out there. I don’t think that all iPhone apps are automatically given a pass just because they are running on an Apple device; there is a lot of crap there, too. But for my money, I just want my device to work. I don’t need it crashing because the stock ROM sucks or the replacement ROM sucks or its missing something because the theme sucks. It should just work, and for my flow, the iPhone does that for me. And you can have it when you pry it from my cold dead hands.
I recently wrote on working with Apple’s various ways of syncing with iTunes, and how it can work better. One of the apps I neglected to mention, was iBooks, because I work with eBooks differently. Here’s why. Continue reading
iTunes was recently reported to be something that Steve Jobs had no desire to spread beyond the Mac family line of computers. Once Apple spread it from the Apple platform, iPods and then the iPhone itself, became latched to Windows, and expanded in popularity and feature count. For almost every app that Apple has shipped with the iPod Touch and iPhone over the years (not including the Compass, Calculator, and Stocks apps) there is now a connection to iTunes. And that collection has made iTunes quite a monstrosity.
Edward Snowden, sysadmin extraordinaire, hero to some, traitor to others, who currently enjoys asylum in Russia for one year ending in June 2014, to be reviewed depending on whether he violates the condition of his asylum: that he cease hurting the United States. An odd requirement in my view, considering Russia was the villain while I was growing up a child of the Cold War.
The question that has taken everyone’s attention is whether or not we are living in a police state, and whether that is constitutional according to the documents with which the government of the United States of America. That an organization like the NSA may or may not have the power to do what it is doing.
In mid-March of this year, I completed a divorce that started December 2009. To say that the three and a half year long divorce was bad is an understatement. It felt like most of North America had been destroyed by a meteor strike. After being worn down by so much bitterness, it was time to end the divorce. In the end it was funny who was still standing by my side and who bailed on me. Family members who have been close for years were suddenly burning my bridge. Friends I hadn’t spoken to came out to give advice. Most surprising of all was how, in retrospect, this started years before we ever hit the lawyers offices. And after this all began, I had someone new at my side.
I will now live off a fraction of my salary for the next 8 years, hopefully getting through by more than just the skin of my teeth during that time, have lost the car I was extremely fond of, lost all equity in my house which has sill not sold, and any belongings that I had not carried out of the house by January when the cleaners emptied the whole house. The items ranged from very material and now useless items like a large number of electronic gadgets to things that had sentimental value: a 3COM Ergo Audrey, a Salton ePods browser pad, various irreplaceable items handed down from family members who are no longer with us, my gold high school ring from 1986, trophies and belt from Tae Kwon Do, and countless other things. Some few things like my Macbook Pro and the majority of my data were able to be removed, but in all honesty, none of those other things were really absolutely necessary for survival. At the start of this, I said that my sanity is worth much more than money or objects. I’m not sure that I still have all my sanity left, but I’m glad I made the right decision on not fighting for anything else.
Luckily, early on, my daughter and son smuggled out two plastic shoebox-sized containers of photo prints, full of treasured memories in it. I’m particularly sentimental about my pictures, avoiding losing any pictures at all costs. My oldest son recently found a CD and gave it to me as one of my birthday presents. One that I had burned back in 1996, when my daughter was a year old, and he himself was only six. The disc contained pictures I had though long gone. Along with some rolls of film that were never developed. It’s amazing the things that bring tears to your eyes.
The thing I am happiest about out of everything, is that I have my children living with me 100% of the time, the love of my soon-to-be wife, Sandra, and her two children in my life. I may not have much at all, but I am a very lucky man.
MonkeyChow has been around for almost 8 years. I’ve used it for all those years except for a year I moved to Google Reader when I didn’t have my own server running. What this needs is its own Kickstarter to get me on AWS, like forever. Anyway, here is whats coming, and why I think feeds are still very important.