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robertogreco : mathonan   7

A Hackathon Where 2G-Era Tech Is King | WIRED
"It’s a different perspective from the typical Silicon Valley mindset, which is all about speed and specs. But if you want to make smartphone applications that work for most people (not just most Americans), you have to think slow. Smartphones and the Internet are booming in the developing world. By the third quarter of last year, smartphones overtook feature phones. The world is going online — wireless Internet service grew by 83 percent in China last year, 84 percent in India, and 68 percent in Nigeria, according to Ericsson, which operates some 40 percent of global cellular traffic. But the mobile Internet in the developing world is a fundamentally different beast than the one we typically talk about. That includes everything from the devices people use to to the plans they purchase, and the networks they run them on."
2014  mathonan  slow  mobile  webdev  nandwidth  2g  internet  web  smartphones  smartphoneonly  via:markllobrera  webdesign 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Emptyage — About my quote in The Wire   
"I fave things because I like them, or hate them. I do it to say good job, or fuck you, or just because I want to see them again. (But I never, ever see them again.) I fave things because I want the writer to know that I know too—I fave stuff just to let people know I’ve seen it. I fave things out of obligation. I fave things because I’m bored. I fave things to be a part of something bigger than myself. I fave things because favoriting is important and society is broken and Twitter is a meaningless and empty way for me to pass the time and avoid any form of introspection that might make me a better or more productive person. I favorite things to get people’s attention. (“Take out menus left on the doors of other restaurants,” but I may be misquoting that.) I favorite things to feel less alone, and so that you’ll feel less alone too. I favorite stuff that makes me laugh. Sometimes I favorite things by accident. Fave."
favorites  favoriting  mathonan  2014  twitter  likes  liking  web  online  socialmedia  faving 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The Semiotics of Like - Anil Dash
"What's key here is that people are experimenting. When Mat tries a different way of using the Like feature on Facebook, he's testing its boundaries and exploring the meaning of using it in different ways. This is key. And not just because we need to understand the algorithms that shape so much of our lives (though we do), but because it can open up our minds to new ways to express ourselves.

Of course, I have a dog in this fight. I've done experiments about being mindful of whom I retweet and amplify. I'm the guy with a comprehensive theory of favoriting on Twitter. And I spent all day building an app (sign up now for free!) that is about plumbing the depths of this expression.

But even putting aside my own peccadilloes, what seems to be glaringly missing is a broader discussion about the ways we bend and stretch these apps we use every day. Where are the hacks and the cheat codes and the unexpected discoveries? Sure, the billion people who simply see these services as utilities to talk to their friends aren't going to try to break their networks, but those of us who are geeks seem to have settled into a too-comfortable acceptance of what we're given.

How are we going to find out what we really mean when we act if we don't start doing more experiments about how we express ourselves?"
like  liking  favorites  favoriting  socialmedia  web  online  internet  anildash  2014  networks  twitter  mathonan  facebook  faving 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The Most Fascinating Profile You’ll Ever Read About a Guy and His Boring Startup | Business | WIRED
"But these are sweatsock numbers. The kind of thing you toss in the hamper in an offhand fashion, but that only hints at your larger ambition and work. Slack wants to get huge. It wants to get to a place where it is the one application that everyone in your company runs all the time, no matter what else they are doing. It wants to end interoffice email. It wants to be the next Microsoft—not the current, cowed, pathetic company looking for a comeback. No, it doesn’t want to be Expendables Stallone-era Microsoft, it wants to be Rocky/Rambo Stallone-era Microsoft.

But—and this is a key but—Stewart wants Slack to be the Microsoft you want to use. The software itself is easy to understand. It does the things you expect it to do, as you expect it to do them, and holds your hand when it introduces new concepts. You can change the way it looks in subtle ways to make it your own, but even on a fresh install it’s just pretty to look at. Every time you fire it up, it greets you with whimsically twee inspirational messages. It says “Each day will be better than the last. Especially this one.” Or: “Please enjoy Slack responsibly.” Or Stewart’s favorite: “What good shall I do this day?”

Slack’s strategy is to insinuate itself into the workplace from the bottom up. The idea is that it will get so popular inside organizations that IT departments will have to embrace it. When you’ve got just a few people using the free version, it works well enough. But as it catches on in the workplace, features like unlimited message search and custom integrations with other software become increasingly vital. And to get those features you have to pay to upgrade. By now, you’re hooked. So you convince your CIO to pony up—or at least, that’s the hope. I mean, it’s working for Dropbox, right? Until now, Slack hasn’t even done any advertising. It has grown entirely (and phenomenally) by word of mouth."



"In 2004, photo sharing in the cloud was wild stuff. But Flickr was also groundbreaking in a number of other ways. The service pioneered a cocktail of features that we would come to associate with the Web 2.0 era—the transition period when the world moved from largely static web pages to ones that act more like interactive applications. Although Delicio.us was the first major service to introduce what came to be known as tagging, Flickr took it mainstream. Every time you tag someone in Facebook or add a hashtag on Twitter, you can thank Flickr. It also figured out the concept of “authing in.” You know how you can use Facebook or Google or Twitter to log in to a site, just by clicking a button, without actually having to surrender your username and password? Yeah, Flickr did it first. It was even at the forefront of social networking: A decade ago, it was letting people add friends and contacts with varying levels of permission. You could identify someone as a contact, a friend, family or all of the above, and vary what they saw based on the relationship. It also introduced the world to activity streams—the running tallies of what a user does on a site.

But its power move was something called an open API. To see just how far we’ve come, nobody who is anybody even uses the term “open API” anymore. It’s just API, now. But prior to Flickr, websites’ application programming interfaces—or the set of rules that govern how a program can interact with something in a database—were typically reserved as internal tools. Flickr threw open the doors and let anyone on the Internet prong into its API, the first big service for consumers to do so. It was a philosophical statement: Our data is better when we let other people do things with it. This is accepted gospel now, but at the time it was a new and radical notion.

It was precisely the kind of thing a philosophy major who spent his childhood on a commune without running water or electricity might come up with. “I related to the whole hippie, acid-test confluence of the early Internet,” Stewart says, looking up at the vast empty space overhead in the Slack office. “The idea that we should be open and interoperate with our data resonated with me.”

He pauses. His tone shifts. “It was also something people could get behind, and make them want to support us. You know? We didn’t think about Dvorak or Mossberg. We thought about Cory Doctorow.” That is, they didn’t care about the mainline tech press, the people writing about IBM and Apple and Adobe. They wanted the information-should-be-free set. The zealots, who would spread the gospel out on the open Web."
slack  tinyspeck  2014  stewartbutterfield  flickr  mathonan  glitch 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The Nightmare on Connected Home Street | Gadget Lab | WIRED
"I wake up at four to some old-timey dubstep spewing from my pillows. The lights are flashing. My alarm clock is blasting Skrillex or Deadmau5 or something, I don’t know. I never listened to dubstep, and in fact the entire genre is on my banned list. You see, my house has a virus again.

Technically it’s malware. But there’s no patch yet, and pretty much everyone’s got it. Homes up and down the block are lit up, even at this early hour. Thankfully this one is fairly benign. It sets off the alarm with music I blacklisted decades ago on Pandora. It takes a picture of me as I get out of the shower every morning and uploads it to Facebook. No big deal.

I don’t sleep well anyway, and already had my Dropcam Total Home Immersion account hacked, so I’m basically embarrassment-proof. And anyway, who doesn’t have nudes online? Now, Wat3ryWorm, that was nasty. That was the one with the 0-day that set off everyone’s sprinkler systems on Christmas morning back in ’22. It did billions of dollars in damage.

Going back to sleep would be impossible at this point, so I drag myself into the kitchen to make coffee. I know this sounds weird, but I actually brew coffee with a real kettle. The automatic coffee machine is offline. I had to pull its plug because it was DDOSing a gaming server in Singapore. Basically, my home is a botnet. The whole situation makes me regret the operating system I installed years ago, but there’s not much I can do. I’m pretty much stuck with it.



I sit down with my coffee and fire up the short throw projector embedded in the kitchen table. The news is depressing, so I flip through a Redfin search I started last night in bed. There are these houses up in Humboldt County that are listed in the inundation zone, so they were never required to upgrade. That was a cartography error; even if sea levels go up another 20 feet they would still be above the water line. They’re rustic, and don’t even have high energy automobile docks. But the idea of getting off the grid really appeals to me, even if it’s just a fantasy.

The skylights open up. The toaster switches on. I hear the shower kick in from the other room. It’s morning."
automation  iot  mathonan  2014  speculativefiction  smarthomes  malware  technology  caution  internetofthings 
july 2014 by robertogreco
How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet
"Flickr is still very valuable. It has a massive database of geotagged, Creative Commons- and Getty-licensed, subject-tagged photos. But sadly, Yahoo's steady march of incompetence doesn't bode well for making use of these valuable properties. If the Internet really were a series of tubes, Yahoo would be the leaking sewage pipe, covering everything it comes in contact with in watered-down shit.

Flickr's last best hope is that Yahoo realizes its value and decides to spin it off for a few bucks before both drop down into a final death spiral. But even if that happens, Flickr has a long road ahead of it to relevance. People don't tend to come back to homes they've already abandoned."
instagram  facebook  2012  mathonan  photography  yahoo  flickr 
may 2012 by robertogreco

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