Om Malik reflects on ten years of Twitter

Two solid reads from Om Malik, one an article he wrote to introduce the world to Twitter, back in July 1996, and another present tense piece looking at his love for Twitter.

Net neutrality tester

The Internet Health Test site runs a series of upload and download tests to check for consistency and degradation in the connection through your ISP. That data is then passed back as part of a crowd-sourcing effort.

Life after cancer: How the iPhone helped me achieve a healthier lifestyle

This piece by Federico Viticci is moving. It is equal parts a cancer survival story, full of harrowing detail and heroic triumphs, and detailed look at the HealthKit ecosystem. But the best part for me is the denouement, the upshot of his journey.

This read is worth setting aside time for.

Be your own Genius

the best repairs are the ones you do yourself. To that end, spend a few minutes reading Joe Caiati’s Mac troubleshooting guide, posted on 512 Pixels.

Joe is a former Apple Genius and writes from hard-won experience.

Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap

New York Times:

A new website, called Hacker’s List, seeks to match hackers with people looking to gain access to email accounts, take down unflattering photos from a website or gain access to a company’s database. In less than three months of operation, over 500 hacking jobs have been put out to bid on the site, with hackers vying for the right to do the dirty work.

Facebook plans a warning system for embarrassing pics


Let’s say you’re out drinking with your buddies, things get out of hand, you pull out your smartphone, you take a selfie in the middle of all this drunken revelry, then you take 30 or 40 more, and, without hesitation, you start uploading them to Facebook.

Facebook is exploring AI to detect and respond to this behavior.

FilePane, more power for your drags and drops

There are a number of drag and drop utilities available for the Mac. They all work by inserting themselves in the drag and drop command chain, intercepting a drag event and then presenting their interface to receive and process the drop.

FilePane is an interesting take on this approach.

MIT’s slick new UI merges your iPhone and laptop interaction

[VIDEO] MIT’s experimental THAW UI project lets you overlay your iPhone over your computer screen, capturing data from your computer and interacting with objects, creating a single, fluid environment. To get a sense of it, watch the video below. The real fun starts about 45 seconds in.

Humans need not apply

[VIDEO] The video below is long, but thoughtful and riveting. It make the case that just as horses have been replaced by technology, humans are next. If that sounds like silly logic, invest one minute, just to see what you think.

From the narrative:

Self driving cars aren’t the future. They’re here and they work. Self-driving cars have driven hundreds of thousands of miles up and down the California coast and through cities, all without human intervention. The question is not if they’ll replace cars, but how quickly. They don’t need to be perfect, they just need to be better than us. Human drivers, by the way, kill 40,000 people a year with cars, just in the United States. Given that self-driving cars don’t blink, don’t text while driving, don’t get sleepy or stupid, it’s easy to see them being better than humans because they already are.

Self driving cars replacing human drivers is already a done deal. That die is cast. This is just one small example of what is coming.

Safari vs Chrome

What happens when a long time PC and Chrome power user moves to Mac OS X? How will Safari stack up?

Supreme Court decision reining in “on a computer” patents

The Supreme Court yesterday handed down a decision in a landmark case, known as Alice Corp v CLS Bank. Here’s a link to the decision.

In a nutshell, Alice Corp was issued a patent for a computer implemented payment system. CLS Bank argued that the patent was invalid because it took an existing system and simply implemented “well known” steps on a computer.

Apple posts OS X Yosemite “New Look” video

[VIDEO] This video was originally shown during the WWDC keynote. I love the incredible attention to detail. For the designer in me, this is like candy to watch.

Some might see this as a move of OS X towards iOS. I see it more as both OS X and iOS moving toward a more beautifully detailed common future.

In OS X 10.9.3, many users experiencing a hidden /Users folder – Here’s a fix

When Apple released OS X 10.9.3, many users found that the /Users folder was hidden. In my case, when I click on Dave's Computer in the Finder sidebar, then click on Macintosh HD, I don’t see the usual Users folder at the top level of my hard drive. The folder is there, it’s just hidden. Read the post for a fix.

The great works of software

As with any list, there will be much disagreement on what was included and left off the list. That aside, I found this to be a thoughtful read.

As far as I can tell, no truly huge world-shifting software product has ever existed in only one version (even Flappy Bird had updates). Just about every global software product of longevity grows, changes, adapts, and reacts to other software over time.

So I set myself the task of picking five great works of software. The criteria were simple: How long had it been around? Did people directly interact with it every day? Did people use it to do something meaningful? I came up with the office suite Microsoft Office, the image editor Photoshop, the videogame Pac-Man, the operating system Unix, and the text editor Emacs.

I would have placed Unix at #1, the original Mac OS at #2, Mac OS X at #3, and iOS at #4. But hey, that’s just me.

Facebook’s unfriending problem

Interesting read. And, I think, an opportunity for a social network that recognizes the unfriending problem and that offers a more sophisticated friend curation solution.

How your tweets reveal your home location

Geotagged tweets and images can breach privacy walls and even cost lives:

But it also raises privacy issues, particularly when users are unaware, or forget that, their tweets are geotagged. Various celebrities are thought to have given away their home locations in this way. And in 2007, four Apache helicopters belonging to the US Army were destroyed by mortars in Iraq when insurgents worked out their location using geotagged images published by American soldiers.

Final Cut Pro X and the Firebird Suite

Fabrizio Fracassi left Final Cut Pro when Apple made a left turn back in 2011 with the release of Version 10. Happily, Apple addressed the criticism it received from that release and Fabrizio is back in the fold. He explains his logic with a beautiful analogy.

iOS background monitoring exploit

The FireEye blog announced an iOS proof of concept that was able to run in the background and record a user’s actions:

We have created a proof-of-concept “monitoring” app on non-jailbroken iOS 7.0.x devices. This “monitoring” app can record all the user touch/press events in the background, including, touches on the screen, home button press, volume button press and TouchID press, and then this app can send all user events to any remote server, as shown in Fig.1. Potential attackers can use such information to reconstruct every character the victim inputs.

Ford said to drop Microsoft Sync for in-car, move to BlackBerry’s QNX

If this is true, this is a big deal for both Microsoft and BlackBerry.

Ford Motor Co., struggling with in-car technology glitches, will base the next-generation Sync system on BlackBerry Ltd.’s QNX and no longer use Microsoft Corp.’s Windows, according to people briefed on the matter.

Google unveils phone designed to build 3D map of your surroundings

This is fascinating technology.

The device’s sensors allow it make over 250,000 3D measurements every second and update its position in real-time.

Google said potential applications may include indoor mapping, helping the visually-impaired navigate unfamiliar indoor places unassisted and gaming.

Watch the video in the post to get a better sense of this. I think this is a great idea, long time coming. The question is, can Google make this useful and usable. The potential is huge.