Year 2010

Hellenic in Prelude: Font Design Failure

Prelude is the font bundled with WebOS in HP/Palm’s Palm Pre. I first saw it, and wrote about it, last summer, a bit after the device went on sale. Back then I wrote that the font was fantastic, but didn’t…

The spirit of the community (AOSP 2.3 source is out!)

Android 2.3 was announced a few days ago. The previous day, CyanogenMod 6.1, the most popular community mod was released, based on Froyo (2.2). And today, just a short two weeks after the announcement, the source code for the latest…

Chrome OS and Cr-48

Still watching the Google Chrome Team Livestream. Google is on a massive release streak that clarifies their strategic outlook for the next two years. In two days we’ve had: Android 2.3 and a short Android 3.0 sneak-peek, the eBook store,…

An enthusiast product for early adopters

This is what Andy Rubin stated in his 'D: Dive into Mobile' interview, yesterday. And that's probably the best descrption of Android I've read. Like desktop linux was (and arguably still is in some respects), like Mac OS X was in its first three years and like Windows was for a very long period until --- arguably --- Windows 95 came out in August 1995. It's hard for 'normal' people to get excited about Android, because there's little that appeals to normal people. Even from a development standpoint it's clearly work in progress, with volatile APIs, significant bugs and vastly inferior performance (incl. power management) compared to iOS. As I've written before, Android development is moving fast and I reckon it'll take a couple of years at most for it to reach maturity.

Urbanized

The latest film by Gary Hustwit (Helvetica, Objectified). Good to see he keeps working along the same lines. I found both of his films interesting, at the very least. Hopefully this one is going to be equally good (if not better).

Why a student should pay a graduate tax on top?

The linked mini-article at 'A Fistful of Euros' goes to show how wrong the British Government got it with regards to the tuition fees at British universities. It's one thing to argue that higher-quality education can only be the product of additional private funding of universities, as opposed to public funding which --- as in many other parts of Europe --- is being reduced, and another to argue that profit should be made out of the loans students take to fund their studies. Both make little sense to me, but the latter makes no sense at all, besides being totally unfair for those borrowing money to study.

Eternal Spring

Climate change is obvious to anyone over twenty five years of age; things have certainly changed since I was a kid. It’s December and the temperature this evening in Athens is 20°C (mornings and afternoons are way worse. Under normal…

Περί Παράνομων Πινακίδων

Εδώ και αρκετούς μήνες έχει ξεκινήσει η προσπάθεια που γίνεται από την κυβέρνηση για την απομάκρυνση των παράνομων υπαίθριων διαφημιστικών πινακίδων. Από τον ιστότοπο του εγχειρήματος διαβάζω για 893 επιβεβαιωμένες καταγγελίες και 175 αποξηλωμένες πινακίδες. Παρατηρώ πως, δυστυχώς, στο blog…

WikiLeaks U.S. Embassy cables.

Shocking? Not really; anyone between the most ardent conspiracy theorist and a rational, well-informed observer of international diplomacy might have anticipated even the most spicy of the U.S. cables, as they've been reported by the international press. So is this leak interesting? Definitely; speculating about U.S. policy is a totally different game to actually reading it. I'm curious to seeing the few, largely marginal, pieces mentioning/involving Hellas, after getting through the more 'universal' topics. It's also fascinating to see >3 posts/tweets/facebook statuses per second involving the subject while the Wikileaks web site remains inaccessible.

I dislike Facebook because they’re mediocre.

Facebook has become to the social web what Microsoft is to the desktop: mindbogglingly gargantuan, relentlessly mediocre, and almost inescapable. Like Microsoft twenty years ago, they will succeed because a bad standard is better than none: and like Microsoft ten years ago, they “innovate” by clumsily copying—and then trying to squash—the real innovators.
writes Jon Evans in the linked article on TechCrunch. I find Facebook infinitely more dangerous: Microsoft established itself among a number of proprietary, closed and obscure desktop platforms. Facebook, on the other hand, threatens to engulf and absorb the Web, probably the most open, most amazing development in computing, ever. The path to openness is hard --- we need standards, modelling of semantics and relationships, but above all good implementations making use thereof. Facebook provides an easy, 'closed' alternative, as does twitter and a number of other services building upon their proprietary protocols and interfaces. That's why FOAF and OpenSocial are nowhere to be found and everyone (including us) uses Facebook widgets. Again the age-old saying: "ideas are cheap, implementations cost" rings true, and Facebook have a more popular implementation, like Microsoft did back in its heyday.