About Companies and What Motivates Them

It's a sad comment on the morality of large modern software companies that Microsoft, while I don't think they've gotten any better since Sun sued them, probably has the high ground.

James Gosling on the recent Oracle patent suit against Google.

Ecospeed Electric Bike Assist

I don’t normally geek out about bicycle technology, in particular electric bikes, and definitely not recumbent bicycles. But I was taken enough by the Ecospeed electric bicycle system to want to share.

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Facebook Privacy Loss Creep

More Facebook default opt-in shenanigans. I'm not sure whether this one bothers me so much, but here's why this may be a problem for you and how to turn off the possibility of your friends giving away your location on your behalf. Sigh.

Microsoft Street Slide: One-uping Google Streetview

Microsoft researchers are developing a street view implementation called Street Slide that allows for interesting ways of navigating up and down a street. It seems the photos are taken the same way; a vehicle moves down the road and takes a series of photos in all directions at intervals in time. Each of these intervals results in a bubble of photos, as they call it.

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Adobe Illustrator CS5 Another Home Run

It's hard to believe Adobe can keep squeezing more goodness out of such a mature product. Favorite features in previous Illustrator releases were trace, art boards (I love art boards), smart guides and save for web and devices. This release they've improved art boards, overhauled arrowheads, and added various stroke features.

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iPad an Impediment to Document Innovation

The popularity of Apple’s version of computing and the web has the potential of stifling innovation in non obvious ways. Interactive document formats are a case in point. Here Apple has two sets of rules: if you are Apple you are free to innovate, if you are not Apple you must innovate on top of HTML5 and Javascript. Are official World Wide Web Consortium standard languages sufficient tools to deliver cutting edge document functionality? The answer is no, as I will show below.

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Somewhat Improved Facebook Privacy Controls

Facebook has made some reasonable, but not perfect, fixes to the user interface for changing privacy settings. A few things are better exposed, such as the list of applications that have access to your data, and what data you are sharing with who. But it's still broken because you can't, in one place, tighten your security settings.

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MacRuby for Application Scripting

MacRuby 0.6 was released a few days ago (30 April 2010). MacRuby is a version of Ruby 1.9, ported to run on the Mac OS X Objective-C common runtime. You can write Cocoa apps and, interestingly, you can also use ruby as a scripting language to control applications running on your system.

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Look who's whining now?

Steve Jobs posted on Apple's web site today an unprecedented diatribe on Adobe's Flash technology. I know a lot of folks like to revel in Flash bashing, and worship the flip flops Steve walks in, but it is way over the top when you are in a strong market position and yet feel the need to rip into another company and denigrate their technology. This is particularly true when the remarks are mostly wrong and easily refuted. What this is really is politics: one party labeling and name calling to make the other party look bad and deflect attention.

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Help me understand Facebook and Privacy?

Help me out here. I’m trying to understand how Facebook’s new move to share my information with other sites is okay (Hint: I’m not a teenager, so aim your explanation accordingly). Take LikeButton.me as an example. I’ve never explicitly trusted this site with any information. Yet they know the names of my friends, and yet all I did was visit this site? Visit = type URL, click return.

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