Khoi Vinh on the idiotic 30 days of failed logo candidates from Yahoo!:

It does nothing for one’s confidence in the Yahoo brand to see that the company cares so little for its public image that it would be willing to float thirty random, meaningless expressions of itself out there, expressions that have clearly not been through the real process of logo development. It just looks like Yahoo doesn’t take this seriously.

Sleepful with Windows Phone

I’ve been using a Nokia Lumia 521 with Windows Phone 8 for two(ish) months now, and I am still learning new things about it. Like this, just now: you can still adjust the ringer volume (and by proxy, the alarm volume) while you have the ringer turned off. Check the top left and right of each of the side-by-side screen shots below.


Of course the fact that the ringer was off completely was lost to me since it is not entirely obvious, especially when I can see that I am raising the ringer volume as far as it will go.

So why did I turn the ringer off? I didn’t. However, one of the advertised features of the Lumia 521 is its highly sensitive touch screen that can work through gloves. Unfortunately, I’ve also noticed it working by the touch of my leg as it rests in my pants; I often pull it from my pocket to see it already deep within an app menu.


Suffice to say, I have just turned off the high sensitivity. Hopefully I won’t miss any further morning alarms now.

Dear Feedly…

Dear Feedly,

Let’s do some math: 3 + 2 + 2 + 95 + 8 + 14 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 50 + 20 + 9 + 1 + 22 + 7.

I get 240. What do you get?

Oh, I see you somehow ended up with 547 unread items.

Feedly drunk on math

Well, I don’t understand your math, but I guess I can’t say I am surprised. I’ve been dealing with your strange arithmetic since I switched to you from my dear, lost Google Reader a couple months ago.

Speaking of your unread counts… if you’re going to mark everything in a category as read when I click one of the numbers shown above, could you please give me some sort of warning? A tooltip or something? Please? I was trying to read those items, not mark them as read.

And as long as I mentioned that menu of feed categories, do you really need to show it whenever my cursor is resting in the area highlighted in red below? It just gets in the way, and I know to click the menu button in the corner if I actually need the menu.


I know you’re trying hard, Feedly, to fill a big void in all our hearts, so I’ll cut you some slack. But there are more of these little issues where those three came from. If you want some help ironing them out, just ask.

I’m just going to leave a running list of issues I find with Feedly here; hopefully they are listening and will make some fixes.

7/5/2013: Was browsing through my uncategorized feeds and wanted to mark them as read when I was done. Both the big mark-as-read checkmark at the bottom and the small one at the top fail to mark anything as read in this “category.”

Privacy or convenience: pick one

Bruce Schneier summing up the relationship between government and corporations vis-à-vis privacy:

If the government demanded that we all carry tracking devices 24/7, we would rebel. Yet we all carry cell phones. If the government demanded that we deposit copies of all of our messages to each other with the police, we’d declare their actions unconstitutional. Yet we all use Gmail and Facebook messaging and SMS. If the government demanded that we give them access to all the photographs we take, and that we identify all of the people in them and tag them with locations, we’d refuse. Yet we do exactly that on Flickr and other sites.

And again:

There are a lot of good reasons why we’re all flocking to these cloud services and vendor-controlled platforms. The benefits are enormous, from cost to convenience to reliability to security itself. But it is inherently a feudal relationship. We cede control of our data and computing platforms to these companies and trust that they will treat us well and protect us from harm. And if we pledge complete allegiance to them — if we let them control our email and calendar and address book and photos and everything — we get even more benefits. We become their vassals; or, on a bad day, their serfs.

I have recently been looking for small ways to cut Google out of my life, but Big G is certainly not the only platform to be ware.

When Twitter cared

Me, three years ago yesterday, naively:

Turns out it wasn’t great news. Tweetie was considered by many to be the first great iPhone app and its creator Loren Brichter gets due credit for inventing the now ubiquitous pull-to-refresh gesture. Instead of cultivating that greatness, Twitter bastardized its own iOS app into something that serves advertisers — not users — and has all but killed the market for third-party clients. I use Tweetbot across Mac, iPhone and iPad, but I am just waiting for the day when it stops working.

(Now would be a good time to again encourage everyone to join App.net, which actually cares about its users and developers.)

My home screen, always changing


I am always interested by what people find worthy enough to put on their home screens. I have posted mine here and elsewhere in the past.

My iPad home screen was feeling a bit stale, so I just gave it a shake up. Mine is a mix of which apps I think I use the most and which ones I should use more.

I wish iOS provided a way to see which apps I actually use the most. It might vary quite a bit from this.

Fun with Android adoption numbers

Google was out touting Android version adoption yesterday, saying more than 50 percent of Android devices now run one of the two latest versions of the operating system. That’s a far cry from where they were in January, and the difference seems to come entirely from new adoption of Jellybean, with ICS holding steady at 29 percent and Gingerbread still making up a significant portion of the install base.


Of course Google had to change their methodology to get Jellybean adoption to that point:

The new device dashboards are based on the devices of users who visit the Google Play Store (rather than devices that have checked-in to Google servers). As a result, the dashboards more accurately reflect the users most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem—and thus most likely to download and use your apps.

It actually makes sense from a developer’s perspective to only show the part of the pie that might actually download your apps, but I wonder how far these number vary from the full pie and how much smaller the engaged pie is. If there is a significant difference in the size of the pies, that would seem to support the theory that many Android phones are not used as “smart” phones.

Why doesn’t Google open that kimono? Open is always better than closed, right?