30 Sep

ZDNet – AVOS’ Delicious Disaster: Lessons from a Complete Failure

They changed the site dramatically and gave users no warning to make a contingency plan, then launched the new version with a laundry list of broken tools and an astonishing scroll of things they’re “working on.”

Most people are reporting that the plugins are either broken or not compatible – including the most recent versions made by AVOS. The accrued bookmarks and tags are all still tucked away on Delicious’ site, but can’t be accessed by the plugin at all.

On launch day, the amount of people timing out while trying to log in was sadly impressive. As I write this, I get a 502 when checking the delicious.com link.

The RSS feeds were broken, the password reset was broken, browser extensions are still broken, tag bundles are gone (users put a lot of work into these), search by date is gone and search returns are not chronological, users are now unable to edit their tags…

The functionality of the site is gone. I have to wonder, did anyone at AVOS actually use Delicious?

via ZDNet – AVOS’ Delicious Disaster: Lessons from a Complete Failure. The second (maybe even third) great migration from Delicious is in effect only this time since exporting is broken, people are even more upset.

29 Sep

Zach Holman – Scaling GitHub’s Employees

We do things differently at GitHub: we work out of chat rooms, we don’t enforce hours, and we have zero managers. People work on what they want to work on. Product development is driven by whoever wants to drive product.

I’m GitHub employee number nine, and although I wasn’t there at the beginning, I’ve been hearing and reading the same things since even before I was hired a year and a half ago: GitHub really has a great work environment, but it’s not going to scale as they grow. The common sentiment was once GitHub grew past five employees, they’ll have to start changing their strategy.

Once we made it to five employees, we heard the same thing about ten employees. Once we made it to ten employees, then they talked about twenty. Then thirty. Today we’re at forty employees, and, if anything, we’re even happier with our way of working than ever before.

via Zach Holman – Scaling GitHub’s Employees. Pretty cool read, the focus is on automating tasks so new employees don’t need to know a lot to get started and working, having teams that focus primarily on one single part of GitHub and reducing complexity.

29 Sep

Computerworld – Chrome poised to take No. 2 browser spot from Firefox

Google’s Chrome is on the brink of replacing Firefox as the second-most-popular browser, according to one Web statistics firm.

Data provided by StatCounter, an Irish company that tracks browser usage using the free analytics tools it offers websites, shows that Chrome will pass Firefox to take the No. 2 spot behind Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) no later than December.

As of Wednesday, Chrome’s global average user share for September was 23.6%, while Firefox’s stood at 26.8%. IE, meanwhile, was at 41.7%.

The climb of Chrome during 2011 has been astonishing: It has gained eight percentage point since January 2011, representing a 50% increase.

via Computerworld – Chrome poised to take No. 2 browser spot from Firefox. Can’t say I’m that shocked Google has been doing really awesome work with Chrome.

27 Sep

APOD – Flying over Planet Earth

Have you ever dreamed of flying high above the Earth? Astronauts visiting the International Space Station do this every day, circling our restless planet twice every three hours. A dramatic example of their view was compiled in the above time-lapse video from images taken earlier this month. As the ISS speeds into the nighttime half of the globe, familiar constellations of stars remain visible above. An aerosol haze of Earth’s thin atmosphere is visible on the horizon as an thin multi-colored ring. Many wonders whiz by below, including vast banks of white clouds, large stretches of deep blue sea, land lit up by the lights of big cities and small towns, and storm clouds flashing with lightning. The video starts over the northern Pacific Ocean and then passes from western North America to western South America, ending near Antarctica as daylight finally approaches.

via APOD – Flying over Planet Earth. Wow!

27 Sep

gdgt – Oh, one more thing about the Amazon tablet: the second, better version is coming very soon

Yesterday I posted about how the Kindle teams used the RIM PlayBook to get a color e-reader product out the door (gdgt.com­/discuss­/the­-amazon­-tablet­-will­-look­-like­-…). I stopped short of saying they’re rushing it out the door, but by all accounts I’ve heard that it was indeed delayed. (It doesn’t seem like much of a secret now that Amazon seems to have been trying to get a Kindle tablet out a little earlier this year.)

Well, this delay to get the "stopgap" Kindle tablet out in time for the holiday season this year may have pretty serious consequences for early adopters and holiday shoppers: my sources tell me the second-gen Kindle tablet (or Kindle Fire, as it’s now been dubbed) will be out in Q1 of 2012 — yes, that soon. That was always the plan, but the delays of the v1 product have messed up Amazon’s release cycle.

And what’s worse, the second tablet — which Amazon didn’t just take more or less off the shelf from ODM manufacturer Quanta — seems to be the device Amazon really believes in.

Granted, in the hardware world there are often delays; timelines shift and cascade, strategies change, and launches get rejiggered all the time — so this true 2nd-gen Kindle tablet may be pushed back, too. One can rarely say with certainty that a product will get out on schedule. But if all goes according to plan, it looks like you’ll be seeing the second Kindle tablet not too long after you take the plastic off your first. If it was my money, I’d hold out a bit.

via gdgt – Oh, one more thing about the Amazon tablet: the second, better version is coming very soon. I think I’ll hold off on Gen1 of the Kindle Tablet, if Gen2 is going to be coming out that soon.

27 Sep

NPR – OnStar Hits Reverse: It Won’t Keep Collecting Data From Old Customers

Just days after it received intense criticism from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), some other lawmakers and privacy advocates, General Motors’ OnStar service has agreed that it won’t keep its data connections open to customers who have canceled the service.

via NPR – OnStar Hits Reverse: It Won’t Keep Collecting Data From Old Customers. OnStar however still hasn’t changed it’s mind about selling data it collects from current customers at some point.

27 Sep

Vivek Haldar – Size is the best predictor of code quality

A long paper trail of software engineering studies has shown that many internal code metrics (such as methods per class, depth of inheritance tree, coupling among classes etc.) are correlated with external attributes, the most important of which is bugs. What the authors of this paper show is that when they introduce a second variable, namely, the total size of the program, into the statistical analysis and control for it, the correlation between all these code metrics and bugs disappears.

via Vivek Haldar – Size is the best predictor of code quality. Essentially length of code tied with code metrics becomes a reasonable predictor of bugs.

27 Sep

Ars Technica – Three Senators condemn OnStar for tracking former customers

Three Senators have raised concerns about an announcement by GM’s OnStar’s subsidiary that it would continue collecting data from customers’ cars even after they cancelled their OnStar service. In a Wednesday letter to the company, Al Franken (D-MN) and Chris Coons (D-DE) warned that "OnStar’s actions appear to violate basic principles of privacy and fairness."

On Sunday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) raised objections of his own. He released a letter he has written to the Federal Trade Commission seeking an investigation of OnStar’s privacy practices. Schumer described OnStar’s new policy as "one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory."

via Ars Technica – Three Senators condemn OnStar for tracking former customers. Glad I don’t own a vehicle with OnStar installed. It’s more than a little sleazy to collect and sell information from former customers.

27 Sep

binary/organic – Fight Google or Use their Services: Pick One, not Both

Almost all of the companies that make up the fair search alliance, I should note, are incredibly well indexed in Google itself. I’m Googling as I type, and you should get similar results, but obviously your mileage may vary. Googling flight search displays kayak.com (a fairsearch company) as #1. Google.com/flights is #2. Googling hotel search reveals Travelocity, Expedia and Kayak in 4 of the top 5 slots (all of them are fairsearch companies). And finally, Googling the word search shows Bing as #1 (again, a fairsearch company).

I think it’s fairly obvious that the folks that built the fairsearch.org site are relying on Google’s webmaster resources because they’re good. And I’d be willing to place a sizeable bet that Kayak or Travelocity or any of the other sales-based fair search companies (sorry, Bing) get the vast majority of their non-paid search traffic from Google’s organic search results. Maybe somebody at one of those companies can share me on their Google Analytics to prove me wrong.

via binary/organic – Fight Google or Use their Services: Pick One, not Both. Google is so awesome the people complaining about Google are using Google to do their complaining.

26 Sep

Electronista – Microsoft CEO sees open dissent after general meeting

Microsoft may have shown signs of significant problems with company morale after reports from the company’s annual general meeting began surfacing in the past few days. The event, held as usual at Safeco Field in Seattle, saw "droves" of people leaving, according to well-known company insider Mini-Microsoft, even while CEO Steve Ballmer was speaking. Others pointed to unexciting demos and an obsession with Windows 8 tablets that didn’t reflect core businesses.

via Electronista – Microsoft CEO sees open dissent after general meeting. Microsoft is looking worse and worse every day.