Pat Hawks

Page 3

Whatever happened to…


Back when Apple launched Facetime in summer 2010, [Steve Jobs himself said on stage]( “We’re going to take it all the way. We’re going the the standards bodies, starting tomorrow, and we’re going to make FaceTime an open industry standard.”

Now, a year and a half later, what happened?

Apple has not released technical specifications for FaceTime.

No standards body has ratified FaceTime as an open standard.

Apple has been deafly silent on the matter ever since wwdc2010 when it was launched.


Back when Google purchased Freebase in July 2010, Freebase posted on it’s blog

“Whoah… what’s going to happen to Freebase?” you might ask. Well, we’re also extremely pleased to be able to say “nothing”…. or rather, nothing other than getting better, and yes, even more open.

Unfortunately, that about sums it up. Nothing has...

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Cleaning the Cobwebs

It’s time to dust away some of the cobwebs online.

I’m talking about that feeling you get when you click on a link to a news article and it feels like it takes an eternity for the page to load and, once it does load, the article that you want to read only occupies a small part of the page you’re presented. The rest of the page is dedicated to ads, links to unrelated articles, links begging you to tweet/​share/​like/​print/​follow/​comment/​pingback, etc.

As tempting as it is to claim this is a new problem, I can take my rose tinted glasses off for long enough to remember the days of yore: large banner ads taking up most of a low resolution screen, Flash “games” inside of ads, pop-up windows, anything on Geocities…

It just seems that, as all the technology surrounding the web has evolved so quickly, the web browsing experience should evolve as well.

I’ve come to rely on tools like...

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Can we still rely on Google?

Yesterday, Google announced that they would be shutting down a number of services. While none of the services on the list should be too suprising (Google had previously announced that they would be killing Wave and Knol), it seems that Google is putting just as much effort into ending these services as it put into launching them, which is to say, not much.

Google Wave

Last year when Google announced they would be giving Wave the axe, they said they would be working on ways for users of Wave to “‘liberate’ their content from Wave.”
Today, Google is letting users of Wave know that they will be able to export all of their Waves as a PDF until April 30.

That’s right. liberate your Waves by converting them to a freaking PDF!

Not a format that encourages continued collaboration, like HTML or some customized Atom format.
Not even a format that follows the email metaphor, like mbox.


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Defining Noncommercial

Yesterday, Wired announced that they will be releasing all staff-produced photos under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

For those unfamiliar, this license allows a third party to reuse one of these photos from Wired, so long as one credits Wired for the photo, and does not use the photo for “commercial purposes”.

The particular license they have chosen, raises a very interesting question.
What is a commercial use?

In 2009, Creative Commons released the results of a study in which respondents didn’t even feel that “personal or private” use was totally noncommercial.

If commercial/noncommercial isn’t clearly defined, it seems that the license isn’t granting any special rights to anybody. If the terms of a Creative Commons license are not met, the use of material is subject to plain vanilla copyright laws.
What’s to stop a rights holder from...

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Open Graph data in Blogger

Adding Open Graph metadata to a website can be a pain, and will almost certainly break your validation unless you’re using an RDFa Doctype…

Who am I kidding? Nobody ever uses RDFa Doctypes.

Fortunately for Blogger users, Blogger blogs never validate anyway, so adding Open Graph metadata is easy.

Simply copy the code below and paste it into your template after the <head> tag.

<!-- Begin Open Graph metadata -->
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;item&quot;'>
    <meta content='article' property='og:type'/>
    <meta expr:content='data:blog.title' property='og:site_name'/>
    <meta expr:content='data:blog.pageName' property='og:title'/>
    <b:if cond='data:blog.postImageThumbnailUrl'>
        <meta expr:content='data:blog.postImageThumbnailUrl' property='og:image'/>
    <meta expr:content='data:blog.title' property='og:title'/>
    <meta content='website' pr

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Google Reader slop?

Take a look at the <head> code for Google Reader.

<link href="/reader/ui/favicon.ico" rel="SHORTCUT ICON">
<meta name="application-name" content="Google Reader">
<meta name="description" content="Get all your news and blogs in one place with Google Reader">
<meta name="application-url" content="/reader/view/">
<link rel="icon" href="/reader/ui/352024653-app-icon-32.png" sizes="32x32">
<link rel="icon" href="/reader/ui/3068170011-app-icon-64.png" sizes="64x64">
<link href="/reader/ui/favicon.ico" rel="SHORTCUT ICON">

Notice anything a bit redundant?

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It’d be super cool if you let me use my domain name with my account. You know, so that any links I shorten with my account are shortened with my own domain name.

Maybe I could even upgrade to some sort of pro account where any links from websites I specify are shortened with my own domain name.

Yeah, that’d be sweet.

UPDATE: seems to be taking my advice. See Pro

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