Thursday, October 29, 2009

The "New" Facebook

I've heard alot of gripes and complaining about Facebook's new GUI.
I've also heard from some people that like it.
But i just noticed something absolutely brilliant that they did with the new UI.

For along time now,
Facebook has suggested friends for me.
I've always assumed this was based on friends of ours that we had in common.
It even suggested pages I should become a fan of based on my other friends joining that page.

But now they've done something different.
They've found a way that might save them from dieing like MySpace.
Last I heard MySpace had 2 billion accounts.
(My numbers may be off due to memory)
But how many of those are actually people and not spam bots?
And of those people, How many actually go there more than once every few weeks?
I know people that live on Facebook.
I can't say the same about MySpace.

Here's what Facebook did that is so new.
Facebook has added suggested activity to their suggested friends.
They suggested I go write on one person's wall.
And they suggested I send a message to another.
This is absolutely brilliant.
Who ever came up with that idea deserves a big raise.

Here's what happens in MySpace.
(This is actually what happened to me)
User creates an account because everyone else has one.
User logs on regularly cause they are so excited about they're new account.
User see's little activity because people "friend" him just to up their friend count.
User logs on less and less until never at all,
Or deletes the account.

Now Facebook suggests that you actually be friendly with your friends in order to help retain their users.
I came to this conclusion after I noticed that all these suggestions are for friends that show no activity in the last month.
The only problem is,
how do they know I've written on their wall if they never log on?
Facebook needs to come up with an algotrithm that mixes people who haven't been on in forever,
and people that are starting to show trends of not logging on as often.
Some people they've already lost,
The key is finding the ones that they are currently losing.
It'll be much easier to save those users than recover the ones that are gone.

Google’s New Mobile App Cuts GPS Nav Companies At The Knees

Story @ TechCruch

There has long been a "____ Effect" (insert website name here. ex: DIGG).
Where a big name site posts a link to less popular site.
I've noticed this when Lifehacker posts a link to some small biz art site.
The extra traffic is usually too much for the smaller sites traffic to handle.

It appears we have a similar but opposite "Google Effect".
Instead of driving popularity to a smaller site,
Google enters a market and causes big names in that market to suffer.

I find it interesting that Apple,
With their iPhone,
Having a near identical function,
That even uses Google Maps,
Did not create anywhere near the same effect that Google did.

Even though Apple through the most creative work they'd had in a while into the iPhone,
And Google's new GPS App seems to be more of an after thought,
Google still managed to cripple Garmin's stock with merely a phone app.

We truly have a "Google Effect"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Visual Representation of International Internet Speeds and Prices

So I always assumed Japan would have faster internet than use.

And South Korea for that matter too.
France??? Seriously?
How does Japan have the fastest and the cheapest internet?
Someone needs to find out how they do that,
And then do it here.

Nifty YouTube GUI

I'm not entirely sure how this works.
I'm assuming that it starts with the most popular video,
And then selects a few of the related videos and shows those surrounding it.

A few things I'd like to see done with this.

1: Lines
It's really confusing once you get more than a few generations of videos.
It'd be nice if they were connected to their parent video somehow.

2: Wiki
I'd be really interested to see this done with Wikipedia.
Excpet instead of just the top 8 links,
Have every link displayed in the article.
Back links to recurring pages would be nice too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Additional Logon Security via Random Code Through SMS

An EMail I sent to the GMail Labs folks up at Google.

I read not too long ago on I read about an option that
certain companies use to add a layer of security to their remote email
logon. They enter a code provided by a key fob that changes every 60
seconds. It seems the code is based on a 128 encryption key that both
the key fob and the server have in common.
Story @ Hack A Day [dot] com

There are two possible approaches to this.

Option 1: Mobile Phone Synchronized Encryption App
An App could be written for various phones (iPhone, Pre, Android,
ect ... ) that work on the same concept of an encryption key. The user
could generate his own custom key, and enter it into his phone via SD
card, SMS, or EMail. This key would be unique to his account allowing
only him to log in. The code would change every few minutes and use
the cell network clock as the source.

Option 2: Randomly Generated Code sent via SMS
With the option of sending text to mobile phones from GMail through
the SMS option in Labs, A new code could be randomly generated and
sent to the user's phone via SMS. The code would include upper and
lower case letters, numbers, and special characters, just like any
good password should. Each code would only be valid for a few minutes
and logging on before the GMail server had received the request for
the code would be prohibited.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I just got a Google Wave Invite

I just got a Google \/\/ave Invite.
It also says I have 20 Invitations to give away.
I found this a bit odd since before everyone was allowed to give nominations,
Not strait up invites.

If any one wants one,
Let me know.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ballmer Recognizes the Times

"Let's face it, the Internet was designed for the PC. The Internet is not designed for the iPhone." - Steve Ballmer
Of course not.
From what I can recall from Jobs' keynote address at the initial launch,
One of the key selling points was that the iPhone was designed around the internet.
Not the other way around.
That would put Ballmer more than 2 yrs behind in tec...
h news.
Not a good place to be when you're running the company that has a near monopoly on desktops and laptops.
Not good for us the customer,
Not good for the business of the company.