Monthly Archives: May 2011

A Web Developer’s Wishlist for iOS 5

In 2011, we think that mobile web technology is firmly back in play, and an area of renewed attention for many developers. We think Apple has a great opportunity to build again on the platform’s original prospect of first-class web applications.
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Not that Apple seems to care about what developers want, but still, these things would be very much welcome.

From Snarky Truth to Reasoned Explanation

Let’s break down two myths:

Myth 1: Women are intrinsically less good at computer programming or design

The argument that is most frequently used is that there are fewer women in computing and design because the women are either less interested or less adept. But even a casual observation reveals this as a fallacy: In the U.S. the percentage of women in undergraduate studies has dwindled to 11% [pdf], yet in India (in 2003), 55% of the Bachelor’s of Science degrees in Computer Science studies were awarded to women [pdf]. With India being a strongly patrifocal country, you would expect these numbers to be the other way around. Various findings indicate that women in India find Computer Science a female-friendly field; other studies reveal that women in the U.S. find math and science to be not female-friendly.

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Gender discussion on the internet (and offline as well) don’t really lead anywhere. However, some data from this article, like this information quoted above, is thought-provoking.

Why Google’s hiring process is broken | Teambox Blog

I’m not posting the full reply, but essentially he..

  • Asked me to rate my skills in a list of 14 programming languages.
  • Asked me to point my fields of expertise from a list of 30 skills.

I do code a lot of Ruby, serious JavaScript and CSS, but I replied marking everything as “I’m a product designer”, hoping they would ask about that.

That was followed by a phone call, where I had a 45 minutes talk about HTML and CSS details, and discussing the fastest algorithm to determine if a given string is a subset of another one. At no point of the conversation were product design skills or experience mentioned.

How Google hiring process undermines company’s ability to design better products.

Do not let your domain expire with Google Apps – Ben Reyes’s posterous

The issue still exists as a wider problem with domains. I still could have accessed the person’s Amazon account using a wildcard email address. The lesson is no less serious, don’t let your domains expire with your accounts attached to them.

The articles demonstrates how scary are the consequences of domain expiration. It doesn’t only affect Google Apps. Have you thought what will happen if the email you used on a thousand of websites to register will be taken by somebody else? Or expire?

This is what irony tastes like

So Capcom senior VP Christian “Sven” Svensson mentioned that Capcom is losing money because the Playstation Network is down. This is especially hard on Capcom, because the phone-home DRM Capcom uses has locked all of their Playstation customers out of their games.

Attack on Sony’s PSN demonstrates how ridiculous and anti-consumer some DRM solutions are.

Why two engineers left Apple to build a Flash alternative: The Hype (YC W11) story

We got in through Y Combinator through the normal interview process. Ryan and I both found the questions from the initial application were great for helping to clarify our business plan, realizing our target markets, and helped ensure the two of us were on the same page. I’ve recommended to everyone I know that even if you’re not going to apply to YC, fill out the application.

Interview with one of a co-founders of Hype, an editor for HTML5 animations. The form he’s talking about is indeed worth a look.

WITN: London Is Gonna Be Pissed, But We Prefer Berlin for Startups (TCTV)

Ecosystem-wise, Berlin has some things going for it that most Western European capitals lack. For starters, it’s cheap to work and live there. Culturally and historically, Berlin is a more natural gateway between Europe’s mature Western economies and the surging talent in Eastern Europe. And Berlin has a surging creative class, largely made up of transplants. It’s become the place where misfits in Europe– people who want to be artists and creators, people who don’t fit in rigid social structures of cities like London– flock to do what they want.

Berlin already is a home to several startups and I’m sure it has all it takes to attract many more.

Hybrid Apps are BS

Above all, do users care? I doubt it, as few, if any, can tell. If it works well, and looks good, they’ll use it, and if not, they won’t. Users could care less, the same attitude they have had towards most platforms for decades.

The author argues that it doesn’t really matter if the mobile app was built with web technologies, especially when it’s deployed with tools like Phone Gap.

Barnes & Noble goes after Kindle with Nook Simple Touch Reader

Instead of buttons, the new Nook makes use of a black and white E-ink infrared touchscreen (not unlike the new Kobo e-reader announced yesterday), allowing users to simulate turning pages by touching the screen with their fingers. There’s an on-screen keyboard for searching and making notes, but Lynch said not to worry about the typical lag that comes with slow E-ink screens—the Nook apparently shows 80 percent less screen “flashing” when turning pages or typing on the screen.

New Nook looks well! But I don’t think it’s about hardware anymore. Amazon will catch up sooner or later and they seem to be much more ahead when it comes to distribution. In ideal world I would have a freedom to choose a reading device and be able to access content from any publisher without hassle.

The death march: the problem of crunch time in game development

In late 2008, Mike Capps, president of Epic Games (developers of Gears of War 3 and Bulletstorm) made controversial comments about crunch on an industry panel, going so far as to say that Epic wouldn’t hire prospective employees unless they were willing to work upwards of 60 hours per week.

On working conditions in gaming industry. Apparently not much has changed since 2004 when it got wider attention due to EA_spouse essay.