Posts with tag "Coding Horror"

From the Pipeline – 5.31.08

The end of the month but it doesn’t feel any different except maybe – just maybe – getting warmer finally. Going from the low 50’s one day to the mid 70’s a day later though is a tad bit ridiculous. In the meantime though here’s a few of the things I found of interest in today’s FriendFeed pipeline.

Strong Opinions, Weakly Held :: Coding Horror – there is definitely one thing you can say about Jeff Atwood and that is he can be very passionate about the things he cares about. He was one of my favorite bloggers when I was developing and he still is now I stick to blogging. Keep up the good work Jeff.

Miscommunication between GoogleTalk and Winamp :: Colby Olson – use Winamp? .. Use GTalk? .. finding they don’t play nice when you want GTalk to display the song playing as your GTalk status? Well Colby’s here to help ya all out.

How Web 2.0 Is Killing Software Development :: Profy – Cyndy lets loose with a style to make a cranky old fart proud – you go girl :)

More About the about: in Firefox :: Firefox Facts – a handy list of tips on how to use the about page in Firefox to get information about your install of Firefox and some other goodies.

Bank loses tapes with data on 4.5M clients :: Computerworld – and they want us to trust more and more companies with our online or offline data – ya .. right .. that’s a good idea

Amazing Food Art :: Toxel – just for some Saturday evening fun :)

WordPress Themes Collection :: Blog Oh! Blog – another site to save away somewhere safe for that day when you go looking for a new blog theme.

Off the Cuff: living dangerously, 3D mail & Stuff

rss3D I’ve often said that placing too much reliance on Web 2.0 applications for your day to day needs is like balancing on a razor. Gmail goes down and you have no mail until they recover and now today we have folks in a panic because Google Reader had a glitch that saw the disappearance for feeds until the glitch got fixed. I’m sorry but being married is as about as dangerous as I want to live for all else I want my data close at hand.

Let your email get deunk while waiting to be sent We all know how dull and boring email is – well maybe not your emails themselves but the way in which we get them and view them as items in a list. Well it appears that Robert Savage had enough of boring and has released 3D Mailbox. Now you can see your email stream as guys and gals coming through the gate to your own little resort at the seaside. Apparently Robert doesn’t like spam much either which I guess explains the sharks in the water – which is where you send those nasty spammers; well in thought at least :) [via Google Blogoscoped]

Tiny Jesus Twittering This one goes right into the down right warped category but if you are into all things Twitter then you might appreciate the humor in MyTinyJesus – a domain that displays random Twitter quotes from the image of a tiny Jesus. I’m still trying to figure out why but whoever is behind this has got a warped sense of humor. [via FranticIndustries]

coding-horror-official-logo-small Jeff Atwood a firm believer in Microsoft Streets and Trips user relates the tale of being convinced much to his dismay that maybe the death of desktop applications – well at least mapping ones – is just around the corner. This was after finding out that his wife had gone to the darkside and been using Google Maps because it was – faster. It was even worse when he tried for himself and found that yes it was true – Google Maps was faster – oh the horror .. [via Coding Horror]

Is a reliance on Google a dangerous thing?

Ahyup .. I think keeping all my eggs in one basket is smart .. ahyupWeb surfing is so ’90s.

A simple statement true; but in fact it is very true as the majority of any web traffic these days is being driven by Google.

This point that the Internet starts with the letter “G” was illustrated quite succinctly by Rich Skrenta (courtesy of Jeff Atwood) in his post Winner-Take-All: Google and the Third Age of Computing in which he states the following:

The net isn’t a directed graph. It’s not a tree. It’s a single point labeled G connected to 10 billion destination pages.

If the Internet were a monolithic product, say the work of some alternate-future AT&T that hadn’t been broken up, then you’d turn it on and it would have a start page. From there you’d be able to reach all of the destination services, however many there were.

Well, that’s how the net has organized itself after all.

From this position, Google derives immense and amazing power. And they make money, but not only for themselves. Google makes advertisers money. Google makes publishers money. Google drives multi-billion dollar industries profiting from Google SEM/SEO.

Most businesses on the net get 70% of their traffic from Google. These business are not competitors with Google, they are its partners, and have an interest in driving Google’s success. Google has made partners of us all.

This was illustrated in a post yesterday by Jeff Atwood (Coding Horror) which highlighted what happened to one major web site when it was dropped from the main Google index. They lost 70 percent of their traffic – 70 percent; which in our day and age is tantamount to internet suicide.

The site was was JavaLobby, who wrote about what happened on their blog

Having been out of the office for almost two weeks, we had a lot of stats to look at. It took no time to see that something was wrong – traffic was down. A little more investigation revealed the problem.

We had completely disappeared from Google’s main index! If you run a website, then you know how serious a problem this is. On any given day over 10,000 visitors arrive at Javalobby as a result of Google searches, and suddenly they stopped coming! We had apparently been grouped together with the spammer’s viagra and casino sites, and poof! Suddenly we no longer existed in the eyes of Google, the world’s largest search engine.

Certainly Google was well within their TOS rights to do what they did given that JavaLobby had been hit badly by spammers in their forums; but couldn’t have a warning worked just as well. Given that Google is the defacto repository of all our internet knowledge shouldn’t they be held to a slightly higher standard especially since so many businesses, identities and knowledgebases exist because of Google.

However there is another part of this Google landscape that while not as prevalent as the dangers of being dropped from an index is just; if not more, dangerous. The danger lies in the increasing use of Google Web 2.0 applications like GMail and the fact that the web is a lot more dangerous and harder to protect because you are relying on others to do the protecting for you.

Think not then think again or ask Phillip Lenssen how easy it was for someone to hack his Gmail, Google Doc, Google Notebook etc etc.

It’s your worst nightmare – someone reads parts of your Google emails, views your docs, modifies your spreadsheets, checks out your reading habits on the Google personalized homepage or Google Reader, and goes through your search history. Yet, by making use of a new Google security hole, Tony Ruscoe was able to do all that with my Google account.

We are treading some dangerous territory here putting all our eggs in the Google basket and in ways we may not even be able to recognize yet. Google and Web 2.0 should be marked – use at your own peril.

Designing for the least common denominator – evil

I like Jeff Atwood’s blog Coding Horror and while he mainly centers on developer type stuff he does write some very interesting and thought provoking posts. His post on the 20th was one of these and I think should be required reading for every single Web 2.0 developer out there.

In one simple paragraph he sums up one of the major failings of web development; well actually all development really:

And please, if you’re designing social software, try to avoid repeating the many mistakes of our forefathers. Again. Design from day one with the assumption that a few of your users will be evil. If you don’t, like Six Apart, your naïvite will make the entire community suffer sooner or later.

The interesting reading continued as I breezed through the comments posted to his very understandable look at the problem of trackbacks and how they are broken; and the one thing that I came away with from reading them is that on a certain level developers live in a rarified world of purity.

On one hand they can acknowledge that bad things can be done with software; web based social software or thick client applications, but on the other hand it is confined to a small segment of users. This maybe true but what is seemingly being missed here is the even if this “evil user” segment is small; which is questionable, their effects are magnified a hundred fold due to the very technology being used.

To develop anything; regardless of the technology, without taking into account the “evil quotient” that is a part of our society is only proving how much you live in a dream world; and thinking that your software would be of no interest to all those evil doers out there will come back to bite you on the ass.

Anything created by man can just as easily be corrupted by man and software is no different – just easier.