November 21, 2014

Fake Steve Jobs to head up Valleywag

Love it or hate it, but Silicon Valley rag Valleywag is something of an online institution. Come January next year, it has a new captain at the helm, none other than Dan “Fake Steve Jobs” Lyons, who had this to say regarding his plans, in an interview with Recode’s Peter Kafka.

I think, at least for now, it’s going to be a two-person blog [with writer Kevin Montgomery]. I feel like Valleywag has been different things with different writers over the years. Up and down. I think it’s at their best when they get a legitimate scoop, like when someone leaks them documents. I feel like we could do more of that, breaking stories.

Valleywag was on the map way back when I was the editor of The Blog Herald. A lot of people enjoyed Fake Steve Jobs, Lyons’s claim to fame (nevermind that he was a Forbes journalist), and when that blog was at its best, it was quite entertaining. A Valleywag with tongue in cheek commentary, and breaking some stories, would be swell.

November 20, 2014

Firefox dumps Google for Yahoo

Firefox dumps Google for Yahoo in USA, and for Yandex in Russia.

Today we are announcing a change to our strategy for Firefox search partnerships. We are ending our practice of having a single global default search provider. We are adopting a more local and flexible approach to increase choice and innovation on the Web, with new and expanded search partnerships by country.

China keeps Baidu, no word on Europe yet. You can still pick either search engine, just like in any other web browser. There’s also talk about more integrated Yahoo products, which brings back horrible memories of toolbars of the 90s.

November 19, 2014

Google’s mobile friendly search

Google will highlight what they believe to be mobile friendly web pages in mobile search.

Starting today, to make it easier for people to find the information that they’re looking for, we’re adding a “mobile-friendly” label to our mobile search results.

Details here, but just about any responsive site should be fine. This is a good thing for the web, and I hope other search engines will follow.

WatchKit’s out

Apple has released the WatchKit, which lets developer create apps for Apple Watch. The apps aren’t stand-alone though, they live on your iPhone, at least until later in 2015. If you’re not ready to jump into Apple’s developer pages, even the public ones, then check out iMore’s need to know piece.

Rosetta and Philae

Science magazine writes about Rosetta, and the probe Philae, and the adventures it endures, as well as the future of them both. It’s an interesting piece.

This tidbit stands out though, regarding how water could’ve come to Earth.

And ROSINA, a Rosetta instrument that uses spectrometers to measure gas abundances, has obtained a highly sought after result: the so-called deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio of water in the comet’s thin atmosphere, or coma. The measured value for 67P is much higher than the ratio in Earth’s oceans and higher than in other comets, says ROSINA principal investigator Kathrin Altwegg, of the University of Bern. Three years ago, the comet Hartley–2 was found to have a D-to-H ratio near that of Earth’s oceans—sparking interest in the notion that comet impacts delivered much of Earth’s water. Altwegg says the result for 67P could make asteroids the primary suspect again.

Yuvi Zalkow’s writing machine

I’m still not quite ready to write about iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but Yuvi Zalkov is, and he prefers the larger model.

I love this thing. I find it so worth the size and the price. But I don’t think it is for everyone. There are 5.5 inches of tradeoffs to consider. For many people, it is just too big. But I want a mobile writing machine – badly.

I always want to be carrying around my crappy writing projects. And to be able to write more crap whenever I want. And for that purpose, hot damn this thing is amazing.

November 18, 2014

Swedes and the internet, 2014 edition

The English version of .SE’s yearly report on Swedes and the internet is out.

The report is based on .SE’s own primary data collection which surveys Swedes’ use of the internet and shows how information and communication technology is used and and affects individuals, families and society. 3000 people were interviewed from age 12 and up.

Telephone interviews are extensive and contain questions about the subjects’ background data, access to technology, use of traditional media and most of all the use of the internet in its different forms. Questions are asked to parents with children at home between the ages of 2–11, about their use of the internet. To adolescents between 11 and 15, the questions are also asked to their parents.

Read it here. Spoiler: We’re using the internet quite a lot.

Nokia N1

Nokia, who sold their device business to Microsoft, has announced a new device. The Nokia N1 is an Android 5.0 tablet that’s trying to channel the iPad mini. It’s almost ridiculously close to Apple’s device, and so is the imagery on the product website. On the flipside, this also means that the N1 might be the best looking Android tablet thus far.

Read more →

November 16, 2014

Groupon does the right thing

Groupon is now open to consider another name, leaving Gnome alone:

Our relationship with the open source community is more important to us than a product name. And if we can’t come up with a mutually acceptable solution, we’ll be glad to look for another name.

All the bad press probably got to them, but that matters little. At least they’re doing the right thing.