The Proud Legacy of the New Web

My weekly column for the Loose Wire Servce. A few things I had to do this week brought me to the same conclusion: Companies that don’t get simplicity are struggling. First off, I have been writing a paper on social media. What we used to call Web 2.0, basically. Now that everything we do is …

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The Trojan That Never Was

How not to handle a PR debacle, Part 767: Avast, the free antivirus I’ve been using, and recommending, for while, has lost my confidence by a double whammy: mis-identifying pretty much every executable on my computer as a Trojan, and then not telling me about it. Apparently an update to the software will misidentify a …

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Xoopit, Or Channels vs Trenches

I’ve been a fan of Xoopit so I guess I am a bit surprised that Yahoo! has bought it. Xoopit, for me, was the future of email. Or a part of it. (For those of you who haven’t used it, or those who didn’t “get” it, Xoopit is a plugin for Gmail—for others, too, but …

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Making Networks Do the Work

I don’t get overly excited about plug-ins but I think Xoopit may have shifted us into a new gear. As part of a course I teach on journalist tools I do a demo of Gmail. I talk about it being the new desktop. But I’m only showing the bare bones of the thing: labels, filters, …

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Updater Fever

I sometimes wonder what software companies—Apple, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, they’re all the same—want from their customers. I spend enough time with novice users to know how confusing using computer software can be. Especially online: It’s a scary world out there (they’re right to be scared) but these companies, which should know better, make it more …

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links for 2008-09-24

Aaron Koblin – Work some very cool visualisations of data–and surprising sources, including 8000 people drawing sheep for two cents on Mechanical Turk. Go figure (tags: web visualization interaction inspiration dataviz map) Yahoo! Glue – Web Search interesting multiple search and virtual page creation tool from Yahoo–but available only via the Indian domain, apparently (tags: …

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Flying Cheapskates

A few weeks back I wrote in WSJ.com about Bezurk.com, a great travel website that’s on a par, if not better, than Kayak, Sidestep, Zuji and Yahoo! FareChase. Here’s what I wrote: What I like about Bezurk’s site is that it follows what I think are the best unwritten rules of Web 2.0, the new, …

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Strip CAPTCHA Spam

Whatever useful stuff the good guys come up with, the bad guys ain’t far behind. A few months back I wrote about researchers at Carnegie Mellon coming up with a way to use CAPTCHA tools to help decipher words in text by the Internet Archive. The basic idea is that the effort to prevent spammers …

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Backing up hard to do, but worth it

This is an edited version of my weekly column for Loose Wire Service, a service providing print publications with technology writing designed for the general reader. Email me if you’re interested in learning more. Sometimes it takes something like an earthquake to realize that you’re vulnerable. Once the ground stops shaking and you’ve begun to …

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