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@Umfuld @RayCromwell  I see that Pando's new found agitprop clickbait is attracting only debaters of the highest intellectual calibre. Apparently, when the NSA installs a chip in someone's head, it causes severe impairment of cognitive capacity.

1 year ago on Google apparently scrubs military contractor partner listing, after Pando report


@EdisonCarter  Google Sheets has been down much more than that over the year, just in the last few months it's been down several hours. Use and scroll back.

Not to mention that what appears to be down here is not the Google Sheets app, but the Google Sheets RSS/Atom Feed.   After Google killed Reader the state of their GData APIs has been somewhat unloved. 

Again, if Yasha went to Twitter and got the "Fail Whale" for tweets for a specific user, what would be more likely:

"They've scrubbed the tweets because <insert conspiracy here>!"


The service has a problem. Deleted Tweets look different than Service Failures.

The page is question is not "scrubbed", it's not an HTML document with data in it, instead it's an empty container that pulls in data from a Google Spreadsheet/Google Docs, and renders it using Javascript. For some reason, the service which serves up the data is returning 500 Internal Server Errors, not '404 Not Found' (data doesn't exist), or '403 Forbidden' (it's been made private) This strongly indicates a problem with the service.

Why would Google spend extra effort to fake a 500 Service Error when someone could just edit the Spreadsheet with those customers it supposedly doesn't want the public to know about, and delete them? It would take only a few minutes to delete spreadsheet rows vs trying to get engineers to make a fake service and deploy it. It would be trivial to remove, and the page would still render with other customers  instead of being blank. Do you think Google Sales wants their sales landing page to be empty? That looks pretty bad to potential cloud customers that their service is unreliable.

I mean, Yasha's article is potentially useful because maybe now they'll notice the site is down and fix it. But unless the site comes back with those customers redacted, it's really a case of jumping the gun and making assertions without waiting for the facts. Is this the kind of story exclusive that needed to be published before actually doing some research to find out why the page is down? These are not Snowden exclusives.

I just think this is pretty amateurish for Pando to rush out articles like this. And how likely is it that they'll be a retraction/apology?

1 year ago on Google apparently scrubs military contractor partner listing, after Pando report


Instead of jumping to a conspiracy theory conclusion, maybe you should visit your Web Browser's Javascript console to see that there's actually a network error and Javascript error preventing the site from loading. There's no "scrubbing" going on, the blank page is a result of a failed network request to  If they really wanted to 'scrub' the page, they would have added some content as a placeholder, not bomb out the browser with tons of errors. The most likely reason is that the server which serves up Spreadsheet API feeds (which according to the Web Console is what is failing), is hosed, it's returning HTTP 500 errors.  Again, if they wanted to 'scrub' it, why not just delete the entries out of the spreadsheet, instead of making their web server return errors as if it crashed?

Time to get your lithium prescription refilled.

1 year ago on Google apparently scrubs military contractor partner listing, after Pando report


Chrome supports "packaged apps" and there are number of applications in the Chrome Web Store, including games, which run offline. You download a CRX from the Chrome Web Store, disconnect you network, and away you go. In fact, there are a number of top tier games available from publishers like Square Enix, that are written in C and deployed via NaCL (Native Client) to Chromebooks. 

2 years, 2 months ago on Why are Chromebooks so popular on Amazon?


I don't understand why the nightmare scenario is a nightmare scenario, anymore than any other marketing which tries to lure people to a specific location, e.g. a new mall. You give away far more information to Facebook or Foursquare in terms of location, and Google Latitude has been tracking location history for a long time.

Seems like Clickbait.

2 years, 5 months ago on Google’s Ingress is more than a game, its a potential data exploitation disaster


One of the frequent claims, I think which is exaggerated, is that by the miracle of people just using Apple's Maps (crowdsourcing), it will equal Google Maps and that's why Apple had to launch it broken to get the crowd involve.


But Google Maps isn't good just because of people clicking "Report Feedback", it's also good because  Google has Street View cars driving all of the streets on the map refining them and using OCR techniques to read signs, fancy data curation algorithms, and from some reports,  an army of paid contractors working on it for years. 


2 years, 6 months ago on Mapgate Is Over. Apple Won. Customers Won. Google, Not So Much.


Facebook's value is clearly based on it's user base size.  There are only 3 reasons I can count for this:


1) Network Effect/Path Dependence

2) F8 Platform 'gee-whiz' factor in the early days driving adoption

3) International expansion


How much to attribute to each of these, I leave up to you to assign. But pretty much anything else Zuckerberg has done as a manager I think is irrelevant. If F8 was Zuckerberg's idea, then Bravo, it was an inspiration, but not really anything to do with CEO capability.


2 years, 11 months ago on Today Is Just the End of the Beginning for Mark Zuckerberg


This is an instance where Apple's policy deliberately forces shittier user experiences on their own platform.  Now people who want to use apps which integrate with third party services are forced into a crappier out-of-band signup process, because maybe, just maybe,  in some scenarios, a dollar of money might escape Apple's clutches. I'm sure it doesn't matter to Apple though, because everyone who wants cloud file syncing will be guided to iCloud.



2 years, 11 months ago on Apple Is Rejecting Applications that Use the Dropbox SDK


Web vs Native is an implementation detail. The consumer doesn't give a shit what the implementation language is. Sooner or later mobile performance will catch up, and then the gains from writing something in Objective-C will be marginal compared to the productivity and deployment gains of other frameworks.


The real issue is, app architecture is a 20 year regression in human knowledge distribution. App's can't be indexed. They are binary blobs with DRM distributed by proprietary walled-garden ecosystems, and store their data often in siloed, proprietary clouds.


There is no way to crawl them, and a 'web of apps'  would be an astroundingly shitty world for finding information.  Don't talk to be about App Stores or Chomp. Those find Apps, they do not find app of the information each of the apps actually stores in private clouds.  Searching the Mall Directory or Sears Catalog is not the same as looking at the index of the Library of Congress.


For the last 20 years, we've had information published in a transparent, universally accessible format, that has allowed huge leverage of startups to crawl and process that information, not just search engines, but number crunching apps too.


A world of apps is a world where you have to negotiate deals and process proprietary formats for every scrap of information. It erects huge barriers to innovation.


You'll gain your games, and crappy camera filter apps, but you will readily lose the benefits of the sum total of human knowledge being out there for everyone to grab and process. 


For this reason, native mobile apps outside games and specific applications, will eventually fail, just like client/server did before, because they don't work together like the Web does, and there is no transparency in the data they store. It goes in cycles. After Web 1.0, there was an trend back to client/server heavyweight client computing. And then browsers got good enough (Web 2.0), that they quashed it.  


I see the same trend now. Woefully underpowered mobile devices with very slow browser environments, practically requiring apps to be written in native code, for speed and API access. But the number of Web developers vastly outnumber the number of Objective-C developers, and when, not if, an iPad or iPhone can run Chrome or Safari as fast as a 2009 era MacBook, most of the non-game apps simply won't need Apple's walled garden.


The Web is something to fight for, and those celebrating its downfall have no idea of what will be lost.



2 years, 11 months ago on Web 2.0 Is Over, All Hail the Age of Mobile



I think you missed the part where the carriers are tired of paying $400 per phone subsidy. Apple's margins are going to get squeezed, it is inevitable.


2 years, 12 months ago on Everybody Chill Out: Apple is a Long-Term Goldmine


I hereby declare also that no Hollywood studio should ever release a movie teaser trailer. The Dark Knight Rises should just be a surprise, 1 wee before it hits theaters. No discussions at Comic Con. No shots of pre-production. No teasers, and no posters.


3 years ago on The Problem with Google’s Concept Video


Why did Apple announce the iPhone 6 months before it released it then?


And extra excitement is sometimes a bad thing, because if people built up way overhyped expectations of what a product will really do such that the inevitable release will be a letdown. The video google released is actually fairly conservative. For example, no augmented reality was even demonstrated. No facial recognition, in fact, no "Google Goggles" image recognition. This leaves room for the actual device to far surpass expectations if you think the concept video is forward looking.


Another thing this video establishes is that Google was working on it, and what they were working on, as a matter of public record, so that if competitors release something, Google won't be accused that they "stole" it.


Don't assume that every company should operate according to Apple's formula in order to achieve success. Apple is Apple. Simply copying their media strategy doesn't mean the results will be the same. After all, other companies don't have a reality distortion field and Steve Jobs as a demo man.


3 years ago on The Problem with Google’s Concept Video


How many companies covered by the Technorati of the Valley actually touch real Silicon? I'd love if TechCrunch and Pando would cover more physical tech, energy, silicon, bio-tech. That would exclude most of the startups they cover these days.


3 years ago on The Dumbing Down of Silicon Valley