The New York Times quotes formed Microsoft executive Brad Silverberg on the late launch of Office for IOS, “the company’s hesitation around bringing Office to the iPad is reminiscent of the early 1990s, when the makers of WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3, successful word-processing and spreadsheet applications, balked at making Windows versions of their products.”
I’ve had my iPhone since 2007 and my iPad since 2010. I can’t say that I’ve missed having office on either, although it occasionally would have been nice to use the iPhone as a remote for PowerPoint as Keynote allows.
I’m still not as worried about their absence on IOS as their lack of innovation for user experience. The article is one among many that point out the failure of Office to support touch fluently, even on Windows 8 devices. I still get lost in the 2007 and beyond versions of Word and Excel — where the reorganization of key features into tabs was sloppy.
Yesterday, we mused that it would be nice if there were a notification system for close NCAA games. Well, lo and behold, the WNYC Data team has built @NailBiterBot — which tweets anytime a March Madness game is under 3:00 within 8 points; under 1:30 within 6 points; or under 0:30 within 4 points. Here’s our experiment:
1) Follow @NailBiterBot
2) Turn on notifications for that account.
3) You’ll get a push notification when a game is close, telling you to tab over or turn on the TV and catch the action.
We hope it works!
-Jody, BL Show-
While changing computers at work, I deleted a handful of personal files that had gotten downloaded. I was able to securely overwrite the free space by using the command line prompt cipher /w:C:\ Remarkably, it does not require an administrator password and allows me to leave behind a clean computer for the next person to use.
Apple has leaked information suggesting that IOS8, to be released this fall, will finally contain public transportation directions. If proven true, it’ll have taken nearly two years and two major IOS revisions to fix one of the major functions of the iPhone. One that was working flawlessly until it was ejected over a spat with a radioactive partner.
Out of all the companies in tech, I’m surprised that this behavior is coming from Apple. And I’m skeptical that it would have happened under Steve Jobs. His firm did not ship products until they were ready. It did not confuse design with novelty. Attention to the smallest detail mattered.
Given all this, it’s hard to believe that Apple knowingly released an inferior product and let it languish for two product cycles. Two years was typical for updating software in the 90’s, when 3.5” disks were the primary form of distribution. When Office ‘97 would replace Office ‘95.
The maps application still has problems parsing street addresses around New York City, giving wildly inaccurate results. The design and icons are garish, a throwback to circa 1999 MapBlast.
Even the open source community has caught up. Anyone can download the official maps and geocoding systems for NYC (or most of the United States) and create a professional quality map interactive with PostGIS and TileMill. The City of New York even makes the raw data and a web service available for geocoding; simiarly, the MTA does the same thing for transportation around the city.
Until Apple gets things right, I wish they would let me choose a default maps provider, much like the way it lets me choose a search engine.
Inexplicably, the removable hard drive caddy for the Lenovo Y410P notebook does not advertise that it actually comes with a hard drive. Not on the Lenovo website or the box itself. Nonetheless, it comes with an unformatted 750GB Western Digital 3.5” 5200 RPM drive. I was actually planning on reinstalling the factory hard drive having pulled it previously to swap with an SSD.
In an interview with Eater, Andrew Zimmern missed the point of Yelp but does make an interesting observation about alternatives. Zimmern bristles at the idea of taking dining suggestions from the uneducated masses.
"I follow Rick Bayless. I follow Mexican chefs who are there. I follow line cooks. I build my own profile. I take food seriously, so I have my own resources. People who don’t want to spend a little bit of time building their own network and their own profile on their social media love to turn to Yelp, and that’s great. The problem is that they’re not crowdsourcing expertise. They’re just crowdsourcing noise. My suggestion is, why wouldn’t you spend 15, 20 minutes and search on Twitter and follow some people in the city?"
I’m positive that most people who don’t work at a restaurant don’t know a single line cook and wouldn’t know where to start to follow one on Twitter or Facebook. Or be willing to invest an hour or two to vet one in an unfamiliar city.
His idea to find expertise and follow it religiously does work, but only over the longer term. As a matter of fact, I follow the Michelin Guides because I trust their taste. I also rely on Critics Picks in the New York Times when it comes to movies.
For Yelp, I don’t think it’s as bad as Zimmern says. When time and distance are more precious, it can identify “good enough” restaurants and also flag ones of dubious quality.
After the demise of Google Reader, I’m sad to say goodbye to Google Notifier. I enjoyed getting pop up messages whenever I received email. Going forward, that’ll only happen when I have Chrome running. Which is a disappointment, because there’s times when I only want the app I’m working on to be open. I’m fine with the idea that Google wanted to drop support for the app. I’m just surprised that they completely disabled it, when it ought to be functional indefinitely as an IMAP client, showing new message badges like the native mail app on the iPhone.