Mac OS X Mountain Lion review roundup
#OS X Mountain Lion
OS X Mountain Lion and its 200+ new features is now among us. It’s only $20 if you have Snow Leopard or Lion installed, and if you buy it through my affiliate link, you would indeed be a smashing individual.
All the usual and even not-so-usual suspects have published their reviews, but if you’re not sure where to start reading, this list should help:
- Ars Technica - John Siracusa has penned his typically exhaustive review, clocking in at 26,000 words. It’s also available in a Kindle Edition and PDF
- Macworld - Jason Snell’s reviews are thorough and highly accessible. If your family or friends ask which review to read, this is a really good bet. Macworld also published a Mountain Lion Superguide
- TUAW - Richard Gaywood is becoming one of my favorite writers thanks to his experienced skepticism and great technical breakdowns. I don’t always agree with him, but he does good work and brings some welcome balance to The Force
- MacStories - Speaking of doing good work, MacStories has been rocking it the last couple of years, so this review is on my list as well. Plus, you can buy it in ebook form, and 30 percent of the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society
- Marco Arment’s review of John Siracusa’s Mountain Lion review. Not kidding
- Daring Fireball - It’s not really a full review, but Gruber brings some characteristically astute birds-eye-view analysis of where Apple wants to guide our next generation of computing
Would you Abandon the QWERTY Keyboard?
And Australian entrepreneur has spent 25 years trying to get an alternative to the QWERTY keyboard into the market. With the rise of smartphone touch screens, he thinks he might have a chance.
[John] Lambie is in the United States shopping around his keyboard, which has been designed for optimum use with just one finger or to split itself in two to make typing easier with two thumbs.
The Dextr keyboard is in alphabetical order with the letters split over five rows instead of three and it is able to be flipped for easier use by left handed people.
“I’ve been playing with ideas, doodling things in the margin as it were for over 25 years,” Mr Lambie said.
“I was inspired by a lecturer at university who had severe cerebral palsy and therefore very limited use of his hands and fingers and he would always, in every single lecture, find some way to say some derogatory remark about QWERTY.
“He said it really is the worst piece of usability design ever.
“It’s become so entrenched unfortunately that the human race is almost stuck with it.”
Mr Lambie pointed out the QWERTY keyboard was originally designed to slow people down and space the most used letters far apart so typewriter arms would not stick together.
Lambie’s target audience is in the developing world where people have not grown up with — or accustomed to — the QWERTY keyboard but are now buying low-cost smart and feature phones.
AHEM. Let’s just take a ‘did I just hear someone throw out some random “fact” about the “developing world?”’ time-out. Do you know where mobile penetration is among the highest in the world? It’s not the USA. It’s countries in the UAE and the Caribbean - you know, the so-called ‘developing world’. Did you know that South Africa has a mobile penetration rate of about 95%? And do you know which countries have populations that skew young? Also the ‘developing world’.
Update: According to the original article, ‘Mr Lambie is targeting developing countries, such as India and the Philippines, where people have not grown up with QWERTY keyboards in their homes, but are buying up smartphones that have been made in countries such as China on the cheap.’
Ok, some things:
Five years ago the Philippines already had more than 40% mobile penetration; it’s now >100%. India has more than 900m mobile subscribers and penetration >70%.
Now lets talk about keyboards, and the need for localizations…
"When we launched AOL 4.0 in 1998, AOL used ALL of the world-wide CD production for several weeks. Think of that. Not a single music CD or Microsoft CD was produced during those weeks."
#women in technology
precocity is rewarded in tech. We all swoon over the guy who started programming robots when he was 6. Growing up in tech, I took this as a constant in life—if you’re doing cool things, the younger the better. But it’s become obvious that this is more unique. One of my friends working in finance put it this way: “If I told people I started shorting stocks when I was nine—not that I was, by the way—people wouldn’t be impressed. They’d only say, ‘Who was stupid enough to give you their money?’”
Additionally, there is a certain machismo and bravado associated with success in tech. I watch my classmates one-up each other day in and day out. (Occasionally, rarely, I do a little one upping myself.) Why is this the case? Well, that’s a whole separate question. But it certainly contributes to the way that technical entitlement turns “outsiders” off.
"Today, all our wives and husbands have Blackberries or iPhones or Android devices or whatever—the progeny of those original 950 and 957 models that put data in our pockets. Now we all check their email (or Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram, or…) compulsively at the dinner table, or the traffic light. Now we all stow our devices on the nightstand before bed, and check them first thing in the morning. We all do. It’s not abnormal, and it’s not just for business. It’s just what people do. Like smoking in 1965, it’s just life."
#change the ratio
#women in technology
My quote in the Wall Street Journal, which triggered Arrington’s response last week, which opened the floodgates:
“Part of changing the ratio is just changing awareness, so that the next time Techcrunch is planning a Techcrunch Disrupt, they won’t be able to not see the overwhelming maleness of it.”
Pardon me while I fret about the phrasing and definition of “Women’s issues”.
A tale of two cities. Vulnerabilities of the London and Paris transit networks. →
Authors: C. von Ferber, B. Berche, T. Holovatch, Yu. Holovatch
This paper analyses the impact of random failure or attack on the public
transit networks of London and Paris in a comparative study. In particular we
analyze how the dysfunction or removal of sets of stations or links (rails,
roads, etc.) affects the connectivity properties within these networks. We show
how accumulating dysfunction leads to emergent phenomena that cause the
transportation system to break down as a whole. Simulating different directed
attack strategies, we find minimal strategies with high impact and identify
a-priory criteria that correlate with the resilience of these networks. To
demonstrate our approach, we choose the London and Paris public transit
networks. Our quantitative analysis is performed in the frames of the complex
network theory - a methodological tool that has emerged recently as an
interdisciplinary approach joining methods and concepts of the theory of random
graphs, percolation, and statistical physics. In conclusion we demonstrate that
taking into account cascading effects the network integrity is controlled for
both networks by less than 0.5 % of the stations i.e. 19 for Paris and 34 for
Today in transportation wonkery.
"qualitative feedback is most effective when it’s overwhelmingly negative. A strong negative signal indicates that your assumptions most likely won’t work and lets you quickly abandon or refine it. If 5 out 5 customers tell you they don’t have a problem, that’s pretty significant!
On the other hand, a strong positive signal doesn’t necessarily mean it will scale or that the customer isn’t lying. All it does is give you permission to move forward until that can be verified later through quantitative data."