Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Archive for June, 2011

Go Coffee Go

If you’re as serious about coffee as I am, Go Coffee Go is pretty slick. You can create a Netflix-esque queue of coffees to try. This is a link to the top 25 as selected by their users.

Currently they offer flat-rate shipping to the 48 contiguous US states, with options to ship to Hawaii and Alaska. They don’t ship to Canada, but apparently they plan to soon.

Debating the Value of College in America

Louis Menand:

College was a gate through which, once, only the favored could pass. Suddenly, the door was open: to vets; to children of Depression-era parents who could not afford college; to women, who had been excluded from many of the top schools; to nonwhites, who had been segregated or under-represented; to the children of people who came to the United States precisely so that their children could go to college. For these groups, college was central to the experience of making it—not only financially but socially and personally. They were finally getting a bite at the apple. College was supposed to be hard. Its difficulty was a token of its transformational powers.

I’m not thoroughly convinced by Menand’s arguments, but the article is well-thought, as typical of the New Yorker.


The Macalope:

[Microsoft] often seems to have a problem telling people “no”—an issue that Apple has never had. Apple tells lots of people “no.” No, you’re not getting a floppy drive. No, you’re not getting a physical keyboard on our cell phone. No, we’re not crapping up our mobile devices with Flash. […] If you want a ride to the future, there are two ways to get there. One is to catch a ride in the race car Apple’s driving and accept the fact that, for the pleasure of a nice ride, you’re going to have to pay the tolls along the road. Otherwise, you can catch the Microsoft bus. They don’t make you pay the tolls but the bus stops everywhere.

WWDC 2011 Keynote: Initial Reactions

James Wilson:

I’m happy that Apple hasn’t torpedoed any of the apps I have out there or that I’m working on. I didn’t realise how much of a concern this was to me until the relief I felt after the keynote.

Lucky him.

Ridesharing as an Alternative to Transportation Capacity Increases « The Transport Politic

Mr. Minett advanced the notion that ridesharing — a system by which people get out of their own cars and essentially share a vehicle with other commuters taking similar routes to work — could triple or quadruple the capacity of existing roads, all without any added physical investment, the stuff no one can afford anymore. Unlike traditional carpooling, which requires people who know each

Windows 8

The very fact that Microsoft will allow this to be sold on non-touch devices shows an absurd degree of meddling by management types.

The Way I Work

David Karp of Tumblr:

I’m very antischedule. Except for board meetings, I don’t really schedule things or keep a calendar. I think appointments are caustic to creativity. It’s so frustrating when you’re in the middle of a great conversation or work groove, and you realize, “Oh, I’ve got an appointment. I’ve got to bolt.”

Why Windows 8 Is Fundamentally Flawed

John Gruber also points out how crummy it is for Windows 8 to be a Windows product.

Microsoft is obviously trying to learn from Apple, but they clearly don’t understand why the iPad runs iOS, and not Mac OS X.

He continues:

The ability to run Mac OS X apps on the iPad, with full access to the file system, peripherals, etc., would make the iPad worse, not better. The iPad succeeds because it has eliminated complexity, not because it has covered up the complexity of the Mac with a touch-based “shell”. iOS’s lack of backward compatibility with any existing software means that all apps for iOS are written specifically for iOS.

A fantastic critique.

Windows 8 Video Preview

If I didn’t have a tablet already, I’d buy one with Windows 8 on it, when it’s released. I find iOS on the iPad to be very touch-friendly, but lacking some of the features I take for granted on desktop OSes. Android and Windows 7 are both poor solutions to the problem. Windows 8, on the other hand, looks like it strikes the right balance. The video is embedded below (aside: why can’t Microsoft afford a lapel microphone?)

It’s dismaying to see that it can run current Windows applications. It seems like one great idea after another, until someone on the backwards compatibility team has their say. What if they gave it a new name (Microsoft Metro?) to distance it entirely from Windows?