Once again, I’m in Austin for SXSW Interactive; the forth time I’ve attended an event I find easy to disparage. Yet this is the first stop on a trip that will take in several hundred miles of Interstate highway between here and San Francisco; two points of familiarity on an itinerary that promises to be anything but predictable.
Not a week passes without there being a controversy involving Google. If they’re not pilfering a Kenyan business directory, then they’re jumping into bed with opponents of net neutrality or subverting default cookie settings. Even if you ignore these concerns, it’s hard to deny that their search engine is starting to suffer too. Fortunately, there’s an alternative.
Heritage Lawn was an embarrassingly lavish name for a desperately average cul-de-sac. Yet, in and around a maze of opulently named cul-de-sacs, a few areas of wilderness remained.
Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.
Following on from last July’s extensive redesign of this site, the last few weeks have seen me revisit the design and implementation. In light of today’s Responsive Summit, and with a few people asking about the changes, I thought I should provide a little more detail.
Last weekend I visited the new Olympic velodrome for the UCI Track Cycling World Cup. Part of London Prepares, a programme of test events before the games take place this summer, it was thrilling to see athletes up close as they also prepare for London 2012. The building is absolutely stunning, although Ben Terrett notes a few design oversights that remain.
I refuse to give in to a cynical view of Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto; that ethos was very real, a sincere and important guiding principle. And if a big company like Google can’t avoid being evil, then what world-changing enterprise can? But I think Google as an organization has moved on; they’re focussed now on market position, not making the world better. Which makes me sad.
Google is too powerful, too arrogant, too entrenched to be worth our love. Let them defend themselves, I’d rather devote my emotional energy to the upstarts and startups. They deserve our passion.
I still have a Google account, although the only services I rely on are search and Reader. DuckDuckGo is looking like a promising replacement for search, but nearly every decent RSS reader still syncs with Google Reader (even if through unofficial and undocumented APIs). As soon as that changes, my Google account will be deleted.
Over the past few years, I’ve often meant to write about the location-based social network Gowalla. Recently acquired by Facebook and with closure imminent, now is my last opportunity to do so.
.net Magazine asked a group of experts what they find most delightful and most despicable about the social networking giant Facebook. This was my response.
I’ve always wanted to run a marathon, but shorter races were beset by poor training. Since taken running more seriously, I’ve become lighter, leaner and possibly even a bit faster. If I’m ever to achieve my dream of running a marathon, then this is the year to do it. An Olympic year too.
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