Never underestimate the power of coincidence

Coincidences are noted after the event, not before

When projects go well, people immediately self-congratulate on the project process, that delivered so well. Our lives are a series of coincidences, that we can choose to misread – either in some abstract form (this must mean something!), or to justify current course of action(s). A project that has done well, may well fall into this category – in IT, we often mistake luck or chance, as direct result of actions we have taken. But it is not so simple – when things go right, it is largely because of direction we have taken, no due to individual processes and/or actions. To analyse too far, is to end up in a downwards spiral of self-absorption.
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By the balls

I sometimes think it is better to go with open source, than budget kick-start code, such as Classipress. With a key release being delayed 6 months, I feel in the same stranglehold as if I had gone with a regular software vendor product – what has happened is I have done coding work to get it to do what was promised, and now still not delivered (such as proximity search). I now face difficult upgrade work each time (to sweeten people they did series of 0.0.0 type releases, but largely bugfixes, and not critical ones). Now it seems all I am using Classipress code for is largely form and form custom field management. Watching the movement of appthemes, they have increased their product range rapidly, and instinctively I feel their classified product has been demoted. if I had the time again, I would have gone pure open source – it would have saved a lot of headaches. Including their rather pointless and plugin-compromising use of newer WordPress 3 custom post-types – I am still not understanding how their implementation of that has improved anything.

Adobe carry the MS torch

I have come to conclusion there is a curse surrounding project developed in Adobe Air/Flex. Developers in this area have usually come from Flash background, and no matter how expert they are, they struggle to resolve issues. Adobe has provided a very good platform to develop prototypes very quickly. This is part of the problem – they look too good too soon. Good for a company just concerned about revenue in the next quarter, as it is easier to sell. Bad news for the project team who will see a series of regressed issues that seem to pop out of nowhere. Largely Adobe Flex/Air is not a decision made by the technology department – it has been sold to someone higher up the chain. Adobe have done well in their market – holding companies to ransom with their proprietary technology. Emotions run high, as it does come in for a lot of slating.

When defending Adobe Air/Flex development, I hear the same old “I can do more with less code” – when I would rather be hearing how efficient and future proof and robust the code is. If I didn’t know better (and I do, as I have met good solid programmer types who work on these projects), Adobe attracts the lazier and less competent developers. Dev’s have moved on from flash development to play with the big boys and make larger scale applications in their familiar territory. Its a false economy – java development is currently cheaper, and would provide a more stable and efficient application. Java developers are also inherently more “code-y” types of people. Whatever can be developed in Adobe, can be developed in Java – and much better.

Emotion Harvest

“… a database of several million human feelings, increasing by 15,000 – 20,000 new feelings per day. Using a series of playful interfaces, the feelings can be searched and sorted across a number of demographic slices, offering responses to specific questions like: do Europeans feel sad more often than Americans? Do women feel fat more often than men? Does rainy weather affect how we feel? What are the most representative feelings of female New Yorkers in their 20s? What do people feel right now in Baghdad? What were people feeling on Valentine’s Day? Which are the happiest cities in the world? The saddest?”
We Feel Fine / mission

Nokia slow cooker

I got tired quickly of the slow ear-roasting properties of the N95 (and to be balanced, I think most smartphones are the same), and went back to an old favourite, the w580i (part of the sweet 500 series).   A friend of mine used to be on his mobile so much he got large (benign) tumors on his neck behind his ears.  He was permanently cemented to his mobile, but still a cautionary reminder.
580i_2
Back to w580i – as well as fine walkman software, and a nice quality feel to it, it is just a very good mobile phone, for those of us that still spend a lot of time talking and txting.   The camera may only be 2Mp, but the quality is better than a lot of the 5Mp+ phones.  I have generally found the higher the Mp, the more necessary it is that your photographic subjects stay still!  Which with an 18month year old is a challenge too far – about 60 blurry pictures, dada started growling under his breath.  The best thing about this phone is it works fast, has great sound and  looks good.

MOSH by Nokia

After the innovative mobile venture Betavine from Vodafone, Nokia are playing catchup with the same concept – MOSH.  Hoping this is not cheesy reference to mashup, but I must say that this is a far better usability experience Betavine.  The design is very clear and follows the “Don’t make me think!” principles. Open source philosophy is in full flow on this site, as oppose to the still-corporate approach from Vodafone.   MOSH has some interesting apps, including a DJ mixer for the N-series.  I can see myself as a regular visitor there

I came across this site, via a social networking contact, Jason Nunes of Schematic, a seasoned user experience expert, and his work on this site demonstrates this.