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This is an old page from Rod Begbie's blog.

It only exists in an attempt to prevent linkrot. No new content will be added to this site, and links and images are liable to be broken. Check out begbie.com to find where I'm posting stuff these days.

Entries for Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18, 2010

Girls Gone Wild

Girls Gone Wild

Efforts to convince Joy to flash her norks next to the bus proved unsuccessful.

Warning: Adding “in bed” to this fortune has a 5-year minimum sentence

Warning: Adding “in bed” to this fortune has a 5-year minimum sentence

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Minimal Competence: Data Access, Data Ownership, and Sharecropping.

Kellan on Flickr and their attitude to your contributions to the site: You can programmatically get back everything you add *and then some*

Why don’t more people use ad-blocking software?

The following is my answer to the question “Why don’t more people use Adblock Plus or other ad-blocking software?” on Quora

I think there’s one main reason: They don’t know such software exists.

And even if they do, it’s not a one-click install-and-forget procedure. Once you’ve installed it, you have to deal with false positives and things not working 100% right. Occasionally, content gets blocked, or JavaScript stops functioning. I install ad blockers on all my browsers, but there are always sites I need to whitelist. For that reason, I never recommend ad blockers to my non-techie friends & relatives.

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The Swing to Chrome

The following is my answer to the question “Will Firefox have double-digit market share in 3 to 5 years?” on Quora

I doubt it.

I see (non-mobile) browser users approximately falling into three categories:

  1. 60% are users who will always use the default browser installed on their computer. This is IE’s bread and butter. Combines home users who don’t know what a browser is or why they’d ever change, and works users who are forced to use whatever their IT department prescribes. (Also now includes people buying their first Macs and starting to use Safari)
  2. 10% are users who will seek out the “best” browser. In the early 2000’s, perhaps paid for Opera (and maybe still do), since around 2003 using Firefox. Care about things like speed, memory use, privacy, and extensions.
  3. 30% are users who would normally be in the first category, but have friends or relatives in the second. Have installed Firefox (or had Firefox forcibly installed on their behalfs) and perhaps even keep it up to date.

At the moment, I see the middle 10% swinging wildly towards Chrome. Over the last few months, given the OS X beta release, the improvement of the Developer tools, and the release of extensions, I’ve seen anecdotal Chrome usage amongst my peers (and disgruntlement with the bloat and slowness of Firefox) increase massively.

This will have the tail effect on the third group — I’ve already switched Joy to Chrome, and the next time my mum asks me something about her Firefox installation, I will undoubtedly suggest the same.

And finally, given Google’s immense power and advertising ability, they could even start to reach into the non-techies. They can use their search “monopoly” to strongly suggest Chrome installation, reaching out to people that Mozilla can only dream of.

The competition might give Mozilla a boost to improve Firefox, but the current change in their momentum doesn’t look promising for their future.

Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb

Help Wanted

Todd Agres from Spark Capital on the lack of quality software engineering talent available at the moment. “A blight ensues when there are hundreds of companies looking for the same people. I would guess that there are at least twice as many engineering jobs in start-ups as there are people to fill them.”

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An Open Letter to Our Industry

Great post by Erika Hall on the whitedudiness of most tech conference lineups.

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Just imagine…

Reading the 'about’ page of banksimple, the new online bank that Alex Payne has left Twitter to work on, I felt sad.

A simpler bank that is easy to use.
A bank that treats you with respect.
No extraneous features.
No hidden fees.

I already have that. I feel sorry for the people who don’t.

Well, not I don’t have that in a bank per se, but Digital Federal Credit Union — the credit union I conduct all my personal banking with — charges me practically nothing for my checking or savings accounts, refunds the fees other banks charge me to use their ATMs, has a credit card with a fantastically low APR, and has never been anything less than ace to me when I’ve needed to speak to a human.

Despite my being thousands of miles away from the nearest branch, they’re still more convenient than the banks that litter the streets of SF, not least since they support scanning paper checks and uploading them on my home laptop (and now, with a new iPhone app, I can just use my iPhone camera!)

Seriously folks, if your bank is a bunch of dicks, look around for a local credit union. They’re not all as awesome as DCU, I’m sure, but it’s well worth it.

[Utterly random geekyawesome history aside: DCU is so-named because the company whose employees they originally serviced? DEC!]

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About This Site

This is an archive of groovmother.com, the old blog run by Rod Begbie — A Scottish geek who lives in San Francisco, CA.

I'm the co-founder of Sōsh, your handy-dandy guide for things to do in San Francisco this weekend.