Category Archives: computers

Lessons for Slack from an elder… Trello

Ultimately pretty minor nitpicks, but… for the record…

Stange things not explained in Slack (slack.com):
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1. Why is “private group” not just called a “private channel”. It is confusing to have 2 different names for the same thing (besides the privacy).
I know…. channel sounds public. Group sounds *almost* private, but needs “Private” to be clear. So I get that. This is annoying to me. I’ll get over it.

2. Why can you convert a channel to private (a private group), but not the other way around? I suspect it is because it would be awkward to change the privacy to public AFTER people have already been discussing in private, but why not explain that in the UI? The UI makes it seem like it is a technical issue, but I am sure it is just a workflow restraint they are enforcing. Which is fine, but they could be clearer about that.

3. Why when you change a channel to private do the things shared stay public? That makes no sense.

4. Why when you archive a channel (or private group), does the membership need to vanish? That is also extremely annoying. It is important information to know who is/was in a group.

UI says:
“Archive this group… If you don’t think it will be used any more and you want to clean up, archive it. The group can be unarchived later (but everyone will have been removed).”

5. Why is the UI so slow on the website? That is kinda a game-breaker.

Lessons for Slack from Trello
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1. Trello is fast
2. Trello list/board Membership maintained even when archiving
3. Can just go to trello.com, don’t have to go to [teamname].trello.com like in slack (which doesn’t know how to redirect to the subdomain where you are logged in. Annoying!)

Lessons FOR Trello from Slack
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1. In Slack you can see stuff in archived channels/groups pretty easily (without un-archiving them).
In Trello, the only way to see archived “lists” is to un-archive them (“Send to Board”). This is highly annoying!

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Filed under computers, work

The next internet is TV

Sounds mostly right…. http://www.theawl.com/2015/02/the-next-internet-is-tv

See also: http://www.marco.org/2015/02/16/google-and-blogs-shit

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Filed under computers, erik-web, future, television

The World is Fast

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/05/opinion/the-world-is-fast.html
“In sum, we’re in the middle of three “climate changes” at once: one digital, one ecological, one geo-economical.” Thomas Friedman

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Filed under alternative education, climate change, computers, future, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

AI is problematic

Artificial intelligence (AI) is problematic. I mean, well, it just builds on the basic problem of computers in general. It allows people to do amazing things. So when someone is clever at using them to make money in one way or another, it can make them A LOT of money. Hence huge inequalities in income and wealth (and hence power and freedom).

By…

1) eliminating the need for expensive human workers doing boring work
2) analyzing data in ways that we couldn’t before

and more and more…

3) And AI can/will allow for even fancier ways of doing more of 1 and 2.

THE PROBLEM is that these computers (and the AI) also can do cool stuff for individuals — computers can be used by individuals in many many amazing ways. So it seduces us into thinking we are getting a good deal. But the reality MIGHT be that on balance they (computers) are doing more harm than good when one looks at the overall picture. This is JERRY MANDER’s “limitation of the personal view” which he applies to all technologies. I personally think the jury is out on that. We might swing from one extreme to another, or we may not. I recognize we might look back and realize it’s rather obvious one way or the other.

So anyway, it’s funny that David Brooks is questioning and paints 2 scenarios since his final sentence answers his own question.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/31/opinion/david-brooks-our-machine-masters.html?_r=0

ASIDE:
This sorta connects to a “PRETTY GOOD HOUSE” article I just read over at greenbuildingadvisor.com. Point being that Passive Houses (kinda high tech/complicated to build) can be pretty amazing, but even more amazing is probably building a small and simple house that can get to maybe 90% of a passivhaus (depending on climate) but for a much lower price and complexity — meaning available to be built by more people, more local people, local matericals, etc. etc.

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Filed under computers, erik-green, future, passive house, person: Jerry Mander

The Wolf

From https://medium.com/p/9bc38b3e8a2e

wolves

If you build software for a living (or otherwise), go read these three posts.

  1. @rands: The Wolf
  2. @kellan: “Wolf” narrative considered harmful (also biologically unlikely)
  3. @codinghorror (from 2004): Commandos, Infantry and Police

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Filed under art, computers, contrarian, programming, software, technology, work

Where did the netbooks go?

My 2014 inexpensive laptop buying advice….

Q: Dell, Acer, Asus — all used to make 7″ and 10″ netbooks. We have a great Dell netbook called the Dell Inspiron Mini 1010 from several years ago with Windows 7. It has a 10″ screen and no CD/DVD drive, but otherwise is a very functional laptop with a full-sized keyboard. Perfectly great for email and facebook and Netflix and youtube and such. Why don’t they make such things any more in 2014?

A: It seems like they do, it’s just that they call them inexpensive Ultrabooks now. For example, the Dell Inspiron 11 (Haswell/Intel Celeron 2955U based) looks great for $300.

Q: But what about a “chromebook” like the new Acer C270?

A: It’s a tradeoff. A Chromebook is much simpler, but if you are ever going to want to have the option to run actual Office apps or Steam or Minecraft or Portal, etc, etc. for video games (for example), then one has to go Ultrabook route.

Finally: One of my most important qualifications is a laptop must be dead-simple to install more RAM. Some laptops make this difficult, but with others one can do this in 3 minutes.

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Filed under computers, shopping

In the news…. some related links

The following are some related links. Computers are simultaneously making amazing things possible and helping make some people very rich, but also making it more difficult to make a living for many (see the income inequality video).
It’s touching everything for good or bad. Media, education, news, jobs, food, financial markets, politics. Some win (and we all hear about those people) and most lose (and news tries to not depress or mobilize us too much about that). “The limitation of the personal view” Jerry Mander calls it.

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– The Rise of the Blockbuster (blockbusters are actually on the increase. the “long tail” is still there, but aren’t the real winners %-wise)
http://wgbhnews.org/post/rise-blockbuster

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– Misconceptions about wealth Inequality in America

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– “Q: If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about life today?”
“A: I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers.”

(original at: http://as.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/15yaap/if_someone_from_the_1950s_suddenly_appeared_today/?sort=top)

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– University megastar professors
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesmarshallcrotty/2012/08/07/the-coming-age-of-the-teaching-megastar/

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– Welcome, Robot Overlords. Please Don’t Fire Us?
Smart machines probably won’t kill us all—but they’ll definitely take our jobs, and sooner than you think.
https://ehaugsjaa.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/2040-our-robot-paradise/

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– BAY WATCHED: How San Francisco’s new entrepreneurial culture is changing the country.
BY NATHAN HELLER
OCTOBER 14, 2013
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/10/14/131014fa_fact_heller?currentPage=all
Naval Ravikant “… the cost to build and launch a product went from five million … to one million … to five hundred thousand … and it’s now to fifty thousand.”

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– The Nacho Dorito
“I visited Steven A. Witherly, a food scientist who wrote an insider’s guide, “Why Humans Like Junk Food,” and we raided his lab to taste and experiment our way through the psychobiology of what makes Nacho Cheese Doritos so alluring.”
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/10/01/dining/nacho-graphic.html?_r=0

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– TOO COMPLICATED TO FAIL
https://www.google.com/search?q=%22too+complicated+to+fail%22

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Filed under computers, contrarian, person: Jerry Mander, technology, thinking