Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Will Twitter kill RSS?


The hype around Twitter has been growing enormously on the last weeks. Here in Brazil, writers from all around the web are writing and blogging about it everywhere. Almost everyone has a little blue bird on their blog side bar saying “follow me”.

Many bloggers and news corp have been using Twitter to broadcast news, which is very similar to what RSS already does. Check it out:

The Twitter way

  1. Blogger writes a new post;
  2. Blogger tweets about it and adds a tyniurl link to the post;
  3. Followers receive and read the tweet;
  4. If it’s interesting, they acess it.

The RSS way

  1. Blogger writes a new post;
  2. The post is automatically included on the blog RSS, no twitting needed;
  3. Signer accesses his RSS reader and gets the whole post, no clicking needed.

As I see it, to share news, RSS is simpler. No twitting nor clicking around.

So, why use Twitter then?

First of all, I don’t. I have an account, but rarely visit it. But, after reading and discussing a lot about it, I found out 2 interesting ways, one of which led to the recent hype.

  • Real time search. Using Twitter, everyone has access to everyone’s opinions about everything. It’s a soup of ideas about any topic you might imagine, and whenever new topics arise, people twitt about them. So, using tools like twitter search, it’s possible to learn what people are saying right now about some interesting topic. It’s unprecedent. And that’s why Sergei Brin and Larry Page are saying Twitter is ahead of Google on it.
  • Sharing comments. RSS exists to share news. Besides Google Reader recent advances on comment and sharing, RSS was not meant for it. Twitter wasn’ t also, but it does the job very efficiently. Whenever someone shares a link on twitter, they add a comment to it. They show their opinions to the world. So, you subscribe to a blog when you notice that blogger posts interesting stuff and you should follow someons when you see that someone posts interesting links and opinions.

Thinking about it, using twitter to share comments and news could kill RSS because people would only read news shared by their friends whom they trust. But, where would their friends find the news? From other twitts? It’s easy to see that this recursion would lead either to a news corp or blog twitt or to a RSS feed. So, the initial “sharers” will have to find the news somewhere and, as said, the best way is through rss.

So, calm down, RSS won’t die.



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Mozilla Labs Bespin

A couple weeks ago, Magnun and I were trying to implement a new feature for CairoPlot 2.0, which will be called Series. At the time, we decided to create a draft of what we were doing before actually coding and versioning it.

Both of us were stunned to find that an online colaborative programming ide didn’t exist. So we opted for Google Docs which filled the gap but not without some problems (as no syntax highlight).

Today, Magnun just told me about the Mozilla Labs Bespin which aims to be exactly what I said before: an online colaborative programming ide right inside your browser. Check out the project link to see what has already been done.

I do hope these guys keep going with this, the interface looks great and their idea of reinventing the wheel (as they did for the scrollbars and text input areas) is not bad as they do it for great optimization.

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itunes 8 – The slowest ever

Today, Apple unveiled its new iPods (shuffle, nano, classic, touch) and, as expected, a brand new itunes with some new shiny functions.

The list of new functions is promising and features:

  • grid view: a whole new way of interacting and seeing your albums, providing easy access to all of them through thumbnails of their album covers;
  • new visualizer: great aesthetic change;
  • genius playlist and sidebar: after creating a new itunes account, itunes should get the ability to analyze your tunes and group them together, providing playlists of musics that “go great together”;

So, what’s the catch?
First of all, it is the SLOWEST itunes ever.

By the time I installed it, I jumped to see the grid view. It sure is awesome as it is pretty great to browse through your albums seeing all of its covers in a way that is much more practical than coverflow. The problem is that it takes time to load. My library only has one album and it is taking like 1 sec to open it…

I plugged my iPod and accessed the summary page (by clicking on the iPod name on the left side bar). It took an astounding 5 seconds to load. Not satisfied, I started clicking on the tabs (music, movies, tv shows, etc) and each one of them took 1 second to load.
I found out that, as always, coverflow was not available for inside iPod music browsing, as the new grid view isn’t too.

The genius options requires an itunes account, which I don’t have and didn’t create. What’s the point of needing an itunes account to search your own library for music “related” to the one you are listening? I get that the itunes account shouldn’t even be needed for the cases in which the software searches for related songs on the itunes store. The account should ONLY be needed when you try to buy something.

I have noticed in previous versions that itunes was a LOT slower in windows, but this time Apple did surprise me…

Last but not least, there have been a lot of users complaining about “blue screens of death” when they plug their iPods and iPhones (according to Gizmodo).

For all that reasons, I’ll be waiting for the 8.1 which I believe might be a little bit faster and a little less bugged.

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english version

As it seems, Brazillian Digital TV System is doing well.

This week, the SET (Television Engineering Brazilian Society) is hosting a meeting in São Paulo and many manufacturers and development groups are showing off their products.

As Cristina Diluca says, some of these groups (MOPA Embedded Systems and TQTVD) have already installed its system on Set-top boxes which rendered them able to decode and display applications downloaded over the air.

The guys at MOPA are also, the most advanced team on integrating cellphones with set-top boxes, using them as a return channel for it. Besides that, they are using Wiimotes! Two games have been developed and are installed on MOPA Set-top Boxes.

portuguese version

Ao que parece, o Sistema Brasileiro de TV Digital vai muito bem.

Essa semana, o SET (Sociedade Brasileira de Engenharia de Televisão) organizou uma conferência em São Paulo e muitos fabricantes estão presentes e mostrando seus produtos.

Como dito por Cristina Diluca, alguns fabricantes (MOPA Embedded Systems e TQTVD), já tem Set-top Boxes com seu sistema capazes de decodificar e apresentar aplicações interativas que são baixadas juntamente com o fluxo de vídeo.

A MOPA são também os mais avançados em integrar os celulares com os STBs, usando-os como canal de retorno. Além disso, eles estão usando os controles do Wii em aplicações! Como Cristina Diluca cita, dois jogos foram desenvolvidos e estão instalados nos STBs MOPA.

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Last week links

I’ve noticed that on most blogs, writers tend to share what they’ve been reading with their readers, that way, I decided to do the same. Interesting stuff floating on the web:

Mary Poppendieck article on people management

Boston.com – 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony

Wanokoto Labs – Turning new pictures into old ones

IStock Diary – Learn Illustrator CS3 in 30 days

Download Squad – 5 Apps you run that suck

Francesco Mugnai Blog

Coding Horror – Coding Without Comments

Ubuntu Artwork Team

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Download Day!

Everyone, get ready! Firefox will be landing in a few hours from now!!

If you haven’t pledged yet, go on and do it!

Oh, and by the time you download the new stable release of firefox, maybe you will (like me) want to check this nice extension out 😀

Edit: That one turned out to be pretty bad on Linux… Trying the Tab Sidebar now 😀

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Forum Nokia

So, as S60 C++ involves the learning of C++ (which is kinda complex), Nokia has been releasing rapid development tools on the last couple of years. The very first one was Java followed by Python and, as I found out a while ago, Html/CSS/Javascript.

On the last hour, Daniel Rocha hosted a Webinar to explain the main features of the Widget Runtime which is the engine developers will use to develop web apps.

These new web apps will be accessible from the main menu and there will be no difference between them and the common native apps used ’til today. It’s very similar to what Apple allowed on its first gen iPhones.

This tool is aimed on usual web developpement, so it uses the Model-View-Control (HTML-CSS-Javascript) paradigm. As Daniel said on the webinar, the HTMLs are, most times, the simplest of the three as it only needs to define some regions to display things on the screen.

As CSS and Javascript weren’t powerful enough, Nokia guys developped the WRTkit, which is a library which defines buttons, text areas, gradients and many other input, output and customization.

With all that, the structure of the files is very simple:

  • info.pl
  • [name].html
  • [name].css
  • [name].js
  • [name].png

The first one is a manifest file written in xml and used to define some characteristics of it. The other ones, are html, css and javascript files and the last is the icon which will be used by the program.

After defining all that, it’s only needed to zip the folder, rename it to wgz and install it on the phone.

It’s indeed very very simple to use but it will only work on S60 Feature Pack 2 (and some chosen Feature Pack 1) phones.

Daniel will also release some very interesting links he used on his presentation, for now, I googled the Web Runtime wiki.

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