More Singapore tech blog writing

December 7, 2012  |  Tags: , ,   |  

From a recent e27 article, Google launches products to encourage entrepreneurship in the emerging markets:

Relying on citizen cartographers, Google Map Maker started in India as a way to make better maps of the subcontinent. It is a form of crowdsourcing that has emerged that demonstrates an effective way of getting local content online. Today, the product has doubled the worlds digital maps corpus, mapping 1.5 billion people in 187 countries. The UN and aid agencies have used these user generated maps to assist and rescue millions.

I found the last two sentences of this paragraph notable because (a) they were much less clumsily written than the rest of the article, and (b) “corpus”?! Who the hell actually uses that word? So, as a former teacher who’s marked his fair share of suspicious-looking student reports, I googled.

From Global Innovation Roundtable’s bio of Lalitesh Katragadda:

His most recent creation, Google Map Maker, doubled the worlds digital maps corpus, mapping 1.5 billion people in 187 countries. The UN and aid agencies have used these user generated maps to assist and rescue millions.

Even the missing apostrophe made it over. Lesson: Don’t plagiarise in a world with Google. Especially not in an article about Google.

(The first sentence in the quote is also copied, but a little better—at least there, the author makes an effort to paraphrase parts of para 3 in Google’s blog entry.)

See also the last time I wrote about Singapore tech blogs.

  Microsoft Window 8 →  November 19

From Jakob Nielsen’s mysteriously-named usability blog Alertbox, on Windows 8:

Also, the main UI restricts users to a single window, so the product ought to be renamed "Microsoft Window."

Excellent reporting by Ars as usual on a caller offering to fix the writer’s nonexistent problem on his nonexistent Windows machine:

“Sir, you are the Windows customer and you are registered here in Windows Company so that’s why we are calling you.”

Funny and sad.

  The Last PC Laptop →  September 23

Great piece by Jeff Atwood on his search for a good PC laptop. His conclusion:

My laptop is increasingly a device I only take when I know I’ll need to do a lot of typing, and/or I’ll need a lot of screen space to work. But even a phone could do that if it had decent support for bluetooth keyboards and external displays, couldn’t it? And even programmers, the audience who would most need all the power and flexibility of laptops, are switching to tablets.

I feel like we don’t hear much about PC vs. Mac hardware any more, and that’s probably related to the points made in this piece’s conclusion. (Blogged from my new, five-row-home screen iPhone 5, woohoo!)

The state of tech blog writing in Singapore

July 26, 2012  |  Tags: , ,   |  

Posting without comment; emphasis mine.

e27, Electronic Arts merges IronMonkey and Firemint to form Australia’s largest gaming studio Firemonkeys , 25 July 2012:

Good news aside, there are certainly expectations from the gaming community for the new Firemonkeys to perform, as they now eagerly awaits their first product.

e27, OS X Mountain Lion upgrade now available in Singapore for S$25.98, 25 July 2012:

Mac OS X can now grab the Mountain Lion upgrade at a price of S$25.98 in Singapore

[...]

The upgrade will come a the cost of S$25.98 and comes with over 200 innovative new features.

[...]

The Message app, which users had access to the beta version, will bring iMessage to the Mac and allows cross device communication across the iOS devices available in the market.

(The app is called “Messages”.)

Tech in Asia, Run a Singaporean Coffee Shop with the Kopi Tiam Game, 26 July 2012:

I downloaded the free Kopi Tiam version to give it a shot, after reading many positive reviews. It’s reminiscent to many time-management games [...]

[...]

We’ve also included a the game’s demo video below. Enjoy!

Tech in Asia, TackThis Powers Donation Drive in Singapore’s National Day 2012, 20 June 2012:

As a Singaporean, I confess feel compelled to doing so as well.

That’s it, for now. I might do more of these, if I get annoyed enough.

Oh, here’s one more. In this case, the bad grammar and awkward phrasing aren’t necessarily the writer’s fault. e27, The Demise of QR Codes, February 2012:

QR codes will remain a curious oddity for the technically proficient geeks and bleeding adopters.

Here are the search results for the odd term “bleeding adopters”. Compare this article from October 2011, which also contains that phrase, to the above e27 article.

Update, a day later: e27 and Tech in Asia have acknowledged and corrected the above. Both note that they appreciate error reports sent through their comment sections.

Presented with 10 million digital images found in YouTube videos, what did Google’s brain do? What millions of humans do with YouTube: looked for cats.

Way to go!

Doesn’t bode well for cat-based CAPTCHA systems like Catcha and KittenAuth, though.

A great piece on how Google can win social: by empowering users of their existing products, rather than setting up yet another destination. I, for one, sorely miss my shared list from Google Reader.

(Also, The Atlantic for tech analysis? When did that happen? Not complaining.)

A long, detailed piece on Stanford’s history, its ties with the valley, and some interesting remarks by former president Gerhard Casper challenging some of Hennessy’s decisions. OLD CODGER FUZZIE VS. OLD CODGER (with boring textbook) TECHIE FIGHT

Great piece by Anil Dash on the whole Readability/Instapaper kerfuffle. Came off as perfectly reasonable, and raises a good point about how all this has happened before:

Because when I would spend my time flinging zingers at Matt Mullenweg about the merits of Movable Type vs. WordPress, you know who was winning? Mark Fucking Zuckerberg. Facebook won the blogging wars. The web became a more closed place than if either Movable Type or WordPress had evolved into the tool that powered social networking.

[…]

And the only survivors will be the competitors with inferior products who don’t have nearly as good an experience, as much passion for innovation, or as much love for the web. What those competitors do have, in some cases, is $100 million in venture capital funding. Enough to wait it out while these two tiny little bootstrapped players get torn apart by their own fans.

I find Dash’s writing much more balanced, well-written and easily digestible than the antagonistic your-words-then-what-I-think-you’re-saying responses from “the other side”. Whatever happened to writing long, thoughtful pieces? Oh wait, link-blogging, sorry.

As for what I use, I saved and read this artice in Instapaper, but I possess some kind of completely irrational hatred towards it and Marco for two ridiculous, trivial reasons: (a) the personality he portrays on his Twitter feed and podcast (his blog is fine), and, more importantly, (b) that stupid prompt on the cookie-directed Instapaper login page that says to enter your password “if you have one — you probably don’t”. I totally have a password! Screw you and your presumptuous ass! Meanwhile, take my $12/year in subscription fees.

“Angry chihuahua mood”! This is the Dan Lyons we used to read and love.