Monthly Archives: October 2011

Will Google+ eventually provide the ability to set a profile URL?

As much as I love the service, I will never be able to memorize '103883629881537445469' and I don't like passthroughs like gplus.to (or gplus.on or its ilk) or relying on link shorteners. Some people can use the profiles.google.com URL, but not everyone, and that method only works with your Gmail login.

The reasons for the seemingly random number string is obvious: it limits the ability to harvest e-mail addresses. But man, it's ugly. This quirk is, to me, a daily reminder of Google's engineering side overruling its UI or design side.

I couldn't think of many Google services besides YouTube that regularly use non-Gmail usernames, though, so this might not be part of their DNA.

I know, I obsess about this stuff more than most, collecting usernames like video game achievements. But I'm not alone. Custom usernames are a standard part of the social web, and a key part of driving buzz (witness the mad dash to 'reserve' usernames on pre-launch services). Twitter has millions in the habit of thinking in terms of '@' prefixed handles. Even Facebook has removed most of the limitations to choosing a vanity URL for profiles and pages.

If user demand isn't enough, the draw for businesses and organizations is even more obvious. I'm holding out hope that custom URLs come with the planned rollout of business pages. But an even more compelling reason is that they would be an obvious accommodation to better support pseudonymous usage of Google+, something Google has promised in the wake of the 'real names' debate.

With all the new features being deployed on a near weekly basis, surely someone's dedicated to this? Anyone on the Google team listening?

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For Movie Monday, we I preview the upcoming film “The Descendants”

For Movie Monday, +Jennifer Ozawa and I preview the upcoming film “The Descendants.”

Director Alexander Payne (“Sideways,” “Election,” “About Schmidt”) puts the Aloha State on the big screen in a way I don’t think I’ve ever seen before, wrapping it around a story of love and legacy that’s still universal.

Jen, who read and loved the book it’s based on (by local author Kaui Hart Hemmings), had a different take than I did… but in the end, we both recommend it.

It comes out Nov. 18, the same week as “Twilight” and “Happy Feet 2.” Those two flicks might bury “The Descendants,” but it’s unquestionably the best movie of the bunch. Some are saying best movie of the year.

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Popspotting #156: “The Descendants” (Oct. 31, 2011)
This movie has a lot going for it already, with Alexander Payne at the helm and George Clooney in the spotlight. But “The Descendants” is also a film set in, and a film about, Hawaii, based on the nov…

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Apple uses Google Maps like the rest of us

But it could be poised to leapfrog ahead. 9to5Mac has a good write-up on Apple's acquisitions of Placebase, C3 Technologies and Poly9, and how they might add up to the next big thing.Placebase gives Apple a basic alternative, which it may need if the "thermonuclear war" with Android escalates. But the C3 Technologies video demos, using tech originally developed for the military, are pretty cool.The last time I saw a demo of C3, it was shown at a tech conference on an Android tablet, and called "Google Maps 3.0":C3 Google Maps on Steroids: Realistic 3D City ModelsI'm pretty sure that, like Siri, Apple's acquisition means you now won't see it anywhere but on iOS.

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Apple acquired mind-blowing 3D mapping company C3 Technologies, looking to take iOS Maps to the next level | 9to5Mac | Apple Intelligence

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James Koshiba weighs in on special interests, and the potential for change

A slightly edited version was published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Oct. 24, but of course it's locked behind a paywall. Koshiba, executive director of Kanu Hawaii, is responding in part to the resignations of many of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's key staffers, and has a different read on what it means.Did naive, clumsy kids screw up, requiring real leaders to fix the mess? Or did the "old boy" network simply give them enough rope to hang themselves, then inevitably flex its muscles to return to power?"All this makes it feel like a low point for democracy," he writes. "Yet, we've never been better equipped to exercise our power."

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Kanu Hawaii Story: Hawaii of, by, and for the wealthy and well-connected?
Hawaii of, by, and for the people, or for the wealthy and well-connected? Comment or sign up for action. Tutorial; Connect. Kanu Members; Kanu Groups; Our Impact; About Kanu Hawaii; Contact Kanu. Act….

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I love the idea of these "Movie Draft" contests

It's like the Hollywood Stock Exchange, but much more fun to watch, let alone play. After +Brian Brushwood, +Tom Merritt, +Justin Young, +Sarah Lane, and +Glenn Rubenstein bid for films, fans can play along based on the prices they set.Major kudos to +Dan Dirks, who made all the Google Docs spreadsheet magic happen. This setup really should be an app or web app! I'd love to do the same on our podcast, perhaps playing against other movie shows!

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Frame Rate 48 | TWiT.TV
Search form. Search this site: RSS Feeds; Calendar Schedule; Podcasts on iTunes. this WEEK in TECH; The Tech Guy; MacBreak Weekly; Windows Weekly; Security Now; This Week in Google; iPad Today; Tech N…

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One dad’s "magical moment"

From +Rob Conery (via +Gorm Lai), one dad’s “magical moment” where technology and the cosmos seemed to intersect in his backyard.

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The Hubble Blew My Mind
The Hubble Blew My Mind. Last night, around 8:30pm, I was sitting in my backyard with my 9 yr. old daughter, Maddie. We were looking at stars, trying to identify constellations, when one of them start…

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Photographers need to eat

Homeless people do, too. The Institute for Human Services, one of the largest homeless shelters and service providers in Honolulu, asked on Flickr if any volunteer photographers wanted to take and provide photos of a Monster Dash 5k Fun Run this Saturday, October 29.+Kent Nishimura says that if an organization has resources to plan an event, they should budget for professional services like photography, rather than seeking them for free. Otherwise, "their staff should work for free as well, from the top to the bottom, all the time for IHS should be donated."I think professionals often donate their services (legal help, graphic design, construction) to causes they support, even if those causes have a staff and a budget. The idea is to reduce the expenses going to things other than the main mission. I can see feeling that professionals should not devalue their work by giving it away. But a charity can't survive if it doesn't at least ask for donations. Professionals can just say no or ignore the request. I feel bad that an IHS rep felt he or she had to apologize for posting.Ultimately, I guess the IHS request is better suited to an amateur. Fortunately, there are a lot of talented amateurs out there, too, and while IHS may not get Ansel Adams, they'll have nice photos for their newsletter and website. If you're an amateur photographer (or a professional willing to devalue your talents) who supports the IHS mission, please consider heading down to Magic Island with a camera on Saturday!

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Flickr: Discussing Need volunteer photographer for 10.29 charity race in Hawai'i Flickr Meetup
Flickr is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world. Show off your favorite photos and videos to the world, securely and privately show content to your fri…

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Bartelby is back with a whole new button-filled adventure

Last August, I blogged about "Volume One" of this digital storybook. Earlier this month, "Volume Two" was submitted to the App Store, with a brand new story and lots of great enhancements (like AirPlay and Game Center support)… and not only did it get approved, it got named the 'iPhone App of the Week.'Congratulations to Hawaii's own Denise and Henrik Van Ryzin of Monster Costume!

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Bartleby’s Second Book Featured by Apple
October 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Gadgets, Technology. Bartleby's Book of Buttons Vol. 2. It was over a year ago when “Bartleby's Book of Buttons,” a delightful digital storybook for iPad, hi…

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For Wildcard Wednesday, we follow up on our promise to devote a podcast to Hilo Town….

For Wildcard Wednesday, we follow up on our promise to devote a podcast to Hilo Town. This cozy, often soggy city is where my wife and I met 17 years ago, and our spiritual home. We talk about museums, natural wonders, and — of course — food.

We covered as much as we could in 20 minutes, though I'm sure we missed some good stuff! What's your favorite spot in Hilo?

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Popspotting #153: Exploring Hilo Town
The sleepy East Hawaii town of Hilo is where we met, and is among our favorite places on Earth. With a population of 40,000, it’s the third largest city in the state, but it feels much, much smaller. …

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A look at "Tablet Computing" 18 months after the introduction of the iPad….

A look at "Tablet Computing" 18 months after the introduction of the iPad. Of course, iPad users accounted for 81 percent of the users in this Project for Excellence in Journalism survey, from the Pew Research Center.

I'm happy to see news consumption is a major draw, and a willingness to commit to long-form pieces. Below is the link to the snazzy infographic, but click through to read the details.

"Consuming news (everything from the latest headlines to in-depth articles and commentary) ranks as one of the most popular activities on the tablet, about as popular as sending and receiving email (54% email daily on their tablet), and more popular than social networking (39%), gaming (30%), reading books (17%) or watching movies and videos (13%)."

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The Tablet Revolution–A PEJ Infographic | Project for Excellence in Journalism
Infographic highlighting how people are using tablets to consume news, from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism report, The Tablet Revolution and the Future of News.

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