Marco Arment on Google and Blogs

When I realized how well Google ranked Blogs running WordPress with very little optimization in 2006, I was amazed and also surprised. Yes, there were some great blogs, but this way of ranking also jazzed up not so great blogs, including my own.
In 2015, or rather since July 1st, 2013 this has changed, as Marco Arment points out: | Google and blogs: “Shit.”

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One simple example that could help newspapers to monetize on the web

Today I stumbled upon yet another example that shows how newspapers could easily make money by selling their content on the web: Make your printed articles available behind your paywall, too; and make it obvious for print readers too what the very link would be (via a shorted url or a code). I would certainly pay 0.50€ for one article1, if the mention on the web is interesting to me, but I would never buy the whole edition (digitally or printed) for that one article. And I bet that others would, too.

  1. assuming a price around 2.00€/edition []

Announcement: Books.

As I don´t feel like sharing my personal opinions here, I had to think about what else to write about, and as I love culture, I really liked the idea of a good friend to write about books. This will happen in german – as most books I read are written in my german mother tongue – whenever I read a book in english though, I will of course review it in english.

Da es hier in der letzten Zeit eher ruhig war und ich keinen besonderen Drang verspüre, meine persönlichen Meinungen zu verschiedensten aktuellen Ereignissen hier abzulegen. Deswegen wird es hier demnächst vor allem Buchrezensionen geben – vorwiegend auf Deutsch.

CES 2011: First third hand impressions

While I could spend my time with something else as well (and I mostly do over the day here in Europe), it´s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA again. Even though I haven´t been that much into tech lately (besides scrolling the daily tech news), I must admit that as always (since I follow mobile computing) I´ve been pretty exited.

It´s CES, and that´s great, just like Computex or MWC (the German trade show CeBIT hasn´t been too exiting lately, btw) and while it isn´t too tough to guess which rumors might become true (even as a bystander, like me, I would like you to consider me as an attentive bystander), you still always sense something whenever you see a first “hands on” or follow a live blogging session from a press conference. There is surprise (rare, but it happens), disappointment, sheer exitement or happiness (because something came out the way you dreamt of it) or fear (you don´t like what happens, whatever the trigger is).

I will not bore you with more detailed descriptions, I will just try to name anexample for each of the feelings I tried to describe above.

Let´s start with surprise: When I first saw the ASUS EeePad MeMO I was really surprised (positively) to see a tablet with a stylus from a company like ASUS, which is a hardware company (and adding in a Stylus within a finger touch environment like Android requires additional software to make real sense, from note taking to hand writing recognition). Still, ASUS has proven to be innovative during the last years, and I really hope that others will follow them – don´t forget: it was ASUS who invented netbooks, after all.

Next on: Disappointment. Well, there wasn´t too much disappointment yet, probably because other news have been to overwhelming. Still, there is one product which I followed in the past which will (as I see it now) not live up too its hype, which I´ve been a little part of. It´s the Notion Ink adam. Looking at all these Tegra2 tablets getting ready for the market, announced with better screen resolutions and Android Honeycomb (featuring the Android market) I expect this tablet not to be the success it could have been, if only it would have been ready earlier – if NotionInk had managed to hit the market this November with a less perfect, but still promising and relatively bug free outstanding product, NotionInk could have hit it off. Now, still not available in the stores and about to hit within a plethora of similar devices (to the eye of the average customer), considering the amount of thought the makers of adam put into it, inferior solutions featuring the software Google created and Googles Android Market, sounding alltogether less biblical (I never loved these adam, Eden … names), NotionInks´ solution will have a very hard time to perform half decent next to all these things with known brandnames on them. I just hope, that they will survive (and be it as a team, then part of another company – Toshiba seems to need some brilliant engineers, looking at their failure with the Folio 100 (and other, earlier mobile solutions like the TG01), btw ;-) ).

Sheer exitement / happiness. I like what Motorola did by creating a phone (the Atrix 4G) that will power a subnotebook. This is truely great, even though Motorola sucked at Openness (as in hackability) lately, because it is what I dreamt of years ago, when I had my first Linux powered smartphone, the Motorola A780.

Fear. Well, I could have just mentioned the NotionInk adam in this section, but I felt just too certain about its failure, so what will I put into this section? Yes, it´s Microsoft really porting Windows to ARM. It´s not Microsoft, I don´t expect them to fail, it´s that I am afraid of Microsoft killing other, in terms of user experience superior solutions with its momentum. A momentum it has because almost everybody is used to the shit (not talking about software quality here, but about user interface design) they´ve been delivering for years. I really hoped they´d stick to CE. And to be perfectly honest: It´s not just the usability that makes me worry, it´ s that I am great fan and supporter (whereever I can) of open source software, which will suffer in one or another way (open 3d graphics drivers is one frontier harder to fight at now). Microsoft really entering the ARM platform (a move which, with Intel (&Nokia) working on Meego) makes perfect sense from all standpoints I can think of (be it technics or business), but still, for the reasons mentioned above I would have loved to see Microsoft failing at doing the obvious thing.

I will write more about this CES if I feel like, promised.
Apologies: I left out links out of pure laziness, I expect my readers to be able to find the information they need themselves.

Looking back (2010)

2011 is close, and it will be there in a glimpse. 2010 will be over, and people on twitter will write “oh, that´s so 2010”, whenever they stumble on something that isn´t bleeding edge.

2011 will be the way it´ ll be. I won´t write down what I expect for 2011, all I can say is that I am going to do better in 2011, as 2010 wasn´t a great year for me. I don´t want to complain though, because complaining doesn´t help anybody and because I think of complaining as a way of “not admitting ones own guilt/fault”.

I could try to talk about tech here, but well, we all know what came up in 2010 – considering mobile devices it was interesting, but not exactly mind blowing. 1GHz superphones came up, Microsoft released it´s new mobile OS, Android, iOS, webOS evolved, MeeGo for handhelds didn´t make it in 2010, some tablets have been released, cheap and expensive, bad and good, but the real tablet business will start – you name it – in 2011.

Netbooks are still there and now dual core powered, but honestly: The Netbook business has become boring, prices are relatively high and there are just a few devices, that are outstanding in one way or the other – I won´t name them here, you have to find them on your own.

So, overall, I believe that 2011 will be better. I am quite optimistic, and that´s unusual.

I wish you all the best!


I’ve been preparing to publish something here for quite some time. I started a writeup on smartphone platforms while sitting in the train on the way back from an useless job interview in munich. I didn’t finish it, had other things to do, my parents were on holidays nearby, and I had another stupid test to pass. While I was working on that, I head to learn the hard way why exactly Apple came up with their magsafe stuff: The power supply of my netbook somehow managed to pull it down when I stood up from my desk. Screen broken. Nice black area on the right of the screen. I most likely won’t fix it. I will rather sell it, and buy something that’s more helpful and an additional battery for my 14″ notebook.

In addition to that, another semester has started. As I hate printing all the stuff you need to be prepared at lectures and later be prepared at the examination, simply because it takes so long, is an effing waste of natural resources and it’s a pain in the neck to carry all that paper along whenever you travel in order to be able to work, i tried to find something that could fit my workflow. An electronic device, like Amazons kindle, plus some features to be able to make annotations during lectures. I hear someone shouting TabletPC. Sorry, that’s not it. It can do too much else and thus distract me badly, it’s heavy, expensive and in addition to that, most TabletPCs have a terrible battery life.

And don’t talk me into the iPad or an Android tablet. They seem (if my inquiries weren’t too bad) to lack the appropriate software – not to mention their sunlight readability. It’s too bad that there are so few tablets using Wacom technology.

Really, the only device that’s close to fit and available is made by Apple, and i am not talking of any iOS device here. I think of getting one of these crazy Newton MessagePads. Unfortunately, those that are powerful and thus interesting (2000,2100) are rare and still expensive, and then there is another drawback: Apparently no PDF support. PDF just wasn’t that popular in the 1990s. Converting is possible, maybe it would even work out.

But really: Isn’t it effing frustrating that there is no effing device that is really suitable to survive university without having to carry a huge load of paper? Is this market so uninteresting?

Probably I should turn this disaster into a business plan.

Instant Noodles

Sorry, no further impressions in the Palm Pre I learned to use and love before WebOS 2.0 which will make a good thing even better – just a few lines on a new Google service.

I`ve been using Google services for years, and I am not planning to stop doing that, even though I never found Google Wave particulary helpful and prefer twitter over Google Buzz. My aging Android handset will be replaced by a newer one when I think it has to be replaced, and, yeah, Google Mail is the best free mail service I ever used.

Now Google is coming up with something new that might will change the world of searching the web and thus SEO, and as I am involved in some projects, that focus on SEO, I almost have to watch this new thing very carefully. Google Instant maybe what I always waited for but was afraid of at the same time. It might make SEO that doesn´t deliver the best content (not only cheap, keyword heavy content mixed page ranking enhancing linkbuilding) totally useless and help us all to find what we are really looking for, while killing some simple business models, that were based on leading people somewhere they don´t want to go.

Panic might be wrong though, even though business models have to be rethought properly – the diffusion of innovations always takes its time.

Prē only – Days 5 to 12

It’s about time to give an update on how my feelings on the Palm Prē are after using it exclusively for a time close to two weeks. After I found out how to switch to 2G only mode (which doesn’t hurt at all, as I have been wasting the 200 megabytes that run fast pretty fast (thanks to tethering)) battery standby time has become good enough to make using the Prē quite a pleasure. Even though apps are limited (exspecially for me, as I don’t have a credit card and can’t purchase any paid apps), thanks to the pleasant web experience (web rendering speed is fast) and the best multitasking experience I have ever had on a mobile device. After all this time I suddenly feel like I got used to the bits I didn’t find before, because I simply wasn’t used to the way webOS, I really don’t miss Androids menu button no more. What I still miss a little bit (but only a little bit) is a softkeyboard for the landscape mode which works like androids soft keyboard (tap the text area and up it pops). That would be cool, but I got used to what was so annoying at first: slide to have a hardware keyboard, and of course my typing has become faster as well.

Besides that, I did some testing to confirm the experience, that webOS’s browser version is not the latest. HTML5 Browser Test result is 132 points (plus 5 bonus points) out of 300 possible – your average stable Google Chrome (5.0.375.125) does a 197 (plus 7 bonus points). In particular this results difference is shown in webOS lacking support of most HTML5 section elements (all besides nav), several form element types and attributes, a session history management, support for web applications, geolocation and webworkers. We’re told that all this will be fixed with webOS next major overhaul, webOS 2.0 – HP / Palm is going to follow the web, as stated several times, e.g. in this Palm Developer Podcast. – which are an interesting watch if you are really interested in webOS or even just contemporary web development, but you’ll need some knowledge, I as a web layouter and maybe designer (but not really web developer, though I am trying to get into that), I struggled to understand more than just terms from time to time.

More will follow soon..