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Showing posts from April, 2013

Some time with Windows 8

My fiancé recently got a new laptop, a nice small ASUS with a touch screen and Windows 8 pre-installed. This gave me a chance to actually play with it for more than a couple of minutes and really start to figure it out. I'll admit that my initial impression has not been positive about Windows 8, and although getting to spend more time with it has tempered that quite a bit, I still feel like there are some major issues overall.

First, I think the reason that my experience was more positive this time is that I got to use Windows 8 on a machine that has the intended hardware. Namely, a touchscreen and a touchpad that is set up to deal with all the different gestures that Windows 8 likes you to use when you're in non-desktop mode. Being able to switch between apps with a long flick of the finger across the touchpad or touchscreen is actually quite nice and simple, and I like the metaphor that it's trying to do. Similarly, being able to touch your selections on the screen feels…

Not wearing the ruby slippers...

This past week the tech world has been a-buzz about the new Facebook Home experience. For weeks we've been getting the pre-announcement rumblings... is Facebook launching a new app? A new phone? A bio-implant chip that records every thought you have as a new status update? Well, we finally got the answer, and thankfully they've decided not to enter the cybernetic implant realm... at least not yet.

Facebook's new experience is a set of apps for Android phones that transforms your UI into a fully Facebook experience. Your lock screen and home screen get transformed into slick versions of your Facebook news page, combined with your phone's email and messaging. Your messaging gets merged together with Facebook Messenger so that you can ping people on Facebook or SMS through the same app. And, photos from your feed become background images on your home and lock screens, so you can always see the latest drunken stupor your friends are in, without having to log into an app.