Canada's Research in Motion has recently released their earnings report and it's not good in the slightest. A company that commanded over a billion dollars in revenue just last quarter is now posting a loss in the hundreds of millions, letting go of a number of top-level executives, and seeing members of the board resign in disgrace1. Although I have no desire to see yet another Canadian technology company fail, close up shop, and get picked up by Google or Facebook2, I do look forward to the day when my technology news RSS feeds are not flooded with crazy talk about how RIM will re-invent itself with an out-dated OS, an out-dated handset design, or an out-dated concept of what customers want in today's highly interactive world.
Over the last twenty years one pattern has become incredibly apparent in my life. It's something that is likely incredibly apparent with the posts that I write, particularly when we look at some of the older ones from 2006 and earlier1. I make mistakes. Lots of them. If there is a day where I don't make at least half-a-dozen mistakes, it'll be one where I'm killed off before lunch time. One of the nice things about making mistakes is that I usually learn from them. One of the not-so-nice things is that I typically don't learn fast enough.
Yesterday I penciled out yet another layout that will soon make its way to this site. One that will use a lot of the current bells and whistles that are being bandied about web design circles right now. Terms like "responsive" and "CSS3" can be used to describe the next design but, truth be told, the concepts are being used mainly as a means to practice developing sites using methods that will be popular next year and the year after.
Back when I was running OS X in a virtual machine to make iPhone applications, Sparrow was one of the first applications that I would fire up after booting to check and respond to email. It's an excellent application that integrates well with Google Mail and comes with all the bells and whistles that a person might expect for a modern email client. When I heard that it was going to be available for the iPhone, though, I was a bit dubious of its success. How would it be better than the native email client for iOS? What benefits could it possibly offer?
Several years ago I made the conscious decision to move my email from a self-hosted solution to Google Apps and GMail. In addition to moving my ridiculous mail archives1, I also had the luxury of moving my calendars and contacts out of Microsoft Outlook and keeping these items synchronised across multiple devices. All in all, this has been an excellent arrangement as I've no longer lost records due to drive corruption, or archive failures, or many of the other annoying issues that tend to crop up when you make extensive backups of data in Microsoft's proprietary file formats. Almost every search I've conducted online for the last decade have all taken place on Google. The monster-sized company has been home to all of my most important data for the better part of my adult life. A data analyst at the company could probably tell you more about me than I could.