Ultimate daylight awareness wallpaper

Ultimate daylight awareness wallpaper

I just bought this cool gadget app for $19.95: EarthDesk.

I may have bought it only because it looks cool, or only because it gives you a sense of global awareness. But the real reason is, I guess, because it's 100 times more effective than having a series of clocks on your wall or on your desktop! ;)

I'm in contact with quite a few development and business partners around the globe (+ special thought for the evoTeam members! ;) ) and I'm constantly looking at clocks to know what time of day it is in their region.

Now I'm just gonna look at my desktop and get a sense of global time much quicker! It really makes a difference!

Besides showing day & night (with city lights), EarthDesk also does "real time" updating of clouds as well as real moonlight rendering. And you can choose from a dozen different map projections, set your viewpoint where you want... The only thing missing is being able to drag your desktop earth around as if it was Google Earth ;)

Note: rectangular maps look best on widescreen monitors (Even with a multiscreen span, you won't match it). Also I very much prefer the "feel" of the Mac version... and it's really hard to tell why, since the look is pretty much the same. I bought a license for the Mac... I'm still unsure as to whether I should buy one for Windows or not...

Steve Job's commencement speech at Stanford (2005)

I've been meaning to post this for quite a long time. But I guess I needed the excuse of b2evolution's new video plugin to actually do it...

In case you haven't seen this yet, watch it!

It is so inspiring! Steve Jobs at his best! ;)

Why should a legitimate business need to worry about branding?

My take on the topic…

Why should a legitimate business need to worry about branding?

Well, if you wait long enough, any type of business is bound to be commoditized at some point. Actually, they even managed to commoditize artistic creation! They have reality TV shows to dig up disposable singers, don’t they?

How fast your business is going to be commoditized depends on how easy it is to replicate. But eventually, you’ll end up with serious and strong competitors. At that point, the only thing that will distinguish you from the competition is your brand!

Your brand is the ultimate point of differentiation that will allow you to charge a non commodity price for a commodity product or service.

Of course, the competition will work on their branding too. So, if you’re in the market for the long run, if you are a legitimate business, then you definitely need to worry about branding from day 1. The earlier you start, the more time you have to become the “number 1″ brand in your customers’ subconscious mind.

No matter how hard you try, your customers/clients will not remember a dozen facts about you. Maybe they’ll remember 1, or 2… or 3 if they are really paying attention! However, a catchy brand is one easy thing for them to remember. “Google” or “Yahoo” are perfect examples of this. (By the way: “Ask"… is probably not so good… since it doesn’t really differentiate from the surronding noise — in the search area, everyone is “asking” the engines…

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Sitemaps priority is confusing

When looking at the sitemaps protocol which is now endorsed by Google, Yahoo and MSN, I can't help but crying about how obscure the documentation is, especially for the <priority> element.

Please note that the priority you assign to a page is not likely to influence the position of your URLs in a search engine's result pages.

Okay, so what's the point?

Granted that setting all priorities to 1.0 will not make the urls rank higher than urls from other sites. But we're talking about position of URLs here, not sites.

Sometimes, the same site appears multiple times in search results, with different pages/urls. In that case, if priority doesn't influence which URL comes first, compared to which other comes second, then what's the use?

For example, on a blog, the same info can be found on a post's permanent url, on the homepage, on the category page, on the archives pages, the RSS feed, etc.

Sometimes the search will return several of these locations. If the priority can't be used to tell that the permanent url would be the best choice to put first, then... I don't get it! |-|

Does it mean that priorities are only used to determine what gets crawled first? If it does, then it means that maybe the 100 top priorities will be indexed and the others won't! So the top 100 may appear in search results and the other may not!

Present vs. not present! That's what they call "not influencing the position'?

Again, if it doesn't do that, then what does it do?

All I can think of at that point is the priority being an alternative to <changefreq> : a site gets a certain number of reindexes a day, and high priorities pages will be refreshed more often that low priority pages.

That would comply with the definition of that <priority> does NOT do...

But then... it doesn't make sense with what it is *supposed* to do:

it only lets the search engines know which pages you deem most important for the crawlers.

Or by "most important", are we supposed to understand "most frequently updated"?

I really wonder who it helps to have that spec being so obscure... :>>

Apollo: the Flash Virtual Machine is getting better

Apollo: the Flash Virtual Machine is getting better

It was bound to happen. Macromedia's (well, Adobe's) Flash player finally evolved into a very complete Virtual Machine. They call it Apollo.

It basically solves the same problem Java has tried to solve for years: write once, run anywhere.

Though it's certainly less mature than Java today, I see several factors that could let Apollo succeed where Java has failed. Among these:

  • It leverages existing developers skills (HTML, Javascript, Flash...) which makes it look much more accessible than Java which only leveraged C++ skills.
  • It's gonna look nice out of the box. Java still looks relatively ugly...
  • With today's computers it's probably going to feel less painful and slow than Java back in 1996...

On the other hand, Sun has recently released Java as Open Source and that's certainly not a coincidence. I'm not sure what Adobe's pricing/distribution plans are with Apollo, but it certainly ain't gonna be as free as open source! :roll: