Saturday, March 21, 2009

My latest addiction - twitter

Back in.... I'd say.. 2003/2004, blogging started to take off. There was much hype around blogging since almost everyone started doing it. It allowed even the small guys to express their thoughts and feelings in a professional manner.

Someone like me, who was very much in love with technology, and only wanted to code for the rest of their life, could finally apply things learnt from all those English classes in elementary in high school. I realized how important it was have the ability to write. You could write tutorials to teach, you could write journals to discuss things in your daily life, you could write rants about things you'd like improved....... the list goes on. A blog represented a person's ability to communicate effectively (and still does).

For me, whenever I write a blog post, I feel the need to cover everything about a certain topic in as much detail as possible. This meant I had to find the time to sit down in front of a desktop/laptop machine, write, add pictures, videos and links, when needed. I have many unpublished blog posts saved in blogspot on interesting topics, but I felt that they weren't cooked well enough for me to publish. It felt like a chore - a chore that I very much enjoyed, but didn't get the opportunity to execute on, as much as I would have liked to. I was not always on a desktop/laptop machine, and I rarely had the time to blog when I was still busy studying in university.

But now, there's a new "blogging" service. It's called twitter. twitter (spelt with a small 't') is for "micro-blogging", and it's a really neat idea - you can still speak your mind, but it's encouraged to do so in small doses, more often. With the every increasing presence of mobile devices and platforms, we'll be spending a lot more time on these mobile devices, and a lot less time on desktops/laptops. You now have the ability to speak your mind with a lot more convenience.

Unlike facebook, twitter is social networking that doesn't require an account for the audience. I was never a big fan of facebook because I've witnessed many social networking website before facebook rise to extreme heights, only to crumble because they got too complex - AsianAvenue, hi5, Friendster. They were quickly and easily taken over by something much more simple. If I had to guess, I'd say that facebook will face this eventual demise as well, being replaced by something simpler.

twitter is simple, fast, and clean. It needs to grow in the right direction, and have strong integration with other services and clients apps, which is already the case - there's already a plethora of twitter apps, many of which don't even run on desktops/laptops, many of which support twitpic, and URL shortening . facebook even wanted to buy twitter because they recognized that users like to tweet more than they like logging into facebook and updating their status.

Many news channels even recognize twitter as a compelling form of new media. They've created twitter accounts, and people follow them for news updates. These news orgs even take comments about particular news topics and broadcast them on TV.

Am I "addicted"? Depends on your definition of addicted. I just really like clean, fast and simple new technology - technology that shows great potential. I can still execute my daily tasks without loss in performance, of course, while still speaking my mind at

If you thought that this blog post was way too long for you to read (it exceeds twitter's 140 character limit by a lot, which discourages the audience from reading at all), here's a video that attempts to explain (and poke fun at) what all the hype behind twitter is all about. From the same guys who brought you the Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates video:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

CES '09 Palm Keynote

Now that the world is sinking into a recession, I assumed that CES wouldn't have been as exciting, so I didn't pay attention to any CES related post. Of course, I would never miss a Macworld keynote even with Steve Jobs missing, but since Bill Gates is left CES (and MS) last year, I'll have to admit that my interest in CES died a little.

I was browsing Gizmodo late one night and saw that Palm Keynote in high res. is available for download. How convenient. Why not watch it? While everyone thinks that Palm is dying a sure death, I might as well see what they're up to and see if I can come to the same conclusion since I have never owned a Palm device and know almost nothing about the company.

My first impression is that they're really trying to copy the Macworld wow factor with all the polish in the presentation. They then introduce the Pre, and bring up a lot of references to Apple and responses to Apple's previous negative comments. Long into the presentation, it seems that the Pre is a really compelling competitor to the iPhone. I 'want' to say that the Pre seems like a *very official* counterfeit version of the iPhone because they ensured that the Pre had to do many things that the iPhone can, but I have to give them credit for their "human centric designed philosphy" and new UI navigation techniques.

I also have to give them a lot of credit for the slick, smooth UI. I'm a HUGE fan of my iPod Touch's UI eye-candy-ish navigation. Unlike the BlackBerries where everything is pretty much Java (which is slower), their new "Web OS" platform seems to be able to satisfy the eye-candy hungry geeks like me.

Hm... the Pre will be released in the first half of 2009. It'll be exclusive to Sprint, so again, only available in the US (as like the iPhone originally). Sprint is relatively far behind in market share compared to Verizon and AT&T I believe, so I think that may be somewhat of a mistake on Palm's part in terms of choosing a carrier partner, but I supposed they had no choice since AT&T already had the iPhone and the Bold, and Verizon already had the Storm for a touchscreen smartphone. Another interesting thing to note is that Palm possibly chose Sprint because CDMA (and thus EVDO) coverage is massive as compared to.. say AT&T whose network is probably burning down from all those jailbroken iPhones tethering to latops on unlimited data plans.

The mobile industry is really starting to heat up. I'm quite impressed and excited. Maybe palm isn't as dead as everyone thought. It was definitely an interesting watch, especially since I must be mindful of the fact I just started a new-grad position at RIM.