Sam Davyson


Thin But Flawed. Two Comments On The MacBook Air.

23/01/08 - 00.15

MacBook Air

I want to point out two comments on the MacBook Air. I didn’t make either of them myself but I spotted them both on Reddit and thought they were spot on.

Clythos: Sorry, but how is this smaller? Was anyone ever in the situation that they couldn’t take their notebook with them because it was too thick?

CausticPuppy: Actually, I bet there will be protective cases sold for this, which ironically will make it twice as thick.

I think that they are both excellent points. Particularly the first one. From listening to, seeing the comments on MacRumors, Digg and all over the blogosphere I think that the consensus seems to be:

  • Yes the MacBook Air is a feat of engineering. Well done Apple.
  • No I don’t want to buy one.
  • And No I don’t know who would want to buy one.
  • And No it is not the thickness that is the most important thing to me – I’d prefer something with a smaller footprint.
  • And boy doesn’t the Asus Eee PC look cheap compared to this… and much more portable.

Asus Eee PCConclusion: Good try Apple. Not this time though.

January 23rd, 2008 - 12.15 AM | No Comments »

Data Portability? Google And Facebook Getting Together But It Won’t Help Anything

08/01/08 - 23.46

If you don’t know what happened then check Techmeme.

I’m not sure about this announcement. First of all everyone who has said that no one is actually committing to anything here is absolutely right. Just because people who work at Google and Facebook are on the committee it doesn’t mean that data is going to be portable from Facebook to anytime soon.

I think that the issue is being clouded though. If you could move your information about friends etc (your social graph) right now would you? Where would you move it to? Moving your social graph is not going to be useful unless all of your friends (or at least some of them) move too. In this way making data portable is not really going to change anything about the lock in with social networks. People are going to stay where people they know are. Similar arguments debunk the significance of Open Social. People don’t switch networks for applications or widgets. They move because of their friends.

What is needed instead is to make the rich experience of a social network standardised. I think Google knows this. The real future is ONE social network for everyone. I see social networking as an extension to email. From Gmail I can email people on Hotmail and they can email me back. There is a communication standard there. So what we need is a standard account type (that is OpenID) and then standards for feeds of activity (that’s RSS), and standards for everything else you do on a social network. Once the social networking “scape” is fully open in this way people can use their own bit of the network (essentially their network provider) like Facebook, or Google, or Bebo, or whatever. And it might have slightly different features just like the way that Gmail has different features to Hotmail but it would have all been the same network. So I can switch from Google to Facebook and I’ll see a different interface but can browse my friends on whichever network provider they’ve chosen.

OpenID and a standard social graph is the key. As far as I can tell there is no benefit in the “half-way” solution where I can move my data from Facebook to Orkut. My friends will still be on Facebook. Fingers crossed this can go all the way.

January 8th, 2008 - 11.46 PM | No Comments »

Module 4 & 5 Released For Physics A2

02/01/08 - 23.27

I’ve updated the physics section of my website following requests from various people. The update sees full notes for all of module 4 and module 5 of physics A2. I’m using the same layout as ever (originally designed for the Biology notes sometime last year) with images hosted on Flickr and available in a few sizes. The pages are ad supported.


View module 4 and module 5.

January 2nd, 2008 - 11.27 PM | No Comments »

Google Bombing Opportunity: Act On CO2

02/01/08 - 22.45

There is a slightly strange advert on British television at the moment. It shows some motors from cars driving down streets with a voice over that points out some interesting points about Climate Change. Nothing odd so far. The advert however finishes not with a phone number or web address but a search query.

It says: “Search for Act On CO2″. And here’s what you get if you do…

Google Search Results

It seems that the government has decided that it is not worth buying a domain specifically for the campaign when they are already number one for the campaign name. Oddly though they have paid to have a sponsored link for the term on Google. Biazarre. This behaviour is all very well but if the government site was to fall from the number one spot in Google’s organic listings then someone else could get a lot of traffic. This would be Googlebombing with free advertising…

January 2nd, 2008 - 10.45 PM | No Comments »