Oracle is soooo smart.

Oracle suing Google is just plain crazy. The more I read about it the more I’m finding it was inevitable and it’s just the ebb and flow of business. Business buy companies not necessarily because they created a great product but because the people there are valuable and apparently so is the IP. Oracle probably bought Sun for the sole purpose of suing big companies. They get to sue one of the richest out there is all the better. Interestingly, it could be that Google KNEW it was coming and they designed Android around Sun’s patents.

I’ve got a few links here I want to share and go back to after this mess is over.

First of is Miguel (yeah, just Miguel, we’re totally friends and stuff) and his Initial Thoughts. Basically everything I wrote above is me just thinking what Miguel thinks because I just read his piece.

Miguel’s piece got me thinking about Jonathan Schwartz and I remember reading something about software patents so I looked up his blog and he’s been berry quiet waitwy. The article about copy/steal confirms what Miguel said.

I just skimmed this one but there is something about Dalvik being the “end run”.

Here is another lengthy post I really should read but since, you know, I’m writing this post it’s kinda cutting in to my reading time.


Google is Evil

Wired’s Epicenter wrote an extensive article about the Google/Verizon Net Neutrality “surrender”.

While I wish Google could fight forever for consumer rights their motto isn’t “Expert Independent Non-Profit”. We should be happy they fought for as long as they did. Did anyone else bid up the spectrum? What success have other manufactures had selling unlocked phones? At least Google tried to do the right thing.

Cell companies are powerful entities. So powerful that even Google couldn’t win. And if you remember, neither could Apple. The key here is that even if you bring your own phone to the table you have to pay the same monthly fees as someone who gets a subsidized phone. No manufacturer can compete with that. Google was trying to get companies to commit to a discount (they did get T-Mobile to agree) but I’m not sure what Google had to offer customers who bought directly from them instead of a carrier and so the carrier had no incentive to offer discounted plans.

The only solution here is government intervention and it’s a simple rule: If a carrier offers a phone for $199 with a 2 year contract but $599 without then $400 is the assumed value of the phone and if someone brings their own phone the monthly price has to be discounted by $400/24 or about $17/month. It’s as simple as that.

Vic Gundotra does talk about the openness and freedom of Android over the competition and Android isn’t 100% open but it’s certainly more open than iPhone or Blackberry. And while phones loaded with crapware and other carrier constraints are not ideal the blame goes with cell companies for breaking Google’s awesome operations system. Google’s openness allows cell companies freedom too. And it means *WE* have the freedom to choose another carrier. (And, maybe a new cell company that treats users with respect will emerge from all of this.)


I talked to Jim (who calls me a Google Apologist which is true but still) and here is my addendum.

Up until the Verizon deal many felt that Google’s interests were in line with the public interests so the “Don’t be evil” catchphrase sounded right. And now Google is being evil somehow?

Again, I don’t see it. Sure, at some point Google is going to want to do something against the public interest and we can all finally agree Google is just another company that want’s to suck us all dry but this isn’t it. I mean, net neutrality for wired and wireless will always be in Google’s best interest (as well as ours). Sure, they have Android and maybe this was a way to get Verizon to get behind the Android brand but it’s never that simple and Google knows Verizon would drop them like a bad habit if Apple came calling.

What Peter-Paul missed

While I completely agree we as web developers should make our mobile sites work with as many browsers as possible I think it’s crazy to expect anyone to test on more than iPhone and Android.

Sure, there are a ton of Blackberry users and Symbian users but when was the last time they went to a web site? Maybe out of desperation but it’s not something they do on a regular basis. I say you make it easy for a user to contact you and if you get a few Blackberry users that are interested enough to let you know your site sucks on their device then you can work with them to get it fixed. Beyond that you’re just solving problems you don’t have.

That’s not to say a web developer should IGNORE every other browser and be ignorant of what they could do to make their site work on as may mobile browsers as possible but there has to be a limit. One thing we know is that iPhone and Android users a) have a data plan and b) have a decent mobile browser. Can’t say that for these other supposedly popular platforms.

Mentioned in the article is that in the future the browsers for Blackberry and Symbian will get better and when they do and people start looking at sites with those browsers. It’s been 3 years since iPhone and 18 months since Android and nothing so far from Blackberry. I think I’ll worry about it when one of those companies actually deliver something.


The 20 minute job

Sometimes I take the long way to get my job done. I have a page that receives post form data which populates my querybuilder. There are some common searches that I wanted to create links for by passing the querybuilder data on the url, not in a post request.

So I start to painfully sift through Firebug, copying and pasting the form key/value pairs and constructing my own querystring by hand, right?  It occurred to me that someone must have created a converter that automates this, and sure enough I found this:

But then it dawned on me. I own the web app, why don’t I just temporarily make it GET form and grab the querystring after submitting the form?

I’m always creating 1-hour solutions to 5-minute problems. But it’s not just me! Scott Hanselman did a webcast at MIX where he said he’ll write 20 lines of code that takes 3 hours to write only to look at it and think to himself  “that should have only taken 20 minutes, next time it’ll take 20 minutes”.  Then he talks to Jon Galloway in the audience who says “Three hours! That took a week to write!”.


Note to Lego about the Pink Car

I love Lego. Thanks for giving me a way to spend quality time with the people I love.

I’ve been complaining about how there are no girl Legos for a long time (on twitter @tooshel). I know about Bellville and have purchased every set but it’s not enough. I want a pink car.

Side note: Why don’t you team up with Barbie? Barbie minifigs would be awesome!

Okay, so I decide that Lego’s answer to “why haven’t you made this” is the DesignByMe Lego Designer app. I’ve seen it and finally decided to make my Pink Car dream come true. I also decide that it’s time to really design something instead of just building the models (I love the 3in1 because it’t 3x the fun for me!) I open up “LEGO Digital Designer” and start trying to make my pink car. After about 10 minutes I discover the “filter by color” and find there are on only 2 pink bricks!!! What the? I know there are way more pink bricks because I’ve seen them in the pink box set 5585.

Pink bricks in Lego Designer
Pink bricks in Lego Designer

Please add pink bricks to the designByMe program. I know it’ll cost more but it’s the right thing to do. Even better would be to have Astrid design one and get it to market soon!