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Jake Weisz
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Attended College Of Dupage
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Free is Too Expensive: I think that about sums it up. Sure, will a good self-hosting setup for +Sandstorm.io end up costing me some money? Sure. But for the apps and services I use nearly every hour of every day, isn't that a worthwhile place to invest?
Edward Morbius originally shared:
 
One of the requirements of being a Cloud / SAAS provider is standing behind your offerings

This rant covers a lot of ground, starting with Google Maps. My own prime criticism of that serivce is the multi-gigabyte throw-weight of the current Google Maps desktop Web client, another hugely disappointing thing. I was hoping that G+ would go on a diet. Not inflict fat-friend contagion across the rest of Google. I cannot open a Maps tab without risking both my entire browser session, throwing my system into minutes of swap (yes, still running spinning rust), or crashing it outright.

OpenStreetMaps isn't quite up to the task, yet, but I give it a first shot at mapping needs wherever possible.


The larger trust issue bears mention though, and has several elements. I should also note that it applies to far more than just Google. All SAAS, PAAS, and XAAS systems are ultimately affected.

The overt attraction of Web-based applications,"SAAS" (software as a service), is that they offer an instantly, available, zero-installation, and instantly-updatable mode of offering software services. The alternatives of physical shrinkwrap delivery, or even of downloadable software packages, create issues of cross-platform compatibility (still somewhat present for SAAS with multiple platforms, operating systems, device types, and browsers / versions), and of legacy support (a huge vendor benefit for SAAS). On the B2B side, there's the avoidance of special one-off deliveries -- everyone's running the same code, and while specific features might be developed for a specific client, the challenge of having to maintain a myriad of different codebases, each individually integrated with other business systems, is huge.

The downsides are also significant though:


Third party doctrine, pervasive national intelligence agency surveillance, lawful intercepts, subpoena, and hacking. All mean that control over integrity, access, and security of data and information (your own, your clients'), simply cannot be assured.

Change at any time. SAAS's greatest benefit is also its Achilles heel: at any point when a user accesses the service, it may change. If there are third-party interactions, those are also affected. Browser extensions, stylesheet revisions, data injection or extraction systems (APIs offer some relief here), local stylesheet revisions (my own change canary for 1,500+ sites), etc., are all at the mercy of the latest site push. Circlecount broke for a week or so on the last major G+ code-and-CSS revise, thankfully some time back. Google's extensive use of Closure, and Closure's CSS minification hashing function mean that G+ style entities are all but unintelligible. This is a category error. Programming tools, including CSS, are primarily for communicating with humans.

Service outages. Google here perform exceptionally well. There's nothing the company does so well as 1) operating at scale and 2) providing uptime. Its outages, when they do occur, are front-page news on The New York Times and other major outlets. But interruptions can occur elsewhere, including ISP and backbone segments, which leave users without access to their data. Systems based on a local-chache-and-forward architecture at least provide for continuity. With MicroSD terrabyte storage fitting on a thumbnail, there's no practical argument against local caching on all devices. Other providers have markedly worse records than Google, and the interactions between services mean that a given system may fail due to some third-party system's outage. See Netfix's Chaos Monkey (and simian friends) for engineering for graceful degredation.

Silos. Just read Doc Searls, et. al, The Cluetrain Manifesto (and its recent sequel). Silos are great for high-function operations on information _within the silo, but all too frequently, effectively always, allow for very poor capabilities outside them. Ultimately they're inflexible, brittle, and little but lock-in systems. Google's Data Liberation Front is commendable but only very partially addresses these concerns.

System and identity aggregation. The opposite in some ways of siloing: combining previously independent services, whether initially provided by the same, or different providers. Though not much mentioned on +G, a frequent refrain where Google (or other) SAAS providers are mentioned elsewhere is the view that a single unified identity across services is highly unattractive. For Google, the watershed moment was unifying G+ and YouTube accounts, whether a person wanted this or not, in November of 2013. Over the course of 2-3 years, YouTube's policy changed from "don't use your real name" to "we're going to broadcast your video-viewing habits and comments to the world, and your closest friends in particular". It was this specific action which completely and totally zeroed out my own trust in Google. I've been shedding services slowly but deliberately. And have to de-associate my YouTube and G+ accounts (https://myaccounts.google.com) multiple times _weekly. What the actual fuck?

Mergers and Aquisitions. Also related to identity and privacy: what happens when a specific business is bought, or goes into receivership, or simply fails? That last also applies to sunset services, see the Google Products Graveyard.

Device and platform support. The irony here is that it's Google's own OS and browser infrastructure which are failing me, but I'm finding that my still-functional but non-upgradable early Android device increasingly fails to render newer "mobile" websites. I'm aware of several bugs affecting the browser and/or Web fonts (there's a set which fail to render at all). Another is that the browser lies about its display width in 'rem' units, which means that specific device-based media queries to improve appearance in fact break it, as discussed here: https://ello.co/dredmorbius/post/JifX_Y90GmFyKvVwgD3qKQ

Web design in general. I find very few sites which display sanely without some adjustment, most often for font size, display width,and/or contrast. My preference generally would be for a browser which ignored all client-supplied CSS and simply brute-force applied its own. My prediction is that the current Byzantine systems that are being built will come crashing down. Apple's Safari browser and its integration of Readability as a core feature is quite telling.


A long-standing thought of mine is that a tremendous amount of the present "SAAS" could be technically fulfilled by a distributed, user-controlled infrastructure.

FreedomBox, Sandstorm.io, Maelstrom, tools such as Diaspora, and the like, are all instances of distributable "personal cloud" infrastructure. They address many (though not all) of the concerns of present Cloud / SAAS systems, though of course introduce a few of their own.

A chief benefit of Cloud systems is that they're instantly deployable. Self-provisioning requires hosts and some familiarty. Bulletproofing configuration, administration, updates (especially security updates), and the like, while not sacrificing control over UI and compatibility as addressed above, are necessary. As with Free Software, working out the rationale for developers to contribute to such systems, possibly small-scale hosting (local or regional agencies which handle administration services for those who'd rather not, or cannot bother), and the like, are somewhat unsolved problems. I'm not convinced they're unsolvable, however.

It does suggest to me, though, that there's a very real chance that the present world of data-snarfing, privacy-invading, proprietary, hosted, siloed online services are only a temporary stage.


h/t +John Goerzen 


http://changelog.complete.org/archives/9345-i-give-up-on-google-free-is-too-expensive
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Jake Weisz

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I also care about Wave more than I care about Weave. ( Side note, you can use Google Wave on Sandstorm.io! demo.sandstorm.io/appdemo/2m8rty615fcj11z2u5674s8a74yv48v695k05x61anmt61gp1z80 )
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Jake Weisz

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Search company finally decides to make search that isn't awful. #io15 #lolwut  
Besides new family-friendly and kid-friendly efforts on search and discovery in the Play Store, Google announced during its keynote today that Play Store s... by Liam Spradlin in Development, Google, News
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no. joke.
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Oh, that's it? Guess I'm all caught up. #io15  
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/yawn
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Weren't we all making fun of how bad fingerprint authentication is last year when the iPhone got it? #io15 #googleisoutofdate  
Derek Ross originally shared to Google I/O 2015:
 
Fingerprint support officially coming to Android!

#io15  
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I still think it sucks.
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Hey, look, it's Streets and Trips 2008. Google: Making things work badly so announcing a better version a few years later sounds revolutionary. #io15 #googleisoutofdate  
Derek Ross originally shared to Google I/O 2015:
 
Google Maps Offline!

More than just an offline map, you can search and get turn by turn voice directions. Save on expensive data!
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I unfollowed him for a bit, and then I refollowed him when he said he was going to turn down the fanboy dial a little bit, but it's still up there. It's at like a 9 instead of an 11 now.
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Jake Weisz

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Now you can both give Google access to all your data on your Google account, and all your data everywhere else! #io15 #googlewantsyourdata  
 
So much yes! And it won't be locked down to M either.

Imagine a single sign-on system like the Chrome password manager, but for apps. You log into an app once, it's tied to your Google account, and then bam - you're logged in.

Case in point - Netflix just got the update. From now on, I should be automatically logged into it on new devices.
Buried in the newly-located Google settings is a curious area called "Smart Lock Passwords." While it doesn't make its function very clear, once you try to... by Jacob Long in Google, News
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Wow, https://play.google.com/store/apps/dev?id=5700313618786177705 is immensely less functional than the old way to browse a dev's apps.
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So fucking stupid....
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+Ara Wagoner: It's a developer option, not a properly supported feature. :/ #io15 And it doesn't affect apps.
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it's a preview. maybe it'll be rolled out bigger later.
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We shall see how well Google honors this design. Wait until Play Services gets an exception to prevent disabling it's permissions. #io15  
Ara Wagoner originally shared to Android Beauty:
 
This is gonna be awesome... assuming devs actually implement it.
Google's next version of Android that grants users granular control over what permissions each app is granted. The next version of Android has been officially unveiled, and one of the most impressive features added into the M experience is App Permissions. Gone are the days where you agree to allow apps unlimited access to a ton of different permissions when you got to install...
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Education
  • College Of Dupage
    Criminal Justice, 2006 - 2013
  • DeVry University
    Game and Simulation Programming, 2008 - 2011
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"If Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and Elon Musk agree it's a bad idea, you shouldn't do it."
Introduction
Fair warning, if I choose to circle you, I will probably regularly comment on you too. It's what I do.

I am an IT geek, a gamer, and a scifi nerd. I have --Asperger's Syndrome-- autism (seriously, no strikethrough here?), my cute little mental disorder that is responsible for my peculiar obsession with minor details and ability to remember excessively complex numerical systems.


I'm an avid Android user, possessing multiple Androids, in addition to the variety of Windows computers I run on a daily basis. I have an odd obsession with 2.5" SATA hard drives, don't ask why.

A list of my computers can be found at http://www.ocdtrekkie.com/machines.php

And if this is Navi, I still love you.

Statements expressed on this profile do not reflect the opinions and standpoints of my employer.
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System Administrator
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  • MagnetStreet
    System Administrator, 2011 - present
  • Naperville Public Library
    Shelver I, 2007 - 2011
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A great addition to any Paris vacation. We had a lot of fun exploring their video games exhibition and their submarine! A particular bonus was number of displays that were available in English as well as French.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Reasonably priced buffet. Food is decent/good, selection is small though. Drinks are free. Dining area is reminiscent of a cafeteria.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
A decent-priced hotel in an extremely convenient location in downtown San Francisco. I was impressed by the service and style of this hotel located in this over one-hundred year-old building. RFID-based room keys and such were a nice novelty. On the downside, my heater did not work, and was not repaired during my four-night stay. They did provide me extra blankets. And the walls are very thin. One morning I awoke to the couple in the adjoining room (which is only a single door for separation) having some fun in bed.
• • •
Quality: GoodFacilities: GoodService: Very Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Let me preface by saying that I don't like Mexican food. But that being said... Despite that it was too spicy for my tastes, the salmon I had was incredible. Service was great, and honestly, the prices were quite fair as well.
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
21 reviews
Map
Map
Map
Food was excellent, prices were great, atmosphere was good.
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
I was looking for somewhere relatively cheap in an area where food is a lot more expensive than home. For less than the cost of fast food, Jasmin's Cafe provided a great meal, that was freshly-prepared. A worthwhile place to grab a meal while near Union Square.
Quality: ExcellentAppeal: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Easily the nicest hotel I've stayed in. Hotel Avante has a great atmosphere, and great service. The cleaning staff always leaves a friendly note with a couple pieces of candy behind. The hotel is geared towards "creative people", with Idea notepads around the room, as well as various puzzles. Wi-Fi is as good as at home or better. A truly enjoyable stay.
Quality: ExcellentFacilities: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago