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Ronak Gandhi
The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you can't
The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you can't


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A lesson in shortcuts.

Long ago, as the design of the Unix file system was being worked out, the entries . and .. appeared, to make navigation easier. I'm not sure but I believe .. went in during the Version 2 rewrite, when the file system became hierarchical (it had a very different structure early on).  When one typed ls, however, these files appeared, so either Ken or Dennis added a simple test to the program. It was in assembler then, but the code in question was equivalent to something like this:
   if (name[0] == '.') continue;
This statement was a little shorter than what it should have been, which is
   if (strcmp(name, ".") == 0 || strcmp(name, "..") == 0) continue;
but hey, it was easy.

Two things resulted.

First, a bad precedent was set. A lot of other lazy programmers introduced bugs by making the same simplification. Actual files beginning with periods are often skipped when they should be counted.

Second, and much worse, the idea of a "hidden" or "dot" file was created. As a consequence, more lazy programmers started dropping files into everyone's home directory. I don't have all that much stuff installed on the machine I'm using to type this, but my home directory has about a hundred dot files and I don't even know what most of them are or whether they're still needed. Every file name evaluation that goes through my home directory is slowed down by this accumulated sludge.

I'm pretty sure the concept of a hidden file was an unintended consequence. It was certainly a mistake.

How many bugs and wasted CPU cycles and instances of human frustration (not to mention bad design) have resulted from that one small shortcut about  40 years ago?

Keep that in mind next time you want to cut a corner in your code.

(For those who object that dot files serve a purpose, I don't dispute that but counter that it's the files that serve the purpose, not the convention for their names. They could just as easily be in $HOME/cfg or $HOME/lib, which is what we did in Plan 9, which had no dot files. Lessons can be learned.)
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Web update: Easily adjust the date & time of multiple photos

You took a bunch of great photos with your camera. But when you uploaded them to Google Photos, you realized you forgot to correct the time zone after your last trip. So now you’re stuck with a disorganized photo library, and the thought of changing each time stamp individually makes your head hurt.

Thankfully, adjusting the time or date for a range of photos is now fast, easy, and intuitive.

On, just select the group of photos you’d like to adjust and click “Edit date & time” in the menu dropdown. You’ll be able to shift or set the time stamps, and preview the changes before saving.

In addition, you can now delete photos directly from an album – just select photos and click “Move to trash” in the menu dropdown.

These updates are rolling out now on
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Perfect. Have been waiting for this since Google Photos launched.
Easily undo edits on Android

Sometimes it takes multiple edits to get a photo just right – or you change your mind and decide the original was perfect just the way it was.

With today’s update for Android, editing is now fully reversible and non-destructive. So you can save your edits or save a new copy of the photo – either way, the original photo will remain untouched.

This update (v1.17) is rolling out now in the Play Store:
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+Artem Russakovskii, AP is showing me some obscene ads. I like to keep my adblock disabled for AP, but your ads are forcing me to enable it.
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Traveling soon? Create your Wingz account using my invite link and get $10 off your first airport ride!
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The new Google+ is just glorified Google+ mobile site. The moment I got the new preview UI, it immediately reminded me of the Google+ mobile site because that's what I've been using since months instead of the Android app. The mobile site was so smooth and light, there was no reason to use the app (except for locations feature).

Just notice how the posts and comments interact. If you want to +1 a comment, you press the comment itself which opens a menu to +1 the comment or report it. All the compose dialogues are in the middle of the screen instead of expanding in place.

This is the reason it's so fast and doesn't have all the features. See how the sidebar doesn't have locations option, in contrast to the Android app.

+Mike Elgan
+Derek Ross
+Ron Amadeo
+Artem Russakovskii
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Ronak Gandhi commented on a post on Blogger.
Wow. This is huge. This is perfect for apps that I use just once in a while.
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Why isn't the Hamburger menu on new Google+ aligned properly?

#Google+ #CantUnsee #CrappyDesign
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