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Atul Varma
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Atul Varma

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I'm in the middle of reading "Getting To Yes" and it's reacting with Joe Hewitt's recent blog post in my brain.

If we view the Web as a social construct--the product of a negotiation--then its very strength lies in the fact that all the major players were brought together, solved some very big problems concerning their core interests, and arrived at a solution. If instead they were given a piece of source code and told to distribute it with their OS or hardware device--well, it would be kind of like saying that one country should be the arbiter of international law. Nobody would listen and everyone would just go their own way.

The Web's strength and weakness lies in the fact that it's the product of a multilateral negotiation. It inherently moves slower than technology products that aren't the product of such negotiations, but it's also far more universal as a result.
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At the same time, I do empathize with Hewitt's interests, I just totally disagree with his position. (Yeah, this negotiation stuff is really getting to me.)

One of the things Edward Tufte says is that you really need full control of the entire pipeline of your product's creation in order for it to be maximally usable, which is why he mortgaged his house and started his own printing company to publish his books. I generally agree with that--it's also Apple's philosophy--and the ethos of the Web makes doing this extremely difficult because every browser works differently, both from a developer and user's standpoint. Deciding between the Web and a proprietary stack often comes down to a tradeoff between universal access and communicating exactly the message you want in exactly the way you want to convey it, and that's an extremely hard decision to have to make. Hewitt wants to have both, which I totally sympathize with, but his proposed solution is so untenable that it's really more of a rant.
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Atul Varma

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Atul Varma

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This is a Torontonian's idea of a joke. It's not funny in America because it's just the Tea Party stance.
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http://www.thestar.com/news/torontocouncil/article/1033078--shrinking-government-not-deficit-drives-ford?bn=1

That's what we're faced with. The woman in the original link you shared was really on the spot... the things that she was sarcastically proposing are exactly what the current municipal administration wants.
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Atul Varma

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Wow, this sucks. I was going to install the google+ app on my phone but now I am not.
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Oh my God. Google Plus automatically uploaded the photo I took with my phone, automatically, without ever asking my permission. That is the scariest, most fucked up thing a piece of software has done to me in a long time.
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I totally removed google + from my phone today, no it never asked me about automatically uploading anything unless it was in the fine print. Damn nosy bastards at google trying to take over the world, do you really need to see all my photos, and no Google you do not own my personal data. This is the weirdest invasion of privacy I've seen them do yet. Makes you wonder what else is being uploaded and seen.
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Atul Varma

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I'm having problems with Google Talk/Plus/Mail randomly deciding to "block" some of my best friends. It is extremely frustrating.
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Atul Varma

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This feature surprised and delighted me. Thanks for caring about this kind of thing, Google+ team.
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Have him in circles
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Atul Varma

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I recently made "The Parable of The Hackasaurus", which is a game-like attempt to make web-hacking easy to learn through a series of simple puzzles in the context of a story.
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Looking great! I just played with it. Your writing is clear, charming and short enough to keep folks' attention without sacrificing your points, I think.
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Atul Varma

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I have had my fill of Django and its complexities. I am just using PHP for my simple server-side needs now, and it is Good Enough.
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Hehe. Well, since all we're using PHP for is server-side includes, I actually just made a Python development server that pastes the files together itself.

I think at some point we might just use different syntax for the includes and statically generate the whole site via a python script instead of dynamically processing the includes via PHP, and then we won't be using PHP at all. :)
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Atul Varma

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Today I saw a google-served ad for The Economist on nitrome.com, a site full of web-based games for kids. The filter bubble is strangely autistic.
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I am followed across the internet by a single display ad for Twilio.
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Atul Varma

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Seeing messages about who my friends hung out with is weird.
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It is also annoying, especially if you have friends who hang out a lot. Does anyone know a way to mute these messages without muting the person?
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Atul Varma

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Just found out about this project from a 2008 interview with Miranda July in an interesting publication called "Mono-Kultur". I think it's a really simple but amazingly cool use of the Web to create something collaboratively.
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Have him in circles
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