Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Tyler King
Co-founder of Less Annoying CRM
Co-founder of Less Annoying CRM

Tyler's posts

Apparently in Google+, anyone you follow has the ability to add events to your Google Calendar without your permission. I like Google+, but I'm not going to follow anyone I don't know anymore, and I don't actually know anyone in person that uses G+ regularly, so I guess that means I'm done using this (?).

Am I missing something?

To whom it may concern: I just got my Chromecast in the mail today. I had a few headaches getting it set up, but now that I have everything working, I think it's going to be awesome. I'll do my best to help you avoid the problems I ran into.

Initial setup
Google is definitely going for an "automagical" experience which means that everything is just supposed to work. I'd guess that it does for most people, but it didn't for me, and they provide virtually no information about why. In my case, the problem was that I tried setting up the device with my desktop which was connected to my network via ethernet instead of wifi. Google didn't mention at any point that it needed to be using wifi, but the setup won't work over ethernet. This makes sense now that I understand how it works, but I was very frustrated at first.

The main reason that I'm excited for the Chromecast is so that I can watch video from websites that don't have apps on Roku or XBox. Unfortunately, when I first tried casting a tab to my tv, the flash video wouldn't play in fullscreen mode and the audio didn't work. Google's support docs say that third party tools such as Silverlight and Quicktime won't work, so I assumed that Flash also wouldn't work. It turns out that Flash works fine, but only if it's the special "Pepper flash" that comes with Chrome. I've had problems getting pepper flash to handle the DRM used by Hulu and Amazon in the past, so I had it disabled in favor of normal Flash. If you're having the same issue, just go to chrome://plugins/ and switch back to pepper flash. Once I did that, flash video worked perfectly on my tv. The video is crisp and not choppy, and the audio is perfectly in sync.

Audio Mode
The Chrome extension has a few settings that I tried playing around with. When audio wasn't working, I turned on "Audio mode" thinking that might help. Then when audio did start working, the video was really choppy. Turning off audio mode fixed that. I have no idea what Audio mode is supposed to do, but I'd recommend staying away from it.

Multiple devices
I considered buying two Chromecasts, but I was worried that having two on one network might cause problems (Google has a history of being horrible at handling multiple accounts). From the looks of it, they totally nailed it, and it should be really easy to manage as many Chromecast devices as you want.

Some content still doesn't work
I tried casting a video from Amazon to the tv, and the Chrome extension showed an error saying that the content isn't supported. That probably means that Google is checking some sort of licensing or DRM setting and not just blindly casting whatever I want. That's fine for me since Amazon has a Roku app, but hopefully this doesn't cause a bunch of misguided content sites to block the Chromecast.

This thing is awesome. The tab casting is easier and smoother than I expected, and the UI for switching between devices is really intuitive. This will make so many things easier including: 1) watching random videos at home, 2) having an easy way to watch video when you travel, 3) allowing multiple people to display content from their computer on a tv in a conference room setting, and 4) hooking up to a project or other presentation system. I've only had mine for a few hours, but so far I'm very impressed.

When Google bought Sparrow, everyone was upset because it meant the end of the Sparrow app. Now it turns out that the real reason we should have been upset is because it indicated Google's intention to seriously mess up the Gmail "compose" UI.

Post has attachment
This is a pretty interest blog post, although I think it's ironic coming from Intercom. I absolutely love Intercom's free product so that I can get analytics on my users. Every time they try to upsell me to the premium product (messaging users from your app) I think, "why in the hell would I need that?" So I think Intercom's advice is good, and I think they should consider following it themselves.

I'm reading the documentation on how to create a listing in the Google Apps Marketplace. At least 25% of the links go to pages that no longer exist. Yet again, Google manages to completely ruin the developer experience when integrating with their products.

Twice in the last 24 hours I've had a customer say that one of their favorite things about our software is that we don't use technical jargon (we say "search" instead of "query" for example). It's kind of amazing how many software companies fail so fundamentally at communicating with their customers.

It's pretty awesome how if you buy an app on Google Play and then refund it within 15 minutes, you can't rate the app because you technically don't have it installed. It's hard to trust high ratings for paid apps because you never know how many low ratings weren't registered because the unsatisfied users asked for a refund.

Post has attachment
I had never heard of Dropbox's Packrat feature until today. At only $40/year, it seems like a no-brainer.

A new feature I'm building makes heavy use of javascript animations. Surprisingly it's MUCH smoother and faster in IE9 than it is in Chrome. There's a huge difference. Chrome also loses to Firefox.

Post has attachment
There's a post/discussion on HackerNews right now about how someone found WPEngine's customer service to be really bad. There are currently only two other comments, and they both agree that the service is bad.

It's possible that these are the only three people on the planet that don't like WPEngine. The problem is that they've permanently altered my opinion of a company that I previously thought set the gold standard for customer service. A few very negative testimonials outweigh all the positive branding they've worked so hard for.

The lesson here is this: Treat EVERY SINGLE customer like they're your most important. If you don't have the right product for them, be honest about that up front, and recommend something better. Don't charge them money if your product won't work for them, and don't argue with them if they ask for a refund. Do whatever you can to make sure that no one is upset after dealing with you, because you never know who might end up making it on the front page of HackerNews. Oh, and also because it's the right thing to do.
Wait while more posts are being loaded