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Beyond The Code is now on Tumblr

I moved this blog to Tumblr a month or so ago. I feel Tumblr is a better fit for where I want to take Beyond The Code. You can still access Beyond The Code through its URL, BeyondTheCo.de. I will not continue to update this WordPress site. Thank you for reading Beyond The Code!

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Facebook’s IPO, What It Means For You

Facebook has grown to become the largest social network on Earth. It has changed a lot since when it launched in 2004, and has more than 800 million users worldwide. As you know, they just filed for IPO. Filing for IPO essentially means that they will be publicly traded on the US stock market. This marks the fact that they have become a very large company. This means they will be expected to act like a large company and will be more visible to the public eye. This is disruptive to startups because now Facebook has graduated from being a startup, to being a Silicon Valley giant. It will likely be run in a way similar to other big businesses, something not always good for the people who use the service. Every change made to the service will also come under more scrutiny from investors, possibly causing it to slow down the steady stream of changes it makes to the site. The biggest effect it will have for any one person is Mark Zuckerberg, who will now be incredibly wealthy thanks to the IPO. For you, the user, not much will change. Facebook will still be Facebook, for better or worse.

Twitter Fly

Twitter just launched a redesign of its iOS, Android, and web apps. The new design is centered around four sections: Home, Connect, Discover, and Me. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said that the redesign was more of a refinement of their existing product, revealing a larger strategy for Twitter. Rather than adding more features, like Facebook and Google+ are well-known for, Twitter dug deeper into the core of their product and attempted to extract what makes Twitter unique. If you are on Twitter, you are well aware of hashtags (#) and at signs (@) which sort of make up a language which Twitter users use. In the new Twitter design, this language is brought to the forefront by using at signs and hashtags as navigation buttons to the new sections of the site. The new design is also more consistent across multiple devices, and as the design is pushed to other products such as the iPad and Twitter for Mac, its consistency will only improve. Tweets can now be embedded into websites, allowing for more interaction around a single tweet. An example of an embedded tweet is at the bottom of this post. Twitter is also looking for ways to help brands better connect with their customers, therefore they are launching new brand pages for a few brands that should help them connect better with users across the social network. Twitter’s redesign is certain to encourage more people to adopt the service, which has in the past been confusing for new users.

If you don’t see the redesign yet, here is a small gallery of pictures of the new design to tide you over.

Here is the tweet announcing this post.

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

This is the hardest thing I have ever written in my life. Today Steve Jobs has passed away. What follows is the statement from Apple, the company he started from his garage.

We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.

Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.

His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.

Steve Jobs was said to have passed while surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife and four children. My heart and prayers go out to them in this tough time.

Posterous Spaces

In possibly one of the most well-executed and well-needed redesigns I have seen this year Posterous has relaunched their sites and groups product under the new name, “Posterous Spaces.” Last month I read an editorial from Business Insider about how Posterous had not seen the adoption that Tumblr had seen because of its ostensibly lesser design. I agreed whole-heartedly and apparently they did too. The new site is very well designed as well as its all-new iPhone counterpart, a major issue with the old product. If you have been thinking about creating a blog I really recommend you try out Posterous. I started this blog out on Posterous, but moved it to WordPress because I needed greater flexibility for future awesomeness. All in all, Posterous has done a wonderful job with its redesign which should help it move forward greatly in the future.

Source: Posterous

Steve Jobs Resigned

On August 24 around 6:30 Steven P. Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple Inc. His letter of resignation is as follows.

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.

Steve

I think if you had the chance to ask him what his greatest creation was, he would look right into your eyes, and say. “Apple.” Anyone who has heard any of Apple’s history knows that he was fired from Apple and the company went into decline. Apple brought Steve back in 1996. The iconic iPod was released in 2001, which changed the way we listened to music and watched movies. In 2007 Apple released the iPhone, the phone that changed phones. And last year, in 2010, the iPad was released, the flagship product of the post-PC era. Steve took a “temporary” leave of absence in January. It never ended.

Google+ invites!

Thanks to 9to5mac, I have gotten into Google+ and that benefit goes out to you, just follow this link to sign up for G+! https://plus.google.com/_/notifications/ngemlink?path=%2F%3Fgpinv%3D2TlzCvh9m3E%3AkTMYuCFqSEM

Thanks for reading Beyond The Code!

-Scott

Google I/0

Logo-live
It has been far too long since my last post, school is almost over, and then you can expect to see far more nutritious, high quality posts right here. Without further ado… Google I/O.
Google I/O saw the release of Honeycomb 3.1, or as I like to call it, Honeycomb 3.0.1, which is more appropriate because it is such a small, but important step forward. Major new features include a scrollable multitasking menu (finally), widget resizing, and video rentals. Also, USB device support for games controllers, cameras and the like; a new Books app, and a video-editing app named Movie Studio. Hopefully these upgrades will enhance the Honeycomb experience to what it should have been all along. Importantly this update is rolling out to all owners of the Motorola Xoom right now, or it has been for a few days now.
Next up, Google announced a new alliance of major manufacturers that should somehow bring updates to Android phones faster… the problem is they have no idea how they will do this so take that news with a grain of salt.
Google also announced that the next version of Android will be dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich and will merge Honeycomb with Gingerbread for another tasty treat, once again, no word on how this is going to be done.
Google announced the imminent arrival of Chrome OS, and entire operating system based on, you guessed it, Chrome. It will be interesting to see how this OS, which will run on notebooks, will pan out in the future. Personally, I am doubtful that this will make any impact at all and I believe that this will go the way the Google TV, which will also be receiving an upgrade this summer with Honeycomb, market, and a shiny new UI. Unfortunately, the updated Google TV will not be arriving on existing hardware… sad.
Overall, Google I/O was filled with promises and more promises. I hope for its own sake that Google will be able to keep these promises, but I fear that some may go the way of the white iPhone 4 and may take much longer than originally announced to arrive in the market. Worse, some may never come to fruition at all.

So this is why print is dying.

Media_httpdistillerys_ktjff

The local newspaper can’t spell iPad 2 the right way.

At first I intended for this to be a little joke, but after further thought I realized that this really signals a meaningful disconnect in the local publishing industry. If the newspaper can’t even spell the name of an unequivocally hit product in the tech industry, how can they relate to any sort of younger audience? My local newspaper does have an app, but it has not been updated for about a year and only to add death notices and obituaries (don’t ask me what the difference is). Their website looks like it was designed in 2004 (and it probably was) and it does not even feature a technology section. Now they will eventually update their app, they just added an “iPad edition” app, but they will still be behind the curve. Now I can’t judge my local paper too much, because I never read them. I read articles on Pulse News Mini and soon on Flipboard (did you hear they are coming to iPhone next?) I read articles from Engadget, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, etc. Clearly, the local publishers cannot relate to younger audiences the way that they need to. If the publishers continue to not relate to the younger consumers they will lose valuable newspaper subscriptions an eventually run out of business.

iPad 2

Ipad2_hero2_20110302

As if there is not already enough reviews and hands on about the iPad 2, I feel like I should put my two cents in.The iPad 2 is a great upgrade from the original iPad. With a thinner, lighter, and faster iPad Apple hopes to pin down the tablet market for a whole year again. Last year may have been the year of iPad, but this is not 2010. How can 2011 be the year of iPad 2?Although Apple has seriously beefed up the iPad 2 with cameras, a new processor, and smart covers, all while making it thinner and lighter. Only time will tell what the year holds with new tablets like the PlayBook and the TouchPad, but before judgment is passed on the iPad 2, I think we should wait and see what iOS 5 holds. The iPhone 4 could have been passed off as a small upgrade if it was not announced along with iOS 4. Apple usually builds its products with future enhancements in mind. So go and buy that iPad 2, enjoy FaceTime and a smart cover or three, and savor thoughts of iOS 5.Lastly, an iPad 3: Don’t hold your breath, iPad 2 is a big enough step forward to take on its own, if you don’t have an iPad yet now is the time to buy… or at least it will be on March 11.

(Image Credit: Apple)