Just found (from a huge pile of my forgotten files) this 2-year-old presentation I made about how the age of PC was going to end. It’s exactly what has happened in the last two years.


If you haven’t already read it, you probably want to spend some time to read Mat Homan’s thoughtful (and long) piece on what is happening with the new Google. (just click the title link above)

But while Google was busy holding up the sky, the ground beneath its feet shifted in ways it didn’t anticipate. Our searches have evolved from the merely factual to the deeply personal. We want to find a nice hotel or a good restaurant or a particular person. We want to know what’s happening right now, right here. …


Several days ago, I listened to a Hypercritical episode in which John Siracusa mentioned about Cow Clicker, a game designed to be a satire of social network games by GaTech professor Ian Bogost.

Cow Clicker logo
Cow Clicker logo
Cow Clicker

The story of Cow Clicker on WIRED is a funny and thought-provoking one. In fact, the very first post on this blog is exactly about “gamification”, though I did not know about the word at that time.

While “social gaming” brings some game mechanisms to our social relationships, it is not necessarily a game. Games are more about entertainment and having fun than experience points, scorecards and achievements. …


Google’s apostrophes
Google’s apostrophes

It’s very strange to see all these single opening quotation marks (‘) in the place of apostrophes (’) on Google’s introduction page of its design principles and user experience philosophy.

You can see it more clearly when zoomed in.

Image for post
Image for post

Maybe this is why I can’t find words like “detail” or “typography” in this entire page?

Don’t understand what I’m talking about? Then read Erik Spiekermann’s Typo Tips, especially this part (emphasis added):

A dead giveaway for unprofessional “desktop typography” are wrong quotes and apostrophes. Quotes can have different shapes. They generally look like “this”, and can be remembered as beginning and ending quotes by thinking of “66” and “99”. Beginning quotes are found on the Mac by pressing option-[; closing quotes, option-shift-[. The apostrophe is simply a raised comma, the shape of a ’9 in most typefaces. It is identical to the closing single quote, while the open single quote looks like a ‘6.


Google revamped Google Reader, together with many other web apps. Its new interface soon become a controversial topic.

Google Reader is an essential app for people who subscribed to a great deal of news feed. But it’s much more than that. I followed many friends and colleagues. I read their shares on a daily basis. I’ve shared hundreds of items, sometimes with my notes and comments.

Suddenly, they are all gone, completely. There is no native Google Reader share any more. Even the bookmarklet is also killed. Only a “+1” button is left.

I can understand why Google did this. There are some fundamental problems with RSS. Most ordinary users don’t know what is RSS. I have tried to explain to others about what is Google Reader. I found it very difficult (if not impossible). People use Twitter and Facebook to share links nowadays and it’s likely to become even more so in the coming years. …


Windows 8 Start screen
Windows 8 Start screen

When Windows 8 was demoed in detail on BUILD conference, it soon became the topic of the day. All of a sudden, people start talking about how cool the “Metro style” UI is and how it could become a game changer for tablet market.

I spent a few hours watching all the keynotes and some talks about “Metro style” UI in the BUILD conference. Microsoft has done an incredible job to show the potential of both Metro UI and Windows. This certainly resolved some concerns about Microsoft’s tablet strategy. …


Continued from On the dark side of the Internet: Part I:

Copyright and culture

Keeping emphasizing about “200 years of intellectual property law” (p.145) is a joke. It’s like talking about hundreds years of monarchy to justify the king against the republicans. Arguing that something exists for a long time does not make it more legitimate.

I think there’s no doubt that intellectual property should be protected and plagiarism is immoral. I hate someone repost articles from other blogs without any permission or even with no source link, which is commonly seen across Chinese websites.

However, this does not imply that our current mechanism of copyright protection is the perfect solution to the problems. I believe that copyright is now overly used as a tool for big companies making money by dominating the market, instead of promoting culture in order to benefit everyone including the creators. …


The Cult of the Amateur
The Cult of the Amateur
The Cult of the Amateur

We live in a world of ongoing digital/information revolution and we can truly feel its impact on our everyday life. But are we changing in a good way or a bad way?

While there’re thousands of anthems for the Internet, much fewer books are arguing that the Internet (and Web 2.0) is evil. The Cult of the Amateur is one of them.

For me, it’s a rather strange experience during the last weeks when I was reading this book by Andrew Keen. On the one hand, there’re lots of examples, figures and compelling arguments in the book that show the dark side of the Web 2.0 world we’re living. They are true stories. …


Image for post
Image for post

HP is recently going to launch a small cute phone, Veer “4G”. While it’s unfortunate for me being outside the U.S., I’ve come across Joshua Topolsky’s review of this smartphone. I was really surprised by the final score “5/10”, which, according to the review, is partially because Joshua thinks “the phone is simply too small”.

But I don’t think Veer is too small. It’s just because other smartphones are mostly too big.

Mobile phones are mobile

If you want a full-featured computing device, get a laptop. If you want a powerful and on-the-go Web-browser experience, get a tablet. …


Google Picasa logo
Google Picasa logo

I don’t think I’m a photography enthusiast. I don’t take photos too often. But still I have thousands of photos in my hard drives. I believe organizing photos is a headache for many of us, esp. people who always take their cameras with them.

I’m using Picasa to organize and upload my photos to Picasa Web Album. Generally speaking, Picasa is quite friendly and easy to use. However, it’s not really a pleasant experience for me to get tons of photos in order.

Name tags

Face detection is a great feature for newer versions of Picasa. We can group photos of friends based on their faces. …

About

Sirui Li

@LeeThree9

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