Items of Interest: 2006.07.19

Things that I found interesting on July 19, 2006:

Items of Interest: 2006.05.08

Things that I found interesting on May 8, 2006:

  • Web Hosting’s Dirty Laundry – Record of conversation between Dreamhost (affiliate link) and hosting-review.com, a supposedly “unbiased” review site. Here Dave from said review site spends every email trying to get as much money as possible from Dreamhost in exchange for a spot on their top-10 list. (My review of Dreamhost)
  • How to be an Awesome Client – Must read for anyone who outsources their programming (outside their department or company), from James Archer
  • 3 (Controversial) Techniques to Improve Usability – From Johnnie Manzari. I think that the title on this post is not so accurate. My version: 3 Techniques to Save Time and Money Developing Your Product in Its Early Stages.
  • Why a Great Programmer is Worth Fifty Good Ones – Tom Evslin explains what should be obvious
  • Spring 2006 CSS Reboot Trends – What CSS trends are in with the in-crowd? Christian Montoya gives an overview
  • Building a Web App? Don’t Forget the Premium Plan – 37Signals released a premium version of DropSend and revenue went up 30% in two weeks (!)
  • Report Spam on Google – About time
  • Low Hanging Fruit – Craig Fregas says that when involved in a large programming project, you should do the easier things first. Craig – I would have posted a comment on your page, but you don’t allow anonymous comments, and I don’t want to register with your site just to post a comment. So I will post here: I think that doing the easy stuff makes sense only if this is what you need to do in this step of the project. If the easy stuff is related to things that need to be done later, than it should be held off until later. For example, if the easy stuff pertains to some UI activity, but the UI really shouldn’t be done until the Data Access and Business Logic layers are complete, than don’t do the UI. By doing the easy UI stuff early on, you may end up trying to fit the more complicated sections to match this already completed easy stuff. This could result in wating even more time and in having to rewrite the easy stuff in the end any way. I know that this might not always be the case, but I just don’t see how doing an easy task early when it should really be saved until the end is a good thing to do (even if it makes you feel good)
  • Mapping Website Visitors in Real Time – using Google Maps, AJAX, mySQL, and PHP, from Vegard Larsen

Items of Interest: 2006.05.02

Things that I found interesting on May 2, 2006:

Ebay Scared of Google

Reuters (and the WSJ – Reg. Req.) is reporting that Ebay has:

had talks with both Yahoo Inc and Microsoft Corp to determine whether one of them might be a suitable ally against common threats from Google Inc

Apparently, they are scared because in the last year they have witnessed Google “assaulting its turf in multiple ways”.

I don’t know about you, but I think that Ebay’s poor performance recently should be attributed more to mistakes and lack of initiative on their part, rather than an invasion by Google:

  • The purchase of Skype, though risky and full of initiative, has yet to pay off for them in producing any sizable percentage of new revenue of users
  • Their basic interface and sales model has not changed in years. Though this is not something that is necessarily required, in Ebay’s case I think that a more user-friendly, intuitive and less-complicated design is in order.
  • The one thing that any Ebay user can count on is higher fees once or twice a year. Not a good way to keep your bulk customers
  • Does anyone really think that Google Base is eating into their marketshare? If they are, whose fault is that?

If anything, I think that the biggest threat right now is Craigslist. It is much easier to use, much more popular, and spreading like wildfire (and you can’t beat the price).

So what is their big solution to the “Google Threat”?

An alliance in which eBay would boost its advertising spending with its chosen partner and provide access to data it has collected about its consumers

I am sure that Google is quaking in their boots right now.

Google’s New Search Interface

Want a sneak-preview at Google’s new search interface? Check out this article from Ars-Technica:

  1. Go to Google
  2. Enter the following into your address bar (one line), hit enter (ignore the popup): “javascript:alert(document.cookie=”PREF=ID=fb7740f107311e46:TM=1142683332:
    LM=1142683332:S=fNSw6ljXTzvL3dWu;path=/;domain=.google.com”)”
  3. Search away

You will get the a new look at a Google Search:
Google Preview

My initial opinion: I hope this is a first draft. That left sidebar column doesn’t seem to add much for me.

What do you think?