I've become a huge Google fan over the last couple of years. There are a mind-boggling number of products, services, and programs that Google has created. I was curious to see how many I could think of.
In a few hours, I had come up with a list of about 100 of them (which I added to a Google Wave document). I've recently expanded the list with links to each service and published it as a Google Spreadsheet.
The attached spreadsheet is a living document - so it may have been updated to have MORE than 139 products listed by the time you read this.
I currently can't edit existing values in a Google Spreadsheet. It seems like an interface change Google made broke this most basic function (unless I'm missing something that should be obvious). Here's a video to show what I mean:
And "fixed" an hour after I noticed this...
Dr. Vj Anma, one of the 40 students selected to attend Singularity Univeristy (SU) over summer, will be sharing the lessons he learned and experiences he had while at SU. Singularity University aims to "assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies and apply, focus and guide these tools to address humanity’s grand challenges."
The University was founded by futurist Ray Kurzweil, author of the book "The Singularity is Near" and Peter Diamandis, Founder and CEO of the X-Prize foundation. The inaugural class consisting of medical doctors, entrepreneurs, advisers to prime ministers and CEOs, were selected from more than 1200 candidates. SU located in Silicon Valley is backed by Google and NASA Ames Research Center.
Who: Vj Anma
When: 6:00 pm, Tuesday November 3rd, 2009
Where: StartPad offices -- 811 First Avenue, Suite 480, Seattle, WA 98104
Pizza and drinks will be served.
About the presenter: Dr. Vj Anma is an entrepreneur and is working on a startup idea for visual navigation. He holds a Masters Degree from University of Illinois at Chicago specializing in Human-Computer Interaction. He is a member of Mensa, a Mind Mapping enthusiast and a philanthropist. Vj was recently awarded "Most Inspiring Student" while attending Singularity University.
One of the reasons people HATE to call product support people on the phone, is that many of them are incented to "get rid" of the product support incident as quickly as possible rather than "help" the user or address the underlying problem.
Last week, I reported a bug on the meetup.com web site. I provided a detailed explanation that was formatted as a very clear bug report. And I gave a reproduceable series of steps showing how to re-create the bug. Instead of a "thanks - we'll look right into this" response that I was hoping for I got this message:
I understand your concern, but it's very rare that users encounter this
issue. If you clear your cookies, you should be all set!
If you still have trouble, try signing in under a different browser as well.
Community Support Specialist
The problem I reported has NOTHING to do with my cookie state (a quick experiment showed that the bug was still reproducible even with cookies cleared). This lazy support "specialst" is trying to either (a) get the customer to "go away" or (b) get their USER's to do all the work of diagnosing and tracking down their bugs.
To make matters worse, this is a SUBSCRIPTION web site. I'm PAYING THEM MONEY to use their sofware. And they still treat their users like this. From my point of view, they should be GRATEFUL that I took the time to send them a detailed, actionable bug report. Most users would just say "this site is crap", cancel their subscription and leave.
You can be certain that I won't be a user of meetup.com for long. I'll be actively looking for a more economical solution and one that doesn't "blame their users" for the bugs in their product.
I just got this email from a contrite, Kathryn Fink, when I replied to her that I thought she was mis-understanding my bug report:
Thank you for taking the time to get back to me, and I'm truly sorry for
I had not replicated the error on my end, and incorrectly assumed the
page you were redirected to was a bad cached page in your browser. This
was my mistake and for that I apologize.
The Tech Team replicated the error and logged a bug for it. We're just
waiting for the fix to go live, which should happen shortly. We truly
appreciate your bringing this to our attention. It was a sitewide bug
and issue that would have effected other members too.
Many thanks again!
Community Support Specialist
I love web-based applications; they have so many nice attributes, like being accessible from anywhere, not requiring software installation, etc. Yet they can be amazingly under-featured. We forget that our desktop client applications have evolved over many decades, to the point that most operations we need to perform have been optimized by the successful application developers.
Take, for example, basic file operations. We take for granted that we can open a window on our computer, and copy and paste a whole batch of files to move them from one directory to another (or even on a file share on another computer on the network).
Yet this very basic operations is incredibly tedious with most web applications. The whole notion of copy and paste of just about any "object" we deal with is a mature feature of desktop operating systems, yet nearly non-existant on the web, or even in custom mobile applictions (on iPhone or Andriod, say).
Today I had the task of moving files that were stored in a SharePoint server to a new location. In the version of SharePoint I have, the web interface does not allow for bulk copy and paste (webdav might have been a possibility, but that has always been very buggy when I've tried it).
Since I'm a developer, I decided it was a much better use of my time to write a program to scrape a SharePoint web site and download the documents, than to manually click on and download each of the several hundred files I needed to copy (isn't is inhumane to make ANYONE go through this kind of mindless operation?).
I've attached this Python program in case there are others that want to do this. Unfortunately, it's not as easy to run as a stand-alone application. Here are the steps you need:
- Download Python (I use Python version 2.5).
- Dowload the BeautifulSoup library (use version 3.0.7a - future version seems to croak on the sharepoint html - unfortunatly Python's built-in HTML parsing libararies are also not that reslient to unexpected or mal-formed html tags). You'll need to run 'setup.py install' to install the library for use by Python.
- Download download_sp.py (see attachment below).
To do a bulk download from a SharePoint document library execute this command:
download_sp.py -d <url_of_sharepoint_doc_lib> -t <local_directory>
The program will prompt you for a password if needed, and then crawl the web page to find all the embedded document links, and download them to your local directory.