LeWeb 2010 - just a few photos from the event

iTunes still loves my second-generation iPod. And one more thing...

Photos of U2 in Helsinki

NYPD Helicopter on top of Empire State Building

Photos of U2 in Helsinki

When you are in Helsinki what is better than to take some photos of old men – better known as…

Jungle Disk, Amazon S3 and Content.IE5

I have been using Amazon S3 with Jungle Disk as a Client for the last couple of years. This is a great solution though the cost is pretty high if you compare it to just buying an external disk.

What is Amazon S3, and Jungle Disk
Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. I use it to backup all my digital contents (music, photo, video). Amazon S3 does not offer any type of clients to typically access the service just a set of API’s. I first started out with implementing my own client but found out that writing my own client is just too geeky. I use Jungle Disk as a client to access my S3 account. This combination works perfect and I’m really happy with both S3 and Jungle Disk.

The problem with Content.IE5
I have not set up automatic backup but make a backup manually by copying folders from my network drive and over to my S3 account. Jungle Disk maps a drive to my Amazon S3 account for seamless integration. And here is where the problem or issue comes into action. What happens is that for each file that I copy from my local storage (read network drive) to my S3 area the file is temporarily stored at my local PC at:

C:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5

This folder is actually a hidden one (system folder) and not easy accessible for non-tech persons. I found out about this because my local drive almost got out of free space. This hidden temporarily folder was eating up my local Gigabytes.

The solution to the problem with Content.IE5
The solution to this problem is of course to delete the directories and files that are stored in this temporarily directory. This can be done manually or you could write a batch file that is executed after you have backed up files. This is what I have done.

Another solution is looking more into what is causing the local storage (caching). The problem is that Jungle Disk is running in the environment of the Local Service user. The files will be stored until the Local Service user reaches the cache limit. Her is a nice thread describing some of this issues. The solution is to ensure a cache limit that is small (or not extremely large) so that the system will clean up nicely. If we look at the solution described in the thread it describes where to set this limit in the registry. Using regedit I checked what the CacheLimit on my PC was: 256 MB. This is way lower than the 15 GB I had to delete the first time I found out of the the Content.IE5 folder issue.

I do not think this solution will work. I think that the Local Service is running under some other user (WindowsNT user?). But this is just a wild guess. Another issue is that to change the registry for the Local Service all processes by that user must be shut down. This could be a bit tricky, but most of all, it’s time consuming trying to find out what will work or not.

So I still run a manual clean of the Content.IE5 folder…

Reflections after having implemented Facebook Connect and Google Friend Connect on my blog

Facebook ConnectThis year there have been some developments related to the challenges we have with many different and closed social networks. Facebook, MySpace, Reunion, LinkedIn, Xing and many many more gives me a headache. There are several problems and challenges related to your identity online and technologies that make up the ‘Open Stack’ like OpenSocial, PortableContacts, OAuth, XRDS-Simple and OpenID is designed to resolve this. I think that ‘Open’ has had quit a lot of attention this year.

Log in with your preferred identity on the web
If you are active and comment much on articles, blogs etc, the problem is to appear with one single identity. Lately both Facebook and Google has launched technologies (among others like MySpace)  that enables us to take our identity with us around the web for all sites implementing this functionality. This is a great step forward for social data portability.  My blog now supports both Facebook Connect and Google Friend Connect. What does this mean? First of all this means that you have the ability to log in to my site with your preferred identity. This could be Facebook account, Google account, OpenID account, Yahoo account, or AIM account. If you leave a comment on one of my post you will be identified with this account.  Her is a great video from the guys at Facebook showing how to implement Facebook Connect on your blog or site.

Critical mass
For me as a user it is great to be able to hook my identity (for example my OpenID account) on to websites where I leave a comment. The ability to log in to a new site or register as a new user and only use a button like Facebook Connect is fantastic. It is easy, convenient and lays the foundation for new social services. TripAdvisor did not manage to success with their restaurant reviews until they hooked up with Facebook. The problem for them relates to critical mass. They created a Facebook Application (LocalPick) and experienced a tremendous success

What is the long term implications?
If we look beyond blogs all sites that utilizes user generated content like reviews, ratings and so forth should be able to make use of the ongoing social data portability trend. In fact this trend should be perfect in the critical mass perspective. When I look at TripAdvisor today, they have not yet implemented the ability for users to log in with their preferred identity and use that ID to interact with the site.

For the companies that wins the battle over your identity this should give enormous opportunities. Who will win this race? Facebook, Google, MySpace? I don’t know. Imagine that on 90% of all sites (blogs, magazines, news, classifieds…) all the user generated content, like reviews, ratings, comments or listings comes through Facebook or Googles identity. This should give them a possibility to among other things further develop their ad-systems. They may utilize all the information and statistics that the users give them through their use of the web! Here is a great article at TechCrunch that reflects some of this thoughts.

Remark about Google Friend Connect
At the end; Just one reflection about the Google Friend Connect. If you are logged in to your Google account and try the friend connect on a site, you will not be given the possibility to choose other accounts. Log out of your Google account first and try the join button and see the difference.

Biggest 3D revolution in 10 years?

A few minutes ago FINN and Sesam launched what could be the biggest revolution in map handling for a decade, at least from an end-user point of view! The worlds biggest and most realistic 3D model is launched. Take a look at it here. The 3D model includes Oslo (the capital of Norway). The maps are generated by Swedish military technology (spin off from JAS-Gripen).

The 3D maps give a birds eye perspective with a great end-user control. It’s like sitting in a small plane flying over the great city of Oslo. The 3D-player (it’s a plugin) is developed by the Norwegian company myVR Software. An early version of this technology has been tested out at http://www.hitta.se but the quality and further development since then gives us a product and service in a completely different league. Google Street View got a lot of attention when launched, but I think this functionality is even more spectacular.

Schibsted will use this technology for the biggest websites in Norway! FINN, Sesam, VG and Aftenposten

Read more about the FINN/Sesam 3D map revolution at FINN labs in this blog post

RÃ¥dhuset Oslo – Sesam 3D kart from Morten Jacobsen on Vimeo

The Future of News

Future Of Web Apps The FOWA conference 2008 held in London, has just ended and using my weekend to absorb the impressions from the conference gave med a couple of interesting things. One of the more interesting presentations was held by Kevin Rose the founder of digg.com. The presentation was not strictly about “The Future of News”, but more on how digg.com is evolving into the ‘recommendation era’ with focus on sharing and discovery and how the news industry may see a more social aspect in the near future.

Recommendation engine
First of all the presentation gave us some insight into why they have developed their recommendation engine. The use of statistics and data to provide a better user experience and increase the value on own content through leveraging the use of the service is not something new. This is a trend that Tim O’Reilly described as one of the core principles of the Web 2.0 era. The basic behind the Digg recommendation engine is similar users, and since the release in July (Upcoming) they have had pretty impressive results with for example an increase in digging activity by 40%.

Show your impact
I think that one really innovative use of the graph is to let the user know what kind of effect they actually make up for other users within their activity. More specifically, it means that if I do not like an article and votes it down (bury), I will be told how many people I made sure did not get to look at that article (as in not recommended to by the recommendation engine). This is a great and fundamental part of the networking effect, and takes the effect of direct user interaction to the next level. I hope they will succeed in implementing this innovative thoughts.

Recommendation as a service
Digg is seeing the recommendation engine as part of a more sophisticated network where the engine will act as a service for publishers to help them expose other data within their site. This means that a user visiting BBC may be exposed to articles that is recommended by Diggs recommendation engine. I think Kevin Rose and the rest of his team has some way to go before publishers will team up with this kind of business models, but it is not very difficult to see that from Diggs perspective this would be like a home run.

Targeted advertising – that’s what digg should focus on
I think that a more interesting perspective is looking at advertising. If Digg could use the recommendation engine, all the user activity and the graph (similar users) as a basis for an ad engine that will give more targeted ads to the users, and form the basis for a more effective advertising they will have something that is extremely interesting for others. In its simplest form this could be like this: If I as a user choose to click on an ad, then this ad should be targeted as relevant for all my similar users and therefor be displayed to them. My opinion is that advertising is something they should look more into related to the recommendation engine that they now are implementing.

How to organize my iPhone

My front page After using my iPhone 3G for some time now, I find my self confused when it comes to organizing all my applications. At first glance the look & and feel of the iPhone was great, but now I tend to think that Apple sure has forgotten something important. When you estimate to sell billions of applications it should be clear that the average user will have a lot of them on their phone, and along comes the issue.

How well is the user interface when the user has 55 apps (as I have at the time this post is written)?. There are some factors to take into account:

  • Native iPhone apps
  • Third party apps
  • Your own apps (could go as third party)
  • Native apps in regular use
  • Third party apps in regular use
  • Third party apps for testing purpose
  • Different categories like games, travel, office etc
  • … (and more)

My experience is that if you put 16 applications in one page it’s a mess everytime you are looking for one; It’s impossible to find it. And if the application is not on the front page… where is it? On page 4…5? By using some of the factores above I have organized my iPhone to some extent, but sure would like to see Apple develop some great and innovative user interface that will work better than it does today. After organizing all my applications I found my self often slide over to the last page. Suddenly I was using the games more regular than first thought. If you know how to move an entire page at a time, please let me know (without using the jailbreaked Categories app). This is actually an extremely time-consuming process.

So, here is how I organized my iPhone:

  1. What I did was to put Native and third party applications that I use often on my front page limiting them to 12.
  2. On my second page I put all the native and third party apps that I use by regular basis.
  3. On my third page is all my applications that supports me when I’m out traveling.
  4. On my forth page is all my games.
  5. On my fifth page I have the applications rarely in use
  6. And the last one is for temporarily testing purpose.

UPDATE:Today I came over this nice post that is digging more into the issues in this post. Also.. 9 pages maximum?? I still have 2 pages until I will have trouble: http://venturebeat.com/2008/12/21/the-need-for-iphone-app-folders-and-search-is-quickly-approaching/