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Facebook Chat – Pluses and Deltas

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Recently, began allowing users access to a new “chat” feature, reminiscent of gchat. Presented are some initial evaluations of the feature’s implementation.

Δ There should be a way to bring up a person’s profile from their chat window – this feeds directly into primary site content (people’s profiles) and increases advertising revenue as the raw number of impressions per ad would increase correspondingly.

+ Use of a horizontal bar maximizes screen real estate more effectively than gchat

+ Only one conversation can be open at a time -this will be especially useful as what was previously a relatively “passive” social network (in terms of the social aspect) becomes a large center of real-time activity and interaction

Δ Privacy settings seem unclear and are currently uncontrollable – at first it seemed linked to the newsfeed but this appears to not actually be the case (my friend didn’t see that I posted on someone’s wall but did see that I commented on a photo, as per my newsfeed settings, but then I didn’t see her post on someone’s walls although this appeared in her newsfeed )

Δ Lack of settings in general, and fuzzy status as a feature (is it an app?)

Δ Elitist roll-out plan, typical of facebook – first the Ivies, then the major regional networks … but what about everyone else?

Δ Lacking in advanced functionality – why not go the extra mile and allow group chat? Recent history is logged, but is the historical information currently only stored locally? These and many other questions remain unanswered.

+ Drunken “hook ups” in the dorms will have never been easier for college freshman nation/world-wide

Expect updates to this post as facebook chat becomes available to more and more people – specifically to see how scalable that little pale-blue horizontal bar really is.


Written by generalsam

April 21, 2008 at 12:43 am

What to think of the Macbook Air

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 Update: Looks like I’m not the only one that had concerns with the Macbook Air.
Photo of Macbook Air

Every year the annual Macworld Expo brings the blogosphere to a complete halt with the multiple announcements of Apple products that are to dominate the new year. 2006 was the Intel iMacs. 2007 was the iPhone. 2008 is the Macbook Air. In move that is similar to last year’s unveiling of the iPhone, the Macbook Air is sure to revolutionize the way laptops are used in the years to come. Or is it?

While the design and aesthetic look of the Macbook Air makes it one of the best looking Apple computers to date, I feel there is one problem with the Macbook Air that is preventing it from taking off like the iPod did way back in 2001: there is no clear type of consumer that the Macbook Air is intended for. At first I thought that the Air was intended for college students, seeing as Apple is one of the most popular brands for the 18-24 demographic group, and the Air is basically a computer version of the popular iPod Nano. The main thing I see going against this line of thinking is the lack of features on the laptop, specifically the absence of any optical drive and the lack of USB ports. While the idea of wirelessly installing software from a different computer’s drive sounds really cool, it just isn’t realistic for a college student who more than likely is not going to have a spare computer lying around. Also the idea of having to exclusively download music/movies off of iTunes is pretty unrealistic for a community that is much more likely to pirate

So if college students are not going to purchase a Macbook Air, that leaves the business users. Ultraportable laptops have been “the thing” in the business world for a while now, and it doesn’t look like that is going to change any time soon. My reason for not thinking that business consumers will be pumped about the goes back to the same reasons I mentioned before, namely a lack of the features. While the price will be within a business consumer’s price range and the 5 hour battery life is sure to turn some heads, the combination of a non-removal battery and no optical drive really hurts it chances at standing out from the rest of the ultraportables on the market. This is due to the fact that most ultraportables have an extra battery (not possible with the Macbook Air) and more input devices than 1 USB port (more USB ports, Firewire, etc.) than the Macbook Air.

All in all I really don’t see any reason for anyone to purchase a Macbook Air within the given features and starting price. If anyone is interested in using a Mac as an ultraportable it’s a much better move to go with the Macbook, which has several more features at almost half the cost.

Written by Daryn

January 23, 2008 at 1:33 am