Tag Archives: Rant

“Running is bad for your knees”

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It always amazed me at how two-faced our society is. On one hand, everyone is talking about exercise and healthy living/eating/etc, while on the other they’re criticizing and discouraging anyone who actually decided to follow the advices everyone is so full of.

The first one I always hear is:

running is bad for your knees, you’ll have trouble later if your running on pavement/dirt/at all.

Sadly, this is often the most encouraging thing people can say once they learned that someone decided to start exercising and already went for a few runs. There is often no alternative suggested, beside the one where you go for a beer with them instead.

I imagine the world is full similar excuses for other sports and this is not limited to running.

The second one, that I love is that once I start thinking about the food I eat. Mind you, just thinking and wondering what’s healthy. The answer is usually:

you have to eat meat and diary products because otherwise you’ll get malnutrition and sick

once again, coming from the people who survive their days on pizza and fried steaks, as you suggest that maybe having a more vegetable rich lunch might be a good idea (and I’m not talking about salads). Based on my anecdotal experience, the abuse received from conformist eaters must the be the hardest part of such diet.

Feel free to comment with the excuses you hear for not doing something that is good for you.

A rant about companies outreach and how accessible they are

Studying branding and marketing of youth, you can see a few trends and patterns that everyone tries to exploit: personal image (e.g. clothes) and entertainment (e.g. movies, games and  music).

Cergy Prefecture Parc Val d'oise 95
Image by mechkad via Flickr

As such, music plays an important role in my everyday life, be it a car driving to work, listening to it while working and of course having the best running music. I know I should probably also sleep with some light music turned on, but for some reason that doesn’t do it for me.

And there’s also greed. The idea to have as much of music as possible, even though it might humanly impossible to listen to all of it, let alone to actually appreciate it.

Following this idea, Spotify seemed like a perfect online service. Reasonably priced access to almost all the music one could want. I’ve evaluated this for a month now and finally decided to cancel it.

Here are some of my reasons behind it:

  • Bad music discovery execution. Having all this music out there should make it easier for me to explore new things. Giving me iTunes like interface where I actually have to know what I’m looking for is not fulfilling enough.
  • Quite a lot of music is missing or there are just a few tracks available as part of different collections. It’s annoying as it acts like a teaser.
  • I’d like to see more obscure music in collection. It’s great to most of the older mainstream in there, but I don’t feel that’s enough.
  • Genre browsing sucks. Why can’t I easily see all the Blue grass music they have?
  • .. and many more rants

While these things are annoying, they’re not fatal for my usage of the product of itself. What made me quit in the end was bad communication from company. I’d like to believe in the product through participation and seeing the changes they’re making so I can somehow influence experience and it’s just not there. Sure, they answer some Get Satisfaction support questions, but overall it’s like they’re doing branding for Swedish audience with very little outreach to other users.

I’ve been thinking for a while now about this and I believe that’s an important step for a startup to get early adopters. As detailed change logs as possible, with personalized kudos to people who reported specific bugs and you then fixed it. This coupled together with an outreach and voting solution to give community a power to steer the product in their way should provide a good ground to build a loyal fan base.

Why Slovenia won’t get iPhone anytime soon

The short answer to Why Slovenia won’t get iPhone anytime soon is that it wouldn’t make sense.

When Apple failed to bring iPhone 3G to Slovenia earlier this year, a thousand fanboy voices cried in frustration. Yet when analyzing the ecosystem around iPhone, it makes complete sense.

SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 09:  Apple CEO Steve Jobs watches a video of the new iPhone 3G as he delivers the keynote address at the Apple Worldwide Web Developers Conference June 9, 2008 in San Francisco, California. Jobs kicked off the 2008 WWDC conference with a keynote where he announced an upgraded version of the popular iPhone called the iPhone 3G.
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

iPhone is not just a fancy smart phone. It’s also a way to:

  • buy ITunes music store
  • figure out where you are (Google Maps)
  • Get the best localized experience333

This means that when bringing iPhone 3G to Slovenia, Apple would have to not only localize the iPhone itself, but also introduce iTunes music store, make sure Google Maps are good enough (they aren’t precise enough yet) and localize a number of services like MobileMe that are often subscribed to by users to provide even better iPhone/Mac integration.

There’s also a neat trick that Apple does in other countries for iPhone subscribers – free WiFi hotspots/cloud access for iPhone. This greatly increases experience as you’re not limited to the spotty 3G coverage if you’re in correct urban areas. Slovenia has only one true WiFi cloud that’s well known enough – Neo Wlan, operated by the Telekom group.

Without all these domino pieces falling  together, it’s hard to believe Apple would want to enter Slovenian market with iPhone and deliver worse experience than in other countries. Above facts also mean that just buying an unlocked iPhone will not provide you with the true spirit of iPhone experience.

[There’s always a chance I’m just bitter that I don’t have one] 😉

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Why removal of gaming videos from Vimeo is dangerous for the web

VimeoImage via Wikipedia

A few days agoo Vimeo, popular service for video hosting, announced on their staff blog, that they’re no longer going to allow gaming videos on their service. The full policy of their removal is:

The Vimeo staff has decided that we are no longer going to allow gaming videos on Vimeo. Specifically, we are no longer going to allow game walk-throughs, game strategy videos, depictions of player vs player battles, raids, fraps, or any other video gaming videos that simply depict individuals playing a video game. Videos falling into this category will be subject to deletion as of September 1st; new videos of this type will be removed.

Full blog post at vimeo staff blog.

I think this is really bad for the service and their social contract with the web in general, since it breaks all the web-pages that embed their videos. The fact that Vimeo decided to remove the old videos means that after 1st of September, a lot of old blog posts, forum links and such will be suddenly broken. As such I think that they should keep old files, just disallow uploads of new ones.

Why am I concerned with this? The truth is, I’m not uploading any gaming videos or even understand the idea behind it. I am on the other hand the person who decides for Zemanta, where we should host our online content, like our screencasts.

The fact that there are already a lot of reviews out there that embeed our screencast, makes me worried what could happen in the future if the Vimeo team decides that screencast is not artistic expression enough, or that our videos do not foster proper community. Will they ask us to remove the videos, in turn breaking old blog reviews?

While I’m not ready to move away from Vimeo for now, it does make me feel somewhat uneasy about the choice in first place and I’ll watch out for an alternative video site for new uploads.

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