Friday 5: Google Maps returns to Apple, Truman Capote on Google+?
The flippant Friday look-back at the week that was. In tech and elsewhere.
According to the Mayans, there’s only seven days until the
end of the world. If you’re an Eclipse project lead, you’ve got the
same amount of time to move across to Git before being terminated
by Wayne Beaton (we’ll be talking to him more about that next
You likely don’t want to be reminded that it’s 11 days until Christmas Day either, so to cheer you up, we’ve put together a list of five that you may have missed this week to distract you from impending Christmas shopping/the end of the world. Let us begin…
1. The Year on Twitter
Four more years. twitter.com/BarackObama/st…— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 7, 2012
Yep, it’s that week of the calendar year where everyone gets all schmaltzy and takes a trip down Memory Lane to revisit the past 300+ days. We’d like to avoid that, but it’s quite impossible. Once again Twitter has published their 2012 review of the year with some interesting findings.
Golden tweets from the year include Barack Obama’s “Four more years” tweet from the Presidential Election in November (the most retweeted ever in fact), Green Bay Packers guard T.J Lang’s rage at a replacement referee in September and Team GB’s Olympics medal haul praise.
It’s also worth checking out the rest of the site for the moment which caused global shockwaves and who/what was trending the most yearlong. We were very disappointed, yet unsurprised, to see in the UK that chat show host Jeremy Kyle – effectively our Jerry Springer or Maury Povich – featured heavily.
You can also check your own Twitter year with Vizify. By sheer coincidence, Facebook rolled out a very similar feature a few days later. As we say, sheer coincidence.
2. The challenge of scaling Github
This caught our eye on Reddit this morning. The rise of the collaborative repository service has been well chronicled but the challenge they’ve faced over the past three years to meet demand hasn’t.
Zach Holman’s ‘Scaling Github’ post dissects the challenges they’ve faced going from one thousand repositories in the first month to three million. Well worth your time
3. Google’s Authorship Fail – Truman Capote still writing?
As much as we like the personal touch added by Google’s addition of author headshots to search results, occasionally it can go badly badly wrong. Matt McGee stumbled upon this error which had Breakfast at Tiffany’s author Truman Capote down as the writer of a New York Times article from 2010.
Slight problem there – Truman Capote died in 1984. Either death isn’t the handicap it used to be or something has gone awry. So how was this allowed to happen? The article was actually written by Emily Bazelon, who has this bio at the end of the offending article:
“Emily Bazelon, a contributing writer, is a senior editor at Slate and the Truman Capote law-and-media fellow at Yale Law School.”
One mention was enough for Google to think it was Truman Capote – that’s pretty aggressive. The fault though lies with the author for incorrectly using Authorship. Even weirder is the fact that Capote had his own Google+ page (since deleted). The perils of the algorithm it seems.
4. Apple Maps and the road to nowhere
It’s not been all bad for Google this week. After being kicked to the kerb by Apple a few weeks back, in favour of their own in-house solution for iOS 6, Google Maps has appeared back on iOS – to universal praise.
It doesn’t take long to work out the reason why. Apple Maps was an unmitigated disaster and a broken mess. Tim Cook even admitted that it was not of the usual Apple high standard and that Apple would “keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.
Apple Maps may remain the default, but letting Google back into the Apple Store is an admission that they just can’t compete. The people have spoken too – Google Maps is currently top of the free download chart in the App Store.
5. Burrito Bomber
Now for something completely different. At JAX Towers, we’ve often clamoured for a lunchtime burrito but usually the rainy cold London walk to the Mexican eating establishment dissuades us. Imagine our delight to hear of this project, Burrito Bomber, that can deliver such delicacies by air. Even better, it’s on Github so we can fork it for other national dishes. Excellent.
That’s Friday Five done for another week. See you next