Great blog post from Carl over at nGen Works about what’s he learned over the last six years running his business, in particular this list of goals, or statements of intent:
- Understand what we want personally and align company and individual goals as much as possible
- Discuss issues openly and honestly
- Admit mistakes and fix them
- Take the high road in grey areas
- Consistently recognize good stuff and hold people accountable for bad stuff
- Support each other through successes and failures
Item 1 is not something you often see out of a company, especially the larger sort. Items 2 and 3 are things that people always struggle with, and they are a nice reminder to me who runs a musical operation on the side. It’s always tempting to make unilateral decisions or to try and cover up mistakes, especially public ones, and doing so always comes back to haunt you.
Shouldn’t I be able to attach notes to an email, say in Gmail or any other mail client, for internal/personal use? Things to remember, to come back to later? Almost like Stickies, or the Task list? Obviously it would just be a local thing, for organization, but man, that would be handy. Especially in our support bucket.
Maybe that’s one of those things Outlook has always done that I was never privy to, but it strikes me as the kind of thing that’s been missing for a long time. I do remember a time when I had pieces of paper on a desk that I had to deal with, and I would often attach post-it notes to those pieces of paper, writing down reminders about what needed to be done.
Maybe a Firefox plugin like FireGPG to hack into the DOM of a Gmail inbox! Okay, back to work now.
Clay writes over on the Sunlight Labs blog:
Once you start editorializing data— well, you’ve lost both accountability and transparency as well as credibility.
Sunlight Labs is a pretty cool project, where their focus is taking all that data the government makes available and digging into it to find out what’s actually going on. And one of the problems they have with a lot of the government projects like Recovery.org is that while they espouse transparency, they don’t actually provide the raw data, they editorialize it and provide websites and displays that spin it to their advantage. When you look at it like that, it’s the opposite of transparency. In fact, if you want to set up your own data mining and digging, and you want FEC data, you’re probably better off getting it from Sunlight, who’ve already taken the time to build machine readable databases for you.
On a related note, there’s an upcoming set of presentations called BigAppsDevCamps, for those who want to use New York City municipal data in their apps. It’s probably of interest to many mobile developers, and I was planning on stopping by if I can. I think that might be an example of government being a good wholesaler, as opposed to a bad retailer. Although that depends on what they make available and how. I don’t like the notion of filing an RFP just to get access, when it’s public data.
We’re starting to get a lot of questions about SQLCipher from developers, ranging from getting the source code to build environment integration and linking. In order to better facilitate use of the library, encourage the growth of a developer community, and to hopefully avoid repeating the same answers too often, we’ve started the SQLCipher Users mailing list on Google Groups. You can sign up over here.
If you use SQLCipher in your project, you should subscribe to get news about updates (like integration of upstream changes from SQLite), changes, and new features. Traditionally we’ve fielded questions about SQLCipher from our support email account, but from now on we’d appreciate it if all requests for help with this software be posted to the mailing list.
Since every day seems to be boo-AT&T-day, I figured I’d add another anecdote to the chorus.
Lance Ulanoff writes over at Yahoo! Tech that the AT&T 3G service on his Blackberry seems to be crummy when he goes underground or out into the suburbs:
AT&T appears stuck in some year 2000 time warp
Lance, I think AT&T is caught in a 1988 time warp, and I for one would like the accordingly fashionable and gigantic phone to go along with it. Also: a hoverboard. It’s a real disappointment to have what basically amounts to an $800 personal computer phone thing in your pocket that can’t hold a call for more than two minutes.
My AT&T service on my iPhone (3G and Edge) stinks everywhere, all the time. It’s consistent fail coverage. It barely works in my apartment in Greenpoint, which is just across the East River from Manhattan. Calls get dropped all the time, and the sound quality is almost always terrible. It also doesn’t work for anyone at all in our coworking space in Northside Williamsburg. We often have to take a walk to have a chat on the phone, and that means putting up with the noise of buses and trucks on the street.
It doesn’t work in the ‘burbs, and yes, it doesn’t work underground. I don’t expect cell phones to work underground, and it’s nice when they do, but I do expect that they should work in freakin’ Brooklyn and I shouldn’t have nearly so many dropped calls. I mean, come on. This isn’t the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, I’m not trying to make calls from a secret lair.