Technology

Dear Science, This is not an easy letter to write. You know I love you very much, and I've always been a huge fan of yours. But this is getting ridiculous, Science. It's 2013. I want you to know that I am not writing this letter from the moon right now. I want you acutely aware of that fact, Science, just in case you weren't sure. I am not writing this from a robot-proof bunker deep beneath the Earth's crust, or from the captain's chair aboard my starship. This letter is being composed on my four-year-old laptop, aboard the U.S.S "my living room reclining chair." I don't mean to pressure you, but we are way behind schedule here. Yes, I know you're working very hard, and sure, you've been doing some great things. But seriously? Where's my flying car? Where's my immortality pill,...
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I recently invested in the Witcher 3 on Xbox One and my what a game! Praise is always heaped on a lot of games during the build up to their launches and often it seems misplaced, but not in this case. But I am not writing this solely to big up the work of CD Projeckt Red, who are the designers. Rather I am looking at how they have set a benchmark to other games studios. It is one of those games that you play where you can immediately head off the beaten track and as a result you find you have no idea which part of the story you are in or how long you've been playing it for. The game is so rich in storytelling quality that it immerses you in its lore and you want to do it all. It has been reported that there is over 200 hours of combat alone in the game and it is the type of...
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Dear Government of India, I am a distressed and concerned Digital Marketer from India, who is very much afraid and in speculation regarding the future of the Digital India in 2015. And via this letter, I am trying to share my concerns in a logical way. To start with, I must admit that you have tried your best to ruin this New Year with your ridiculous decision of banning 32 websites, citing terror threat. Although some good sense prevailed and you decided to unblock 4 websites, but the damage has already been done. Freedom of Speech has been threatened and the whole concept of Democracy is in ruins. Let me share a tweet which our beloved PM Shri Narendra Modi shared in 2012, when the first strike against our fundamental rights was done by the Congress Government: clip_image001...
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Dear Mr. Cox, We have been following with growing concern that Europe has been extending patentability to computer programs. Now European Parliament is about to vote on a directive that could put a stop to this development, or make it worse, depending on how it is amended by the Parliament. US experience shows that, unlike traditional patents, software patents do not encourage innovation and R...
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Dear Mobile Health App Developers, We—patients and caregivers—need your help to reduce the demands of self care. Mobile health (mHealth) apps have enormous potential to lessen our burdens. But our needs are often only loosely related to what clinicians and/or the evidence expect us to do. Most mobile app developers have ignored this fact by designing tools that primarily reflect the imperatives of clinicians and evidence with little or no consultation with us patients about our experiences, our wishes or our requirements. While I can't promise you that consultation with us is the magic key to successful, well-used apps, I can tell you that without it, your app doesn't stand a chance. Two recent experiences prompted me to write you. Each illustrates the gap between the promise of...
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Dear Microsoft As a parent of a teenager, I find that I sometimes have to resort to drastic measures like withholding WiFi access until chores are done. Sometimes, I will change the WiFi password and leave a note in the Teen's computer saying "The WiFi password has changed - do your chores and then I'll tell you what it is" The problem is that Windows 7 then doesn't handle this at all gracefully. Why can't it just pop up a message if it encounters a WPA failure on a network it was previously authenticated to, simply requesting the new password? At the moment, it is necessary to drop the connection to the network, go to "Manage wireless networks" and "Forget" the network, then go back to the tray and re-add the network. This seems to be beyond The Teenager, and as a result...
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Dear Shareholder, As you are aware, Hewlett Packard remains locked in dispute with a group of its own shareholders and with the former management team of Autonomy over its purchase of Autonomy. I write to you today to raise serious concerns about the way HP has conducted this affair, and to put forward a number of questions that HP management should answer. The evidence shows that HP is not just smearing us, but also misleading you, its shareholders. I ask you to help put things right. On November 20th 2012, HP made a series of serious and damaging allegations about the management team of Autonomy. It couched alleged misdeeds in general, rather than specific terms. We emphatically denied all suggestions of wrongdoing. In the 16 months that have followed, HP has not provided...
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Hi Tim: I’ve got an idea for you. I think it would be a big win for independent developers targeting Apple platforms, and by extension a big win for Apple, if the App Store revenue split used a tiered rate. (Hopefully you agree that a thriving ecosystem of independent developers is an important competitive advantage for Apple.) It would cost Apple some money, but the cost should be relatively low, especially when considering the impact it could have on the vibrancy of Apple’s developer community. A bit of background: I am the co-founder of AnyList. Our sole product is a highly rated shopping list and recipe organization app for iOS. Formerly, I was a software developer at Apple from 2005 - 2010. Over the past year, several independent developers have written about the revenue...
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Dear Apple: It’s your friends from Readability. Remember us? You put our technology into your Safari browser last year. We’re writing this open letter because – well – we’re a little upset right now. Last Friday, you notified us that our Readability iOS application was rejected. In explaining the rejection, you pointed us to 11.2 in the App Store Review Guidelines: 11.2 Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected. We’re obviously disappointed by this decision, and surprised by the broad language. By including “functionality, or services,” it’s clear that you intend to pursue any subscription-based apps, not merely those of services serving up content. Readability’s model is...
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Dear Mark: You have lost focus. Please get it back. As a longtime Facebook user, advertiser and publisher, I think your company is losing the plot, and is in danger of repeating the mistakes made by companies like Kodak, Polaroid, Sony, Myspace, BlackBerry and others. Namely, at some point you stopped focusing on delivering things that people really wanted. You have lost focus on the people using this platform, and that’s the first step toward losing touch and becoming obsolete. So many things that so many people want, and which would make Facebook so much better, go either seemingly unattended or unfixed. You’ve got around 7,000 people working at the company, and I just don’t get it. Need an example? Try this: Why is it that no one can get the News Feed to remember that we...
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