Archives For Tech

Link Structure

March 8, 2013 — 3 Comments

You might not have noticed, but last week I changed the link structure of my blog.

Previously the link to this post would have been: Now the link structure is such that the post is

Its simpler, cleaner, and easier to remember. I was inspired by a post I read from Zen Habits, a really terrific blog thats worth checking out. After thinking about it, I could see no reason why not to have a cleaner link structure. Its super helpful. There are a lot of web services out there that haven’t optimized their service to make the link structure easy to remember. Compare LinkedIn and Twitter:

Which one is easier to remember? Easier to share? Its pretty obvious that twitter thought more about their link structure from the beginning.

If you self host your WordPress site, then it is really easy to make this change. Sadly, freely hosted sites are required to use the standard WordPress link structure. To change it all you have to do is go to Settings -> Permalinks.

Check out the pictures below, and make your blog easier to navigate.

Changing your permalinks


Permalink options


Google Maps is back on the iPhone. Happy days b

A visual comparison says it all.



Can you patent round corners?

Google was unaware that you could, according to David Lawee, vice president for corporate development at Google. In an interview with Bloomberg David made it clear that Google was not aggressive enough with their patent strategy.

Apple’s victory over Samsung and Google sets a disturbing precedent. I fail to see how their patent, Design patent ‘305. Rounded square icons on the home screen interface, is non obvious or new. Look at the Blackberry below, don’t those home icons look rounded?

Consider the apparel industry, which has had a historically loose approach to intelectual property. There is currently a pending lawsuit over the design of yoga pants, which just seems ridiculous.

I believe that this is the approach which should be taken in application of patent law. It’s important to note that patents serve to encourage innovation, and are a necessary part of our economy. But when patents are given out blindly, and lawsuits are considered part of doing business, doesn’t this hurt innovation more than someone copying your rounded corners?

Open does not conflict with making money, according to Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson, by many accounts the top VC in NYC.

To me, Samsung’s official statement says it all:

Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies.



July 12, 2012 — Leave a comment

Today marked the launch of a new firm backed by Union Square Ventures, Brewster.

Brewster aims to make managing your contacts, across all of your social platforms, an easier and more enjoyable experience. I downloaded Brewster this morning, and connected it to my gmail, twitter, linkedin, and iphone contacts. About fifteen minutes later I received a push notification telling me my contacts had been aggregated.

The app seems to know a good deal about me already, just by pulling data off of my social networks. It suggested my favorites, which are fairly close to my favorites on my iPhone. One thing that I’m unsure of, is how it decides which photo to pull. Take my mother for example, I have a photo on my phone that I LOVE of her, and on Brewster her photo is empty. Also, the default photo it choose for me on my personal profile page is my twitter. I’ve deliberately left out my Facebook because I’m trying to wind down my usage of that network. From my preliminary perspective it seems to me that Brewster chooses the photo to display based upon what method of communication you use most.

I certainly see Brewster as being a time saving device for me in the future. Rather than  having to jump around various social media outlets I can text, tweet, email, or call a person all from this one app. In future iterations I’d really like to see a Rapportive style contact builder, so that once I connect to someone via email it suggests I follow them on twitter.

Over the coming weeks I look forward to using all of the features of this app. Fred Wilson, in his blog post said, “this is an address book that can handle a search query like “knicks game” or “sushi tonight” or “band of horses concert”. We are always querying our brain with questions like that. Now we can ask our address books those kinds of questions.” I expect that this feature will come in handy.

The team for Brewster consists of 15 individuals, according to the NY Times, who have been working for the past two years. Brewster is led by Steve Greenwood, a former McKinsey Consultant who worked on until it was acquired by Facebook. Fred’s blog post talks about Steve’s massive spreadsheet where he kept detailed records about how he met people. I’m guessing its passion like that which led USV to lead a Seed round.

Good luck to Steve and all of the team at Brewster.

The Brewster U.I.

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