Back to building pages

After spending a week building an application and staring at data feeds it’s nice to get back to building pages in SharePoint. There’s a lot to be said for having a creative outlet and this happens to be one of mine. The opportunity to lay out designs, integrate imagery, and create a good consistent user experience has a very satisfying end result in my mind.

Posted in News

Ideas from around the Internet

We all know there’s a plethora of things out there on the Interwebs, not all of it of interest when it comes to being productive.  Below are articles that caught my eye recently…check them out and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

What crisis management is really like – Wired

Digital Transformation Is More About the ‘Transformation’ Than the ‘Digital’ – CMSWire

12 Productivity Extensions That Keep You Focused on Deep Work – MakeUseOf

Writing Wednesday: What to transfer to your new notebook – QuoVadis Blog

LastPass launching revamped family service with intuitive group features – Android Central


If you find articles of interest from around the web when it comes to being productive, please share them in the comments below so we can all benefit from the wisdom of the masses!

Posted in News

The sorry state of Android upgrades

This is going to be a bit of a rant today so be prepared.  I’ve been an Android fan for a long time, using phones, tablets, and wearables since early in the alphabet of software versions.  It’s those software versions causing my pain and anguish today.

Android updates – Hurry up and wait

It’s unacceptable that it takes so long, if ever, for Android devices to receive software updates.  Now before you break out the flamethrowers understand that I get the idea some devices are too old to support upgraded operating systems. Those devices that are out of date I don’t have a problem with being left by the side of the road (unless they’re only a couple of years old, then I start sensing the ugly head of planned obsolescence). Where I do have an issue is when a flagship device (something sold at the high end of the pricing scale) either does not receive updates until long after other devices more recently released of possibly not at all in their lifecycle.

Apples and Androids

This is usually where I get told, “Well, if you used Apple devices you’d have your updates.” Yes, and if I cared about Apple devices I might do that, but I use Android. It’s not a difficult concept. To have to change platforms, both hardware and software, just to keep your devices current is poor engineering, plain and simple.  I know this can be accomplished.  Look at how Chromebooks are kept up to date.  Hell, even Windows manages a better update cycle than Android devices.

Would you like a two-year contract?

There are so many benefits to the open Android environment from not only an application but also a flexibility position. You would think that one of those advantages would be the ability to not abandon devices by the side of the road when it comes to operating system updates.  Yes, I’m aware the carriers are a major obstacle in the upgrading cycle. But yet, they’re not an obstacle in the Apple world?  Hmmm, seems selling Android’s soul to the devil continues to cost the users when it comes to the lifespan of their devices. Take a look at Android Wear devices as another example. Updates are rolling out to older, less popular Android Wear devices, leaving flagships from key companies such as ASUS languishing.  Is this any way to treat a loyal customer base?

Enough is enough

Google, get your act together when it comes to software updates.  Find a way to fix this problem. The issue only continues to grow and your lack of response is an ongoing embarrassment to the Android community. Hell, it’s not like this is a complicated as unifying your messaging strategy.  Oh, wait…strike that.

Posted in News

Dealing with a lousy website

I don’t know about you but I get the majority of my news and information from the Internet on my smartphone.  Now is it too much to ask for our local newspaper to have a website even remotely designed for mobile device consumption?  Not ours.  It’s unusable, in a nutshell.  To paraphase the movie, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

What did I do?  I used IFTTT, Pocket, and the RSS feed from the newspaper website to create my own newspaper so to speak.  Now I have a rule in IFTTT that monitors the local news RSS feed from the site and creates a new article in Pocket each time something is added.  Pocket does an excellent job cleaning up the content to make things much easier to read.

Hey Mercury…if you want me to see your ads…fix your website.  Until then I’ll be reading the ad-free version that’s in my Pocket.

UPDATE

I’ve been running this configuration for more than a week now and I don’t think I’d go back to their website even if they fixed it.  The combination of Pocket’s clean interface plus Text To Speech has made this a winning combination for my commute to and from work.  I can go from article to article and listen to the newspaper being read to me rather than flipping through poorly designed ads and page layout clutter.