Saturday, June 02, 2012

Curious Cat List of Super Useful Websites

Here is a list of some super great web sites
  1. Google - Google search is great, even if they are making it worse with all their fancy gimmicks.
  2. Gmail - excellent email, great spam filter, wonderful search.
  3. YouTube - Google does many things very well and YouTube in another example. It is idiotic how Google messes up YouTube results based on your geographic location, though. Access YouTube from the wrong place and Google provides lousy recommendations. Come on Google this is really lame. Some interesting channels: Crash Course, Google Tech Talks, @Google Talks, Maru the Cat.
  4. Reddit - find other great stuff on this social site
  5. Netflix - great online video content. It would be a great deal at twice the price (something I rarely believe) and in sharp contract to cable which is a rip off at half the current price). Geographic limitations are the biggest problem.
  6. Trip Advisor - a travel site with great advice on attractions, food, hotels for tourists (or locals - food mainly).
  7. Hipmunk - absolutely great site for making plane reservations, very good for hotels too.
  8. Google Reader - a very nice way to manage RSS feeds
  9. - great site for shopping, and buying and sending gifts.
  10. Duck Duck Go - Google is really good. Search is extremely important, Duck Duck Go is my second choice now. I would really like to see more good options for search. Google is not doing as well as I would hope at helping me, but there are not great options.
  11. Yahoo Finance - my only real use for Yahoo, frankly.
  12. Hacker News - another good source of content around the web from a technical and savvy crowd.
  13. BBC News - edited news site (old school). NPR is also very good.
  14. The Daily What - a good way to take a break. Boing Bong, Neatorama and Mental Floss are a few more good options.
  15. xkcd, Abstruse Goose - fun comics
  16. Kiva, Global Giving - worthwhile charities using the web well.
  17. TED - lots of great talks by people on interesting and important topics
  18. Stack Overflow - great site for answers to specific technical questions.
  19. This American Life, Radio Lab and Science Friday provide enjoyable audio content.
  20. I should add good sources for university lecture content.
Great Tools
  1. Firefox browser - Chrome is very good too.
  2. Dropbox - share files, sync files..
  3. Ubuntu - wonderful, free, operating system based on Linux (debian), great server software.
  4. Wordpress - blog software
  5. Mac Air - wonderfully small laptop
  6. Ruby on Rails - for creating web application
  7. Some VPN should be used if you travel or use wifi. There are tons to chose from.
  8. a password manager is another must have for security.
Three popular sites that don't make the cut for me: Twitter and Wikipedia (I use) and Facebook (I don't).

Friday, June 01, 2012

Provide Web Users Notice of Obnoxious Behavior by Owners of Website

I would like to see someone create an plugin that would give a warning if you went to a site that had used obnoxious legal bullying to harras small sites. I realize policing who gets shown on such a list would be a big job. I would love to have someone reliable do this and then I could chose to just not deal with such sites (or decided well yeah I don't like using lawyers to bullying but I am willing to sell out my principle because this site is so cool I can't live without it).

The way to counter the strategy of paying lawyers lots of money to bully your small competitors is to setup a method that forces those companies to suffer the consequences for their decision. I would be happy to help that process, but I can't keep track of who is doing the bullying.

This type of providing better information so I (and others) can make informed decisions not to use sites with practices I find obnoxious is something I would really love to see. Both for this type of obnoxious behavior but really a platform could support all sorts of notices on whatever people object to (probably using lists from whatever they care about World Wildlife Fund, NRA, EFF or whoever).

I don't think the legal system is going to be reasonable. We need a solution that allows the market to enforce an acceptable code of conduct with consequences for being obnoxious (even if the legal system thinks it is fine).

I believe the marketplace would be greatly improved if we improved transparency to let us factor in bad behavior by companies to our decisions. I am sure tons of people don't care. But if enough people do care, it will mean companies have to pay for their decisions to engage in obnoxious behavior.

Comment on Hacker News related to: A VC-funded startup called WhosHere is trying to steal my social network - help!

Related: How About Only Enforcing Copyright in Your Country if the Owner Allows Your Citizens To Buy Access - Good Behavior - AT&T's Attempt to Take Away Consumer's Rights Denied