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Saturday, December 26, 2009
First steps to effective time management
The Cost of Customer Acquisition
...you can’t afford to ignore the cost of customer acquisition. The earlier you work on this the better, as many of the best techniques require you to build your product differently.
It is also important to ask yourself the question: can my business realistically expect to acquire customers for considerably less than the amount that I can monetize them?
Very nice insight into Customer Acquisition process.
If you don't understand this, do not start your business, until you understand every single word out of here.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Как оказаться featured в App Store?
Очень откровенный и подробный расказ о том как сделать игру и оказаться в featured в AppStore. Еще приятнее что создатель игры - украинец.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Вы все еще не любите чай из пакетиков?
The Smashing Book!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Flickr pushes HEAD into production
Flickr is somewhat unique in that it uses a code repository with no branches; everything is checked into head, and head is pushed to production several times a day. This works well for bug fixes that we want to go out immediately, but presents a problem when we’re working on a new feature that takes several months to complete. How do we solve that problem? With flags and flippers!
I really like this approach. It's definitely far from perfect, but gives a feeling of tech importance and value that is live. Every single moment.
Conclusion: worth considering for your project.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Online savings review by mere-mortal
- Both HSBC and Ally have a debit card attached to your account. (This is good.)
- Both of them are subject to the federal rules for withdrawals from savings account. Which is neither bad or good, it is just the way it is.
- Amex doesn't provide either debit card or checks for money withdrawals. Online only.
- Ally gives a better rate than HSBC (1.50% v. 1.35% at the moment of writing this).
- Ally has a history of rebranding that it tries to run away from. (Personally, I had no chance to work with GMAC before, so it doesn't make any difference for me.)
- Amex is a pretty strong brand. Not perfect though, like the most of banks.
- Ally account setup is very quick. Super quick.
- HSBC is super slow on setting up account. It includes both online and offline steps that can make you hate the idea of working with them somewhere in the middle of the process.
- Amex supposed to be quick, but if they put you for manual processing (what happen to me) they are slow. But better than HSBC anyways.
- Ally and Amex are pretty quick on verifying accounts.
- HSBC is slow.
- HSBC is super slow on transferring money. They disappear from your account next day, and travel somewhere for around 3 business days. Than they show up at HSBC, but it still takes a day or so to become available.
- Amex is doubtful. The money disappear next day, and appear on the account the same day, but as "current balance". "Available balance" stays zero. According to customer support, they take full 5 business days to make the money posted as "available balance". They say the money don't loose interest, because it's counted on the "current balance", however, I never double-checked them myself. (They can probably lie. This happens with banks.)
- I don't have much experience with Ally yet. I'll try that shortly.
Amazon's Kindle DRM is broken
According to a translated writeup of the Kindle hack here, Amazon engineers went to considerable lengths to prevent their DRM from being tampered with. The Kindle for PC uses a separate session key to encrypt and decrypt each book "and they seem to have done a reasonable job on the obfuscation," the author says.
The crack comes courtesy of a piece of software titled unswindle, and it's available here. Once installed, proprietary Amazon ebooks can be converted into the open Mobi format.
Personally, I think that DRM is only a headache. Amazon is probably making enough money on selling e-books, so why not allow them to be portable anywhere? Making books more available would make a bigger impact on shrinking the size of market of illegal ebooks floating around, instead of adding new protections here.
Robots are everywhere...
These new devices on SJPD officers immediately reminded me about... the guy.
This one looks super cool to me.
I don't know how good is it in real-life, but such an unusual unboxing experience should be something worth trying.
It *is* expensive but already sold on Amazon http://bit.ly/7UVJRG so I'm waiting to get the price down to four hundreds. :)
Health Care in the US
The United States is the only industrialized country that does not have universal health care. Despite exorbitant spending, health care results are mixed at best.
As I said, the system is so freaking broken. This is not a choice anymore. And it has to be fixed.
The Smashing Book
The book has 300 pages in all, full of practical and useful knowledge for designers and Web developers. It contains 10 chapters and is printed in full color. The book is a paperback and is 8.27 × 5.5 inches (21 × 14 cm).
The book is available exclusively from Smashing Magazine and nowhere else. This first and only Smashing Book looks at Web design rules of thumb, color theory, usability guidelines, user interface design, best coding and optimization practices, as well as typography, marketing, branding and exclusive insights from top designers across the globe.
It was written by Jacob Gube (SixRevisions), Dmitry Fadeev (UsabilityPost), Chris Spooner (Spoongraphics), Darius A Monsef IV (COLOURlovers.com), Alessandro Cattaneo (with co-editing by Jon Tan), Steven Snell (VandelayDesign), David Leggett (UXBooth), Andrew Maier (UXBooth), Kayla Knight (regular writer on SM), Yves Peters (Typographica.org), René Schmidt (system administrator of our servers) and the Smashing Magazine editorial team, Vitaly Friedman and Sven Lennartz.
While I can hardly wait for my copy of The Smashing Book to arrive, I was unpleasantly surprised that the shipping time is 30-40 days. Damn. I'd never call this *free shipping* if I'd knew. But I'm hoping for the best and that the book is worth it.
Monday, December 21, 2009
(Don't) Ask a Stupid Question
You can ask “the crowd” all kinds of questions, but if you don’t stop to think about the best way to ask your question, you’re likely to get unexpected and unreliable results. You might call it the GIGO theory of research design.
Pretty good post on how to ask questions and how not to get fooled by answers. Very nice.
How programmers see each other...
How different programmers see each other. Pretty cool.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Improving bounce rate with Google Website Optimizer
Friday, December 11, 2009
Are you using todo's ?
- I don't put todo's if I don't put a due date for them. No due date - nothing to do. (This point really helped!)
- If I have more than 2 things for the specific day, I prioritize it with RTM's three levels of priority. It works the best, although, I'm not really excited with the way how I see this in RTM, but... whatever.
- Every night I do review the todo's for tomorrow (or the next soonest date). If you missed something, change the due date. Someone might find this addictive, but probably because of my psychotype, I find that the need to reschedule something gives me more pressure than missed due date.
- Don't plan strategy, plan actions. If you can't do this in one or two steps, it's not one todo, but two or more. I think the GTD principle shares the same approach.
- I didn't manage to handle dependencies very effectively, but I keep myself pretty much organized with due date & priority combo.
- Probably todo's are not the right thing for repetitive actions, but I'd probably play more with that.
- Todo's are not your day schedule. And I found myself unable to keep a decent schedule (although sometimes it's pretty tempting to).
Why am I not using Chrome, yet
- Delicious - damn, that's an every day thing.
- HttpFox - yes, I do use it and quite often.
- Firebug & PageSpeed - these two are also quite important ones, although I keep them disabled the most of time, as they make FF unbelievable slow (even if I'm not using them).
- Affiliator - the thing that adds an option to right click menu on Amazon's pages to copy to clipboard the page's URL with my associate ID embedded.
- Selenium IDE - it's helpful, but occasionally.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Amazon's stopped converting PDF for free?
You can download the file(s) here Dont Just Roll the Dice.pdf, then transfer the file(s) by connecting Kindle to your computer over USB.
You can download the file(s) here Dont Just Roll the Dice.azw, then transfer the file(s) by connecting Kindle to your computer over USB.
Getting back on the track
- It's a very great overview of the things around, but feels like too much of them. Getting a better idea of what to apply and when with a good structure would probably do a better job here.
- It's a little bit light and hard at the same time, probably the wrong mix of content.
- If you do have an administration skills, you probably find the book more like, "okay, okay, got it, okay, cool - I'm done with it, what's next?".
- I hate to repeat myself, but once again, it felt to me that too much stuff that probably doesn't need to be mixed together.
- I still recommend it.
- While I'm supposed to say bad things, I still want to say I really liked the book. It's probably not the rocket science, but it's very good.
- I felt like the author(s) got bored in the middle of the book, so did I, but it looks like he's recovering closer to the end of it (and so do I). :)
- Too much of Yahoo, and particularly Flickr. I love Flickr, but too much of cliches from it.
- The books if pretty decent and I highly recommend it. I still have few chapters to finish, but they'd probably not make it worse.