There’s nothing on the Facebook blog or Techcrunch yet, but Facebook just made its Applications a bit more viral by adding an application palette with all your added application icons to each user’s profile. The palette sits just underneath the profile picture:
It’s cute and probably useful. I was hoping for a bit more, like a nice mouseover that would give some kind of application description, but I suppose it’s a good start to cleaning up the clutter that the Facebook platform has introduced with arbitrary applications.
Apple is going to get pwn’d with a major class action lawsuit once consumers realize that the glass screens of their $600 iPhones break more easily than my Creative Zen Vision M. I wonder what looking at one under UV light would reveal, but I bet the glass is only stress resistant from certain angles.
Those of you silly enough to buy iPhones, please try dropping them so that their edges hit a hard surface–say the sidewalk–from 5 to 6 feet in the air directly on one corner at a 45″ angle to the ground. That should cause the entire screen to shatter like a blow-up balloon! Shame on Apple for not mounting the screen around a floating rubber pad to absorb that sort of impact!
Pipes is a hosted service that lets you remix feeds and create new data mashups in a visual programming environment. The name of the service pays tribute to Unix pipes, which let programmers do astonishingly clever things by making it easy to chain simple utilities together on the command line.
The idea is quite simple. Yahoo Pipes lets users take everyday RSS feeds and mash them together with Yahoo APIs, other feeds, and programmatic building blocks in an easy to use graphical environment. Unfortunately, the execution is terrible and buggy. Take, for example, this yahoo pipe I created to scan the NYT feed for locations / keywords and insert flickr images as appropriate:
The first thing you might notice is that it doesn’t really do what it’s supposed to. Well, we’ll come to that in a minute. You’ll also notice a lot of & going around–every time I hit save it re-encoded the original ampersand. How irritating. Worse is how their pipes are so watered down they can’t do anything:
All I wanted to do was take some content, for each item do content analysis and geo analysis, and use those outputs as the input to a flickr search, then append the photo to the text snippet. Well, first you can’t fork a data stream into two bits and recombine them later. So scratch two kinds of analysis. Second, the outputs of content/geo analysis can’t be used to populate the inputs of the flickr data source–an obvious problem. And third, the annotation feature useless doesn’t annotate, it just replaces chunks messily.
Yahoo, your pipes are indeed clogged.