You may have heard the devastating news that The New York Times has finally plugged the famous paywall loophole that allowed users to access more than their monthly allotment of articles. Once you used up your 10 free articles for the month, you could just delete the “?gwh=numbers” part of the URL to easily and freely access the story. Read More
They make great presents, but books are deceptively difficult to give: You don’t want to buy some random bestseller off the front table at Barnes and Noble, but wander very far into the store and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with options. To lend a hand, we’ve combed through this year’s techie-targeted releases (and tossed in a couple of old favorites, as well). Read More
Show of hands: How many of you now know way too much about high school friends’ video viewing habits, thanks to SocialCam‘s overshare-enabling default settings? And surely we can’t be the only users enraged by being prompted to install an app before we can read an article on Yahoo News or The Washington Post?
Facebook apps and their “frictionless sharing” are aggravating–so naturally, a couple of enterprising developers have created workarounds for both Chrome and Firefox, reports TechCrunch.
The plug-ins allow users to read or watch whatever their friends have shared, without sharing it themselves. That means you can assuage your curiosity re: TomKat while browsing Facebook, without blowing your “I don’t read celebrity news” cover.
Of course, this only solves accidental oversharing. If you’re the type to chronicle every dispute and drunken cocktail party on Facebook, there’s not much we can do for you.
Expect posting to be a little light around these parts tomorrow. Unless the Singularity happens between now and lunchtime tomorrow, our plans have room for little other than Coronas on the beach or, in the event of thunderstorms, Magic Mike.
However, Betabeat would never be so neglectful as to leave our readers without a little Read More
Ever stood on a street corner wondering what your neighborhood looked like a century ago? If yes, a) you are a nerd and b) the New York Public Library is working on it.
Thanks to a 2010 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the NYPL has embarked on a big effort to digitize its collection of historical maps. And for the history-crazed among us, they’ve just posted a lengthy, detailed description of how that project works. Read More
Picnik, the web-based photo-editing tool, is kind of retro. The service has been around since 2007, when Mashable wrote that “online photo editing is now a Picnik.” The service is user-friendly, basic and intuitive, and it became very popular, despite its habit of bogging down the browser. Some people even paid $24.95.
Even though Picnik announced back in January that it would be shutting down the service and refunding its customers. It’s all part of efforts by Picnik’s owner Google’s to force everyone to put their photos into Google+, we know some of you bloggers and other information workers with on-the-fly photo editing needs out there are still using it, and you have to stop.
You have to stop, because Picnik is shutting down tomorrow, for real. Get your photos out, if you have them stored there, and find another service to use. We need a new web-based photo editor to supplement the all-purpose MS Paint. Read More
Fog Creek Software has a fish tank embedded in one wall. The fish are pretty and colorful, but not neon; it looked like there might have been an eel in there too. They wandered around their dark blue and green environs, their movements accompanied by the soft white noise of the pump, imparting a sense of calm.
The offices of the developers of Fog Creek look sort of like fish tanks, because they have sliding glass doors to make them more soundproof. The compartments look airtight, as if you could fill the whole thing up with water. Founder Joel Spolsky has been preaching for years that developers should have private offices. It’s better for their temperament, and it reduces distractions and makes them more productive, he argues. Mr. Spolsky himself has a closed-door corner office, with a view of the Financial District in one direction and Fog Creek’s airy lunch room in the other.
Fog Creek has a motto: “What if programmers were treated like rock stars?” Betabeat had a chance to glimpse the office of the esteemed New York company last night during a class, “How to Hire Developers in a Competitive Market,” taught by two employees of Fog Creek’s uppity younger cousin, Stack Exchange. The message at the end of the night: developers are choosy, peculiar, brilliant and needy. But their needs are actually pretty simple. Read More