Weekly digest – 2012-04-29

  • One useful thing Microsoft did for web developers… CSS Gradient Background Maker http://t.co/RHqAA5j4 #
  • New note : Valve Employee Handbook http://t.co/6VIqPB8N #
  • I spent an hour at the meeting today, the content of which would fit into a single tweet. Even with names of all 10 participants. #
  • New note : Hughski – ColorHug – open source display colorimeter http://t.co/Co98ngd8 #
  • @acroitoriu There are indeed a lot of Forex companies in Cyprus. But it's not because of Cypriots. Some don't even accept ppl from Cyprus. #
  • In a mood for a pint. Called 5 people to join me this Friday evening and only one accepted. I guess I'm not as much fun as I think. :) #
  • I just ousted Marios A. as the mayor of Carrefour on @foursquare! http://t.co/bNaKdBGL #
  • I favorited a @YouTube video http://t.co/7CU65l1q What if Dexter had been a sitcom? #

Microsoft tried to sell Bing to Facebook

Slashdot reports on the rumor that Microsoft tried to sell its search engine Bing to Facebook.  After all the hype around how much of a leader Microsoft is in the web industry, I find this to be quite funny. (Provided that it’s true, of course.)

Microsoft is not a web company.  It doesn’t think or behave like a web company.  Sure, they can change, but these things don’t happen so fast.  Facebook, on the other hand, is a web company.  They know the difference between Bing search engine and Google search engine.  More so, they are a social company, and they do know the difference between attempting to index the whole web, and receiving users’ Likes and Shares.

While I don’t use Bing myself, I think there is plenty of cool stuff in there.  But problems that it has to solve as a search engine, are much easier to solve with Facebook’s social graphs – things like SPAM, results gaming, relevance, etc.  So for me it’s really not a surprise that Facebook declined the offer.


Saxo Bank opens an office in Cyprus

Saxo Bank is a well known name for anyone who’s associated with Forex.  Today I was driving to the Limassol Income Tax Office, past the new KPMG building, when I noticed the new sign of Saxo Bank on the second floor of that building.  I was a bit surprised.  Sure, I’ve heard the rumors that it was coming, but nothing more.  I don’t follow Forex news too much, but I’m sure I would have heard of it.

A few hours later, during the lunch break at the office, while catching up with the news, I noticed the announcement in Cyprus Mail.

SAXO Bank, the specialist in online trading and investing, yesterday announced the opening of its new office in Cyprus which will provide Cypriot investors access to international financial markets.

The office – the Danish bank’s 22nd — is located in Limassol and will serve as a regional business centre covering the whole of Central and Eastern Europe.

I think now we can officially call Limassol – the capital of the Forex industry.

Vim adventures

Vim is quite famous for being the best text editor in the world.  However it has quite a learning curve, especially for people who don’t touch type and who aren’t much interested in their own productivity.  Over the years, there were a few efforts to help the newcomers learn the basics.  But, I think, nothing came close to the amazing game Vim adventures – a maze navigation game, that uses Vim controls.

Dear Al, you are fired!

Being fired is usually not much fun.  But as far as firings go, this one is pretty funny – as reported on Slashdot:

On Friday, more than 1,300 employees of London-based Aviva Investors walked into their offices, strolled over to their desks, booted up their computers and checked their emails, only to learn the shocking news: They would be leaving the company. The email ordered them to hand over company property and security passes before leaving the building, and left the staff with one final line: ‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and wish you all the best for the future. ‘This email was sent to Aviva’s worldwide staff of 1,300 people, with bases in the U.S., UK, France, Spain, Sweden, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Finland and the Netherlands. And it was all one giant mistake: The email was intended for only one individual.

Obviously, in the corporate address book, “All Stuff” and “Al Not-the-Pacino” were right next to each other…

Weekly digest – 2012-04-22

Karma-based pricing models for games

Slashdot links to an interview with Gabe Newell, of the Valve fame.  I think this idea is pretty interesting:

The issue that we’re struggling with quite a bit is something I’ve kind of talked about before, which is: how do you properly value people’s contributions to a community? … An example is – and this is something as an industry we should be doing better – is charging customers based on how much fun they are to play with. … “So, in practice, a really likable person in our community should get DOTA 2 for free, because of past behavior in Team Fortress 2. Now, a real jerk that annoys everyone, they can still play, but a game is full price and they have to pay an extra hundred dollars if they want voice.’

Karma-based systems aren’t the easiest ones to figure out.  But they have plenty of potential.  Given enough will, effort, and tweaking, I think this can be done.  How well it will actually work – remains to be seen.