Weekly Roundup #2

Timing is everything, so the second installment of my Weekly Roundup will touch on Apple's scheduled media event on the 12th.

However, I'm not going to drone on about what features the next iPhone will have or should have — nearly every other tech media source has done a good job of that. Rather, I'll explain how baffled I am at the ongoing speculative debate about how Apple should name the next iPhone.

It started in social media and forums, but the argument has spread to some legitimate media sources. Who cares? Apple could name the next iPhone the "iPhone 5 4G Valley Panther Tall Edition" and it probably wouldn't have any significant impact on sales, reputation, or quality.

Look at other manufacturers, such as Samsung, who toss on as many buzzwords and adjectives as possible ("Samsung Galaxy S II Epic Touch 4G Android Phone"). And, for that matter, you're looking at a sample size of five iPhone models. Any argument in favor of following the "established history" of iPhone naming must have a strong personal bias, because there have not been enough releases to establish any naming convention.


PayPal has long had an underground reputation of freezing funds or disabling account features with little or no explanation. To make matters worse, customer support staff at PayPal are either unwilling to or not given the power to remedy such situations.

However, PayPal's CEO has written a candid email to one victim of this practice and is vowing to turn things around. The response by CEO David Marcus is inspiring and hopeful. You can see the email here and follow along with some of the discussion in the Hacker News comment thread.


In lieu of other interesting stories, here are a few things that I have been working with or investigating over the past week:

Google's Go Programming Language

Go Programming Language logo

A powerful but syntactically-friendly language that meshes the strengths of C with some cool things such as functions as first-class citizens. In most cases, there is no need for a makefile or complex build scripts as Go is able to determine the build process by examining the source tree. This feature alone is reason to take a look at Go for future projects.---

500px

A beautifully-designed photo sharing site that is quite refreshing compared to the likes of SmugMug and Flickr. The free tier's main limitation is a maximum upload cap of 10 photos per week. Paid tiers remove that cap and provide additional functionality such as statistics, Google Analytics, and domain mapping.

Some of the social features of 500px are interesting: your account has an affection score based on feedback to your submissions, and individual photos are given a "pulse" score based on their popularity.

NAS Troubles

Finally, I had been using my old desktop as a NAS using an unusual stack of Debian 6, ZFS on Linux, and afp to provide file services and a makeshift TimeCapsule for my home backups. However, a recurring issue of failed verification has unfortunately moved me to take the NAS offline. I'm instead resorting to an external drive which, understandably, is much less convenient than automatic wireless backups.

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