Category: web

The A.T. Rank of social media networks

This is the annual update of the authoritative A.T. Rank of Social Media Networks. A notable change from last year’s list is the addition of Instagram, which  three months ago and instantly fell in love with.








Retains last year’s top spot. Still the most valuable network, by far.



Camera phone photographer’s playground.



Surfaces great content from other networks.



Love it or hate it, but don’t ignore it. This is where everybody hangs out.



Recruiter’s heaven, good for business intelligence and little else. Endorse me for “bikes”.



The fastest growing referral network.



Nerds and squares.



The faded dame of social media.



Acquired by Yahoo! — almost certainly the kiss of death.



Where indie bands’ dreams go to die.



The open-source Facebook. There ain’t nobody home.



The latest venture of Flickr founder Caterina Fake. Pin notes on a map. Formerly Pinwheel. Nicely done but deserted.



Users populate 4sq’s database for free.


Deleted for dunces.


Why I don’t link to The New York Times any more

I don’t link to The New York Times any more because chances are that by following the link my readers will see this screen, with its giant “Subscribe” button. And they won’t see the actual story. Because they don’t subscribe. Good thing the same story is available elsewhere for free. Cough.

Notice the /mobile/wall/smart/ in the URL path in the screenshot? How ironic. There is nothing smart about this. Talk about being penny wise and pound foolish (looking at you, NYT!). Or eating the seed corn. Or hoping to get bought by Steve Ballmer. Ugh!

New York Times paywall screen with giant Subscribe button
New York Times paywall screen with giant Subscribe button

Opera Browser FTW

[UPDATE October 8, 2013] Opera 17 is here, and you should totally and make it your default browser. You’ll thank me later.


It looks like my quest to find the perfect most-adequate default web browser is over, at least for the time being. It is Opera 15, and you can .

As my readers and friends know, I have been displeased with most mainstream browsers for quite some time. I have used Google Chrome and Firefox extensively. I have tried Safari, Internet Explorer (HA!), Opera 12, and Chromium. My penultimate adventure was with the Yandex Browser.

None of the above fit the bill, for various reasons.

Tired of experimenting, I reluctantly tried the new Opera 15 browser. And it is a winner.

Opera 15 has (almost) everything that I need from my default browser. It is simple and fast. It is built on top of by a . It has mobile and tablet versions (which I have yet to try).

I added my own personal touch to Opera — I disabled all plugins and extensions. This makes the browser even faster, with the added benefit of not showing the most-annoying, Flash-based ads.

I have one nit to pick with Opera — the browser does not allow the user to select a default opening page. Instead, on launch it defaults to “where you left off”, which is not always appropriate. I am sure the Opera team is working on giving users the choice of where to start a new browsing session.

All in all, Opera 15 is an excellent browser, and I’m glad I found it.

[UPDATE August 19, 2013] In a comment to this post Opera developer odinho writes:

We have implemented startup options in the current Developer Stream release of Opera. That is the version which will become Opera 17.

Great news, and great to see that Opera employees are listening and communicating. One more reason to choose Opera.

[UPDATE August 27, 2013] Opera 16 for Windows was released today. I am a fan. Download it .

[UPDATE August 28, 2013] My friend reports that a number of developer extensions for Chrome also work on Opera. See his comments in .

Tennis news from the US Open August-September 2013

The 2013 is almost here, and there’s a lot of tennis in the news. In this article I will keep a running log of what I consider newsworthy tennis stories throughout the 2013 US Open tournament. Stories appear in reverse chronological order, with the latest story on top, and the oldest story (Thursday, August 15, 2013) at the bottom of the article.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

  •  In three sets, no less. 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

    • Here’s Flavia and me at the 2010 US Open:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

  • “To watch Federer this summer is to listen to an opera singer who can no longer hit the high notes.” –Greg Bishop, The New York Times (why no NYT link)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

  •  American teenager Victoria Duval stunned 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur in the tournament’s first round Tuesday. The 17-year-old qualifier, ranked 296th, won 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, leaping into the air in celebration after converting her fourth match point with a forehand winner. Duval was playing in just her second Grand Slam match.

Monday, August 26, 2013

  • One year after Andy Roddick announced his retirement from tennis, compatriot and colleague James Blake has decided to do the same. Blake made the announcement at a news conference Monday, the opening day of the U.S. Open.

Friday, August 23, 2013

  •  At 32, winning another major will be “quite difficult,” McEnroe says.
  •  According to the tennis pro her beau has impeccable style too.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

  •  ”Maria has informed us that she will be unable to compete at the US Open this year due to a right shoulder bursitis and has withdrawn from the tournament,” US Open Tournament Director David Brewer said in a statement.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

  • The best improvement to the 2013 US Open tournament so far: All Pepsi products have been replaced by Coca-Cola products. In years past Coke fans like me have had to smuggle in their own. This year we don’t have to (although you may still choose to, as a 20-ounce bottle of ice-cold Coca-Cola will cost you a steep $5.00. Still, you have a backup plan in case you run out).
  • Coca-Cola stand at the 2013 US Open tennis tournament
    Coca-Cola stand at the 2013 US Open tennis tournament

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

  • . The U.S. Open women’s seedings will be announced Tuesday; the draw is scheduled for Thursday. John Isner, at No. 13, is the highest-seeded American.

Monday, August 19, 2013

  • Greg Rusedski: . ”The fact Rafa lost so early at Wimbledon meant he had so much time to prepare for the hard courts,” said Rusedski. “Usually he is in the latter stages but that hiccup has actually helped him and he has gotten better because of it.”

Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • Going to the US Open? Read carefully the tournament’s . Here is what I’ve learned from personal experience in years past (keep in mind that rules may have changed this year, so no guarantees): You can bring a sandwich. You can bring soft drinks in unsealed plastic bottles. You cannot enter the grounds with cans, glass bottles, or opened plastic bottles. You can bring cameras, including DSLRs. You cannot bring backpacks, defined as bags with two shoulder straps. You CAN bring a bag with one shoulder strap.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

  • First off, I must tell you about the . It’s held free to the public from Tuesday, Aug. 20, to Friday, Aug. 23, and consists of 128 men and 128 women competing for the final 32 entries (16 men and 16 women) in the 2013 US Open singles draws.
  • . With her body aching after another loss, Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli decided to retire Wednesday night, saying she could no longer deal with the continuous pain on the court.
  • . “Today I have to take care of myself and make sure I can play at 100 percent,” the 28-year-old said on his official website. “The thinking is simple, the doctors told me it would be at least two months before my tendon is partially healed and five months to be completely healed. It would be stupid to go there knowing full well that I have no chance because I’m not prepared enough.”
  • . The US Open’s latest endeavor is its grandest yet: a sweeping transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center that will create a new Louis Armstrong Stadium, a new Grandstand, wider walkways and improved traffic flow around the grounds and a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Clover at Starbucks

My friend Justin convinced me to give the new a shot. Clover is not yet available in all Starbucks stores, but the  has it.

I liked the coffee, but I doubt I could tell the difference in a double-blind test. The brewing process, however, is a spectacle to behold. Below is a 15-second video of the Clover machine being worked by my favorite barista, Clarissa.

How to respond to graffiti

I give you two ways to respond to graffiti, both found on the twitters. You can either hire someone to remove the graffiti (left), or you can ironically embrace them and ironically turn them into an ironical piece of art. Ironically, of course. Or maybe sarcastically (right).

Two ways to respond to graffiti
Two ways to respond to graffiti

Here is a full transcript of the bathroom graffiti label:


Lincoln, NE. 1996

I Lack Creativity, 2011

sharpie on drywall: 35 x 48 cm

In an attempt to abandon aesthetics, I Lack Creativity by Anonymous showcases an antiquated hieroglyph that has remained unchanged since the late 70s. Here, Anon makes a fascinating plea to retard human evolution and remind us what it may have been like to use a public restroom in 1983.

Image sources: ;