One travel service to rule them all? If only.

I was working in London the past five weeks, and with that over, I’ve been travelling a bit across Europe. 

In this last six weeks, the realisation has dawned on me that 95% of the travel-related research and purchases I’ve made have been online. Local transport is one I just wasn’t comfortable purchasing online, and wanted the assurance of going to a station and buying that first ticket, getting any stupid questions out of the way with a person. Quickly. It’s fine buying a ticket, but essentially not knowing how to use it, and getting lost is not a prospect that’s fun.

Back to that 95%.

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Android UI unification in Ice Cream Sandwich

Well, this post by Min Ming on Android UI fragmentation has certainly been doing the rounds today, and while there is no doubt that UI fragmentation across Android, and even some of their Google-branded offerings exists, instead of looking at how it’s headed in a positive direction, the post chose to pick on some disparate cases. Hey, it wasn’t made up, and the point stands, but below are how the core Google apps in Ice Cream Sandwich are doing things right in terms of unification, and setting a standard developers and UI dudes and dudettes can certainly use as examples.

By the way, Google, you can do SO MUCH MORE to make things easy for developers in providing some rigid guidelines, and ultimately, for your end users, getting accustomed to a consistent experience across the OS and applications. I mean, really, how hard is it to set up some UI patterns like Android Patterns.

Click to embiggen images! This reduced size view does their gloriousness no justice.

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The More icon AKA the new Menu

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Patents, trolls, Google, and the rest of this mess.

It’s been a fun day in the world of technology, and for all the wrong reasons. David Drummond, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Google kicked things off with, what in hindsight I’d see as a good ol’ fashioned bitch.

But Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents.

I’m pretty sure “bogus” hasn’t been put in quotes as much in a day. Ever.

Now is as good a time as any to provide some background on the broken software patent system by pulling out some dialogue from a recent episode of the greatly insightful This American Life podcast, When Patents Attack!

Companies that make no products, but go around suing other companies that do make products, over supposed patent infringement are so common in Silicon Valley these days that there’s a derogatory term for it. Trolls. Or patent trolls.

Because patents are so broad…

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Google+ a week in. Sort out your symmetry! And other musings…

It’s been a week since my initial thoughts on Google+, and my uses for it have changed rather heavily!

The core 6 or 7 peeps I converse with on Wave everyday, yeh, we’re still using Wave for that. We gave it a go, and apart from us having perfected how we use Google Wave and feeling way too comfortable with it, the asymmetry of Circles as they currently stand, didn’t sit well with us. Ok, me anyway. Stand, sit, sheesh, I need to learn how to write…

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I noticed it a day in. I just explained it terribly. Today’s TechCrunch post crystallised things.

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Err, Google, can you bring back realtime search until it moves to Google+…?

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via @googlerealtime

That’s rather lame, and no wonder I haven’t been seeing realtime results tonight. And really, they needed to disable the whole thing to test out integration with Google+? 

Considering how pathetic the Twitter search is, Google Realtime, and its timeline view have saved me many a time in trying to find old tweets, and it’s been fantastic in trying to determine whether issues I currently have with a service or website are shared by others across the web, the most recent example being Tumblr’s genius idea to remove the importing of RSS feeds >.<

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Google+. Initial thoughts from a non-Facebooker.

I’m probably the one person you know [or don’t know] that doesn’t use Facebook. I never saw a need to use it, and coupled with their terrible stance on privacy and general doucheness by Zuckerberg, wouldn’t be caught dead using it. Then Twitter came along and createdshortly filling thereaftera need to consume a constant stream of technology, movie, and cat-related information, amongst other things, and the ability to share all this easily.

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SXSW – The context layer

There was plenty talked about at SXSW Interactive, and for the most part, it was reaffirming my existing knowledge more than anything else. One thing that did stand out, and that I’ve found myself talking about since I’ve returned, is this whole concept of a Context Layer to sit on top of all the content that exists on the web, and specifically in relation to Location.

This is isn’t something new or revolutionary, but it makes sense in feeling like the logical next step.

We’ve already seen Web 2.0 push personalisation, and the Social Web push relevance via social graphs [no doubt this will continue *cough* +1 *cough*], but utilising location, especially through mobiles, is still in its infancy.

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