Everyman on Sinofsky does Windows 8, Your Brain on Facebook, Interruption Technology, a Toy Yoda

Sinofsky does Windows 8. This is probably the seminole article to date on why Windows 8 Metro was born and Microsoft’s goals for the Metro user experience.  From Steven Sinofsky, the President of Windows and Windows Live Division. A number of both historic screenshots of Windows Past and of Metro highlights.  Hundreds (maybe thousands) of comments, which are also interesting seeing both the love and the hate for what’s coming.

Your Brain on Facebook. Interesting Harvard Business Review article describes how the brain’s circuitry is stimulated when making online connections when on Facebook.  Applies to other social media sites, I suppose, but particularly with Facebook. There is a circuitry for "seeking" and a circuitry for "liking." The liking response settles down the excitement of the seeking circuitry. Without the liking response, we’re like the rat pressing the level over and over to get a little dopamine hit, forgetting all about food and rest. The circuitry activated when you connect online is the seeking circuitry of dopamine. Yet when we connect with people online, we don’t tend to get the oxytocin or serotonin calming reward that happens when we bond with someone in real time, when our circuits resonate with real-time shared emotions and experiences.

Don’t Cry for me, Nokia. As a happy owner of a Nokia Lumia 900 I’m not concerned about Nokia’s future. Then again, I loved my Zune and we all know what happened there. This Reuters article on Nokia burning through cash concludes with what I was thinking while reading it. If Nokia fails to improve its fortunes, some bankers say Microsoft could become a white knight. After all, not only is Lumia’s software based on that of Microsoft, it also happens to be Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop’s former employer. Microsoft is already paying Nokia $1 billion a year to use its software on Lumia smartphones. And some investment bankers familiar with the technology sector said the support could extend well beyond that amount, if Nokia’s problems intensify.

Pubwich. Pubwich is a very cool open-source framework aggregating all social activity on a single page.  Unfortunately (for us .NET guys), it’s written in PHP.  There is a similar .NET project on CodePlex called LifeStream. The point is that adding social activity aggregation in an application would provide valuable social content.

Interruption Technology. Insightful Harvard Business Review article You Are Not a Computer (Try As You May) on how we serve technology rather than technology serving us. Where we put our focus shapes our agenda and defines our experience in every moment. More and more, we’re turning over this precious resource to our digital technology, allowing it to define the depth and span of our attention, and to seduce us into operating at such high speeds that we don’t notice the insidious toll that’s taking.

The Case for Metro. Interesting article from Infragistics arguing why business and developers need to move to Metro Business apps. They are in essence trying to wake up the huge swaths of Microsoft developers to what real Design is all about. It’s not about technology. It’s not about features. It’s not about back end systems or services. It is about the user experience; it is all about the user experience. And great user experience very rarely (with some specific exceptions) is about loading an interface with tons of capabilities that requires the use of a special, high-precision pointing device (the mouse) in order to use it effectively. Certainly the vast majority of LOB apps do not call for this kind of design.

Amazon on the Cheap. This is a good list from Lifehacker on how to get reduced prices and save money when shopping on Amazon. It’s a good list. I really should make time to go back over it and maybe act on a few of the suggestions.

Check-ins to Coupons to Cash. We linked to FourSquare moving to coupon integration not long ago.  Here’s another good article focused more on how FourSquare will make money on it. Businesses want exposure on foursquare and, more importantly, twitter and facebook. Check-ins (with status updates to twitter and facebook) bring that exposure. Users want coupons. Foursquare gets a cut of the action.

A Private Wedding.  Funny Tweet of the Day from Dave Pell on Mark Zuckerberg’s wedding. “Zuck kept his wedding secret until the last minute. He’s the only person on Facebook who still wants some privacy.”

You won a toy Yoda! This story sounds too wacky to be true, but if it is, making an employee (waitress at Hooters) think she’s winning a new car instead of a toy is pretty cold.  Blindfolding her and presenting Yoda in the parking lot is a bit over the top, IMO. (image)

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.