For good measure…
Almost forgot, the game…
The Loop posted a great summary of Apple’s Face ID security whitepaper.
Two points about how the timeout works really baffled me. Face ID is disabled when:
If the phone hasn’t been unlocked for 48hrs, it’s a good assumption that the phone has been lost or stolen. But why bother disabling Face ID? Is Apple nervous about it’s real-world effectiveness? Nervous that a thief may be able to unlock the phone with their face?
The second timeout seems more arbitrary. Why 156 hours? If I generally only use my phone once every 4hrs 5mins, then after 6.5days I will have to re-authenticate with my passcode? Why? It seems completely arbitrary.
Any smarter security minds out there have any thoughts?
With the constant forward motion of tech, little time is spent on the past. A brief few years in the mid-00s – after the dot-com bubble and before the big winners of social were sorted out – spawned tonnes of interesting products and services, aka “web 2.0.”
Google Wave is one of those products that keeping bubbling up in my conversations with other old nerds. I think it’s a prime example of Web 2.0.
At Google’s second ever I/O conference – in 2009 – the team behind Google Maps their newest project, “Google Wave” a revolutionary new communications product. Its stated mission was to reinvent email, for the world of connected information services and social networks. A Web 2.0 take on a 30 year old technology.
The 80 minute I/O presentation is still available on YouTube and highly recommend watching this if you’re a fan of corporate cringe. At one point, Stephanie Hannon enters her Twitter password in a plain-text username box, for all the audience to see. Yup.
Unfortunately, Google Wave was never given the chance to gain any traction with a mainstream audience. It was kept in limited developer preview until late 2009. Google’s perpetual beta programs were the butt of many jokes at the time. But Wave continued with a more limited beta program and effectively shut down after 3 months of public release in mid-2010.
Wave lacked focus – both in UI design and in its feature set. It also lacked purpose, I don’t think Wave presented a single solution for a single real-world problem and it was entirely unclear when you would use wave instead of email or IM. In spite of Wave’s disorganized spaghetti-at-the-wall approach, it implemented a lot of tech that has only become common place in the past few years.
Google Wave was focused around the concept of a “wave.” An unholy union of email, message boards, instant messaging, group chats and word documents:
Inside the wave client you would have seen number of active waves, presented and managed in chronological order, like an email client. If this is sounding a little strange, it was.
Have you ever tried to have a conversation inside a Google Doc?
One of Wave’s quirkiest features was that text entry. As a user typed anywhere inside the wave, any other user presently watching the way would see these edits in real-time, character-by-character.
Google claimed that this allowed readers to recognize and respond to text in a more natural way. Similar to how you can start to know what someone is saying after only a few words, the thought was that you could know what someone was typing after only a few words.
In practice, this feature exposed the poor typing skills of your fellow wavers. I have never seen any other IM client attempt to replicate this feature, with good reason. “Your friend is typing” works really well.
On the cooler side, waves could be spell-checked (revolutionary at the time) and Google Translated (still cool) inline, in nearly real-time.
Google thought that the ability to add members to a wave at any point in its lifespan might be problematic. From the I/O presentation, I gather that they were afraid that people would get lost if they jumped in at the end of a long conversation thread.
To solve this problem they gave Wave a “playback” feature. It allowed users play back or step through the revision history of the wave, one change at a time.
I have a hard time understanding the utility of this feature. Period. I just don’t get it. It feels like more of a tech demo than anything else inside wave.
Google Wave was designed from the ground up to be a federated service.
Just like email, any corporation and individual could set up their own Wave server. Just like email, you could include users from any Wave server using the conventional email@example.com format. Unlike email, messages bounced between servers in real time! Even the quirky real-time typing worked across server and across clients. The gif above shows someone typing in the CLI client and having it displayed in the web. I have never seen anything quite like this in the eight years since wave.
Google also designed it to be an open protocol from the beginning. The main I/O demo, with its horrendous UI, is really just Google’s version of a Wave client. Just like email, anyone could develop their own clients for Wave. CLI, native app, whatever.
These two featured have me absolutely convinced that Google Wave was a real, concerted effort to reinvent email. Not just a crazy tech demo. At the time, Google did a poor job communicating this part of their vision. The tech press and power-users alike, got totally wrapped up in the unsuable feature soup they built.
As a privacy mined individual, federated messaging/social networking is a problem that I’d love someone to crack. I wonder where we’d be if Wave had gained a following.
In 2012, Wave was effectively donated to the Apache Software Foundation. Technically the project is still “incubating”, but there aren’t really any signs of life, the project page hasn’t been updated since 2014.
If you liked this post and want to see more like it, recommend something you’d like to see me do a deeper dive on. Leave a comment or a tweet.
Why aren’t there any blog posts about people who run a moderately successful side business? They’re never mega-successful, just pad bank accounts, help pay off debts, save for the future, take their families on vacations, whatever?
It seems a lot more attainable than the seemingly random stories of “The man who built a $1 billion firm in his basement“, etc.
Seriously, I wouldn’t mind some insight on that sort of thing.
What is it about the nature of The Internet that makes internet success seem so attainable?
Is it the open/egalitarian nature of the internet? Literally anyone can start an open source project, youtube channel, blog, store, whatever.
Is it the fact that, as developers, we know the inner workings of the tech behind the latest hotness? Theoretically we could build them ourselves, right?
Is it the humble and approach demeanor that internet-successful people need to maintain in order to become and grow their personal brands? Being able to tweet at (or email) someone with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers and getting a reply (sometimes in real time) is incredible.
A few years ago, I found out that a successful podcaster that I’d been following from her earliest days as a podcaster, actually has an agent helping her to land podcasting gigs. I really wonder how often comparable machinations are happening behind the scenes of internet success?