Android Apps I find useful (and iPhone equivalents)

Friends sometimes ask me which apps to install on their newly Android phone. Here's something to turn your smartphone into a supercomputer :-)

Apps that didn't make it to the initial version of the list (either because installed by default on my phone, or because installed recently, or because not used anymore), but that might be worth a look. I'll add links to those later.


Why power outages are…good for the Web

Provocative title, but ponder that fun fact: each time there is a power outage, internet modems and DSL boxes, desktop computers and various appliances will reboot. In some cases, it will trigger a check for updates at startup and will update the modem.
The pro-side is that it will enhance speed or functionality, the down-side is that all those devices calling home at the same time and downloading the long-delayed update may crash update servers.


The next disruption: home appliances ?

This is one of my pet topics: what if home chores disappeared altogether overnight ? What would it mean for society, gender equality et all ? Well, there are news on that front: LG is pushing strong in the sector.


Lyrics for Scotland My Home, by Shona Campbell

I couldn't find those anywhere on the interwebs, so here's a transcription. I missed some parts that are highlighted in orange. Any insight from a native speaker / Shona Campbell fan welcome.

I dreamt that I wandered no people ni glen
The flowers of my homeland that flourish again
The bluebell, the primrose, the wild daffodil, the white rose of scotland the purple platil
Home, home, Scotland my home,
Land of the mountains, Land of my own
Free, defiant and strong, Scotland forever, Scotland my home,
The pheasants stood proudly, so steadfast and shrewd,
The heaven was blooming as ever before,
Wild there Around me no people ni glen
The flowers of my homeland that flourished again,
Home Home Scotland my home !
Land of the mountains, Land of my own,
Free, defiant and strong, Scotland Forever, Scotland my home,

Home, home, Scotland my home, Land of the mountains, Land of my own,
Free, defiant and strong, Scotland forever, Scotland my home,

Scotland forever, Scotland my home.


Premiers pas avec Ubuntu 12.04 et 12.10 : les manuels Ubuntu débarquent en français !

Les traductions sont au cœur de la philosophie Ubuntu :
  • chacun doit avoir la liberté de télécharger, exécuter, copier, distribuer, étudier, partager, modifier et améliorer le logiciel ;
  • chacun doit avoir l’opportunité d’utiliser le logiciel, même en cas de handicap ;
  • chacun doit avoir le droit d’utiliser le logiciel dans la langue de son choix.
C’est pour cela qu’aujourd'hui nous sommes heureux et fiers de vous annoncer la sortie de la version française du célèbre Manuel Ubuntu pour Ubuntu 12.04 LTS ET pour Ubuntu 12.10. Le manuel vous fournit de manière claire et structurée tout ce dont vous avez besoin pour débuter puis progresser avec Ubuntu. Le Manuel Ubuntu est aussi la garantie d’instructions pas à pas qui marchent, testées et intégralement en français, sans barbarismes ni mots incompréhensibles.
Pour résumer les avantages du manuel :
  • facile à appréhender – notre manuel comprend des instructions pas à pas et est dénué de jargon technique ;
  • une illustration vaut bien mieux qu’une longue description – beaucoup de captures d’écran illustrent les instructions ;
  • tout au même endroit – vous n’avez pas à parcourir le Web pour trouver de l’aide car tout se trouve dans un seul fichier ;
  • apprentissage progressif – démarrez avec les bases et apprenez au travers des différents chapitres ;
  • des dizaines de langues – traduit en plus de 52 langues, y compris des copies d’écran localisés ;
  • sous licence CC-BY-SA – téléchargez, modifiez, reproduisez et partagez autant que vous voulez ;
  • aucun coût – nos documents sont tous rédigés par des membres de la communauté Ubuntu et leur utilisation est gratuite ;
  • imprimable – cette version est optimisée pour l’impression afin de sauver les arbres ;


Create your own go/ system using Chrome and Google Apps

Something cool on Corporate Networks is those nifty go/ systems. go/keyword will redirect you to some url. go/contacts, go/sharescreen...

A neat way to do this is to take advantage of Chrome's custom search engines and Google Shortlinks for Google Apps

  1. Install Google Shortlinks on your Google Apps domain (subdomain go, to be logical)
  2. Go to Chrome's Settings >> Manage Search Engines
  3. Create a custom search engine with : go as invoke keyword and http://go.yourcustomdomain.net/%s as pattern
  4. Profit: you just type go SPACE keyword. If the shortlink exists, you'll be redirected to your page, otherwise, you'll be presented the option to create the shortcuts.
Useful examples:
  • go/+ >> Shortcut to Google+
  • go/c  >> Shortcut to Google Calendar
  • go/compose  >> Shortcut to New Mail Compose window in Gmail
  • go/contacts  >> Shortcut to Google Contacts
  • go/d  >> Shortcut to Google Drive
  • go/f  >> Shortcut to Facebook
  • go/finance  >> Shortcut to the Finance tab my personal tracking spreadsheet
  • go/ogle and go/google  >> Shortcut to Google News' section on Google
  • go/health  >> Shortcut to the health tab of my personal tracking spreadsheet
  • go/m  >> Shortcut to Gmail
  • go/maps  >> Shortcut to Google Maps
  • go/music  >> Shortcut to Google Music
  • go/pierrelist >> Shortcut to my personal tracking spreadsheet
  • go/r  >> Shortcut to Google Reader
  • go/hangout >> Shortcut to Google Hangouts
  • go/todo >> Shortcut to the todo tab of my personal list in Google Drive


Short rambling

Will California (and the world) be ready for the Big One ?
It's a question that has many implications (I'm thinking the Internet here)

Of Internal and External APIs in Government and Corporations

Computer Scientist have long known about APIs.
They're basically a way for third parties to tap into a ressource in a predictable way: both the question and the answer are predictable, and it's thus possible to connect various ressources and programs easily without having to worry about friction or incompatibility.

You can for instance programmatically use Google's or Facebook's services to host a content, publish a message on your behalf.
Better yet, you can mash up several services.

For the time being, those APIs are mostly external (the government offering APIs to retrieve Crime Rates and such).
To get to the next level in efficiency, both in companies and government, it's time to create internal APIs, so that various part of government can interact without heavy processes.