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<br /> <b>Strict Standards</b>: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method unfancy_quote::strip_quotes() should not be called statically in <b>/home/martingo/martingordon.org/blog/wp-includes/plugin.php</b> on line <b>166</b><br /> Martin Gordon's Blog / 2007 / December

Google Readerbook Me

Google has added a social networking aspect to Google Reader. Inviting a user to chat (i.e., adding them to your GTalk buddy list and you to theirs) allows you to view their shared feeds in a new section, cleverly titled, "Friends' shared items".

You can add me by adding martingordon at gmail.com to your GTalk buddy list. As an aside, there should be an easy way to link to this action instead of having to provide instructions. For now, I'll call it "Google Readerbook me", in honor of that other social network.

I only have one friend at the moment, Scoble, and there is a major flaw (which I mentioned to him last night and he blogged about): If they share an item from a feed you're subscribed to, you see it twice. For people with many friends and lots of overlapping shared items, the number of dupes that have to be processed can grow considerably.

The solution, of course, is to remove the duplicate items. But let's take it one step further. Show me how many times the item would have shown up in my feed list. I can list six metrics that are no-brainers: friends sharing/starring/subscribed to this item and all users sharing/starring/subscribed to this item. Google Reader instantly becomes a del.icio.us/Digg competitor if they decide to show the "all users" metrics. Perhaps it even turns into a del.icio.us/Digg killer since starring/sharing is such an "organic" action. Since I'm doing it anyway, there's no inertia keeping me from participating and there's no need for me to install and use browser extensions or Bookmarklets to bookmark/submit anything.

It's clear now Google's approach to building a social network is the exact opposite of Facebook's. Facebook first built the network and then tacked on applications; Google first built the applications and then integrated the social network into them. In Facebook's case, yes the network itself has its uses, but I have yet to find a truly killer app among the thousands of Facebook apps ("Zombies" and "Super Wall" aren't going to change the way I live, work, or for that matter, socialize). Google's way is sneakier (in a good way) and this means it may take longer to build up the network, but I feel in the end it'll lead to a more useful social network - the one that enhances the applications I already use.

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Eulogy for CompUSA

Word came last Friday that all CompUSA stores will be closing. While some have some horror stories about their experiences at CompUSA, I've never had any bad experiences. Looking back, however, CompUSA was the place where I had my first experiences with Macs.

The only place to really play with Macs back in 2001 was at CompUSA. At the time, there were few Apple Stores and the only one in South Florida was at The Falls, about an hour drive from me. So CompUSA was the first place I laid hands on an iMac, the G4 Cube, and others. It was the first time I played with OS X - I was amazed with it even though it was in it's terrible Public Beta/10.0 stage. I bought my first Mac at CompUSA - a 700 MHz G3 iBook, and my first iPod - an open-box 1st Generation 10gb iPod. Since then, Apple Stores have sprung up and I've only made smaller purchases at CompUSA, a memory card here, a hard drive there. I have memories dating back even further - I remember buying a 4mb stick of RAM and a 14.4 modem for our 386.

Despite being one of the recent contributors to CompUSA's demise, it will still be sad to see it go. I have a MicroCenter fairly close by, but Best Buy and Circuit City don't have anything on our dear old CompUSA.

Goodbye.

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Coke Light Sango

Coca-Cola Light Sango

On my latest trip to South Africa I flew through Paris where I discovered the best variation on Diet Coke (Coca-Cola Light in most other countries) I've ever had - Coke Light Sango. It's Coke with blood orange flavor (sango as in sang, the French word for blood) and much better than the Diet Coke with Lemon or Lime we have here in the States. A little bit of Googling revealed the Wikipedia page for the drink which states that Sango was the first variation on Coke developed outside of the company's Atlanta headquarters, in Belgium, the country with the largest Coke Light/Diet Coke consumption per capita. If a half-liter bottle didn't cost me €3.80, I would have brought some back with me. For now all I can do is hope that Coca-Cola decides to bring this over to the states.

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If You Want a Wii, Come to South Africa

Plenty of them in stock here. Only R2999 (about $440).