Monday, July 25, 2011

[ABOUT LEAKS] What I can tell from a simple mistake.

A while ago, Microsoft accidently leaked Tulalip. Some social network experiment that could be

If it was a smoke test, it was both cleverly planned and very silly at the same time.
Why? Because the timing would have been too obvious (15th of July, shortly after the Google+ launch).

Well Microsoft was already working on it since a while as a Google search reveals:

(the search results have already been removed in the meanwhile)

You can see several instances of the same application.
The Google cache shows me that the site was already crawled on the 27th of June 2011

The biggest rookie mistake was to forget to exclude the site from being crawled by using a simple robots.txt
(sorry for the hindsight, such things can happen, I know)
Another reference I found was the use of a free load-test (see here ) performed on the 17th of June 2011 for the domain

And now the pages just show plain and simple a message from (or on behalf of) the dev. team:

Furthermore there is one single very interesting fact:

The domain is the host for a warez page and.. surprisingly also the host of an older version of Microsofts social net.
Hm. Funny... the image-preview shows a different design and the original name of the social network...
Makes sense after the leak was discovered on has also some different footprints here on the web...

Ok ok, whatever... all this isn't so important.
More important is, what we can learn about Microsoft's way of testing and developing products.

Tulalip/Socl is basically a smaller project created by a small dev. group... creative, but not that experienced. I'd say they are mostly fresh from University or school.
If it were a well-funded project, it wouldn't have leaked in that way. They'd have security experts having an eye on the project... making sure that it isn't indexed by the Googlebot.

Furthermore, they'd consider a different way of testing their software than to just use a free load-test somewhere on the web that compromises the security of your project by posting the URL and the results on the web.

Microsoft would have it's own testing software for that...

Too many rookie-mistakes for a well experienced dev-team or a project with a big budget.

Microsoft has most likely multiple small groups working on different projects, all hosting on (I guess some kind of AppEngine made by Microsoft, hosting .net projects)

There are two subdomains I found on, referring to Socl/Tulalip:


I guess one was the testing version and the other one was the dev-version.
So, if someone interested in leaks might want to hunt, the best way to get started is to analyze habits, best practices and procedures of a company or developers.
In this case I guess the hunt wouldn't make much sense as the group seems to be not really "into" or tied to company internal best practices... but, if I'd want to hunt for THEM, I'd try to find every possible subdomain on

It is highly unlikely that they have simply shut down the application. It is more likely that they moved/renamed the instance somehow (this would cause way less trouble than to move it to a completely different server)

My best guess is, that it is still hosted somewhere on I just have to wait for Google to index it again. (if they haven't learned from their mistakes... they are rookies)
The rename from socl to tulalip (even if they had the domain also tells me, that it is not a primary focus of Microsoft. (no money, no lawyers)

The reason why they had to rename it can be found here:

Yep.. Ooops. (dated 4th of July 2011)

Well... now I know where Microsoft might have leaks... I'm watching you.

And my other guess: they might set up a second serverfarm for internal development too... hmm.. we'll see.

BTW... Warez site? WTF? I hope the guy who upped the early build of socl has a very good explanation for that!
I like the design and I hope they don't slash the project just because of some... stupid mistakes.
I probably won't use it... but hey, it looks great :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Microsoft leaks "accidently" a social experiment.

You can run, but you can't hide.

interesting.... and digging deeper.

And if you haven't realized yet... this is the subdomain of a warez-site?! WTF?!

It is hosted on so there is a chance they just renamed the app-instance... The hunt is on!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Governmental Regulation Madness (and other stuff)

Well, the last article might have been a little misleading, so I've to smash governmental regulation on a broader base.

Let's say, you manufacture cars and one of your customer runs over a kid. Should the government be able to fine you for that?
If you produce paper and someone produces fake money with it, should you be the one who is responsible for that?

Well.. If you sell online Ads and someone breaks your terms of services by selling fake medication online, should you be fined?
How about half a billion dollars?

In fact, you seem to be responsible for what people are doing with your products, even if you clearly stated that any kind of illegal activity is prohibited. So you have to control everything your customers do.

If you sell matches, better be sure that your customers don't own a meth-lab if they buy regularly from you.

Sure, if you have the option to control every step of your customers, do it. But if the number of customers outnumber the number of your employees by 1:10.000, it is a little stupid to expect a check of every single customer (and make sure that he doesn't do something illegal once he has been checked)

European regulation is about as much fun.
Imagine you have a natural product called

"Liver Protection Capsules" - 9,99€ for 60 capsules
and another one that is called
"Capsules to protect the liver" - 11,00€ for 30 (!) capsules

Would you expect that only ONE of both is illegal now?
Guess which one?
Of course it is the cheap one. Because it has a "misleading description".

No, that's completely reasonable. I can understand that.

Well and the interesting definition of monopoly:

Choice is not an option, at least not for some.
You can use the Internet just with Google. Yeah, didn't you know? In fact Google IS the internet. Every person who touches a computer for the first time knows that.

There is no Bing, no Yahoo, no Dogpile, no Lycos. They are just disguised versions of Google, obviously.
So it's fine to file an Antitrust.

I'm just waiting for someone to sue Google because Chrome is the standard-browser of ChromeOS

Back to Europe:

Every herbal medication/nutritional supplement (I don't mean homeopathy -.-, I don't care about homeopathy) that has studies to prove a medical benefit has to be taken off the market instantly.
Because it has to be redeclared as a pharmaceutical product and can't be sold freely anymore.
(which would make it more expensive too, as the standards for pharmaceutical products are way higher than those for supplements)

Back to the US:

Apple has not a monopoly on it's system, even if they state in their TOS, that their OS can only be used on their hardware... and their hardware only with their OS. (yeah, I know about unsupported boot camp). And Apple simply loves 3rd party app stores, don't they?
They love their competition so much that they ban the word "Android" from the appStore. And apps that are about Android.
No, that would never be something that could cause reason for the big mighty antitrust. 

Let's hop to china:
Microsoft partners with Baidu, China's largest search engine to provide censored search results for the Chinese citizens. Very American dear Microsoft. Freedom and such? Who needs that?

Back to the US:
Microsoft pays institutions hundreds of thousands of dollars to use their Office365 stuff. Interesting from a legal point of view. Stupid from an economical point of view, because the trial period will run out at some point, but what do I know.
Does anyone know the definition of a bribe?
Hmm... Interesting.

Let's stay in the US.
So it is totally ok to form a cartel against a rival to bid on a pack of patents that will be used against this rival?
Yeah, that is totally fine. Of course. How could I ever question that?

Also it is perfectly fine to patent something someone else has invented. Obviously. You just have the money (or the immodesty) to do it first.
So, in fact: you can copy something, patent it and then make big money. Or sabotage others to get rid of rivals.
I could never see how that could promote anti-competitive behavior.

The governmental supported free media is forced to empty their online news archives. 90% of all video and audio data has been deleted. Why? Because they are a threat to traditional media who make money from archiving news and information. So they just forced the government to issue a law that puts pressure on the free, governmental supported media to delete everything that exceeds a certain age.
Depending on the type of content, information is just allowed to stay online for either:
  • 7 days
  • 6 months or 
  • 12 months
Our world is sick.

Speaking of corruption dear US Law System


Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Buzz on Plus: Dealing with the clutter

Erica Champion had an interesting idea that would be a valuable addition to activity streams if realized in a thoughtful and balanced way:

A priority inbox for Activity streams.

Well as simple as it sounds, as complicated it can get. Facebook is, for me, the worst example for a basically good idea, because I have neither control about how the filtering works, nor any idea how I can influence it.
I don't know and don't care about the technical details of Facebook's approach but there ARE serious issues I constantly encounter when Facebook switches back to the Top News thingy unasked. (Hidden status.updates of friends who got into trouble, got sick or married etc.. happend to me quite a lot of times, thanks filter-crap)

But before I cover this topic and 90 privacy-free-all-data-search-filter-bubble-people start hyperventilating, sending me the same useless link I saw already 89.029 times and scream in panic OMG it is all so evil and we all will die and such:  
I don't give a flying fuck about you concerns that your toaster might read your mind and that the personalized search is an evil invention to control our behavior by shaping the way we surf.
You can opt out EVERYWHERE from personalization, you just have to spend 30 seconds on evil Google to find a solution. And if you still are worried about your c-grade tinfoil hat not being safe enough: Start using other services and don't pester others with your panic if you prefer to keep yourself uneducated in the topics you just love to babble about.
Or go and live under a rock where no technology exists. Thanks.

So, first we will analyze the basic problems we encounter and the results we want to achieve.


  • shitloads of crap in the activity stream
  • even more shitloads of crap in the activity stream
  • even way more shitloads of crap in the activity stream

Results we'd like to have:

  • less shitloads of crap in the activity stream
  • information that is valuable
  • prioritization of information
Basic approaches BEFORE actually thinking of a priority filter:

  • stacking, merging or linking reshared content
  • implementing user-group filters (basically toggleable circles in the main stream)
  • content-type filters (turning on and off gif pest, photo-shares, video shares, check-in's, sparks, etc)
See the posts:

Please remember, we are trying to deal with the clutter in the main consumption stream.
multiple instanced of circle-members in different circles can get a real pest with growing circle sizes, so it would be better and easier if we'd make streams toggle-able in the main stream.
This is NOT a problem with circle sizes below 50 members, but imagine what happens if you have all your collegues, your internet buds etc in your circles... Clutter deluxe. And switching between the individual circles gets annoying over time.

Content type filters are also one way of dealing with the clutter... but it is... how should I say.. not individual.
We will have the problem that some people will post some very interesting content, directly generated/written on Google+, but pesters you with 70.000 shares of the most funny gifs he can find and reshare from I don't know where... And another one shares one of these artistic, wonderful gifs (yeah, these exist!) and just posts garbage all day long. If you filter one content type, you lose valuable content too. So how should we deal with that?

Instead of, what a lot of you might think now: "ZOMG this MOFO asshole wants to replace the content stream and censor everything, set him on fire!!!" I'd rather create a second option, directly under the "Stream" link on the left side called "Personalized Stream".

The personalized stream starts from zero without presets and is basically a clone of the normal stream. What you can do though is to create a certain set of rules that gets refined while the stream is used.

What tools would be needed for this approach?

Basically it would be great if we'd already have the clutter reducing options I mentioned earlier, so we can reduce the "background noise" like multiple reshares or TOTALLY unwanted content or uninteresting circles (like Brands... sometimes you just don't feel like digging through tons of company updates) first before we continue training the filters.

So, we start reading the stream and as we discover individual users that have.. quite a habit, we can select the dropdown on the right side of the post and select "hide this contentype from this user"
So there is an additional filter generated which kicks out all the crap we don't want to see.

We could even hide an entire person that... is just annoying when we want to see the most important stuff.

After the filtering, we come to the prioritization part.

Based on the following variables, we could prioritize bumping of posts:
  • +1's on a certain content-type (maybe even +1's on the content-type of a certain user)
  • commenting and interaction with certain users
  • mentioning users
  • muting posts (secondary parameter: count of comments until mute)
If you sum these variables up, you get a sense of weight/importance. The heavier the predicted weight of a post, the higher it is ranked, the easier it is bumped, the longer is the life-cycle in the personalized content stream.

For example: A heavy/important post can easily be bumped, even by a person's comment that is not in the circles of the user... a lightweight/unimportant post gets just bumped by a mention of the owner of the activity stream / viewer.

There are another thousand things to think of like: marking a certain user as "always important/heavy weight", but that'd lead too far.

I hope you enjoyed my ideas and thanks to Erica Champion for the spark of genius here, who came up with the Priority Inbox for activity streams for Google+ :)


Ps: if you have itchy fingers to type "Oh, LAME!! Facebook does that already and sh*t!", I politely ask to shut the fuck up and get lost! :D

[THANK YOU GOOGLE] For the easter egg! :D


LOL guys :D This is awesome :DDD Yeah I found it ^^
.. who came up with the idea? ^^

For all non-techies: Google left me an easter egg in the javascript code ^^

[BREAKING] The Zuck announces Chatroulette II - dawn of the sausagefest (and dusk of the tacofest.)

Coming to a social network near you.

[removed image as it fucked up my newsfeed]

[BREAKING] Buzz layer is gone in Google Maps for Android 5.7?

Do not waaaaaant

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

[I'M SORRY] In the gutts of Google+ - Meet me in the Hangouts - Google Meeting

Ok, maybe this is old news for some of you... but don't punch me if it is old.
Seriously. I don't like to be punched!

Let's jump right in: Google didn't just build your everyday social network... no... it is more than that.
For example: the Hangouts. They are magical unicorns sh*tting rainbows and such. Just like the Nyan-Cat. But the rainbows are made of skittles. In fact, they are frickin' magical double skittle rainbows. Yep. That's how they are. I'm just sayin'.

So... now that we've set that straight, let's face a fact. Google needs biz. On Google+ and such.
And a biz needs biz tools. Because tools are made for work. Like boots are made for walking. And that's what they just do. And one day, these boots are gonna...
Yeah I'm tired and I write silly things.

So: What is the one thing on this shiny blue marble called earth that managers love the most, even more than their shiny watches and their shiny shoes?


Yup. You might now connect one or two dots here.


Huh? what is that? Is that? Could it be?
If I might decode this gibberish for you: It means "Hey is this session a meeting or a group chat?"
So it is not the same. So it must be something new, huh?
well... It seems like Business Profiles gets a naughty new toy...
fy(c,"join meeting","images/answer-call.png"))}ey(c,"ServiceIcon","images/calendar.png");

Interesting: Calendar? Might it be possible to schedule a Meeting on Hangout on calendar? I think that might be possible... could be coincidence too... I'll check the Google Calendar Code later to verify :D

"Your camera and microphone will be activated for this meeting. Okay?":"Your microphone will be activated for this meeting. Okay?"
Yep, makes sense to me.
Meetings can be obviously audio and video or audio only.

a="You can't join this meeting right now because the room is full."
And... yeah rooms can be full.. that is.. logical.

The naming convention here is pretty interesting as it points to Google Voice and as we all (or just me) know, the Google Talkgadget and the people-widget in gMail have strong ties to Google Voice :D

Well well well... things come together here...
Maybe it just uses the base-framework of Google Voice.. who knows :D

Yep, it is Google Voice!
d="You will be charged for each caller who joins. International rates may vary.<br/>"

BAM! Telephone Conferencing up to 10 calls and 10 videochats, that is pretty awesome :D
(a.Ia,"You invited too many people. The size of the meeting is 10 people, and 10 phone calls.")
"Some participants in this meeting joined via phone were invited by you. If you leave the meeting, they will be disconnected. Are you sure you want to leave anyway?"
"Enter a contact or phone number"

Texting is also possible in Meetings!!!
name:"Voice Calling and Texting in Google Talk with Meetings"
f="Please make sure you are connected to the Internet before sending a text message.";break;case "in":f="Cannot text "+(a+" because it does not look like a valid phone number."

"Google Meeting Plugin Stats"
"Getting Started with Google Talk with Meetings"
"You can find answers to all of your questioins about Google Talk with Meetings in our Help Center."
Uhhmmm typo
Oh nice... seems like it is really called Google Meeting :D
(I'm currently digging into the code while writing soooo... just follow me :D)

And here come the invitations:
g="I've invited you to an online meeting at "
"Failed to send a meeting invitation to the following people: "
(b="Sending invitations via email to <b>"+
"Users who are online and in your chat contacts will receive an instant message inviting them to the meeting. Users who are offline or not in your contacts will receive an email message. Meeting invitations will automatically include the name of the meeting, URL, your name and your email address."

Hear he, hear he! As it seems you can spectate too if there are too many people in the Meeting:
this.Rh("Due to the number of participants in this meeting, your microphone is muted by default.")};
You can also remotely mute the audio of participants if you discuss secret stuff :-O Like.. "Hey, Paul is such an asshole, we should fire him! But on Friday, so he won't do anything stupid. Statistics and stuff."
{a='Mute audio for meeting participant "

Also interesting: If you have a kind of license, you can host...
"You are the last person in this meeting with a host license. If you leave, the meeting will end automatically shortly afterwards. Are you sure you want to leave the meeting?"

So it MIGHT be a service that costs a bit.. but I'm not sure about that though.. might be included in the Google Apps license as this is coming to Google Apps:
"This group chat has users from a different domain. Be careful what you discuss.":
"You are inviting people from different domains"

Screencasts! >_< 
Uff that is so awesome!!
"Please upgrade your Google Talk Plugin to screencast."
"Share screen"
"This is an experimental UI for dogfooding screencast. This is very new. It has known issues. See release notes for more information."
'The window "'+(P(b.title)+'" is selected for screen casting, present to project it to all the members of the meeting or cancel to stop.'
Sooooorrryyyyyyy X-I

Google Talk Meeting Room Devices?!
'For Google Talk Meeting Room Devices to see the doc, pop-out the doc and click "Share Screen".'
'The document "'+(a+'" has been displayed to all participants.'
"A document has been displayed to all participants."

Share documents!
"Add documents to the meeting"
"Meeting documents failed to load."
"Meeting documents"
"One or more participants need access to this document. Click to fix sharing settings."

Presentations from gDocs
BW=new $V("docs","presentation")

Making notes during Meetings!
title:"Meeting notes"

Whiteboard functions!!!
As it seems, the whiteboard recording and the notes can be sent to others via email.


Record the Meeting? 
That seems very experimental though at the moment so it might not find it's way in the final product..
cursor:pointer; color:blue;":"color:gray;",'">Start Record</span>
<input type="checkbox" id="recordaudio" checked> <label for="recordaudio"> Audio </label><input type="checkbox" id="recordvideo" checked> <label for="recordvideo"> Video </label>

The supported stuff...
var AW=new $V("docs","embeddedDocument"),BW=new $V("docs","presentation"),CW=new $V("docs","jointlyDialog"),DW=new $V("docs","notes"),EW=new $V("docs","whiteboard"),Gha=new $V("docs","screencastcheck");

This is the most awesome stuff for Companies Google could have ever come up with! This is the ULTIMATE conferencing tool ever!!!
Google just punched every competitor in the nuts! Congrats!!!

[BREAKING] Bye Picasa (I discovered this already 2 weeks ago, but I never thought they'd actually rebrand this thing)
Hello Google Photos.

read more:

[I'M SORRY] Following the breadcrumbs of photovine.

Maybe that's just new for me, but it's interesting for sure.
As it seems, the domain name resolves to a server that belongs to Slide (owned by Google too)
and another domain (probably also one of the possible names for photovine)
Now I'm almost certain, that photovine <=> (developed by Slide and in Beta-testing already)
Even if and don't lead to the same server... I guess Google changed the name because of these guys:

If you compare my prediction here:
With the features of the poolparty-app from Slide, I'd say: Case closed.

I'm just sayin'.

The Buzz on Plus: Grouping reshares and merging comment-streams

Yeah yeah, here we are again. Nagging me. No, actually it is not me that brought this up as an issue, but... I've to admit, that it IS kinda annoying.
People just looooooooooooooove to reshare all kind of silly things. and when there are those (I've to admit) funny GIFs out there... they spread like insane in my activity stream, clogging everything. so, crap.. what should we do about that?
Well, I thought about 3 different approaches:
Stacking, Merging and Linking.

Here's the stack:

The Stack has the advantage that the posts can have individual discussion threads. (basically that's how Reader and Buzz works now)

The merge:

The merge shows all thoughtful kitten-comments at first glance and features a combined discussion stream

And the link:

The link has the smallest footprint and can gather all comments in one stream

Now this doesn't just work for cute kitten videos, but also for very smart and clever posts that are worth to be discussed. Plus: The author gets feedback from all reshares as the reshares are basically just a link to the original post.

The only issues to solve are the privacy ones... but public posts should be no problem here.

It'd be also possible to make a post "link only" ... basically it allows resharing but the comments all go to the original post
(alternative/soft version of resharing disabled)
As my previous post, this is an idea that you can freely reuse... just gimme credit if you do


The Buzz on Plus: A solution for semi-threaded comments (not necessarily for Plus)

Some people on Plus have a certain wish: Threaded comments.
Well... I'm not a big fan of threaded comments and I don't like the thought of a tree-view in the limited space that we have for the comments on plus.. so I thought about a different solution:
Highlighted threads

I still don't want any threaded comments as I am not sure about their usability. I don't like the disqus system as the depth is limited anyway and stops the conversation at some point (MEH!!)

This is a GENERIC solution, that is a template for social networks in general. It is a rather complicated approach, but if done right, very beneficial in some usage cases. I've missed a few points though. Inline +/@ replies will still be possible as the end of a comment reply is marked by a hit on TAB... and the automention should also be inline, I just drew it differently to have enough space to label the fields and mark the textbodies....
on the left side there is a tree version of a threaded comment system for comparison.

I know it is ugly :P
The idea is free to use, but gimme credit, that'd be nice.
p.s. I'm not sure if I'd want to see threaded comments on Google+ at all. I'm rather skeptic...

Monday, July 4, 2011


Thanks for your visit :D I'll have to confirm if the last article (now not accessible anymore) might be obsolete or not.. thanks for your understanding :D

Sunday, July 3, 2011

[I'M SORRY] A hotpot tastes better with awesomesauce. Places gets a boost.

Ok, I should stop checking Google code before I go to bed. I always end up writing a blogpost about awesome stuff.
I posted today, that the social revolution just begun. I was right.
Beware: It might be, that I simply do not know these things already exist.. so, don't kick me if I'm all Captain Obvious and such.

Today on the menu: Hotpot

As it seems, Google is kinda mindreader as it guessed very well what's on my wishlist for Places... soooo shall we walk through what I found? I bet you want to know what G's got cookin' ;)

The Punchline:
"Rate your world."

Overview over all ratings
"Your ratings, reviews and public maps created on all devices",
You can also lookup nearby places on the desktop version:
"Nearby places"
And also interesting:
"Recommendations for here or to go?"
e="Search with recommendations on "+('<a target="_blank" href="'+O(a.Uh)+"?q="+ng(a.T)+'">Google Maps</a>.'
"Find the party: rate nearby "+(h+("bars</a>, "+(k+("pubs</a> and "+(l+"nightlife</a>."
Good hint, that's what I did: Rate your past!
"Rate your past: search for cities you've lived in and start rating."
Enter a category near a familiar neighborhood and city to start rating places you know.

Social Stuff
Google gives you a short overview over the benefits of rating Places:
"Rate places and add friends to get personalized recommendations whenever you search for places on Google.",
"Recommendations in search on all devices, based on your ratings, reviews and public maps"
"Your recommendations aren't just in Google Places. They come with you every time you search for places on Google: in Maps, in Place Search, and on your mobile phone.'
"Start by rating the places you know, good and bad. With each rating, we learn a bit more about your tastes, so you'll get better recommendations the next time you search."
"Add friends to discover their recommendations and share your own."

Here is my favorite part:
"Rate places in more neighborhoods and cities. Add friends who travel the globe. When you explore and rate together, you'll always have a trusted guide wherever you go."

And the best... Friends can rate your recommendations too :) So if you recommend something, they give you feedback too so to say... If they didn't like the ice-cream-kingdom for example.
"Receive email when a friend rates a recommendation from you (places you rated)"
N,d="Add friends to get better recommendations and share your own. Friends will receive a notification to add you back. "
The people like you discovery isn't new, but ... well :)
"People like you"
e="See "+('<a target="_blank" href="'+ HERE COMES THE USERNAME +'">'+(O(e.zl)+"'s recommendations</a> on a map."
places in common with you

Options (each one of them checkboxes)
"Allow Google Places to send me email notifications"
"Receive periodic Google Places newsletter with personalized recommendations and latest stats."
"Send your friends email when you rate a place they recommended (places they rated)"
"Receive email when a friend rates a recommendation from you (places you rated)"

You guys like sharing. I know that... because sharing is caring... so I give you: Twitter integration directly in Places:
<span class="hp-connect-twitter-dialog hp-dialog-title-text">',"Connect to Twitter",'</span>

"Select the Twitter account you'd like to connect Google Places to:"

"Note: By sharing your ratings to Twitter, your Places nickname ("+(O(a.bp)+") will be discoverable from your Twitter stream.");

'Or connect to <a class="hp-link" href="javascript:;" id="hp-connect-another-twitter">another Twitter account</a>.'
You can connect multiple Twitter accounts too (I guess) and they show you a neat little preview how the tweets will look like:
"How this will appear:"
They still use the old Twitter account named hotpot as it seems :)

You can upload photos for places now!
,"Upload a photo",
Images have to be approved though (I like that very much :D)
<div class="hp-place-attribution hp-place-image-pending"><a href="',O(a.Rh),'" target="_blank">From you, pending approval</a></div>

Google's friendly privacy reminders:
new N,d="Your ratings of places are <b>public on the web</b> with this nickname. "
If you haven't used Google Places yet: You can use a nickname instead of your real name :) Neat huh? So the cook won't spit in your food the next time he sees your name on the reservation after giving a shitty rating.

Of course Google gives you the ultimate Opt-Out if you want:
"Delete all your reviews. Are you sure?"
"Are you sure you would like to delete all ratings and reviews in Google Places together with your starred places and dismissed places? This operation cannot be reversed."
'Deletion process started. The number of remaining items to delete are: <span id="hp-delete-all-dialog-remaining-count"></span>. This process cannot be cancelled.'

Google Places gains some neat features:
Sharing to twitter from the website, uploading photos of places, email digests and email alerts for ratings etc.
They want to make it also attractive for the Globe-Trotters...
Only thing I didn't see yet was a ratings-tab on Google+/Google Profiles and I'm missing the "Share rating to Google+" thingy... but it seems... Awesome :D

The Buzz on Plus: Simple solution for the GIF pest

Here is my solution for GIF motion sickness:
On upload or link, extract the first frame of the GIF animation and merge it with a png overlay.
Display the generated image and replace picture with the original animated GIF onClick.

A toggled onClick would also be possible, to play and stop the animation infinite times if wanted :D

And the best:
I made the entire awesome presentation in Google Docs! WHOOOHOOO!

Just kidding, it's ugly.

The Buzz on Plus: pros, cons and a wishlist

So, this has been an awesome, productivity-devastating week so far and I've to honestly say.. I enjoyed every single minute of it!
I'll just make a summary of my experiences... I still didn't make use of all features, but I'll cover what I can cover for now.. Finally I'll add a section of some interesting wishes or suggestions of my dear friends from Buzz/Plus :)

Should we start now? :)

First: My expectations and the reality

Well during my hunt for clues, I made a LOT of assumptions. Some were quite close to reality, some weren't so much, but I pretty much felt the direction it was going. What I absolutely DIDN'T expect was the great interface that simply blew my mind.

Yeah I was missing this big puzzle-piece of the main consumption stream... but I didn't expect it to be a whole new site that really is a fully featured social network on top of the framework I discovered.
The layout is clean and neat, providing all useful information at first glance.

Being based on Google Buzz, it features a lot of cool functions I already knew from buzz, like bumping posts for example. Google made a few change recently and reduced the bumping due to the complaints of the Facebookers and Twitter-people who are simply not used to the mute function and don't have their circles set up properly yet.

mute. it exists.

Another great feature are the Circles (oh wonder). It provides the possibility to create several separate "micro-networks" that are isolated from the public stream. This enables you to share information just with the people you want to share with. Additionally, it helps to completely get rid of the clutter problem, that happens when you have way too many people posting way too many things at the same time.
IMPORTANT: The circles thing is nothing personal, it helps reducing clutter... so if someone doesn't add you, it doesn't mean he or she doesn't like you! They will still enjoy your comments etc... so don't be bummed if someone doesn't follow you back. Keep interacting, maybe he/she will follow you another time :)

As you can see, I'm way behind schedule to set up my circles properly, but we won't discuss that here now ^^

The circles can overlap (meaning: some persons can be member of several circles at the same time), but they are not hierarchically organized.

A lot of people currently fuck their brains with all sorts of rocket-science diagrams and produce a problem that isn't there. Google circles are one-dimensional. There is no parent-child system here... I'd suspect that a more complicated system would be counter-productive, as it would confuse people and lead to a higher error-rate which is a NO-GO in terms of privacy. If people start making mistakes configuring privacy, the whole success of the platform is at risk, because the blood-thirsty media just loves dryhumping the legs of exaggerated privacy concerns.
I'd make a hierarchical system optional at best... Yeah for us techies it might be awesome to construct something that is useful but also complicated... we are used to severe frustration, but people do not like it when they screw up and feel dumb. They blame everything and everyone else for their mistakes, so I'd be cautious about that. Ham Zed and Rich Griese have a few good theories about that though, check them out!

Ok, there is also the hangout function and a shitload of other awesome stuff that others already covered to a sick extent so I will start complaining and such now. no, not really :D

Ok, things that are important for me:

I want my bumping posts back!
I can't rely on the notifications as I get about 10 new ones per minute... so, I'm pretty fucked if someone who follows me makes a comment on my post and it doesn't bump... I just miss it. (not good.)
I love every interaction with the people on Plus, even the silly kind of interaction...
I do understand that most people who are not FriendFeed people or Buzzinga's (yeah I just made that up) get all confused by the bumping messages... They see the same stuff again and again, become desperate, roll on the floor, crying to the heavens, begging for mercy... so what I'd do is a simple option to enable switching between a
  • chronological timeline
  • important-bump
  • all-bump
  • custom
Chronological... I hope I don't have to explain how that works...
Important Bump only bumps what is worth to bump (let's say people who are in your circles can bump posts in your timeline)
All Bump is the bumpedy bump goodness we all (and with all I mean the awesome Buzzwarriors) know from Buzz, where everything just bumps like a huge happy bouncy-castle full of happy posts.
Custom: That's the interesting part!
It would be awesome if you could set the bumpiness of every circle: Friends can bump, Ex-Girlfriends can't, Family can bump, Followers can't, people outside circles can't bump... A toggle function to toggle bumping for every circle... like toggle. for every circle... individually. Bump. Did I already say Bump?

The fixed scrolling notification bar... would be awesome if it could be toggled in the settings! So you have always access to the notification on top, even if you scroll.

Make the Stream toggle-able..
Uhm... it would be great if you could switch on and off several circles from appearing in the main consumption stream instead of having to choose one single stream! that would also reduce the overcomplicated overlapping circle-madness people experience when they brainfuck themselves to death with social circle mad cow disease...
So, my shot would be: clicking on the label Switches to the Stream of a certain circle and clicking on the Icon toggles the visibility for the stream :)

One awful bug I experienced lately, is the edit-bug. If you edit a comment and someone comments under you on the same post, it kicks you out of edit mode and the modifications are lost (that makes me a sad sad panda :( )

For some odd reason I sometimes can't open the first notification in my notification window thingy! MEH! :(
But I guess they'll fix that some time soon...

Please let me get rid of Siegler!
There is currently no way to kick suggestions forever from the Suggestions-box :( And I know you guys like to screw with me :D  
EDIT: OnMouseOver there is a little X, however Siegler keeps turning up again, haunting me... maybe just a glitch for now o.O

Same would be great for the "incoming" tab. I don't want to move everyone to a circle as (until you implement my awesome toggle function) they will show up in my stream... And I don't want to block them. For example: some people just post in Chinese and my Mandarin seriously sucks at the moment, so you might see the issue here... if incoming would be kinda extension of the suggestions box, displaying the people's (new followers) last posts, it would save me the trouble of going to their profiles, checking if they are providing updates in a language I can understand... Add a dismiss button to the incoming tab and... BOOM! it would be awesome! :D
oops, wrong user.

Active hangouts (idea by Stephanie Wanamaker)
I like the idea to make a small list of the active hangouts of your closest friends on the right side under the "Start new hangout" button!
See my awesome illustration skills? It is fricken art yo!

PlusOne a Permalink
And I mean a REAL plusone
Steph and many others brought that up... The +1's on Google+ are not the same as +1's on the web, that's why they don't show up in the +1 tab on the profile.
Back in Buzz I made an extension (see BuzzOne) that let you +1 the permalink of a buzz, so you could mark a very good post for others to show up highlighted in Google's social search. That's what I'm missing here.

A lot of people are confused by the difference between the +1 on the web and the +1 on Google+... I'd suggest a optical differentiation to make it easily understandable, that the buttons might have the same name, but they don't serve the same purpose.
A hidden +1 button next to the permalink would be an Option to +1 a public post for the Social Search.

Share Posts from Reader (Trench Coat's idea)
Sparks is fine and all that, but sharing a post directly to Google+ from Reader, that would be really great!
can I haz plus?
And... while we are at it, please add plusOne to reader, so I can +1 articles directly in Reader (see my ReaderPlus+ extension)

Better integration of Reader (by Staci Finch Thomson)

Stacy pointed out that a better integration of reader into the Google+ System would be something very important. As Sparks seems kinda work in progress, Reader would benefit from additional sorting possibilities like the Circles System (well a finding in the Google+ code hints to that anyways (c.append("Google Reader user")).

Also great would be a discuss on plus button, where you can link an article to post on Google+ (see my Discuss on Buzz extension)

Nice URL's (that are sure to come, but just to mention.. by Carl Saggs)

Instead of simply for example (just like on Buzz). But I guess the Google-guys are on it already.

Fix the mail-link bug (by Rich Griese):
Mailto: links do not work :(

Add Huddle Support to the Web-frontend (by Jef Kazimer):

I know that Huddle is primarily focused on Group-Messaging on mobile, but once you come home, it would be nice to continue the conversation on the desktop (as it is less of a pain in the ass to type on a real keyboard, if available).

Filtering Notifications by Type (by Pancho Eliott):

Filtering the notification by Type (and maybe filtering the Activities in the Stream by type when more Activity types are implemented, like connected Sites/feeds) would be a valuable addition to reduce the clutter. (+1's, comments, mentions etc)

BUG: hanging out with Obama (by Tyler Gillies):
If some celebs hang out and you share the activity, the post says that you hung out with them. Heh. Hanging out with Weiner. :P

Tune into a Hangout (by bish s):
It would be great if, for example Vic Gundotra hosts a hangout and the places are full, others could tune in (Audio only, Audio/Video) to listen to an interesting Session, when the Hangout is explicitly marked as public. (like a Live-Podcast/Vidcast)

Hashtags for the Search function
That doesn't need to be explained. It would be nice to tag stuff in a way.

Ok, that's all I'll cover for now.. there are a lot of great Ideas out there but I've to cover those another time... In a second post probably!
I'm exhausted so sorry for the short end..