Camera Sensors And Pixel Size

With the new Nexus 5X and 6P as well as Samsung’s S6, Android phones are finally taking some impressive photos. Google has emphasized the importance of the 1.55 micrometer sensor pixels and most blogs have picked up on the importance of the larger pixel size and run with it. All things being equal, larger sensor pixels will allow better low light photos as well as reduced motion blur at the cost of fewer total pixels in the final image. Given that smartphone cameras are usually 12mp or more (above what the typical user needs), the trade off makes sense. Continue reading

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Scrum Is Embracing Change

It seems like most startups and even many larger companies have adopted some form of agile software development with scrum being very prominent. Although the degree to which “true” scrum is properly followed varies, many younger software engineers haven’t ever had to experience heavyweight methodologies such as waterfall. Continue reading

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Never Blame users

A good software company has to be driven by users. That doesn’t mean the company is driven by what a project manager, product owner, CEO, etc. thinks users want. This knowledge comes from actually working with real users throughout the process from the brainstorming phase through and after deployment. This process is called User Centered Design (UCD, sometimes called Human Centered Design to emphasize that not everyone who impacts the product is a user). Continue reading

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The Internet, Privacy, Google, and Apple

Online privacy is a funny thing. There is largely an expectation of anonymity that people don’t have in the physical world. For instance, if you go in to a store and ask for help finding clothes you might be interested in, the employees can look at you and instantly gather demographic data (approximately how old are you, do you look like a man or a woman, etc.). They can even tell what you’re already wearing to get a sense of what clothes you presumably like already. This is generally considered good because a teenage girl walking into the clothing store doesn’t want to be shown to the “old man” section; she wants to know whats trendy in the groups she identifies with. Continue reading

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UX Issues: Ubuntu Edition

As my interest in user experience has increased over the years, I’ve become overly aware of all the little issues in products that I use. In general, UX issues cause confusion and frustration and increase the amount of effort required to accomplish a goal. These particular issues are minor things in Ubuntu Linux (and, in some cases, other operating systems as well) that are relatively trivial to fix from the user’s perspective yet they’ve been problems for a long time. Continue reading

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