Friday, December 16, 2011

Chrome browser cookie exceptions, howto

Google's fast, new Chrome browser has a development process that seems to fix problems rapidly.

An unmet need in the user interface, however, is explicating (right on the page) how to enter domains for cookie handling exceptions.

The proper way to be secure (though you may disagree) IMHO follows:

* Wrench-Options-Under the Hood-Content Settings-Cookies.
* Select, `Block sites from setting any data'.
* Check, `Block third party cookies from being set'.
* Check, `Clear cookies and other site and plug-in data when I close my browser'.
* Click, `Manage Exceptions...'.
* Add and delete hostname patterns until you see what you like.

The problem is, it gives no subdomain examples. Per one bug report, the user cannot figure out the right syntax to enter them. Without adding the right subdomains, navigating to mysteriously redirects us in a loop.

Its unusual wildcard syntax, for Google blogging, is:


The brackets must be entered explicitly. In other words, they do not merely indicate optional content.

Some kind of, `"Learn more" about the pattern syntax' link would be awesome.

Explicitly also, one could enter all the relevant subdomains (which is appropriate for some domains):

Copyright (c) 2011 Mark D. Blackwell.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lean Startup book thoughts

Have you read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries yet? good summary.


Entrepreneurs are everywhere, he says, even in large, stolid, companies -- true even of IBM! I hope they exist, where you are now. Disruptive innovation might come from competitors.


Just now, in the Amazon preview, I read the book's introduction. I see the book's epilogue: 'Waste Not'. That is so key! (to me, also).

Paraphrasing Ries: startup success, thus changing the world, is exciting. Let's not waste vision, passion and energy.


'A new kind of accounting, designed for startups.' Like any accounting, it's good for measuring categories we want to watch, like how much is devoted to experimentation on customers.


Good to have '[c]ross-functional teams ... accountable to learning milestones ... instead of [specializing people in] ... functional departments.' Good to suggest things across functions. Good to set up a Lean Startup culture and systems.


Lean Startup circle
Lean Startup at
Lean Startup Wiki

Good to connect socially with the Lean Startup people.


The book's graphs show manufacturing trending downward greatly these last ten years. With much borrowed money, he says we have been throwing our excess effort into many failed products. Hm, a recent Ries post says we are in a software development 'summer', but sometime a 'winter' will come.


'Startups exist to *learn* how to build a sustainable business.'

With 'Build-Measure-Learn', steering to the 'destination[:] creating a thriving and world-changing business.' What a good idea!

Are we developing our own companies on Lean Startup principles?


Like 'Zappos' [experiment,] ... a clear, quantifiable outcome: either a sufficient number of customers would buy or they would not.'

We might 'put [ourselves] in a position to interact with real customers and learn[.]' Right now, we could put a question on a website (and publicize it): are you (anyone browsing) interested in an app (of any kind) to do this?


He says plausible-sounding management theories, even seemingly reasonable (including legacy ones derived from manufacturing), are only as good as how well their predictions work.

Legacy practices (of 'good market research', even 'solid strategy') don't work when there is extreme 'uncertainty'. '[C]haos ... doesn't work either.'

'[N]ew product development ... routinely [and obviously now] requires ... [that which from a manufacturing perspective is] failure to plan adequately[,] failure properly to execute [the plan and a temporary] failure to deliver results ... on the way to greatness.' In other words, people (who learned the manufacturing paradigm) do resist.

Ries, quoting Scott Cook, 'Moving leaders from playing Ceasar with their thumbs up and down on every idea to --instead --putting in the culture and systems so that teams can move and innovate at the speed of the innovation system.'

Emphasizes he does not (just) do whatever customers say, interestingly, but focuses 'on what customers want (without asking them)'. That jibes with (my) experience: customers usually aren't good (naturally) doing breakthrough, useful, product imagining and creating.


'Validated learning.' 'Scientific method.' It's great to see actual science entering into business management. BTW, science in general took a long time to overcome human nature and be adopted, just as (in particular) it did in business management.

'[O]ne ... lesson ... of the scientific method: if you cannot fail, you cannot learn.'


Ries highly recommends The Four Steps to the Epiphany, 'the original book about customer development': dog-eared in his IMVU days.

Copyright (c) 2011 Mark D. Blackwell.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

One-click registration on websites belonging to phone apps

Recently, gmail passed me this advert (just for example). It is for a programming competition site that (incidentally) offers one-click registration (you know, while signed into other prestigious sites).

In most websites created for phone apps, user registration is better if it's one-click (in addition to signin). Sites (as above) do this in order to facilitate acting on impulse. (I'm not telling you anything you already don't know.)

In just two clicks (total!), users can register at the new website (even before buying the phone app) while they are skimming (or reading) posts or articles about the phone app's general topic (or smartphone technology), from a link which mentions some jazzy, new, tech feature. Generating this kind of news is something popular bloggers love to do. And it increases the phone app's mindshare.

Plausibly, in this way (huge) numbers of people would have an emotional commitment for trying-and-buying that phone app, and some would do so. If they are browsing in their smartphone, in one click they can purchase (and download) the app. Synergy! because websites are linked in ... well, a web.

People who use information aggregators (some generated by grassroots online communities, like my friend M) would (in their instream) see links to this new website, and inform their friends the same way. Thus will social synergy cause an explosive chain reaction!

One-click registration transfers (part of) the reputation of a very popular website, onto the new website.

After a person has gone through the effort of deciding to register themselves (and their personal information) on a popular website, and thus trust it, they desire also to trust (on the web) wherever else that (particular) website automatically allows them to register.

With the first website, we are in a 'community,' or have established a relationship. This leverages the natural human tendency to trust anyone referred to us, by a trusted other. Communities are a strong part of (genetically programmed) human nature.

This level of referral trust seems even to exceed the trust from (simple) hyperlink clicking. Perhaps what is called, 'cognitive dissonance' also plays a part.

Copyright (c) 2011 Mark D. Blackwell.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Webmaster gallery

I made a picture gallery application for webmasters who use plain-vanilla web-hosting services (particularly those with cPanel).

The webmaster uploads pictures, thumbnails and CSS to a directory, then runs the app in order to create and modify the picture descriptions. It handles later uploaded pictures just as well.

It has been installed and run successfully (using cPanel).

An art gallery (of the app's first client) is visible (actually the static pages generated).

It is written in Rails 3.

Copyright (c) 2011 Mark D. Blackwell.