Raw thoughts from Alex Dong

Android's notification center, the awful 'undefined' in javascript, peak e-book sales and Laura Poitras

Android is better – How I fell in love with Android and how you can too: My main phone is an iPhone 4s. I used Android briefly for a recent project. Are there anything I hope iOS would have? Android’s notification center. @stammy summarized it up here:

My love of Android lies heavily with the way Android handles notifications. These aren’t your useless “read-only” iOS notifications that just launch the app. I’ve thought about notifications a lot while I working on the (twitter’s) notifications team; how to keep the user in control and make it clear what each notification is actually saying.

Basically, it’s your entire phone command center.

Redefining ‘undefined’: This short post tells a fascinating story of undefined in javascript. undefined is both a “global variable”, which means it can be assigned to, and an immutable value where undefined is the only instance of the type.
If you are not confused enough, check out The Difference Between Boolean Objects and Boolean Primitives in JavaScript. The gist here is that if you create a new Boolean(false) object and use it in an if statement, you’ll get the result as if it is a true.

The flattening of e-book sales: Ebook sales growth has peaked at about 25% of total market size. The author gives 6 guesses on why this is the case. My theory is that technology evolves much faster than human beings. Once a habit is formed, it’ll be there for the rest of one’s life. The widening gaps between generations in the millennial test is a good example of how hard it is to change habits.

How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets: Laura Poitras was contacted by Snowden in January, who asked for her public key before sending out any documents. She then met him and filmed the interview between Greenwald and Snowden in HongKong, as part of her documentary on surveillance state. This article talks about her work, her personality and the very intense story that leads up to the final Snowden leak.