Marco Islas

Yahoo really screw up with Flickr

Yahoo really screw it up Flickr for android :-(

I've been a Flickr user since 2004, 10 years since I bought my Pro account and I love the service it provides. For a long time it was pretty much the same but since Marissa Mayer took the rides of Yahoo one of the service that has received the most changes is Flickr.

Many of this changes are good changes, I love the new web interface, although is not mobile friendly it works like a charm in the desktop. Also is more picture centred without cutting any of the features that make Flickr what it is: A community for photographers.

The Flickr App was also good, still there were some bugs but in general was pretty good. They recently (a couple of days ago) released the Flickr 3.0 app for iOS and Android. They are a mayor overhaul of the app and even when the app looks prettier they did something that never, never should had done. They removed features.

Many users are complaining that there is no longer possible to add a picture to a group/set, one of the key features of Flickr (communities). Also, the main "page"shows one picture at the time of your contacts, while the version 2.X shoed several pictures in a tile.

One of the most complained changes is that now the pictures tile is a squared cropped set of pictures, many don't like this, flickr should respect the picture aspect. I do like it, it's just a simple way to present a thumbnail, but also, liked a lot to see the whole picture (in thumbnail) at the picture list.

One of the things that I'm not so happy is the new camera, it looks nice, but cropping the picture is missing, at least in the Android app. There is no way to fine tune the picture as it was before, There are no ways to add frames, just some filters, white/color balance and that's it. Just too simple to be taken serious (I'm using Snapseed by now and sharing via email).

At first look it seems that The 3.0 version is a good upgrade, but it's just a good looking featureless upgrade.

My dirty start to get a Google Drive command line client

Okay, I've started to work on a personal project, nothing too complicated just something that makes my computer what I want it to do.

I've got around 160GB of storage in Google Drive, and I'm backing up a bunch of files, most of those files are small, but there are some quite big (some hundreds of MB). If I were in a country with a good internet connection that may not a problem, but I live in Mexico and uploading those files take its time.

There is a google drive client for OS X, works nice, but the problem is that it takes files as they come, no matter the size and there are almost no options, also, it runs in a graphical way (an icon in the top bar).

There is another program, Grive which works pretty fine (I've been using this for a couple of weeks I believe), and works on the command line, the problem... it takes files as they come and if it fails you have to start it again. which takes a lot of time, it looks like it has to download the list of all files/directories from Google Drive.

So, my script, which basically just upload files/directories by now, let me skip big files (there's an option to set the limit) and there is no need to download the whole file list, which makes it to start uploading faster than the other two options.

The script is still pretty ugly, and again, does just the basic (what I need now), but I hope I can improve it to have a good google drive sync client for the command line.

My 2 cents about GNOME 3

gnome 312 stable

Here I am again talking about GNOME 3. As many of you know I loved GNOME when I was using Linux, I left the Linux desktop when GNOME was about to release GNOME 3. I used it a couple of times when I tried Linux in my MBP, it runs pretty well in the computer but the keyboard and the trackpad are not designed to be used with GNOME.

When GNOME3 appeared I was kind of skeptical about the way it worked, there were no panels, there were no more options, actually they were removed simplified. The use of GTK3, the next iteration of GTK which was in some way incompatible with GTK2 make me doubt more about the move, but still feel that GNOME had potential.

I still believe that GNOME could do its way, but they need to focus on the final user, they have lost the vision of having a desktop environment clean enough to let the user be free, and I don't mean removing things but let the user choose what they want to use and what not. The first thing that I believe they do wrong is GTK3.

GTK2 was not the best libraries for creating graphical user interfaces, but they were pretty popular and were in most UNIXes (Although in OS X they do not integrate with the system) and in Windows, the most popular desktop environments, this was super important because as a developer I want my program to run on most operating systems as it can without having to write an interface with the native GUI libraries on every OS.

GTK2 provided this, not in a perfect way, maybe QT is the king here having interfaces for Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS and Android, but still the way to work with GTK2 and having support for Linux, OS X and Windows was enough to work.

I was a GNOME lover until I left it around 2010, but most importantly I was in love with the apps that were running over it, most of the applications were written in GTK and had a port on Windows, a nice example would be Pidgin but surely was not the only one. Again this is important for GNOME a desktop environment without applications is nothing, it would be like Linux (the kernel) without all that stuff that runs over it, the shell, the GUI, the network stuff.. without it, it is just useless.

GNOME, please focus in your users, it is good that you want to keep things simple, but too simple is also ugly, and please, help GTK to be a truly multi-platform graphical interface library, that will help you a lot!,

Google Music vs me

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 8.15.16 PM

Google has updated the web player for Google Music, the music service that let you upload 20,000 songs and play them on every device you want (with your Google account) which is nothing but great!, I mean, you can have your entire collection on the net and play it via streaming on your phone, no worries about the space in the phone. Also, Google Music works as a music rental service, where you pay $9.99 USD and get access to thousands of music for you to joy.

Today they announced the mini player but more important the chance to upload music right from your browser. This is great!, the music app is not that user friendly, it lacks of a good interface and there are almost no options.

Even when my internet connection is not that great I've managed to upload around 20 GB of music that I have in my HDD, I still have it and I don't have a plan to remove it any time soon, why?, just because I didn't uploaded it to get rid of it, I've uploaded it just as a backup and to have it available in my phone.

So, am I an active user of Google Music?. In my phone yes, in my computer not. Why not?.

The answer is pretty simple, Google Music even when it looks nice, works great, all its functionality depends on the browser. I don't want to have a browser just to listen to music, also, what if I need to close all the tabs? but the most important issue I've found with Google Music (and almost all Google services), they don't interact with other services.

You just can't post to twitter what song are you listening to, and that's a killer to me. Grooveshark wins this part, you can share the song you are listening with a pretty url to that song, you can post to twitter, Facebook and even G+.

This is something that iTunes (the player I use when my internet is slow) misses too, it used to have Ping, but with applescript I've managed to get the song being played in iTunes and post it to twitter.

So, basically, why I don't use Google Music in my computer?, I don't have a desktop app and there is almost zero integration with third party services.

Google, Fix that and I'll be with you. And don't forget to do the same with Google+.

The wolf of Wall Street


Nothing, just that after one and a half week I've finally watched this movie, which even when it is pretty long (about 3 hours) is not boring and has no dead spots, I mean, you don't get bored.

Just a good movie, but still one of those movies that I'm not going to see again, It's just way too long, but primarily because is not one of those movies that you want to watch again (unless you are a wall street broker).

Every time I think about Facebook and Oculus Rift

This comes to my mind when I think about Facebook and Oculus Rift

It is actually pretty scary. More people attached to devices that requires them to be sit, quiet in a single place...


Today's topic, Microsoft via Pronuer is trying to reach Open Source and Free Software communities, the purpose apparently is to get in touch with them and help in the making of the events those communities have (FLISoL and also the Python Community here in Mexico).

There are some discussions about allowing Microsoft to get participation in this communities/events, basically because there are people that just don't like Microsoft and see it as the evil in person.

For the FLISoL (which stands for Festival Latinoamericano de instalación de Software Libre/Latin American Free Software Installation Festival) I see the point, they are trying to promote Free Software, not Open Source software although they do. And one of the points is that Microsoft is not a Free Software company, their primary products are closed source software, I haven't investigated enough to tell if they have or haven't at all a Free Software product, but I know they have contributed to some Free Software projects like the Linux Kernel.

For the Python Community, I don't get it... Python is indeed an Open Source project, but that doesn't mean that everything that is done in Python has to be Open Source. Also, it doesn't mean that closed source companies can't get involved in them. Python does run in Windows, many software that works on Windows is wrote in Python and Microsoft is in his right to help the communities around it. At the end this will translate in more Python users and quite probably more python developers using Windows (or Microsoft technologies like Azure).

I think the Python community is misunderstanding the purpose of it, having a place to meet other Python users/developers, share experiences and opportunities, even if those opportunities come from a company that distributes closed source software.

Hola, ¿tienen un momento para hablar sobre Linux?


Moto G


Because of the title of this post you already know what it is about, I've got a brand new Motorola Moto G. The most recent Motorola smartphone with a ridiculously low price. But before you star asking why did I bought it let me ask you, why not?

The Moto G is indeed a cheap device, it has a price in the US around $199USD but because of the ridiculous taxes here in mexico it is around $254USD, still cheap compared with the high end devices which are sold here for about $1200 (iPhone 5s).

But cheap in this case does not mean low quality or low specs as we are used with devices from other brands with the same price, the Moto G indeed feels like a medium to high (if not high) end if you only look at the device, which is at the end the most important thing about getting a smartphone.

In order to cut the price Motorola had to remove a lot of things that you would love in an expensive smartphone, like in the Moto X, for example, the box of this device is nothing to be remembered, the accessories are just the basic, and I really meant it, the only thing that comes with the device is a traveler charger which is not even useful to connect to the computer but to the wall.

Also the device is indeed a reduced version of the Moto X, with a lower CPU, lower GPU and without all those extra cores and sensors the Moto X have but with more than just the basic.

But with the Quad Core 1.2GHz Snapdragon, the Adreno 305, 1 GB of RAM, 5MP camera and the basic sensors the Moto G is comparable with the Nexus 4 and still cheaper. If you, like me want a smartphone with an HD screen, enough space (remember, this is a phone not a laptop or external hard drive), a decent camera, to be responsive and let you do non ultra demanding stuff (email, web, twitter, Facebook, pictures, etc..) this is your best choice.

Also, apart from the hardware side, the best part of this device is that it comes with Android 4.3 upgradeable to 4.4.2 and there's a growing community around it, which ensures a little bit longer support for newer releases even of they are unofficial.

-Sent from my Moto G

Google+ made me a video


Pretty nice, also, you are scaring to me Google...
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