December 9th, 2010

Semiformalishmaybe

Dangers of Sync

It's great that I can log in to Google Mail, use their (ugly) tool there to manage my contacts, and the changes automatically get sync'd to my Android phone within a minute or so. It is less great that because I let Google know about my twitter account, it has a bunch of redundant contacts for the same people that I can't merge into their main contact. It is MUCH less great that if I use Google Chat through Pidgin, my buddy list has that 2-way sync with my contacts, as it is too easy to delete contacts (for organisational purposes) and need to re-enter things so my phone doesn't forget half its phone numbers.

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The big moral of the story is that system policy is not always obvious, and choosing sensible defaults may be the only way to avoid confusing people with a daunting list of options but it easily can lead to gotchas (especially when people do things via APIs rather than UIs, as warnings can be slapped onto UIs). Collapse )

Today at work was spent mostly figuring out low-level Linux wireless access point software. Frustrating, but at least it's pretty much over with. If I can get the higher-level software to sit nicely on top of this, I'll have a very nice solution for a network of access points that share registrations.