Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

Marcus Sortijas's Blog (17)

America Spends More Money on Slower Internet

This article was in Bloomberg: U.S. Internet Users Pay More for Slower Service.  I've read many pieces like this, but can't help myself.  The problem is familiar.  But each time, I hope to read that a solution is brewing somewhere.  After having lived and traveled in Asia, it was disheartening to see the state of broadband here.  Discovered that my Internet in Hawaii was…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on December 28, 2012 at 9:30am — 13 Comments

Honolulu selected as a 2012 "Code for America" city

Learned of this via Twitter from Ryan Ozawa and Burt Lum: Honolulu selected as a 2012 "Code for America" city


For those who don't know, Code for America is a nonprofit that recruits talented programmers and has them build web applications for local governments.  Sort of like a Peace Corps for computer…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on August 25, 2011 at 11:30pm — No Comments

How the Internet Affects Our Memory

Quick test: what's your supervisor's cell number?  Can you recite it from memory, without looking it up on your phone?  If you can't, you're not alone. 


Although businesses are moving more and more into "the cloud," another story went unreported: our brains have already made that move.  With search engines, online databases, and web browsers that auto-fill the form fields, we rely on our own memories less and less.  That was the subject of this story in The Atlantic:…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on July 17, 2011 at 10:30pm — No Comments

The Inside Story on Google+

There has been a flood of news on Google+, which is to be expected whenever a company as big as Google rolls out a new product.  This piece in Wired may be the definitive article to date: Inside Google+ — How the Search Giant Plans to Go Social


It was written by Steven Levy, a respected tech author who also…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on July 3, 2011 at 2:00pm — 11 Comments

Trolls writing nasty comments on your site: the eternal struggle

There was a thought-provoking article by NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard, Online Comments: Dialogue or Diatribe?  She talks about the struggles in maintaining an open atmosphere with restricting the unproductive and frankly vicious attacks.


At its best, commenting builds community.  As a blogger, commenters give you updates, different perspectives, and…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on June 17, 2011 at 11:30am — 4 Comments

Whose domain name is it anyway?

One of the hardest things for me when setting up new websites is thinking up good domain names.  Not only do they have to be catchy, they have to be available.  From my experience, any good domain name that's 4 words or less is probably taken. 

Here's a great article I read about this problem: Welcome to the world of cybersquatting.  This is when someone registers…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on June 10, 2011 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

How does Facebook continuously update without breaking down? (VIDEO)

For a company devoted to making people's lives as transparent as possible, Facebook is extremely secretive.  So it was a rare treat to watch this presentation by Chuck Rossi, a release engineer: How Facebook pushes updates to its site every day.


I thought it was fascinating as Rossi showed screenshots of the myriad tools and processes used by the world's…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on June 3, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments

Are Question-and-Answer Websites like Quora the Future?

While Google is a terrific tool, it doesn't necessarily answer all our questions.  What if you have a specific situation that needs a personalized response?


That's where websites like Quora and Stack Exchange come in.  By combining aspects of forums, wikis, and social networks, these sites are trying to build human-generated, human-searchable arks of knowledge.  Wired magazine had a terrific article on this:…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on May 24, 2011 at 6:00pm — 4 Comments

Is Twitter the New Associated Press?

Cameraman at USA Science and Engineering Festival.Photo: DeusXFlorida / Flickr Creative Commons

Journalism has gotten a bad rap lately, with print publications laying off reporters and going out of business. On the bright side, some tech-savvy…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on May 17, 2011 at 12:24pm — 2 Comments

Microsoft buys Skype: what happens next?

With Microsoft falling behind Apple and Google on the telecommunications front, their acquisition of Skype is a big attempt to catch up (see NY Times article).


How will Skype change after being taken over by Redmond?  This quote gives a glimpse:

Microsoft, whose growth has been lagging, could find a lucrative revenue stream in selling…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on May 12, 2011 at 12:40pm — 6 Comments

7 Surprising Trends That Show What Tech Skills You Need to Succeed

Here's a good read for anyone job-hunting right now: 7 surprising trends that show what tech skills you need to succeed.

The findings are based on an analysis of data from, a leading website for tech jobs.  So the conclusions can be taken with a grain of salt, since it's not based…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on May 11, 2011 at 11:54am — 1 Comment

Best linkbait article ever: SEO Lessons Learned Through Pictures of Matt Cutts

Matt Cutts certainly needs no introduction to most industry pros: he's the head of Google's web spam team. In other words, he's the guy all the search engine optimization experts are trying to outsmart. Despite Cutts' exalted status, he freely shares advice through his blog, Twitter, and Google Webmaster Help videos.


SEER Interactive, an Internet marketing agency, pulled some screenshots from those videos and wrote…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on May 4, 2011 at 12:33pm — 3 Comments

In global cyberwar, the dragon emerges

The James Bond image of the dashing super-spy had little basis in reality.  Nowadays, the real spies are likely to be professional soldiers working at computers in an underground military base.


Hacking has been a topic of interest for me, ever since I read the seminal book The Cuckoo's Egg by Clifford Stoll. It's about a Berkeley astronomer who tracked down a German hacker who broke into…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on April 28, 2011 at 10:20am — 3 Comments

Will America get moving on mobile payment?

I was fascinated the first time a friend demonstrated Square to me.  She attached the card reader to the top of her iPhone, swiped a credit card through, and showed me the user interface for the transaction.  Amazing.


Any new idea clashes with old thinking.  The same thing is happening again with mobile payments.  The New York Times again had excellent coverage:…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on April 8, 2011 at 9:00am — 4 Comments

Can long-form journalism and rich media be a killer combination?

Confession: I'm a news junkie.  I like nothing better than to sink my teeth into a meaty, well-written article.  You know, those pieces that make you feel like an expert after reading them.  For a while, long-form journalism seemed to be a dying species, the victim of sound bites and 30-second video clips.


The advent of the iPad and e-readers are signs of recovery.  The real saviors may be apps like Instapaper and Read it Later, which allow users to store lengthy stories to…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on March 28, 2011 at 12:00pm — 7 Comments

Groupon: role model for startups using cloud computing had an excellent article: How Groupon uses the cloud to scale its business. I'm sure there are other startups who've done it, but Groupon is one of the most prominent businesses that have made cloud computing a core part of its strategy from the beginning.


Although the company is based in Chicago, it seemed as if they read the advice of Mika Leuck in her blog post…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on March 24, 2011 at 3:05pm — 2 Comments

Viral Marketing Case Study: Chat Roulette Love Song

Many of the best viral videos are spontaneous.  Friends are messing around and happen to have a camcorder handy.  They upload the video, and it goes viral. 


A group of media students in Denmark had a plan.  They would reverse-engineer the key elements of a viral video, and make one.


Here is the result:

If it sounds like these…


Added by Marcus Sortijas on March 22, 2011 at 10:33am — 1 Comment


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