Devin Reams wearing a teal shirt in front of a teal sign that says 'trouble'

Howdy! I’m Devin. I’m sensibly impulsive, consistently non-committal, and passionately impartial. I’m a technologist living in Denver, Colorado.

List of potential new Apple products

If the rumors are true, Apple may be planning a new product launch to coincide with the 10th anniversary of their retail stores. The stores have been wildly successful and much of Apple’s growth may likely be attributed to them. So what can Apple release that would get bodies into the malls? What haven’t they done already? Here’s all I can come up with:

Be upfront about project timelines

When you’re looking to engage in a design or development project, it’s imperative to know and disclose your constraints. This applies to both the vendor and the client. When you ask for a table at a restaurant (without a reservation) they give you an approximate wait time: this is the vendor’s lead time. When you sit down at lunch, the waiter may ask if you need to be back at the office soon: this is the client’s deadline. The restaurant should not seat you, show you the menu, and take your order only to ask you to wait outside for two hours. By the same token, when you arrive at the restaurant you should be clear if you’re interested in the quality of food served here, or just looking for a meal within the next few minutes. There’s usually a good reason all the best restaurants have a long wait…

Crowd Favorite is hiring PHP developers, project manager

Our team at Crowd Favorite is looking to immediately add a few developers and a technical project manager. Having been with Crowd Favorite for nearly three years I’ve seen the company evolve into a world-class design and development shop. The clients, products, and most importantly, the team are all top-notch. If you’re a talented PHP developer or internet-savvy project manager in the Denver/Boulder area, you should certainly drop us a line.

Unless I hear otherwise…

Most people are drowning in email at work. Often times you’re asked to provide one of a few responses: positive confirmation (I received this, read it, understand it all, and explicitly approve), negative confirmation (I will tell you my thoughts and describe what is wrong with this), or a passive confirmation (if I don’t respond, consider everything good to go!). The trick to managing people that receive a high-volume of email is to stop sending lengthy letters looking for a confirmation, waiting days and days and days. Sometimes, in order to keep things moving or get things done without asking permission (with folks you trust, and who trust you), simply ask for a passive confirmation: “Hey John, here is the final set of comps for the landing page. Everything we discussed yesterday is shown here including the new form style and the green button. Unless I hear otherwise, we’ll go ahead and implement this on Friday.” No more response email clutter, no debate, just delete. If you did this right, you won’t get a response. Otherwise, you’ve severely done a misdoing and you’ll hear from those folks “too busy to respond” nearly immediately. ;)

My favorite gadget: JAMBOX

I’ve been using the JAMBOX from Jambone since January and it’s become one of my favorite gadgets that I didn’t know I needed until I started using it.

Why is PlayStation Network a single point of failure?

The PlayStation Network is now shut down indefinitely following a security breach. I have no problem with that fact I can’t access supplementary online multiplayer gaming. But, I can’t wrap my head around why PSN has its tentacles in every downloadable application I’ve installed. Hulu, which has its own very nice authentication system, cannot be accessed now (ever again?) because I must pass my credentials through PSN. Why is this PSN layer mandatory and in front of an application that has nothing to do with PlayStation’s network? I haven’t tried but I assume the same is true for and the Netflix app. I’m calling it: the Apple TV is much better positioned to foster the app economy and will capture the lion’s share of the “box connected to TV” market (video, games, movies) by popularizing a much better ecosystem in the 6-8 months PlayStation spends rebuilding PSN.

“Background Send Feature” in Gmail

Gmail has added a feature that returns you to the previous screen *immediately* upon pressing send. This means no more waiting until that message is *actually* sent and I love this. The idea is simple and is certainly pervasive in desktop applications: have your interface respond as if the action the user has taken has fully completed, no matter what else needs to happen behind the scenes. By adding the “Background Send” feature to Labs, the user has a faster experience and any delay is pushed out from the interface (which would potentially prevent further user interaction). Speaking from experience, this newly perceived fraction-of-a-second can be the difference between the “feel” that a web application is usable and on-par with a native application experience.

The power of Time Machine, Dropbox, and Subversion

I’ve been testing a certain unreleased [operating system]( for the past month or two and I’ve been largely pleased. That was until I ran into a nasty little bug (which has been documented to happen on Snow Leopard, too). It goes like this:

Lame ways to close an email

Over the past few years I’ve been surprised by the ways people chose to close an email. I’m not sure if everyone is aware how a few simple words can completely destroy whatever content proceeded it.

WWDC 2011 already sold out, papers might report

I’m betting “Apple’s WWDC 2011 Announced Yesterday But Sold Out As We Went to Press” is not likely to be a headline found in my local news’ Business & Technology section this morning.