Our Communities

Track business & personal expenses

Tracks and stores in your choice of accounting system.

Just type #expense followed by the details of your purchase and it will be logged into coinr with a date time stamp, location and who incurred the expense automatically.

Add the name of the merchant e.g. @exchangecafe and the names of the people you were with to meet your personal and business record keeping requirements for tax purposes. Using a name adds it to your contacts list. You don’t need to use complex twitter handles, just use the language you prefer e.g. @pete @laura and coinr will learn who you mean over time and auto-enable smart connections.

Click ‘lists’ to see all your expenses in one place.

Click ‘Account’ then select ‘Cloud Settings’ from the menu to automatically push your expenses to your favourite personal, small business or enterprise accounting system.

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Congratulations: Snake The Planet

One of the earliest coinr guys who has been a big contributor to our technology infrastructure is an amiable ex-Brooklyn ex-Intel dude now based most of the time in Sydney.

Nick has done a recent stint with a team of outdoor artists engaging public space with amazing tech wizardy combining interactive software (the classic game of snake) and light.

Basically it is a huge interactive projection on the side of buildings, with an important twist – it auto-detects the natural features around it and incorporates them into the game!

Media artists and computation designers like Nick and his mates are leading a new form of collaboration with a guerrilla street element that really change the street-scape.

They say they have an artisan’s relationship with their code. I say it is more fun than a side-alley pop-up!

Their latest work with MPU Labs is awesome, check out the Snake the Planet video.

Coinr is dropping support for IE

We have spent a bit of time looking at the Microsoft Internet Explorer support for HTML 5 and basically decided it is not worth it. We are dropping IE effective immediately.

After too many years of pandering to Microsoft’s proprietary ways we have had enough.

Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox are all excellent browsers and we want to support the migration of the world to better browsers with the best support for open standards. We will also give the Opera browser some love.

Basically we are writing the app to support the standard and putting minimal effort into individual implementations.

End of rant. Commencement of joy.

RIP Steve Jobs – Wonderful Inspiration

Apple Inc is booming, that is well documented so we won’t discuss it here.

This post is to farewell a great man whose impact will be measured in millions of lives in the next generation

Steve Jobs died three days ago and twitter is still running at 100 per minute, more personally I have been trying to decide how I feel about his death. It is an unusual combination of certainty and uncertainty. Certain it is important, uncertain how.

Firstly, it is remorse, not like a family member or friend or even respected business technology colleague. I never met the man but it is a combination of the above in small part plus a heck of a lot more.

Steve faced uncertainty too, he didn’t always know precisely what the finished products he designed would look like, however he had a vision and smart people around him to execute. Like we are with coinr I suppose. He even disclaimed apps at the launch of the iphone and then embraced them less than six months later to create, lead and define the global mobile app marketplace.

He did know however, and was able to visualise in immense detail the product in many cases, like the early macs, his visualisation skills and demands for attention to pixel level detail were legendary. Some things he shared with his only kindred hero, the inventor of the Polaroid instant camera.

Probably most of all though, Steve Jobs was differentiated and valued because of his ability to distill, refine and communicate a useful vision then lead people who respected him to execute.

Read that last sentence again, the world needs more people who have those skills in one brain.

I started with an Apple IIe (Europlus) when I was 12 or so, as a user, then programmer and maybe fan. This was followed by a successful career in real-time trading technologies and echoes some of the skills and experience in the coinr team today. Probably interesting is we all like macs and use imacs but have deep windows and/or unix experience.

Personally the non-Apple path was (after that early start) nearly 35 years long before returning as an unlikely ‘Apple fanboy’ only a few years ago entirely except for some corporate and government client work.

This was a surprise to me personally but no surprise to millions of people globally because something new was in the water at Apple – Steve Jobs had returned and was getting traction. As a team here at coinr (and as individuals) there is no doubt we recongnised this more than most and chose to really convert, we have every product they have released in recent years, usually many. Coming from a very pure applied science degree, with that much experience, it was an informed decision.

Put simply Steve was finally getting it largely right.

One tribute said ‘he leaves behind his family and 49,000 employees’. I believe he started out with neither and also left behind hundreds of millions of fans.

I used the words unique (or differentiated) and valued to describe Steve. Those measures are also an important business modelling method I deeply respect and advocate. a business model Steve Jobs invented or at least popularized. Value on one axis and differentiation on the other, bozos are bottom left, success freaks are top right, the other two corners are bound to die in price wars or win a worthless segment.

Steve Jobs was an autodidact, lifetime self educator, like myself and so many people I respect, though I didn’t know what an auto-didact was when I first heard he use the term many years ago, it made me realise again the value of life time learning.

Steve was not just teach or learning, he was helping us learn how to learn.

Of course his contributions to education are well documented, but I suspect very strongly we won’t realize the lasting impact he has had for some generations.

He was a father, like myself, not sure if he was a good one but from his public communications like the amazing Stanford address (if you haven’t seen it then google it and watch it twice), it is likely he was innovative in all aspects of life including multi-dimensional caring for his family. I am speaking to the graduating class of my old university UTS tomorrow, it is not Stanford but it is right up there down under. I think long term (think half a life time or more supporting causes you care about in the ways you have available to you (not just money but time and meaningful thought) are a great measure of what made Steve Jobs a great human being.

He was an enigma.  I doubt anyone sets out to be an enigma unless advised by their PR agent and in that case they are likely to fail eventually due to lack of natural substance.  I don’t know if I am an enigma but I know some of the products and companies I have led certainly are or were. No doubt coinr will continue to be one until we really launch enough features for people to recognize the way we hope to redefine our chosen space. Lets hope we can grow and develop some natural substance.

I’d be ecstatic to have anything I am involved with develop even 1% of Steve Jobs’ gravitas.

Steve was an innovator, but often times his innovation was the refinement of the work of others and the ability to integrate that in a manner others had not. Siri is an example of this, his last probably. This iPhone voice activated virtual assistant may succeed where others haven’t but certainly there are dozens of early examples where the ultimate measure of success – usage – proves he has been unique in the history of the world.

Mobile web browsing combines some of the most amazing international technology standards, skills, markets, companies and technologies mankind has even seen. Microsoft beat Apple to the market by the better part of ten years but it was Steve’s invention that drove acceptance to 87 times more effective adoption levels than Microsoft  based on some Cooper Sydney research we did years ago about nine months after the iphone launch.

Adoption was his success. Advocacy was his hallmark. Yet he was adopted himself and his original advocates his parents failed him.

In a world where every Windows PC is bombarded with security risks and virus attacks, his creations enabled diversity and enable some greater sense of safety.

In a world of incessant incrementalism by well intended people without systems thinking skills, Steve led the way by refining and removing ‘noise’, integrating and simplifying. Saving time and improving quality of life.

His tough commercial approach is less well documented, but it is probably his focus on time over money on real usage over shipped product, and on execution over research that defines it better than budgets, forecasts or other droll accounting terms.

Farewell Steve, we hope the world can collect and retain some of your principles and that your main legacies (and those that steer them) will continue as effective, innovative role models for other companies, products and individuals.

RIP Steve Jobs 1955-2011.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

For years I thought SOA was an architecture and associated methodology that was largely pie in the sky designed by large technology service providers to generate recurring professional services revenue and ensure captive corporate clients.

However now that web standards and open source technologies have made a major impact on the proprietary technology stacks used in most corporates, the world has changed, skills are widely available and technology diversity is an everyday reality (or nightmare might be more accurate).

Personally, I think that not only has the time for SOA arrived but it has crept up and become part of the mainstream without people formally discussing it or agreeing it, sort of like SMS abbreviations were just organically adopted by some people and went mainstream but if a bunch of geeks declared the LOL, ROFL or LMAO standards they would be derided.

So, in the spirit of recognising and building on the shoulders of giants, it is important to mention the SOA Manifesto which, while widely noted was not widely formally adopted. We have adapted and prioritised it slightly here as –

The ‘Business Centric’ or ‘Six Peas’ version of the SOA Manifesto

Paradigm Payback (3 layers)

Service orientation is a paradigm that frames almost every business technology management strategy and implementation decision.  Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is a type of architecture that results from applying this paradigm. Applying service orientation helps organizations consistently deliver sustainable business value, with increased agility and cost effectiveness, in line with changing business needs.

Prioritise Pragmatically (12 items)

Value the items on the right, but value the items on the left more –

  • Business value over technical strategy
  • Strategic goals over project-specific benefits
  • Intrinsic interoperability over custom integration
  • Shared services over specific-purpose implementations
  • Flexibility over optimisation
  • Evolutionary refinement over pursuit of initial perfection

Principled Process (14 points)

  • The scope of SOA adoption can vary. Keep efforts manageable and within meaningful boundaries
  • Verify that services satisfy business requirements and goals
  • Evolve services and their organization in response to real use
  • Separate the different aspects of a system that change at different rates
  • Reduce implicit dependencies and publish all external dependencies to increase robustness and reduce the impact of change
  • At every level of abstraction, organize each service around a cohesive and manageable unit of functionality
  • Respect the social and power structure of the organization
  • Recognise that SOA ultimately demands change on many levels
  • Products and standards alone will neither give you SOA nor apply the service orientation paradigm for you
  • SOA can be realized through a variety of technologies and standards.
  • Establish a uniform set of enterprise standards and policies based on industry, de facto, and community standards.
  • Pursue uniformity on the outside while allowing diversity on the inside.
  • Identify services through collaboration with business and technology stakeholders.
  • Maximize service usage by considering the current and future scope of utilization.

With full credit to the original SOA Manifesto (of which we are a signatory) and the associated team of authors. This declaration is about to celebrate its second birthday in a couple of months and I think the SOAM era is now well under way.

Coming Soon

We did some benchmarking last week of the new features. Looks like volumes of around 100 million to 650 million transactions per day are very achievable on our infrastructure as is today.

This is no mean feat so of course we celebrated on Friday evening. More importantly, we can now focus on rolling out features.

You will notice the site now has a ‘first page’ called drop-keep that captures information (we call them drops or coin drops) sort of like messages or status updates on other social media.

Some people hear these strange terms and think WTF?  Why should I use coinr?  We have found most people ‘get it’ very quickly once they try it.

Coinr is private of course, unless you specifically tell it to share with a closed audience or to make it public via social media (including coinr).

The site also now has a proper coinr home page with icons representing the many many new apps that are coming soon.

So who is using coinr?

We are a still a fair way from launching coinr but are quietly testing limited functions in the wide to test our end to end architecture, performance and real-world conditions.

For simplicity we are being pretty choosey about who hears about it and the browsers we are supporting (think yahoo A grade browsers plus a bit).

Probably of most interest is the self-selecting that is occuring with our users being more technically aware (and up to date than most). For example, the windows operating system fell to 5th on the league tables which are dominated by android in 1st and the apple platforms taking up most of the rest of the space.