December 24, 2005
December 13, 2005
Time for a rolling bag that fits in the overhead. Sigh. Or I should only go on trips that take up less resources than might fit in my backpack.
December 9, 2005
December 5, 2005
December 4, 2005
November 28, 2005
November 21, 2005
It is -remarkable- research, but we're not going to jacking in around anytime soon because of it. There was a presentation about this research at the McGovern Institute opening, which I was inexplicably invited to. I asked around, I still don't know who invited me. I went. It was fun. (the band, pictured above, had some very zany instruments....but I forgot their name. Update: Mass Ensemble...)
November 19, 2005
So there you go....The Tenth Doctor will be played by David Tennant, who my wife says was great in viva blackpool. He was fine with a very short role in the most recent Harry Potter movie, which was alright.
And before you ask....yes, I owned a long ass scarf, a la Baker. Completely impractical for skiing, but it was great stuff. Looked a lot like the one in Fig E. on that page. Wonder what happened to that thing...
Also, I have a zillion versions of the theme song in my mp3 archive. Bum bum bum, bum bum bum, bum bum bum bum bum bum...
November 15, 2005
November 10, 2005
Oh, one other thing, if you could make the PSP a bit uglier so I wouldn't want to buy it, that would be great too. Thanks.
November 8, 2005
The way Threadless works is that two or three designs each week are chosen from a zillion submissions by the threadless community and the designer is given I think $1000 dollars. Then they print the shirt and sell it to the same community. Simple? Sure, I guess, but they do it so well. Some great shirts!
When this happens, I can hear the rumble of the TV even through the super headphones, that's how loud it gets. Lame.
November 5, 2005
November 3, 2005
As you can see if you surf a bit online today, Yahoo launched their flash map and refreshed their maps api, so you can apparently put a map on your own webpage now instead of having to use the on on thiers. The only thing I saw that was off was the lack of satellite imagery, but that might have been that I just didn't see the widget to turn it on or not.
I love satellite imagry, its remarkable useful when you want to walk somewhere and want to make sure you are going the right way. Seeing a "familiar" landmark or building is pretty handy for that. It's also vital for finding bike trails and shortcuts.
Regardless, that comment stream is off the rails, with one softie calling for another's heads while a yahoo dude rails against the original post while random northwesterners give sushi reccomendations. Man, I'm so glad when I manage to stay out of these kinds of fights. They're so unproductive.
October 31, 2005
October 26, 2005
October 25, 2005
So, to join the chorus sung by Cory Doctorow, I think that the Book sold well likely because of the free nature of it. I hope Open Sources 2.0 (under a creative commons license) does as well....hell I hope it does much better :-)
October 24, 2005
I was reading my copy of it last night, and I have to say I think this is a pretty great book. I know, shocker, an author likes his book, but it's not really like that. As it is an essay compilation, it's not just Mark or My or Danese's natterings on about Open Source. Read it online when it goes up if you don't feel like buying it or borrowing it from a library, I think it is worth your time.
October 14, 2005
I work with Ben :-)
October 12, 2005
October 10, 2005
October 7, 2005
October 1, 2005
Today, much of a consumer's digital content is held hostage on a particular kind of device, such as an iPod or a PC, because that is the only way to prevent massive piracy. But with the SanDisk flash memory card, a consumer can move the digital content to another device. If the music company insists the data can only be copied five times, the memory card itself enforces that policy in the new device, be it a cell phone or music player.
So in essence to save you from the horrors of the Ipod drm....it moves the DRM to the chip level. This will likely break its use in non-approved devices too. Don't have a trusted player? Oh...too bad, can't listen to this music or view this image/movie. Should have thought of that before buying the new DRMemory. so ...yeah..nice use of R&D cash SanDisk. I'm guessing his is for the music company that can't wait for trusted computing. Also for you ipod fans..got a way around the itunes restriction? Oh lazyweb, save me!
September 29, 2005
September 23, 2005
That said, my pal has one of the little samsung gig super thingys which is also very cute...if a bit more cubular.
Seriously though, what a neat contest. I wish I had done something like this when I was in school. Other than that, it's been a banner week at Google. We had Jim Gettys over talking about X windows and Snap, Terry Pratchett talking about Thud! and Ray Kurzweil out talking about his new book, which is fantastic. His talk was pretty amazing too. It focuses on the advancing rate of technological change and what that might mean for us. In some ways the title, The Singularity is Near is deceptive, as the book is about so much more than that, and you can learn so much from it that you'd be crazy not to get it, read it and use it as a guide for the future. Thanks for coming and talking with us Ray!
I actually don't really like talking about this kind of thing, as it kind of sound slike bragging, but this week was really exciting. I love working here.
September 20, 2005
September 17, 2005
Good sound too, I think it uses the same sound chip as the shuffle, which I've commented on my blog about before. I did miss having a display on the shuffle, so this is just about perfect, and it fits in the strap of my backpack, like the shuffle did, so all is well in biking to work while listening to stuff land.
September 14, 2005
September 12, 2005
So it turns out that biking to work has a side bonus...completely cool pictures. I was biking along the stvens creek trail this morning when I looked up and thought that a helicopter was not just hovering that close to high tension lines ,was it? It was. The copter first dropped off a guy and two ladders (with hooks on the tops to affix to the top of the tower) then came back and dropped off another dude. It was way cool. Did I have a camera on me? Oh yes... (also on flickr)
September 8, 2005
September 3, 2005
When watching the Developers video, don't look simply at the guy on stage, look at the audience. There is where the interesting stuff is going on. Thousands upon thousands, an entire concert hall filled with em. Keep in mind that these are just the developers who were at the company's 25th anniversary celebration, likely only employees. Microsoft enjoys a larger developer network than any company has ever seen.
So, when you see Ballmer screaming his chant to the assembled audience, consider this: open source has managed, with largely a self assembled collection of disparate developers, many only workng part time, to utterly defeat microsoft in the server room. How?
Developers. Developers. Developers.
Really damn good ones. I'd say that Ballmer has a good reason to sweat.
September 2, 2005
/me goes back to work on the orbiting space laser platforms.
August 31, 2005
August 30, 2005
According to a number of site, the best number for pump capacity is 47,000 cubic feet per second, or about 22,701,000 gallons per minute. For this thought experiment, I'm assuming that the water is pumpable (ie, at the mouth of the pump). Reality won't bear that one up, but anyhow.
About 181.6 square miles, or 119,040 acres, will be submerged to a depth of 12 feet. There are 325,851.427 gallons to the acre foot, so the total water in the basin is about 465,472,246,441 gallons. Looks like a lot of water, to be sure. This amounts to about 15 straight days of pumping. Most of these conversions courtesy of Google Calculator, which actually knows Acre Feet!
1) The pumps will not be able to run full bore, they will certainly get clogged with debris and require frequent maintenance.
2) The basin is not uniform.
3) The levees will take some time to repair.
4) The pumps will have to be powered up, and electrical power delivery will be tricky.
The solutions (pure, sci-fi speculation)
1) Maybe more pumps can be brought online..
2) Levees could maybe be fixed by sinking old single skin oil tankers filled with sand/cement and dropping those massive sandbags (3000lb ones) as filler. Fill em with quick setting cement and you're golden. Before you worry about the environmental cost, consider an entire city disintegrating into the Mississippi, that's not good for the fish at all.
3) Australian used diesel/electric locomotive engines to power their cities when they had some power delivery problems, this would be a decent way to deliver the electrical power needed for the pumps.
This of course doesn't address the vast crushing destruction that this much water will wrought.
1) The jump in the unemployment rate when these people can't go to work tomororrw.
2) The vast cost of rebuilding or,if warranted, mass relocation. (if $100,000 per family, then 250 billion, still less than Iraq, mind you.)
3) The loan defaults on the housing, and what that will mean to the home loan architecture in the united states.
4) The cost to the insurance industry almost guarantees they'll pull the same stuff they did during northridge here in California. This will bankrupt a great number of large insurance companies.
5) No more beads will be sold in New Orleans. I suspect Tampa's Ybor will become the cajunesque party capital of the US.
Sorry folks in New Orleans, my condolences, this is very sad. California welcomes you! Update: No way to get tankers into the lake.
August 24, 2005
August 22, 2005
Make magazine let me shoot some snaps during the high speed flash photography session at FooCamp. High Speed Flash Photography at Foo Camp 05 - a photoset on Flickr. Check em out! More of Foo later...
August 18, 2005
August 17, 2005
August 16, 2005
I changed my profile picture here on Blogger, so no more mushrooms over the eyes. I figure since Google went to the trouble to have my mug photographed, I should use the picture. Julian Cash, a very creative photographer, took the mushroom picture. You can see it in all its glory on his site.
August 15, 2005
August 12, 2005
Surrounded by trimmer figures in suits, he looked out of place — a throwback to the mythical days of late-night coding, libertarian politics and takeout pizza.
They're talking about me :-) See, this is why I can't lose the ponytail, it's a statement, man. (I have been biking to work to be, ahem, less developer like.)
It's an interesting article, anyway, I love open source because, in the end, the pony tails can always stick around. Maybe I'm the idealist, though.
August 8, 2005
My complaining about the format aside aside....forgetting to mention Starflight was an abomination and it makes babies cry. Don't get me started about wasteland or tw, either.
August 7, 2005
I watched Brad give his 'scaling livejournal' talk at OSCON last week, and it was quite good, I think it should be required reading for anyone looking to scale a lamp stack based app. I'm not sure that is what DA is based on, mind you, but maybe it should be if it isn't. Anyhow, DA is great stuff, but since you can't see it.....how great is it really? Also, it seems the perfect site to attach feeds to users...maybe I'm just missing it and they're really there. Regardless...
July 29, 2005
July 28, 2005
I'm working on a little something for OSCON next week, and I wanted to get some data points. The system is designed to allow users to attach location data to their favorite book/movies/music/whatever. If you go here:
You'll find it. Check it out. Add some books/movies/whatever to it. It's a kind of geo-wiki thingy I'm messing around with.
None. I'll likely destroy the database n times over the next few weeks.
I'll likely keep the username/password pairs -only-.
You can't actually add points for the books/movies/etc yet. You can only add the base point for the book/media/etc. Tomorrow I'm adding the ui for posting in more points and search. To see some points, zoom out or pan around. I only added one very lame point for one movie. (find the apple campus). The UI -sucks- right now. But it will get better, but not anytime soon.
Base UI work
Feeds: regional feeds, topic feeds (tags)
Tag ui for add/edit screen.
Leave commments in the comments section, thanks!
July 25, 2005
July 22, 2005
The tube is a fascinating system, enormous and quite scenic. Also, you end up walking through these vast systems of connecting tunnels when switching lines, it's very cool. While transferring from the district to the central line (I would have taken the circle and northern, but it was shut down due to this whole bomber thing) I got to walk through about a half miles of tunnels, circular staircases (3 stories up, or so) and steps here and there. It was pretty neat.
When I got onto the district line after leaving the science museum, as we pulled away from the station, the conductor got on the line "Due to a shooting in Stockwell, the northern line is no longer running." So I changed my plans accordingly. I have to admit that I'm glad that I am not riding the tube anymore this trip. I have a car service setup for my trip to Heathrow tomorrow morning.
Funnily enough I heard that the reason that Heathrow puts United's international terminal all the way out in outer hell with Emerites, El Al and other middle eastern based carriers is that they want to limit terrorist damage to one terminal. Charming, huh? It'll be good to be home, for sure.
They also have a pretty terrific nautical and aviation sections as well. Fantastic engines and a very cool cross section of a 747, about a foot wide and many feet tall (30?). Very neat. They also had the wind tunnel models that the Concorde team used to guide their design.
They had a whack of engines from wwII on through the present day, and there was a pretty neat Harrier hanging from the cieling, with an engine cutaway beneath it.
There was one thing that made me pause, this sign hanging in the bathroom. Apparently the museum has had problems with people drinking from the urinals. Yes, pessimists, they are likelly just the only museum to admit having such a problem. To me it seems an interesting problem to address with signage. One might imagine the crime is deterrence enough. I mean, really. Ick.
July 21, 2005
While touching, this is just too much, really. To explain, in case you are wondering, I present to you this Google Search. Regardless, it seems like a good effort, the homeless connect stuff, but -jeez- this picture.
Slight update: I can't take calls or make them on my cell, so those that tried, sorry...
July 20, 2005
July 19, 2005
Celebrity trumps death. I don't know if that is good of bad, but it is what it is. And it is silly. So, decent actor Jude Law cheated on his wife with his nanny. While I'm sure someone cares (Otherwise why all the coverage?) it was pretty surprising to me.
What was more surprising was my lack of channel changing. I blame jet lag. I was having breakfast this morning and was reading the Telegraph when I came across this article: The trouble with nannies. I honestly couldn't turn myself away from what was the (unintentionally, I'm sure) funniest thing I think I've ever read. You must read that article. It's the most snobbish, elitist, stupid, insecure piece of writing I've read in a very long time. It's even borderline racist there at the end.
I think her intention was for the article to read as an indictment of the culture of high priced nannies, but it comes off as the deranged ravings of a woman afraid for her marriage. Sad, really.
July 18, 2005
July 17, 2005
One pretty good thing about working at Google is that they give us an Ipass account, so connecting at Airports doesn't suck. Anyhow, heading to London and will work from there for a Week. One short 10 hour flight away from Heathrow. I have, as usual, over anticipated my need for entertainment. I have 5 movies, 5 technology talks, 3 books, 3 white papers and no less than 10 video games installed on my laptop. No to mention x gbs of music and audio books, my ipod shuffle and my super headphones. I actually really like flying, even if the Airport experience is undignified.
When I get to London, I've manage to snag a reservation at St. John, which you might know thanks to the owners book "Nose to Tail Eating". Yes, not a place for vegetarians. Regardless, I've got a reservation for 2, so some lucky pal will go with me.
Flying on a 777, which is fine, but I prefer the distinctive bulginess of a 747. The 777, its pair 120,000 lbs/thrust aside, looks too much like a 737 from the outside. This is also a problem with the a380. You look at the 747 as it flies by and you -know- it is a 747. Yes, I know the plane is old and crufty and not as efficient when compared to the current jets. And, yes, a truly cylindrical shape is better from a fatigue standpoint, but anyhow, I dig the 747.
July 11, 2005
July 7, 2005
- There is no such thing as a 'personal' blog if you are employed.
- People will always associate your personal reputation with the company you found/work for.
You'll note in the comments that Bob tries, again and again, to state that GoDaddy has no political bias and that it shouldn't be punished for his views. Similar assurances do not accompany those who cheerlead his post. Both would fall on deaf ears.
Mind you, this is not an indicment or endorsement of his views on torture. I'm not touching that one with a 10 foot pole. But this is a good example of why I try to be very careful when I post, it reflects on my colleagues and Google every single time.
Mind you, I haven't been posting lately because the Summer of Code has been exhausting, but that's neither here nor there.
June 30, 2005
Blogger launched a neat tool for easily uploading images into your blog, and you get up to 300mbs of storage! So good job, Blogger folks!
Check it out: Blogger Help : How do I post pictures? (Image of the slug from my trip to Hakone Gardens.)
June 29, 2005
June 26, 2005
June 21, 2005
When we launched the Summer of Code, I got a lot of mail that fell into three rough categories:
The first, I filtered into its own label quite easily and spot checked them as they came in. There were about 9,000 emails received this way.
Greg Stein set up the form processor to send me a copy of the applications as it was dropping it into the data store. I got email from the Summer-discuss and mentors list. I received emails to code at google.com and cdibona at google.com directly about the program
The second, I wanted to see every one of. There were about 4,000 of these. I refined the FAQ from this and the third set...
The third I read all of as well, and replied to a great number. This amounted to another five hundred or so.
The only way this worked was with our internal version of gmail, which is roughly the same as what you use. The threading made it so easy to track the course of the discussion that I really don't know what I would have done without it. After the first 7 days, I had handled over 12k emails about the program from the categories, this on top of my regular load of work and personal email. At one point we were getting 4 to 8 applications a minute, which was pretty remarkable.
The last time I handled something like this was when I ran the VA friends and family program, and it was -way- more brute force. I used pine to process over some 30k emails over the 3 month period I worked on that, which was a lighter load, but was my previous bout with email deluge. The only really awful day was the day before, the day of and the two or three days following the IPO. Chaos was kept in touch by me and 20 or so people at the investment bank.
There are a few tricks for dealing with so much email. The most important is learn your keyboard shortcuts. VI folks will be very comfortable with gmails navigation keys I had a number of boilerplate paragraphs that I drew from in a nearby vi window, and I got a little curt on the discuss mailing list, but I don't think to any ill effect. So, thanks again to the gmail team, you guys rock. My friends who are MUTT heads are likely chuckling, but I have to say I -love- not really running my own mailservers. Like Jeremy, I post a copy of the email to dibona.com into it's mbox file, archive it monthly and bounce a copy to gmail. I don't use spam assassin, I let gmail do it. My gmail spam filter is good enough for me, although some still get through, due to the fact that I get a lot of stranger mail and I want to see it. I honestly don't cull the spam filter for false positives anymore, I figure if someone really wants to find me, they can email my Google email address or IM me. It ain't rocket science to figure out how to find me.
When I got my gmail account, I formailed into the account email going back to 1999. This was when the 1gb limit was in place. I need to still formail in the stuff going back to 96 that I have left to import. Then it'll be all done. One day, should gmail support domains, I'll just point the mx record at Google and be happy to do it.
To think I only got the gmail address shortly before I went through the interview process at Google. I thought it would be smart to try to use the tools of the company I wanted to interview at.
June 18, 2005
I'm sure others will talk about this, but one thing I'd like to parrot from the post is that there is so much bogosity around the protecting 'ideas'. There is value in ideas, but the real value is when you can combine imaginagtion and execution. I happen to not value 'ideas' as highly as execution, but that's me.
June 17, 2005
June 13, 2005
June 12, 2005
If you've seen the latest visit from the Daleks in the recent Dr. Who (all hail Chris Eccleston's Dr!) then you'll know what scene I'm talking about and well, how sad it is, and how funny it is that it is sad. Sympathy! For a Dalek!
Yes, I know how random this post looks. Go watch Dr. Who. All of them. See you in a month or two.....what, you say you have a job or family? Okay, see you next year :-)
June 9, 2005
I kill me, I'm so funny. But seriously, almost anything Microsoft does to fix IE is good for the internet, so it's a good thing. Would I rather you use Firefox? Yes. Do I think you'll be happier with firefox? Yes. Do I think Firefox loves you? But, yay Microsoft for going down the road a bit.
June 7, 2005
I'm mildly pissed the Eccleston is only doing one season. That just stinks. He worries about always being known as the Doctor. If I -promise- to not think "Hey, it's the Doctor" when I see him in other shows, do you think he'll stay? Lord know he doesn't read this blog. Anyhow...great stuff.
Geek? Damn right!
June 6, 2005
I hope it goes better this time, and I hope they have enough cash to weather the lack of sales until first customer ship. Lots of others have comented on the osborne like potential of this thing. A rocky road ahead for Apple.
You know, now would be as good a time as there might be to change their name, now that they are a music company and all. Maybe something like the imusic corporation. Or imac or isomething. iJobs? iSteve? iSteverino?
June 5, 2005
A quick search of the internet after I first saw it found the American version (one complete volume, not two shorter, better leather bound, volumes) online for sale in the $300 - $500 range. This was past what I was willing to pay. During trips to New York and othr cities, I'd visit rare book rooms to try to find it. I was never successful.
My wife loves thrift stores, and this week, she came home with both the Codex and another amazing find (A collection of David Goines prints), both for way lower than she ever expected to find either. The book was had for $25.
If you haven't seen the book, it is best, and often, described as an encyclopedia of another, strange, place. Word has it, that the book is in print again. I don't know if they use the same quality printing or paper. (The one I have is a very beautifully made book from the first American printing) I can't imagine them printing this book on crap paper though.
Why is the Codex so desireable? It isn't because of the difficulty of finding it. It is a remarkable book... complete revelatory nonsense. The pages, written in a language that some have attempted to decipher are filled with words and imagery (see here for some scans that do not do it justice) that are really amazing. Beautiful and evocative, they catalog a fanciful world, but one whose fancy, as it were, derives from our own. If you know me, you should ask to see it. Anyhow, back to work. The Summer of Code compels me :-) Thanks Christine, you're terrific! (as usual)
Oh, and in case you are wondering why the title "The 4th Codex", when I typed in "Codex" into Google, it was the 4th result returned.
June 4, 2005
It's a good thing Apple likes to make its own hardware, that's all I gotta say. The montage before a fight scene from some awful movie is going through my head. How will Microsoft leverage its vast monopoly power this time? If Apple really takes the x86 version of OS X and pushes, things are going to get -very- interesting.
But why do I -love- this story. It could be complete bunk and it still has people yelling "fight! fight! fight!". What a schoolyard high tech is.
Cnet: "Steve, Bill said you are a big jerkwad!"
InfoWorld: "Bill, Steve said he wanted to date your girlfriend"
Gartner: "I heard you guys are going to fight, are you going to fight?"
IDC: "Steve, Bill said you were a chicken and wouldn't fight." etc...
Bloggers: I told you! I so predicted this in 1983.
Linux, by the way, runs great on both platforms :-)
May 31, 2005
May 25, 2005
Wait...stop there...yes, before I begin, that is why I think the Tech review sucks, they have absolutely the wrong person at the helm. If I want Business 2.0, I'll read flippin' Business 2.0. If I wanted Red Herring (which Jason ran during the silly period) I'd read that, if it is still in business. The tech review was great, once, because it assumed the reader had a brain and was willing to learn new things. It wasn't a breathless review of the LATEST! BUSINESS! MODEL! AND! FUNDING! ROUND! which made red herring so very tiring. Mind you, even during the boom, I considered Red Herring unreadable. But this isn't about that....this is about his disagreement with D3's policy of no web/laptop use during speeches.
I speak and have spoken at a lot of conferences, and I'm curtailing it for a number of reasons: 1) I'm very busy, so only a few conferences 'get' to have me (not that this is a huge privilege, mind you). 2) speaking at conferences is really a huge waste of time in a way that it didn't use to be. I have no desire to compete with an 802.11b connection, that's it. If people can get better information/have a more rewarding time online....great! That's awesome. Just do it somewhere else. That is what the lobby or speaker room is for.
I was at a Usenix conference 4 or so years ago and was watching a really cool talk on wireless network stability. As part of the talk, the presenter disrupted the wireless network with a 'simple' hack he had come up with to shut down the network. You knew -exactly- when he did it because every person who had been surfing/iming/etc almost simultaneously looked up. We had a good laugh, but by question was this....what were these people doing here? Go outside! Stay home!
Yes, I'm speaking from hypocritical experience, I've done this, and I've gotten less out of conferences than I should. Thus lately, I've taken to killing off im and wireless when I'm doing something. Multitasking is a great thing for chips, but it means that you only get a shallow experience when it is your own attention you split. At Google, my fabulous employer, we are very lucky in that we have 2 or 3 amazingly cool presentations a week (tech talks, natch) about amazing topics in machine learning, random computery goodness and Google specific technologies. I've never worked in an environment where I can learn as much as I can here. To waste that opportunity on email or im should be criminal.
Honestly, I'd prefer the ability to kill a wireless network while talking. In fact, if you come to the O'Reilly Open Source convention and attending my talk, plan on using your laptop for notetaking, I'm going to try to find that program the presenter demonstrated at usenix and will use that. Or maybe I'll just unplug the access point. The great thing about this is that it will totally raise the stakes for me being a more entertaining, knowledgeable speaker. And lord help the person who fails to shut off their cell phone. I'm going to get way aggro about that.
I'm also changing how I use presentation packages, switching to a photo album of visual aids and no more bullets (or at least ones that the audience sees, anyway, they're fine as guideposts for me privately). See you there?
May 19, 2005
Anyhow, the shuffle does indeed sound good. I received as a gift (thanks Joe!) and I like the size of it. Imagine, if you will, a small display down the middle of the thing, or....even cooler, a scrolling display under the play button. Anyhow, nice little gadget, and light as a feather. Super handy. I haven't owned an iPod until now, and while I've understood why people love them, I haven't been driven to spend the extra cash they command.
May 18, 2005
The meat (har har) of the article is that he's taking off to try something new. I'm looking forward to seeing who will be his replacement here on campus, I'd hate to lose our rep as having the best lunch in the valley, as it is a powerful recruiting tool. We've been trying out new chefs over the last few months, so I'd imagine one of them will be rotating in.
May 17, 2005
Also, to the spammers, you suck, suck, suck. I hope you die soon before you breed. If you have bred....I'm envisioning your children being given to other, non-scummy family members. Maybe a nice aunt or uncle. Be the best thing for them, don't want them to grow up like you, after all. Lord, I hope it isn't genetic, some spam gene that afflicts people in sunny climes like some kind of a-hole chlorophyll.
May 11, 2005
Culture and invention are based on previous works. Science is based on previous science. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, and copyright maximalists will never get that and should be resisted. I mean, Microsoft's first product, a basic interpreter, was the "idea" of John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz, but now Microsoft thinks it owns all ideas, I suppose. Like the mouse, the windowing environment, instant messaging and the rest, operating systems, the spreadsheet.... I could go on...but what's the point, you guys can Google as well as I can. I don't think Microsoft paid off the authors of Unix talk. Or the visicalc folks.
The way that this will be defended is that they'll try to say this is about infringement and piracy. But, note the name of the contest "Thought Thieves". Roll that around in your brain for a bit, but not too much, you might get charged for it.
May 9, 2005
How about this, if you spend 17 years of your life working against fair use and personal freedom, you shouldn't complain when those same oppressions are applied to you.
May 3, 2005
I used to think (hope) that a racist joke was a cabbies way of saying 'I don't feel like talking right now, so I'll just creep you right out' but two tells me 'I'm a redneck a-hole, ain't I funny!'
And I think you know the answer to that.
I like Los Angeles though. Not the haze, the smell of desperation or the people*, but the home architecture and the land. The rolling hills to the beaches. The haze really is unfortunate. Makes one pine for nuclear power to feed those electric cars, you know. Keep the emissions in glowing waste form and not the hide-the-beach-from-the-angelinos form.
*: Although I'm sure they are nice, but I don't like Los Angeles because of people I don't know.
April 28, 2005
I do think that there is an interesting time coming where people overwrite/remove/replace ads from feeds. That'll be some interesting time. I am obviously not bothered by relevant advertising. I do think that there will be plenty of people who won't put up ads in thier feeds. I don't blog for money, that's for sure.
I have thought about putting up an adsense ad on my site, but its tricky as I work for Google and the question would become this: Would I be getting attention because I work for Google or because of my erudite comments? Maybe I'll put one up and donate the cash to the EFF or something and I'll leave the ethics questions as an exercise for the reader.
I think Scoble will need some apology text for his blog again. Although in this case, I think that they're going to go for the 'well there was an NDA on the sign up sheets' route.
Seriously though....if you don't want people to report on your actions, clam up about them until you are ready for first customer ship. Jeez. Seems kind of silly to show screenshots to thousands and not expect them to chat and comment on it outside the show. This sort of stuff is so PR junior league. This is the kind of stuff that makes me think Microsoft is slipping. I mean, Longhorn looks like an XP theme for pete's sake.
April 27, 2005
Black Hole Terror (working title), a thriller from director Tibor Takacs (Mansquito) about a failed experiment which threatens to swallow the entire Midwest. Kristy Swanson and Judd Nelson star.
Mansquito? Was I supposed to say "Man! That movie rocked! Mansquito was the best movie since....uh...Squid/Tentacles (working title)!"
April 20, 2005
You've got to be kidding me. Can't create links unless you use IE? That's nuts. That is bad programming. Can't bold things unless you use IE? Can't create seperate paragraphs? That's pathetic.
I liked the photos thing they do, but paragraphs....you can't create paragraphs? This is nuts. Has the internet gone insane? I didn't know that text boxes were that damn hard to put in a web form. Here, if any msn spaces people are reading this... what you're looking for is the 'textarea' box. Maybe one of those html book dealies might help you out.
And Mossberg ends with "Still, MSN Spaces is a good, basic blogging service that I can recommend to any novice blogger." , so long as they use IE, right? Enjoy those pop-ups, newcomers. Why don't you use a browser that doesn't hate you?
April 16, 2005
To give you an idea about how good this shot is I've cropped out the section of his eye and left it at high res. Mind you I used flash and it was in a not very challenging environment, even if max was wiggly. Also, this is in the super fine setting, which produced a 2592 x 1944 image at 2.2 megabytes. Shot with the macro mode on, using the cameras automatic mode, no red-eye reduction, center weight metered.
So, yeah, I like the camera! Other things to note: good ui, great viewing screen on the back, good battery life so far, more on that later. I always buy two batteries. Fast shooting with my Lexar 1gb SD card. I do admit that I liked Compact Flash, but if you want tiny, SD is about the largest media you'll find nowadays. Anyhow, I recommend it so far. Also, the camera has a USB 2.0 connection so you can do -fast- downloads of your pictures, which is really nice.
April 13, 2005
Their efforts have been met with fierce resistance and denial by many residents in Uige, who are shunning the hospitals and the specially-suited medical teams that roam the city in search of Marburg cases.
Sick people are ducking doctors in a city with almost no running water, no electricity and getting over a civil war (or between them, depending on your viewpoint). And now I'm thinking, maybe Doctors without Borders is a pretty good organization to back. What a thankless, horrifically difficult job.
Sadly, the majority of the victims are children under five. Sometimes I think that I should have gone into medicine, instead of computers. Makes this whole Bitkeeper thing look pretty stupid, doesn't it?
April 7, 2005
April 6, 2005
April 4, 2005
April 3, 2005
I had only read a few of the books over at hemos' place, and I liked them a bunch. Dug the movie big time.
April 1, 2005
1)Reducing the number of licenses that are considered Open Source. Thanks Intel
2)Protecting what Open Source means, through Trademark pursuit and community action.
The latter deserves some explanation. I find people using the term Open Source when they shouldn't, to denote not-open works and projects. Very simply, I believe and will do what I can to enforce the idea that Open Source means programs released under an OSI certified license. Nothing else qualifies. So there you go!
In short: Kansas, if you want people to move there, take that minute of silent reflection to consider pulling your head out of your intelligently designed rear end. California ain't perfect, and its school are most definitely not, but Kansas? Please.
Update: They'd like to make at least 19 other states unlivable. We're going to need more h1-bs.
March 31, 2005
If you think Google is washed out and has 'jumped the shark', I'm okay with you not using it.
Feel free to try out Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, MSN. I'm confident you'll be back sooner or later and I'm not hugely worried about it. I'm sure Yahoo/AJ/et al are terrific places, and have terrific people working for them, but I've never, ever, worked at a place like Google. It's amazing. Shocking. Desperately insanely great. That's why I don't worry. Google creates amazing things and thus I don't worry about losing Ben or Bens permanently to Yahoo.
One thing I agree with Ben about is that Flickr is a great site. Stuart and company did a terrific job building a terrific site. With regards to photography, only Photo.net comes close, and they are -very- different sites.
March 29, 2005
March 28, 2005
March 25, 2005
March 24, 2005
I am often confronted by non-googler misconceptions about the nature of 20% time, from now on I'm just going to point them at this essay. #4 especially is worth reading. 20% time is really not all that optional :-)
One thing Joe mentions in #5 that I'd like to stress is that, at least for the Googlers I've interacted with, there isn't a lot of 'stop energy' at google. My colleagues in engineering, marketing, etc, don't react to new ideas with "You can't do that" , but usually with "cool" and a tip as to who to talk to in the organization who is likely to be of the most help. I don't present this as a "this is why other companies aren't going to 'get' 20% time, but so that other companies can do this well.
March 21, 2005
I wonder, will she take a train back? Good luck Andrea....look out for wacko sports car drivers on Highway 1!
Here's a funny thing, I was having the worst dream about my laptop having been stolen and all of my computers on the internet being compromised. It was terrible. And I had to reload machines less than 24 hours before leaving town and giving a presentation. Google tech stop folks just handed me a new laptop, which was cool.
I wonder what the caveman equivalent might have been: "Ogg need wood for fire tomorrow......Wood stolen......where will I get wood , its dark now....wood hard to get.....will fire go out?"
March 18, 2005
March 16, 2005
March 15, 2005
March 14, 2005
- Cory Doctorow, All Complex Ecosystems Have Parasites*
- Independent Individuals and Wise Crowds, or Is It Possible to Be Too Connected?
- Building Communities with Software*
- Introduction to Yahoo! Search Web Services
- Hardware Hacks from the Far Side
- Odeo -- Podcasting for Everyone*½
- Making Web Services Personal*
I'll also be there for the entire pre < 10:30 thursday stuff. It's all good. When not in a talk, I'll be in the speaker lounge or other place to sit. You know how to find me... firstname.lastname@example.org.
* means I'll definately be there.
March 12, 2005
Man, I suck with the photoshop, don't I?
March 9, 2005
March 7, 2005
I feel like an old man telling young whippersnappers to get off my lawn sometimes. But come on...I can't be the only one who read this book, or at least read an article about it. I can't be the only one who finds themself at their most productive when I shut the world out with headphone and sign out of the instant messangers. Focus, I say. I'm at my worst when I give into those distractions.
And what a haul...camera, light meter, two lenses, lens shade, filters, film, film backs, flash. I got to the point where I could shoot handheld with the blad. But it killed my wrists, but the shots.....the colors. The blacks. It was worth it, somtimes. Amazing stuff. But I'd rather carry a camera I'll take great pictures with, not just one that takes perfect pictures but not as often.
And talk about viewfinder size! 6 cm x 6 cm. The image as it falls on the film. Amazing stuff.
March 6, 2005
March 4, 2005
When I was writing more often than I am now ('professional' writing.) I noticed that my posts would grow longer and longer, with short pieces stabilizing around 1200 words and longer ones around 2300 or so. I would do the odd 700 word article for print, but when I applied these lengths to blogs, they were not read in the same fashion as they were when they were in print or on a site like newsforge, and it became rapidly clear that blog readers are afficionados of the paragraph or sometimes the sentence and not the inverted pyramid or the narrative flow. And so, I'll wrap this post up with this, properly sized comment:
Gah, I'm babbling. Back to your regularly scheduled internet...