December 24, 2005

So cool to work at Google....

Check it out, Google Earth users: Official Google Blog: This just in... Santa in the hizzouse.

Yes, I just used the words "in the hizzouse" and I'm not certain if I spelled it right. To #FFFFFF for reals, my homies.

December 13, 2005

My Luggage doesn't follow me around anymore...

I left my luggage in Detroit. And by left, I mean, I got on a plane and my luggage, seizing the chance for freedom, stayed and took a later flight. To Dulles. I'm in New York. Will I get it back in time to leave on Thursday? Will I have to visit the Google new york offices and borrow a thinkpad power adapter? Will I start to smell a little funky? Will my delicate skin be thrashed because I use the hotels $1.50 cent crappy disposable razor and $2.00 Colgate shaving cream? Will I get nicked just in time for my speech at Interop? Yes, we all want to know the answers to these vital questions, so with no further ado: Yes, Yes, No, Yes, Yes.

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

Christopher Robin Gets Riffed

Oh, come on: Christopher Robin gone. It seems kind of lame to replace Christopher Robin in this manner, I'm cool with adding a female character, but replacement? Robin got Riffed.

December 5, 2005

Edward Tufte is very neat.

Edward Tufte visited Google today to give a talk. He talked about Sparklines and the famous Minard Russian Invasion graphic among other topics. Great stuff. I've been a great admirer of Tufte since I first got my greasy fingers on his book The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. and I only hope that one day I can present information as wonderfully as he. This is one of the reasons I love working at Google: The interfaces are almost all pretty fantastic.

December 4, 2005

So, why have I been so quiet?

Easy.....I've been busy :-) But if you'd like to find me, I'll be speaking at Interop in New York on the 14th. I hope to visit Peter Luger and Barney Greengrasswhile I'm there.

I like New York, a lot. Hotels are kind of spendy though.

November 28, 2005

Developer Relations Specialists wanted...

Hey, dev rel folks: Google: Developer Relations Specialist - Mountain View. Check it out if you are of that ilk. Thanks. Back to your regularly scheduled blog...

November 21, 2005

No, No, No....this isn't what happened at all..

In a recent post on both Physorg and on Slashdot, they promote work done at the MIT McGovern Brain Institute as leading or deriving from a direct nueral interface. Not so. The research centered on what parts of the human and monkey brain parses faces, figures, familiar structures and abstract input (4 different spots, actually). It doesn't come up with a common grammer either for individual images or even give a general area for such things that translates into a human/monkey similarity.

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

Oh, and before you ask..

It is worth pointing out that the special effects in Doctor Who are still more "special" than effects. Still, great show.

Doctor Who (a fanboy post)

When I was growing up in Utah, I discovered the reruns of doctor who on our local pbs stations. It was on at 10pm on Sunday nights, and they ran two episodes. So I grew up watching Jon Pertwee's doctor (for a little bit), but it was mostly all about Tom Baker. Anyhow, The BBC revived the series last year, putting Christopher Eccleston in the role. I was slightly doubtful, at first, but the new series was amazing. Not just updating the series, but Eccleston was insanely ridiculously holy crap awesome. I was mildly pissed that he only has stayed for the one (amazing, terrific, brilliant) season.

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

Firefox good.

If you are a solid developer, check out this req: Google Jobs - Software Engineer, Firefox. Email me if you like.

November 10, 2005

Sony DRM Story gets much worse.

I'm not a big fan of DRM, and the whole Sony story has been nothing less than an appalling breach of customer trust. Consider the following:First Trojan Using Sony DRM Detected. A trojan exploiting a root kit exploiting user trust in a cd rom. So very lame. Sony, if the stack of broken TR505's we had back in the day at VA Research wasn't enough to make me want to avoid you, this would certainly put the last nail in that coffin.

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 World Discovers Threadless

At the Innovation Lab meeting at MIT this weekend, the founders of Threadless gave a cool talk about how their site works. Go check it out. They were mentioned today on Ctrl+Alt+Del - Tragically l337 too. Amazing site, great shirts. Except Flowers in the Attic which is just sad :-(, powerful, but sad.

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!

How much does Logan suck? A -lot-

So I'm sitting here in Boston's Logan airport. The cnn-airport channel is on. Whenever the PA goes off, "Flight blah blah blah whatever whatever". The TV turns itself -up- to be heard over the PA. Think of how -stupid- that is. There is a widget in the stupid TV that asserts its right to be heard over the airlines. Lame? Oh yes. Boy, I wish I had remembered my TV-b-gone that my brother-in-law got for me. So lame.

When this happens, I can hear the rumble of the TV even through the super headphones, that's how loud it gets. Lame.

November 3, 2005

McGovern Institute Opening Celebration Webcast

Check it out: McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. I'll be there, I even bought a nice jacket to wear. And a tie!

The best multi-company, flame war with sushi reccomendations....

Yahoo's new pretty maps are doomed (and so are Microsoft's) The comment stream is hilarious.

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

Kegel's Towards Linux Desktop Comfort

I honestly think that this page is a better guide to mainstream Linux acceptance than any other I've ever read : Dan Kegel's Towards Linux Desktop Comfort.

October 25, 2005

Open Sources 1.0 Gets a New Cover

As part of the ongoing sprucing up of the open source book line, they gave my first book (with Mark Stone and Sam Ockman) a new cover. Check it out. Also, the contents of this book are up on the internet if you'd rather read it that way. When we published it, there was no creative commons so some of it is released under the non-optimal (for text) GPL. I don't even think the GFDL was around then.

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

Open Sources 2.0

If you saw slashdot today, you noticed this story posted by my co-editor, Mark Stone: Open Sources 2.0. One thing he forgot to post was that the book itself will be available under a Creative Commons license as soon as O'Reilly can get it up on their site. Check it out! it?

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.

I'm as old as Email.

I choose to believe that I was born the same day as email: BBC: H@ppy birthday to you.

October 14, 2005

It's a working man's Tuna...

Regarding Genova: "Likewise, when I just need to kick back after a long day of changing 1’s into 0’s and 0’s into 1’s, nothing satisfies my primal fish urge better than a can of Genova. It’s not a tuna for the ages, but it’s still my basic pantry staple. "

I work with Ben :-)

October 12, 2005

Looking for some Mac Developers.

Hi All,

Ever ask youself...why doesn't google do more OS Xish thing-a-ma-jigs? Well, ask no something about it!

Jobs, I tell you, Jobs.


Gaim News

This is a cool post: News - Gaim. Welcome to Google Sean!

October 7, 2005

First Day Jitters

We released the Google Reader today, which is best described as an RSS aggregator. It's having a few small release problems, but knowing my co-workers, it should stabilize soon. Congrats to the team for getting it out there! Awesome keyboard shortcuts. Love that.

October 1, 2005


I was reading this article, whose headline "SiliconBeat: New chip to unshackle you from your iPod" would make you think that this is some neat thing that would...I don't know, allow you to slave your ipod to more than one machine (Which is the worst feature in itunes, doesn't anyone at apple have more than one computer?). Anyhow, back to the story...the chip is a sandisk jobbie that enforces a drm copy limit then ceases to allow that file to be copied. This is -stupid- technology and I find it slightly offensive that they think anyone will buy the following folderol:

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 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 a way around the itunes restriction? Oh lazyweb, save me!

September 29, 2005

Great Post by David on Hiring...

This is a solid post from Google/O'Reilly Open Source Award winner David Heinemeier Hansson: Reduce the risk, hire from open source. While I don't think that a person must have open source experience, it sure does make hiring easier.

September 23, 2005

Tee Hee.

Funny Ipod Nano Commercial Spoof Ipod Spoof The ipod nano is pretty nead, mind you. I already have little scuffs on the plastic....I need a cover for my preciouss...

That said, my pal has one of the little samsung gig super thingys which is also very cute...if a bit more cubular.

What a week...

Every year, Google runs a contest called Code Jam and I get a huge kick out of it. All these students competing against each other on a number of computer science problems. It's like a lead in for the Summer of Code in a lot of ways. Anyhow, it happens about this time each year, and I hung out at the last one. This time I volunteered to walk around with the students, eat with them and such, because, you know, students are the future :-)

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 17, 2005

iPod Nano Hotness

The Nano Is so very sexy. I'm really enjoying it. 4gb is absolutely the right size for me. If anything, it is too much space. Really a beautiful little machine. I love getting gifts :-)

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

I gotta pee Condi!

This is just wrong, somehow

Update: My wife suggests we mail the white house a key to the bathroom chained to a globe, like in grade school.

September 12, 2005

Biking to Work Bonus...

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)

Yeah, I think its a little weird too.

But, you know, whatever. My wife and I (we use ebay a fair amount) talked about this a few weeks ago. I guess to connect up sellers and bidders? Who knows.

September 3, 2005

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Insurgency. Yes, now we have an 'insurgency' in New Orleans. For the record: You, Joseph R. Chennelly, are a complete asshole.

Music Streaming in GAIM, An SOC Project...

Check it out. So cool....

Developers, I say, Developers, Developers.

I was reading the article on Slashdot bout Balmer's Vows and I remembered something that I've been wanting to write about for a while.

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

Amazing post from Miguel about SOC.

If you check out this post on Miguel's blog, you'll see some of the projects that the students in the Summer of Code worked on for Mono. Remarkable work, really. In case you don't know the SOC pencils down date was the 1st, so we're starting to get feedback in from students and mentors, and some of the work is so good it truly exceeded my (and Google's) expectations. Remarkable stuff, really.

Loose Lips...

Who has been talking to the press? I thought this was still under wraps: Google Announces Plan To Destroy All Information It Can't Index. Yes, everyone has seen this, but I think its funny anyway. But I gotta ask, who talked?

/me goes back to work on the orbiting space laser platforms.

August 30, 2005

Disaster Math, long will the pumping take.

So, I got to thinking, if New Orleans is under 12 feet of water in 2 or so days, how much water is that? Can the pumps possibly drain that much? So I the math.

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!

The problems:

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.

More math:


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

London Eye

Originally uploaded by cdibona.
Posted a few pictures on my flickr account of the London Eye. The eye can hold 800 and is well, quite large. Clickthrough for a few more pictures.

August 22, 2005

High Speed Flash Photography at Foo Camp

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

Anonymous Posting on, now with Captchas...

Since the good folks in the Blogger team have enabled comment captchas, I've shut off the requirement that you must have a blogger id to comment. So....there you go. Good job blogger folks. Spammers should die.

August 17, 2005

My new background, courtesy of Henry P. Babbage.

I was at the London Museum of Science, which has a variety of ancient computers on display, including implementations of Babbage's difference engine. Bloggers picture uploading mechanism resized this to 1024x768, but its a good picture. Click, share and enjoy. Pretty terrific museum, if you like learning :-)

August 16, 2005

Last Mushrooms....

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.

Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

A fellow Googler and a friend of mine, Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO, has started to Blog. Check him out if you are interested in the search engine marketing/optimization space. I'm sure he'll be very funny too.

Richmond, lovely richmond.

I liked visiting, but this story about people being trampled for cheap laptops reinforces why Henrico county is not right for me.

August 15, 2005

August 12, 2005


From: SA Business Day:

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

IGN's Top 100 Games - Where is Starflight?

I, like many gamers, read the IGN's Top 100 Games list. Before I go futher, I -hate- lame, lazy, list articles. They're lazy lazy lazy. Also, they are so easy to criticize, and yet are criticism proof as they are usually totally lazy. So, take the IGN list for instance. It misses so much becase there is no way you can adequetly cover the games business with something as straightforward and linear as a stupid numbered list. Of course, next month it will be the "20 best mmorpgs" or the "10 best fps!" or some other lameness.

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.

Google News all Feedy Like

While many might say this is quite overdue, I'm just happy to point it out: About Google News Feeds. We'll add these to the api & interfaces list tomorrow on Code, but I figured...why not blog it here? In short: Google news now has Atom and RSS 2.0 feeds for all the catagories and for custom news searchs. I suspect we'll see a good amount of uptake from this, especially when combined with the Maps API.


Wow. That's all I gotta say about the new AIM Triton Ads. Check it out. That's not a 'wow' in a good way, mind you.

August 7, 2005

Deviant Art needs Rearchitecting, or.....going down in 5...4...3...2...

I see load balancers, and a new architecture in DA's future, it's pretty unusable, except Sunday morning at 9am. I have a friend who posts there and I'd love to see his other work. But that's really not an option as whenever I try to surf the site, it rarely returns anything to my browser, and I usually experience timeouts.

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 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

Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards

Lots of fun stuff happening at OSCON: Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards.

The Wikification of fspace

So I've tweaked fspace to be something different, but I want the same info, so go check it out. I'll -no longer- delete entries and users accounts are all still there. The old format was too rigid. The ui still sucks, mind you, but please pound on this! Also, safari is not supported and is busted.

July 28, 2005

Map Hacking: Look over my shoulder

Hi All,

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.

To Do:

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

Sooooo cool..

This Site is so cool. Click Z and draw a box. So fast...

July 22, 2005

Hybrid mode is so hot.

Check it out: Google Maps. Who loves you? Google does...

London Tube Fun

I really like subways, but the tube has been having some issues of late. Bombers (both horifically capable and bumbling) and now these shootings have made my plans a little less convenient than they could have otherwise been.

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.

It's all in the name of science, you know...

Before heading into work this morning, I visited the London Museum of Science and got to see something I was very much looking forward to see. Yes, I'm talking about the difference engines. Foolish me, I thought there were only two of them, in fact they had many, including early prototypes by Babbage himself. Warmed my geeky soul.

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

Jesus Much?

Okay, so I like SF Mayor Gavin Newsome, I think he's doing a good job for SF, but whoever arranged this: Project Homeless Connect Photo-op is pushing it.

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.

New Bombings in London

4 more explosions in London. I can't imagine what the point is, really. From what I hear, traffic is really snarled in the west end. I'm glad my hotel is within walking distance.

Slight update: I can't take calls or make them on my cell, so those that tried, sorry...

July 20, 2005

July 19, 2005

Nanny Train Wreck in London

So on the way into London, I thought that the news might be dominated by the bombings.

Foolish me.

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

Hack on!

There is a bunch of pretty interesting quotes in this article: Marrying Maps to Data for a New Web Service - New York Times. I really like Google's approach to this whole mapping thing, for sure. It appeals to my nature. Anyhow, love to hear your thoughts!

London Geek Dinner on Friday? Yep...

Got pinged, will go: London Geek Dinner on Friday? (by Jeremy Zawodny). Sounds like fun.

London is fun so far. No Tardis' spotted yet. Will keep you posted.

Stumpy Christ of the Ozarks

I was reading my friend Michaels blog post, and saw the picture of Stumpy Christ of the Ozarks, also known as Gumby Jesus. A must read, really. Too funny.

July 17, 2005

London Bound

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

Maybe you're just not likeable?

I was reading this piece on the existence of blogs being a net negative for job seekers and it got me thinking. Maybe what people need is to -not- be sharing so much if they want gainful employment.

July 7, 2005

GoDaddy...Goes Political.

Super old news, but the recent post by GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons, "Gitmo torture is cool with me!" (title paraphrased) on his blog. Instantly provided a great example about two things that are sometimes hard for people to understand:

  • 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

In case you didn't notice it...

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

Maps API Launches.

Coolness! I'm working out how to add it to a blog here on blogspot, which has a lot of stuff in the editing system to avoid xss attacks. more on that topic later.

June 26, 2005

The End is Nigh.

From NBC: I Want To Be a Hilton. You do? Well, that's it. Gonna get my Rutan on and fly me and the family into space. Have fun destroying the planet!

June 21, 2005

IMAP, GMAIL and Workflow..

I was reading Jeremy's post about IMAP and I thought about how happy I was over the last three weeks with email.

When we launched the Summer of Code, I got a lot of mail that fell into three rough categories:
  • 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 and cdibona at directly about the program
  • 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.

    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 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.

    Ring Tone Humor...

    I was watching the Bike Tech at the shop working on my deraileurs when I heard a cell ring. Sounded, familiar.....

    " that the Law and Order theme?", I asked.

    "Yeah, it's the one I picked for my girlfriend.", he replied.

    So there you go.

    June 18, 2005

    What about Hardware?

    I actually mostly agree with : Mark Fletcher's Blog: Stealth Start-Ups Suck, except for one caveat... His post is accurate concerning software startups, but with regards to hardware, I can think up some very good reasons for keeping mum.

    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

    The Summer of Code 400...

    We just announced the expansion of the Summer of Code to 400 people. Yay!

    June 13, 2005

    The Country Distribution of The Summer of Code.

    This stuff is so cool: Summer Of Code Country Distribution. I mean, I didn't expect Ukraine to be such a powerhouse.

    It's like the geographic guide to the future of software. No, I'm not kidding.

    June 12, 2005

    Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!

    I wish all criminals were this clever: Dalek 'kidnappers' demand Doctor. Found this via Boing Boing. I had this going through my head: "But, I"

    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

    This Joke is just too easy...

    I was reading this post: Clarifying Low-Rights IE (which sounds like an interesting baby step towards a slightly more secure browser) and I couldn't help thinking, "Low Rights" within the context of Microsoft's "Thought Thieves" and I read the head line as something along the lines of: "IE! Now with fewer rights! Surf only the sites we want you to!"

    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

    The new Doctor Who: Brilliant!

    I've been watching the new Doctor Whos (which I freaking love, but that's not what this post is about) If you check here: BBC - Doctor Who - The Series the BBC has arranged to screen the episodes in front of 4 children and asked them to rate how scary they are, from 0->5, with 5 being -extra- terrifying. I think this is pretty smart. Dr. Who, this season, has been somewhat dark, and probably has the best writing of any season to date. And yes, I'm including Tom Bakers episodes.

    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

    The problem with Changing to x86

    Again, referring to the news of the day "Apple to ditch IBM, switch to Intel chips", I gotta say it. The last transition, from the motorola chips to the PPCs...sort of....hmm....sucked. Lots of way past windows crashing type stuff. Eeee.

    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

    The 4th Codex

    My friend, Mike Dringenberg introduced me to the Codex at a rare book shop in Salt Lake City, Utah. They had the original Italian version of the book, of which only 4,000 were made and signed by its creator, Luigi Serafini. These go for a lot of money in the rare book markets. One specimen from the original printing is listed currently on eBay for over $18,995, but who knows if he will get his price.

    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

    Why I love the Apple x86 Story...

    I picture Bill Gates saying.. "Crap....forget Google, we have a real problem now!" Anyhow, the funny thing about the "Apple to ditch IBM, switch to Intel chips" story is that Apple is about to find out exactly what it feels like to be shut out of a hardware platform and partnership deals.

    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

    Summer of Code Launches.

    Well, that's something :-) We just launched the Summer of Code, a new program aimed at students, on Google Code, and I'm pretty happy with how it's starting out. Check it out and, if you are a student, you should consider taking part! Lots of terrific people in Open Source are helping us out with this, so it is our hope that this will be pretty successful.

    May 25, 2005

    I'm Cool With Wireless Being Shut Down During Presentations

    I was reading the outrage expressed by the MIT Technology Review editor, Jason Pontin.

    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

    iPod Shuffle Goodness

    I was actually completely uninterested in the iPod shuffle until I read this many weeks ago: Quantifying Bass Performance in Digital Audio Players, which was a companion piece to his PC Magazine column. Great piece of reporting & comparison. Hard to believe him and pinhead John Dvorak work for the same people. (link goes to slashdot, no pagerank for you, John.)

    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

    Since the words out...Bye Charlie!

    Since SiliconBeat has spilled the beans (har har) about Charlie leaving, I wanted to publically say thanks for all the great food and being such a good guy. Google will be the lessor for your leaving. Our loss is the worlds gain. He plans on opening a chain of restaurants, which, if I were you, I'd watch for.

    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

    16251 Spam emails in 30 days.

    Yep, that's a lot of canned meat. Thanks to the gmail team for catching them. Not all of them, but at least 99.99% of them. Well done! You, my colleagues, make email usable.

    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

    Blog this, Microserfs...

    I can't be the only one that finds the Microsoft "Thought Thieves" competition ironic and offensive. "Thought Thieves is about people stealing and profiting from your creation or innovation." I mean, leaves you speechless, really. Thought Thieves? You have got to be kidding me how newspeak is that! It must be the week for chutzpah.

    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

    You have got to be kidding me, Hilary Rosen

    I just read this post, from Hilary Rosen, Lamenting the iPod's DRM, and I am just amazed. Hillary Rosen complaining about DRM lock-in is like Bill Gates complaining about software quality. Or Sara Lee (if she in fact exists as a human) complaing about gaining weight. It's just weird, wrong, and it really makes her the poster child for chutzpah.

    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.

    Kung Fu Hustle

    This was a decent movie. I went in literally thinking that I would be okay with walking out if it stank. But it was really really fun. Especially, extra, shiny good if you are a fan of bad kung foo movies.

    May 3, 2005

    Los Angeles....

    I'm in Los Angeles for an OSDL meeting, which is so-far-so-good. The lot of us went to a restaurant in Los Feliz and on the cab ride back, the cabbie told not one but two racist jokes. The 'that's not going to over well' didn't apparently take after the first one.

    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

    RSS Ads...

    I completely respect this persons idea of unsubscribing from feeds with advertisements. What is complete BS is calling feed ads spam. He even says "there is no way to opt-out." there unsubscribe. Believe me when I say this isn't about Google or AdBrite or whatever, I don't think feed ads are spam, and to call it such diminishes the evil that is -real- spam.

    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.

    No Pictures, Please! Hey! You with the eyeballs! Do not let your gaze fall upon the creation!

    I was reading this article: BetaNews | Microsoft Wants Longhorn Shots Pulled which got me thinking that maybe Microsoft should limit WinHEC to employees and trusted contractors. Also, all non-Microsoft personnel should be cavity searched entering and leaving all sessions and meetings. It's all in the name of 'controlling the message' you know. Also, remember that those new phones have those camera thingamadoobies on the back of them! Very sneaky!

    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

    Alien Bug Magma Terror Squid

    Whoever is in charge of titles at the Sci Fi Channel should either a) drink more..or b) drink less. One of the gems:

      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)!"

    Please don't cancel Battlestar Galactica, Sci-Fi, or you won't be able to afford more glamour projects from Mansquito director Tibor Takacs.

    April 20, 2005

    Mossberg on MSN Spaces

    From: - Personal Technology: "However, in typical Microsoft fashion, Spaces works best when you use Internet Explorer in Windows. For instance, unless you use Internet Explorer in Windows, you can't make your text bold or italic or colored. You can't turn words you enter into Web links. And you can't create separate paragraphs in your entries."

    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 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 17, 2005

    April 16, 2005

    My New Camera: Canon SD400

    You might remember me going on about picking up a Canon SD400...well, I picked it up last week from my friendly local camera store and have been running the camera through its paces. The SD400 is amazingly compact, but the output is really something. Here is a dramatically resized (in photoshop) shot of my cat, max. (clicking on it will take you to flickr's page on it. The Digic II firmware is -very- fast.

    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.

    Gas is only getting more expensive.

    What 91 Octane Costs in California Posted by Hello

    I'm thinking cheap oil is something that is on the wane, don't you?

    April 13, 2005

    Modern Courtesy

    Modern Courtesy Posted by Hello

    Marburg is some freaking scary stuff.

    I was reading this: Marburg still peaking - WHO and what stood out for me was this statement:

      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?

    Soft brains ruining the Internet, part 314,159

    Sigh, tolerance is the first step towards acquiescence and, then, acceptance.

    April 6, 2005

    Lordy, I'm linking to the Register

    If you care about Kernel development, this is an important article to read: Linus Torvalds defers closed source crunch

    April 3, 2005

    Some Powerful Stuff, my Friend.

    My pal Michael is documenting what a siezure filled life is like in photos: wrinkles in mind - a photoset on Flickr. Fascinating stuff.

    Sin City....Holy Crow.

    Saw Sin City last night. And now I have that whole inner monologue thing going. Seriously good stuff. Violent? Sex? Adult Themes? Let me put it this way, if there was safe search for eyeballs, you'd have to shut it off to watch this movie. Seriously good, I actually want to see it again to catch the stuff I missed, after taking my comic book worshipping friend Joe for a beer for a pre-viewing briefing so I can get even more out of it. So, yeah, good movie.

    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

    It's Official, I'm on the OSI Board.

    As you might have seen on Danese's blog, I'm part of the Expanded OSI Board. The Open Source Initiative are the standard bearers for what it means to be open source, and as such I have only -two- things, no more, and no less, that I care about.

      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 which I open a can of worms.

    I came across this article (thanks to megnut) on the New York Times Empty House on the Prairie and I don't have the positive reaction to this that many might. Why is small town Kansas emptying out? I don't think there is a single answer, but I do think there is a single answer as to why I wouldn't consider moving to Kansas.... it's filled with people who would reject science and intelligent thought. I don't like to get too political on a blog, but I don't think this is a left or right issue. I see the wholesale rejection of science in the name of religion in the country as having a deleterious effect on the overall intelligence and productivity of the nation. So why, I ask you, would I move to some small town in the middle of nowhere if the educational institutions would use my kid as some ideological football.

    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.

    Best April Fools Joke Ever...

    Course, they're going to piss off the morons, but....I'm okay with that. All hail Scientific American.

    March 31, 2005

    On Shark Jumpage

    I was reading Kevin and John Battelle's response to Ben's article in the Guardian, and I have only one thing to say about it all:

    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 comes close, and they are -very- different sites.

    March 29, 2005

    Battlestar Galactica in Everyday Life

    Doesn't this look like the thing they found in the control room: Wireless lan array. Baltar, save our bandwidth!

    Holy Crow: Flickr Related Tag Browser

    This is really something: Flickr Related Tag Browser. The blood tag is very very creepy on flickr.

    March 28, 2005

    Linux in an RJ45 Form Factor.

    This is so freaking cool: Linux system squishes into Ethernet connector And check out the wireless one. I'm picturing any number of sneaky uses for this....a person would never know if this one was sitting under their rack, after all. But very neat.

    March 24, 2005

    Joe Beda on Google 20% Time

    Joe has a great essay on what 20% time is and why it works. Very much worth reading: Joe Beda's

    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

    Andrea on the road...

    I sit near the blogger team, and one of them decided now was a fine time to bike from Los Gatos to Santa Barbara. See: Cycling the Holy Road.

    I wonder, will she take a train back? Good luck Andrea....look out for wacko sports car drivers on Highway 1!

    Because we are the kwisatch haderach...

    One step closer to the landsraad. Nasa's got some Stillsuits. Remember, breathe out through the nose. Obviously I'm kidding...they're the size of tractor trailers, but neat stuff.

    Thanks NPR.

    Work up to this story about Google's Continued Expansion, Success, in which Steve Inskeep talked with David Pouge, who said some very nice things about us. Thanks David! It was a nice way to wake up.

    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

    Open Sources on Google Print

    Google Print Search: Open source, Open Sources on Google Print. Neat! Thanks for reminding me to look, Biz, you are some kind of genius my friend..

    You greasy monkey you...

    My colleague Aaron posted something about his amazing tool greasemonkey on his weblog:

    Bullet Lab...

    I'm getting a kick out of drkelfs pictures from MITs strobe lab.

    Code.Google.Com Launches...

    Well, that was something. In case you were wondering why I've been posting less lately, it's because I was working to get launched.

    March 16, 2005

    San Diego calling....D.C. on Hold.

    I wish I flew out this morning. Some good talks happening. Oh well, should be down there soonish. Also, flying to DC next week for PyCon, which I'm very much looking forward to.

    March 15, 2005

    Hee Hee

    This is pretty funny: GoogleX I love labs.

    Make that Thursday for Etech.

    Man, my week is something. I'll see people Thursday in San Diego, so don't look for me before then. Sorry!

    Finally...the perfect earpiece.

    The perfect earpiece from the perfect manufacturer


    March 14, 2005

    And let me make this as clear as possible..

    If anyone can take podcasting mainstream, it is Evan with Odeo. Dead serious here, my friend. And that's not to say I think it'll be get the point. I saw a preview. It's something.

    Find me at Etech?

    I won't be flying in until late tomorrow, sadly, but I'll be at the show all day Wednesday and Thursday. I'll likely be at the following sessions:

    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...

    * means I'll definately be there.

    March 12, 2005

    Murder Attempt? No problem......Trade Secrets? Problem...

    the thing about this is that with this ruling we are explicitly saying that it is okay to out a cia agent but not okay to screw up a marketing deadline. I can see it now...

    Man, I suck with the photoshop, don't I?

    March 9, 2005

    Google News, now fabulously user customizable.

    I'm tempted to screencast this (but I'm lazy and its obvious): customizable google news. Note you can add custom searchs as sections. I've added 'google' and 'open source' of course, then ditched sports and a few others. Handy!

    Amazing: Colorization Using Optimization

    Colorization Using Optimization from Nelson.

    March 7, 2005

    Schwartzian Headphone Madness

    So I was reading this post from the Jonathan Schwartz's weblog and can I just say this.... Jonathan Schwartz, are you insane?. If you want your programmers to be productive, let them wear headphones to avoid interruptions, not bring the interruptions closer to them. What the hell is going on? Does anyone code anymore? No I don't think that coding is always a solitary activity, and I've seen XP being used as a very effective development methodology, but that doesn't mean that programmers want to be interrupted whenever in some fabulous VR MMORPG of developer chatter.

    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.

    My Canon S50 in a Pneumatic Tube

    Boy, am I going to regret posting this movie of my digital camera in a pneumatic tube: Right click to download that, thanks much :-) Not as good as I'm still seeing Breen, which Half Life 2 fans should download, but funny!

    Joe, meet Hasselblad, Blad, meet Joe.

    While I appreciate the love Joe Beda expresses for a Leica...I gotta introduce my readers (and maybe Joe, have no clue if he reads this) to the classic Blad. The 503 cw changed color and seeing for me. The images when shot right are just shy of holograms. I didn't really retire the camera when my daughter was born, so much as I put it into hibernation while I defaulted to my digital cameras so I could catch her spontanaity, but the pictures. I really need to start hauling that thing around some more.

    And what a, 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 5, 2005

    March 4, 2005

    My goodness, a podcast I actually want to download!

    Via JWZ :Battlestar Galactica. Love that show.

    On the NPRization of Kottke and the Paragraphization of the Internet.

    I was reading this post on, and I have to admit I was somewhat skeptical of his ability to make a long term living blogging. Maybe I still am. Some of my collegues (shellen, stone, you know who you are) have been reading him since , well, forever it seems. I have to say that his volume of posting isn't enough to make me want to become a patron (micro or not) but what he does write seems pretty decent.

    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...