- VMware: Top 10 Predictions for Virtualization in 2009 : VMblog.com - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - Steve Herrod of VMware obviously has an interest in promoting virtualization. But, even if you think that some of the things listed here will take longer to develop than he implies, it gives some useful insight into VMware's thinking.
- The Sassy part of the Cloud « Barton’s Blog - We seem to be reaching a consensus of a cloud taxonomy.
- It's Still Too Late - Jim Grisanzio - There's certainly some level of competition between Linux and OpenSolaris but I concur with Jim that it's not a zero-sum game. This is a pretty good article (and not just because I'm accurately quoted in it) but there is a tendency in the press and elsewhere to paint it as a contest with a winner and a loser.
- Olympus MJU TOUGH digital cameras - I just wish that someone would come out with a genuinely good waterproof digital.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I really enjoy lobster cooked this way. It's based on a recipe that Jasper White popularized in his restaurants. (See e.g. Lobster at Home) It looks complicated, but isn't really so long as you have the right gear assembled. In fact, one of the nice things about this meal is that you can do a lot of the work a couple of hours in advance so this meal can actually involve less last minute mess and fuss than steamed/boiled lobster. (Less mess at the table too.)
The changes I've made mostly relate to some of the preparation details. In particular, I prefer to parboil the lobsters rather than cut them up alive which, in my experience, leads to pieces of lobster thrashing around the cutting board. It's just more drama than I consider absolutely necessary for this dish.
As for equipment, you'll want a large pot for the lobster of course. As for the pan-roasting part, if your oven is large enough to accommodate it, I find a 16-inch Lodge cast iron skillet that I picked up last summer just about perfect. That should handle about four to six lobsters in the chicken to two pound range. If you don't have a big enough skillet or a big enough oven, a workable alternative is to use a baking sheet for the oven part and one or two skillets, as required, on the stove. You will also want a long-necked lighter or some other suitable implement next to the stove to flame the bourbon.
Lobster is inexpensive right now, so go for it!
Ingredients for four people.
4 to 6 lobsters (1.25 to 2 lb.)
3 TBS peanut oil
1/3 cup bourbon (can also use Cognac)
1/2 cup white wine
8 TBS unsalted butter, cut into slices and chilled
1/4 cup of chopped parsley or chervil
1 TBS finely chopped chives
White pepper and salt
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Parboil the lobsters for about 4 minutes. If you don't have a pot large enough to accommodate all the lobsters, you can do this step in two batches. (You'll need one of those big steamer pots or equivalent.)
Once the lobsters have cooled enough to handle, remove the tails, the claws, and the knuckles/arms. Cut the tails in half lengthwise. Thoroughly crack open the claws and the knuckles to minimize the amount of cracking and picking that needs to be done at the table. You'll now have six pieces per lobster plus the body, which you can discard or use to make stock. Weather permitting I prefer to do this operation outside to keep all the lobstery fluids out of the kitchen. If you like, you can prepare the lobster to this point a couple of hours in advance and put it in the refrigerator.
Preheat the broiler. Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Assemble all you ingredients and equipment by the stove. The pan will be hot and you'll want to move quickly. The final preparation only takes about ten minutes so everything else should be more or less ready to go for dinner before beginning.
Place your sauté pan over the highest heat possible. Allow it to heat for a few minutes until it becomes extremely hot. Add the oil and heat it until it forms a film on the surface of the pan. Slide the lobster pieces, shell side down, into the hot oil. Using tongs, move the pieces in order to evenly sear all the shells.
Place the pan in the oven and cook for about three minutes until the shells are slightly browned. It's OK if they're a bit charred in places. Put it on the stove over high heat. It will be very hot! You can put the plates in the oven to warm at this point.
Add the bourbon and ignite. Add the wine and allow to reduce until it is almost dry; a few tablespoons or so will remain in the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat. Remove lobster pieces and arrange on the plates.
Return the pan to low heat. Add the butter and herbs. Season with some white pepper and maybe a little salt (the lobster will be somewhat salty already) and spoon over lobster pieces on plates.
- Coding Horror: Avoiding The Uncanny Valley of User Interface - Interesting mapping from animation/robotics to user interface design. To phrase another way: don't design online apps to behave like offline ones--only not as good.
- Chinese 'classical poem' was brothel ad - News, TV & Radio - The Independent - Very funny but also useful reminder.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
- The author of the MPG illusion on why we misunderstand the meaning of miles per gallon (and why we shouldn’t completely hate the hybrid Cadillac Escalade) « - Interesting.
- Marginal Revolution: Markets in everything, Xmas edition - Hilarious.
- Why I gave up Photoshop - Inside Lightroom - I still use Photoshop but rarely. I may well just go with Elements rather than upgrading my full version at some point.
- The Frame: An ice storm coats the northeast - Some nice pics. (Of course, better if you're not among those whose power has been cut!)
- Holiday gift guide: Cookbook edition - Megan McArdle - "I've never been able to get into The Joy of Cooking; somehow, it's sensibility of comfortable shoes and stuffing olives into the gaping maw of Midwestern ennui oppresses me." I've never been a huge Joy fam myself though I couldn't explain why so snarkily.
- Screengrab Presents: The Best Stage-To-Screen Adaptations Of All Time (Part One) - The Screengrab - Hee hee. "Hair has always been my Camelot: an idealistic, romanticized fictionalization of an era that sounds good in theory but was kind of a drag to actually live through."
- Edge Master Class 2008: A SHORT COURSE IN BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS—INTRODUCTION - Thaler's Behavioral economics stuff is very interesting. I had him as a professor at Cornell when he was still fairly early-on into this work. And his research seems solid, unlike the "popularizers."
- Technology Review: Are Social Networks Sinking? - "At least there has not been the same profligate investing that there was during the dotcom days. There is no counterpart to the excesses of investors who put $830 million into Webvan or $280 million into Kozmo.com."
- Sun closes pay-per-use utility computing service • The Register - This style of cloud computing went with virtual machines.
Monday, December 08, 2008
- HP and Capgemini try not to have ‘clouded judgement’ – what a pun! | CTO Blog | Capgemini | Consulting, Technology, Outsourcing - It's about time for me to take another pass as cloud defining/discussing. I get asked to grid computing question a lot so factor that in as well this round.
- An Inconvenient Genius ... The Timeless Legacy of an Untimely Man | Steve Kayser's Riffs, Tiffs and What Ifs - Testimonial to the work of Nicolai Tesla.
- Complete Map of Europe, Year 200 - Historical Atlas of Europe.
- CRUMBS: Delicate, delicious fish chowder - Provincetown, MA - Wicked Local Provincetown - Legal's fish chowder. Interesting use of chesse as a thickener. I never knew.
- Know Your Mushrooms : A visual guide to all your favorite fungi - CHOW - A nice overview of mushrooms for cooking.
- Op-Ed Columnist - Raising the World’s I.Q. - NYTimes.com - “Probably no other technology,” the World Bank said of micronutrients, “offers as large an opportunity to improve lives ... at such low cost and in such a short time.”
Yet the strategy hasn’t been fully put in place, partly because micronutrients have zero glamour. There are no starlets embracing iodine. And guess which country has taken the lead in this area by sponsoring the Micronutrient Initiative? Hint: It’s earnest and dull, just like micronutrients themselves.
Ta-da — Canada!
- Sonic Boom, Sound Barrier, and Prandtl-Glauert Condensation Clouds - This is a short tutorial on the sound barrier, sonic boom, and Prandtl-Glauert clouds.
- Taxing music at the level of the ISP: Good idea or bad? | The Open Road - CNET News - I'm very leery of this sort of thing but I do wonder if we're going to ultimately determine that there are commons issues with digital content that aren't market-solvable.
- Comment on: Kindle: Great gift for Washington's Birthday? - Great comment: "I'm as technophile as anybody, but I've learned to be leery of proprietary systems--and knowledgeable of obsolescence. (I've got boxes full of floppies and stacks of Syquest cartridges to prove it. On the other hand, I've got books from mid-19th century Germany that still work just fine, even though the manufacturer went out of business during the Franco-Prussian war."
- Depth of Field and the Small-Sensor Digital Cameras - photo.net - A pretty good summary of how depth-of-field is affected by sensor size.
Friday, December 05, 2008
- Dynamist Blog: Depression Lust, and Depression Porn - "If anyone should fear a Depression, it should be journalists, who are already the equivalent of 1980s steelworkers. But instead, they seem positively giddy with anticipation at the prospect of a return to '30s-style hardship--without, of course, the real hardship of the 1930s."
- Understanding Google’s Strategy - I would need some time to really digest and think about the details but looks to be a rather thorough presentation about Google's business model and opportunities.
- Google Slows N.C. Build, Foregoing State Grant « Data Center Knowledge - Google apparently moderating the pace of its datacenter buildout.
- Creative Commons vs MIT OCW: Interpreting the Noncommercial Clause at iterating toward openness - MIT OCW takes an approach to defining commercialization which is much more in keeping with the normal meaning of the work in photography. If you're going to draw a distinction makes much more sense to me.
- What Drug Dealers can Teach us About Free « SaraD, That’s Sara + a “D” - Nice short piece (obliquely) about pure play open source models.
- Do you watch the DVDs and Blu-rays you buy? | The Audiophiliac - CNET News - Steve's spot on. I've really tried to wean myself off buying DVDs for the most part unless it's something like the Lord of the Rings trilogy that I really want to delve into all the extras. I've spent way too much money over the years buying movies that I watched once (or not at all).
- 25 Motivational Posters. | Village of Joy - Some of these are pretty good.
- Flickr: The Help Forum: Yet another CC Non-Commercial Thread- adaptivereuse.net using flickr photos - In a debate around CC-Noncommercial on flickr, I think this comment about sums it up: "Creative Commons is not designed to facilitate control, it is designed to facilitate sharing by giving up control. If any degree of commercialisation is an issue for you then shouldn't use CC at all, you should reserve all rights."
- Blame it on the polling location « - Evidence that suggests the type of polling location can affect how someone votes on certain issues.
- To Publish Without Perishing (Clay Shirky guestblog post) - Boing Boing - Wow. Great post. And I like Gleick's writing but I couldn't agree with Shirky more here.
- Fancy Cats - The Modern Materialist - OMG.
- Travel Tip: Make Your Pictures Pop - The Modern Materialist - This is sorta cool (obviously not for an SLR).
- Zagat on iPhone: 'A disappointment' die-hards will still 'love' | Appliances and Kitchen Gadgets - CNET Blogs - I give Zagat's *some* credit for not just giving away the store with the rise of the Internet. But it seems they could have done much, much more with their brand.
- Sears on my mind - Megan McArdle - An amusing tirade about Sears customer service. Personally I've been generally happy with their appliance repair although it's more or less a given that they will never show up the first time with the part no matter how accurately you describe the problem.
Every Who down in Who-ville likes "Grinch" shows a lot. But the critic, who lives just north of Who-ville, does not.
The critic hates "Grinch" shows! The whole "Grinch" show season! Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
Oh, all right, I'll tell you.
First of all: I love, truly love, the original "Grinch" show, by which I mean the 1966 Chuck Jones cartoon based on Dr. Seuss' book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." It is 26 minutes of animated bliss, hilarious and silly and sneakily profound. It is, in fact, even better than the book; it has more (and more baroquely absurd) rhymes, a more satisfying ending, some small but sweet songs along with one very funny one, and, of course, Boris Karloff. Boris Karloff in a Christmas special - sheer genius.
But then came the abominable Jim Carrey movie, a bloated, vulgar exercise in Hollywood excess. And now comes the stage musical, about which the best that can be said is: It's not the Jim Carrey movie. That is, believe me, about as faint as faint praise can get.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
- Holophonic Sound: Interesting Thing of the Day - The spatial realism of a binaural recording first time you hear it is pretty amazing.
- Tweeter demonstrates how not to handle liquidation | Crave - CNET - Tweeter used to be a sorta premium (in a good way--good prices and better than average advice/service) A/V place in the Boston area. I'm not sure they ever figured out how to position themselves around big box retailers as they grew in prominence and the niche audiophile outfits.
- Our Vision for Generation 4 Modular Data Centers - One way of Getting it just right . . . « LooseBolts - Very detailed post on Microsoft's thinking about datacenter design.
- Ning to kill porn/adult/alt community sites Jan 1; Bianchi tells why - Susan Mernit's Blog - "The real money in adult has always been and will always be subscriptions."
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
- Partisan Cracks | Culture11 - "Bill Maher and Jon Stewart want to be both humorists and pundits. But they can't have it both ways." This is true with tech reportage and commentary as well. You can't be both an entertainer/provocateur on an ongoing basis and a serious analyst.
- Roger Ebert: The Death of the Film Critic is the Death of Society - The Screengrab - Will the film critic be yet the latest victim of media "unbundling"? For me, Roger Ebert has always been very accessible even if some film critics have had a tendency to go esoteric.
- MySpace ruling could lead to jail for lying online daters | Surveillance State - CNET News - Some of the commentary seems a bit overheated but does seem like a case of hard case/bad law.
- Open Source: The Model Is Broken - BusinessWeek - "The open-source business model that relies solely on support and service revenue streams is failing to meet the expectations of investors."
- tecosystems » What Would SOG Do?: Views on Sun - Generally agree with this analysis although I might be inclined to relatively emphasize different points. At this point, things like Open Office funding are pretty small potatoes in the scheme of things. Issue seems far more execution (including around the boring but profitable stuff) than strategy.
Monday, December 01, 2008
The specifics of the Lori Drew case are messy and emotional. The important fact is that there is no federal cyberbullying statute, so the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles turned to a novel interpretation of existing computer hacking laws to try to punish the woman. The general idea is that in creating terms of service, a Web site owner specifies the rules of admission to the site. If someone violates any of those contractual terms, the "access" to the Web site is done without authorization, and is thus hacking.As a result, we're seeing a huge divide between what I'll call the "silicon valley crowd" (even if lots of the plugged-in techies live elsewhere) and "everyone else" in their opinions about the case.
For their part, much of the commentary at places like CNET and Groklaw is apoplectic about the guilty verdict, even as a misdemeanor. The issue (which I'm sympathetic to myself) is that violating a Web site's term of service should not be a violation of the law. As a practical matter, we're not seeing the end of the Internet as we know it; no one is going to prosecute you for shaving a few pounds off your weight in an online profile. But it is a troubling precedent.
However, what's striking to me is the level of outrage of everyone else--even the "everyone else" that's actively engaged enough with online sites to leave comments. But this outrage is at the dismissal of the felony charges. What matters is punishing a person who behaved very badly with tragic consequences, not defending somewhat esoteric legal principles. In a lot of comments, I sense genuine puzzlement (and anger) directed at people who place the right to online anonymity higher than the morally "right" deciusion in this case.
If things remain as they are, this case provides an unfortunately good example of the legal saying that "hard cases make bad law."
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
- Open Sources Episode 3: Why does technology hate us? | Negative Approach - CNET News - What I found most striking was that Matt and Dave appear to take it pretty much as given that the "give away all the bits and charge for support" basically doesn't work.
- Books of The Times - In ‘Outliers,’ Malcolm Gladwell, Author of ‘The Tipping Point’ and ‘Blink,’ Parses the World - Review - NYTimes.com - Gladwell's books and articles are usually enjoyable reads but there's more than a little truth in this largely critical review of Outliers, his latest.
Fish market (Tsukiji), Tokyo
Originally uploaded by ghaff
I recently got back from a couple of weeks in Japan. It was a business trip but I also had about a week to scoot around the country a bit. All my tagged photos from this trip are here.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
IMO, this comment sums it up pretty well:
"The root of these problems is that eBay is no longer a place where people can go to find inexpensive goods for sale.
It has transformed, through it's own strategy, to a marketplace of fixed price sellers. And these fixed price sellers charge as much or more than places like Amazon for the same goods. So, as a buyer, why should I wade through hundreds of amateurish listings, deal with massive gouging on shipping, and worry about getting the product from some fly-by-night seller when I can one-click it on Prime from Amazon, get guaranteed authentic goods, delivered in 2 days, with no hassle returns, from a vendor I completely trust, often for less money?"
Friday, October 31, 2008
- The 20 Greatest Political Campaign Ads of All Time, Featuring Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, Michael Dukakis, Richard Nixon and More - Nerve.com - Back when I was an undergraduate, a lecturer in media at MIT had a wonderful collection of political commercials on this new-fangled videotape thing. Now that kind of thing is all online.
- Apple hires top IBM chip designer and blade server guru | Latest Apple Computer News - CNET News - A bit hard to see Apple getting seriously back into the server game. They've completed such a successful transition into a consumer electronics company that it's hard to imagine--though one should never discount opportunistic efforts.
- Some Shed Their Gadgets by Turning to One: iPhone - WSJ.com - At first I thought this had to be the Onion: "Lower-income households are turning in force to Apple Inc.'s iPhone and may be doing so to save the cost of a separate broadband connection and music devices, according to the media measurement firm comScore Inc." I also like "Others believe that the surge in popularity of the iPhone among lower-income consumers is related more to the decline in price to about $200." Apparently lower-income consumers also can't do math as the per-month fees went up for a net price increase.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
- Netflix Lands on TiVo! - From the comments: "Big picture: this is the death of premium cable. Why pay an extra $5, $10 a month for HBO and Cinemax? Buy the one or two shows you want to watch (DVD, unbox, AppleTV), and get the crappy movies from Netflix." I've never felt that that premium cable was worth it. Certainly as options increase, become even less so.
- October Surprise: TiVo to Stream Netflix « NewTeeVee - Very nice. I care less about either the TiVo or the Xbox partnership now that I also reattached a Shuttle PC to my TV. But streaming to a television, rather than just a computer, is a big win in any case.
- Azure manages to avoid a Hailstorm of criticism | Beyond Binary - A blog by Ina Fried - CNET News - "But businesses now have to evaluate not just the theory of whether allowing others to hold their data is a good thing. The reality is that, in many cases, large third parties may be able to do more to protect a company's data than some mid-size firms can do on their own."Organizations have come to say, 'let's compare it to practical alternatives as opposed to some Utopian ideal," O'Kelly said."
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
- Pyrrhic Victory - I'm not sure how much relates to the writer's strike in some way, but I do know that there is a grand total of one new show that I've followed this season--and that one ("Fringe") I'm pretty lukewarm about.
- Neary Consulting » Jerry Maguire on the future of the free software industry - I agree with the general gist that pure open source businesses may well remain fairly small.
- Propeller Beanies: Interesting Thing of the Day - The history of the propeller beanie.
- More Network Effects and Cloud Profitability | Techy Pundit - "The bottom line is that business, even in the cloud, requires more interlocking parts."
- Blu-ray is dead - heckuva job, Sony! | Storage Bits | ZDNet.com - Not dead but ailing. I agree with a lot of this. Robin's right about upsampling DVD being a big factor--more so, probably, than downloads.
- Edward Weston - The Most Influential American Photographer of the Twentieth Century - Good site for Weston photos--not of course that the monitor really does them justice.
- Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: What Tim O'Reilly gets wrong about the cloud - The question of what are the natural scale points for cloud computing seem to me an important question. I think I agree with Nick wrt Google not being a particularly good example of network effects.
- Twitter / Kathy Sierra: The Big Question is not "h ... - "The Big Question is not "how can we make this a game?" but, "what is it that makes games fun, and how can [this experience] have that?"" Great observation. And one that a lot of commentary and attempts to make learning more "fun" misses.
- Download critical data recovery software - computer data recovery with ZAR. - Just recovered a bad SD card using ZAR. Worth trying out.
- Using the Cloud to build highly-efficient systems - All Things Distributed - From Amazon's CTO.
- Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard » Blog Archive » Reports of blogging’s death are… - Generally agree with this take on the mini-storm over this. I think it misleading to make generalizations about "blogging" based on the commercialization of a certain type of blog.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
- Serena: Taking the Cloud Seriously | HaveMacWillBlog (aka Robin Bloor’s Blog) - "Arteaga’s opinion - and it seems sound to me - is that a company that offers its products from the cloud needs to live in the cloud itself, to some degree. The company will then understand the practical aday-to-day cloud issues and will also be able to speak authoritatively on how cloud operation impacts the way you work."
- HipMojo.com » 20 Dumb Things About Web 2.0 - I agree with a lot of the stuff here--such as "Much the same way that loose money and easy credit created the real estate and housing bubble, open source software and cheap hardware created an environment of over-supply of me-too products that have absolutely no bargaining power in M&A or fundraising."
- valhenson: To SSD or not to SSD? - An argument against buying SSD-based laptops.
- The Politics of the Retouched Headshot - The Atlantic (October 16, 2008) - What it means to not be retouched isn't necessarily straightforward.
- tecosystems » Break for the Clouds: Top 5 Reasons The Cloud Benefits from a Recession - Another good piece on cloud computing from Stephen.
- Freemium is Not a Business Model | Mark Evans - "The problem is freemium doesn’t work for the vast majority of companies, especially ones focused on the consumer market. In theory, it sounds good but in practice few people actually pay for more features. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule but those are few and far between."
- Download Incendia - Multiprocessor Fractal Engine - I've seen some very nice artwork created with this.
- Music Ally | Blog Archive » Exclusive: Warner Chappell reveals Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’ pot of gold - Meh. 1.) Still no actual data; 2.) Given it was high profile experiment, is essentially impossible to extrapolate results. So, interesting anecdote but doesn't really tell us anything about business models.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
We were hoping to schedule some time with you later this month for a briefing with ACME. Your input and insight into the RANDOM TECHNOLOGY market space will provide a valuable forum for ACME's third generation product and technology offering.
I usually just ignore such, but here's the response I would like to send.
Dear Buffy,I'm more than happy, in the course of a conversation, to share my views on whatever. However, to brazenly request an hour of my time with the explicit expectation that I'm going to be briefing you for free is just not going to happen.
You seem to have mixed up my mailing address with some other ghaff who is in the “business” (not that it would be much of a business) of providing free consulting and market intelligence to anyone who drops me a line. I’m sure his input and insight will be commensurate with the high value that you appear to place on it. Good luck finding the other ghaff.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
- Thank you for smoking - Roger Ebert's Journal - "This stamp honoring Bette Davis was issued by the U. S. Postal Service on Sept. 18. The portrait by Michael Deas was inspired by a still photo from "All About Eve." Notice anything missing? Before you even read this far, you were thinking, Where's her cigarette? Yes reader, the cigarette in the original photo has been eliminated. We are all familiar, I am sure, with the countless children and teenagers who have been lured into the clutches of tobacco by stamp collecting, which seems so innocent, yet can have such tragic outcomes. But isn't this is carrying the anti-smoking campaign one step over the line?"
- Linux and marketing: a rant « Elias Q. Funtybunt’s Pisspoor Pseudonym - "Apple does branding to the same extent as RMS does zealotry and ESR does guns."
- Technological comebacks | Not dead, just resting | The Economist - "American office workers’ use of paper has actually been in decline since 2001. What changed? The explanation seems to be sociological rather than technological. A new generation of workers, who have grown up with e-mail, word processing and the internet, feel less of a need to print documents out than their older colleagues did. Offices are still far from paperless, but the trend is clear."
- Google: Raise Your Data Center Temperature « Data Center Knowledge - Nice overview of some of the opportunities and challenges associated with raising datacenter operating temperatures.
- 451 CAOS Theory » Open source is not a business model - We've very much entered a pragmatic phase of open source.
- Stuff Michael Meeks is doing - A rather bleak take on the state of OpenOffice development. Based on my (much more peripheral) knowledge of what's been happening there, seems like a realistic assessment.
Friday, October 10, 2008
- tecosystems » OS and Virtualization or Virtualization and OS: Red Hat Analyst Day - "Until such time as VMware is able to divorce the application development process - and more importantly the task of supporting the output of that development process - from the operating system itself, the latter will matter." I might add the application certification/support process but otherwise fully concur.
- A CEO's Sequoia Meeting Notes - Scary stuff.
- Digg's Kevin Rose: We've got to be more than a fanboy hub | The Social - CNET News - I suspect that taking certain paths effectively forecloses other ones.
- BuzzMachine » Blog Archive » Citizen journalism ruins the world (again) - I lean towards the biggest culprit in this case being CNN. It's inevitable that a "citizen journalism" site is going to be seen as more than a random rumor site if CNN operates it. In fact, isn't that one of the reasons that CNN is operating one?
- A.M.D. to Split Into Two Operations - NYTimes.com - Good rundown on the AMD manufacturing spinout.
- Jackson Farm Home - Sally Jackson Cheeses - I'm especially fond of the sheep cheese I got at Cowgirl Creamery.
- Republishing Email: The Great Debate - PlagiarismToday - Good precis of the legal issues--though I would think for the most part, standards of ethics and professionalism are the more important considerations in most cases.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
- What's In A Name? - Forbes.com - Pure venom. "Lotus Notes is far and away the most horrible software on the planet. Sure, people grumble about Microsoft products. But that's nothing compared to how people feel about Notes. People hate Notes. As in, they want to change jobs just so they can stop using it. I'm pretty sure there are shrinks who have built practices around it."
- History, focus, and technology of HP Neoview | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services - Some good detail on HP Neoview.
- Dan Heller's Photography Business Blog: Stock Photography, the Consumer, and the Future - Long post to read when I have time.
- Digital Lifestyle Girl's Place on the Web: The Internets are dangerous - Some good points in both post and comments.
- tecosystems » Is the Cloud Stupid? - "But still, in the face of end user ignorance and the impracticality of his alternative, Stallman’s quest seems - at best - quixotic. Again. Only this time, I expect him to have rather less success than in years past." Concur. As Stephen says, it's happening. Better to deal with the real issues rather than try to turn back the clock.
- Code: Flickr Developer Blog » Flickr Engineers Do It Offline - Another example of how differently you do things at mega scale points.
- Twilight of the GPU: an epic interview with Tim Sweeney: Page 1 - Graphics are often pointed to as an exception to the "general purpose wins" rule. But that exception may be coming to an end (albeit within the context of a new "general purpose."
- J.K. Rowling should lose her copyright lawsuit against the Harry Potter Lexicon. - By Tim Wu - Slate Magazine - "Rowling might object that the fan's guide will be strewn with errors or poorly written; but it is hardly the job of copyright to protect us from bad execution."
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
- Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: The Omnigoogle - Typically good post by Nick Carr about how essentially everything on the Internet complements Google's core ad business and makes it more money as a result. "Google wants information to be free because as the cost of information falls it makes more money."
- Real Dan Lyons Web Site » Blog Archive FT declares Android dead before it even ships « - "Google is all about solving the world’s most difficult problems — specifically, those problems that prevent Google from owning every last piece of the world." Abit over-the-top harsh I suppose (as doubtless intended). But there is an element of Google wanting to have its own version of just about everything.
- workday.com Blogs » Blog Archive » Cloud Computing - Another taxonomy view with an emphasis on the developer angle.
- Tip for MS: Fire the Advertising Agency - This sounds about right: "Yeesh. MS doesn't need an re-introduction; Vista needs one. Regardless of the actual qualities of Vista, MS has allowed the notion that it sucks to spread. That's the problem they need to deal with, and having Seinfeld imagine the PC as a piece of cake at some nebulous time in the future simply isn't the answer. "
- Sarah Palin parodies: Best humour on the web - Telegraph - Some of these are pretty good.
- Super Cat Stove - Building an alcohol stove.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
- All the New Fall Shows - Zap2it - I can't say that there's anything here that especially makes me perk up and pay attention.
- Sam Johnston: The case against 'private clouds' - a [counter]example. - Can clouds be private? Sam thinks not. I agree in at least certain respects.
- Andy Riley - Return of the Bunny Suicides - I like these.
- Deep Glamour: At the Intersection of Imagination & Desire - New Virginia Postrel blog worth checking out.
Monday, August 25, 2008
- Are You Trustworthy? | Copyblogger - I used to drive one of my editors crazy because I always had to cover all the bases in my writing. I still tend in that direction but it's moderated these days.
- Presentation Zen: Learning slide design from an IKEA billboard - I can think of a number of IT vendors who would do well to read this.
- F|R: What Startups Can Learn From Billy “Moneyball” Beane - GigaOM - "Trust your data. Even when your intuition suggests otherwise. You have to have the courage and conviction to trust your data, and act on it, Nelson says. If your data says spending money on conferences like CES or Web 2.0 Summit does not convert to sales, don’t go — no matter how important you think it is to be seen at such events." I used to work for someone who was always deeply skeptical about all these trade shows that everyone said we had to attend.
- Latency is Everywhere and it Costs You Sales - How to Crush it | High Scalability - Nice piece on latency.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Patience? I've run out of patience and I would cancel and go to Blockbuster but they say I've already got an account with them, which isn't true. I'm sure it's my address.I really have to wonder about anyone for whom getting their DVDs delayed a few days is apparently some great existential crisis in their lives. If you can't or won't just go outside, there's lots of Olympic footage to watch.
This is unacceptable and as it's been a week, the credit better be at least 25% of my monthly fees.
"Around the clock" ~ yeah, and you've got a bridge in Brooklyn you'd like to sell me.
- Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Indifference, Hostility, Isolation and Other Obstacles to a Healthy Innovation Environment - Management vs. leadership.
- Dan Heller's Photography Business Blog: Orphan Works Fallout? History may lend a clue. - Very detailed discussion of the Orphan Works Act.
- Uni. Washington and Microsoft Research collaborates on (yet another) mindblowing 3D photo viewer - istartedsomething - Microsoft is soing a lot of interesting research into what might be called "next generation" photography.
- EXILED ONLINE - MANKIND’S ONLY ALTERNATIVE » War Nerd: South Ossetia, The War of My Dreams - By Gary Brecher - Mean and wry--but pretty accurate methinks.
- Megan McArdle (August 11, 2008) - The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation: Sheer genius - This is hilarious. Driver's license suspended for underage drinking--at the age of 35.
- Nieman Reports - "The risk for journalism, of course, is that people spend all day Twittering and reading other people's Twitter entries and don't engage with the news in any other way." Good piece on twitter. Although I think it can become too much of a distraction if you let it.
- p2pnet news » Blog Archive » Could ‘legal free’ displace ‘illegal free’? - Long discussion. I'm not sure I came away with a lot.
- Welcome! | RiffTrax - At least some of the clips are fairly funny.
- TweetStats :: Graphin' Your Stats - Geekily interesting. Although, I suppose, could be used in more questionable ways as well.
- Code: Flickr Developer Blog » Location, keeping it real on the streets, yo! - I was just digging into geocoding a bit last week. It turns out to be surprisingly tricky at scales smaller than well-defined geographical boundaries. Watch this space. It's going to heat up as GPS increasingly embedded in things.
- Intel's Larrabee--more and less than meets the eye | Speeds and feeds - Technology analysis by Peter N. Glaskowsky - CNET News - Good in-depth analysis of Intel's Larrabee.
Friday, August 08, 2008
- The Rise and Fall of Twitter - I don't suppose you're really allowed to use Hitler in comedy (unless you're Mel Brooks). But this is pretty funny.
- Maybe everything (not just VMware) violates the GPL | The Open Road - The Business and Politics of Open Source by Matt Asay - CNET News - Or none of this violates the GPL. It gets into subtleties of linking and specific technical relationships. Becomes academic with VMware's embedded hypervisor anyway.
- Report: Intel’s Atom chip, Netbooks demand strong | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com - I've been skeptical about the netbook category but at least some preliminary indications of sales strength there.
- 50 Photoshop Tutorials For Sky and Space Effects | Tutorials | Smashing Magazine - I especially like the alien invasion one.
- NEWS! - Micro Four Thirds System - Dave's Analysis - Good analysis of four thirds photo systems.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
- Twitter: The hottest Web startup - Aug. 6, 2008 - Absolutely fracking brilliant line: "Only in the tech business are companies born with neither a clear reason for being nor a clue as to how they'll produce profits."
- Total solar eclipse of 2008 - The Big Picture - Boston.com - More great photos from The Big Picture.
- The Despair Inc. Blog » Minds are like Parachutes… - Hilarious. Made my morning!
- louisgray.com: Relax, Bloggers: Nobody Is Keeping Score, and There's No Quota. - Good advice. RSS is the key ingredient here.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
- When Google disowns you | Software as Services | ZDNet.com - This may apply less to Google, but most Web 2.0 companies are very lightly staffed for their transaction volume. My observation is that many are not really prepared to deal well with issues that require a human to individually resolve.
- 451 CAOS Theory » LinuxWorld 2008 - nobody cares - I didn't even seriously consider attending LinuxWorld this year and I have seen a real downturn in the LinuxWorld-related briefing requests, etc. And the comments are unintentionally hilarious--the Linux Hater's blog couldn't have done it better.
- John Beardsworth Photography News/Blog - Using Lightroom 2 smart collections for workflow.
- The Reality Club: ON "IS GOOGLE MAKING US STUPID" By Nicholas Carr - Lots of interesting discussion by smart people here.
- Rackable Shares Slide After Earnings Miss - Data Center Knowledge - I wouldn't read too much into this but does at least suggest the bargaining power held by large-scale computing providers.
- Your honor, he didn't mean to poison readers! - Dishing - Boston.com - Oopsie.
- Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard » Blog Archive » Sarah Lacy’s Once You’re Lucky: Money doesn’t change everything - Good succinct thoughts on some of the threads that went tinto Web 2.o.
- tecosystems » Big Brother is Watching You. On Twitter. - No easy answer here. I guess that one could have two accounts and keep the personal one invitation only. And make those invitations strictly for "real friends" as opposed to professional acquaintances that I more or less like. I felt similarly when I got my first professional friend-request on facebook. I'm more or less resigned to it but mostly because I don't really have an active network of friends on facebook. I might feel differently if I did.
- Inside Lightroom - Lots of presets.
- Flagstaff Lake - Going to try doing this in a couple of weeks, weather permitting.
- Experience Backpacking in Restructured Iraq - Umm... Words elude me. via @guykawasaki
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
- Coding Horror: On Our Project, We're Always 90% Done - A great description of the 90% done--only 90% left to do--problem.
- Damian Conway, Thoughtstream: "Temporally Quaquaversal Virtual Nanomachine Programming In Multiple Topologically Connected Quantum-Relativistic Parallel Timespaces...Made Easy!" - O'Reilly Open Source Convention on blip.tv - Video from this year's OSCON now up. I haven't watched how they come across on the video but some of the more interesting presos at the original include Damina Conway, Tim Bray, Sam Ramjhi, Danese Cooper, and Robert Lefkowitz.
- Oracle's Burlington complex to double in size - The Boston Globe - Guess proprietary software isn't dead yet.
- Cool Tool: Free topo maps - As the post says, buying topo CDs isn't cheap. I'll have to look at these free alternatives.
- tecosystems » Will There Be Only One Cloud? - I'm probably between the extremes here. I'm not sure I really buy the "five computers" theme but I think there could be more centralization. Would like to understand the economics of scale better.
- Free Online Course Materials | MIT OpenCourseWare - OCW is more a resource for creating courses than for getting access to MIT course "out of the box" but a great resource nonetheless.
Monday, August 04, 2008
- apophenia: knol: content w/out context, collaboration, capital, or coruscation - I'm not sure the issue with Knol is so much that content created by a single expert can't be good, but that a lot of the Knol content is non-expert, indifferently assembled, or self-promotional/spammy.
- Large Hadron Collider nearly ready - The Big Picture - Boston.com - Great photos of the LHC.
- gapingvoid: "cartoons drawn on the back of business cards": the cloud's best-kept secret - Not sure it's really a secret. If you take Greg P's "Five computers" literally that's been the implication. The question of economic scale point is an important one.
- Magazine Preview - Malwebolence - The World of Web Trolling - NYTimes.com - "Technology, apparently, does more than harness the wisdom of the crowd. It can intensify its hatred as well." This is a pretty scary article.
Friday, August 01, 2008
- Language on Twitter » Delusions of Adequacy - Interesting discussion about language on twitter. One of the challenges is that it's very much a mix of personal and professional with the way that individuals use it very dependent on the individual.
- The Wages of Pointless Rewrites - I don't have any knowledge of the backstory myself, but interesting perspective on delicious 2.0.
- Movie-O - Movie Trailers, DVD Releases, Reviews, Showtimes... - Interesting movie site that specializes in the facts behind movies based on real stories.
- Cloud versus cloud: A guided tour of Amazon, Google, AppNexus, and GoGrid | InfoWorld | Review | 2008-07-21 | By Peter Wayner - A review of some cloud offerings with an emphasis on SLAs.
- Open Source and Cloud Computing - O'Reilly Radar - Federation as one approach to transportability in the cloud.
- SEC says blogs = proper disclosure » mathewingram.com/work | - I mostly agree with Mathew here. It's a welcome change but there are all sorts of reasons that public companies will still tend to push out material announcements in a formal, legal-vetted form. It will probably be comporting for companies that if something gets mentioned in a blog but not a press release that it will be less cause for concerb, but I don't see them dispensing with the press release.
- Opt-in or opt-out? Street View case echoes privacy debate - I'm not sure how germane it is here; the Street Views opt-out process seems more a case of Google making the tradeoff that small incremental coverage isn't worth angry people. But the basic point about the war between opt-in and opt-out models is certainly true.
- Megan McArdle (July 31, 2008) - GDP: A few pictures are worth a book - Some interesting economic observations via world maps.
I've been toying with this idea of how valuable social networks are for a while now. Not value in any quantitative sense, but how things work conceptually. Metcalfe's Law, which states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of users of the system (n²), is often invoked in this regard. However, I'm not sure it really captures the dynamics of social networks which place a relative premium on the right kind of connections.
(There's also been some debate about Metcalfe's Law in its original context as well. However, I've always taken the "law" to be a statement that increased network size predictably increases value rather than a precise mathematical description of that value--which is a somewhat vague concept in any case.)
Anyway, it strikes me that there are two critical points when it comes to the value of a social network--or, indeed, any communications network.
The first is the point of critical mass. Critical mass is the idea that we reach a point where there are enough people in one of our relevant social groups connected through a product or technology that it starts to have real value. This value, in turn, starts to provide a real incentive for others in that social group to get on the network, increasing its value still further.
Let me give you an example from past lives. I first had access to email in an MIT lab in 1978 or so. It was sort of neat. I occasionally traded emails with a friend who worked in the MIT AI Lab. I didn't know anyone else on email though so it wasn't really especially useful.
Flash forward to the late-1980s. I had email at work, but it was a closed system. My personal email was through Compuserve. I used it a bit--I used BBS message boards a lot more--but, for example, it wasn't all that useful for things like organizing hiking trips or board meetings because only a few people in those groups were on email. So I had to resort to snail mail and telephone anyway. The sea change came when enough people were on email that I could start treating it as the preferred and default communications medium. Over time, backup communications methods became more and more deprecated until everyone pretty much had to be on email.
Whether it's a true point or just some exponential growth relationship, the fact remains that network value is hard to grow at first but if it can get to a certain mass, things really take off. I think we're seeing this right now with analysts and analyst relations folks on twitter. Once enough people are using a given network, it puts pressure on the rest to join as well.
(Conversely, this is probably why I don't get a lot of value out of facebook. There I don't really have a critical mass of friends for whom facebook could provide a useful coordination point.)
At the other end of the scale, I see a given social network stopping to increase in value after a while--certainly at the same rate. Once my network is saturated--perhaps I'm already spending as much time on twitter as I care to, a larger network size doesn't increase the value of twitter to me; I'll cap the number of people I follow even if my number of followers rises. Other networks just tend to cap at a particular size and value because all the relevant people are on and using it.
Even more interesting is the idea that a social network's value can actually decrease past a certain point. (See Clay Shirky's thoughts on the subject.) Further thoughts deserve a separate post but, essentially, what I think of as "pollution" can set in. Think of the problems with email today. Or, historically, the "Eternal September."
In short, it's hard to get a network to the point where it has real value. This is another face of the familiar bootstrapping problem. At the same time, especially absent appropriate access and filtering controls, that same network can collapse under its own weight if it grows too large.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
- Xobni Can Make Good Old Email Even More Useful | Walt Mossberg | Personal Technology | AllThingsD - I'm still on the fence about this. Some useful features, a lot of useless analytical stuff that tends to get in the way.
- The Long Tail: How big is the free economy? - Interesting numbers here. So online game revenue about the same as all non-Linux Open Source (c. $1B)?
- Coding Horror: Alpha, Beta, and Sometimes Gamma - "there are two clear trends: The definition of beta grows more all-encompassing and elastic every year. We are awfully eager to throw alpha quality code over the wall to external users and testers."
- Call Me Fishmeal.: “The Mojave Experiment:” Bad Science, Bad Marketing - Great line: "Vista is known for people initially liking it, then after a while discovering it’s not working for them, and “downgrading” to XP. This study has told us exactly what we already knew: that, initially, people like Vista. (Initially, people like having sex without condoms, too... it’s simply not a very good criterion all by itself.)"
- Mike On Ads » Blog Archive » Using your browser URL history to estimate gender - No question there (92% male). And it's not like I visit porn sites. Drivers seem to include digg (popular headlines), noaa (weather??!), newegg (ok, I build computers). Does suggest how powerful even high-level data mining can be.
- A Windows-Based Bar Exam Policy: No Macs Allowed - City Room - Metro - New York Times Blog - I get hand cramps writing more than a few sentences these days. I'd be at a huge disadvantage if I had to write a time-limited essay by hand. Plus I'm not sure even I would be able to read it.
- Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Journalists and Communities: What I Told AJR - The bigger theme is that local is one area that the Web does, at best, inconsistently. (But more traditional media could better leverage what is there.)
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
- SarahLacy.com: Hey, You, Get Off Of My Cloud! - "I've been vocal in my criticism of Yahoo's bungling of excellent services they've acquired, most notably Delicious. While they managed not to screw up the beauty that is Flickr, they've done absolutely nothing in over three years of delicious ownership." I've made the same comments about del.icio.us though I hink Sarah is a bit kind WRT flickr.
- tecosystems » OSCON is People - I concur with Stephen's sense of OSCON. Lots of interesting sessions and discussions but no obvious single center of gravity. (Which, as he says, is just fine.)
- louisgray.com: Facebook Still Banning Aliases to Avoid Becoming Fakebook - I'm generally sympathetic to the point of view that it's eminently reasonable under a lot of circumstances to have an Internet nom de plume that's not associated with a real world identity. One problem though is that once you allow fake, there's no way to draw the line at a single consistent online identity.
- Marginal Revolution: Why isn't Asian music more popular? - One of the many things that I'd never stopped to think about. And an interesting discussion of same.
- Iron Mountain's Natural Cooling Advantage - Data Center Knowledge - Interesting discussion and list of how going underground saves on datacenter cooling costs.
- Megan McArdle (July 30, 2008) - It's a small world after all - "I suspect that Twitter, Facebook, and whatever comes after them will mean denser, richer social networks in the future. Already, email is holding people together after college a lot more tightly than the people I graduated with--the last graduating class, basically, before the Web. "
- Rails Envy: Oscon Videos - OSCON2008 in 37 minutes.
- Adobe - Lightroom Developer Center - Lightroom SDK information.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
- Adobe Lightroom - What's New in Lightroom 2.0 final release? - What's new in Lightroom 2.
- Marginal Revolution: Are books overwritten? - Interesting discussion on the length of books. I've often felt that a lot of business books could probably fit well in a long magazine article--with perhaps some more supporting background.
- Clive Thompson on Real-World Social Networks vs. Facebook 'Friends' - Fascinating article. via @bfr3nch
- Consultants Love Life (New Format) 30 Jan08 - This is hilarious. Thanks @jpuppet.
- Novell-developer Michael Meeks interview - Whether or not Sun is handling this perfectly or not, it’s hard to see how there’s any real justification to their funding development of OpenOffice. The ODF wars are largely over for better or worse. Sun is not a fat client company in any sense. And, of course, they’re not exactly Google with all sorts of resources to fritter on non-strategic efforts.
- Sun may or may not be about to obliterate Oracle and Microsoft | The Register - "What I would have learned had I been more dedicated to my education were the two fundamental facts about multi-threading with locks: 1. You’re going to fuck it up. 2. If you think that you haven’t fucked it up, you have. You just don’t know it yet."
Monday, July 28, 2008
- People Over Process » The Return of Paying for Software - Cote wonders if we're seeing an increased willingness to pay for (consumer) software in some contexts, e.g. "App Stor"-type frameworks.
- Real Dan Lyons Web Site » Blog Archive PR Rule #1: People who are telling the truth about themselves do not insist on being ‘off the record’ « - "One of the many ironies and contradictions about Apple is that while the company presents this hip, open, cool image to the world, its PR machine is the most secretive, locked-down, hard-assed and disciplined of any company in tech, including IBM."
Thursday, July 24, 2008
- Amazon Web Services Blog: Can Scanning as a Service Clean Your Desk Off? - Interesting-sounding service--and it uses AWS.
- Farewell, Bill Gates - Forbes.com - "I think Microsoft will play defense from here on out. Its army of M.B.A.s will milk the monstrous franchise around Windows and Office for all it's worth and try to cushion a decline in originality and create a soft landing. The future for Microsoft looks lucrative, predictable and boring."
- louisgray.com: The Hubris of the Twitterati and Twitterati Wannabes - "I'm depressed at the hubris of what seems to be a number of users, who find the loss of followers damaging to their egos."
- 451 CAOS Theory » On open source and cloud computing - More cloud providers.
- tecosystems » Drizzle from the Clouds - Good writeup on Drizzle--essentially an Open Source project that aims to create a "version" of MySQL optimized for cloud computing.
- Coding Horror: Building Tiny, Ultra Low Power PCs - I've wanted to build a mini-/nano-ITX system for a while.
- The Long Now Foundation - Essays - Feynman and the Connection Machine [via @werner]
Monday, July 21, 2008
- louisgray.com: The Talk About Rules for Social Following Is Getting Out of Hand - Using twitter like this seems a lot like using IM. Nothing wrong with that, and there are some advantages (and disadvantages) to using twitter as a sort of convergence platform, but effectively more of a 1:1 communications method than many:many.
- The Hard Part of SaaS - I think this is an important point. Web 2.0ish-created expectations notwithstanding, there's no reason to think that enterprise SaaS apps should be free or even especially cheap.
- Futuristic Play by Andrew Chen: Are Web 2.0 startups wasting their time with Web 2.0 early adopters? - Remember that "early adopters" vary depending upon your target mainstream audience.
- Marginal Revolution: NFL Player IQ by Position Played - This is interesting and I find the results only about 50 percent intuitive.
Friday, July 18, 2008
- Media: Bloomberg sale spells profitable future of journalism by numbers - Measurement of reportage output getting more common.
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission fireworks safety video - Very Short List - Unintentional dark humor. I love it.
- Alison on the Behance Network - [via VSL]
- Megan McArdle (July 17, 2008) - Macaroni and Cheese - From the comments: "I don't know how someone can make an insanely fatty mac and cheese recipe sound elitist, (maybe the snide comments about freshly crushed pepper, nutmeg, and Japanese bread crumbs), but you pulled it off."
- Dueling Definitions for Cloud Computing - Data Center Knowledge - Various definitional work for cloud computing
- Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: The cloud's not-so-silver lining - As with open source, Nick Carr suggests that, while there's certainly evidence that customers save money, that doesn't mean it's good for the vendors too.
- Kitchen Myths - "Urban legends" about cooking.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
- Amazon Web Services Developer Connection : Building GrepTheWeb in the Cloud, Part 1: Cloud Architectures - Best practices for AWS.
- Linux Hater's Blog: The fallacy of choice - "Let's look at the server side. Why does Linux succeed here? One of the big reasons is that there is a working baseline. Everyone knows what it's called: LAMP. If in doubt, start with LAMP."
- The Long Tail: What he said - "Which is going to be worth more in ten years: the leaky boat of a network TV franchise or the relentlessly growing collection of long tail video at YouTube?" Not always clear (especially in the general case). It depends if there's a path to monetizing the long tail or not.
- Scaling Flickr, and Other Huge Databases - Data Center Knowledge - Pointer to a good collection of scalability war stories.
- Xbox 360: Turn Your Xbox 360 into a Streaming Netflix Player - Sounds potentially cool in advance of official support but couldn't get this to work properly. Definitely still a work in progress.
- Sourcing Innovation: Where the Brain gives Pinky a Lesson in Statistics - Short version: doing good surveys is hard (and, therefore, expensive). And, in many cases, almost impossible to execute. (And, besides, the sponsors often don't want the "truth.")
- DVPmysqlucFederation at Flickr: Doing Billions of Queries Per Day - Scaling at flickr presentation. via stshank.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
- Internet Evolution - Marc Canter - The Dawn of the PKB (Personal Knowledge Base) - Good point. I have emails (several), local files, various Web 2.0 services, bookmarks, and a saved Knowledge Base (Surfulater) that are all largely disjoint from each other. (To say nothing of some things that are just on paper.)
- ssd-usenix08.pdf (application/pdf Object) - Detailed look at SSD design tradeoffs.
- It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's.... The Burj Dubai! - Shoot The Blog - Amazing pic!
- EBays Pyrrhic Victory - Business, Power and Deals – Executive Suite blog – NYTimes.com - I only agree with some of the points in this piece. What I think is true, however, is that eBay is shifting its focus from the auction business and customer satisfaction (from both buyer and seller side) with that auction business is at least anecdotally in steady decline.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
- Do problems with Wikipedia presage social networking’s end? | Paul Murphy | ZDNet.com - While I've often been critical of Wikipedia, I think the truth is more along the lines that Wikipedia does some things well and some things badly.
- Citrix versus the Xen community | Virtually Speaking | ZDNet.com - Dan argues that Citrix is trying to turn Xen relationship into full-on competition.
- Hotel Internet Access - Business Travel Column - Joe Brancatelli - Seat 2B - Portfolio.com - Of course, higher-end hotels charge insane prices for lots of add-ons. I've seen a $9 bottle of water at an NYC hotel.
- Cloud Computing; the Invisible Infostructure | CTO Blog | Capgemini | Consulting, Technology, Outsourcing - Good Cap Gemini CTO thoughts on cloud computing.
My current client of choice is twhirl, an Adobe AIR application that I generally keep open in a column running down the left-hand side of one of my monitors. I keep this monitor as sort of a communications center. Along with twhirl, it displays my email and instant messaging clients (Outlook and Trillian respectively).
I also took a look at TweetDeck, another AIR application, this morning. It can be set to display all your twitter traffic in a single column in a way that's pretty similar to twhirl. It can also display multiple columns with replies, direct messages, or a selected subset of the users you're following. Interesting idea but I'd like to see a somewhat different take on the groups concept (and more control of resizing windows and columns).
Let me explain in the context of how I handle RSS feeds in my client. I divide my RSS feeds into several categories. One I call "A-priority." This is basically the stuff that I really want to skim through even if I'm on the road or have a busy day. Doesn't always work that way, of course, but that's the goal. Then I have various other groups for general technology, miscellaneous, tips and tricks, and so forth. This is stuff that I like to flip through but often don't have time for. It also includes some sources that may have interesting stuff but pump out so much material that I don't want it all ending up in my "must read" pile.
I'd like to see a similar concept in twitter clients. Let me create a group A, B, and so forth. That would give me the option to follow some people, especially those who post a lot, on a sort of secondary basis as time permits without diluting my main list. (TweetDeck doesn't quite do this in that you can't turn off "All Tweets" and doesn't provide any way to make sure that a user is in only one group.)
My colleague Jonathan Eunice has also wished for a way to stop displaying read posts. I would envision this also working similarly to the way it does on my RSS client. Just hit a "Mark All Read" button and the display clears. This would be useful when you scroll back to read older tweets and avoids the mental energy with figuring out "Did I read this?"
Overall, a service that I'm finding most useful and fun. Twitter's own infrastructure has ongoing growing pains but some incremental work on the client side would help too.
Monday, July 14, 2008
- Irving Wladawsky-Berger: The Promise and Reality of Cloud Computing - Typically thoughtful piece by Irving on Cloud Computing. "In other words, something big and profound seems to be going on, although we are not totally sure what it is yet."
- Riding the Hype Cycle | Velocity - the marketing acceleration agency for B2B technology companies - Interesting paper about the intersection of marketing and the hype cycle. Like the author implies, I think the hype cycle can be over-analyzed and applied, but I find it often rather true at a conceptual level.
- ABBA songs have staying power - The Boston Globe - I find this whole question of what makes certain songs hits/"good"/popular/etc. a really interesting question.
- BlueSam Blog: Hacking The Zune Podcast Feature To Give You Bookmarks For Your Audio Books - Looks like a handy hack. I ran into this limitation and was wondering if there were any workarounds.
- Why There Aren't More Googles - I think this is the money quote: "Startups have gotten cheaper. That means they want less money, but also that there are more of them. So you can still get large returns on large amounts of money; you just have to spread it more broadly."
Friday, July 11, 2008
- Twin Peaks: Interesting Thing of the Day - This was a fun series at the time.
- Megan McArdle (July 11, 2008) - Notes from the line - From the comments: "What the eff is so great about the iPhone that you would go through all this?" It's not the product, it's the preening.
- 50 Remarkable Nature Wallpapers | Graphics | Smashing Magazine - They're not really all nature and many are highly manipulated, but striking all the same.
- Your Corporate Homepage is Really Google.com - The title says it.
- Liars, Damn Liars and Statistics: Gartner Goofs on Server Numbers - Rob Enderle - An interesting look at the dark underbelly of market share data.
- America The Dissonant: Seven Movies That Send Mixed Messages About U.S. - The Screengrab - The description of Forrest Gump here is brilliant.
- Criminal Probe of Apple Options Is Ended - WSJ.com - Fairly or not it certainly perpetuates the idea of a Steve Jobs reality distortion field.
- Data Center Strategies: VMware: Welcome to the Game. - I can't really agree with ignoring the EMC relationship factor wrt what went down. But there are a lot of other good thoughts to ponder herein.
- Why VMware's Greene was pushed off a cliff | Computerworld Blogs - Profoundly disagree. "The removal of Diane Greene is probably VMware's best hope for survival."
- Enterprise 2.0 and the 90-9-1 rule | Jon Mell - Web 2.0 ideas and strategy - Very true: "It is only after the first person asks a question (the 1%) that the flood gates open and others (about 9% of the audience) feel safe enough to ask theirs. The other 90% wish everyone would stop asking questions so they can get to the buffet lunch."
- Dilbert.com Live Performance - Funny. Mean. But Funny.
- The Long Tail: The Long Tail of Baby Names - I thought this was sort of an interesting statistic when I saw it yesterday. To the degree that there's a decline of, say, viewers of the top-rated TV programs there probably are some common causes: a more heterogeneous population, fewer shared cultural touchstones, and so forth.
- How Getty Is Killing the Stock Photo Industry - A Picture's Worth - "As much as Getty would like to position this move as an open embrace of the community, it's not. Instead, it's a way to lock out competition, and allow them to continue with status quo. They're hopeful that this infusion of content can somehow staunch the flat/declining growth of their traditional licensing revenue, and why not? Their growth has historically been predicated on acquisition of boutique agency content until they bought virtually everyone up, and alienated thousands of photographers and buyers in the process."
- Simkl and IM History: Two services that spy on your IM conversations (for you) | Webware : Cool Web apps for everyone - CNET - I've been looking for something like this--although I've also considered just writing something that works with Trillian and stores my logs on a private server.
- HP Moving Defense Department Into The Cloud - Data Center Knowledge - I'm not a huge fan of using "cloud" to refer to a general datacenter architecture style. This seems to mask the on-premises vs. off-premises distinction which is important for a variety of reasons.
- Go Big Always - 10 ROI charts you can’t live without - This is funny/cute. But there are also some interesting thought embedded herein (e.g. the blogosphere one).
Thursday, July 10, 2008
- More DTrace envy [LWN.net] - Interesting discussion (including in the comments) about DTrace and SystemTap. via @jonathaneunice.
- louisgray.com: How Silicon Valley Heavy Are Web 2.0 Consumers? - Google Trends is an interesting tool for this sort of thing. Not definitive but definitely suggestive.
- Testing the Long Tail's First Test - O'Reilly Radar - We're starting to see pushback wrt the "Long Tail." It's starting to seem that it's not a wrongheaded idea exactly, but may well be less broadly applicable than proponents have suggested.
- Phil Clevenger - Lightroom Interface Designer :: Photography by FrederickVan - Good video interview with Phil Clevenger - Lightroom Interface Designer.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
- Linux Hater's Blog: Turn your head and KOffice - Good one: "Maybe someone thinks that if Linux has like 3 billion office suites, then it can finally take over MS Office? I mean, there's so much choice. Who could possibly resist?"
- William Vambenepe’s blog » Blog Archive » A nice place to stay in Standardstown - A very funny take on standards bodies.
- Food Notebook: Arcadia - Is it worth the price? [San Jose] - French fries in duck fat, via @carterlusher.
- EMC CEO's ego has cost investors billions | The Register - I'm not sure to what degree I lay this, well, fiasco at Joe Tucci's feet personally as opposed to many of his execs--but he is CEO after all.
- Oil Rig Photos | Home - I used to work in the offshore drilling biz. Maybe I'll put up some pics.
- One Subpoena Is All It Takes to Reveal Your Online Life - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog - "in the United States, one of the biggest privacy issues is what information about people can be revealed through a court process, either as part of a criminal investigation or in some sort of civil dispute." This is essentially one of the issues that Eben Moglen has been making about what we now call "cloud computing" for a while.
- VMware's Diane Greene is the toast of Silicon Valley - October 15, 2007 - This is an interesting background article on Diane Greene and VMware that I missed originally.