I came across my old blog that I’ve not posted to in 3 years and, well, found some really good stuff. I recently dropped all social media because it had become a total time sync. Bit yeah, some really good stuff. Also WordPress is a very nice platform. It’s evolved right  under me and now it’s downright pleasant to use. Maybe… Should I start blogging again?

Lean Startups and Custdev

I had the interesting experience this weekend to attend the “Lean Startup Machine” weekend at the Microsoft NERD. It was kind of a hackathon for Lean Startups, which are startups that practice something refererred to as Customer Development, or CustDev. If you’ve not heard about it, here’s a 40 minute lecture about CustDev by one of the top gurus, Eric Ries. Another reference would be essentially the founding document:, “The Four Steps to the Epiphany”?

The high level story is this: we have well defined and articulated methodologies for managing the creation of software: Agile, Extreme Programming, etc. But on the other hand, there are no equivalent ‘scientific’ methodologies for defining products and understanding market.

Another pithy statement: Startups fail, not because they fail to create the product that they envisioned, but, because customers don’t want the product that got built.

The methodology has it’s rabid fans. However you feel about it, you owe it to yourself to learn more about it.

As I digest what I learned, I will be posting more, as well as links to a bunch of interesting tools we learned about.

Interesting article about Architecture of the Certificate Authority Trust Model

Check out The Flawed Legal Architecture of the Certificate Authority Trust Model(from Freedom to Tinker:

"The bottom line is that the CA Trust Model’s legal architecture inures to the benefit of no one. Neither website operators, certificate authorities, nor end-users can be sure of their rights or exposure. The Model’s legal structure may therefore be just as troubling as its security vulnerabilities." (from: The Flawed Legal Architecture of the Certificate Authority Trust Model)


Will the App Store Accept Java Applications?

Check out Apple Begins Accepting Submissions for Mac App Store(from GigaOM:

"At the Oct. 20 “Back to the Mac” event, the Mac App Store was announced alongside the next iteration of OS X, dubbed Lion (10.7). Apple then revealed that users wouldn’t have to wait until Lion’s summer release window to get their hands on the new distribution channel. Instead, the Mac App Store would be available for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard within 90 days." (from: Apple Begins Accepting Submissions for Mac App Store)

Suddenly it comes home to roost, directly, for BlogBridge. It would be great to offer it on the Apple App Store. However it is not inconceivable that Apple would ban Java/Swing applications. If anyone has real information about this, please let me know!

From Mashable: The beat goes on

Check out 10 Tools for Distributed Developer Teams(from Mashable!:

"Every developer and every manager will have his or her preferred tools for working with a distributed team. We’ve rounded up 10 that came to us highly recommended, and we hope you’ll let us know what you think of them — good experiences and bad — in the comments. And be sure to enlighten us if we skipped your favorite resource, too." (from: 10 Tools for Distributed Developer Teams)

A bunch of intersting products still trying to crack the collaboration/groupware/sharing nut. It’s hard.By the way, my current favorite tool marginally in this category is PivotalTracker, which was not mentioned. It’s an agile/scrum tool, very lightweight, and free for basic use. If you are working in an agile team it’s really worth a look!

MySpace Loses a Co-President

Check out MySpace Loses a Co-President(from Mashable!:

"Space has announced that Co-President Jason Hirschorn has decided to leave the company, marking the exit of yet another top-level executive from the declining social network." (from: MySpace Loses a Co-President)

Don’t we know by now that co-presidents don’t work? We used to call it ‘two in a box’ and it was never a success. By the way, MySpace? They still around?

Premature Evaluation?: Obama Wins Nobel Prize

Check out Premature Evaluation?: Obama Wins Nobel Prize(from The BRAD BLOG:

“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.” (from: Premature Evaluation?: Obama Wins Nobel Prize)

I say, hooray for us! Hooray for the USA. Why can’t we just be proud that our president was given this honor, instead of people taking potshots at him for ‘not having accomplished anything’ yet?

It’s silly. There have been many Nobel Peace Prizes awarded to encourage and support an effort, even before it has yielded results. I suppose if we look back at press coverage back then we’d see the same nonsense.

Derrick Jackson of the Boston Globe captures it best for me:

“The Nobel Committee clearly was awarding Obama the Nobel for hauling America out of the pits of unilateralism. What had to come first was America fulfilling a major portion of the dream of another Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Martin Luther King Jr. For that, America is worthy. The Nobel Committee in fact might have made a mistake. It said, “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future.

It would have been better off proclaiming, “The Norwegian Nobel Committee awards its 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to the United States of America for having the courage to come full circle 233 years after a slave-owning nation declared independence by saying all men are created equal” ” (from The Boston Globe)

Well said.

[GEEKY] How DataRSS might work

Editors Note (that’s me, Pito): I’ve decided to change the name of this thing to “Decentralized Data Discovery – DDD” because I learned from more than one person that calling it Data RSS was misleading and confusing. I need to go back and update the papers and blog posts.

I’ve just finished writing part 3 of my series about DataRSS. Part 1 gives the background and justification for the concept, and Part 2 worked through a semi-believable scenario where having DataRSS would be a good thing.

In part 3 I try to get into more technical detail. I hope that you take the time to read it because that’s the only way I will get technical feedback on it. The reason I wrote the first two parts is that realistically I expect to lose 99.5% of you guys once you open up part 3. That’s why this post is labeled [GEEKY]. Here’s some of what I cover in part 3:

“Data RSS is a simple protocol and a simple data format. It can be implemented in any programming language.

Importantly, the Publisher and Accessor software need not know (can not know) what language the counterparties software is written in. ” (from DataRSS: Technical Overview)


“DataRSS is used between two parties, the Publisher, who ‘owns’ some data, and the Accessor, who wants to use that data. Publisher and Accessor are organizations with people in them. The Publisher wants to offer a technical means to allow an application program simple and standardized access to their data.

The Accessor wants to write an application program that accesses and does something useful with data coming from any Publisher. Accessor and Publisher don’t know each other. ” (from DataRSS: Technical Overview)

Delicious isn’t it? One final tease, I also have worked out some detailed examples of how DataRSS might work with the New York Times API, with the Sunlight Foundation API and with the Follow The Money API.

[GEEKY] Foxmarks now supports Mac … one fewer reason to stay with Firefox

I read in Personal Technology (Wall Street Journal) today that Foxmarks, the handy, free utility that synchronizes my Firefox bookmarks between several computers, now works with Safari as well. Great. I tested it, and it does work just fine.

This blog post is being written with another handy firefox plugin called Scribefire, which lets me post to my blog directly from a page in the browser. It works really nicely and I use it frequently. I recommend it. Unfortunately they don’t support Safari yet. So I am staying with Firefox, for now.

By the way, why am I even considering deserting Firefox? Overall it works very well and the new 3.1 Beta 2 seems very fast. There are two areas of discontent:

  1. On Mac, the Print dialog box is non-standard, and who cares about that, except that the standard Print dialog on Leopard displays a very useful preview of the pages being printed, something that I frequently miss in Firefox.
  2. For unknown mysterious reasons (I suspect Flash but I don’t know) Firefox will go into a frenzy and eat up all my mac’s compute cycles. It’s annoying when I see my computer get slow, I have to check activity monitor and find Firefox the culprit. I am forced to exit Firefox to get my speed back.

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