Skip to content


IMHO: I started and stopped

IMHO: I started and stopped writing this two days ago, mostly because I didn't feel like I knew any of the people or issues involved well enough to have the right to a meaningful opinion, not to mention that I would be seens as sucking up(people are so quick to judge - but what the hell, here goes…)

But I just feel like I must post a brief note of support and agreement with what Doc and Jon wrote about the recent bit of mean-spirited writing about RSS and its history, both on public blogs and private newsgroups. I wasn't there but Dave Winer was and I am willing to take him at his word. But you know what, I think that's ancient history. So for the record : theres no doubt in my mind that Dave deserves credit and respect for the totally central role he played and continues to play in the blog phenomenon. Count me as a fan.

I wholeheartedly agree with what Doc wrote: "There's so much left to do. Let's stop making it harder than it already is." Life is too short.

Did you know how closely

Did you know how closely you were being watched by your TIVO? A by-product of the Janet Jackson flap, was that Tivo announced through a press release that they registered the biggest blip of from their network at the instant of the famous reveal. Count me in - I did a bunch of Replay's to see if I had really seen what I thought I had seen. Who cares?

But the big surprise is that Tivo somehow is collecting that information at that granular level - literally what buttons I am pushing on the remote? Big Brother! I guess the second, smaller surprise, is that Tivo is so proud of this that they needed to put it into a press release.

Stern on Jackson

Stern on Jackson: What total sillyness, all the outrage over Janet Jackson's bared breast during the superbowl halftime. If it wasn't for TIVO I wouldn't have been sure even of what I saw. I think the whole event lasted all of 1 second.

Howard Stern points out the sillyness: The government is starting an investigation about Janet Jackson's breast reveal, but can't get it together to investigate Cheney and Haliburton. Ridiculous! Jon Stewart made more or less the same point.

Orkut Revisited: I had been

Orkut Revisited: I had been wondering whether my negative vibes about Orkut was because I was the only person on the planet apparently that had not received an invitation. Well that's all changed. And you know what? I still feel the same way. And apparently I am not the only one…

In a bit of very clever social engineering , I believe the allure of Orkut was (somewhat or mostly) about the fact that it was unattainable. By being "Invitation Only" it produced two effects: a) people who were left out wanted "in", and b) people who were "in" viewed it at some level as some kind of validation - after all they were part of the "in crowd " now.

Did you consider one consequence of the invitation-only scheme? Who were Adam and Eve? Whoever originally primed the pump is by definition GenerationZero of the whole network (presumably this is the developer of Orkut.) His or her friends are Generation One, and so on. For all we know we are all part of a grand social science experiment to create the ultimate 6-degrees-of-separation map of the world. I wonder what generation I am! I wonder who I am descended from? Do I have famous ancestors? Royalty maybe?

Comparing Orkut with LinkedIn, I favor LinkedIn. Orkut has the feel of a dating service, allowing me to rate my friends by their sexiness for crying out loud?? Both Orkut and LinkedIn suffer from people mass- uploading all their contacts into it. First of all, you end up annoying people and second, of course it dilutes the value of the network that the product represents. I am a little suspicious of people in LinkedIn that have 100 direct connections.

All in all, LinkedIn serves (an admitedly minor) use for me. Other than gawking and lurking you won't be seeing me on Orkut!

I’m not that geeky: I

I 'm not that geeky: I am totally fascinated and entralled with what's going on on Mars right now. I've followed all sorts of sources and recently came across this blog by Susan Kitchens who has very detailed posts about what's going on. I don't know who she is or how she's connected, but it's a pretty comprehensive way to keep up.

As a software guy I am very interested in how the software for the Rover is put together. I asked Susan whether she could give me some pointers, which led to this recent post in her blog, which I thought was amusing:

" Backing up the Mars Rover Mission: Computerworld has the story . They also covered the OS running the rovers, VxWorks by Wind River Systems. (I got an email asking me for more info on computing resources on MER. I 'm not that geeky ; I suggest you start there and research further)."

Well, I am 🙂 And if I come across anything useful, I will pass it on. In the meanwhile here are some other links that I follow for Mars news: Steve Squires, the "principal investigator" of the mission actually has a blog. And of course Nasa/JPL has a web site of their own with news and some amazing animations.

Sun still doesn’t get it!

Sun still doesn 't get it! Ouch this hurts. The UI below is what the vaunted Sun provides to Windows users as their standard "Java Web Start" Experience -- the latest release of Java no less - fresh off the presses.

This is what poor first time users are expected to look at when they are installing Java apps on Windows (I suspect it looks just the same on other platforms.) It turns my stomach.

The underlying technology is great, and seems to work, and be secure and convenient. But please doesn't anyone think just a little bit about user experience?

This is 2004, guys. First impressions count.

A picture named

BlogBridge update: Just a quick

BlogBridge update: Just a quick note about what's up with BlogBridge. My time has been severely drained by a new consulting project, so progress has slowed down more than I would like. The last while I was knee-deep in installation, deployment, upgrade facilities. I looked at a bunch of possible ways of distributing, installing and then upgrading the application, evaluating 3 of them in detail. What a mess!

In the end I settled on Java Web Start. I used to think of this as a bit of a kludge, but it seems to be well suited to deployment and installation of Java apps, and with each release Sun seems to make it a little nicer. So that's what I am going with.

I've learned far more than I ever wanted to know about the CLASSPATH, Jars, JNLP, and yada-yada-yada. Interesting though, but definitely heavy duty geekosity.

BlogBridge is still in what I would generously call a pre-alpha state. Not really usable. (FeedDemon is much better.) If a few people would like to try out the Java Web Start deployment, send me an email and we can talk.