October 10, 2008

Got scooped

I'd been working on Stressed Out Traders but someone else came up with Sad Guys On Trading Floors. Seems like theirs is funnier than mine and it got boingboing'd.

Update: another one. Funny that we're all using tumblr to host these. I guess they're the new market leading blog platform or something.

February 24, 2008

Politics, ego

Screw you, Nader.

November 25, 2007

NY Times' recipe for stem cell turkey

nytimes front page Big news: scientists have discovered a new method for creating stem cells. The Times is on top of the story, complete with a picture of a scientist demonstrating the technique with some sharp knives. Oh wait, no, that picture goes with the turkey carving story. Oops, sorry, my misunderstanding.

November 12, 2007

Couch vs. Sofa

While "couch" can mean any upholstered seat (or the lair of a wild beast!), "sofa" is, specifically, a couch with a back and 2 arms.


On November 14, 2007 01:27 AM, Joe left a comment:

Why just couch and sofa when you had 5 for garbage?


My grandmother used to say things like, "did you leave your billfold on the drainboard or is it stuck between the cushions of the davenport?"

October 19, 2007

I'm told the Internets have become quite popular

My employer, Telemetry Investments, now has a web site. We're hip, yo! Also, check the careers section - we're hiring.

October 10, 2007

Web 2.0 is DOS 2.0

It's 2007, why is the web acting like it's 1987?

Where's my password-manager? Each site I access wants me to create a username and password. Many didn't get the memo in 1998 and still insist on using something other than an email address as the username. Some take it even further and want me to set up a secret question/answer to use as a password for recovering my password. How am I supposed to manage this information? Across multiple computers? When organizations like dreamhost occasionally leak my password info? Is OpenID going to save us?

Hey cool new web2.0 app, I don't want to give you my facebook/del.icio.us/flickr/gmail/bank password just because you promise you'll entertain me with a pretty redraw of the data. I might consider granting you temporary read-only access to one of these services, but, oops, nobody's invented that yet. I might even grant you full access, but I don't want to give you my password to do so. Otherwise, how am I going to remove you when you (inevitably) do something stupid like alter my data or spam my friends? Didn't kerberos figure all this out like last century?

Hey webapp, where's my data? I want to move my facebook profile to linkedin. How? You're telling me I need to download all my email/documents/pictures/contacts to my computer to move them from gmail/flickr/blogger to yahoo/shutterfly/typepad? Ok ok, I'd never move to typepad, but still, you get the idea: I used to have this computer, it had a "desktop" metaphor, and through that metaphor I could "copy" files, or use "save-as" to save Word docs as Wordperfect. I tell you, it was all space-age stuff back then.

September 26, 2007

Bikes in the city

NYC is trying out a new bike-friendly street layout, and it's all good news. As David Byrne points out, this is how they do it in Europe. I had the chance to bike in Copenhagen, and the feel was so different from cycling here. Much less fear of death-by-taxi or pedestrian collision, much more relaxing. It's slower too. Cyclists pay attention to stop-lights, and generally ride at a less frenzied pace - I guess that's the price of going mainstream.

August 05, 2007

Spam and whitelists

I'm way too obsessed with spam. I've been playing with an auto-whitelist setup for my email: mail from any address that I've seen before (to, from, cc, whatever) is automatically accepted and put in my inbox. All other email gets sent through a spam filter. The filter-approved mail goes to a "greybox." The rest gets put into a spam folder that I never check.

So I check my inbox mail on my treo and never see spam. The greybox I can check once a week. Any mail that lands in the greybox and I later file gets automatically added to the whitelist. I don't have to worry about mail from people I know being tagged as spam because the senders are all in my whitelist. All is well, right?

Unfortunately, no. People change email addresses a lot more than I would have thought. If someone switches from yahoo to gmail, they're off the whitelist and suddenly my spam filter (which I've configured to be as paranoid as HAL 9000) gets to decide whether I see it. Uh oh.

So if I haven't yet responded to your email, well, now you know why. Sorry...

July 02, 2007

not an iphone

Here, fine, you wanna phone? ThinkGeek :: ThinkGeek Bluetooth Retro Handset

June 24, 2007

Amazon's service cloud

The question: O'Reilly Radar >how does a user of Amazon's computing and storage services deal with Amazon as a single point of failure? If there were 2 companies doing what Amazon is doing, the answer would be clear: use both, no single point of failure. It seems to me, strangely enough, that the best, most credible thing Amazon could do to grow its computing service business is to get some competition.

June 17, 2007

i have a blog?

Ping? I still exist. This blog still exists. The rest of the story has to wait a while.

On June 17, 2007 07:03 PM, Doug Tygar left a comment:

You even still have readers.

February 11, 2007

A year in New York (well, 13 months actually)

I don't know why, but let's start with this:

The Westminster Web site hopes to match last year's 125 million hits from more than 125 million countries. And once again, the Empire State Building will be lit in purple and yellow to highlight the show.

Wrong wrong wrong. Hits are indivisible, integer-like, one-to-one things. No way that X hits can come from more than X places. And what's with these 125 million countries? Must've come from the Eastern Bloc countries splitting apart. And all New Yorkers know that the Empire State is always lit with white light, and they just photoshop the color in later. Duh.

February 04, 2007

Spam AI

In the future, spammers will build a profile of me from my blog, bookmarks, etc., and use that to compose relevant-seeming mail that will make it through all my spam filters. Bummer. The traditional email model of "accept anything from anybody and assume it's all of equal importance" has got to go.

Also, if I could figure out why dreamhost's mail servers only run my spam filter on some incoming mail (not even that much of it), then I'd be a happier person.

November 08, 2006

Best brand name for motor oil ever

Robot Butter. No, it doesn't exist. But if it did, I'd buy it.

November 04, 2006


Hey, where'd October go? Oh well, gone's gone. I'm trying to get it all together for one last push into non-inane blogging. In the meantime, here are links to my favorite programmer-bloggers:

Joel Spolsky, the grandaddy of 'em all (for me at least). I read his blog back before I knew what a blog was. Lately he seems to have jumped the shark over the wasabi thing, but we'll see if he can rally.

Damien Katz took the blog world by storm when he wrote about his work on the forumula engine for Lotus Notes. Now he's writing about his new project, CouchDb. My only complaint: I still don't know what CouchDb is. Damien, please, point me toward the explanation for people who can program but know nothing about modern web development!

Steve Yegge is the guy who made me realize Joel was jumping the shark. Steve recently did some popular stuff about agile programming and Google's dev process, but my favorite stuff is from his blog-rants. His Perl rant... I stumbled across it (following links from ongoing, probably) after I'd spent a summer hacking up a client-server cross-platform Perl thingy. The software worked and yet I felt guilty about inflicting a system written entirely in Perl on my employer. Steve's rant helped me realize where the pain was coming from.

Anyhow, some links and a vague reference to a future blog resurgence. That's all's I got for you. See you in January (hopefully sooner though - I just don't want to set the bar too high).