Friday, October 29, 2004

Best animated gif ever

When Ani Moller claimed in a blog post title that she had found the best animated gif ever I was skeptical. I mean how can you beat out the happy dancing asians? But she did it. Check out what is the greatest animated gif in animated gif history!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Mary Meeker's back!

Methinks Mary Meeker's resurgent importance in the world of finance is a greater comeback story than Trump's triumphant return from the brink of bankruptcy!

Google Desktop Search

I'm finally getting around to installing Google Desktop Search. I've indexed 1,878 items so far. Google is slowly but surely taking over my life. Maybe that's why their stock is on such a tear lately.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Contrast Bias and Pricing

Joel has a great essay on pricing mistakes.
My sources inform me that this was a decision made by the MBAs in the company over the strong objections of the developers. It's ironic that the MBAs don't even get the basic MBA stuff right; this is entirely a bad move for reasons that business school graduates should be able to figure out without understanding the technology at all.

Once you go to business school you start realizing why the MBAs get this stuff so wrong all the time. They've got all the tools and don't know how to use them. They also often fail to realize that certain numbers are leading indicators (run-up before a change takes place) and others are lagging indicators (run-up after a change takes place). These two things cause all sorts of screwy ideas to get promoted.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Interview with Kai Krause

I just ran across this interview Kai Krause from 1994. Kai's one of those really interesting people who makes some really cool leaps in logic. I especially liked this quote. Pretty prescient for a decade ago, and I still don't think most people have caught on to the full potential of this.

The information highway to me is a very important issue. I don't want to bore you, but I want to make just one point. People mistake it to be just a bunch of zippy phone lines, a high speed network of some kind. But that's not what it is. It is nothi ng less than the future of the entire species! And it's not dawning on people yet. I'm going to be a little bit of the evangelist on this front, get much more involved. I've found that there are so many people talking about it who lust do not know what th ey are talking about. They've never been online, they don't know what it's all about.

What I mean by the line 'future of the species' is -- my definition of the information highway has nothing to do with how it's implemented, whether it's fiber-optic or this, or satellites or that. In one line: it's anybody on the planet having access to the sum total of all human knowledge. Our children, 15 years from now, will be able to use whatever implementation of that, and in any frame of reference. Any image, film, book -- anything that ever comes up, that mankind has produced, they should hav e that at their fingertips. To be able to see any picture, read any book, and to cross-correlate them -- It will have incredible implications.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It's a meeting of the minds!

P. Diddy talks to Hillary Clinton and serious political discussion ensues:

P. Diddy: Last question and I'm gonna let you go, because your outfit looks so incredible. You're definitely one of the best-dressed politicians in the game — that's a little sidebar, I just love your outfit....

Clinton: We have already registered 20,000 young people on my Web site. But then we've got to convince people to vote. And the best reason to vote is: Why do you want to turn over power to somebody else? Somebody who doesn't look like you, doesn't care about what you care about, doesn't have the same feelings you have, doesn't have as much at stake for the future.

(Note: emphasis mine)

Now I feel it fair to explain that there's a whole lot more to the interview than the little clip above (though in my opinion it's equally banal - no offense to the participants intended - after all this is an MTV event). You can read the rest on the link, but I couldn't resist quoting P. "Czar of Bling" Diddy telling Hillary Clinton that she's the best-dressed politician out there.

My real issue is with what Hillary (or "Capitol Hill" as I like to refer to her) says. Why do you want to turn over power to somebody else?!? Isn't that the purpose of voting in general? Am I missing something here? This whole time I was voting I thought I was choosing who I thought should be in charge of the country on my behalf. Little did I realize that it was a gigantic raffle where I might be able to pull the fabled "Golden Ticket" and become leader of the free world!

Then the whole charade about somebody who doesn't look like me, think like me, etc. Give me a break. I guess Hillary hasn't notice that the current battle for the Oval Office is being fought by two rich, white men.

I still side with the South Park boys. If you don't think it's in your interests to vote, I'm not going to try and change your mind on the issue.

Google's Mysterious (Financial) Ways

Paul Kedrosky dissects the rumors about tomorrow's Google Earnings Call. It's an entertaining read that shows how little Wall St. actually gets most of the stuff that goes on in the real world. I think the real issues analysts should be concerned about with Google are a) how much of their revenue is locked in vs. transient b) how dominant are they in their respective markets (Google vs. Yahoo vs. AskJeeves or Blogger vs. MT vs. WP vs. livejournal) and c) is this ad-driven model sustainable and if so how much will it grow? Worrying about whether Sergey and Larry will be on the conference call is a little like worrying whether George Soros ate a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch today. Both data points, if true, turn out to have very little bearing on the long-term prospects of Google. Fave quote of Paul's:

But none of this silliness has hurt Google stock in any way, what with GOOG being up 75% from the search company's initial offering. Matter of fact, there is apparently some fear in the analyst community that others might be eager to play KGB right alongside the kids at Google:

Meanwhile, some analysts have speculated that Google's secretive ways are rubbing off on its peers. James Preissler, associate director of research at Majestic Research in New York, said Yahoo executives 'seemed more evasive' on a conference call with investors last week following release of the quarterly results. He added, 'It might be the Google factor.'

So, everyone's big concerns pre-IPO (including mine) were whether Google could maintain their culture in a post-IPO company where the old-timers were rich. It looks like they're not only sustaining their culture, but influencing everyone elses around them as well! Great job guys!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Team America: World Police (No Spoilers)

We went to go see Team America: World Police Friday night. Let me say right now that this movie ruled! I thought it was the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. I think (and take this with a grain of salt) the movie is pretty even-handed, but it's definitely political. Still, like Trey Parker and Matt Stone have said, if you're taking political advice from puppets, you might want to abstain from voting.

The movie is definitely for a mature audience (that R rating is earned and then some), but if you like South Park, you'll definitely like this one too. And like the South Park movie, some of the best stuff in the movie is the music. The other thing I really liked about the movie was how often they broke the "reality" of the movie, by making the marionettes seem aware of the fact they were just puppets, and how they would point out to the audience just how cliched everything they were doing was, and thus how formulaic action movies (along with every other genre) have become.

There are two things that I really hope Hollywood can learn from this film. First, that it's the script and the acting that make a movie, not over-the-top special effects, and tight choreographed, multiple camera shots. Second, that if they really feel political about something, do what they do best, make a movie about it, or give money to organizations to support their political views. But using their spotlight to shoot off their political views, especially in light of the fact that most of them seem less informed than the average voter seems like a worthless idea. Telling E! Hollywood Minute that you oppose the current regime is not my idea of being politically active. Just using up oxygen.

You don't know Dick!

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool.

Richard Feynman
will be put on a US Postal Stamp!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

CSS changes

So I modified my CSS template to make my blockquotes a little more stylish. I really admired the ones used over at Redemption In A Blog and basically stole the styling and modified it (ever-so-slightly).

So now when you see blockquotes they will look like this!

Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, October 15, 2004

Search Keys Attack!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Ding! Dong! 'Tit for Tat' is Dead!

Tit for Tat has been defeated in the Prisoner's Dilemna problem! This is a huge deal, as Tit for Tat has been used to sculpt things as disparate as national security and evolutionary theory of cognitive development. This may also signal a tidal shift in the importance of social software and group psychology going forward.
via [slashdot]


Last night I finished re-reading Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Amazing. If you want to know why so many adults still read comics, I would suggest you start with this one.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Pulling the wings off your Sims

Pulling the wings off of your Sims is news? My twisted, little sister has been doing this since the day she bought the game! Still, her favorite method has been to make them swim laps in the pool and then remove the ladder. via [boing boing]

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Bloglines is my friend...and Pop Will Eat Itself

Note to self: I don't have to read every new item in my Bloglines feed. I really don't. I swear. I don't. Really.

In related news (see if you can make the connection) PWEI (Pop Will Eat Itself) is getting back together for some reunion shows in Britain, and the fans have been whipping themselves into a frenzy. Unfortunately, PWEI doesn't appear to have any plans to get back together permanently, and there are no plans to do a US tour. Bummer, but I'm hoping that some of the rabid fans will do a bootleg recording and post it online.

Cue the romantic accordion music!

Congratulations to Joey and Wendy! Apparently, Joey and Wendy got engaged this weekend and I felt the need to add my blog to the list of people that are congratulating them. I enjoy both their blogs tremendously and have even chatted with them on #joiito on occasion and have found them both to be terrific peeps.

So, I guess the question on everybody's mind is whether Joey will change his blog title to "The Adventures of Ball And Chain Guy in the 21st Century" or not?

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Last.FM - Your personal music network - Personalised online radio station

I've been noticing that the display mechanism for track info on Last.FM seems to mix up tracks occassionally. Weird.

Slashdot | GMail Drive Shell Extension

It's on Slashdot, so I'll assume you've all seen the GMail Drive Shell Extension. But damn, that is so cool that I just had to link to it.

Are we going back to the mainframes? The concept of people having network PCs, while very 1999 Larry Ellison-ish, I think has some merit. Not from the standpoint of PC's necessarily, but it helps us to open up the networked appliance arena better (cell phones, watches, toaster ovens, etc.)

As security and maintenance becomes more of a concern and bandwidth increases people will use computers for more and more, but they will push more and more of the storage and processing needs up the pipeline to the server. I don't see any reason why people wouldn't pay for a mammoth hard drive somewhere to store all their data, accessible via WiFi from anywhere, and start pushing computing price and size way down as PCs become more thin client-like.

The only people who seem to buy top of the line systems anymore are gamers, and they could just migrate to a game console or be a specialty market. Developers, by and large, don't require fancy equipment, just the compilers and dev tools, and those can easily be made available over the network.

I'm looking at my own usage patterns as an example. Around 1996-1999, I ran my own Linux servers, hardened them up and managed accounts for a few close friends. I put together my own websites, and managed all the servers running on these things. Security was an issue, but it seemed like there was less to keep track of. Now, all my websites run off of hosted servers, and I moved this site to Blogger solely for the allocated drive space and the fact that I didn't have to worry about management and it was free. I just don't have the time and it's not worth the hassle to be my own sysadmin anymore. Hosted services are just as flexible and better from a management stand-point.

Of course, this is all conjecture, but I'm not picking up any flaws in my thought process here What's to prevent people pushing their information and applications on to hosted networks? Really, it's already being done if you think about it. Blogger, GMail, Yahoo Mail, MSN, AOL, wikis, are all hosted network apps. Anyone care to set me straight? I think this Google virtual filesystem is another step in this "network is the computer" trend. Even if they shut it down something else will come along. via [slashdot]

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

InsideGoogle: Change The Appearance Of Your Gmail

doozer @ Last.FM

Doozer Radio @ Last.FM is now open for business! After passing the 300 song mark Last.FM put together my personal musical profile and started streaming songs based on music that I like. So far, I've listened to 2 songs and I really liked them (Incubus and Blind Melon). Give it a listen and let me know your thoughts in the comments. I'll even take the "Your musical taste sucks" comments!

It does seem to be a little bit of a bandwidth hog but I think it shows some serious promise.

Best of all, the service pops up a rating window you can use to modify your tastes on the fly. You can ban certain songs and your profile gets updated on the fly.

Sunday, October 03, 2004


Have you people seen FoxyTunes? This is like a dream come true for me! I swear Mozilla is the coolest thing to happen to the web in years. Over the last few years web surfing has just become fun.

Friday, October 01, 2004

What's up with PubSub? error
Originally uploaded by egoodwin. just stopped working for me a few days ago. Everyone of my feeds just got populated with generic and "blank" links.

I hope they fix it soon, I've come to rely on this thing quite heavily.