On Not | Mo Chit

July 28, 2004

Great hackers Paul Graham has a good essay on what he thinks are some of the components to great hackers.

There's a nice jab at Microsoft which is always entertaining:
A couple years ago a venture capitalist friend told me about a new startup he was involved with. It sounded promising. But the next time I talked to him, he said they'd decided to build their software on Windows NT, and had just hired a very experienced NT developer to be their chief technical officer. When I heard this, I thought, these guys are doomed. One, the CTO couldn't be a first rate hacker, because to become an eminent NT developer he would have had to use NT voluntarily, multiple times, and I couldn't imagine a great hacker doing that; and two, even if he was good, he'd have a hard time hiring anyone good to work for him if the project had to be built on NT.
Paul discusses the importance of having a good working environment. I couldn't agree more. At my last job I worked in space where two walk ways between rows of cubicles intersected. On top of that, I sat right next to a set of people who could easily land in a Dilbert cartoon on a daily basis for incompetence and annoyance. Needless to say, I was absolutely unproductive except when I used my headphones which was heavily frowned upon.

The obvious question is why did I move to another location? Well, that's a good question, Johnson. Unfortunately, I was a pawn at the forefront of the war for territorial expansion. My desk was the first desk annexed inside of enemy territory, and the general wasn't about to give way after having fought for so long to acquire the space. My productivity was simply an acceptable casualty in the on going war of headcount and extra desk space.

Anyway, Paul's wording on the matter is right on the mark.
After software, the most important tool to a hacker is probably his office. Big companies think the function of office space is to express rank. But hackers use their offices for more than that: they use their office as a place to think in. And if you're a technology company, their thoughts are your product. So making hackers work in a noisy, distracting environment is like having a paint factory where the air is full of soot.
Posted by Dudley at 11:19 PM

July 26, 2004

Vivid imagination or hilarious true story? The Jews vs. The Drug Dealer.
Posted by Dudley at 07:48 PM
Penmanship In a Scribbler's World, the Fountain Pen's Flourish Gets Some Glory. David Northrup's handwriting is amazing, and I'm sure the prize is well deserved.

Somehow the same article degenerates to talking about penmanship and Viagra in the same article, but it's not what you think.
She [ Ms. Gladstone ] insisted that Viagra's introduction actually indirectly increased her business because doctors found themselves writing more prescriptions than ever before and decided to tackle their own problem — penmanship. "Unfortunately there's no pill you can take to make your handwriting sit up and sparkle," she said.
Posted by Dudley at 04:17 PM

July 24, 2004

Brown Library Entrance
Posted by Dudley at 11:36 PM

July 23, 2004

3 Flavors
Posted by Dudley at 04:20 PM
Inside Jack Inside Jack is an animation about what some cartoon developer thinks Sun should do with the 2 billion dollars of hush money from Microsoft. It's entertaining. Note it was done with Flash, not Java. (via Aces Full of Links)
Posted by Dudley at 03:22 PM
Blog posting via Jabber Roberto in Posting via Jabber, explained details the small Python script he hacked together to listen for commands via messages to publish blog posts to Pyblosxom. It builds on the Jabberpy module, and so without much Jabber related programming, he was good to go. This is certainly not the first utility for posting via Jabber, but it does show how well Python and Jabber work together.

Since the XMPP protocol is XML-based, you'd certainly need a good toolkit for generating XML stanzas. Jabberpy would take care of some of that, but a good option for Python is effbot's elementtree.

It would be nice to see a Jabber component that is capable of posting to not just PyBlosxom, but also to Typepad, MovableType, Blogger, etc. There must be a Python library that handles posting to all of these systems, I just haven't found it.
Posted by Dudley at 03:07 PM

July 22, 2004

Lane 6
Posted by Dudley at 08:19 PM
You've got Pictures! Occasionally I get spammed with job openings. I found this gem filtered to my junk mail this morning. It's interesting in that it gives a tiny insight into where AOL is putting their development efforts. Apparently AOL doesn't want to let Google have all of the fun when it comes to photo management.
Innovation is Difficult ~ Come be Challenged!!!
Company: AOL

Location: Mt. View, CA

Position: UI Designer
Individual Contributor Roles

Job duration: Full Time

You’ve Got Pictures!
Come help push the new wave of digital imaging at AOL!

The AOL Product Design group has a need to fill a UI design position in our California Development office located in Mountain View California. This designer will be working directly on photo based applications and environments following industry standards. This designer will also be working with a co-located team and should be comfortable communicating through different avenues and also require about 20% travel to the Los Angeles area.

  • This individual is responsible for working with other UI Designers on designing the user interface for a powerful, yet easy-to-use and tightly-integrated suite of next generation products for the desktop and the web.
  • Scope of work ranges includes specific features and feature sets across multiple applications.
  • Design work consists of high and low-level flow diagrams, wireframes, and detailed interaction specifications for use by Engineering and Quality Assurance.
Posted by Dudley at 07:21 PM
Posted by Dudley at 02:16 PM
TiVo v. NFL / MPAA The fat cats at the NFL and the MPAA have filed complaints to the FCC about TiVo's service that will allow people to move recorded content onto their PCs. My favorite part of the MSNBC's TiVo's plans lead to copyright fight article:
The NFL, meanwhile, is concerned that a user could send a copy of a game to someone in another time zone, where the game is blacked out. Burger responded that at current bandwidth, such a transfer would take 144 hours.
The NFL to sports fans: "Sit. Lie down. Roll over."

More coverage on the latest TiVo news from the PVRblog: TiVo: you can only innovate if the NFL and MPAA say so
Posted by Dudley at 02:10 PM

July 21, 2004

Rusty fence
Posted by Dudley at 12:08 AM

July 20, 2004

Flash. What's it good for? Bigger and better things have been done in Flash, but this is entertaining nonetheless: The Incredibly Evil Machine.
Posted by Dudley at 11:46 PM
Bottle Cap Tripod Those crazy guys in Japan have come up with a . I love how they're using the nasty green tea bottle that you can find in any combini in Japan. I could have used that today while I was lugging around my camera in one hand and my 20oz Coke bottle in the other. (via HotLinks).
Posted by Dudley at 11:32 PM
The Enterprise IM Game A couple of weeks ago and then AOL announced that they're stopping their enterprise IM offerings because the they didn't know what to do with all the money they were getting from corporations. Of course, they couldn't just leave the enterprise market all together because that violates Rule III and Rule IX of big business:
  • III. Don't every admit defeat -- it's bad for your share price.
  • XI.  You've got to be in every possible market.
Soon there after, AOL and Yahoo! announced they would be colluding...er...interopting with Microsoft in the enterprise IM market.

So what about XMPP/Jabber? Joe Hildebrand goes into some detail about some of the questions that have come up since the announcement. Microsoft LCS interoptability with AOL and Yahoo.

It's interesting to note that Apple will be making its way into this market with the release of Tiger and the iChat server which happens to support XMPP. Imagine that, giving away an IM server with the operating system so that people can just IM. That sounds like something corporations are willing to buy.
Posted by Dudley at 11:20 PM

July 18, 2004

Take five
Posted by Dudley at 03:27 AM

July 17, 2004

Shinjuku Andy recently posted his pictures of Shinjuku at Night and Shonan. My two favorites from the new collections have to be the black and white Shinjuku and the beached boat pictures.

Andy is promising to do more work on "the website," but he first has to take a 2 week vacation to visit Fry's Electronics.
Posted by Dudley at 10:13 PM
Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle As Police Use of Tasers Rises, Questions Over Safety Increase.

Highlights from the article:
A 1989 Canadian study found that stun guns induced heart attacks in pigs with pacemakers.
In recent incidents, police officers have shocked a 9-year-old girl in Arizona and a 66-year-old woman in Kansas City.
Taser did not test the older gun because "we believed that the M26's safety record and prior testing speaks for itself"
Posted by Dudley at 09:51 PM

July 16, 2004

Posted by Dudley at 01:11 AM

July 13, 2004

It's wet out there
Posted by Dudley at 09:59 PM
Gush 1.1 RC 1 & Linux support
gush11_screenshot_small_5.jpg In celebration of Bastile Day tomorrow ( July 14th ), Wes and I have worked day and night for the past 2 weeks straight to finish the Gush release candidate in time.

Lots of performance improvements, bug fixes, and general last minute features. Two things standout in this release. First, the enhanced blog picture viewer which is a must for people who like viewing photoblogs. With the image viewer built into the newsreader, it's easy to view all the photos in a page one after another. The second notable thing about RC 1 is that we finally have support for Linux.

Gush now spans three platforms! Inspired by George Bush's Leave No Child Behind educational policy, we've adopted the Leave No OS Behind policy. The policy is mostly fluff but we're confident that it's going to get us a boost in the polls that we've been looking for in these past couple of weeks.
Posted by Dudley at 10:08 AM
It's all going to pot
Posted by Dudley at 02:01 AM

July 11, 2004

Powell Blog Michael Powell, when he's not giving out great deals on the radio spectrum, is now blogging. Like any good blog, the Powell blog has comments. Unfortunately, Michael isn't participating in the comment discussions. I guess that's just too much work, huh?

Well, I hate to brake it to you, Mr. Powell, but just because your ad littered page resembles a blog in terms of format, it doesn't mean it's a blog when your just using it as personal propaganda dispenser. (By the way, I really dig all the little corporate logos that you amassed at the bottom of your page.)

Here are a couple of things things that Michael could do to convince the rest of us that he's really serious about blogging.
  • Put up your blogroll so that we can remotely believe that you're actually reading other blogs and trying to participate in the discussion.
  • You turned on comments, you better start answering those people.
  • Figure out how to use Technorati, or turn on trackback on your "blog."
  • Take some tips from Mark Cuban's blog -- don't make your posts sound like a PR release.
To me, it sounds like someone told Michael that he needs to open a blog so that people could believe that he really has our best interest at heart even when he's kicking back at a power lunch with his buddies at Time Warner.

Like Wes said before:
If you're blogging between 9 and 5, it's not a blog, unless your boss doesn't want you to do it.
Posted by Dudley at 01:28 PM
Nerds Gates and Jobs, Together at Last. A musical called "Nerds" about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs is dubbed "a musical software satire." Sounds kind of interesting. I guess I'll wait for some reviews before rushing down to NY.
Posted by Dudley at 01:44 AM

July 10, 2004

Rock, Paper, Saddam. Rock, Paper, Saddam! is pretty funny. Someone has too much spare time. (via HotLinks).
Posted by Dudley at 09:41 PM
Brown University Stadium
Posted by Dudley at 09:09 PM

July 09, 2004

Summer in a 10ft radius
Posted by Dudley at 11:00 PM
Get your stimulant
Posted by Dudley at 01:00 AM

July 08, 2004

ghostrider.jpg Ghost Rider videos are supposedly the latest sensation in Europe. I really couldn't understand what the heck was going on until I saw the trailers for the Ghost Rider movies. They're all pretty good, but my favorite has to be Trailer 1 for Ghost Rider -- The final Ride (QuickTime).

This guy is absolutely nuts, but talented. According to the forums on the GR website, GR has never been caught. Swedish law mandates that he has to be caught while out running the police otherwise they can't do anything about it. Oh yeah, the modified, carbon Suzuki GSX-R is impressive in itself.
Posted by Dudley at 06:11 PM

July 05, 2004

RSS Advertisements RSS advertisements are on the horizon, and there's no stopping it. The people in Weblogs Inc. are very excited at the prospect of including ads in their feeds because it's the easy way out for generating revenue ( ). They claim it won't affect the over all experience, but let's be honest, when your only revenue model is advertising, it pits you against your readers/ users / people who give you the time of day.

Basically, if you don't know how to make money off of your product or just feeling lazy, then make whatever you offer a vehicle for advertisements.

I'm not saying that all advertising is bad, but too much advertising dilutes the overall effectiveness of advertising in general. For example, I get up in the morning and I open up my email, there's the spam. I browse the web for several hours reading around ad after ad. I turn on the radio and the DJ is trying to sell me something, and then plays the latest boy band song over and over again. I watch some TV and it's convinced that I need to buy maxi-pads, viagra, or heart-burn medication even though I'm a healthy young male. As soon as I sit down to program some telemarketer calls offering yet another sales pitch for refinancing (I don't own a home). The end result is that I'd rather eat strange Japanese ice cream than listen to yet another ad trying to part me and my money. I think Dick Cheney had some choice words that I could share with these people.

Engadget et. al are already advertising on their website, but the thought of some of their loyal readers not being inundated with ads is just too much too handle. Companies are very much like governments -- governments operate under the assumption that if there's something out there that can be taxed then it ought to be taxed. Likewise, companies feel that if they have the captive attention of people then they better put some ads in front of those eyeballs.

So what could Engadget do so that it doesn't have to resort to advertising as the only model for revenue? Well, how about providing additional features for paying subscribers? Paying subscribers could get feeds with additional analysis, tips, comments, or whatever. Including high quality images or extra images related to the story is another option. Paying subscribers could be allowed to update their feeds as often as every 5 minutes, or have access to feeds that don't have news items that are slightly time delayed. The list goes on and on.

By the way, I'm still working on a scheme so that I can figure out a way to make money off of Engadget / Weblogs Inc. every time I refer to them. That's free publicity for them, and I'll be damned if I can't squeeze everyone under the sun for some money.
Posted by Dudley at 11:03 PM
4th of July This evening my dad and I headed first to Prospect Park which over looks downtown Providence to check out the fireworks. Didn't see any activity in downtown Providence, but on the horizon we saw fireworks displays in 9 different locations. Eventually we walked to downtown lugging the tripod along since I was told it's essential for taking good photos of fireworks. There were no fireworks in Providence on the 4th of July. I saw other people wondering around downtown Providence who looked equally confused by the lack of fireworks. Apparently, there were fireworks last night. I really need to suffer through the local news once in a while.
Posted by Dudley at 03:25 AM

July 03, 2004

Morning Raindrops
Posted by Dudley at 07:18 AM

July 02, 2004

Shinbashi The Shinbashi / Ginza area used to be one of my favorite areas to wonder around on the weekends. I basically ended up visiting the same stores and restaurants over and over again. Once in a while I'd lugged the camera around for kicks.
Posted by Dudley at 10:22 PM

July 01, 2004

NIN Colors
Posted by Dudley at 01:55 AM

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