August 31, 2003

Written by interns and released via Alphaworks, Socializer looks interesting to play with, particularly in the profile management and filtering tools....

Next time I'm on a Win32 box, that is.

Interesting that they explicitly point out that replacing their UDP based advertisement protocol with UPNP might be an enhancement.

Posted by esinclai at 03:04 PM
traffic patterns

It would be interesting to investigate out the traffic patterns of some of the hip interlinking sites out now, like friendster, linked-in, the venerable ryze, eCademy, etc.

I've noticed that I take action in post-work structures for these - friendster, of course, is mostly dorking around because I have no interest in their stated purposes (though am intrigued by the implicit utility). Friendster as well has been blocked by our corporate firewall (wisely yet surprisingly).

Ryze actually based a part of their pricing structure on the after-hours market, so you could do certain things in post-COB time.

Linked-In and Tribes, because they are business/professional-interest structured may show a more gradiated pattern of hourly usage.

It's worth a bit of musing. I suspect that the traffic pattern might be too messy to count (the underemployed would use more consistently, those whose business (rather than semi-professional interest) is social networking would use more consistently as well). But gross patterns might be interesting - the rate of signup to Friendster at the start of the school year, for example - though differentiating that from the growth through network effect would be challenging. A geographic increase after a layoff in a particular company might also be a spike to watch for.

I'm sure people inside the companies are doing this kind of analysis - I would hope so, anyway. It was one of the interesting (and frustrating, given the paucity of good data) tasks I got to do at PlasticsNet. Someday there will be research of this, I trust.

Posted by esinclai at 02:07 PM
August 30, 2003

Favorite Spam subject line of the day:

Important Limpet
Posted by esinclai at 06:04 PM
Hypertext 03

Matt Webb is at HyperText 03, a conference in the UK (inconveniently (or conveniently for AZ) just a week and some before we're due to be there).

From the conference outline I reviewed before (the site is presently timing out...), it looked to be fairly interesting, with a wide range of speakers within the topic.

Matt's been gracious enough to put a bunch of live conference notes online. Looks like more Hydra^WSubEthaEdit action is taking place....

Posted by esinclai at 05:00 PM
August 25, 2003
Safari Validator?

Can anyone else confirm that Ted Leung's site is working in Safari? For me, it renders as if it never gets the css, though in Mozilla it looks all hunky dory (and the same on Windows IE).

It's a good, high signal site. Just a bit tricky to read for me at the moment....

Posted by esinclai at 07:09 AM
August 24, 2003
Information Clients

Gary Burd is tracking Information Clients. Danny has already chimed in with a couple suggestions for those Gary appears to have overlooked

In the BlueOxen realm, these are being tracked as well, though perhaps from a slightly different perspective.

Posted by esinclai at 03:39 PM
August 23, 2003

In surfing around in tracing some SCO v theWorld case information, I came across this very nicely written piece by Dennis Ritchie (the "R" in "K&R") on receiving the Natiional Medal of Technology for the work he and Ken Thompson did. Having been involved (at a much lower and less involved level!) with a Washington award ceremony, its interesting to see his reaction and experience. I should make some jottings while I still have memory of my own trip to Washington...

Here and elsewhere on his site, it's interesting to note, he is full of praise for Bell Labs through its various incarnations. Will people in Big Companies of my generation have the same experience or grace? Is this only his experience, or do all the old Bell Labs people feel the same way?

Posted by esinclai at 03:46 PM
August 22, 2003

At the Read/Write Web, Richard MacManus is writing about OpenDoc and the Universal Canvas and Microcontent.

It's intriguing stuff, and the OpenDoc bit in particular is a little trip down memory lane to the Apple demos of that technology I sat in on at IU, and the SDKs they passed out to us to play with. It was fun stuff, if a bit hard (in that context) to wrap your mind around.

Thanks to Marc C. for pointing to this thread, and to YA log to add to the aggregator.

Posted by esinclai at 02:53 PM
Filed for Later Reading and Riffing

I keep a batch of pdfs on my personal laptop for reading when I'm disconnected or avoiding other things. I just added Seth Godin's "What Should Google Do" to the list (just so you understand the juxtaposition, the previous entry was chromatic and Michael Schwern's Automated Perl Testing tutorial).

I've only gone a few pages in, but a quick riff on Godin. He states that he wore his Google T-shirt out in public recently, and conversations were opened. A couple weeks ago when AZ and I were travelling, I had a similar experience. I was wearing a TShirt of the site, and first a coffee-server in Columbus asked me what it was "because he'd seen it somewhere". Then after we returned a canvasser at the grocery said "Hey, I know that! It pops up on my RealOne Player regularly.

Each time it opened a quick conversation about Open Source, what 'free' is rather than what "no cost" is, and so forth. And it reminded me that I need a better 'elevator pitch' to explain the difference.

Posted by esinclai at 07:05 AM
August 20, 2003
Mmmm.... Art

Courtesy MetaFilter, a tasty piece of Flash Art, "Egg"

Posted by esinclai at 06:58 AM
August 19, 2003
Recovery Time

After a frustrating day of product testing and unsuccessful SSL tool bejiggerynation, I went to the meeting last night.

It was, truth be told, a lovely antidote for a frustrating day. The highlights:

Andy Lester is kicking off the Phalanx project. The goal of this project is to shore up and beef up the testing cases in anticipation of Perl 5.10 (Ponie). He's seeking volunteers, of course, for this reasonably massive effort - get in touch with him, or watch for more info. I've cited Andy's writing here before, but his work to promote testing is (as my frustration above attests) a worthy goal, not just for Perl, but for thinking about software and tool development in general.

Afterward, Rich Moss (of Moss Search Ltd gave a brief talk about positioning for Perl developers in the area; he's a recruiter largely for financial firms - though with an ear to other areas.

And most lengthily, Steven Lembark gave his presentation on some development he's been doing lately in the bioinformatics area. He's promised the slides online, but from my view the big message of his talk was to be creative and thorough in your algorithm planning - there being more than one way to do it can literally shave cycles if you think about the backside of a routine (in his case, using polar math (e.g. addition and table lookups) instead of square roots (expensive calculations).

It was in some respects reminiscent of a database optimization seminar I attended a few years ago, an all day affair where a man with a thick russian accent showed us dozens of tricks to do comparisons using math instead of strings. I should pull his book out sometime and see if it makes more sense today....

All in all, a good meeting. And next month is weblog-oriented - in conversation with Jason about his presentation to be, it should be very interesting....

Posted by esinclai at 05:34 PM
August 17, 2003
Toying Around

Thanks to Rael and Joi, I found the new iChat dropin of fun, iChat Streaming Icon. Effectively very simple, it uses a plugged-in camera (like an iSight) to update the little AIM icon on a periodic basis. The regular privacy and social transparency comments apply here, of course.

What else it has exposed is how only a subset of people on my AIM contact list have actually upgraded to iChatAV. Some of them, I know, are hardware constrained to some degree. But are others constrained by Apple's plans to charge for it as unbundled from OS X 10.3?

The perils of quietly monetizing your audience are a difficult edge to walk, for sure.

A couple other interesting finds to relate....

Thanks to Trevor.Smith, I laughed aloud at this curious video. Equal parts matrix parody and Bacon Blog...

And finally, at a previous employer, we did some work with online presence (and secondary display thereof) in an IRC-oriented (but generally proprietary or closed) infrastructure. Brendyn Alexander has done some comparable work of late related to the #joiito channel, but he's extended the standard "online/offline" to incorporate recent blog-like activity. It makes for an interesting and richer experience than I normally expect from this kind of tool. Kudos to him for that, whatever his WN.

Now Playing: KEXP Live (96kbps)

Posted by esinclai at 11:36 AM
August 14, 2003

AZ: Oh! New ...pickhits...?! (reads) Hm. OK, I didn't really follow that, but good!

Posted by esinclai at 10:33 PM
KN, Gestures, Dashboard

Over at the Digibarn, in the video section, is a 61MB download of the Knowledge Navigator video. The KN was one of Sculley's projects, as I recall, and one that appeared to have gone nowhere, or not far at least.

But I'm not so sure in rewatching the video for the first time in a long time. Several functions are apparently coming to fruition.

The intertwingly nature of the data is becoming more common in applications, at least bleeding edge applications and technologies. Take, for example, the "your colleague wrote..." chunk. That sounds very much to me like the Dashboard project (and when oh when will that be available on OSX?). And the way the lead creates a relationship between two images is with a gesture rather than a click, ala tools like Squeak and Spring brought together.

Still a long way to go. But some echoes of predictions that had already been around for a long time keep echoing forward into present day applications.

Of course, having several of these apps on my hard drive, underused..... I'll never save the rainforests at this rate!

Posted by esinclai at 10:30 PM

A while back, I wrote about the Data Domain and Ray Borrill. Recently, Andrew Molloy posted some followup comments about Ray, and Ray's nascent site for the Data Domain.

It's keen stuff. Then poking around from there, I found at the site for the DigiBarn, which is a treasure trove of pictures, memories, videos, and more.

Great fun. Good Times.

Posted by esinclai at 09:52 PM

Some time ago I meditated on the GPL heading into court. At the time, it seemed like OpenTV would be it. So far, no dice.

Now it transpires that the SCO case may be, in some opinions the one that gets GPL into court.

But is this the case that should be the one? A high profile, high stakes case? Or is freedom always high stakes?

Posted by esinclai at 09:46 PM