Saw this today on TechCrunch... pretty interesting. Lately I have been in agreement that entertainment is only going to get bigger, and that I need to get involved in that market somehow. There are some interesting ideas at Koders about helping developers have a consolidated online presense. You go for an interview and you can just point to your koders page.
Anyway, without further ado, here is the video:
So I had seen the old videos on YouTube, but as you would expect the marketing machine that is Microsoft has me saying HOLY SHIT!!!
For those of you that are tech savvy this is old news, but for those of you that don't keep up on blogs, etc. and never click on the links I provide, I implore you to please check this out... IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND. Now if they can just deliver on the hype!
Microsoft Surface - a whole new kind of computer interaction.
I am a big fan of TinyUrl. It is a very simple concept but one that has so many applications. If you have ever seen a long URL wrap around and therefore break in an email client then you have one of the use cases for using TinyUrl.
Another case (which I imagine is converging as mail readers get more and more mature), is to make sure that the widest audience can see the link. Now that we live in a world of RSS and syndication every where, you have no idea when URLs that contain "border line" characters are going to get truncated or cause parsing errors in one of the many processors that it must go through in it's journey to the millions of consumers it is serving.
Now that I am using twitter often and blogging more often I find myself having to go through the following steps:
highlight the link I want to copy and hit ctrl-c
hit ctrl-t to open a new tab
type in "tinyurl" and hit ctrl-enter
hit ctrl-p to paste the link and hit enter
select the link and hit ctrl-c
paste it to where I want it to live
This was getting old to me... so I just googled "tinurl plugin" and found this wonderful little gadget, the TinyUrl Creator :: Firefox Add-on.
So now my 6 step process above is a right click, left click, ctrl-p. As Borat would say, "Very Niice!"
I have spent the better part of three days giving my blog and RSS feed an overhaul. I can see the writing on the wall and as a software engineer I know that in 2 years, those that do not have a solid online presence, will not even get an interview.
I mean think about it, if you have a list of 10 candidates, and 8 of them have a blog with relevant links to their other web based personas you can weed out those that are obvious freaks, and you can get a much better feel for a person then by just spending two hours with them in a very un-normal process such as an interview.
I would rather watch the beast in it's natural habitat, that is going to give me a better feel for what kind of person they really are.
Anyway, here is what I have been working on for my site:
I have setup my feeds in Feed Burner to allow a better feed. Better why? Because of the following reasons:
- Simple to add social networking links, such as del.icio.us, digg and stumbleupon
- Allows for traffic analysis... sure I have Google Analytics setup also, but the feed is another data point, and it also lets me know how many people are subscribed
- Automatic flare for most of the common readers
- Pings a bunch of blog directories and aggregators
I have started using Google Reader to read all the blogs I am reading these days. Google Reader has a nice share feature that is available as a feed and they also have a widget that was easy to add to my blog via blogger's API, and I think it is pretty interesting.
Blogger has added a video bar, so for now I am going to keep it on there and see if people enjoy watching random videos. When you add the widget, it asks you to type in some key words to search for videos... mine where "beebe4, funny, tech, google, blog, jacksonville, code search." Feel free to provide feed back if it is interesting.
Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send "updates" (text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) via SMS, instant messaging, the Twitter website, or an application such as Twitterrific. Twitter was founded in October 2006 by San Francisco start-up company Obvious Corp.
Updates are displayed on the user's profile page and also instantly delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. The sender can restrict delivery to those in his or her circle of friends (delivery to everyone is the default). Users can receive updates via the Twitter web site, instant messaging, SMS, RSS, or through an application. For SMS, currently three gateway numbers are available: short codes for the USA and Canada and a UK number for international use. While the Twitter service is free, posting and receiving updates via SMS may incur charges from the wireless carrier.
If you scroll all the way to the bottom, I added a guest map which allows users to add their location, so that over time I can see (along with the rest of the world) where people are checking into read this blog from.
I switched the archive links back to listed out as I am not sure how GoogleBot will crawl the links if they are in a drop down list. My thinking is that the list will allow more pages to get indexed, and therefore get more traffic.
What is RSS?
For those of you that are still learning how to use this fancy Internet, RSS is a very important feature that most web sites (blogs, news sites, etc) use to provide a syndicated feed of changes that have been made to their site. This allows a user to simple subscribe to the RSS feed and use a tool such as Google Reader to aggregate them and tell you when there is new content from your favorite sites.
I would recommend that if you are not doing so, but instead going around and checking out different web sites or waiting for them to send you an email you should really do the following:
I'm completely stealing from my buddy Phil (congrats on the new baby!) but this video is just too amazing not to share.
I like how mid way through the video he picks up a Vans sponsorship. If only they would pay him for the placement!
Here is a brain teaser:
Three players enter a room and a red or blue hat is placed on each person's head. The color of each hat is determined by a coin toss, with the outcome of one coin toss having no effect on the others. Each person can see the other players' hats but not his own.
No communication of any sort is allowed, except for an initial strategy session before the game begins. Once they have had a chance to look at the other hats, the players must simultaneously guess the color of their own hats or pass. The group shares a hypothetical $3 million prize if at least one player guesses correctly and no players guess incorrectly.
The same game can be played with any number of players. The general problem is to find a strategy for the group that maximizes its chances of winning the prize.
I am a trained problem solver. I am not very organized and sometimes I have lack of motivation issues, but sometimes, more rarely then I would like, I surprise myself with how obvious something seems. Dilbert calls it "the knack ", my Mom calls it a gift from god. I just call it common sense, but I guess that is relative.
Apparently the above brain teaser has been caused a stir in the mathematical community, but after I read the brain teaser on an older web site post the correct answer just came to me and I knew it was right. That is how my brain works... when I know the answer is right you cannot move me off of it unless you offer additional information.
Do other technologist and engineers feel the same way?
Google has rolled out there answer to Microsoft Live Map's Birds Eye View, and they are calling it Street View. I took it for a test drive today and went around South Beach and it kinda felt like I was in the back of a car driving around. Some things were annoying like the fact that as you navigate down a street, typically the same car is in the same scene.
I am sure that Google will continue to add lots more streets soon, but right now I still think that Microsoft's Birds Eye View has the upper hand based on available areas of coverage.
A few months ago I went to hear Carl Smith give a talk about Google Analytics. It was interesting, to see how a consulting shop was using the information they were getting from Analytics to tailor their website to adjust to how people were using it. For example they would check out the click path of customers that they were about to go give a demo for and see which area they were checking out and tailor their presentation around that also.
Since Carl's talk, Google has overhauled the original Urchin interface for the better, and I have to say it is also noticeable faster. If you have a website and are not using Google Analytics you really should take the time to look it over. After all, it is free.
I have a problem with addition. Every once in a while i go on binges and drive my wife crazy. My father had trouble with alcohol, but I am addicted to video games. Every once in a while I will make the mistake of taking two minutes to load up a game just to check it out. I did so last weekend after reading an article on How to Get Rich Programming.
Damn you silly flash games. (WARNING... highly addictive... do not click this link.)
I have logged an insane amount of time playing this simple, stupid game. My wife is at wits end, and in complete befuddlement (is that a word?) as to how I can stay up to 3, 4, and 5am playing this game. I calmly tell her that there is no use fighting it, just let it run its course and it will pass. It will pass just like Civ III, Mini Putt 3, Lux and many others. She knows that it will, but still she hates going to bed with the same conversation every night:
I'm going to bed
Ok, I'll be there in a minute
we both know I am lying.
As my wife can attest to, I have been very busy at work lately. Doing what, you ask? Creating a new product and a new revenue stream. We have developed a desktop source code search application that any developer can download, install, configure, and use to search their local source code, faster then any IDE offers and more completely then any other product that exists today.
I recently posted a more detailed explanation of the work I have been doing on the Koders blog, explaining how we taught an Teaching an old dog new tricks.