Thursday, December 06, 2007

Diablo Cody's screenplay Juno

My daughter's name is Juno. We heard about the movie Juno shortly after the birth of her son Kyle. Diablo Cody wrote the screenplay and Jason Reitman directed. Life is now fiction on the screen. I'm not sure how my Juno will like the Juno movie. Unintended pregnancies are difficult.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Voice of experience on Open Social

Dave Winer is the voice of experience on Open Social. There is something evil about Google leading the charge against Facebook. It reminds me of MicroSoft coming out with PowerPoint or Internet Explorer. In my opinion, Google can take a big hit on this one. Don't get me wrong, I like standards. Because of my experience, I'm more and more doubtful of Google as they dominate more and more.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Screencasts meets Zlides and RSS

I'm working on yet another presentation. I'm having trouble getting it written because I really don't have the right tools.

Screencasts are the greatest way take an presentation and make it available on the web. Just making your PowerPoint available does not cut it. Sometimes people read their PowerPoint stack as their presentation, but then you have a terrible presentation.

Also, most of my presentations talk about the web and web sites. I'm sick and tired of screen capturing into PowerPoint. Besides, think about the workflow. Go to web site, screen capture, paste into PowerPoint, convert PowerPoint to web, post on web. This is not very efficient and makes for a terrible presentation if you have to cut away from your PowerPoint to you browser.

So I was thinking more about and how to make a better presentation. The basic premise of Zlides is that the presentation is a RSS feeds. That is the elegant design.

But Zlides as it currently exists depends on creating the content within Zlides. I think I have a way to incorporate an demo within Zlides. So for example, the presentation would go: Zlide one, Zlide two,, Zlide four. In other words, the third zlide would not be content from but rather a redirect to a website's page. The problem is that the zlide's player was meant to be a single page web application and I would need a new approach.

What got me thinking about all of this was the tabs in Firefox. Why not load up the presentation in Firefox where each "slide" was a different tab. Since the presentation is an RSS feed, you could "subscribe" to the presentation as a "Live Bookmark". Then you can "Open All Tabs" to load all of the "slides" including the demo web pages into your browser. Hit F11 and then tab through your presentation live.

Now take your presentation and use your favorite screencasting software. With very little effort you now have a screencast of your presentation which is much more effective than putting the PowerPoints online.

Now to make this work.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Frameworks have it wrong?

I'm beginning to think that programming frameworks like Rails and Struts have it all wrong. It started with looking at how they do Ajax/JavaScript. Agile and Getting Real says to create the interface first. Frameworks are not about interface. Still thinking.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dream Car

My dream has nothing to do with a car. Are two words when put together always an ad pitch?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007


Sara Corbett's article about Floyd Landis, '06 winner of the Tour de France, describes the purgatory of awaiting a verdict. Smartly she uses the phrase "suspicious imbalance in his body's testosterone" to describe the drug test results that started Landis' trouble. This is far more accurate than almost any other reporting. Even if the verdict is in his favor, the only redemption for Landis may be another shot at the Tour de France.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Figleaf presents Adobe ColdFusion 8

Fig Leaf Software had the Tim Buntel, senior product marketing manager from Adobe in DC yesterday to present the latest and greatest version of ColdFusion. With version 8, ColdFusion still maintains a place at the table for Web Development. Actually, calling our work web development is misleading because we are really developing internet applications for a wider variety of formats and devices. For example, it is now possible to create an application that is entirely pdf based. I hadn't thought of pdf as Web 2.0 (an Adobe did make this claim). The presentation yesterday made it clear that when looking at this wider scope of application, especially for the enterprise, ColdFusion not only is at the table but elbowing a few others to take a more prominent place. Since Allaire, the product has now fully transitioned from a cutting edge, inexpensive, solo web programming tool to an enterprise application with support that works with the enterprise backend. So thanks to Fig Leaf folks for keeping us update on ColdFusion and Adobe.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

microformats and Firefox Operator

Just installed a great new plugin for Firefox called Operator and I highly recommend it. It will let you view and export microformats. I'm incorporating the hcard into

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Jared Diamond on Colbert

I've recently been reading Jared Diamond's books. These are the "missing" history books that I wish I had in high school. If you have ever considered picking up one of his books, I can highly recommend both Collapse and the Third Chimpanzee. Next I will be reading Gun, Germs and Steel.

For now, Collapse is one of the ten most influential books I have ever read.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Open House Crank

Open houses are a game. People walk in and they are watched because so few are serious buyers. And it must be boring for agents sitting in a house for 3 hours when you'd rather be with your family and you know the odds to getting a buyer a slim. But too many real estate agents give up too early and lose focus. Even though I'm in a T-shirt and bike shorts I have the money to buy this house! I'm getting tired of your attitude and your commission!

Monday, July 02, 2007

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 Best and Worst Crank

  1. Tim-Berners Lee started it. He said a list of links is content.
  2. PowerPoint promoted the a. idea b. concept c. meme
  3. Yahoo started with lists and a Google list is common as bread
  4. is just full of 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 Best and Worst content
  5. HTMLers love lists and dl, ol, ul and li
  6. CSSers love to distort lists into navigation or calendars or read A List Apart
  7. CNet is video podcasting even to TiVo, the top 5 or 10 lists every 7 days
  8. NY Times and WP love to tell you about the most read, emailed or blogged lists
  9. Keith Olbermann even delivers news via the Countdown list of stories
  10. Are we so 2 dimensional that a top 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 list is how we communicate 2 each other?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Headline Writers Crank

NY Times posted an article today with a headline of "Can She Turn Yahoo Into, Well, Google?" I'll ignore the question about why Yahoo would want to be Google which Susan Decker addressed previously: "We don't think it's reasonable to assume we're going to gain a lot of share from Google"(see Clickety Clack).

Many times we forget that that person who writes the story does not write the headline. So no shame on Miguel Helft, but the headline is awful bordering on disgusting. Can we not do better in this age when most college graduates are women? Would the headline write had written "Can He Turn ...".

Saturday, June 30, 2007

AT&T Crank

Didn't we already break up AT&T? Guess that is like asking "Didn't we already invade Iran?" Can this administration keep ignoring history? I guess they will. After the AT&T monopoly breakup we saw an explosion of telecommunication innovations and options that was good for the markets, good for the consumer and good for business. Now AT&T is huge again with less competitors. And it is getting bigger with the proposed purchase of their competitor: Cellular One. Enough is enough even if the iPhone is now available to more rural customers. And if you haven't notice, cell phone contracts are getting longer and bills are getting bigger. Business consolidation may not give us a pure monopoly but it sure raises the barriers to entry and prices.

And while I'm at it, what about that AT&T name? Cingular changed their name to AT&T. Marketing research probably shows that more people know how to spell AT&T than Cingular so the merged company took over the old name. Simple. Three letters and a squiggle. But I suggest they change the name just slightly to AT$T. It is only money out of your pocket.

Friday, June 29, 2007

iphone Crank

Since this is iphone day ( 1 i.p.), I thought I'd move some attitude to my blog and be cranky like Dave Winer and John Dvorak. I've long been accused of being cranky by friends and co-workers. So on to the wonder of iphone and the religous apple.

So you pay about $1,000 so Jobs can smirk some more? This certainly isn't capitalism where the marketplaces is logical. There is no logic to sitting on your butt for 36 hours waiting for some nerdy AT&T employees to take your credit card while they've been playing with the phone since noon! This is mania and running with the herd and not wanting to get to the high school chess club meeting late.

Wonder how many AT&T staff hand in their resignations today and walk out with their iphone. Talk about cutting in line!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

RSS Reader Video

If you need to watch a video to learn about RSS Readers, here it is:
There are two types of Internet users, those that use RSS and those that don't. This video is for the people who could save time using RSS, but don't know where to start.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Slimmer Blogging Code of Conduct

Tim O’Reilly has posted a draft code of conduct for bloggers. My take is that the code is too long. Instead, I like the idea of having your comment policy upfront as suggested by Tony Hung. Being more specific, for one, I don't think "We won't say anything online that we wouldn't say in person" is even possible. As a simple example, how do you say the same thing in person that you would in a photoblog? Or even a standard blog entry like this one that has links to other blogs. Blogs are blogs precisely because you can express things you can not say any other way. And on most other points in the draft I agree with Michael Arrington's summary.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Positioning the British Invastion

How did Spirit stand a chance? The Beatles, The Rolling Stone, Led Zeppelin and Traffic. What mindshare could Spirit hope to gain. Finally San Francisco brands created a new niche with Airplane and The Dead. But the Brits got the mindshare that had a long lifespan with classic rock. I still enjoy Traffic. But don't own a Spirit CD, only vinyl. (Won't own an iPod.) Guess I need to pay up. :)

Prime Time Media

An advantage of age is a history of media. Each media (or extension of man) has a time, no matter how short, where it is the cutting edge. This is often called the golden age. Creativity is king. Three examples: the late 50's are well recognized as the golden age of television. Look at a Marx Brothers movie for a previous golden age. More recent, "web 2.0" gained credence as a new age for internet. I now believe we are in another new age of video as the leader. McLuhan aside: it is easier to recognized what was the dominate media when it is dethroned. "Does a fish know there is water?" In the past decade or three, video games have replaced music. Google "lemmings" to see how many blog about spending time in their youth playing that video (computer) game. I sit hear listening to the first Traffic album produced in an age when the "album" was in its prime. On the screen is "A Day At the Races" with the Marx Brothers at their prime. RIAA knows that their "prime" as passed. My prediction for the next golden age: Ajax (web browser as operating system) games. We've already seen "old media as content for new media" with Lemming converted to Ajax. The golden age is starting - don't lament, enjoy.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Hobo on Rails

If you do Rails, then have a look at Hobo at Great screencasts that show you how this framework makes it easy to get a Rails app up very quicky. Particularly impressive is the three screencast where they import a theme and it is all working within a few minutes. Very DRY and very design driven.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Quick and Clean - Well Factored Ruby by Chad Fowler

Chad Fowler gave a very good talk at the NovaRug Users' Group (2/21/07) about well factored Ruby on Rails code that he called Quick and Clean. These are some notes and links to references.

The talks was inspired by Joel Spolsky's article on The Law of Leaky Abstraction. Chad argues that you have to know what is going on "under rails" to write great code. So learn more Ruby! Chad was also inspired by Martin Fowler's keynote at 2006 Rail Conf. In the keynote he states that Rails continues the tradition of smalltalk where quick can be clean and it does not have to be dirty.

Chad organized his presentation into some opinionated suggestions and presented sample code to make his point:

  • Controller only does CRUD methods
  • No SQL in Controllers
  • Limit Controllers to four lines
  • Avoid duplication
  • No code in your Views - make helpers to clean up
  • Master Ruby
Discussion was promoted by his conjecture that we may have be reaching the limit of MVC (Model-View-Controller). He referenced the Amrita as software worth exploring.

So a good meeting with links to even more.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Case against Landis may be in jeopardy

I'm not a lab tech, but I found the initial news coverage of Floyd Landis alleged doping poor. Now the LA Times is reporting the serious errors may have been made and the case may be dismissed. And where did I hear it? Near the end of a sports show, almost as an afterthought. I hope if this case really is dismissed that the news editors give it as much time as they did the charge.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Kids Are Not The Same

I'm constantly reminded that kids are not the same. Well, maybe on sitcoms all the kids are the same. And maybe we assume that all kids in a classroom are the same. But they are not and we should expect them not to be the same. Nor can we make policy as if they are the same. In the real world kids are different. Karen Olsson writes in NYT about Her Autistic Brothers. The difficulty in raising kids is fully exposed and wonderfully detailed. What a challenge these brothers pose for not just the parents but also for the siblings. And the article just brushes what a challenge our society faces finding how to find productive lives for these young adults. Almost a year ago Gretchen Cook wrote about Siblings of Disabled Have Their Own Problems. This story uses an estimate from Arc of the United States that there are 7 million siblings of children with disablilities. If you ask around I'm certain that you'll find someone else who knows about this problem first hand. Read these two articles and you'll have a better understanding.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Site Navigation Becoming Less Important

Chris Anderson at the FASTforward07 Conference provided some hard numbers to backup how differently Wired magazine treats the hardcopy edition from the web. The print version is entirely about "what's new", the current issue. On the web "what's new" is losing ground. 40 percent read the archives and that number is rising. Anderson is the editor-in-chief of Wired. On the web only a minority (22%) of visitors use the navigation to get to an article. 23% use the site search and 28% found content from external search or links from blogs. Links from the home page account for 27%. Anderson's and Wired's conclusions are to mine the archives, to completely forget any notion of being a portal and to foster links from blogs.
Great explanation of the web versus text.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Superbowl XLI Ads on Squidoo

I had not create a Squidoo Lens in a long time, but I just finished Superbowl XLI Ads for this year. Last year's was a big hit, but I did not get to it early enough this year. Still, I think you'll like it. A lot more video choices this year.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Rails Edge: Day One

The picture: tables with 8 geeks at each with laptops. Very little diversity.

Second session reviewed what has happened with Rails since 1.0. Plugins, migrations, RJS, etc. This was just what I needed because I tend to code in the 1.0 mode. It was also a review of upcoming sessions. So as the sessions continue I'm create a list of "better or required practices" that I'll post after the conference.

Instead of dinner last night I replace some "has_and_belongs_to_many" with "has_many .. :through =>". Made a few errors, but I learned. This turned out to be the perfect solution for a problem I was having.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Rails Edge Conference: Expectations

I'll be attending the Rails Edge Conference in Reston, Virginia for the next few days. Hopefully this will get me to move and into the next phases. I find that I'm stuck doing things in the Ruby on Rails 1.0 way and I think this will get me to take advantage of the new approaches, the new deployments and the new practices that version 1.2 provides. I also have a couple of "translation into code" problems that I hope to get some help with. More on that later.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

New Year So Remodeling

I've been working on redoing my personal homepage which was started about 10 years ago. So my web time has been spent on that and on my web applications like So expect some silence for a little while as I finish things up - not my strength.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ten Predictions For 2007

  1. Memory Stick Software
  2. Web 2.0 Goes for Hobby Funding
  3. AOL-Adobe-NewsCorp replace Amazon-Ebay-Apple which replaced Google-Microsoft-Yahoo
  4. Intranet RSS Feeds
  5. Digg Goes Bigger
  6. Web Documents
  7. Clickstream Contributer Content Overtakes Typed Contributions
  8. New Site with Time Based Contributions Become Next Thing
  9. Cell Phones Get New Name Beyond Smart
  10. Web 2.0 Bubble Called, Misses Differences From Previous Bubble