Category: Technology

Dec 20 2007

I really am moving to wordpress, I swear..

It’s almost comical what’s taking me so long.

I can’t decide on a web host. :D

My domains are split between GoDaddy and Joker, and neither of them are really going to be appropriate for hosting. I’ve found a few different hosts I like, from large to small, and just can’t decide. They all cost pretty much the same, anyway. Some walk you through setup more than others (copying entries from an older blog, preinstalling templates, etc), but I’m not even sure how much THAT matters, given how flexible wordpress is.

It’s a stupid reason, isn’t it?

But I WILL get it done, moving over is going to be my “project” for the holiday break. New blog location, new year. I swear.

Anyway – if someone has a web host they adore, lemme know, I’d love some recommendations.

Nov 18 2007

Blowing Bubbles

There has been a lot of whispering in the industry lately about whether or not we’re entering into, or already in a new bubble.

I worked for a small dot-com during the last bubble, and I loved it. I loved the startup atmosphere, the dedication everyone had, and the sheer fun that I had on a daily basis. We clearly had a solid idea – we were creating video podcasts ten years before the term existed – but we were fully lacking a business model. Without revenue, nothing can survive.

The world then was filled with small companies run by young people with amazing ideas. If you were over 30, you were probably too old. The power was truly in the hands of the young.

That aspect of the bubble has returned, in a large part thanks to open platforms, and the ability of independent developers to easily get their work in front of millions of users.

A large part of my job is talking to these developers, and for a little while, anyway, it surprised me how young many of them are. Until I realized it was the same thing happening all over again…with a twist.

Yes, there are VC’s throwing money at application developers. There are multiple multi-million dollar funds with grants available just for them. But there’s one big difference between the funds now and those in the 90’s. I strongly suspect these funds are only going to give money to developers already making money. After all – you really don’t need funding to get an application up and running.

There are multiple sites that will help you build an application. There are even more sites that will host an application for you. There is an amazing amount of documentation and tutorials online for whatever language you’re writing in (I’m learning Ruby at the moment, and have found the online help better than any book I have). And it’s all free.

Anyone who has an idea and wants to create it can. If the idea’s good enough, and the developer has just the right amount of smarts to get it in front of the right people (which truly isn’t that difficult these days), the VC’s will come running. A teenager in school doesn’t need millions in funding, or to generate millions in revenue a year. But a couple hundred thousand? That’s certainly possible now.

This isn’t a bubble. This is just a shift in power. It’s not only the young jumping on this trend, of course, it’s also little baby companies. A “company” consisting of one person programming in their living room after work, or five friends with a good idea setting up shop just to see if they can make it work. It astonishes me how many of my friends have left larger companies to go start their own…and how many of them are successful. Of course, I love to think it’s because I just have awesome friends (had to be said :D), but it truly is much easier to turn a good idea into a solid business these days. You don’t need millions in funding to get started, which means you don’t need the big guys.

Got an idea? Do it. You can do it all for free these days. If it doesn’t work out, you probably lose a few weeks of your life to the computer. But you also could end up changing your life.

This is just awesome to watch, and I’m so excited to see how it all plays out.

Nov 16 2007

Hrm.

It seems like I’m posting an entry via a different method every day now. Currently I’m using Flock, which I haven’t checked out since it was in its infancy. It’s come a long way…

Speaking of random websites. I’ve become an avid user of the most wonderful “use this if you’re a lazy dope” website ever. You send it contact information for someone, it sends you back an .ics. Tell it you have an appointment, you get back a .cal file. It’ll then email, sms, whatever you to remind you of stuff.

I’m so lazy when it comes to creating actual “contacts” in Outlook, which doesn’t matter unless you’re trying to pull up people on your blackberry – your “universal address book,” or whatever it’s called on the PC doesn’t exist. So the contacts AS contacts in Outlook is important.

Anyway, if you’re lazy like me, check Sandy out – she just came out of private beta. Really simple, and so perfect for me. I have some tweaks I’d love to make to the site, but for now? I likey. :)

Nov 09 2007

Track Me, Baby

I was talking to some coworkers today about how nothing you do at work is truly private – your company tracks you (or at least, I’m told mine does).

I understand the tracking of my actual work � emails and such � that�s good in the event of a lawsuit or anything where we�d have to provide evidence. I even understand tracking web activity � for example, one of my good friends can no longer access MySpace from work because her coworkers were having a wee too much fun during the day and slowing down their entire network.

I very much feel that it is fully my employer�s right to track me, and don�t feel personally invaded or any of that stuff by them doing so.

But I wonder what they expect to see, especially from my web activity at work. Obviously, I�m on MySpace all day. I do hit up some of my �must have� sites I was writing about yesterday, but mainly, if I�m not on MySpace at work, I�m probably on another social network, or new Web 2.0 site. I�m on �em all. I scramble for private beta invites the second they�re available, and will join anything and everything just to see what it�s like. I�ve even been known to hit up some very, very Not Safe For Work sites to check things out.

I do end up joining a bunch of awfully boring sites, but every once in a while, something surprises me. Sandy�s a great example of that � I think I heard about this site from the TechCrunch conference, and now I use it daily.

This got rambly. But my point was – look at my logs from work and all you’d see is one random website after another after another. And while I do believe my company has every right to look at what I’m doing – I don’t believe I have any right to privacy when I’m being paid to do something – I do wonder what they’re trying to accomplish

“She changed her status four times today!! Bad bad BamBam!”

Eh. Maybe not.

Nov 08 2007

I a Proud Fangirl

And I’ve been known to say as much when talking to companies. My coworkers my tease me, but when I’m a fan, I don’t deny it.

After all, when it comes to the Internet, before I am anything else, be that a blogger, an employee, a gamer, whatever�I am first and foremost a user.

That means that there are a number of websites that have become an important part of my daily routine, and it�s just weird to think about what life would be like if I somehow didn�t have them anymore.

The sites I use every day:

MySpace.com (duh)

Facebook.com

Digg.com

MyYahoo! (and the Yahoo! Widget that displays MyYahoo news on my desktop)

Gmail (although I�m starting to use the site less now that there�s imap)

Bloglines

Google

Pownce (if the AIR app worked on my PC I wouldn�t use the site at all)

LiveJournal

The sites I use �a lot,� meaning multiple times a week, but I won�t go into convulsions if I can�t see them for a day:

Amazon.com

Demonoid (ahem)

IWantSandy (http://iwantsandy.com/ ) This is quickly becoming a new favorite of mine. It�s silly, but it�s just handy to have �someone� remind you of random things daily.

Delicious

Flickr

What sites can�t you live without? Just sites, not blogs�I�ll do another entry listing out my favorite blogs.

Nov 01 2007

OpenSocial is sweet!

(and I can I just tell you how many times I’ve almost written “Welcome to the social” as a tagline?)

From Mashable:

The official news is out on the MySpace and Google deal, first rumored earlier today. The big news: the two companies have actually been working together on OpenSocial all along, which launches officially tonight. From the jointly issued news release:

�MySpace, the world�s largest social network, and Google, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced that they are joining forces to launch OpenSocial� a set of common APIs for building social applications across the web. The partnership spearheads an initiative to standardize and simplify the development of social applications. Today�s announcement underscores MySpace�s commitment to supporting standards that foster innovation in an increasingly social Web.�

As I told someone on Monday (talking about something entirely different, mind you…) “we’re ALL about standards, baby.” :)

 

Oct 18 2007

MySpace Platform – It’s Official!

From Tech Crunch:

Rupert Murdoch and MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe announced some of their plans around the MySpace Platform (rumored since last week) this evening at the Web 2.0 conference during a Q&A with John Battelle.

I’d say “things are going to get busy,” but hey, they already have been. And it’s all in good fun – this is a damn cool thing to be working on. I’m just glad the news is out.

Yay!

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Oct 11 2007

Cow on a Desktop?

Does anyone remember a little cow *moo* that would sit on your Windows 3.1 desktop?

The cow would walk across the top of windows, hanging on and falling if you tried to move them; pee on your screen, be abducted by aliens, and more.

It was so cute, and probably one of the first widgets ever…certainly the first one I remember using.

I have so many fond memories associated with that stupid cow. It would always decide to pee when my boss was looking at my screen, or get stuck on a window just when I needed a laugh. It was new and cute and amazed everyone who looked at my computer.

I just tried to Google it and couldn’t find it, or anything similar for a “modern” OS. Nothing in Wikipedia either.

Anyone know what I’m talking about, or see anything similar?

I miss the days of the cow, when everything was fun and new. I want cute, goofy, runs in the background and makes me laugh. Yet doesn’t hurt my processor or get in the way of what I’m doing.

Sometimes the “killer app” is also the simplest. Like a stupid silly cow.

*moooooo*

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Sep 09 2007

Alas, Dear Eloise, I Knew You Well…

Here’s a story of a sweet little gaming rig that belonged to a girl named Stephanie.

Stephanie had waited eagerly for Doom to go gold, knowing that her computer had to have the latest and greatest hardware of the time to run said game. So the minute that announcement was made, an order was placed with Dell. An order was also placed for memory, a big hard drive, and a beefy video card. Oh, and monitor and speakers.

Stephanie’s computer – named Eloise – ran Doom beautifully, as it did Half Life 2, Halo 2, and any other game she played at the time.

One cross country move and three months later, Eloise began blue screening. No reason, no logic, just continual blue screens with very ugly warnings. This time Dell was called in, and after ten hours on hold and two technicians’ visits, Stephanie had gutted her old computer, sent the shell back to Dell, and received a warranty replacement.

Eloise 2 was a great machine, and ran flawlessly for three years. Until Stephanie moved across the country again…

There were intiially no signs that Eloise was going to be trouble in California. The computer looked normal, ran normally, and all seemed fine. Until one day Stephanie decided the computer had been on for too long and she should reboot it. She turned it off, and left it, figuring she’d let it sit for ten minutes before restarting it.

And it wouldn’t restart. Absolutely nothing happened. No monitor, no keyboard lights, no drive light. Nada.

A nice computer technician came to look at Eloise, and delivered the veridict. “The motherboard is shot,” he said. “The electrical system is a mess.” But he got the computer on again, and said it could be ok for ages, or something could break again soon. There was just no way to tell.

Eloise was on for two days before her screensaver locked up and she refused to start again.

Once again, the computer technician was summoned. This time, he was asked to please start the computer again so Stephanie could salvage what she needed from Eloise before she died again.

He promptly got her started again, but this time there was a very serious warning. “You’re going to need a new computer,” they said. “This one is dying.”

“What if I need to start it again?” Stephanie asked.

“You can try jiggling the power cord.”

It had become that hopeless.

And so Stephanie pulled the last of what she needed off of Eloise, and sent her off to the great computer in the sky. There will be no more desktop computer for Stephanie. Or at least, not until Rage comes out.

Sleep well, dear Eloise, you served me well. Your Nanny (router), Weenie (Airport) and Skipperdee (Macbook pro) will be lonely without you.

Aug 15 2007

Fun with the US Patent Office

c/o Techdirt, here’s a link to a patent application for a “process�protecting a novel joke which comprises filing a patent application defining the novel features of the joke.”

Love it.

I want to patent “the process by which someone writes a blog entry about a patent for a process telling a joke by patent.” Oooh, then, I could patent “the process by which a blog entry is written on LiveJournal using an offline blogging client telling a joke by patent” as a derivative work.

I think if the patent sounds ridiculous when read aloud, it probably is. It’s also a rather easy standard for the Patent Office to use…if the process is so complicated it can’t be understood on the first read, it is probably sooo derivative of so many other things that it shouldn’t be granted.

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