Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Here be Trolls...

Just a quick shout out to Kathy Sierra, who is sadly seriously considering never posting again as a result of some seriously odious behaviour. Kathy's blog, Creating Passionate users has been a great source of inspiration to me, and is always required reading.

The thing about nasty troll-folk, is that the threats really rattle you. They get into your head and live with you. It's stupid, and sad. You don't want them too, but they do, nonetheless. I know it's the internet and everything, but it's made up of PEOPLE, OKAY! You shouldn't say anything you wouldn't say in person.

Anyway, If you're a fan, make sure you stop by the comments section and show your support. And if you aren't, you should stop by and read the archives - you'll probably become one :)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Watch the Cricket World Cup for Free - P2PTV

If you're a cricket fan who happens to be stuck far, far away from people who care about cricket, like say, America... there is a solution!

If you have access to the Internet, and half decent bandwidth you can download a program called sopcast, (program download here) which is a clever spin (probably from off to leg...) on bitTorrent, and other p2p sharing protocols - basically it allows one 'broadcaster' to share a channel as a torrent, allowing for other watchers to pass bits on to each other after they watch them.

It's kind of like watching TV at someone Else's house, except you bring their TV over to your house. Oh, and you don't know who they are. And then you send your TV over to some other random strangers house. Okay, so it's nothing like that at all....

Anyway it seems to work pretty well for me. The odd dropout, but hey - it's free - so who's complaining?

Channel 21237 has the Cricket World Cup - C'mon Aussie!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Stuck in Seattle

I'm over here in the Pacific Northwest, at the Seattle Tacoma Airport, having just given a TRIM Demonstration to a potential customer.

I haven't really had much of a chance to see the city, or much of anything, although the view from the plane flying in over Pugent Sound was really quite spectacular. It's really weird seeing a giant mountain sticking out of the clouds. That just looked kind of... wrong.

Unfortunately, I have to wait over here until midnight to catch the redeye flight back home - all the airports close on the east coast, so it's not possible to catch a flight after about 1PM in the afternoon once you factor in the time zone difference. Which sucks. Airports are just not that interesting.

And that's why you get boring blog posts like this. Nothing to say. Bored. Just read this post forty-five times if you want to approximate something like the kind of boredom that 9 hours at an airport can bring.

* sigh *

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


What's better than seeing what your friends are doing right now?

Seeing what Everyone is doing!

Twittervision is a great mash-up of google maps and twitter.

Stare at global banality people. It's real!

Monday, March 19, 2007

More Twitterage

Well, I'm currently up to day 5 in my twitter experiment. And, you know what? I'm starting to get it. At first, I just signed up all by myself, but that was boring, so I nagged my friends to join. (I can be a surprisingly effective nagger. )

Once you have a few people making updates, the whole thing changes. I don't have time to read lots of long detailed posts each day, even from people I really like - but I will happily consume 10 100-word updates from my friends as to what's going on. It kind of distills down to the essence of social media.

The other thing that comes to mind is that we're all so disconnected these days. I spend lots of time talking to people, but comparatively few of them are actually here with me. Twitter gives you a tiny bit of the joy that you might experience if you were spending time with your twitter pals, except it provides it in quick, bite-size chunks.

140 words isn't enough to boast, or to really bamboozle people with your intellect - so Twitter posts seem more honest and personal. Like Haiku, there's the challenge of trying to fit more into the restricted posting window than you should be able to convey..

Anyways, I'll post some more once the experiment officially ends on Tuesday. Till then, you can get up to the minute updates on what I'm doing (like you care!) by heading over to http://twitter.com/goodgord.

Join up! - Add me as a friend! And if you have already done those things, then update!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mind the Trees - Amazon Surfing

This Video is of what maybe the longest wave in the world, the "Pororoca" or annual tidal shift from the Atlantic Ocean through the Amazon river. Incredible!

More here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Twitter Schmitter,.

Okay - I've looked at Twitter.

And after some serious souls searching, I have to say, I don't get it.

It looks like a weird kind of micro-blogger thingy. I don't see how it could possibly be interesting, or really anything...

But, I read TechCrunh, and Scoble, and it's all like twitter-mania. Even Barack Obama and John Edwards are Twittering?

Okay fine, 901AM, you win. I'll give it a week.

One measly week of additional meaningless internet blog micro-excreta. And after that, I'll be able to conclusively denounce the whole thing as kiddy nonsense. Okay?

You can find my twitterings (?) at http://twitter.com/goodgord.

But only for a week.

UPDATE: Okay, I still don't get it. Apparently it has something to do with cats

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Apple does it again...

Those guys over at Apple just don't stop. Check out the latest innovation over at The Onion...
A Product launching product! Now, you really have to be on the cutting edge of innovation for an idea like that!

"Get ready for the future of product introduction," said Jobs, looking resplendent in a black turtleneck and faded jeans. "The iLaunch will be able to make announcements from this, or any other stage, making human participation in generating consumer awareness almost entirely unnecessary."

But - the real question is - can you get it in different colours?...

Rusty's back!

Rhys returns from the corporate wilderness with his latest web design. Shiny!

You know, you just can't appreciate it through RSS. Graphic designers must really hate that...

Monday, March 05, 2007

Winter snaps

Some frosty (full colour!) photos from wintertime here in Northern Virginia

Friday, March 02, 2007


This is the first post I've ever written from a Linux OS. To be honest, I never thought I would ever make one. But, just on spec, today I took an old laptop I use occasionally, and installed the latest version of Ubuntu.

The whole installation process took me less than twenty minutes, and you know what? Everything I thought about Linux is wrong. This machine (a Sony Vaio P3 with 512 mg RAM) has a few weird components in it - I assumed that I would have to screw around and look for mouse drivers and do lots of command line typey-typey stuff. Ring up Stilly and ask him what the 'secret word' was to unpack a tarball kind of magic But nope - nothing.

Everything just worked.

Wireless, USB, Graphics, sound, all drives - everything. No hassle. And it looks brilliant! Kind of like a cross between Vista and OSX. Easy. Intuitive. And fast, too. This old machine performs brilliantly - better than it ever ran any version of windows.

And because nearly all my stuff (bookmarks, mail, documents, feeds) are all online and browser based, I haven't had to install or restore anything from backup. My world came with me. It's really never been easier to switch your OS.

Microsoft lost an awful lot when they lost the API war.

And I'm sure they couldn't really care less, but it looks like they've lost me, too.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

But Seriosly...

Seriosity are copping some flak for their unique approach to trying to solve the collaboration problem in the enterprise, in an increasingly information cluttered world.

The application, called 'Attent', works by attaching virtual currency (called 'Serios') to an outlook email. By setting the amount of Serios attached to an email, an information worker can indicate how 'precious' that email is. The Serios, once received, can then be bartered, exchanged, or used to reward employees - (how about spent in an online auction for a week of one developers time..., or used as brownie points towards a raise, or whatever)

While the comments over on TechCrunch seem to universally chastise the approach, I think that these guys are on to something. We need to realise that enterprises are made up of people, not automatons. Rather than mandating corporate behaviour and re-enforcing it with a big stick, the most nimble and effective organizations are going to be the ones that match up processes with the way people are.

Again, if we take Simon's Post on the TOWER Software blog - he obviously doesn't want to file stuff. If left to his own devices, he certainly wouldn't. The system that caters to his laziness is going to result in him being more effective than one that forces unfamiliar behaviour on him. Where Seriosity is concerned, we know that people like to measure things - particularly how favorably they compare with other people. By trying to engineer an enterprise system that plays into the way people instinctively want to behave, they're trying to get more value from their workers.

Trying to replicate the learning curve from modern consumer video games, as Dean says, is not a bad thing - I can't think of many other software forms where the manual is completely irrelevant. (for 'work' enterprise software, remember that even if nobody reads it in Userland, you can guarantee that the help desk guys read it religiously...)

Creating compelling work environments where people can do their work without forcing themselves away from their instinctive behaviour has to be a solid strategy. Lots of those comments were from web 2.0 entrepreneurs saying "Why did they get millions in VC funding for that?"

Leaving aside the question of whether sending Serios with your emails is a good idea, I can see why these guys got the money.

It's because they're trying to engineer the people, not the systems.