Critical Section

remembering

Monday,  05/25/15  09:58 AM

Remember!Hey blog public it's Memorial Day.  Let's all take time out from hanging around BBQing or sailing or cycling (or blogging!) to remember all those who gave their lives so we could be free to enjoy our lives, today, and every day.

I just checked my blogging "flight" (things I posted on this day, in years past) and came across this post from 2008: dear soldier, a letter written by Meg when she was 11.  Pretty poignant.  I can only echo what she wrote in her last paragraph:

Thank you for fighting for our rights, our freedom, and our lives as they are today.  Thank you for being there for our country.

Happy Memorial Day!

 

sharing Facebook video

Sunday,  05/24/15  11:25 PM

For you, and for me so I can find it later...  Have you ever tried to share a Facebook video outside of Facebook?  Like, send someone a link in a message or email?  It's not easy but it is possible.  I guess Facebook want you to share inside of Facebook, but ... it's a bigger world than just them.

So here's what you do:

  1. Discover the Facebook video's number.  When you're viewing the video on Facebook, click on the little down arrow at the upper right and you'll have the option to Embed Video.  This gives you a string of HTML that looks like this:
    <div id="fb-root"></div><script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-video" data-allowfullscreen="true" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/109918489208/videos/10153013265164209/"><div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><blockquote cite="/109918489208/videos/10153013265164209/"><a href="/109918489208/videos/10153013265164209/"></a><p>Happening now!!   Marina Del Rey is ready for NACs. Are you??</p>Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coronado-15/109918489208">Coronado 15</a> on Thursday, May 21, 2015</blockquote></div></div>
    Yeah, messy.  Anyway, the video number is in there, as I've highlighted in red.
     
  2. Build the URL for the video like this:
    http://www.facebook.com/photos.php?v=10153013265164209

That's it.  You're welcome.

BTW, in order to view the video link recipients have to have access to it; so it either has to be public or they have to be signed into Facebook and be authorized to watch it.

 

magnificent Madagascar

Sunday,  05/24/15  11:05 PM

Anthony Bourdain says Don't miss magnificent Madagascar.  "Despite being the fourth largest island in the world, the island of Madagascar appears to be off the radar for many tourists seeking a wildlife adventure."  It's been on my radar for a while, I would love to go.  I just hope I get a chance before the Four Seasons build a hotel there :)

 

 

Sunday,  05/24/15  10:41 PM

coffee!A mid-Memorial Day filter pass ... following up on a weird week where it feels like I was too busy to work.  Too much cycling, sailing, and um stuff to do, to get much stuff done.

Astana, KazakhstanIt was exactly one year ago that I returned from a week in Kazakhstan, and posted a long pictorial report.  Wow, seems like way longer than a year...

Of possible use: How to ship a Beluga whale via UPS.  I doesn't come up that often...

FAO Schwartz to close Manhattan store in July as rents rise.  Sigh.  Not sure if this is a cautionary tale about specialty retailers expanding out of their niche, or about landlords ignoring market signals and overpricing.  Either way it's too bad.

Of course: the House just passed a bill about space mining.  "Any asteroid resources obtained in outer space are the property of the entity that obtained such resources, which shall be entitled to all property rights thereto, consistent with applicable provisions of Federal law."  Excellent.

Netherlands: wind breakHow the Netherlands stopped the wind.  A rather breathless ode to 'big engineering'.  And also, the video violates the inverted pyramid for video.  An interesting watch nonetheless...

l'Hydroptere flys!A while ago, while musing on that same inverted pyramid, I linked this video of l'Hydroptere, an amazing foiling trimaran built to break sailing speed records.  Well they're at it again!  Amazing video of this amazing boat, but sadly, they do violate the inverted pyramid in this one.  Worth waiting for the boat sailing, though...

Finally, after about 1,000 references, I can type "l'Hydroptere" without looking up the spelling.  My finders just don't want to type that :)

The headlines on this pretty much write themselves: U2's 'the Edge' falls off the Edge.  I guess he should join Yes :)

Yay!  New electronics kit-makers aim to awaken the next generation of engineers.  I remember Heathkit with great fondness.  And did you know?  They're still alive...

Wired: an oral history of Industrial Light and MagicInteresting read: An oral history of Industrial Light and Magic.  What struck me most - among many other cool things - was that ILM survived a move to another city (from LA to SF) after they were already successful (after Star Wars IV).

Cirque of the UnclimbablesExcellent (and who knew): the Cirque of the Unclimbables.  This group of peaks in Northwest Canada, between the Yukon and Northwest Territories, is not only hard to climb, but it's hard to reach first.  A great story.  (I will say, this article suffers from lack of editing; it could be shorter and crisper.)

I'm not a climber, but it would be amazing to visit as a hiker...

 

Still the Water

Thursday,  05/21/15  11:08 PM

It's [still] the WaterTonight sailed my venerable C-15 in the Sunstroke Series, in Marina Del Rey; despite some cobwebs and rust managed to finish 2nd.  My little boat "It's the Water" is now thirty-six years old (!) and still flying :)

And meanwhile, it's all happening...

Mark Rothko: Untitled (yellow and blue)Exquisite Rothko masterpiece sold for bargain price of $46M.  It's pretty abstract; lest you think the title is a clue to the intended message, it's Untitled (yellow and blue).

Do you agree?  Why is modern art so bad?  Is it?  My own view is that art has shifted from representational to conceptual; you might need to have more context to understand and appreciate it.

So, why hasn't a cure for cancer been found yet?  Net net, because cancer isn't one disease, it's over 200 different ones with similar symptoms (uncontrolled and unregulated cell reproduction).  We have found the cure for some of them, and are working the list.  Great commentary...

Lily camera - the drone that follows youWho wants a Lily camera?  Me!  A drone that follows you ... very cool.

Wow... A coalition of more than 60 Asian-Americans have filed a Federal discrimination complaint against Harvard.  Given the evidence of racial bias in admissions, they're quite likely to have a case.  Excellent, we have to abolish all racial discrimination.

The reaction of the media to Seymour Hersh's Bin Laden scoop has been disgraceful.  It is odd that the story hasn't received more respect.  Even if aspects of it are wrong, there is a lot of evidence.

So true (and in re, the climate jihadists):

Years ago, I heard the Jewish comedian Jackie Mason performing in Beverly Hills, riffing on the primary motivation of wealthy liberals. They do things, he suggested, not because they actually accomplished anything, but because "I have to look at myself in the mirror."

Among the things it explains: The Income Inequality Warriors.  There seems to be an effect that the more you try to close the "income inequality" gap, the bigger you make it.

Tina S shreds Master of Puppets16-year-old guitar virtuoso Tina S shreds Metallica's Master of Puppets.  The entire 8:32 is awesome, but for the TL:DW advance to 3:40, close your eyes, and drift...  YES.  And the solo at 5:30 totally rocks.

MG Siegler: A Penny for your Thoughts.  Have you ever thought how weird it is that everything on the Internet is Free?

 

testing the new Edge

Wednesday,  05/20/15  11:00 PM

I've been running Win 10 in a VM for a while now, just to play with, and mostly staying current with the latest builds just to watch the evolution.  As you may know, in recent versions Microsoft have released a new web browser, first [realistically] named Spartan and more recently [and somewhat optimistically] named Edge.  So ... I decided to try it.

I have to say I am *not* an IE user; for years now I have used Chrome as my day-in-day-out browser, with an occasional use of Firefox.  So trying IE (as a baseline) was a bit trying.  I had forgotten all the annoying warnings and restrictions and security crap.  Once having fought through those to get an actual working browser, IE 11 on Win 10 is clearly slower than both Chrome and Firefox.  It is also legendarily incompatible with everything else, so you could see why MS would want to rewrite it.

My first impression of Edge was not positive; it takes approximately forever to load.  I thought maybe this was a onetime thing, so I closed it and relaunched.  Nope, it's slow.  Of course my first test case was this blog :) and while it loaded just fine, and looked perfect, it did take a long time to load.  Hmmm ... maybe the cache needs to be filled?  I tried surfing around a little, but things didn't get any better.  It's just quite slow, even compared to IE, and especially compared to Chrome.  Blech.

So how about compatibility?  Let's ask HTML5 test, shall we...

That's ... horrible!  Seriously bad.  For the purpose of comparison, here's the latest IE...

So Edge is more compatible than IE.  Well that's something, anyway!  But how about the competition...

As you can see, both Chrome and Firefox are much better than Edge.  You would think MS are quite focused on this aspect of their spiffy new browser, but you would [apparently] think wrong.

As another comparison, here's the OS X competition...

So Edge on Win 10 is slightly worse than Safari on OS X, but considerably worse than Chrome and Firefox, which are both a little worse on OS X than they are on Windows.  Overall I can't say they're off to a great start.

For completeness, here's Firefox on Linux (Red Hat Fedora)...

I guess at the highest level Edge *is* better than IE, so that will make it easier for web application builders; it would be a great relief if your JavaScirpt did not to have to check whether you're running inside IE or not.  One would *hope* Edge is more similar to every other browser.  (The only thing worse than checking for IE would be checking for IE and Edge.)  Time will tell.

PS also ... Edge is ugly.  Yikes!

 

the world tomorrow (NY150515)

Wednesday,  05/20/15  07:31 PM

 


(click to enbiggen)

"the world tomorrow"
by Bruce McCall

Onward!

 

 

hot and cold

Sunday,  05/17/15  09:51 PM

hot and coldI had a nice weekend; a freezing cold / hard ride yesterday, and a beautiful sailing regatta today.  Hope yours was equally fun and interesting.  And so the Ole filter makes a pass... (it's all happening!)

Peter Sagan barely finishes third to win the Amgen TourSo yes, Peter Sagan did win the Amgen Tour, by a whisker.  (He's in the multi-colored kit on the left of winner Mark Cavendish and second place finisher Wouter Whippet.)  He entered the day 3s behind Julian Alaphillipe; he picked up 1s at the first sprint point, and then a 4s time bonus for finishing third on the day to edge Julian by 2s.  Wow.  And that after 700miles of racing.  He deserved it; there's literally nobody else who could win a sprint, a time trial, and the overall in the same stage race.

Barack Obama, pathetic at three levels.  "He's dishonest, he's un-Presidential, and he's un-serious."  He's been a huge disappointment to me.

Victor David Hanson: the first-and-a-half amendment.  "Among those who attack free expression the most loudly are progressives who do not like politically incorrect speech that does not further their own agendas."  The extent to which dissenting views are censored these days is a little scary.

For Meg and Alex*: how to inoculate your daughter against campus feminism.  From the Network of Enlightened Women.

* my daughters, both of whom are far too outspoken to be cowed by political correctness.

Thing Explainer: the Mars RoverIt's the Thing Explainer, from xkcd's Randall Munroe.  "Annotated blueprints that explain everything from ballpoint pens to the solar system using line drawings and only the thousand most common English words."  Yay.

Facebook's new Instant ArticlesYou may have seen, Facebook have launched Instant Articles feature in their iPhone App.  The idea being, they can serve up the content people link to more efficiently than the content providers.  Hmmm...  I am the last to argue about the value of speed, but I think this has more to do with control.  Publishers are tooth gnashing about whether to join...

This is reminiscent of Google's Web Accelerator project, now defunct, and Amazon's Silk Web Browser, which hasn't, er, set the world on Fire.  I think these sorts of things never find a business model.

Marc Cantor founds Interface.  Marc has been a big inspiration to me, ever since his Media Band days back in ... 1995.  He was one of the first to publish multimedia content on the web, and has remainder a leader.  Will be most interesting to follow Interface to see what they do.  (Not exactly a Google-able name, right?)

Robert X. Cringley: the Kickstarter Paradox.  Not so much a description of a Paradox as an interesting muse on the value of Kickstarting; there is raising money, but also raising awareness, and testing ideas with real customers.  The Paradox is that Kickstarters are go-or-nogo, they don't support projects that will go forward no matter what.

Wolfram's ImageIdentifyWow, cool: Wolfram have created a website that identifies image contentImageIdentify is getting a lot of [good] press.  I have played with it extensively, and it’s impressive. Pulling out high-level information like “this is a handbag” is in many ways harder than “this is Prada model 4-567”. The former is qualitative, while the latter is quantitative. At eyesFinder we've focused on image matching which enables quantitative visual search, primarily for shopping applications. This is a bit different to object identification which it appears Wolfram are doing.

Ultimately both kinds of visual search will have uses, and there will be applications which are better for each approach. For the applications where visual search can be done best by locating matching images in a search library, such as shopping, our VQ-based image matching is better (more accurate). Perhaps the best thing about Wolfram’s service is that it is calling attention to all the applications for Visual Search :)

tech Unicorns (valuation >$1B)Mark Suster with good advice about Unicorns (startup companies with $1B+ valuations).  "Here’s advice I give people all the time when they're raising money. Narratives matter. Narratives are memorable. I'm not talking about raising money at a billion dollars. I'm talking about making your company memorable by describing it with a narrative that people will later remember."  Totally agree!

 

Visiting the Amgen Tour of California for ten years!

Sunday,  05/17/15  10:07 AM

The professional Amgen Tour of California race is in my back yard, so to speak, and I've watched it every year; can't believe it but this is the 10th anniversary:

In 2006 I watched stage 6, from Santa Barbara to Thousand Oaks; my friend Peter and I stationed ourselves on the Norwegian Grade and watched the peloton blow up it,



In 2007 I visited Solvang for the stage 5 time trial, and almost got run over by Thor Hushovd (unblogged), and



watched the peleton come up Balcom Canyon for the first time in stage 6 (a route almost identical to the one I watched Wednesday, unblogged)



In 2008 I again visted Solvang for the stage 5 time trial (yep, that's me, on TV, applauding Levi Leipheimer), and



again watched the peleton climb Balcom (again, a route idential to this year's)



In 2009 I visited Solvang for the stage 6 time trail, once again (Levi won, but Chris Horner took my corner the widest), and



climbed Mount Palomar for stage 7 (yep, that's me, on TV, photographing Andy Schleck), in the snow (!)



In 2010 I climbed Rockstore and then watched the peloton do it four times, in the final stage 8; the ATOC moved to May to find better weather, so of course stage 6 up to Big Bear was snowed out; note that this happened again this year and Friday's time trial was in Santa Clarita instead of Big Bear as a result



In 2011 I watched the stage 6 ITT in Solvang, with S., very nice, and



then climbed Mt. Baldy with my friend Tim, to watch the stage 7 final at the top (wow), and did it again last Saturday :)



In 2012 I again climbed Mt. Baldy with friends to watch stage 7, again the queen stage, as every year since; a great battle to the finish - Horner and Levi (unblogged)



In 2013 the tour took a different route, starting in the South and working North, I watched, rode, and broiled stage 2 from Murrieta to Palm Springs (again, unblogged)



In 2014 the route was back North to South; I rode and watched stage 6, from Santa Clarita to Mountain High (gasp), before boarding a plane for Kazakstahn (and hence missed watching stage 8, on Rockstore, in person)



And in 2015, watched and rode stage 5, once again Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita, via Balcom Canyon, and



rode and watched stage 7, once again up to the summit at Mt. Baldy (yay)



Onward, to ten more years!

 

riding Mount Baldy (and visiting the Amgen Tour)

Sunday,  05/17/15  09:27 AM

Yesterday I rode the l'Etape California, a sort of pre-Amgen Tour event where normal people* could ride the same course up Mount Baldy as the professionals racing in the Amgen Tour of California stage 7.  The course started in the flats of La Verne, climbed 4,000 feet to Baldy Village, descended down Glendora Mountain Road, and then climbed Baldy again, 6,000 feet all the way up to the ski lifts, where you "finished" through the same course as the pros.  After which you could hang up at the top of the mountain and watch the pro race.  Awesome, right?

* "normal" aka crazy cyclists who like riding up steep mountains

Yeah, except for the 10,000 of climbing, including 10%+ in the last five miles, and the freezing cold.  Brrr.  Anyway I made it, so it is fun to talk about after, and I watched a great pro race; Julian Alaphillipe won, out-climbing Sergio Henao to the finish, but even more excitingly Peter Sagan hung on gamely for third, finishing just 47s behind, leaving him just 3s behind Alaphillipe going into today's final [sprint] stage from LA Live to the Rose Bowl.  Sagan will probably be able to pick up some bonus time in the sprints to win - stay tuned.  After yesterday's amazing ride we have to root for him, although Alaphillipe is a great young rider and if he wins he'll deserve it.

My own favorite Robert Gesink, who memorably won the 2012 Amgen Tour by out-climbing the field on the same mountain, finished fifth on the day and will probably finish fifth overall, too.

In the meantime, here are some pictures from my day:


the route: 84 miles, 10,100 feet (!); not pictured, freezing cold


early morning start, led by Jens Voght (!) - 500 eager riders


through the flats of La Verne (and yes, we *all* got lost for 5 miles)


climbing up to Baldy Village, not too bad (8% ish)


Baldy Village!


the critical turn up to the ski area; this is where it gets *steep*


5,000 feet, gasp


smiling with 3K to go, 11%+ here


just 1K to go but it is 14%


500meters... legs burning


the finish, yay!


lots of snow on the ground, and ice in the air, too


watching the peloton climb up the valley


the pros ... attack! Alaphillipe and Henao on the move


Alaphillipe leads strongly, with a motorcycle entourage


Sagan hangs in there, a great ride to limit his time loss

Cheers, and go Peter!

 

Google Maps - own goal

Thursday,  05/14/15  11:37 PM

Many of you have been around long enough to remember when Google were just a scappy startup, and Yahoo, Alta Vista, Excite, and others were the kings of search.  (Back in the great "portal" era.)  I was just remembering this time thinking about Verizon's acquisition of AOL.

Google's text search was better right from the start, and that propelled them to early traction.  I would argue that in the entire history of Google, there were two formative events, both acquisitions.  The first was when Yahoo acquired Overture, in 2003 (for $1.6B).  That really established the paid search model, which has led to the lion's share of Google's revenue.  The second was when Google themselves acquired Keyhole, in 2004, which put Google Maps ... on the map, giving them satellite images in addition to road maps. (It was interesting looking back over AOL's acquisitions, to remember they bought Mapquest for $1.1B in 1999; at that time and until Google bought Keyhole, Mapquest were the clear leaders in mapping.)

Mapquest map, circa 2004
Mapquest map, circa 2004

So ... since Google Maps was such a key driver of Google, they're taking good care of it, and making it better and better, right? 

Google map, circa 2004
Google map, circa 2004
less detail, but freely scrolling

Of course ... they've added such amazing features as Street View, and the Moon, and Mars, and Traffic, and even 3D-views of buildings and landmarks.  They've become the standard for map interfaces.  But then again...

Google satellite map
Google satellite map
qualitatively different ... and better

Of course, not.  In March 2014 Google began testing a new interface which was dumbed down, slower, and removes key features like My Places and multi-point routing.  Users were up in arms, and Google decided to keep the new interface as an option, and let people "opt out" and use Classic Maps if they wanted.  A lot of people wanted.  So Google decided to go back to the old interface, right?

new Google Maps, with the 'return to Classic' option
new Google Maps,with the 'return to class' option

Nope.  Google have now made the new interface the default without any obvious way to get back to the Classic Maps.  For a little while people figured out they could use: maps.google.com/?output=classic, but the Google people closed the hole.  As of this writing you can still use this URL: maps.google.com/maps?output=classi, the fact that a typo works shows that the functionality is still there, and they just patched it out.

I can understand not wanting to support two interfaces, but since people don't seem to want the new interface, why force it down our throats?  There must be a product manager somewhere who doesn't want to admit the new interface is worse, or something weird like that.  But going up to 10,000 feet, this is important.  Google Maps remains a key product for the company.  I'm not sure what their goal is in switching people to a new interface, but it's not their users' goal.  And it could end up opening the door to competition...

Bing satellite map
Bing Satellite Map

 

 

two worlds, one sun

Thursday,  05/14/15  11:22 PM

From Gerald Vanderleun: two worlds, one sun:


Martian sunset
yes, for reasons not completely understood, the red planet has blue sunsets


Earth sunset
the blue planet has red sunsets

The sun appears a bit smaller on Mars, because it is 50% further away.  That means it receives just 25% of the energy, and since it has much less atmosphere, it retains a lot less of it.

I can't stop looking at the top picture; it is so weird to realize that really exists, it isn't just a scene from a movie...

 

visiting the Amgen Tour: Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita, via Balcom Canyon

Thursday,  05/14/15  11:00 PM

Today I had a chance to visit (and ride part of) the Amgen Tour of California, stage 5, from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita, via Balcom Canyon.  I watched the start in Montecito, the "turn" from hwy 192 to hwy 150, on the way to Ojai, parked and rode up Balcom Canyon ahead of the peloton, and drove to Santa Clarita to watch the finish.  As usual it was a lot of fun, despite the fact that climbing Balcom is really hard, and it was cold and rainy and crummy all day.

Some pics:


my trusty steed, awaiting the day at the start in Montecito


and they're off - and the early attacks to form a break are on


sweeping from 192 to 150, chasing a 5-man break with 2:30


climbing Balcom Canyon; this is what 23% looks like
note the KOM banner on the skyline under the power tower
yikes


whew, made it to the KOM
sun is out, but not for long


gasp


the leaders in the break crest the summit
they were *not* driving hard, saving it for later


an attack from the peloton
unknown rider from an unknown team - this is how you make your mark


the peloton crest the climb, not driving
note Mark Cavendish among the leaders second from right


at the finish line - and yes, it is pouring rain


the field sprints for the line - and Mark Cavendish takes it!

So tomorrow's time trial at Big Bear Lake had to be moved to Magic Mountain, because of snow (!), and so I'm not planning to go watch.  It's been shortened to 6 miles so not too much overall impact.  Saturday I'm planning to ride up the queen stage to Mount Baldy, ahead of the peloton, that should be "fun".  Stay tuned!

 

Arroutada

Wednesday,  05/13/15  11:56 PM

Check this out: Arroutada, from Ron Risman:

Excellent!

 

Wednesday,  05/13/15  10:57 PM

Whew, what a day; spent much of it coding in Excel, and the rest coding in English.  Not my favorite, but it had to be done.  (Only coding in Powerpoint is worse :)  Perhaps tomorrow I can get back to Visual Studio ... (oh, wait a minute, no; I'm going to watch the Amgen Tour of California's stage from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita in person...)

Svenja Staats - magical violinLast night I attended a classical music concert with my Mom featuring some young Dutch musicians traveling in the US.  It was an enjoyable evening, and the highlight was a young violinist named Svenja Staats, who was absolutely amazing.  She did things with a violin I had never seen before; plucking strings with her left hand while bowing with her right, and bouncing the bow on the strings like a drummer while playing an intricate melody, sounding more like Joe Satriani than Itzhak Perlman.  Wow.

How to deny a question's premise with one word.  "Mu".

Watts Bar nuclear power plantThe Watts Bar nuclear power plant, first launched in 1979, nears completion in 2015.  "The Tennessee River site is a cautionary tale for the power industry. When it’s finished, it will provide enough electricity to power about 650,000 homes in the Tennessee Valley. The cost of running a nuclear plant is relatively steady, and it does not produce greenhouse gases and other air pollutants."  I continue to be amazed that Greens have not embraced Nuclear Power.

Meanwhile: Obama Sells Out the Environmentalists.  "No one is willing to sign up for poverty in order to combat global warming... The real role that global warming plays on the Left is strictly rhetorical: it can be useful to beat up on Republicans. But the Democrats have no intention of doing anything material about the crisis they pretend to believe in."

So this is interesting: Seymour Hersh claims the White House lied about how they found and killed Osama Bin Laden.  Hersch has an uneven history with the truth; since breaking the My Lai story in 1969 he's brought forth various "conspiracies" which later proved overblown or downright false.  Still this could be a case where there's enough smoke to indicate some fire.  Certainly nobody could doubt the Obama Administration would lie to serve their own political interest.  I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this...

classifying art by artists - machines are better than human expertsThe machine vision algorithm beating art historians at their own game.  "Classifying a painting by artist and style is tricky for humans; spotting the links between different artists and styles is harder still. So it should be impossible for machines, right?"  This doesn't surprise me; Visual Search is getting more sophisticated all the time.  The computer doesn't "know" this is a Van Gogh, it only knows this "looks like" that, at a low level...

News item: Verizon are buying AOL for $4.4BMG Siegler notes this interactive history of AOL's growth, including buying Compuserve ($1.2B in 1997), Netscape  ($4.2B in 1998), Hughes Electronics ($1.5B in 1999), Mapquest ($1.1B in 1999), and of course merging with Time Warner ($165B in January 2000).  That was the high point, it's been all downhill from there, to the point where they're just an accumulation of other media companies like Huffington Post and TechCrunch.

When I was running Intuit's Bill Payment team, back in 1999, partnering with AOL was the most important deal we could do.  Hard to remember at that time they were the 800lb gorilla, much bigger than the Internet.  Yahoo were a distant #2, and Google were a teeny company in one building across our parking lot.

R2-D2 themed Volkswagen busThis *is* the droid you've been looking for: Artist creates R2-D2 themed Volkswagen Bus.  May the Force be with it!

 
 

Fairly recent posts:

05/25/15 09:58 AM -

remembering

05/24/15 11:25 PM -

sharing Facebook video

05/24/15 11:05 PM -

magnificent Madagascar

05/24/15 10:41 PM -

Sunday,  05/24/15  10:41 PM

05/21/15 11:08 PM -

Still the Water

05/20/15 11:00 PM -

testing the new Edge

05/20/15 07:31 PM -

the world tomorrow (NY150515)

05/17/15 09:51 PM -

hot and cold

05/17/15 10:07 AM -

Visiting the Amgen Tour of California for ten years!

05/17/15 09:27 AM -

riding Mount Baldy (and visiting the Amgen Tour)

05/14/15 11:37 PM -

Google Maps - own goal

05/14/15 11:22 PM -

two worlds, one sun

05/14/15 11:00 PM -

visiting the Amgen Tour: Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita, via Balcom Canyon

05/13/15 11:56 PM -

Arroutada

05/13/15 10:57 PM -

Wednesday,  05/13/15  10:57 PM

05/11/15 10:00 AM -

Cruising Conejo

05/09/15 08:29 PM -

postparty

05/08/15 05:59 PM -

preparty

05/07/15 10:44 PM -

an Object at Rest

05/07/15 09:57 PM -

Thursday,  05/07/15  09:57 PM

05/05/15 09:58 AM -

Tuesday,  05/05/15  09:58 AM

05/05/15 08:59 AM -

Richard Feynman's van

05/05/15 08:11 AM -

it's fivesday again

05/04/15 08:45 PM -

breathless again

05/04/15 08:59 AM -

wow, May!

04/27/15 10:46 AM -

the Hubble at 25: Celestial Fireworks

04/27/15 09:40 AM -

what a week

04/20/15 12:13 AM -

regarding art

04/19/15 10:14 PM -

Sunday,  04/19/15  10:14 PM

04/16/15 10:59 AM -

the Watch

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Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Lying
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji The Nest Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
Confidence
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
entertainment
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
resolved
to space
notebooks
where are the desktop apps?