Critical Section


Monday,  04/20/09  09:55 PM

Quiet day of work and contemplation...  beautiful warm sunny day...  got in a nice ride in the late afternoon (started slow and mellow, ended fast and aggressive).  And stayed away from the jelly beans; hey, it's not Easter anymore, could we maybe get rid of them?

Project Q: 0 cycles argh!

Oil falls to $45.  Remember last summer?  Wow, how the mighty have fallen...  and who would have predicted...

News of the day: Oracle buys Sun.  At first glance this makes sense, a perfect fit, maybe better than IBM buying Sun.  Eric Schonfeld thinks this means Oracle has become IBM (I don't know about that).  Tim Oren thinks ORCL+JAVA < IBM+JAVA, and he makes a strong case; does this make Sun's hardware or Solaris any more compelling?

Maarten Schmidt: redshift!From Caltech's News: Redshift turns Gold for Maarten Schmidt.  As I've previously mentioned, Dr. Schmidt was a friend of my father's and our families were close when I was young.  Great to see him get so much recognition, and even greater that he is still an active researcher.  Clearly a product of time dialation :)

Saturn V 'model' rocketAt what point does a 'model' rocket become just a rocket?  One man's quest to honor America's Saturn V.  "On April 25, 2009, history will be made. At Higgs Farm in Price, Maryland, Steve Eves will enter the history books as the person who flew the largest model rocket in history. The rocket will weigh over 1,600 pounds, it will stand over 36 feet tall and it will be powered by a massive array of nine motors: eight 13,000ns N-Class motors and a 77,000ns P-Class motor."  Excellent.

Scoble: The newspaper industry just gave away another free meal.  "I’ve been pretending in my head that I’m a newspaper exec. When I do that I keep beating myself around the face. Why? Because the newspaper industry keeps giving the geeks free meals. Let’s study the free meals..."  Their problem is, it isn't so much that they're giving it away as that the meals are there for the taking...  The music industry has the same problem.  When your product is bits, the marginal cost of distribution has become zero.

BTW, with Kindle and the like, this is going to happen to books too.  Think it won't?  Did you see Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata?  Ha!

News you can use: How to demo Twitter.  "One of the great challenges for anyone who loves Twitter is to show other people why they should love it too. Often it’s like explaining something you find funny: “You had to be there.” The contextual, ever-changing, and high-volume nature of Twitter makes explaining it difficult."  I need to explain it to myself.  I have not yet found a means of Twittering which makes the tweets themselves more meaningful - or less inane.

I'm really going to give this a try, I've downloaded and installed TweetDeck.  This gives me a chance to try a desktop client for Twitter, and also incidentally to play with an Adobe Air application.  Stay tuned...

Google News TimelineGoogle News Timeline.  Cool.  Not sure if it is useful, but cool.  (Maybe it will be more useful when you can scroll into the future :)

Prezi: demoPrezi does look cool, but is it useful?  How often do you find yourself wishing there was an easier way to create online presentations?  Although I grant, sometimes with this stuff supply creates demand.  Anyway it does look nice, and the insight that any presentation can be created by zooming in and out of a a single large plane is really cool.

Reid Hoffman's rule of three for investing:

  1. How will you reach a massive audience?
  2. What is your unique value proposition?
  3. Will your business be capital efficient?

These are good rules, but you can see they have a consumer/Web 2.0 slant to them.  There are a lot of good businesses which would be good investments that don't fall into Reid's schema...

Josh Newman: just my type.  Who would have thought Myers-Briggs personality type indicators were a better predictor of compatibility than horoscopes?

"Comic Sans walks into a bar, bartender says, 'We don't serve your type.'"  tap tap, crash :)

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