August 29, 2006

Its good to be the Wolf

So my kids have been having a little trouble lately with asking for stuff and complaining about things when they don't really mean it. ("I'm hungry!", "I'm tired!" , "I want that!", etc.)

These things go in waves, and this seemed to be the latest - no big deal. And so my wife thought she'd tell them a story, to maybe help them understand actions and consequences a bit bitter. And in this case, she thought the story of the "Boy who cried wolf" would be a good fit.

They thought it was pretty engaging and amusing at first. But they definitely got quieter as the story concluded with the real wolf showing up, and the boy getting thoroughly eaten (important to make an impression after all).

And their wide-eyed thoughtful silence lasted for about 7 seconds.

my older one,who's all of 5, says: "That was good mommy - tell us a story about the 'Girl who cried Jewelry'!"


Its good to be the Wolf...

August 25, 2006

AOL CTO resignation

Maureen Govern, until just recently CTO of AOL, was my immediate supervisor. While its true that she has left the company (and abruptly at that), everything else publicized, including any thought of associated causes or related dismissals is speculation (and often rarely coincident with actual causality, or reality) - it does no service to the company, or the people in question, for that matter. The Company does not comment on personnel issues like this.

But that's probably the intent (intERNET?) - after all, why should anyone let facts get in the way of opinion? (Can't happen to you? Welcome to a taste of the future...)

There's a lot going on at AOL these days for consumers (in the last few weeks alone):

... all predicated on major business and organizational shifts, that in turn are following required massive internal technology upheavals and untangling over the last two and a half years - a shame that more process and bad press are what now emerge following this sad but seminal event in search research caused by AOL. It overshadows those works, successes, teams, and (most importantly) customer relationships.

I understand it, am sorry for its root, and it truly is a shame on many levels.

August 17, 2006

The Internet has spoken

Memes are a bitch. Someone just reminded me of the search results in Google if you enter "failure" as your query term. Oldie but a goodie - wisdom of crowds? The Internet is a strange place...

August 15, 2006

Welcome Userplane to the AOL family

Congrats. I've blogged a small bit about the value of web eco-systems. Its along this path that AOL regains relevancy and value. You must be present to win - and that means everywhere, not just through your first-order destinations.

XBox 360 Games: Now Created by You

The "user generated media" trend is, in the Internet space, just the latest name for one small aspect of the "personal computer" revolution in an increasingly connected computing environment (or at least, the empowerment thereby afforded; remember the DTP revolution?) - the whole idea is to enable you to make and run software. Only natural that this should be fractal (i.e. running software that lets you make software...)

For example, Microsoft is now enabling
user-created Xbox 360 Games - a first for a major console (AFAIK).

And its a good example of why
"general" computing environments (hiccups aside) will beat application specific ones - flexiblity of content deployment.

I'm not sure I was clear with the idea in my
Flash Player 9 posts - but that idea is that the "edges" will be become more and more general (data driven, generic "content" runtimes) while specificity gets pushed to the core. The browser is one instance of this, but its not clear if it will be the only (or even "final") version.

Remember, Microsoft
doesn't make products for end users...

August 14, 2006

Beside the (floating) point

Nice article that puts into "laymen"-esque terms one of the computational idiosyncrancies of binary arithmetic.

I've written about some of the fun you can have
exploiting floating point formats in the past, but didn't delve as deeply (or clearly) into the precision issues as I might have liked - brevity is NOT something I'm known for :)

I'd suggest that numbers are
like strings: given fixed precision, you should deal with them in their "native" base/format.

August 9, 2006

AOL Video Portal and then some...

In beta, and a review - its got some very nice, high quality content.

And proving that no good deed goes unpunished:
oops (and then some)... the idea was to provide the search research community access to significant data they might not otherwise have had - a good goal - and heartfelt apologies have been issued for the privacy snafu.

August 2, 2006

About Time (Warner): AOL Goes Free

Time Warner announced its earning today.... did pretty well.

Oh, and some big News: AOL software and services are now free.

One the
positive consquences (for consumers :)) of our increasingly connected computing world: artificial value propositions quickly erode when distribution is ungated. You can fight it, or you can embrace it.

Just ask
the RIAA.

August 1, 2006

Google Product Strategy?

Heh. From ValleyWag (following articles from Business Week and the NY Times)...

Still, while funny (and satisfying, perhaps :P) there's some small unfairness - how many new products have overtaken industry leaders in recent years? Especially when those products may have been category defining (Yahoo finance, AIM, etc.).

Perhaps the lesson is deeper - you can't win by following... cloning market leaders doesn't seem like much of a strategy.