Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Really...Does Google have this much time...and people on their hands???

From the site....

Sometimes I send messages I shouldn't send. Like the time I told that girl I had a crush on her over text message. Or the time I sent that late night email to my ex-girlfriend that we should get back together. Gmail can't always prevent you from sending messages you might later regret, but today we're launching a new Labs feature I wrote called Mail Goggles which may help.

And here is the link if you'd like to get direct access to the ridiculousness of the googledome.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008


Steve Jobs poked a bit of fun at Bloomberg's botched press release yesterday letting everyone know that "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated". Almost Twain but not quite as Twain's famous line was, "The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Though not exaggerated any longer as Twain is quite dead.

Doesn't look that way for Jobs. He appeared healthy, chipper and on top of his game. He even got the opportunity to make fun of MSFT..while not directly making fun. If you have the time check out his post keynote video interview with CNBC. The head shake after the "what do you think of MSFT's new add" question is a classic.

Biggest disappointment from yesterday. No new macbooks announced!! The iPod enhancements are nice and the 'shake your iPod' to shuffle your music, while fairly useless in my opinion, is an unbelievably cool add-on.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

MuleSource Gets a New JackAss

So my buddy (you can only call a buddy a JackAss) Dave Rosenberg is leaving MuleSource and bringing in a big-co CEO. Mule has a great staff, a great product and a great brand. That many greats in one sentence is cumbersome but had to jam them in for emphasis....they deserve it.

Kudos to Dave. As an entrepreneur I love to see the guy that says, "I've built what I'm good at and now it is time to bring in someone to take it to the next level".

If you are looking for a kick-ass enterprise services bus (esb). Look no further. Mule will give you an out of the box system that will give the big honking esb guys a run for their money.

Don't Tick off The Gamer Geeks

EA released a DRM controlled copy of Spore and it has the gamer world up in arms. Amazon's web site has the product ranked at one star based on 1300+ reviews. A bit mind blowing. One because 1300+ people took the time to rate and comment and two because there are then comments to those comments. Angry, angry, elves. Check out this comment from pastyboy123.

"EA treats the consumer as an everyday criminal and requires unnecessary software to be installed with this game to make sure you're using the copy to their standards. To play the game you must enjoy this extra software, you have no option to opt out - why should I pay to be treated like a criminal?"

Umm. No comment.

I can understand EA wanting to control it's SW from being abused by folks deploying more than a 'legitimate' number of installations but there are better options. Monthly subscription maybe? Hearing that type of deployment is becoming pretty popular...something about software as a service.

Monday, 8 September 2008 that a book

Well, summer is over and it is time to get back to writing. As my regular readers know I tend to wander off of the "Inter Tubes" topic every now and again and this is one of those times.

As a staunch Independent that leans to the conservative side I've often been told that I'm the 'voter' that decides the elections. So at this point as I've firmly decided that I don't know who I'm going to vote for you can assume that the Presidency is completely up in the air and could go either Dem or Repub.

Weird I know. You would think that with the declining economy, how badly the Republicans have fucked up at home as well as abroad and the desire for something new it would be an easy decision.

I think what it comes down to (for me) is that I don't trust any of them anymore. I consistently find myself watching all of the candidates and thinking "Liar" the entire time they are speaking, rambling, positioning. I wish that I was wrong, an un-trusting soul. Unfortunately....I think I am right.

But back to the reason that I started writing this. IS THAT A FREAKING BOOK THAT OBAMA IS HOLDING!!! Listen I know these guys read. But after eight years of feeling like we've been led by one of the dumbest SOBs on the planet a candidate holding a physical book (and holding his place no less!!) is refreshing. And I think that sums up how sad our politicians are in my mind.

OBama. A reader. He just gained a few points with me.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Knol - Just when you thought they weren't...they are

So Google is a content company, that says it isn't a content company. Any product that pays people to write content is a content company. Yet Google says, preaches, portrays that they aren't.

If I used the following job description what business do you think I'd be in:

Online organization based in Mountain View, CA is a fast-growing company in the internet search business. We are currently in need of writers who will assist in building an online knowledge base. This is a freelance position and will be paid by articles viewed.

Uh...Google, you are a content company.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Much Love to the Code Monkeys

Hey boys...this one goes out to you. Massive love to you all.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Is Yahoo Succeeding at Being Disruptive?

On the heels of it's recent SearchMonkey announcement Yahoo! has released BOSS which stands for "Build your Own Search Service". BOSS allows developers to quickly plug search data directly into their application by leveraging a set of very lightweight web service calls. These two releases send a strong message that Yahoo! is backing up it's message of opening up it search system to developers.

The next version of the release, BOSS Custom, will allow developers to post data into the Yahoo! Search platform via similar web services. The concept, in my opinion, is for Yahoo! to attract developers to place additional content on it's search platform and using an open interface to benefit from more robust data collection (ie social site data, unsearchable properties or maybe...hum, properties that would like to be searched by Yahoo but no on else).

Who knows where this will go but when you are losing market share hand over fist it doesn't hurt to try and shake things up.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

The Website is Down: Sales Guy v. Web Dude

I hope you find this video as frackin' hilarious as I do. Granted, I'm a propeller head that has turned business guy (though some would argue still a geek) so it may resonate more with the geeks of the world.

Definitely one of the funniest videos I've seen in a long time.

So What the F**k is Social Media

And Why the F**k should you care. I know you've all been asking yourself the same question. Great presentation put together by Marta Z. Kagan.

Thanks goes out to Richard Dym who forwarded this along.

You can take a look at Marta's presentation here.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Shimmer - May have some shine

John Graham-Cumming has released a cool new piece of open source security software called Shimmer. Shimmer provides an alternative to port knocking programs such as tumbler that are used to hide a valuable port (such as a hidden web server or SSH) on a public IP address.

Essentially shimmer works by changing a sets of ports (one of which forwards to the real service, and others that lead to a trap to blacklist attackers) on a timed basis. Legitimate users can determine the real port, avoiding the blacklist and getting a connection.

Shimmer Port Diagram

Credit: John Graham-Cumming

Monday, 7 July 2008

Apple takes the Cisco approach

This tactic smells of the late 90's when Cisco overran suppliers with requests for components.

The Valleywag already smells a conspiracy saying that Apple (I've always been a fan of the retro Apple logo) is cutting off supply to squash competition.

Open Source Twitter

You knew it would happen sooner or later. (no Canada comments) has released an open-source version of a micro-blogging tool.

Cool thing is that it sounds like they are also trying to go after the concept of federation. Think about it as a Jabber or OpenID for micro-blogging.

Very geeky, very early. Bit ironic that the lead dev/guy who started the project is named Evan.

Guess the next question is "When do we see the open source version of Facebook???"

We've got the bloggers...I hate the bloggers.

A friend sent this to me today. It's old (dated Dec. 2007) but I hadn't seen it before. Funny little snippet. Outside of getting a good laugh when I first watched it I also had a couple of thoughts.

1. The new media will be as hated as the old media. Don't worry old media, no double standards for the new guys.


2. Was yet another reminder that when I first started doing the double-u double-u double-u thing in 1994 I didn't realize how powerful the internet would become.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008


The transformation, not the merger, is almost complete.

Adam Lashinsky who writes the Go West blog published an unsolicited email he received from a Yahoo employee today.

The wheels appear to be officially off the car.

Twitter - Both Loved and Hated by Spammers...I mean Bloggers

So a few weeks ago I finally succumbed and joined Twitter. From day one I pretty much had looked at the service as a playground for the ADHD self involved but more and more of the bloggers that I follow were yelling from the roof tops that "It's the Best Ever...Really!" Much like other things I've tried (, which has been great) I'll sometimes jump onto services and try them out because folks I have respect for are recommending.

What I found was interesting. Well, not really interesting, but still a good exercise.

1. Twitter IS in most cases the playground for the ADHD self involved.
2. For smaller groups that want a SMS mailing list. It's pretty cool.
3. There is limited structure to communication so 'tweets' can get pretty wacky, pretty quickly.
4. There is a there, there. Not sure that Twitter will win in this space but the general technology has legs and I am sure will breed some competition or new ideas that will be valuable.
5. The service is constantly down.
6. It is a breeding house for spammers! Or spewers, as Dave Winer calls them.

And 6 is why the bloggers love Twitter. Those spammers, I mean bloggers, are the same guys that are recommending the service over and over and over again. And of course they are going to push the service, it is a completely free e-marketing/spam tool for them. Read my blog, watch my video, chat with me on-line, put a reply on my post. When I first joined Twitter I subscribed to TechCrunch, Scoble and a few others. Following them on twitter felt like my e-mail without a spamfilter...100 messages a day telling me about cheap Viagara or penis extensions.

The sad thing here is that the spammers (bloggers) that put the most load on the system and bring it to it's knees are the same guys that are bitching the loudest about Twitter's downtime...and the same group that is going to kill Twitter. At some point Twitter is going to need to block them. The bloggers will be up in arms (for a few minutes) and then quickly move on to other networks. Twitter will be left with a system that can then run and provide service to the millions of other users that could benefit from their service.

You can tweet me on my no longer used Twitter account. I'm @johnrowell.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Coat Hanger HDTV

Very cool. For all of you CBs out there.

Coat Hanger HDTV Antenna: Better Than Store Bought! AMAZING!

Elo Everidge Saved Me 1200 Bucks

Thanks Elo!

Posted a few days ago about my non-sleeping MBP. Isolated the problem to the Firewire ports which had gone bad. Went to the Apple store to have replaced and found out it was going to cost me TWELVE HUNDRED DOLLARS!!! (out of warranty since my daughter accidentally dumped my coffee on it....which I'm sure killed the Firewire ports).

Twelve hundred bucks. Hmmm, the Airbook started to look pretty good. But not being the wasteful type I asked the Apple "Genuis" - relative term - to disable the Firewire ports. No can do, against Apple policy, I don't know how to do it, yada yada. Ok. I can understand that so I take my walk of shame over to the Airbooks. Amaze over how light they are. Think about buying one and then renew my resolve to get my super heavy super expensive MBP fixed. Do a search on the lovely new Airbook "disable firewire ports on mac" and up pops the guy whose name is in the title.

Five minutes later a fast booting, fully sleepable machine. Minus firewire, which I don't use anyway.

Much love Elo!!

Originally Posted by Elo Everidge View Post
Thanks for your reply, mgsarch. I'm convinced it is a hardware issue. Here's how I managed to disable the FW ports:

(1) Go to /System/Library/Extensions and move these files to a backup folder on your desktop (or anywhere else):
You will need your admin password for this.

(2) Reboot. Mac OS won't attempt to load the FW drivers and with this all problems have gone away for me. The FW ports are still dead of course, but everything else works, including shutdown and sleep.

System Profiler now says, "No FireWire ports can be detected."

Let me know if this works for you.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Enomalism's Cloud Management Code

Rich Wolski of Eucalyptus referenced these guys in a talk he gave at Velocity '08.

Not at all what I thought it was going to be...but still interesting.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

MBP Won't Sleep

Round two...ding, ding, ding. Frackin' MacBook Pro won't go into sleep mode. Again!!

Completely frustrated with this thing right now.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Every once in a while a report comes out that is built on stats that make you say 'oh boy'. Even more interesting is the quote in this snippet of the AEA report published by the Post (full article here):

"Recent data show the tech sector is "climbing back to 'pre-bubble-bursting' levels of employment and activity," Hansen said. The bubble of the late 1990s was the product of "an exuberance of investment" in companies that often lacked solid fundamentals, but the current growth is being driven by a more stable industry that has become integrated into the broader economy, he added."

Current growth in the tech industry is built on a more stable industry??? Kidding, right? Have these people actually paid attention to the Web 2.0 community? Not as much money in so the fall won't be as hard as 1999/2000, but we'll still feel it when it happens.

Other interesting factoids that were published in the Post.

Among the report's key findings:

_ Seattle led the nation in technology job growth in 2006, adding 7,800 positions.

_ The New York metropolitan area had the most high-tech employees in 2006 with 316,500; followed by San Jose, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley, with 225,300 tech workers; and Boston with 191,700.

_ Silicon Valley had the nation's highest concentration of high-tech workers with 286 industry employees for every 1,000 private sector workers.

_ The Washington, D.C., region led the nation in technology job growth between 2001 and 2006, adding 7,500 workers.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

One Hundred Push-Ups

This is a pretty cool website. One hundred push-ups in 6 weeks. How many can you do?

Shine still hasn't come off the Perl

Stumbled across an old co-worker today (UUNET) that was completely jazzed about a new project he was toying with. You guessed it by the title, written completely in Perl. In the back of my head I was trying to determine how long Perl had been around. We hacked on it pretty heavily in the early days of UUNET (perl4&5).

Took a look at the wikipedia entry and wasn't completely shocked to see Perl has been around 20 years. Talk about staying power. I wonder if Perl got its 'legs' from the CPAN which is arguably 90+% of open source perl hacks and libraries that developers can quickly grab and utilize. CPAN puts some serious camelpower in the hands of experienced as well as newbie hackers.

Please don't use the very obvious argument that you can't 'do it all' in Perl. Not attempting to say Perl is a panacea, just honoring the long legs of the Camel.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Eucalyptus - EC2 Disuptor

Eucalyptus, the Elastic Utility Computing Architecture for Linking Your Programs To Useful Systems (whoever came up with that should get an award...or some more Peyote) while early looks to be a legitimate disruptor to Amazon's EC2. Just when you thought that this market was going to be completely ignored by the Open Source community you are reminded that they are some of the brightest guys in the tech field.

Lots of cools things about this release. One of which is that they follow the Amazon EC2 schema. I.E. instant portability for apps that may want to check out of Hotel Amazon. Much more to do but I have faith that the folks supporting Eucalyptus will get it done. This one has legs.

Take a look at Eucalyptus. Know more than one person that will have a tear of joy in their eye.

Firefox 3 Download Day 2008 - Success Based FAIL

Folks. Mozilla wanted to break the download RECORD. Not the site.

What a great problem to have. So many people want their product that they can't hand it out fast enough.

(Credit: Mozilla Firefox)

Symplified - Simplifying Identity Management for SaaS

Symplified has slowly been taking the covers off of a pretty cool piece of technology to support Identity Management for SaaS companies. While sexy it may not be Identity Management is a drop the h, huge (that is uge people) issue, for Software as a Service companies. For the big and the small guys to be successful moving forward they will all need capabilities to link the enterprises user access model to their or other applications in the cloud. Initial demand will primarily be driven by the Salesforce, Netsuite, Intacct and Adobe's of the world. The new/emergers in SaaS will quickly follow.

The folks at Symplified have been focused on following their namesake and are working on creating a
"“configuration-not-coding” solution that snaps into place and works right away."

Best of luck to them. I personally know both Jonti and Eric. With the two of them at the helm I believe their chances of success are extremely high.

Mint - The Refreshing Money Manager

So I've been playing with Mint Software as of late. It is a great little free software as a service application that consolidates and runs analytics against your accounts and spending. For someone like myself that has multiple bank and brokerage accounts it has become a real value add. Being able to take multiple accounts and categorize your spending and spending habits truly is useful. Betting that folks that even have one, maybe two accounts will really benefit from the service.

My only complaint. With the rise of gas prices it is completely depressing to look at my monthly gas/fuel spend! Resolving to ride the bike to the office a bit more.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Motorola -- You BLOW!!

disclaimer- This is a huge rant.

How come (actually I know why but still am insulted) Motorola insists to change the charging port on their Bluetooth products EVERY FRACKIN YEAR. I travel Mr. Motorola. I like having one cord for charging, preferably from my laptop. I know, I know...go buy a multi cord USB charging dynamo. I DON'T WANT TO!!! You guys really, really stink.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Leningrad Cowboys

Further proof that the United States won the cold war. Wonder if I can book them and the Red Army band for my Fourth of July party? The Red Army singing back up to the Leningrad Cowboys version of Sweet Home Alabama on the Fourth of July....think the world has changed a bit in the last 50 years?