Monthly Archives: July 2009

Apple has learned nothing and neither have their fan boys

Over the last 30+ years, what has become apparent is that it’s all about the applications and not about the hardware.

In the 1980’s Apple pissed away it’s lead because it never knew how to court developers the way MSFT did.

And in the cell phone market, Apple has shown how to make a market for applications, and MSFT intends to demonstrate that they know how to make money for application developers and how to treat application developers.

The good news for Apple is that the reasons this backlash exists are completely meaningless to most normal people. That doesn’t make it right. But it should not affect peoples’ purchasing habits or their enjoyment of the iPhone’s standard features.

So it goes.

20 years ago the importance of applications was lost on Apple. More importantly the importance of a rich development community, and apparently 20 years later, the lesson is still lost.

I am not Lance

So after watching Lance go up and down the mountains, I decided to hop up on my bike and go up Old La Honda.

So here’s a picture of the beginning of the ride up:

And here’s a picture of me at the end:

And it took me about 40 minutes to go up 3.29 mile climb that had an elevation gain of 1000 feet. 

And after that climb I was looking to the nearest place to stop and breathe.

Couple of fun facts about the ride. So I was like the fattest guy going up Old La Honda. When I finally hit the corner of Foothill and Page Mill I noticed a whole bunch of folks who were bigger than me.

So I felt a little bit better when all those freaky skinny guys blew past me, saying the always friendly: On your left…

Fun with Nokia SportsTracker

So I’ve been using Nokia SportsTracker to map my workouts. I’ve been trying to lose weight and improve my overall fitness.

So here’s what’s fun, about 1 year ago I was running 3.79 miles at an 11 min 30 second pace:

Lap time Total time Lap distance Avg.pace

Whereas on Wednesday I ran 4 miles at a 10 minute and change pace:

Lap time Total time Lap distance Avg.pace

What was really cool was the 9 min 11 sec pace I ran the fourth lap!

Basically I went from running at about a 5 mile an hour pace to 6 mile an hour pace over a slightly longer distance!

Yes, I am bragging.

Not bad for an old fart

 Today on Mont Ventoux, Lance Armstrong was able to hold on to his 3rd place finish.

Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador were clearly the best two riders of the tour, but Lance was very much the third best guy on the road.

The real fun, though, was listening to today’s broadcast because Bradley Wiggins of the UK was trying to desperately hold on to fourth.

Phil Liggett was practically jumping up and down cheering for Wiggins. Telling him to stay in there, push harder, and came up with the best phrase:

He’s holding on to 4th by the skin of his bike shorts!

Wiggins benefited from the fact that Frank Schleck didn’t have the legs, whereas Frank benefited from the fact that his brother was too far behind Alberto Contador to be able to mount a realistic challenge for the overall lead. So with Alberto and Andy stuck in first and second, it was a battle for the 3-4-5 positions of the overall lead. Andy tried to create attacks that Frank would follow but the magical legs that Frank had two days ago had disappeared. Instead after every attack Andy would have to stop and wait for his brother.

Furthermore, Frank was not going to benefit from the tactical screw up of the other day on stage 17 that lead to a surprising stage win:

What had happened was that  Lance was following Wiggins all day. On the climb to the Col de Romme, Andy attacked and Alberto and Kloden followed. Lance realizing that he wasn’t going to challenge for the overall GC and that Alberto had a team mate let that attack go. A few seconds later when the attack had not yet consolidated, the group behind the leaders more or less stopped. Lance looked behind him, watching both Wiggins and Frank. He didn’t want to be pacing his challengers for the podium. When Frank attacked, Lance was at too much of a dead stop to catch up. Making the tactical decision that he could limit the damage Frank could create on his overall lead, and believing in his performance in the time-trial, Lance let Frank go, deciding to keep his eyes on Wiggins. Lance, correctly, surmised, that the multi-minute gap was simply too big for Frank.

But today with only 30 or so seconds separating Lance and Frank, there was to be no such screw up. And indeed there was not.

At the end of the tour, when Versus finally caught up with the Texan, he looked pleased with himself. Like anyone who comes in third, and realizes there was no chance for first, he was happy with his accomplishment, and said:

Not bad for an old fart like me.

And the Spaniard Ends an Era

For even the unsurpassed, the great, Lance Armstrong, age finally arrived.


Amazingly able to keep up with great climbers a decade younger than him, Lance seemed poised to triumph in this year’s tour.

But the tour, has a way of separating the champions from the pretenders. For the first time in almost 11 years, Lance Armstrong felt like his competitors must have felt as he crushed them up mountains, leaving them gasping for air and wondering what went horribly wrong…

Alberto Contador looked to his left, saw the group of leaders and then blitzed to the top.

As we watched him sprint on ahead, we wondered, will Lance respond, and the old tired body that crossed over the finish line a 1.5 minutes later told us the story, no.

Lance no longer the Champion, he was now the domestique of a new champion.

George Orwell, once again, is right

In George Orwell’s “1984,” government censors erase all traces of news articles embarrassing to Big Brother by sending them down an incineration chute called the “memory hole.”

On Friday, it was “1984” and another Orwell book, “Animal Farm,” that were dropped down the memory hole — by

In a move that angered customers and generated waves of online pique, Amazon remotely deleted some digital editions of the books from the Kindle devices of readers who had bought them.


Of all of the books of all of the authors to demonstrate the power of the technology…

George must be laughing wherever he might be.

A google theory of mind

This is a fascinating read:

Especially the section on the transformational power of the PageRank/AdSense mechanism on the link mechanism of the web.

2. Connecting PageRank to economic systems such as AdWords and AdSense corrupted the meaning and value of links by turning them into an economic exchange. Through the turn of the millennium, hyperlinking on the web was a social, aesthetic, and expressive editorial action. When Google introduced its advertising systems at the same time as it began to dominate the economy around search on the web, it transformed a basic form of online communication, without the permission of the web’s users, and without explaining that choice or offering an option to those users.

Worse, the transformation was retroactive and the eventual mechanisms for opting out were incomplete in that the economic value could not be decoupled from the informational value. Inevitably, spammers arose to take advantage of the ability to create high-economic-value links at very low cost, causing vast damage to the ability to use links as a purely informational exchange. In addition, this forced Google to become more and more opaque about the refinements and adjustments it makes to its indexing algorithms, making a key part of their business less and less transparent over time. The eventual result has been the virtual decimation of communications systems like TrackBack, and absurdities like blogs linking to their own tag search results for key words in lieu of useful links, in an attempt to appease a search algorithm that they will never be allowed to fully understand.

An awareness of how a transformation in the fundamental value of links from informational to economic could have led Google to develop a system that separated editorial and aesthetic choices from economic ones, preventing the eventual link-spam arms race.

What the author observes is that linking which was a globally distributed process of creating an outline of the world’s information has been distorted by the economies generated by Google. In effect, the global outline was perverted to be almost useless.