Monthly Archives: April 2013

let freedom win

over the last two months I have moved away from authoring content in Facebook to using Facebook only for distribution.

This reverses a five year trend.

simply put I post on my blog and then let my blog auto post to fb.

The core reason are

1. facebook surfacing doesn’t work for me. It works well but not perfectly and i have no control over it.

2. I can not trivially search for my own content

3. I can not trivially share my content with non Facebook friends

4. privacy doesn’t work for me on Facebook. I have too many friends and the rules change too fast for me to follow them. I just assume everything is public and don’t stress.

5. it’s hard to extract my content from Facebook.

so what I want now is to author my content on my computer, post it to my blog and have it trivially shared.

The Android cell phone makes this stupid easy because having applications work with each other is easy in the os.. I can take a picture with the camera and share it on my blog which then tweets and pushes to Facebook.

that ease of application sharing is a killer feature.

side note my next personal phone must have that feature.

I hope I am a harbinger not a peculiar fool because content should be free. Free as in liberty not beer.


Being great is about knowing what to build not how to build

In many discussions about being a great engineer the focus is on how fast you write code, or build a system not the ability to pick the right thing to build.

This blog eloquently describes that the problem of picking what to not build is the key to productivity.

Love this:

But how fair things are is beside the point. After all, it’s not like 10x the perceived productivity is very likely to give you 10x the compensation. So there’s not a whole lot of reasons to “cheat” and appear more productive than you are. The main reason to be productive is because there’s fire raging up one’s arse, more than any tangible benefit.

The point I do want to make is, to get more done, you don’t need to succeed more quickly (although that helps) as much as you need to fail less often. And not all failures are due to lack of knowledge or skill; most of them are due to quitting before something is actually usable – or due to there being few chances for it to be used in the first place.

So I believe, having authored a lot of code that went down the toilet, that you don’t get productive by working as much as by not working– not on stuff that is likely to get thrown away.

The day Google abandoned it’s original mission

I am going to be a little bit critical of Google today. But, before I do, let me be clear that I admire Google more than any tech company out there. The scope of their vision, the breadth of their technology, the greatness of their talent, and the depth of their pockets is breath-taking.  They are, quite possibly, the greatest technology company ever.

Having said that…

When Google abandoned Google Reader, they were not just abandoning a few hundred thousand members of the technorati, they were also telling us that their mission to organize the world’s information had changed.

Their recent focus on other things like eye glasses, and phones and cars and desktop operating systems and … probably should have given us a clue that organizing information was no longer where it’s at.

The original central conceit of Google was that you could rely on them to be the best and most authoritative place for finding information. Other people, we’re looking at you bing, could try to be almost good enough, but when you needed to find something you looked on Google. If it wasn’t on Google it might as well not exist.

In fact, part of the reason I restarted this blog was because after 5 years on FB, the lack of Google search meant that all of the content I ever created was, for all practical purposes, lost.

The decision to cancel Google Reader is shocking because it is  perceived to be central to the mission.

But Google’s cancelled other projects, right?

Google has cancelled other projects, that’s true. But nothing that felt as central to their mission.

Google Reader, and in particular it’s API, was central to how folks organized blogs.

When Google said “We’re done”,  they were also saying that their expansive original mission was over.

I suspect they have a new mission, but it does mean that someone else will have to take on the burden of organizing the world’s information. Here’s looking at you Microsoft.

My global village


Today I experienced the power of our global connected village.

My mom told me via SMS that my sister was in labor. My sister communicated, through a yahoo newsgroup, while in labor, with all of her cousins who are in the UK and the US and Greece to tell us that she was okay. Her mom then sent me some pictures via email. And then her brother, that’s me, in the US shared the first baby pictures with friends and family. Finally my aunt, my mom’s sister, used a skype chat from Guatemala to reach out to me to find out about her niece.

Although thousands of miles separated us, it felt like we were all in the waiting room talking to each other…

We live in an age of the miraculous.