Money is fuel – not the destination

January 12, 2009

You should regard money as fuel for what you really want to do, not as a goal in and of itself. Money is like gas in the car — you need to pay attention or you’ll end up on the side of the road — but a well-lived life is not a tour of gas stations!

Tim O’Reilly
Commencement address for the UC Berkeley School of Information, May 13, 2006


Google’s browser security handbook

January 2, 2009

Google has produced a handbook covering security features and properties of the major web browsers. I’ve only briefly scanned this but it looks like good stuff. I see sufficient references to RFCs to satisfy my inner web-geek.

[via slashdot]

Participation rates in social media

December 30, 2008

Stumbled across this site: 90-9-1

Very slick for a couple reasons:

  1. Provides a nice framework to use when thinking about sites with user contributed content. Speaks to who is contributing, what they’re doing and how you might encourage others to participate
  2. Very nice design and web2.0 execution: the side-scrolling “pages” are a nice interface for the limited content on the site. Note that the “pages” are directly linkable (links can be pasted into email).

Large Hadron Collider goes live

September 10, 2008

With the Large Hadron Collider coming on-line today, we will all want to monitor the status of the earth vis-a-vis complete and utter destruction.

Here’s a handy website to help you do just that.

To appreciate the true LOLs this site provides, view source. Two words: Atom Feed!

[via Webmonkey]

Chrome – shiny!

September 10, 2008

I downloaded Chrome right after I heard about it. While free time hasn’t been abundant recently, who doesn’t jump at the chance to kick the tires of a new browser? 😉 I even have a “degrees of separation” relationship with Chrome — a friend who moved to Denmark for CS grad school is on the V8 team. He had blogged that he was working for Google and I had wondered what he was working on. When I got to the page in the “comic book” that describes the new javascript vm which was created by a team in Arhus, my immediate reaction was “holy f***!” Said with love and admiration, of course…

So far my experience has been positive if not mind-blowing. Performance has been my biggest complaint particularly on pages with embedded flash. Not a deal breaker and Chrome is beta, after all.

I just spotted a really slick feature and had to blog it. When searching for a word or phrase on a long-ish web page, check out the scroll bar. Gold bars highlight page locations where your word was found. For an example, visit and search for “Putin”. Slick!

Design for user experience

August 20, 2008

If a million users each waste a minute a day dealing with complexity that an engineer could have eliminated in a week by making the software a little more complex, you are penalizing the user to make the engineer’s job easier.

Larry Tesler

Security humor – protection and voting machines

August 19, 2008

I know…if all I do is link to Schneier’s links, then you should probably just read his blog instead.

That notwithstanding, this xkcd comic is really funny and really wrong.

[via, you guessed it, Schneier]

Source code management

August 7, 2008

I’ve been trying to introduce some source code wrangling practices which I think will help us update existing systems while we also do ongoing maintenance/bug fixing. “Branching” is one of the ideas which I think will help keep us out of trouble.

Eric Sink, one of the founders of Source Gear, has a nice tool-agnostic series of articles about Source Control. Here’s the page on branching – my opinions are largely based on his so most of what he writes here matches my world view.

Please read this – I would welcome other ideas, opinions and experiences on the topic.

Dilbert Security

August 6, 2008

I’m not saying security rules we encounter are like this. I’m just sayin’…

Social Engineering

July 31, 2008

Gotta love this video showing how to get into all the hot clubs in Australia by posing as the DJ.

Too bad techies don’t need to go to hot clubs and/or don’t know what to do when they get there… 😉

[via Schneier]