Julia on Violin

She’s been wanting to play for years.

A new way to play the ukulele

and now she’s now learning to pluck the strings.

Julia on Violin

Yesterday, Julia received certification from the Royal College of Music.


MyBlogLog Memorial Screenshot Gallery

A couple of weeks ago I grabbed a bunch of screenshots off of MBL is one of the services on the infamous “sunset” slide and today there is a notice on the site saying that Yahoo will pull the plug on the service on May 24th. I worked on the service before coming to Nokia and much of what I know about Activity Streams and Context Filters is informed by the work done by the excellent team there.

The gallery below is mostly for my personal notes but I figured I’d share it as a walk down memory lane. I’ve annotated the screenshots to explain what’s going on for future reference.

Tired of twirling in stasis while Yahoo re-org’d itself, the team disbanded to go their different ways with me getting lured to Finland by Nokia and the others kicking around on their own projects (Gnip, Zentact, The DJ List to name a few).

The team has now come back together on OneTrueFan, a browser plug-in that is similar to MyBlogLog but turned inside-out. Instead of tracking who visits your site and leaving a trail of avatars in sidebars across the web, OTF tracks which sites you visit and collects other peoples’ avatars into your browser bottom-bar so you can see who else has been to the sites you visit. I owe the guys a post on my thoughts but in the time being, check out Louis Gray’s write-up.

Steve Ballmer Developers Rap

Mad props for getting Linus Torvalds into a rap song. This has to be a first.

Smixx – Developers (feat. Steve Ballmer) by Smixx

Current Events

Information as Entertainment

OK, so word is out that Solid State Drives (SSD) are not as reliable as they were once thought to be. Essentially, we projected the decades of expertise that have gone into making hard disks reliable onto these new drives and expected more or less the same level of reliability. Of course, as people started to buy these drives in mass and own them over time, we realize that we were not comparing apples to apples.

In other words, past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance if you change the fundamental technology underneath.

Still, folks like Jeff Atwood are willing to give up the occasional, “catastrophic, oh-my-God-what-just-happened-to-all-my-data instant gigafail” because their seek times are so good. Jeff tells the tale of someone who bought eight drives over two years only to have them all fail. Some within 15 days! As long as you plan for failure as a known, then you can enjoy mass storage performance that even your RAM will have a hard time keeping up with.

To put it in his words, “SSDs are so scorching hot that I’m willing to put up with their craziness.”

With that behind us, which of the following videos do you think does a better job selling you on the speed and reliability of an SSD?

This one?

or this one?

One video had 673 views, another had over 3.7 million.

NY Times – Project Cascade

The New York Times R & D group (nytlabs) has a sexy demo video up on their site showing off a new tool they are using to visualize how their content is amplifed and shared via the Social Web. In their words:

This first-of-its-kind tool links browsing behavior on a site to sharing activity to construct a detailed picture of how information propagates through the social media space. While initially applied to New York Times stories and information, the tool and its underlying logic may be applied to any publisher or brand interested in understanding how its messages are shared.

Hit the mini-site for Cascade and check out the video. It would be great to learn more about the nuts and bolts of how Cascade works. The video only mentions twitter and but I’m sure there’s more.

More coverage on Neiman Labs blog,  The New York Times’ R&D Lab has built a tool that explores the life stories take in the social space

Current Events

The $8,000 dumb phone

When you can afford a personal secretary to keep track of your every need, a mobile phone is basically a piece of jewelry, much like a wrist watch or pocket watch of by-gone days. These are single-purpose devices that are a fashion statement, more form than function. Taking this approach, focused on the voice aspects of mobile phones, Aesir, a design firm in Copenhagen, has designed the phone to go with your Rolex.

Fitted with a sapphire crystal, metallic-coated ceramic antenna, and keys that are individually screwed on by jewelers, designer Yves Béhar (his SF-based fuseproject firm designed the Jawbone headset) give you a phone as a work of art. No camera, no email, no internet browser, just a simple object of desire, purpose built to receive hush-toned murmurs from your Swiss banker or to whisper sweet nothings to your mistress in St. Tropez.

While they have stayed away from anything as gauche as a Facebook or Twitter client, you do get bespoke icons, original typeface, and ringtones composed by Vietnamese-Danish ‘master of the upright bass’ Chris Minh Doky.

Please pass the Grey Poupon.

Current Events

First Report of Raid on Bin Laden on Twitter

The global nervous system that is Twitter caught wind that something was up at 1AM in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Within minutes, the world triangulated sources and concluded that what Sohaib Athar was hearing was a raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound.  This is how news breaks today. Twitter is having it’s CNN moment.

Osama Bin Laden is dead.