Critical Section

Archive: February 18, 2018


Archive: February 18, 2017


Archive: February 17, 2016

Wednesday,  02/17/16  11:54 PM

Beyond AI - Humanlike ReasoningToday was a good day; it rained, quietly but steadily, I got some tricky code to run, I attended I, Robot, and Humanlike Reasoning, and I have a most interesting new customer.  And ... I blogged!

Five years ago: I got my first iPhone (a 4, I was *not* an early adopter), and I switched to Chrome.  Also Lance Armstrong retired (for the second time), the Apple App Store launched subscriptions, and Apple was worth $100B more than Microsoft, with Google closing fast in third.  I commented "could you have predicted that five years ago?  No."  So now that Google has overtaken Apple and they've both left Microsoft in the dust, what do you think will be the most valuable company five years from now?  Hmmm...

PS love having my blog archive :)

Great news: Ted Cruz now leads Donald Trump in national NBC/WSJ poll.  I'd take anyone besides Trump (since I cannot possibly vote for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders), but Cruz is actually my first choice.  Way back last Fall we kept thinking that Trump would self-destruct, and maybe he has ... but in slow motion.  Stay tuned!

As Glenn Reynolds comments You can't trust them: Twitter shadowbanning 'real and happening every day'.  Somewhere there's someone who actually thinks they're improving the world by doing this, but ... they're not.  Even.

Yukon Quest: Rosebud SummitSebastian Schnuelle: Post Yukon Quest, Pre-Iditarod.  Great survey of the race which just finished and the race which will start in two weeks, by this great armchair musher.  I especially like his analysis of the optimal run/rest ratios.

Keith Kaplan on the Joe Biden cancer initiative: Moonshot hits a Wall.  "The reality is and our government officials need to understand, the war on cancer is not a single moon shot, the war has been and will be a series of battles."  Indeed.

An interesting observation from my friend Jared... I'm not sure which number is more surprising.  Both feel about right for me, but I would have guess I do more of both than the average person...

wine mileage


Archive: February 18, 2015

Wednesday,  02/18/15  10:36 PM

objective CI have been working on an iPhone app.  In the past I've played with Objective C and even modified existing working code, but this is my first foray into creating a new app from scratch*.  Pretty interesting.  As usual learning the environment (Xcode etc) is a bigger curve than learning the language and runtime...

* where by "scratch" I mean heavily copy-and-paste-ing from others :)

Meanwhile, it's all happening...

the rewriteWe watched the Rewrite the other night, on iTunes, before it was even released into theaters.  A pleasant Hugh Grant romantic comedy.  I like Hugh Grant and like his character, but why does he always get written as a has-been?  (About a Boy, Music and Lyrics, and now The Rewrite...)

As the father of four girls / women, I enjoyed this essay by Whitney Fleming very much: To my daughter, at halftime.  Since this was written by a mother of a 9-year-old, I feel like adding to her #10, which is "the best is yet to come", a #11: "you ain't seen nothing yet" :)

From the CEO of Gallup, an unusually opinionated stance: The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment.  The government has been moving these goalposts for years; I've been in the workforce for ... um ... thirty-five years, and that whole time people have complained that the economy isn't as robust as the government claim it to be.

Apropos: America's new aristocracy: the hereditary meritocracy.  An important point, well taken; as society removes the barriers which prevented people from all strata to succeed based on merit, new stratification caused by merit will form.  This is the biggest obstacle those who would battle "income inequality" face, and the more barriers they remove, the stronger the obstacle.  My opinion is that all such barriers should be removed, and after that it is what it is.

So we've had a [half-]black President now, what's next?  Maybe a non-college graduate?  A Scott Walker Presidency would be a breath of fresh air for an ivy-league suffocated government.  Given the previous point about meritocracy, one might conclude this has become less likely than before, but of course there will always be exceptions and Governor Walker appears to be a big one.

Powerline examine CNN's claim that this has been a Hellish week for Religion.  "What we have here is a series of atrocities carried out by extremist members of one religion, Islam. You could compile a similar list just about any week out of the year. What makes this a story about 'religion,' rather than about Islam?"  I'm not a fan of organized religions, but Islam definitely stands out as the religion most often cited as the inspiration for terrorism.  I'm tired of the media hiding this under the blanket of multiculturalism.  All cultures are not equal.

Pebble supports Android WearPebble's smartwatch now supports Android Wear apps.  Cool.  I'm a Pebble Steel wearer and I'm rooting for little Pebble against giant Apple and Google.  This compatibility makes it easier for app developers to support Pebble, and hence makes Pebble more compelling for users.


don't drink and derive

Wednesday,  02/18/15  11:30 PM


although I must say drinking does help you integrate with others :)



Archive: February 18, 2014

too wrongs

Tuesday,  02/18/14  09:13 PM


Scott "Dilbert" Adams shoots, scores!



Tuesday,  02/18/14  10:00 PM

Fluffy watches snowboard crossStill enjoying the Olympics.  A magnificent diversion from everyday life.

My cat loves Snowboard cross ... and I agree with him :)

Jorrit Bergsma wins men's 10,000m speedskatingIn other Olympic news, the Dutch continue to sweep speedskating; their latest dominance was in the men's 10,000m.  The only suspense was which Dutch skater would win; the rest of the field was literally lapped.  (For the record, it was Jorrit Bergsma, shown at left.)  Much has been made of the comparatively slow ice in Sochi ... partially due to the rink being at sea level, adjacent to a large body of water.  I would imagine *every* rink in the Netherlands is as sea level, adjacent to a large body of water, so maybe the Dutch skaters are "at home"?

Based solely on their dominance of one sport, the little Netherlands is atop the Sochi leaderboard, with 20 medals overall, ahead of the US, Russia, and Germany.  Go Oranje!

Much as we celebrate the victors, the Olympics also highlights Cold Reality.  "Figure skater Jocelyn Cox got closer than most, but that didn't bring her much comfort."  I was struck by this when a Dutch skater noted that winning the Dutch Olympic trials in speedskating is more difficult than winning the Olympics, there are that many great skaters who don't make the team.

Skeleton!So: Why is Luge faster than Skeleton?  Short answer: it's the runners.  I will say they are equally terrifying!

Wonder what it would look like if you rode on a curling stone?  Here you go.

Meanwhile: David Attenborough narrates curling.  It's mysterious but cool.

Jeff Atwood considers complaint-driven development.  Aka, listen to your users.  Of course, you can't listen to all your users, because some of them are wrong ... so knowing which ones to listen to is a real trick.

from the Lego movie: Everything is AwesomeEverything is awesome!  The world's most catchy tune, from good-but-not-quite-awesome Lego movie...

If a time traveler saw a cellphone ... they "would conclude that, in the past century, the human race achieved a new level of superintelligence."  And we have, at least collectively!

Oh, and I haven't read this, but it seems like a great article: People don't always read the articles they share.


Archive: February 18, 2013


Archive: February 18, 2012


Archive: February 18, 2011

invasion II

Friday,  02/18/11  05:03 PM

Valentine invasion!A communications interruption can only mean one thing: invasion!

And so it is that we are braced for a post-Valentine's Valentine's party tonight, featuring Megan and a cast of 50 of her closest friends.  You would think that we would have learned our lessons from hosting so many kids parties, and you would be wrong.

In other news, had a wonderful dinner last night with a colleague, at which many new plans were hatched, and several interesting follow up discussions today.  Weird how serendipitous these conversations were, each traveling to the same subject from widely varied starting points.  I am energized.  And ... I am blogging!  A filter pass, if you please...

Obama's tech dinnerDid you see this?  President Obama had dinner with Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt, and Mark Zuckerberg.  Would have been great to be invited, or even just to be a fly on the wall.  Wonder if they asked him about his administration's new budget? The Oatmeal has a great take, too.

VDH: Decline is in the mind.  I am preparing for the upcoming movie made from Atlas Shrugged by rereading the book, and it is brought strongly to mind.  Who is John Galt, indeed!

Lance climbing a muir at the 2010 Tour of FlandersCycling's senior scribe John Wilcockson: Armstrong's 25-year journey is over.  A great survey of a great career.  Of course we haven't heard the last of Lance, I fully expect him to run for office - and win!  BTW how great is that picture of Lance climbing a muir at the 2010 Tour of Flanders; I was there, and was privileged to seem him ride and ride well.

Inside the DNA of the Facebook Mafia.  If you liked The Social Network, check this out.  The intersection and parallels to the PayPal Mafia are fascinating.  BTW, in this context "mafia" means "diaspora of alumni" :)

Arcade Fire - best album of 2010!Arcade Fire beats Lady Gaga for top album.  Yay.  Hardly an embarrassment for Eminem, however.  You have to love it when a new band with a "mainstream" sound can displace the established stars to win a Grammy.  Gaga and Eminem and all have had their days in the sun.

Xoom tablet computer, the wave of the futureTruly, with the iPad, Xoom, and TouchPad, the tablet age is upon us.  As I've noted before, tablets are truly "the computers for the rest of us".  There will be a day when we remember notebook computers and their desktop operating systems with nostalgia.

With the proliferation of smartphone platforms - and the importance of mobile devices - comes a new nightmare for developers.  Seems like developing for the web with pure AJAX is the way out.

Excellent: 3D printer that prints itself gets closer to reality.  How great would that be?  Do you suppose it will hunt for plastic?  Will there be mutations and selective evolution?

Boeing 314 flying boatThis is pretty cool: Lost Luxury, the Boeing 314 Flying Boat.  These amazing craft ruled the luxury travel scene for a small window of time, just before WWII, replicating the luxury liner experience in the air.  How great would it have been to travel like that?  (no WiFi however :)  Memorably the scene of one of my favorite novels, Ken Follett's Night Over Water.

ZooBorn: newborn polar bear cubZooBorn of the day: a newborn polar bear cub.

XKCD's productivity tip: reboot your computer every time you get bored.  Wow, wonder if that works?  I'm nearly done with this blog post, should I reboot?


redneck bank loan

Friday,  02/18/11  05:11 PM

redneck Ferrari :)(from my friend Jared:)

A Redneck from Alabama walked into a bank in New York City and asked for the loan officer. He told the loan officer that he was going to Paris for an international redneck festival for two weeks and needed to borrow $5,000 and that he was not a depositor of the bank.

The bank officer told him that the bank would need some form of security for the loan, so the Redneck handed over the keys to a new Ferrari. The car was parked on the street in front of the bank. The Redneck produced the title and everything checked out. The loan officer agreed to hold the car as collateral for the loan and apologized for having to charge 12% interest.

Later, the bank's president and its officers all enjoyed a good laugh at the Redneck from the South for using a $250,000 Ferrari as collateral for a $5,000 loan. An employee of the bank then drove the Ferrari into the bank's private underground garage and parked it.

Two weeks later, the Redneck returned, repaid the $5,000 and the interest of $23.07. The loan officer said, "Sir, we are very happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out on Dunn & Bradstreet and found that you are a distinguished Alumni from the University of Alabama, a highly sophisticated investor and Multi-Millionaire with real estate and financial interests all over the world. Your investments include a large number of wind turbines around Sweetwater, Texas. What puzzles us is, why would you bother to borrow $5,000?"

The good ol' Alabama boy replied, "Where else in New York City can I park my car for two weeks for only $23.07 andexpect it to be there when I return?"


Archive: February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday,  02/14/10  10:17 AM

Happy Valentine's DayHappy Valentine's Day

Shirley and I had a wonderful dinner last night  at our new local favorite Leila's, accompanied by a simply amazing Foxen Sea Smoke.  The more Santa Rita Pinot Noir I drink, the more I love it; it might be replacing Napa Cabernet as my wine of choice.  I can't say it is more affordable - I'm not the only one who likes it, and the market prices have responded to the demand - but it is more subtle and versatile.

Valentine's Day is this weird holiday, a chance to spend time with the one you love, but also a chance to screw up.  As my daughter says, "love is complicated enough without Valentine's".  Anyway good luck, I hope yours is as good as mine :)


Google Earth rocks

Sunday,  02/14/10  11:10 AM

I finally made time to install Google Earth on my "new" laptop, and was reminded once again how absolutely cool it is.  That this capability exists is amazing enough, but that it is completely free - even free from advertising - is astonishing.  Google might come under fire for some of their practices and policies, but they are still quite a phenomenon.

Google Earth - rocks!

I especially like using Google Earth in conjunction with my spiffy 3DConnexion Navigator, a little hockey-puck shaped navigation device which comes with an interface to Google Earth.  It makes zooming around really easy, rotating, tilting, etc.  Quite remarkable.


BMW Oracle wins the 33rd America's Cup!

Sunday,  02/14/10  04:15 PM

And so it is over; BMW Oracle's amazing trimaran (aka "Trizilla") has won the 33rd America's Cup, today defeating defender Alinghi's nearly-equally-amazing catamaran with a horizon job lead.  It was apparent to all that BMW Oracle was considerably faster on all points of sail in all conditions, making the result a foregone conclusion even if the regatta wasn't a simple best out of three.  As it was, the race was over at the start, but then a wind shift gave the lead back to Alinghi.  But not for long, as the speed and power of the trimaran's wing sail prevailed, particularly showing a huge advantage off the wind.

Here are some great photos:

And here's a cool video showing the yacht at full speed:

And so it is over, just like that...  all those years of work and dollars of R&D spent, and three days of racing and it is all over.  Still, the U.S. has regained the America's Cup - that's a great thing - and the next defense will be much better, with more competitors...  it might even be in San Diego!  Stay tuned...


Sunday,  02/14/10  05:30 PM

A nice quiet Valentine's Day... hung out, coded, blogged, and generally enjoyed being home...  as I have another week of travel coming up...  sadly this almost feels like a rhythm now, work away from home all week, and then hang out on the weekend.  So be it.  Ready for a filter pass?

TED: Larry Page waves after giving everyone a Nexus One :)Robert Scoble: The elephants in the room at TED.  "Let’s take the elephant head on: rich people can afford things you and I can’t.  I can’t afford a Ferrari either.  Even though I definitely appreciate them.  I can’t afford a private plane, even though when I’ve gotten a ride in one I’ve always appreciated them and can see why I’d want one.  I can’t afford an original Ansel Adams’ print, either, even though I am a huge fan and would love to have one."  This is so true...  fire on 'em, Robert!

Bugatti Atlantique - one of the most beautiful cars, ever...TTAC: An illustrated history of automotive aerodynamics.  If you love beautiful cars, check this out - great shots of some amazing old cars.  I'd say they don't make 'em like they used to, but I guess that's not true; today's Maserati's (among others) are rather pretty :)

Philip Greenspun: Factory Navigation System pricing.  "I’m wondering now if the inability of mainstream car manufacturers to take advantage of modern electronics is harming their profitability."  What he writes about is so true; the electronics in modern cars are obsolete from the moment they're designed, so that by the time you buy them, they're positively ancient.  The nav system in my car is so far inferior to the nav system in my Palm Pre phone, it is ridiculous, and the system in my car was expensive, while nav was just another app that came free on my Pre.

Computer Engineer BarbieAnd here we have Computer Engineer Barbie.  I am not making this up :) 

Well, why not?  I wonder if she likes PHP?

ZooBorn: baby anteaterWrapping up the weekend, here we have the ZooBorn of the day, a baby anteater.


Archive: February 18, 2009

evident utensil

Wednesday,  02/18/09  08:17 PM

So this is like the coolest thing ever: a music video based on M-JPEG artifacts; Evident Utensil, by Chairlift:


Aside from being entertaining (I happen to like Chairlift), it is also interesting to ponder the incredible pattern recognition that our brains can do; most of the “continuity” is pretty easy to track even though the actual pixels are changing rapidly.  This would be a fierce test for any video analysis software :)

[ via the always excellent kottke... ]


Wednesday,  02/18/09  08:54 PM

Ah, what a day; first, you must know in Southern California the days after rainstorms are the best, and today was amazing, my eyes hurt just looking at the sky.  I slept in, and needed it, and was able to settle in and code for a long time, which was great.  I rode Rockstore and had the delightful experience of passing three guys on road bikes while on my mountain bike; see ya...  and tonight we had a great pasta dinner accompanied by Fiddlehead Pinot.  Last item on the agenda is watching TOC stage 4, but first a bit of blogging...

Read it before we sign?Read it before we sign?  What's the worst that could happen...  Powerline compares irresponsible homeowners to irresponsible congressmen.  The comparison is apt, and it is likely to be even more apt as events unfold.  I'm pretty scared.

brass monkey - "it is cold enough to freeze the balls off..."Here's some really useful information from Sailing Anarchy, explaining what it means when it is "cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey".  Stick with me as we learn together :)

Today I received an email announcing my Caltech '79 classes' 30th reunion this summer. Wow.  Just wow.  I cannot believe it has been 30 years, and yet...  it does seem like another lifetime ago, or perhaps two.  Anyway I'm looking forward to it; should be fun.

computers inspired by computers (inspired by kittens inspired by kittens)Remember kittens inspired by kittens?  Well here we have computers inspired by computers inspired by kittens inspired by kittens.  Unbelievable.

Excellent news: Mars winds clean Spirit's solar panels again.  The energizer bunny of space probes keep going and going and going...


Archive: February 18, 2008

nano art

Monday,  02/18/08  07:10 PM

Entries for SPMAGE07, an art contest in Spain, recognizing the contributions of
Scanning Probe Microscopes.

Via Wired magazine which published a selection of these images.

nano rings - first place

"nano rings"
first place

red blood cells - second place

"red blood cells"
second place

root - third place

third place

integrated circuits - fourth place

"integrated circuits"
fourth place

daisy flowers - fifth place

"daisy flowers"
fifth place

quantum forest

"quantum forest"



e. coli

"e. coli"







bromine atoms

"bromine atoms"



red blood cells

"blood cells"


Archive: February 18, 2007


Archive: February 18, 2006

morning coffee

Saturday,  02/18/06  07:49 AM

In which, once again, your intrepid blogger discovers his love of coffee on a cold Saturday morning...

Cold in this case is relative; it is about 50 here in Southern California, with frost on the golf course, but I realize we have no idea what cold really is...

Lindsey JacobellisDid you watch the Olympics last night?  Man, was Lindsey Jacobellis cool, or what?  I'm dead serious.  First, I love this new sport of snowboard cross.  It is really great, and I hope to watch a lot more of it.  I think this could be my new favorite winter sport, well, behind speedskating of course.  And I think what Lindsey did last night was awesome.  She's on the biggest stage of her life, she's winning her race, so why not go for it?  And she did.  And she didn't make it.  But you know what, she went for it, and that's why I think she's cool.  Hundreds - thousands - of athletes win gold medals, but how many lose gold medals going for it?

Taneth Belbin and Ben AgostoI could watch some ice dancing, too :)  Taneth Belbin is beautiful.

BTW, I like NBC's coverage of these Olympics.  They aren't spending huge amounts of time on athlete profiles and siteseeing tours of the city, and they aren't [overly] pandering to American athletes.  They are showing the competition, which is what they should be doing.  And of course they are showing it in HDTV, which is amazing :)

The big news out here is the Tour.  Not that tour, I mean the Amgen Tour of California, which starts tomorrow, as California gets read for a big week of racing.  "A colorful, rolling postcard for the State of California begins Sunday in San Francisco, ending a week later, on February 26, in Redondo Beach. Along the route - which will also highlight Marin County, Big Sur, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Thousand Oaks - a who's-who list of top American cyclists will begin their races seasons fighting to win the inaugural Amgen Tour of California, an event that has quickly emerged as the top UCI stage race in North America."  The race ends about 5 miles from my house on the Amgen campus; I'm really looking forward to watching!

MSN reports New group to develop passenger spaceship.  "The company that helped put three millionaires into orbit has teamed up with Russia's Federal Space Agency and the financial backers of the $10 million Ansari X Prize to develop a new breed of suborbital passenger spaceship."  [ via Slashdot ]  The space race is on.  Note they are doing suborbital flights; as I noted the other day, there is a big difference between orbital and suborbital in terms of the energy required.  Speaking of which, no new news yet on SpaceX's next launch attempt...

If you're an HDTV aficionado (you know who you are), you'll enjoy this article about video scaling.  "Simply put, scaling in video means the reformatting of the picture through various algorithms, to occupy more or fewer scan lines than it did before without cropping of subject material."  [ via digg ]  A very important thing.  I compared by new DVD player which does scaling to 1080i to my old DVD player which didn't, and the difference was dramatic.

the old stone gate - in 3D, swapping time for spaceThis is pretty cool - time for space.  Displaying stereo images by alternating between the "left" and "right" images.  A bit nerve-wracking to watch, but pretty effective.  I wonder if this would work for Pathology images?



caravans revisited

Saturday,  02/18/06  08:26 AM

A long time ago I posted an article about caravans; my idea for making traffic move more smoothly by using technology to keep your car as close to the car in front of you as possible.  At the time, nearly three years ago, this seemed like a future.  But now the future is here! 

Distronic Plus radar cruise controlMercedes' 2007 S-class sedan has something they call Distronic Plus, a radar cruise control which automatically maintains a safe distance between your car and the one in front of you.  [ via Engadget ]  The name needs work, but this feature is exactly what I wanted!  { Click through to the autospies article to see a video of the feature in action. }  It not only maintains distance by adjusting your accelerator, but even brakes, so it can be used in stop-and-go traffic.

Distronic Plus in actionIn my article I suggested that this feature was the best way to speed traffic on congested freeways, because the delay in human reactions was one of the factors which causes traffic to slow down.  If "everyone" had this feature, the distance between cars in traffic would be minimized, and traffic flow would be much faster.  Well of course it will be some time before everyone has a Mercedes S-class sedan (!), but if this feature is on a high-end car today, how long before it is standard?  Five years?  Ten?  You know it will happen, and when it does, it will be good.

{ For more discussion on this, please see also my post on the caravan fallacy. }

{ Later: caravans, cont. }

Definitely worth a test drive, stay tuned!


Archive: February 18, 2005


Friday,  02/18/05  07:36 AM

iceberg!I am reengaging with the blogosphere.  Just coming up for air.  I've been working on a couple of new projects, one of which has become very real, and which I'll be blogging about, and one of which has not [yet or maybe ever].  No excuse, as usual, just a reason.

My thought right now is that I'm going to take a new tack here.  Post more about me, more about my thoughts, and less about the world.  More of a think blog and less of a link blog.  Maybe just less, period.  I think I had set kind of a high standard for myself in trying to capture the world as it interests me each day, and I may simply not have the time or energy for that going forward.

As usual, stay tuned :)



RSS feed for digital slides

Friday,  02/18/05  07:51 AM

digital slide RSS feedAs you guys know I'm a big fan of RSS.  (If you don't know about RSS, please check out my RSS cookbook, as before I promise this will be worth it.  My mailbox is full of thanks from satisfied customers :)  So recently I did something new and cool with RSS; we added the capability to Aperio's digital slide software to create RSS feeds for directories of digital slides.

For a sample feed, try this one: Digital Slide RSS feed  Pretty cool, eh?  Well I think it is, anyway :)  BTW you can see the directory itself here.



Friday,  02/18/05  10:15 PM

The Ole filter makes a pass...  (Yes, I have 171 posts queued up to link, and no, I'm not going to link them all at once.)

As you know, I want to visit Titan.  Right now this isn't possible, but as Wired notes Titan's Features Emerge from Haze.  "NASA scientists unraveled more of the mystery shrouding Saturn's largest moon this week when the space agency's Cassini orbiter beamed home some of the clearest photos to date of Titan's surface."  Excellent.

SpaceX kestrel engine firingOne of the best hopes for people like me to visit Titan someday is SpaceX, a little company founded by Elon Musk, who was a founder (and my boss) at PayPal.  Elon posts semi-monthly updates on the SpaceX website which are fascinating.  What they're doing truly is rocket science.

star quakeOh, and BCC reports a huge star quake shakes the milky way.  "One calculation has the giant flare on SGR 1806-20 unleashing about 10,000 trillion trillion trillion watts."  Whoa.

On another frontier, Star Wars III aka Revenge of the Sith is going to open at Cannes.  Cool.  May the force be with them.  It certainly was not with Star Wars II which was the lamest in the series by far despite featuring the best effects.

Joel Spolsky likes Microsoft's AntiSpyware but notes lazy user-interface-manship.  The contra view on this software, which I endorse, is that Microsoft should not give away for free utilities which others are charging for.  At first glance you might think that MS is being magnanamous, however a zero-cost utility from MS will cause all others to exit the market, however superior they might be, and we all benefit from a healthy ecosystem of choices, especially regarding something like anti-spyware.

Some of you may have seen the SuperBowl ad from, featuring a nice looking young woman and I can’t remember what else.  And your opinion of might have been formed right there, never to change.  However Bob Parsons, the founder and CEO of GoDaddy, is a blogger (!), and among other things has posted his rules to live by.  I particularly think these three are spot-on:

8. Be quick to decide.  Remember what the Union Civil War general, Tecumseh Sherman said: “A good plan violently executed today is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”

9. Measure everything of significance.  I swear this is true.  Anything that is measured and watched, improves.

10. Anything that is not managed will deteriorate.  If you want to uncover problems you don’t know about, take a few moments and look closely at the areas you haven’t examined for a while.  I guarantee you problems will be there.

These three rules are THE formula for success in managing software projects.

John Battelle notes videora, a Bittorrent RSS reader.  "I've long theorized that video over IP will come from the bottom up, as opposed to the top down, much as it has with blogs, and with music before that."  I've long theorized the same thing :)

Oh, and Tivo Surfs the Internet for New Service.  Hmmm...

The Blogs Must Be Crazy.  [ via Dave Winer ]


Archive: January 31, 2004

Blog Holiday

Saturday,  01/31/04  10:13 AM

Whew.  12 days without posting.  Sorry.

First, I'm fine.  Thanks to all of you who emailed asking if everything was okay.  Second, I will start blogging again, probably tonight.  Thanks to all of you who emailed saying you missed me!

I've been heads' down cranking out code for customer delivery.  It is crunch time at Aperio - after two years of development we have finally begun shipping production systems in quantity.  (Well, "quantity" is relative - we're not talking hundreds here, but more than onesies and twosies :)  We now have a ScanScope device which can scan a rack of 120 microscope slides reliably in about 10 hours - 5 minutes per slide - completely unattended.  You put in your slides, go home, and come in the next day with beautiful high-quality in-focus images waiting for your inspection.  Awesome.

We've also been doing a lot on the software front, so there are things you can do with these "virtual slides".  Of course we have a terrific viewing application, which zooms and pans smoothly through these massive images (typically around 5GB of image data!).  The viewer supports a cool annotation facility.  We have remote viewing over IP networks, so you can do "telepathology".  And multiple people can join together in one viewing session, so everyone's viewing is synchronized, including annotations.

We also have a really cool flash-based web viewer.  So you can view virtual slides remotely on any computer without installing software.  Remember, these are multi-GB images!

And the coolest thing of all - my focus, pun intended - is our pattern recognition software.  I'll probably blog about that some more in the coming days, as we begin rolling that out.

For more info, you might like this post about Aperio's mission.

I didn't plan it this way, but it was actually good to have a brief blogging holiday.  Please, stay tuned...


Archive: February 18, 2003

Tuesday,  02/18/03  09:54 PM

C|Net has an article on Thomas Bayes.  At Aperio we use Bayesian statistics in our pattern recognition tools.

Internet footnote: Alta Vista, the football of Internet search engines, gets passed from Digital Equipment (remember them?) to Compaq, to CMGI, and now to Overture (aka  This dates me, but I can actually remember when AV was by far the best Internet search engine.  This puts Overture clearly in the "distant second to Google" position, with Inktomi (recently bought by Yahoo) in third.

Paul Graham has a great piece entitled Why Nerds Are Unpopular.  It's pretty deep and goes into intelligence, the role of teenagers in society, and many other interesting things.  Recommended...

Making Internet Banking Pay - Forbes has an interesting review of NetBank.  They are essentially trying to do with home loans what First Data did with credit cards.

The Software Developer as Movie Icon - [now there's a great title] reviews the image vs. reality of software engineering...  I think Office Space pretty much nailed it.

More to bookmark than to read: Tom's Hardware has an exhaustive review of 65 processors released between 1994 and today, ranging from a P100 to today's P4 3GHz...

WMD 404.  ;)


About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji The Nest Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?