Happy Thanksgiving!

Well we’re all ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow. We’ve got the turkey, stuffing, and cranberries. And we’ll be up early getting everything ready to sit down to a nice dinner with friends and family.

Right now, after a spectacular meal at our friends’ Chinese restaurant, the kids are in bed and we’re sitting back watching Christmas Vacation.

So another great meal and celebration tomorrow, and then on Friday we can go shopping!

Movable Type problems.

I’ve noticed lately that my blog, which is running on Movable Type 3.17, occasionally displays in a truncated fashion, stopping right in the middle of a post. Rebuilding doesn’t help, and the only way I’ve been able to fix it was to post another entry.

Interestingly, I was also trying to install the newest version and found that the included installation instructions were completely incorrect.



This is my first post from my blog client standalone – outside of the development environment that is. I’ve also realized that I need to do a bit more error checking.

But at least undo works.

Where are you?

My friends are visiting from Boston. Matt had to do some work while he was visiting, so he brought his entire Vonage setup with him, along with a Thinkpad and a Mac Mini, to augment our already considerable home network. So for the past few days his home phone rings in my office, as does his business phone which also simultaneously rings his cell phone.

The interesting thing is that when people call they have no idea that Matt is in Canada, especially when they are calling his home phone.

And why should they? We have come to accept that when we call somebody’s cell phone, they may not be home, and could in fact be anywhere. But when we call their home phone and they answer, we expect them to be home. That may not be the case anymore though. Technology like VoIP means that your formerly tethered home phone can now move with you, provided you have an internet connection.

So you can no longer take for granted that when you call someone at home, that they are in fact there.


A changing world.

There are occasionally clear signs that the world of retail is changing:

Apple Computer’s iTunes music store now sells more music than Tower Records or Borders, according to analyst firm the NPD Group.

The research company tracks downloads from digital music stores, as well as people’s purchasing habits at offline retail stores. During the past three months, iTunes made it to the U.S. Top 10 sales list for the first time, NPD said.

iTunes offers something that no bricks and mortar stor can – immediate gratification. Just as the internet now offers the ability to instantly settle an argument, such as what actor played in what movie, the iTunes Music Store offers the ability to immediately purchase that song you just heard and must have.

To buy that song at Tower I have to get in the car, drive to the store, and buy a whole CD of songs I may not enjoy to get the one that I want, if they aren’t sold out of it.

The internet breaks the economics of bricks and mortar stores.

Tip of the hat to Marketing Begins At Home.



How does this not constitute racial or gender based discrimination?

From the National Post:

A major [Canadian] federal department has temporarily banned the hiring of able-bodied white men in an unusual move critics say could spark a backlash against the very disadvantaged groups it is meant to help.

Managers in the Public Works department must hire only visible minorities, women, aboriginals and the disabled, except with written permission from their superiors, David Marshall, the deputy minister, ordered in an e-mail circulated yesterday.

Tip of the hat to Daimnation!

Now that’s funny!

Courtesy of Digital Common Sense, this is the funniest thing I’ve heard this month:

New Rule: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn’t make you spiritual. It’s right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to “beef with broccoli.” The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren’t pregnant. You’re not spiritual. You’re just high.

The rest of the post is just as funny and worth a read as well.

Tagging Google.

I’ve seen a number of comments about Google Base since it went live. Most have been negative.

TechCrunch had this to say:

Google Base Launched. Yuck.

Paul Kedrosky says pretty much the same thing:

Google Base: None for Me, Thanks

But Michael Parekh thinks they are missing the point, and Google Base is a really big deal:

My one liner? “Google Base today is a glimpse of Google 2.0″.

Expanded one-liner? “Google Base evolves the core Google Search into a Google Search and Directory service”.

That is a big deal. Why? Because this OVER TIME fuses the universal STRUCTURE and utility of a DIRECTORY, with the immediate gratification and user interface of Google Search.

He gets more specific here:

But in the meantime, it lays down the infrastructure to establish a human-powered directory, where users are doing all the work of submitting stuff into it, “user-generated content” or otherwise.

It’s a starting point for user-generated categories, which can then be augmented with a more advanced automated tagging taxonomy and algorithms to create a super-tagging directory.

Look at it this way. Google has done an amazing job finding things in an unstructured web, but many people complain that search isn’t done yet; that it can be better. Yet the most common search – a single term – makes it difficult for a search engine to improve the results.

So instead you let users add any kind of content they want to, and let them tell you exactly what it is. Human categorization, which yields two results. If I log in and search for something, my searches can now be made more effective. But secondly, and more importantly, as Google Base gets bigger it can be used to provide more intelligent categorized results.

It can be used to make search smarter.