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Monday, February 21, 2005
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iPod Linker
Does this look like something interesting? I tried one of those new ipod Shuffle devices at the Stanford Mall yesterday. Basically the size of a USB gadget. One main benefit over the older ipods.. these have an USB connector. What if you could mate with another ipod shuffle and exchange recordings, podcasts, whatever. Reminds me a little of the Beaming device on the Palm. But perhaps exchanging addresses and appointments is not as interesting as exchanging sound content. Also, I think that making an actual connection (rather than wireless) seems more enjoyable for typical folks.

Imagine a very simple interface. Big arrow button that lets you flip the direction of transfer and a simple push/pull button. And the screen is a nice addition to the screenless shuffle.


Sunday, February 20, 2005

Feeling Lucky Google search in Firefox
For you Firefox users, try this.  Type some words to search in the URL box atop the browser (not the Google search box).  When you hit return, it automatically takes you the the Google I'm feeling lucky search result web page.

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Google Print
Google Print is something else.  I saw it demonstrated at Google's Analyst Day.  Very powerfull full text search of books.  It's incorporated into the basic google search.  A9 has a simliar search tool for books sold on Amazon but you have to sign into the service to use it.  To try it, simple do a regular google search.  Do a search for something like books about Japanese food and you'll see books at the top of the search results.  Your can then do further searching within the book. Your terms are yellow highlighted.  And you can flip through the pages.

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Firefox Browser
If you haven't tried it yet, I'd highly recommend downloading Firefox browser.  I now use it for all my non-work related browsing.  I continue using IE for work related design and testing as all our clients continue to use IE.    I wonder how the corporate world conversion to Firefox is going.  IT may not be too thrilled about supporting multiple browsers on a machine, but if it saves on security fix related costs, I'm sure they'd be more than happy to load it on their corporate PCs.

It's so nice to surf NY Times and other sites and not worry about popups  and I love using the extensions you can add and build, like Sage RSS Reader, and the Weather Channel constantly updated on your browser boarder.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Best book ever for learning Java Server Pages (JSP) and Servlets
I enjoy watching the continuously improving teaching trends on various technologies.  For example the textbooks these days seem much better than the ones I used in engineering school.  Tried and true teaching techniques incorporated and better examples.  I recently came across this new Heads First Servlets and JSP book in the O'Reilly series.  My gosh.  I couldn't put this book down.  Such a fresh and comprehensive approach to the subject while making it fun to learn.  The explanation on Struts for example: so simple, so obvious, so 'why didn't anyone explain it like this before'.  If you're interested in catching up on the latest Java web progamming tools and the basics of MVC architecture.. go get this book now.  All the basics plus a good section on EL which is supported in Tomcat 5.0.

[PS: for learning Java itself, I still think the best book of all time is Java Objects by Jacquie Barker. The Heads First Java book seems well done as well.]

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Adam Barr's blog comments on Joel Spolsky's Guerilla Guide to Interviewing

You get the idea. If as an interviewer you want to play the "you didn't clarify the question" game, it can be taken to as absurd an extreme as you like. If your goal is to prove you are smarter than the candidate, then knock yourself out. But if you are actually trying to hire the best people, using this question the way Spolsky describes won't tell you much of anything. '

That's a good point, but I'd also agree with Joel in that you want to know the candiate's basic approach to solving problems.  Doesn't make sense to make much of the 'you didn't clarify' gotchas, but sometimes when the candidate doesn't ask for clarification, it's clear they may not have a fundamental instinct about approaching new/not previously solved technical problems.  Not asking the right questions when tackling a tough problem or design will only lead to poor quality, missing use cases, and more work for others on the team later.  I always thought the "Smart and Get things done" theme in Joel's piece was a helpful attribute to look for when hiring for startups. 

Couple interview video clips from Microsoft that are interesting:  Zoe Goldring & Gretchen Ledgard  "interview questions are designed to be vague.. trying to get you to interact and and ask a lot of questions" and the Mock Whiteboard interview.

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Monday, October 18, 2004

This is cool.  Alphabet magnets on the fridge moving on their own and under your control.
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Set of presidential candidate commercial clips put together by Lessig and Swartz (creator of RSS 1.0) at Stanford.  "There is an extraordinary range of political speech that has been created for this election, some of it professionally made, most of it not. We are volunteers who think that it should be easier for people to show other people the content they think they should see before they vote.

We built this peer-to-peer site to enable people to send personalized messages with links to video clips about this election."

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Desktop Search Alternatives
Saw these desktop search alternatives mentioned on the blogosphere today: Copernic and X1"Like everyone else in the blogespher, I installed Google Desktop Search last week. And, after using it a few times, I've uninstalled it."

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Friday, October 15, 2004

Celebrate your Successes
Joe Kraus of (founder of has a good post on celebrating the successes at your startup.

The point for me is this: don't forget to celebrate your successes. It's way too easy to burn out by immediately focusing on the new race right after crossing a finish line. Don't. Take a moment and revel in it.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004 posted a list of "Blogs Run by CEOs".  Actual, it's CEOs, Founders and CTOs.  An interesting set of blogs.
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