Archive for January, 2006

Google and China

January 30, 2006

Google can try to whitewash its decision to offer a censored version of Google to the Chinese, but it’s not going to fly. It’s just too naked of a capitulation. Comparing the results for a search on Tiananmen on Google and Google China puts the matter in stark relief (via Diana Hsieh).

The other search engines are yielding to the Chinese to get some of those billions of ad clicks that would result, but so what? If Google is truly about delivering information to the world, how does helping the Chinese government to retain power and pretend it’s a legitimate, democratic regime further that mission? It’s possible to take a principled stand for something and still make money. The other thing you get from such an action is respect.

In Google’s case, everyone was waiting for them to misstep on the “don’t be evil” pledge. Perhaps they thought they’d get it over with and future evil would be met with jaded cynicism rather than righteous indignation. Whatever the reason, I think Google’s really exercised poor judgement. I’ll still use them but I won’t be so vociferous in my admiration any longer.

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Four Things

January 30, 2006

I hate memes. There are so many out there that I have passed over, but since I’m in the new digs I may as well do the four things thing.

Four Jobs I’ve Had

  • McDonald’s Swing manager
  • Desert Schools Federal Credit Union teller, loan officer, trainer, web developer
  • Go Daddy web developer
  • Sorry, no #4. That’s my entire job history since 16.

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over

Four Places I’ve Lived

  • Phoenix, AZ: birth to 10
  • Scottsdale, AZ: 10 to 18
  • Phoenix, AZ: 18 to 21
  • Phoenix, AZ: 21 to present

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch

Four Places I’ve Been on Vacation

  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Los Angeles, CA

Four of My Favorite Dishes

  • Chinese Noodle Casserole
  • Shepherd’s Pie
  • Tortilla Dogs
  • Cheese Crisp

Four Web Sites I Visit Daily

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now

  • Nowhere.
  • I’m really quite happy where I’m at.

Free Idea

January 26, 2006

I bet you could make a mint selling a comforter that was split into two sections but still connected at the bottom. Then one bed occupant could have the comforter all the way up to his neck while the other one could have it completely off. I’d buy one—I’d make a business out of it if I had any notion of what it would take to get into textiles. Since I don’t, you’re welcome to it. (Just send me a link to where I can buy it once you get it going.)

Google Web Analysis

January 25, 2006

Web Authoring Statistics: I can’t believe how incredibly interesting this is. Google analyzed the way over a billion Web pages were composed and distilled it into various statistics. I love it.

NKOTB

January 25, 2006

We found out yesterday that we’ve added another developer to the Quick Blog. Additions like this always fill me with trepidation because they have great potential to change team dynamics and generally you have no idea how this new person will integrate with the team. And when you bring in an unknown from the outside, you never really know if your interview impressions are an accurate assessment of the person. It doesn’t help that I’ve been once bitten.

Luckily, we added a developer from within Go Daddy. From my understanding, he’s been here awhile and came over when Go Daddy acquired his company, InnerPrise, which incidentally I think is a spectacular name for a search engine product. He’s been working on an extended WHOIS system that’s been shuffled off to our Iowa offices, so he’s looking for a new start. I met him briefly today and he seemed like a nice enough guy.

The coolest part of his addition is that he’s going to help us get the InnerPrise IP integrated with the blog. So our whole search functionality might be halfway decent instead of the cobbling together I did to get it done for 1.0. Long before he joined the team, I had dreamt of doing just such a thing with his product so this is quite fortuitous.

[UPDATE (3/1/2006): He’s got his own Quick Blog called, appropriately enough, Greg’s Blog.]

[The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Go Daddy Software, Inc.]

Do No Evil

January 23, 2006

Google’s response to the Justice Department’s request for search data is exactly what a company that pledges to do no evil would do. I hope this convinces the naysayers that Google really means what it says. Yahoo, AOL, and MSN all folded like origami, agreeing to cooperate without so much as a peep.

This behavior is unsurprising from the Bush Administration, which has been on a tear lately to protect the American people from themselves—especially American children. And, of course, the response from the Democrats in Congress—those who cherish our privacy so—is to force search engines to permanently destroy the data on a regular basis. Sadly, Google’s defense is that the subpoena is “overreaching”—not exactly a spirited or principled one.

[UPDATE (1/25/2006): Oh, forget it.]

The Newest in New

January 20, 2006

The newest version of Quick Blog is out. We deployed it yesterday afternoon and it’s got loads of new features including unlimited blogs and multiple authors. It’s version 1.1 (though we forgot to increment the version within the app itself, d’oh!) and I couldn’t be prouder of it.

You may have noticed a particularly ugly exception message on my blog yesterday. Unfortunately, something went wrong in deployment and so everyone’s blog was displaying that lovely message. Even more unfortunately, that “something” that went wrong was my fault. I thought I would have more time to fix some bad data that had gotten into the statistics, but I didn’t. And so I worked furiously for two hours to make it right.

If you were affected by it, I sincerely apologize. It won’t happen again because I’m going to make an extra effort to think through the possibilities in the future. I wasn’t careless; I just didn’t see something that was foreseeable. I’m told that I will be lashed at the next company picnic along with any other Go Daddy-o’s that caused outages. I’m pretty sure my boss was kidding.

[The views expressed on this
website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views
of Go Daddy Software, Inc.]

Review of The 40-Year-Old Virgin

January 19, 2006

It’s not often that I find a movie that is irredeemable. Normally, I can eke out some pleasure or positive out of just about any movie. Strangely, I’ve encountered two utterly worthless movies in one week: Mr. and Mrs. Smith and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. I’ll spare you a review of the former—mostly because writing a review of one boring movie is enough.

I was truly looking forward to watching this movie because everyone that’s told me about it has been positively effusive in describing its hilarity. And I loves the funny. I watched the movie to the end, hoping minute by minute that I would at last encounter something beyond raunchy, over-the-top drivel and being disappointed each time. I don’t mind raunchy and over-the-top so long as it’s not drivel. The 40-Year-Old Virgin, however, was not well-executed, completely unsubtle, and rarely clever.

The story—and it’s really a one-trick pony—is about a guy named Andy who has not had sex at the ripe old age of 40. Some of his co-workers take it upon themselves to end his dry patch. Hilarity ensues. Or, rather, hilarity was supposed to ensue.

At every opportunity, the movie took the vulgar route—the road sadly more travelled. It could have been a touching and funny look at the kind of guy that lives his whole life wanting but never knowing the touch of a woman. Instead, it revels in all the nerd and awkward geek stereotypes it can think of.

I hated this movie.

Screening

January 13, 2006

Johanna Rothman has an intriguing idea for a screening question: ask for a paragraph detailing the candidate’s most significant accomplishment in the cover letter.

In my experience, this would have immediately eliminated nearly every bad candidate I ever interviewed . Instead, we had to ask the question in the interview and find out how unqualified the applicant was. It was painful to find out how little people had accomplished to generate the barely-adequate resume they supplied. It also would have established some excitement around a candidate who answered the question well and led to follow-up questions at the actual interview.

The Year in Cities

January 12, 2006

Since Jason Kottke did it, I guess I’ll throw my travels in there too:

  • Scottsdale, AZ *
  • Mesa, AZ *
  • Apache Junction, AZ *
  • Surprise, AZ *
  • Tempe, AZ *
  • Queen Creek, AZ *
  • Peoria, AZ *
  • Glendale, AZ *

The cities with an asterisk are ones that I visited multiple times on non-consecutive occasions.