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Ego Food

Healthy, organic food for Chris DiBona's ego, so it can grow up big and strong.

Updated: 2017-11-22T07:43:35.090-08:00


Protest Kiss, 10 years ago....


Is kissing at protests a thing? From the 9/2001 IMF Protest in DC.(image)

What do you do if you have 54 Banana Slugs?


At work, someone noted they had found 54 banana slugs. Someone else suggested eating them, "Like Escargot" my reply:

Chris DiBona's Banana Slug Recipe:


54 Banana Slugs.
1 pile of salt.
1 trash can.
1 dumpster
1 marbled steak, your cut of choice.


1) Acquire banana slugs.
2) Put slugs in large bowl.
3) Put salt on top of slug.
4) Put cover on bowl
5) Shake bowl.
6) Throw bowl in trash.
7) Throw trash in dumpster.
8) Have dumpster hauled to the desert.
9) Light dumpster contents on fire.
10) Return home, shower.
11) Take steak. Cook to taste.
12) Plate steak.
13) Add butter, if you like.
14) Place parsley next to steak.
15) Eat steak.(image)

Preying on the family of the dead. My FTC Comment.


Dear Readers, consider commenting, in the next 12 or so hours, on the Statement of Policy Regarding Communications in Connection with Collection of a Decedent’s Debt . Here's my comment that I submitted to the FTC:

I would ask that the commission modify the statement of policy to read that it will continue and in fact improve enforcement against those who would violate 805(b) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The inhuman treatment of the relatives of those who have passed on by the debt industry impacted my family personally upon the death of my sister at 35, who died leaving a small amount of credit card and some student loans behind.

While a few loans which had be co-signed by my parents were paid off promptly by them, the remaining led to about 12 months of calls from the various creditors telling them they were "morally responsible" for her debt. It took some strong words from my mother to a half dozen creditors before they backed off and stopped tormenting my parents over the death of their daughter.

This is not an industry that needs less oversight and more rope. They are not suffering for being unable to collect legitimate debts from the estates of those who have passed on. The interest rates charged by the industry are specifically designed to accommodate the additional potential risk posed by the death of those that they grant loans to.

Thank you for considering my request.

Christopher James DiBona

To file your own comment, see the link above.

Tesla, L'Oreal, Youtube and You.


I sit in seat 6D, listening to an absurd bit of pop from 2008 that was used in the background of a police procedural which was recorded in 2009 and viewed by me in 2011. It was absurdly hard to find online. The band's Joomla based website seems to be, charitably speaking, unmaintained. More honestly speaking, the website likely never worked on any browser, ever, and has unlinked 'free' and 'shop' sections.

A quick listen to their other songs quickly explains why. Their other works make mid-80s corporate concept band Sigue Sigue Sputnik sound like auditory genius. You might remember their song 'love missle f1-11' from Ferris Bueller's, they were the band with embedded advertising from L'Oreal's 'Studio line' inline on the tape. Not the worst band ever, but definitely in the bottom 10.

Anyhow, thanks to the majick of Google and the internet, I was able to find a cute video of tweens dancing to the song, which led to me seeing a comment that Scott Westerfeld's Uglies books may or may not be finding its way onto the big screen. That led to a search where I ended up seeing fan trailers for a movie that may or may not ever exist.

But I digress from the real thrust of this blog post, which is something I'm given to do. My bad, my digital homies.

The cool thing about Ultraviolet Sound's Brainwashed is that it appears to use as initial bit of rhythmic chip cheep cheep cheep sound a bit of audio derived from a Tesla Coil's lightning crackle. That same crackle started enjoying a bit of popularity in the popular mind with the advent of Maker Magazine/Faire/Burning Man Van De Graff/Tesla Coil videos in 2007. This bit of electronic esoterica also found its way into the recent Disney movie "The Sorcerer's apprentice".

So, to bring it all together, we have youtube helping popularizing a sound and technology that has been generated in one form or another since the late-1800s, finding its way into TV, Film and on the Internet.

Tesla is now, finally, truly, vindicated. Take that Edison. The 20th century....well...we'll give that one to you. The 21st belongs to the mad engineer. Elephants can breath easy.(image)

What the hell, Sprite, just what the hell were you thinking? (WTF ads)


Before the previews leading into the new Star Trek...

Man, the long hot days of summer. The asphalt jungle, it's denizens.... the skateboarders, the bicyclists, the sweaty slaves to corporate melancholy commercial pseudo protest rock that linger, hot, sweaty, and clothed in mostly earth tones, in the midst of what is the most Soda inspiring weather. The trademarked logo'd , brand guidelined beads of condensation clinging to the screen like so much macro-written horse drivel. Yet another ad for sugar water, an unwelcome guest before real entertainment.

A standard soda commercial, right? No, in fact, something much much worse. Something that makes you question the judgement of the people who funded it.

As the music rises up, two skateboarders decide to run headlong into each other and with the rising crescendo of the pseudo-rock, they explode their component chemicals, mostly water, I'm guessing, and , in a great gush of bodily fluids they coat their friends in an enormous spray of what appears to be a cleansing ritual of orgasmic cool fluid.

In the course of the 30 second commercial, 10 male of the species literally ram into each other in what might be meaning to invoke a dominance ritual, but instead of a winner going and bedding the females of the pack, the combined secretions (no blood, to be sure, just enormous gouts of watery remains) flow and spray all over the surrounding crowd, their rapt, happy expressions unmistakable in their glee at being able to absorb and consume their fellow human kind. Only one female offers herself, not in single combat with another for pack dominance, but instead, a stage dive into a crowd of about 15 or so people , a polyglot of men and women, who receive her stage dive of fertility as she explodes into the largest geyser of cataclysmic remains, covering a better park of the park in her ferocious leavings.

So, yeah, what the hell, Sprite? Here's a link to the ad in question:

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Will there be sphinxes shooting missles at each other?


One might imagine that the previews that were to appear before the new Star Trek movie were heavily negotiated, with the film industries best marketing and publicity people vying for that all important blockbusting promotional moment. Or, maybe, there was a 12 year old boy (the one present in many of us) who sad "Well, wait, how about we only allow movies that have robots shooting missles at each other?" One producer like human might have offered, "Well, we have this movie about two people finding love and themselves on a journey in post World War II egypt"To which our selector of previews must have replied "Will there be sphinxes shooting missles at each other?" "Well, no, that wouldn't fit the story""BRRRRZAAP, no go, get out of my office.""Crap"Producer #2: "Hey, what about robotic like body armor?""Will there be missiles?""Sure, it's GI Joe, can't have GI Joe without missles.""Wait, will there be actual death? The problem with GI Joe was that it was always robots getting sploded.""Well, it'll be pg13, so maybe a couple of dozen, mostly innocent bystanders.""Hmm, okay.", twelverson might have said, "Who's next""Hmm, lets see...", his PA might have answered, "Terminator Salva..""Yeah, of course, don't waste my time. What else?""Hmm, Transformers 2?""PERFECT! You're the best. Let's go to lunch?"Seriously, though, every single preview had robot (or robotic'd up people) and missles. Often being dodged. In a car provided by Ford, I think. Lots of product placement.Speaking of which. I was human product placement, recently. At the time of this writing , I'm on the plane from Tokyo to SFO now, I upgraded myself to First, which on United's non upgraded fleet is downright insulting. On the way to Asia I had the good fortune to be on Singapore Airlines 777 with the new Business class, which begged the question on how First could possibly be any better, and it was like a slice of heaven with some papaya on the side. I like papaya. Which, btw, I had on Singapore Airlines. It was a damn sight better choice of fruit than a slightly browned bananna on the United planes. I've been flying almost solely United now for years, I've built up almost 470k in the seat miles with the airline over the years, which is pretty appalling, and I'm likely to cross the 1/2 million marker soon. I kind of bragging, I guess, but why? Bragging about a half million miles on United is like bragging that you are the least inbred family member in some weird fundamentalist cult on the Utah/Arizona border. Or at least excepting the odd newly laid out planes (which are really very nice).I didn't really go into this post looking to slag on United, my chosen carrier, which I obviously like otherwise why would I keep using them? I mostly wanted to talk about my trip. I was in Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Tokyo on this trip. For the first two, it was my first time in those cities and for Tokyo my first trip over 24 hours. I spent about 3 days in each.In KL, my lungs began the upward battle of smog triage on the cilli and villi of my lungs. I got to the point in China where I was actually worried about my ability to give my speech, which was alarming. In the end it worked out, but the pollution was formidible. Many have written about the pollution in China, so I won't bore you too much, a speech was given, I think it went well, and the organizers of Google Developer Day in Beijing did a simply bang up job. In some ways, it was the best organized conference I've been to in a long time.I also got to meet up with some old pals, and the chinese governments open source promotion arm, which was cool. I walked the stalls at a hemmed in kind of mall that specialized in inexpensive electronics, mostly counterfit. For instance, I saw the "Iphone Air" which was a flip, pink, Iphone. You know? You must have seen Steve release that one at WWDC, right? The other one, the "Iphone Duo" was a bitchen 3g lookalike, with dual sims, 5 pages of apps (no[...]

11 but not 6, perhaps due to the aerosolized Prozac before the spy contacted me in the Domedovo bathroom?


Again I sit on a plane. This time I'm Moscow bound, due to land in a bit over an hour's time. Going to speak with my colleagues in Moscow about open source use, keynote a conference, chat with some Moscow press and generally try to be a friendly face for Google. And so I sit. Managed a Business class seat, on one of United's 767s with the new layout they were promising last year. They're spreading to their Atlantic long haul flights, I see.  The seats are really nice, and the in flight entertainment sports your standard video on demand and the rest. So in this they have achieved parity with most other airlines business class sections. In some ways, they're a little better. Large screens that make the choice to watch a movie not one of squintitude. This is, however, the first time someone on a flight has given me their card in case I get "In a jam" in Moscow.  I find this really charming, if ominous.  I dislike that I'm likely to have a heavily mediated experience in Moscow. Airport to car to Hotel to office to cab to dinner to hotel to venue to cab to dinner to hotel to airport to home.  I hope to fit in some subway riding, some walking arounding and the rest. My seatmate thinks that I'm asking for trouble.But what he doesn't know is that I have the international fellowship of open source developers that I can draw upon. One thing I've noticed is that a well timed email to the summer of code students list or a local users group is more than enough to allow for a uniquely local experience, especially in non-English dominated countries.  These people, my brothers and sisters in arms, are everywhere. Every country, every city, and we've got something in common to talk about.Computers are swell, you know?The title for this post is meant to describe a funny quirk of my flying existence. 11 hours is actually weirdly easier for me to deal with than 6 when it comes to flying. Something about hour 5 kills me on the New York or Boston to San Francisco run. It's weird, it's like a spell comes over me as I pass over the continental divide.  But it is clearly -not- geographic. I don't experience the same issue when coming back from London, nor is there a similar effect  induced by the fiesta ware (catalina? Whatever.) islands when coming home from Japan or New Zealand. So what is it about 6? I could make up some yarn about how early in the development of my people, the number 6, not being reducible cleanly as a power of 2 and, when considered bitwise, allowing only a lower case character set  was considered anathema by all but the 12 bit crowd. A 12 bit crowd whom you'd clearly see holds some bizarre horrible affinity with the 6ers among us. Like a convention of 12 fingered people welcoming the right-handed amputee among them as a brother. I think I'm a bit off topic. Anyhow, the thing is the 12 hour flight doesn't bother me, and time passes faster than the 6.  Similarly, a 15 hour flight (my current maximum that I've taken) is not any longer, neocortexically speaking, than a 12, 11 or 10 hour flight. Why is that? It's not really a b-class vs. non b-class thing. With my vaunted status with the alliance of the star, I can practically hunt economy class people for food if I so desire (and lest you consider me some kind of caveman, know that I do not do this, thank you very much)  I never travel economy if I don't want to, so...what is it?Is it a smaller plane thing? The 757 being the mainstay of United's cross continental flight, it has neither the air pressure practices nor the roominess of the 767s even if they do share a cockpit design and type-rating. Maybe....Or maybe, they put something in the drinks. Yes, that's it. Prozac in the drinks supply. Airlines have a long history of this kind of thing. Who doesn't remember flying in the 80s, when they'd have everyone drop their pants a bit so they could inject the left butt cheek with some Halcyon. And why only[...]

Want to be a better speaker?


Read Duncan's post, then, here are some additional notes:General Tips:1) Practice. I feel like I haven't nailed a speech until I've given it 2 or 3 times. And I give it once or twice privately as well. (and practice while driving, everyone will just think you are using bluetooth)  2) Pick a person in each 'section' of the audience. Alternate looking at them. For large crowds, you are far enough away generally that it isn't creepy, and for small crowds switch people every 10 minutes or so. For large crowds, everyone will think you are interacting with them personally. Switch looking at people in the front and the back, if you can make them out.  3) Practice, alone, on the stage with the music, slides and gear that you'll be using later. If you can't, don't speak.  4) Clueless/Stoned AV people are the enemy and the enemy are legion. Remove them from the premises. (O'Reilly uses solid av people, for the record). Christian Bale was right.  5) Make your slides additive and in some ways, superfluous. I've given talks where projectors die midway through, I've tried to give slideless talks (which always will be marked down slightly by audiences, it is in their nature) 6) Take questions at the end. During the speech, any questions should be short and the answers shorter. Long q&a belongs at the end. Most people are coming to hear you speak, not the audience. Some are coming to give you crap, they can wait. Some have good questions, find them!7) TV without an audience is different from TV with an audience which is different than speaking to 1000 people which is different than speaking to 20. The only thing that is constant is you and your knowledge, make sure you are up to snuff.8) Don't lie. 9) Don't hype products that don't exist or won't for years. There were JavaMX talks being given at OSCON as far back as 2006. IT is a waste of time, but your audience will have time to check email.10) Almost all panel discussions stink.11) Wear clothes you like and you look good in.12) Watch the video of your talk. Get ready to cringe. Sadly, people who do this often don't know enough to be self critical. Here's an easy tip: Watch yourself with your wife, sister or someone who can be gently critical. You'll find you are way more sensitive to your flaws when watching with someone whose opinion matters to you.13) Pidgeon hole me and ask me to watch 10 minutes of a speech. I'm not gentle at all ;-)14) Loosen up about time. Sometimes speeches start and end late, early, or more. If you end early, take a question or two, or let them leave, if you have nothing else to say or have bombed.15) US Audiences are different than foreign ones.16) Don't speak so damn fast. I'm totally guilty of this.17) You don't need 300 slides. You are giving people siezures. Stop.18) Speak everywhere, it'll keep you sharp. I've spoken to computer people, librarians, schools of every age range and level, elks lodges, etc. People are different and while you might resonate with computer people, you might find the rest are beyond you or your topic. That's life. 19) You -will- bomb, and hard. 20) Don't give speeches to people who don't really want to be there.Rules of thumb:1) 60hz at 1024x768 works on every projector.2) Test your laptop shortly beforehand.3) For non-coding slide,s every 2 minutes on stage can = 1 slide.4) 2 private and one 'public' practice before going on stage might be enough.5) Give speeches every week, if you can, but once a month or you'll start to backslide. 6) Have copies on usb sticks in pdf, ppt and, for free software people, odf. sometimes you will not be able to use your own gear or worse, your gear will fail. I also email myself a copy of the presentation. 7) Lapel mics work best on shirts buttoned up. If you normally leave button 2 open, close it for the speech.8) Union guys? $20 goes a long way..That's all I have for you right now. Have fun on[...]

The Secret Morlock in Seat 3d


Recently, on a plane....I fly a fair amount, and the whole business of commercial aviation is built on the idea that people who fly like I do are to be catered to.  I flew some 150k miles last year. I've been doing this kind of flying long enough to know that while I am not the ultimate ice cream and cake dream of the airlines,  I am likely the bread and butter of the 'business flyer' that matter so much to the powers-that-be at the various airlines. If you'd like to be catered to similarly by an airline, you have to fly like I do or you'll have to pay for the higher classes of flight. Lets consider United Airline's passenger hierarchy. If you steal a look at the passenger manifest that the attendants carry around, you'll find that there is a collection of asterisks next to each passengers name. They go something like this:*: Lucky to get oxygen, pays for everything, includng a quarter for use of the restroom. Not allowed on the plane, or dropped off midway, sans parachute , early in the flight to save fuel. **: Reluctantly allowed on the plane. Luggage lost and lucky for it, passenger comes out wiser know that they should have opted to fed-ex the luggage, no utensils save the straw on the collectively shared human sized gerbil water bottle. ***: Premiere Executive, Premiere Associate. Luggage only lost once or twice a year, minor back surgery needed if used internationally, but not domestic, so rejoice! No knives, 1 spork allocated per 5 adult passengers. ****: 1k, the healthy balance between excessive upper atmosphere radiation exposure and deep vein thrombosis. Drinks served in glassware, real utensils, plastic knife.*****: Global Services, massages made available to avert said DVT. Divorce attorneys provided gratis. Knives are often delivered with extra stabbing parts, in case you'd like to hunt economy passengers for sport.And note that paying for first class means you trump, for that flight anyhow, the *****s.This means that literally if you have ***** and the choice is presented between the chicken, beef or pasta, and you want pasta, but the pastas have been claimed by a bunch of low life ****'s , the attendants will go back to the lower caste member and tell them that they made a mistake and to choose another entree. So what happens when the airline caste system meets the needs of a woman's bladder, a man of low, base, tendencies, weather and a delay in opening up the restrooms? I'll tell you the answer to the above question now....BLOGGABLE HUMOR! An Aside: Whoa! I think that was Leon Panetta is sitting behind me on the flight in which I'm writing this. I wonder what he thinks of the caste system on planes. How weird is it that I recognize him? Of course I first thought he was Norm Mineta, but that's just because their names rhyme. But I digress....I was sitting in one of United's aging 757s on a domestic trip somewhere. It had been a bumpy-ish flight and so it took some time for the pilot to loosen the restraints on the economy minus (well, if you have economy plus, that makes the rest as best 'economy origin' or economy minus, right?) and other more important passengers. Everyone pops up to attend to their particular evacuative business, leaving a longish line in the back and a steady stream (goodness, no pun intended) of people to the front of the plane, some (*gasp*) crossing the becurtained barrier between unclean subhuman and first class. Now, the folks handling the first class Eloi don't like it when Morlocks come to the front of the plane, but they generally don't make a big deal of it, and in the case of women and children, they turn a blind eye to the practice of Morlock promotion in the service of humanity being able to pee. But, when that seat belt light ignites, well, then it is time for all of god's Morlocks to settle back into their appointed racks, and contemplate th[...]

The Bennifers of the Apocalypse


During a recent domestic flight, I walked into a hudson news (or one of its ilk) to purchase a magazine that I would probably be embarrassed to admit I purchased.  Modern Watch Envy? Small Business Jet Strivings quarterly? PC Magazine? Who knows....what I purchased wasn't the point, just that I was in that store, in line, waiting. 

It was in Denver, and the snows or anything hadn't started. About as normal a day in a plane as you can imagine. A minimum of security pat-downs, no weather to speak of. Bad food which I've been trying to avoid lately. The stroll through the in-motion store to see what Archos is hawking, etc.. 

So, what made this particular vendor of magazines stand out? Yes, my dear readers, the clientele:

In front of me was a woman making her own embarrassing magazine purchase. But her total cost was , well, Satanic. Yes, her register reciept came to the dreaded six dollars and sixty six cents. Yes, hers was clearly the People magazine purchase of the beast. He who will not be named but who is known as the light bringer and the lord of all that is dark decided that day, in denver, was to be where he would plant his seed of evil, in that point of sale machine, that evil, toxic combination of airport ripoff and sales tax that would come to $6.66 cents. That brangelina of doubt of the purity of the One. 

"Oh no.", the woman said,"I can't pay that. Six sixty six. Nuh uh...", she looked at me as if to say "Can you imagine! Six sixty six!". What weapon could she bring to bear against the dark one, the guardian of unholy? How to defeat the Bennifer of the apocalypse? Would she take the road of greed and add a copy of Fortune to her tab? Envy, perhaps, adding a lucky magazine? Would she walk the path of righteousness and simply leave behind satan's package of evil and destruction, no doubt saving countless other innocents that might have to fly with our unlucky hero and then could indulge in a heathly amount of stoic pride? No, that's not what happened.

She opted for gluttony: "Pass me that Godiva bar." 

*ping* *ting* *ting* 

"That will be $8.49 please", said Satan's succubus of magazines and chocolate.

Our warrior for the holy ghost, the trinity and the spirt paid, left the store, with 400 more calories to engage in the fight against the devil. We are truly saved. And what, pray tell, did our benighted servant of Satan, lord of lies,  say to me, who stood mute while this transaction between good and evil, dark and light, southurn home and dwell occurred?

"Just those two magazines, sir?"

"Yes, just these.", I replied.

Temptress of knowledge, begone! I emerged, soul likely intact, from the hudson news , to make my way east across the heartland.

Travel + Nanowrimo = Madness


Long time egofood readers might remember that I took part in NaNoWriMo about 4 years ago, writing the truly awesome 'Bruce Napoleon, Vampire Veterinarian'. No, don't remember it? Really? It was a New York Times bestseller!Philistines.Ok, so I'm kidding about the times...and the nobel....and that whole 'awesome' adjective. Anyhow, here's what I'm faced with in November: Late Halloween night, I fly to Israel by way of Newark, and then back again, then in mid November, I fly to Minneapolis. This adds up to about 40 hours in the air. If I can write 1250 words per in-air hour, I could meet the 50k word requirement for NaNoWriMo pretty quickly.The real question is if I can find an inspiring enough tale in my head to write. Between work and family including I've been pretty ...well...uncreative is a charitable way of putting it. Let me paint a picture for you...If you use chess as a measure of higher brain function, I was rated approximately 1600 about when I started at Google, but over the last year, according to chessmaster, I've dropped below 1000. I basically took almost 3.5 years off from playing between the masters and the new baby so its an interesting before and after measure.Similarly, I've not been blogging much, and its not writers block so much as merciless idea cost cutting. I ask myself before every post "Is this worth writing at all? Who will care? Will someone else blog about it? Do I care enough about idea X to want to express it?" It's been surprising how often the answer has been 'no'. For instance, at Google, we have released about 10m lines of code this year, and I've blogged about that on our official blog and let the rest of the blogging world and press handle it from there. They got it mostly right, so I'm mostly happy.What did they miss? Well, some clearly didn't understand the security model, others, how open source licensing works and how it interacts with a formerly incredibly closed industry. How far HTC, Google and T-mobile are pushing openness in the space, and it is so very open compared to previous offerings. It's not 'rms' open yet, but I can see a day when we'll be there, and it'll be sooner than later.Also, the war mentality in the technology press is so pervasive I halfway expect technology related PTSD articles to start coming out. G1 vs Apple, G1 vs Symbian, G1 vs Freerunner, G1 vs your mom, etc... It's incredibly tiring and shows an ignorance of the vast opportunity for truly open technologies and even the bare opportunities in the cell industry for smartphone overtaking the old barebones phones.To expand: There is os much on-die capability available for so little money that all phones should soon be smart phones. Since the parts cost of a proprietary cell os is significant in the bill of materials, all phones will consider open baseline operating systems like Android and in a few years, Symbian and others. As people replace their barebone phones with new phones, they are more likey to have a smart os and thus there is a ton of opportunity there. So lay off the war mentality. Sheeze.More later... [...]

Brilliant Science Foo Camp Writeup


(image) John Gibley, one of our guests at Science Foo Camp, has written up his experiences and it gives the reader a great feel for the event.  Science Foo camp is probably my favorite of all the Foo Camps. You leave it with your mind buzzing, you know, and it takes months to wear off. Foo camp is similarly aweomtactular, but Science Foo is nice as its focus is largely away from computer science, where I spend most of my time. 

Anyhow, check out the article, it's really well written.

Been Pretty Busy....


You know, people think comics are easy, they're not. I had to make the ink and paper myself, otherwise Mr. Fancy Pants McCloud wouldn't print the thing. So frustrating. 

More about chrome and such later, for now, enjoy this parody of the now internet famous comic, from a something awful photoshopping thread.


OSCON .... and .....Pretty Pictures or Content?


Why not both?What am I talking about? Well, I'll tell you. I've been speaking at OSCON for one company or another for about 9 years now, and have attended for about 10. I've dutifully given my talk, slapping up slides for each of them, and my evaluation scores have been consistently between 4 and 5 (our of five). Having run conferences and sat on numerous committees, this is a pretty great record and with the exception of one talk given in 1997 (?) at Linuxworld where I -totally- bombed, I generally score pretty consistently around 90%.I change my 'stump' speech every year or so, to keep things fresh and keep myself from getting horrifically bored giving the talks, and also to accommodate the youtubing of my previous talks. Why would people come see me give the same talk in person as I given before and is available online, after all?Anyhow, for this OSCON, I gave, with Leslie Hawthorn, the 'Google Open Source Update' which I describe as a status report of what we've done as a company over the last year. We do this each year at OSCON. One of my evaluation forms comments said it was "more like a report to management than a presentation" which is actually exactly what I was going for. A report to the community of developers so that they can undertand our open source work at Google. This also came off as bragging to one evaluator, but that's okay.One thing I did different this year was not use slides (Leslie had some) as I didn't really see the point of flicking past numbers that I was speaking anyhow. But I was totally nicked for this, it brought down my average below 4 for the first time in years. So fine I will give the pretty slides next year :-) Maybe a graph or two, even. That'll show em!OSCON was a decently good time. As usually I spent more time in the hall talking with friends, and colleagues, than going to talks, but that is the nature of conferences for me nowadays, which is good and bad. One person I actually talked with for more than 2 minutes for the first time was Mark Spencer of Digium, who I kind of bonded with. Turns out we had gone to the same ALS back in 1998 and we lamented the shows demise and movement to Oakland , which was one of the factors in its death.ALS was a scrappy regional southern show, that was run in Atlanta by the ALE Lug. It attracted all kinds of folks in the southeast who you aren't as likely to run into in SF, Portland or New York conferences. The secret of tech conferences is that even marquee shows like OSCON have a heavy regional component to them, and so I've felt that there is a unserved need for a solid open source conference in the 'GNU' South.Maybe Georgia Tech can revive ALS? One proposal was for Digium to move Astricon to Alabama, where Mark and his folks are based. This year, Astricon is in Phoenix, and conflicts with a Google Developer Day that I am committed to keynoting at, so I can't go. I really think that Asterisk is one of the most exciting things going on in oss development right now. It's hella disruptive and strikes at the heart of the telecom world.Anyhow, the most important thing that happened at OSCON this year (Besides my amazing talk, clearly) was Brian Aker's release of Drizzle. That project, which is a return to the fast, small, and out of control roots of MySQL has serious legs and is a welcome departure from the more complicated, stored procedures, lots of locking, and harder to scale, road that MySQL seems to be going down.For a taste, see "Oscon in 37 Minutes" a fun video that was put together as a kind of highlights reel for the conference. [...]

Tenori-On Top of things...


A fellow at work, David Sparks, recently lent me his Tenori-on, an unusual instrument from Yamaha/Toshio Iwai. I've posted some of my early, not so great, work on my wiki, and here's what you'll find.

I thought it would be interesting to hear a song and hear the process of creating it. The Tenori-on is -wicked- addictive and fun to use.

Track 1: T-Const

A lame name for a lamish song. I actually like a lot about it. The push layer is -terrible- and so that's why you don't hear much of it.

This is recorded as a wave and encoded to a 192 kBit/s, 44.100 Hz, Stereo mp3.

Track 2: Composing T-Const

This is the recording of the process of composing on the Tenori-on What to listen for:

  1. Pauses in change...means I'm either listening or copying blocks.
  2. Weird one off instruments and sounds... meaning I'm testing new instruments on a new layer and notes.
  3. Total Drop Offs...meaning I'm saving the song to the sd card
  4. My lameness...meaning I'm composing electronica. I like doing it though, so I make fun of myself as a defense mechanism.

This is recorded as a wave and encoded to a 64 kBit/s, 44.100 Hz, mono mp3.

It's fun to listen to the composing after the 'final' product, it has a how did I get there from there feel. Enjoy and let me know what you know...not.(image)



There are .... 101 million callers ahead of

Wall-E Was Wonderful


(image) Hi Egofoodians. Forgive my excitment, but I had the good luck to see Wall-E on tuesday and it was pretty amazing. I'm not a Pixar fan boy, either, but it was a terrific movie. Artistically speaking, it was a beautifully crafted film and the story is touching and affecting. One surprise was how little actual dialog there is. It is a little off putting until you get into it and might be best shown to a non-sugared kid, but it's really amazing. It's mostly robotic beeps and voices and the odd word here and there.

On any one frame there is more going on than in the entire shrek series. From the very first frame you realize the amount of work they put into the models and renderings and tools in the movie.

The human (and thus talking) presence in the film is almost Idiocratically funny. I don't want to ruin or spoil the film, as I tried to avoid any real mention of the plot so I could be better entertained by the movie and that was a good idea. Thanks to Pixar for having me out. The screening room theatre that they have there is amazingly emotionally enveloping. If you ever get a chance to see a movie there, definately take it, you fool.

Edit: the short that preceded it was a perfect bit of tex-avery hyperkinetic fun. A short skit about a rabbit. a magician and his magic top hat.(image)



You know, I think I like Commodification over commoditization for almost every single use I've heard commoditization used. Just saying. Google Trends agrees. Wikipedia considers them as being synonyms and Google's define operator (define:commodification,commoditization) has more glorious definitions for commodification.

That is all.(image)

At the end of the day, this can only be a good thing...


One thing I noticed right around September 2001, was the growth of the phrase "At the end of the day" as a conversation halter. It annoyed me. It seems so lazy to add that to pretty much any sentence. Well, I'm here to tell you, my dear reader that "Can only be a good thing" is the "at the end of the day" for 2008. Where "at the end of the day was used by people to replace actual conclusion making, "this can only be a good thing" falls into almost the same category. That is all.(image)

I don't get it : FriendFeed


I've been messing with FriendFeed, but I don't get it yet. Just saying. Does that mean I'm old? Unhip? Maybe. The synthetic feed thing can be done via a public shared tag on reader, right? Or is there something else that it does? Ah, the internet! Is there anything it can't do 5 different but similar ways?(image)

Banlieue 13 (District B13): Da Octopuss


(object) (embed) For the Le Parkour fans out there (friedman, I'm talking to you) who have seen the movie "Banlieue 13" by Fifth Elementer Luc Besson, I threw together a soundtrack on Imeem. Enjoy.

For those of you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can watch District B13 on Netflix watch instantly, basically its a somewhat violent exposition of gang violence with a crapton of Parkour thrown in. It's enjoyable in the way that Luc Besson movies can be. Fun style, music and great pacing. For those of you who are still scratching their heads, since this was a French movie that didn't see much in the way of international distribution, the soundtrack is impossible to find online or in the states, but it was clearly made. Next time I'm in France, I'll look for it, but when I looked around on Imeem, they had the individual songs so I pulled together the soundtrack into this playlist.

The soundtrack has a fair amount of talentless rap , with some good techno mixed in, which gets pretty industrial at times. "Funki Slow Motion" is probably my favorite. Much of the soundtrack I could leave on the floor, but that and the other Da Octopuss songs are pretty fun. Caveat: It's all in French :-)

Enjoy the soundtrack!(image)

Worth a Listen: The Plimsouls, Everywhere at Once


(object) (embed) I've been uploading some stuff to imeem. check it out. The Plimsouls is one of my favorite bands. Qualifies as oldies, mind you, nowadays, but the number of times I played this tape would overflow a long int. You might need an imeem login to enjoy more than 30 seconds, but its worth your time to get it. It takes maybe 2 seconds and then you have access to unlimited music.(image)

Now that's funny..... WWT on Mac.


This is probably the funniest system requirements line I've seen to date:

From the Worldwide Telescope Site:

For Mac:
  • Microsoft® XP SP2 (minimum), Windows® Vista® (recommended) with BootCamp
  • Mac with Intel Core 2 Duo (2.2 GHz or faster) processor recommended
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) of RAM; 2 GB RAM recommended
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics card with 128-MB SDRAM or recommended
  • HFS+ hard disk format (also known as Mac OS® Extended or HFS Plus) and 10 GB of available hard disk space
  • 1440 x 900 or higher-resolution monitor
  • Mouse or compatible pointing device
  • Mac OS® X version 10.2 (Jaguar) and Boot Camp; Mac OS X Leopard is recommended
  • Microsoft DirectX Runtime 9.0c and .NET Framework 2.0
  • Required for some features; Internet connection at 56 Kbps or higher through either an Internet service provider (ISP) or a network. Internet access might require a separate fee to an ISP; local or long-distance telephone charges might also apply

For those of you who aren't computer people, they're requiring that you own windows if you want to experience this on a mac. I mean, really? That's pretty funny.

'If you are a basketball player, you can play basketball with me too. Just throw away the basket ball, buy a soccer ball and don't use your hands!'(image)

Judge orders halt to spraying for moth, Zombie apocalypse will have to wait


In this article: Judge orders halt to spraying for moth we learn that Judge Burdick has put spraying of moth phermones on hold pending further environmental review.

What you don't know is that here in the Zombie Abatement Corps (ZACs, for short) , we've been keeping a very close eye on this case. You see, we've found that the symtomology present in class G Zombies is catalyzed by certain hormones that are very similar to those that would have been employed in this spraying. While Class Gs are low functioning shamblers, and relatively easy to kill, we hardly can allow an untested spray of this nature to continue before we have a chance to test this compound for its zombie producing ability.

This spraying, which targets the Light Brown Apple Moth, is a synthetic hormone that, moleculary speaking, is nearly identical to the cdc synthesized and sequenced zombotanical catalyst "golemerase" that escaped the lab and caused the Lithia Springs zombie massace last fall.

Do I need to remind you of Lithia Springs? I doubt it, we all knew someone caught up in that attack. We lost some 40,000 souls to the infestation, and we spent a good month plus rooting out the last of them. I was stationed there during the action, and it was the worst experience of my life, I lost a lot of friends that month.

Anyhow, the reality is that we're worried that this could get as far as it did and we didn't become aware of it until recently. We can't be everywhere and if you start hearing the words "synthetic hormone" in connection with insect control, think about Lithia and the people there who were insufficiently observant. And then call or email us.

It's not like a class G Zombie is even all that scary. You'll have plenty of time to get away from these 'stumbling menaces'. But if you are old enough, or inexperienced enough, you'll be stuck, and we ZACs can't be everywhere, we can't save everyone. Anyhow. we'd like to thank Judge Burdick for his help in stalling the spraying until we're done with our tests on the compound.

A note to all ZACs subscribed to this feed hunting Class Bs in British Columbia, be careful out there, we're thinking of you.(image)

Check it out, Predictive text drop down..


(image) So I'm pretty happy with how the Predictive text module is coming. Ranking is still crap, but it's usable, UI wise. Here's a shot for you to see. The mode of operation is dead simple. You type, after you cross 3 letters the dropdown floats under your cursor and as you type more letters the predictive text choices become fewer and fewer. You slap enter to use the highlighted one, arrow up and down to pick another one, or hit escape to get rid of it. It's pretty exiting to see it working. I'm using a really nice dictionary, but there is no ranking to speak of, so for instance if I'm typing "hel" the first choice is helical and not helicopter, which I'd imagine is more popular. I gotta get my greasy hands on an open version of our published n-gram data (which is ranked) and incorporate that, if it makes sense.

The ui isn't perfect, I need to put in a way to clear it when you go up too far or down too far. For instance, if you hit up , say, twice in the above, it should clear it out. Or should I rely on the user trianing themselves to slap escape? Time will tell.(image)