Monthly Archives: July 2004

Follow the yellow click road

I love the way the web works…a click here…a click there…new discoveries and nuggets of useful information. For example, I’m updating my RSS feeds…looking at those coming from Pluralsight I see their partnership with Rob Howard’s company…I visit the Telligent Systems site and notice that Jason Alexander is now their Chief Solutions Architect…I notice mention of Jason’s leadership in nGallery…and visit the nGallery site…see Jason’s blog…uncover the following advice, which I’m guessing came over some headache (thanks for saving me the same!):

A few things to keep in mind for those of you wanting to be Mono-aware:
Rule #1: Never, ever, ever use the \ to seperate directories when doing any file I/O. Instead, use the System.IO.Path.DirectorySeparatorChar constant. This translates directly over to the *nix world and makes for a smooth transition in Mono.
Rule #2: Just as most of us have learned case sensitivity in .NET, carry this forward to your file I/O operations, again, and make sure all files and directories are case sensitive.
Rule #3: Make sure you don’t compile your assemblies with the /incremental flag. Mono can’t support incremental compilation. For more details on what “incremental compilation” is, see:

By the way, if you want to travel some of the paths I take, too, you can now get my OPML file. If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say OPML, please visit here. Cheers!


A new term that I find amusing: astroturfing – paying for the appearance of a “grassroots” movement (via Larry O’Brien; credit The Guardian‘s Oliver Burkeman).

From the RSS postal service:

  • From Alex Kipman‘s blog: It only takes one irresponsible employee one blog entry to undo years of messaging and position from marketing. How much or little transparency to promote through such vehicles as weblogs is an important question all companies should be addressing? What amounts to excessive transparency? Robert Scoble and others are asking these questions and trying to answer them, too. More transparency improves the conversation. That improves the feedback loop. That brings us all better products and fewer misunderstandings.
  • Via Scoble: Mark Bernstein makes a good case for getting rid of comments and trackbacks. I especially like “less delay between initial impression and publication [i.e. thought] encourages violent reaction [i.e. flames].”
  • Via Red Herring: a couple of interesting points from Tom Malone‘s Supernova 2004 conference keynote: The rapid decrease in the cost of digital communications has created a revolutionary system in which people in business can make decisions without direction from above; and The challenge in coming decades will be in designing corporations for access to information and freedom to make decisions. To the degree we are successful, we will be able to take advantage of much more of the creativity, motivation and loyalty of the people in our organizations. Fast Company offers a partial transcript of this keynote here.
  • There’s another interesting post from the Supernova 2004 conference by Red Herring here on The Network Is People panel. For example: Pure edge architectures are great, but they have to integrate with centralized systems if they are going to achieve their greater business value. You have to have a relationship with the people who own access to server, a relationship to power, in order to reshape the way people work. Fast Company offers a partial transcript of this panel here as well as several other partial conference transcripts from here–look under June 24 and June 25 (the days of the conference itself).
  • The RSS Wishlist
  • Why Did We [a VC firm] Invest in Newsgator?
  • Technorati tracks three million blogs – interesting graphs on weblog growth
  • Full-text feeds make me happy too – they enable offline user experiences (part of the smart client vision)
  • RSS Bandit now has a product roadmap (intro)
  • Ad-based-but-free feeds and fee-based-but-ad-free feeds: a sign of RSS maturity, or a sign of the times?
  • A reflection of reality and not a sign of a revolution – what all blogs individually and in a collection should aim to be (i.e. have integrity; don’t manufacture transparency)
  • SnipSnap – thanks to Robin Good for the pointer…I wonder how easy it would be to port this Java weblog+wiki (bliki) to C#/.NET…? The potential for simultaneous output to XHTML and RSS/Atom is especially appealing to me. I already exclusive publish this site in XHTML but have been struggling since the beginning to add RSS/Atom support into my by-hand workflow. I like the recent feature in support of URL-based installation–a smart clien?!–minus its requiring full access to my local machine and network as stated by Java Web Start (bug!). Time to launch WinCVS… As Robin mentions, Amy Gahran has several posts on the subject of blikis (e.g. here). I was first introduced to this term by Martin Fowler.
  • OutlookMT – a tool that enables drag and drop blog publishing from Outlook 2003
  • XHTML validator to RSS widget – yet another approach I want to investigate to giving my site a feed…

On a final note for today, it will be interesting to see how the recent email storage wars play out among competitors such as Google (Gmail – 1 GB storage), Microsoft (Hotmail – 250 MB storage, 10 MB message size) and Yahoo! (Y!mail – 100 MB storage, 10 MB message size). Although the press seems to be focused on the amount of storage freely offered, what’s more interesting to me is how that storage is supported and focused–storage as a simply a means to particular ends. What will these ends become?

The unfinished business of the Holocaust

This Father’s Day I was introduced to author Daniel Silva by my parents who gave me a paperback copy of The English Assassin. My Dad had already read The Unlikely Spy and A Death in Vienna and was in need of a good read; so I swapped my Silva novel for his and read A Death in Vienna while in Sea Ranch–just finishing the book this afternoon.

I really enjoy the author’s ability to layer a story and provide just enough detail to guide the imagination but not stifle it.

I’m looking forward to reading the first two books in the author’s three-book series on the unfinished business of the Holocaust. Author’s note: Nazi art looting and the collaboration of Swiss banks served as the backdrop for The English Assassin. The role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and the silence of Pope Pius XII inspired The Confessor. All books in this series are based loosely on actual events according to the author.

Update 12/1/2008: For more of my book reviews and to see what else is in my book library (i.e. just the business-related or software-related non-fiction therein), please visit my Books page.

From first to worst

Sea Ranch, CA, Seesaw

While it wasn’t my Mom that directly removed me from the Risk board, it was choosing to battle her that was directly responsible for my downfall. It’s not everyday that you loose 12 armies just to remove one of your opponent’s armies. However, my Peruvian militia was clearly outmatched against my Mom’s Brazilian army. I only held South America until on his next turn my brother took me off the board.

On the bright side, being the first out gave me the opportunity to take my son for a stroll down to the coastal trail. Upon our arrival we were rewarded with a surprise visit by a sea lion trying to sun on the rocks below amidst a rising tide. It was also heartening to know that upon our return to the beach house, my brother had eliminated everyone else from the game.

Conquering the world

Walk-on Beach, Sea Ranch, CA


My family (i.e. Mom, Dad, brother and my wife and I) enjoy playing an occasional game of Risk. So we kicked off our family vacation at Sea Ranch, CA (about an hour south of Mendocino on the California coast) this evening with a round of this entertaining board game. I’m pleased to say that I won this time. (Play is fairly even among this group.) Lesson learned: sometimes it’s best to allow others to fight your battles for you. It remains to be seen, but I may end up learning another lesson about not sharing strategy with an opponent (i.e. my Mom). We’ll see.