Archive for April, 2008

All systems go!

April 30th, 2008

All systems go!

Skipped lunch to spend a couple of hours this afternoon hanging at Mojo cafe this afternoon with Mroth and Blaine getting trained up by Steve. Love this photo Mroth snapped.

Strange Viewings

April 25th, 2008

I didn’t make it to the keynote to see our new CTO speak (meetings that morning), but it was very strange, bordering on deeply surreal to watch the video of it.

  1. Interesting to see my “Flickr is the 2nd largest API ” meme work its way up the tree. I didn’t make that factoid up per se, and I’d probably stand behind it if pushed, but I did reason from very limited data. (also AWS screws up the story, is utility computing an API?)

  2. Still haven’t quite adjusted to the transition of OAuth from being a personal project that the “Paranoids” (official title of Yahoo’s internal security experts) were angry at me for working on (against Yahoo policy for Yahoos to work on security related projects), to a the company wide standard, at least on paper.

Upcoming Talks, Web2Expo, etc

April 19th, 2008

I’m speaking next Friday at the SF Web2Expo on Casual Privacy. I’m speaking in Dublin Speaking Thursday May 8th (2 weeks later) in Dublin on Advanced OAuth Wrangling. Hope to see you at one or both of those talks.

I’m also excited about a dozen other talks next week, as you can see from my Web2/iCalico schedule.

Donut Day!

April 16th, 2008


See: Day of Donut

Cataloging and Selling Old Science Fiction

April 13th, 2008

Both of my grandfathers were compulsive readers. They left behind large libraries. My Grandpa however was a life long fan of science fiction, and his library includes boxes, and boxes, and boxes of paper back science fiction novels purchased starting in the 1930s and running up until a few years ago.

Going through the collection some had been damaged by rodents, and weather, and had to be tossed, but even keep only those in good condition they filled 21 file boxes.

My brother and I spent a little while trying to identify software to help with the cataloging. We didn’t find anything useful. In particular most assumed that the bulk of your catalog had ISBNs (introduced in the 1970s), or even barcodes.

We ended up setting up a shared Google spreadsheet, and, along with our Dad, hand entered the first box. (thankfully the data is repetitive. One of the delights of the experience was going to type in an author or publisher, and auto-completing as someone else had already added a book by that author).

Now the question is, how do you go about enriching that data, and identifying which of the books are interesting. We found a first edition 1954 “I Am Legend” which a quick web search suggests sells for $50-$100USD. But we have no idea how many other interesting titles we were simply unfamiliar with.

And we have even reach the esoteric stuff, like the “double feature” printings, which can be read front to back as one story, or flipped around and read back to front for an entirely different pulp novel.

Are there books? Newsletters? Websites? God forbid APIs for doing this stuff? Alibris, and Abebooks seem to be the most prominent, but not terribly useful. Ideally there would be a database out there with confirmed first edition information, estimated value, cover art, etc.

Any ideas?

Anyway, the first box of 107 books is up and indexed, including a Matheson, Merrit, Moorcok, and Laumer.

Delisted for “kellan”

April 6th, 2008

update 2008/4/14

And we’re back in the index. Weee!

update 2008/4/10

WordPress got hacked. Google was my early warning system. Within 12 hours of being hacked Laughingmeme had been largely delisted. There is more to say on this at some point soon. But for now I’m back, tracking WP trunk, with a cron job to reminding me to do updates. Thanks everyone for words of encouragement, nice to be missed.

Anyone know how to get re-instated/page rank back?

original post below

Odd. Noticed quite by accident tonight that this page is no longer the top hit for “kellan”. In fact it appears to have been totally removed from the index, appearing briefly at the bottom of the 2nd page results, but without the option of a cached view. Not sure whats happened, but its clearly something was done rather then a gradual degradation in authority, as the other pages whose authority for “kellan” inherit their authority from this page are showing up higher.

Confused, bit disappointed. Don’t really want to have to learn how to hack/SEO Google just to make it work properly. :-/

Additionally “laughingmeme” turns up the Swik page, while “kellan elliott-mccrea” is finding me on CPAN. Bah.

Quiet Saturday Thoughts

April 5th, 2008

Thinking again about distributed log oriented writes as a better architecture for a whole class of persistent data we need to deal with. Atomic appends are actually one of the least appreciated features in GFS, and certainly the most critical feature HDFS is missing. Right now I’m not even sure I’m supposed to be worrying, my back of the napkins are saying maybe 10-20mil daily appends across 3-4mil queues is just like running a big mail install right? (remind me to look at Maildir again)

Also contrary to TC’s breathy article BigTable is not much like SimpleDB (other then they’re both ways of storing and retrieving data which aren’t MySQL) in that it doesn’t give you querying, just limited range scans on rows, and it seems to be really really expensive to add new columns (at least whenever I talk to Gengineers, they seem to flinch at the concept)

Meanwhile I’m still waiting on DevPay for SimpleDB, before I get into it in a big big way.