Blog posts tagged "google"

+1 for knowing your history

March 30th, 2011

“+1″ is a convention that arose on the Apache Software Foundation mailing lists. The ASF still has the best, most functional process for mailing list based collaboration which has ever been evolved of which -1/0/+1 is only the thin wedge. (the whole vocabulary of lazy consensus, commit-then-review, etc is incredibly important when trying to implement a diversity of tactics over email, as we ran into time and time again with Indymedia). Worth exploring their process in depth.

Anyway, Google launched a “+1″ product today, and there was some discussion as to where the “+1″ convention came from. The first place I ever encountered it was this email from Rob Hartill, on Wed, 15 Mar 1995, as part of one of the early patch voting rounds on Apache 0.7.x (the Apache foundation having formed the previous month to turn NCSA httpd into Apache).

I'll use a vote of 
  -1 have a problem with it
  0 haven't tested it yet (failed to understand it or whatever)
  +1 tried it, liked it, have no problem with it.

Rob might have adapted it from an earlier source, but I’ve never seen it.

(One of the many) Ebook Dilemmas.

January 25th, 2010

I'm going to need books, lots of books

How do I support and reward the excellent curation of the local bookstore if I want the ebook version of something I find? – Kellan

I am not a unsophisticated consumer of science fiction. And finding new material to feed the book addiction is something I spend a not inconsiderable number of cycles on. Yet, there I was standing in Borderlands last week, and books to buy were jumping off the shelves. 2-3 of “my authors” had new books out that I hadn’t heard about. (tho 2 of them are on low rotation right now, as they’ve disappointed me of late) A book multiple friends had mentioned but I’d failed to track was featured. And I found several other new promising options, none of which I had heard of, and several of which aren’t normally available in print in this country.

Low Paper Diet

And I was stuck. You see, I’m on a pretty strict dead tree diet right now. I simply don’t have to the space to store books. And while I’m at it I’d rather not incur the carbon debt of chopping down trees, mass printing on paper, warehousing and transporting a product which is statistically likely to be pulped before ever being purchased. Clearly I’m getting a huge amount of value out of Borderlands, but I didn’t really have a way to include them in the exchange. I wasn’t even sure I was really comfortable wandering next door to their newly opened cafe and settling in with my Kindle as I was inclined to do.

Micro-slicing the pie vs trickle down?

Charlie Stross wrote a really great post recently, The monetization paradox analyzing the value chain of content production right now, summed up as,

“Google could in principle afford to pay every novelist currently active in the English language out of the petty cash.” – Charles Stross

Amazon is doing something similar. Capturing greater value then they’re providing. (and I love Amazon) I visit Amazon.com, I visit the Amazon.com Kindle Store. And I walk away empty handed. Amazon captures the value when I buy a book for my Kindle, but aren’t providing sufficient tools for me to do this. Without Borderlands, Amazon would have gotten no $$ from me last week, as it is, they did all right.

So how do I cut my local bookstore/curator in? I asked on Twitter and the consensus emerged around “buy the book, steal the ebook”, or “tip the bookstore.” (thanks to waferbaby, dajobe, BOBTHEBUTCHER, benprincess, timoni, carlcoryell, bhyde, and rabble for feedback!)

One of the ways I know I’m getting old is most of the time stealing media isn’t worth it. This also is a product of consuming outside of the most mainstream troughs, and genuinely liking/respecting most of the players in my media supply chain. I’ve got sitting on my drive detailed specs for building a relatively high throughput personal book scanner, and in the moments when I’m honest with myself I’ll probably never build it.

Open Questions?

Which brings me around to, how do I tip bookstores? And if there exists a viable model of funding that allows me to express my generalized appreciation of the existence of these important curators while getting some specific value back, a Kickstarter inspired model if you will? Would anyone besides me use it I wonder? How does this interact with Charlie’s ideas of a subscription model for writers? Given a semi-hyphothetical open e-reader with a radio could we partially fund bookstores with a real world version of Amazon affiliate links?

Unfortunately I still don’t have the answers, but I wanted to write down the problem, am I’m going to keep looking into it. Meanwhile if you know of anyone experimenting with this, I’d love to hear about it.

(so concludes the latest in this week’s series of blog posts written by the simple expedient of scaling up a tweet by a 30x inflation factor)

(update: a few really interesting comments, thanks guy!)

When I say “FUD” …

October 22nd, 2009

"Flicker upcoming"? WTF? :)

… I mean Flickr/Upcoming/Delicious. In particular, I mean that brief moment of optimism in the Spring of ’06, on the roof of the Iron Cactus, at the Spread the FUD party, when it looked like Yahoo! had a wedge and the will to solve the social search problem, and magically, I might even get to be a part of that. I said in my cover letter (in silly flowery, cover letter speak)

“The next round of innovation will be about building connections. The explosion of voices, information and ideas is currently outpacing our techniques for coping with them. We need to be helping people and communities find new ways to connect, interact, and work together to make sense of this accelerating decentralization. Innovation has been blossoming at the edges of the Net since the beginning, but innovation is also moving back to the connecting nodes, like Yahoo.”

Which is much on my mind when I hear about Marissa demo’ing social search yesterday.

And I’m deeply puzzled (and not a little disappointed) that anyone would care if Bing or Google can search the public status timelines, if it doesn’t come with social context.

Now the question is can Goog shake their historied failure at all things social.

Photo from Jan Brašna

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.

Sharing from within Google Reader

January 4th, 2008

Collapsing the GTalk buddy list, and Reader sharing list was a serious blunder, and one that could use a bit more ink spilled about it. But one click sharing is one of my favorite Reader features.

GData Won’t Save You

Except there is a bit of a problem. I don’t really want to share with other Google Reader users, I’m not even sure I’m destined to be a long time Reader user. I want to share links the way I’m already doing it, through del.icio.us.

No problem, Reader has an Atom feed of shared items. A really good feed, with the source info maintained, well formed, nicely done. Simplest thing in the world to parse the feed, and write the entries back to del.icio.us. And I can tag any post in Reader, which is perfect, easy Ajaxy sharing into del.icio.us with a few minutes work.

Except for reasons I can’t fathom Reader isn’t including my tags in the Shared Items feed. Which all of a sudden makes my data feel a bit more locked up and trapped then I’d really like.

For Our Sins

Casting around a bit for a solution, I noticed the “Email” button, which allows me to send a link via email, along with a short note, and so “Email to del.icio.us” was born.

Super quick and dirty Perl script that:

  1. Parse the Google Reader HTML email for the relevant URL (no semantic markup, alas)
  2. Pull the del.icio.us link description from the subject
  3. Look for a line beginning “tags: ” followed by a space separated list of tags.
  4. Look for a line beginning “note: ” for the extended description.

Add the following rule to /etc/aliases file, and away you go.

to_del: | /home/you/email_to_del.pl

Takes 10-15 seconds vs 1 second to share, but much more flexible.

And Perl is still unbeatable when it comes to these kind of scripts.

Google Talk Architecture, and High Availability (HA)

July 29th, 2007

P7280018_Moleskine_Kreisel

Via the HA blog (an obviously unserved niche in retrospect), a very interesting 30 minute presentation on the Google Talk architecture.

ConnectedUsers * BuddyListSize * OnlineStateChanges

Interestingly people keep independently re-discovering that maintaining presence is the hard part of scaling these systems.

Its something that really came home hard in my talking with Twitter helping with their scaling challenges (so much so that we took a slide out of our “Social Software for Robots” talk to talk about it, and Blaine mentioned it again in his “Scaling Twitter” talk)

So by way of a PSA:

Presence isn’t easy.

Growth in social systems in non-linear. Ignore the network effect at your peril.

Kick the Tires

Also interesting was “Real Life Load Tests”. The GTalk team deployed to Orkut and GMail weeks before actually turning on the UI for the features to be able to monitor the load. These are the practices that make Bill’s recent observation on HA systems possible:

An interesting takeaway is that it’s clearly possible to re-architect data storage on super-busy production systems seemingly no matter where you start from.

For the rest of bullets see the HA blog post.

Google and Health Care

July 2nd, 2007

Google’s decidedly creepy pitch to the health care industry to help facilitate their ongoing astroturf/PR campaigns has been all over the web.(after all who better to create fake consensus then the current undisputed arbitrator of the collective wisdom)

What I haven’t seen anywhere is anybody putting this together with Google’s quiet, and not so quiet wooing of the health care industrial complex at large.

Google has identified the health care industry has big growth, and this is the start of the full court push.

I wish Adam was still blogging. Be interesting to get his perspective on all this.

Google Reader, Third Impressions

June 1st, 2007

So the promise of offline-ing is getting me to try to switch to reader, again. I stuck with through the night this time, so this might be the switch. (Though in truth my favorite part is I’ve only got 14 feeds in the aggregator so far.)

Couple of quick questions:

  • Am I missing the easy “subscribe to saved blog search” feature? Or do I really need to leave the app to set that up?

  • And where is search? Of course I can search all my read items, right? Where is it?

  • Share is neat. Anybody got a good Reader shared items to del.icio.us script around?

  • And an observation. Seems like it takes significantly longer for new items to show up then in Bloglines (at least for popular feeds). Which is weird, but as I’m trying to let go to the fast-twitch feed reading dependency maybe this will help.