Two new blogs that I am now reading

I need to do a post on all the various blogs and websites that I read so that you know where I am coming from. Anyway I wanted to mention two new ones that I am subscribed to now:

Tim Saffles and I have been buds for a few years now. It all started at that strange event known as Retention where we worked for Bob Parsons at Our dark and sarcastic humor pretty much clashed right away and it was all over but the arguing after that. He is a really good writer and gets his thoughts out like I wish I could:

So I have a dilemma: I want to purchase a place of my own, I feel that there will be no better time that in the next year or so, but I don’t think it will be a worthwhile investment of capital or time. I’m torn between sentimentality and responsibility. :

Renting vs. Buying: Housing Dilemma

The second one is from Biray Alsac who I just learned of today via her teaching a blog workshop at the Chandler Library on March 26th at 6:30pm called Stop, Blog, and Roll. She is a fitness guru and really into the Internets. She is also a very good writer and I look forward to reading more from her:

Despite being a bit of a techno-geek, I’m still a health educator and fitness professional first. I admit, I spend countless hours on the web exploring online tools and reading up on new technology. But I see my efforts as directly helping me better understand this gadget-driven, internet-savvy culture. I’m striving to become more effective […] : Be Fit With Biray

Everyone Could Use Some Spare Change

Phoenix Monsoon Season

Just a few tidbits about the Phoenix Monsoon season as provided by the Weather Underground, just good to know:

Precipitation statistics for the Arizona monsoon season (june 15 to
September 30):

… Phoenix…
normal rainfall 2.76 inches (1971-2000)
wettest season 9.56 inches (1984)
driest season 0.35 inches (1924)
average number of days with measurable rain 12 days

… Yuma…
normal rainfall 1.29 inches (1971-2000)
wettest season 7.22 inches (1909)
driest season 0.00 inches (1962/1914/1878)
average number of days with measurable rain 5 days

Weather Underground – go to bottom of the page

Dubstep with a latin twist

Those that know me know that I have had a serious itch for Dubstep for a few years now. The stuff just gets right under my skin almost as much as Drum and Bass does. XLR8R is a cool music magazine for all electronic stuff and their recent podcast has an interesting take on this sound:

São Paulo-born DJ, producer, and party king Bruno Belluomini reminds us that dubstep isn’t just for the pale faced Brits and California hippies. This selection of tracks, many of the unreleased, showcases how producers near and in the Southern hemisphere are interpreting the dubstep sound.

Exclusive Mix: Dubstep Goes South

Looking for growth? Asia and the Middle east

Some of my friends like to talk about stocks and ask my advice on where to put money. I can only hope that these souls are using me as a reverser to ensure that anything they are really investing in is actually the opposite of what I recommend. I pretty much tow the line of most businessmen that I talk with and respect: Asia.

Since I went to China in 1995 as a high school senior I knew exactly what they were saying: the place is huge! There are so many people and they are all busting their asses. When they took us to an advanced school and this room of 8 year old girls all played the violin in unision I got a little intimidated.

Of course we have been hearing this since the 70’s and think that after 30 years it must be too late to get in. The funny thing is that it only takes looking at one statistic to know that there is still so much more to be done and so much more growth to occur before they get close to Europe’s economy and then to the US’s.

Its all about internet usage and percentage of total population. In the US we are at 71% of the total population who has access to and uses the Internet. Still a bit of growth left to go. Europe is at 43% with growth in Eastern Europe being the next growth stages. Asia is at 13%, only Africa comes after them. Clearly there is a lot of room to grow in Asia.

One last stat to chew on: Usage as a Percentage of the World. The US is at 6%, Europe is at 26%, and Asia is at 38%. Let that settle in a bit. Even with only 13% of its population on the internet Asia already has the most Internet Users by over 10% of the next largest population base which is Europe. So as more of Asia gets online this stat will only explode in their favor.

This means that if you want to make money for many years to some you need to start figuring out how to incorporate Asia. Horseradish anyone?

Smelling outside of the box – Developing for the Disabelled

One thing that I take for granted is that my only common disability is my lack of intelligence. This is only mental and can be resolved. Whereas being blind or deaf is permanent and obviously much more of an impairment. Then I see this story about researchers in Japan working on making a better fire alarm:

Nelson sez, “Japanese researchers have developed a fire alarm that sprays the aroma of horseradish instead of ringing an alarm. It was effective in waking 13 out of fourteen test subjects within two minutes, deaf subjects reacting particularly quickly.”
(Thanks, Nelson!)
: Boing Boing

It is always amazing to see how a product can be improved in a way that helps more people and takes such an unconventional approach. Having worked in a sushi restaurant for a short time and been given the task of mixing the wasabi powder into paste I can assure you of the effectiveness of this technique.

This reminds me of how much I overlook accessibility in my everyday work. Since I work with people building their own and other peoples websites it is imperative that I get accessibility across to them so that they can be even more effective. According to some research there are about 196,000 internet users in the US with a ‘severe’ limitation in sight. I dont know about you but having another 198k users on my site would be pretty helpful.

Horseradish smell fire-alarm for waking up deaf people

Fresh and Packaged?

These Fresh and Easy stores have been popping up all over the place and I wondered who was behind it all. Turns out its the massive UK grocer Tesco:

Tesco PLC, Britian's biggest grocery and general merchandising retail chain, will open an additional 10 Fresh & Easy concept grocery stores in the Phoenix metro area, bringing its Valley presence to 37 planned stores.

: Phoenix Business News – Local Phoenix News | The Business Journal of Phoenix

British grocer Tesco opening more Arizona stores

Consistency of Clusterfucks

I love working in the tech industry. Its because of this subtle cynicism that you develop about computers. At least if you want to stay with it for very long. You learn that the problems you experience are the problems all tech companies experience. Email going down, Cisco being a piece of shit, Internal Software being a Joke, Customers that shouldn’t have a computer, to name but a few…

It is an environment that I have adjusted to in so many ways and made some form of slight success. Followed by brief periods of really good times where I literally felt like I was sitting down at an ATM machine and withdrawing money all day long.

Here are the constants I have learned:
1. Be Nice – The customer may not always be right, but the customer always pays.
2. Relax – Everything will break at least once a year and many parts will break all the time.
3. Learn – Understand what your technology is, how it works, and what people can do with it.
4. Sympathize – Your manager is just ambitious, they don’t get it yet.
5. Laugh – People really think things work just like it happens in their heads.
6. Expand – Network with your customers.
7. Be Nice – Really, you think you are frustrated? Imagine going through it all and sitting in a pitch black room on hold for 40 minutes as your business comes to a crashing halt! (Phew!)

I started with just 3 then I thought I was gonna make 10 but 7 will do.

Happy Friday!!!!

Limelight gets dimmed

In a bit of sideline news the company I worked at for about three days last year, Limelight Networks, just lost a patent case to Akamai. Apparently this is only for the Edge Networking part of the business, but still hurts:

The patent in the dispute, number 6,108,703, deals with a global hosting system that “allows a content provider to replicate and serve its most popular content at an unlimited number of points throughout the world” and was originally awarded to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000.

Melanie Haratunian, senior vice president and general counsel of Akamai, praises the jury’s verdict and says that it “recognizes the strength of Akamai’s patent portfolio and is a tangible reflection of our resolve to vigorously defend the company’s intellectual property.” Akamai says it plans to pursue and injunction against Limelight to prevent any further violations of the patent.

Limelight spokesman Paul Alfieri says that many of Limelight’s core services would continue to operate even if Akamai were to win an injunction against the company.

“The patent in question deals with very specific pieces of our business,” he says. “There are many pieces of our business that have nothing to do with that patent and that we could continue to operate.”

So while this won’t close the doors at Limelight it does severely slow their ability to grow in the marketplace. Edge Networking allows companies to replicate the complex task of Server Side Computing much closer to the end user, thus speeding things up considerably. Right now all Limelight and any other CDN offers is to put copies of your content on their network so that it downloads or streams faster to the end user.