Aug 29, 2005

Mike Fitzpatrick : I love ya, man


Last Friday, my father-in-law Mike Fitzpatrick collapsed after his normal morning walk by the beach near his home in Santa Cruz. He suffered a heart attack and died. He was 68. His passing is still a great shock to all of his family and friends. He had a great big heart and was a gregarious individual that seemed to have a friend in every corner of the world and down every city block. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandpa and father-in-law. He would give me a great big hug every time we parted ways and would tell me I love ya, man! with a hearty chuckle. Mike, I love ya, man and I'm going to miss seeing you, but I'll carry your spirit with me always.

[update: Michael Joseph Fitzpatrick's obituary]

Aug 24, 2005

Robertson issues Fatwa

Tell Robertson you don't remember assasination being advocated by Jesus.

Berners-Lee on the read/write web

Talks about how blogging is close to his original vision of the web. [via Derek Baird]

Aug 23, 2005

Google Talk

'Talk and IM with your friends for free'

vedana: Fresh Gmail

Eric explains a cool new feature for Gmail that just went live.

Aug 22, 2005

Share your geeky memories

I love this nostalgic, but fake 1985 blog entry at Engadget. It reminded me that I didn't just become a hardware and software junkie overnight. It took years of trips to Radio Shack and hours of poring over stacks of Popular Mechanics and Popular Science at my grandfather's. I even held a deep seated belief that I one day would build the hovercraft from Mom's vacuum cleaner as promised in the back of Boy's Life. All of this before the first 300 baud analog coupler modem or Pong paddles entered our home.

Now that I've wandered into a post without an ending, what are your geeky memories? What made you the geek you are today?


Great UI solution for printing envelopes [via TUAW]

Aug 19, 2005

Lush Life West Sounds

Kanye West's The College Dropout mixed with the Beach Boys Pet Sounds.

Aug 18, 2005

Aug 16, 2005

Blogger for Word add-in

A lot of you folks love Blogger but would rather use, say Microsoft Word, to compose your blog posts. Awesome. As of today, you can download Blogger for Word. An add-in that puts a Blogger toolbar right in Word.

I have spent a lot of time on this over the past few months and I should let you know that we designed this for maximum compatibility with older versions of Word going back to Word 2000 on Windows 2000. That means that this is a very simple toolbar, but once you try round-tripping a document (publish, view on the web, make some changes, publish again) you will see that it is powerful as well. Of course the trade-off was that we couldn't support images, tables or some of the wackier formatting in Word - perhaps in another version. See the FAQ for more on system requirements and such.

As Ev mentioned in his post, the biggest tradeoff is that this is Windows-only. As a Mac-fan I tried to find a good developer to do a Mac version and came up short. If you have any recommendations, I'm all ears.

Finally, I think we have delivered something that gives anyone the ability to do online document storage with the 'Save Drafts' feature. If you don't consider yourself a blogger or don't want to publish your documents, you can still use the add-in. Try it out - a Blogger account is free. I would love to hear what you think of the add-in in the comments.

[Related posts and coverage]

This was posted from Microsoft Word

Word, I have finally tamed you!

Live demo for Scoble - Blogger for Word

You can type whatever you like in Word, and have it posted to your blog.

Whoops! I forgot a link to our new add-in. Download it here.    

Aug 15, 2005

Why I'm not going to Foo Camp

I wasn't invited.

If you are the type of person who reads this blog and might be prone to drop one of those 'so...going to Foo Camp' lines to see what brand of smart kid I am - well, I didn't make the cut. I don't know what to tell you. You have to draw the line somewhere I guess, and I'm pretty sure hipster geeks will be well represented anyway, so no offense to Tim O'Reilly or any of the other organizers or attendees. Geek out. Have fun, and please write it all down. See you at the thing in a few days or weeks and the thing after that in October or November. Have your people call my people or maybe our people can have a thing of their own and podcast it and I can just listen to it on the web anyway and then I don't have to feel bad about not going.

If you need me this weekend I'll be at the beach eating hotdogs and building sandcastles with these guys.

Scoble: Google's intranet pointing here

Though we were tempted to whip up a page that said something like:
we have resisted the temptation just to amuse Mr. Scoble. The truth is the Blogger team is due to be Scobelized tomorrow morning. I think I have to drink a barium shake or something before Robert shows up. I have read Jeff Barr's guide so I plan on looking into the camera AT ALL TIMES. If that sort of thing freaks you out then perhaps you should just listen to the podcast. Podcasting 1 - Videocasting 0.

A Comparision of the Size of the Yahoo and Google Indices

'...on average Yahoo! only returns 37.4% of the results that Google does and, in many cases, returns significantly less'. Ouch.

Aug 12, 2005

Another Director's Path- Parte Deux

Great story from one of the brains behind Family Guy.

If Bloggers Had Been Around Throughout History

Fun Viewmaster promo put together by 6A.

Aug 11, 2005

Harlan McCraney: Presidential Speechalist

Andy Dick as the President's speechwriter, Harlan McCraney. Awesome!

Study: Web site's appearance matters

This posits that design by a certain gender attracts that gender. I buy that.

Aug 10, 2005

Google Fight : RSS 1.0 vs RSS 2.0

Calling a fight between RSS and Atom is stacking the deck by a long shot.

Crime, Pornography Taint Russian Reality Show

My fellow Americans, rejoice! We are not alone in the decay of modern civilization! The title graphic alone proves this.

Aug 9, 2005

Art prankster sprays Israeli wall

Love that Banksy [via rebecca's pocket]

KMaps for Treo

Cool looking mapping program that uses Google Maps.

Breaking story: Google News Feeds

Google News adds Atom and RSS feeds. Yay!

Aug 5, 2005

Jenny's phone number is 867-5309!

There is a difference between public data and publicizing data. For instance, your phone number might be publicly available via the Yellow PagesTM, the interweb, or a county record. There is a huge difference between the availability of such information and the promotion of that information. Having had some of my financial information recently posted by another blogger - I am well aware of what living in a free society entails. I don't, however, have to like it when people overstep the bounds of common decency or good sense and neither do my co-workers.

5 recent album purchases that you should actually buy too

Beck - Guero

When Beck is on, he is ON. This is essentially a 1930's river blues album made with a Powerbook instead of a washboard. A little digital sounding in places, but even that is tweaked into 80's video game bliss. A fun album, and a throwback to Beck's earlier work.

The New Amsterdams - Worse for the Wear

When Matthew Pryor isn't frontman for the Get Up Kids, he makes more excellent music - though it's taken a while to tune his stripped down style. 2000's Never You Mind was forgettable. What a difference a few years make. There isn't a song on Worse for the Wear I don't love. A great album to listen to all the way through. Such sincerity in Pryor's voice, makes you wonder why Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carabba gets all the angsty singer/songwriter attention.

New Order - Waiting for the Sirens' Call

When Substance landed in my hands in 1987 it became a soundtrack for my life. New Order released a few solid albums in between now and then, but this album is a perfect bookend to Substance. Krafty is an ode to the Kraftwerk sound that New Order began playing with back when they were Joy Division, but with that trademark electric sheen and airy vocals. It's a must album have even though the first half of the album outshines the last half.

Kanye West - The College Dropout

Every once in a while a hip hop album comes along that flashes suburban white folks like me a glimpse into a world I don't experience on a daily basis AND sounds amazing while doing so. I think it was planted in my car stereo for a month. Plus Talib Kweli and Jay-Z guest on the album.

Handsome Boy Modeling School - White People

This one is a bit eclectic. It's really the Boys with a stream of guests including Jack Johnson, Fr. Guido Sarduchi, Pharell and many more. Not satisfied? How about a lyric-free version of this album so you can drop your own rhymes over those Handsome beats. Not for the faint of heart.

Whew! I haven't written so much about music since the days when Musicrag was up for a Bloggie. Have a groovy weekend.


Mine arrived yesterday. Such. A. Geek.

The Treo 670 is real and does run Windows Mobile

Video proof of new Treo running Pocket PC software. Weird.

Adaptive Path Helicarrier

My buddy Ryan has been thinking about the future at AP.

PHP baby doll

Nice, but where's the Mens version?

Aug 4, 2005

5 albums purchased recently out of a sense of obligation or guilt

Coldplay - X & Y

2 out of 3 Shellen brothers approve of Coldplay, so almost grudge-like, I purchased X & Y hoping for some Yellow-gold. No such luck. Good music for hearing over the din of a restaurant.

U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

I think I bought this because I was to young to have bought War when it came out. As if my $17 were some sort of statement about how big a U2 fan I am. "This album is probably crap, but I'll still plunk down money for it, that's how big a fan I am!" Not very punk rock. I don't even know if I've played the entire thing twice.

Foo Fighters - In Your Honor

Quite a value, 2-CD's from Grohl and company. One rockin', one acoustic. More importantly, one of the albums is not The Colour and the Shape and the other one is not There is Nothing Left to Lose. It's hard to follow either of those. Still solid though.

White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan

At first I hated this album. Now I love two of the songs, My Doorbell and Blue Orchid. That's all I'll allow myself to love. The rest I'll continue to hate for being a country album masquerading as indie rock.

Weezer - Make Believe

I don't think they are all on drugs. Just Rivers Cuomo. They say sometimes you have to hit bottom before you can truly recover, in that respect I expect an even worse album before things get good again in Weezonia.

As promised, and just under the wire, my music pains are your reading pleasure. Tomorrow a bright spot, 5 albums I would actually recommend buying.

Word watch: batshit

Often tied to discussions of Tom Cruise's Oprah appearance, the never-ending War on Terror TM, or in rare instances - actual guano.

Aug 3, 2005

5 recent album purchases I felt would help maintain my 'cred'

The Bravery - The Bravery

This is a decent U2 album. Say you were transported back in time to 1989 and you were pissed that Rattle n' Hum followed Joshua Tree and knew that they were capable of Achtung Baby but weren't quite sure it was gonna happen - this Bravery album would have filled the gap nicely. Too bad it's 2005.

The Futureheads - The Futureheads

I say they sound like the English Beat, Grant thinks they sound like XTC. Either way Seth Cohen digs 'em and they have a song about being a 900-year old robot. Can't be all bad.

Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

They seem like girlfriend stealers. Keep an eye on them, they have a few French sounding song names - sure sign of trouble. Not to mention they have a grand sense of self importance, they are named after the Austrian archduke whose assassination sparked World War I. Rockstars.

Bloc Party - Silent Alarm

I think my heart is going to beat out of my chest when I listen to Silent Alarm. Lay down and have plenty of liquids after listening to BP. Potential use: Play it before you go to ask your boss for a raise.

The Killers - Hot Fuss

Pick a radio station. Doesn't have to be an alternative station, country, Mexican, talk radio - I'm pretty sure they are mandated to play a song by The Killers at least once a 'rock block'. That said, even the non-radio hits are pretty great. This album makes me want to buy a pair of checkered Vans.

In conclusion, you don't really need to buy all of these albums. Cred is overrated anyway. If you are looking for an album that does a nicer Duran Duran or English Beat than your local bar/cover band - one of these albums would suffice. If I had to pick one I would go with Hot Fuss since their lead singer has better make-up than most of the other bands lead singers.

Look tomorrow for a chilling continuation on this theme: 5 albums I bought recently out of a sense of obligation or guilt.

Ah sweet blog, how I've missed you

Call it a fluke if you will, but I'm going to try and dial this deal up to a more respectable level of posting. Maybe well past respectable, how about multiple posts in a day? Ok, it will probably be a mash of music stuff and lots of lists but either way look out!

Odds Against 7even

I'm a sucker for a fake viral campaign, especially when it involves free music, ringtones or podcasts from indie bands.

Fearless Basra blogger is abducted and murdered

American journalist and blogger, Steven Vincent, was assasinated in Iraq.

Aug 2, 2005

Calling All Luddites

Thomas Friedman in the NYTimes on the role of technology in the future of politics.

Marriage by the numbers

As of yesterday, I have been married to Allison for 7 lucky years and it made me think of some of the numbers in our marriage during those seven years:
  • 100,000 miles commuted. To San Jose, San Francisco, and now Mountain View. German car manufacturers love me.
  • 2500 lattes and/or cups of coffee consumed. Gotta stay alert!
  • Five - Number of years I've been blogging as of last month. Over 2/3rds of our marriage, I feel as if an apology of some sort is owed.
  • 2 children and 2000 diapers. I didn't say I changed them all. Maybe ~10%.
  • 1 friend I can count on to forever tell me whenever I need to hear it that 'Those pants would go better with your black Kenneth Cole shoes'.
Only love brings out the back-of-the-napkin statistician trapped inside me. Clearly Allison married a robot. A coffee-drinking, highway-friendly, blogging, diaper-dodging, fashionable, but utterly grateful robot.