Best lego kit ever

You must see these videos: M-TRAN II auto-reconfigurable robot ‘Each block can rotate 180 degrees around the link that connects it to its mate, and each module contains a magnet that can be switched on and off, enabling it to connect to other modules in the system. Genetic algorithms allow the robot to discover new […]


Here is yet another fantastic software application from a small (one-person) firm. Seasonality from Gaucho Software is a $25 desktop weather application. Who cares, you say. After all, does that for free. But is slow, and filled with annoying chartjunk and ads. You have to load lots of pages (read, advertisements) to get […]

Four Days on Rails

Since we’ve been pimping Rails, why not point to this helpful toolbox. “There have been many extravagant claims made about Rails. For example, Curt Hibbs’ Rolling with Ruby on Rails claimed that you could develop a web application at least ten times faster with Rails than you could with a typical Java framework… The article […]

Visualizing Data

This is an amazing data visualization.

The reality of running a weblog

I didn’t pay attention to Notio for a month, and accumulated nearly 900 comment spams. I deleted with extreme prejeduce. This morning I found a new legitimate comment on an older post. If I perhaps accidentially deleted a comment you made, my apologies. Comments are one of the great aspects of weblogs; I’m hesitant to […]

Nofollow Atribute

I have installed the Moveable Type “nofollow” plug-in to try and help deter comment spam. If you’re running a weblog, most vendors are supporting this, and I highly recommend you install this on your system.

Revolution In The Valley

I had intended to read The Wisdom of Crowds, but I woke up with a severely frozen neck and upper shoulders, which was pretty bad for concentration. I cannot look up, and my left to right mobility is about 10 degrees, max. It’s hard to tell how this happened, since I have exerted approximately zero […]

Hackers & Painters

I read Paul Graham‘s book “Hackers & Painters” the other day. If you’re reading weblogs, you’re probably interested in technology, society, or both. If so, you’ll enjoy this book. Subtitled “Big Ideas from the Computer Age,” the writing is lucid and insightful, and I was filled with ideas while reading. Aaron Swartz thinks it should […]

How Sound Works

Any questions?

Futurists Beware

A friend sent along this photo, which hardly needs any discussion: Most enjoyable is how it integrates the two most important technologies of 1954, namely, the television and the automobile! Update: An anonymous commenter says it’s fake, and they’re right — thanks!

Iterative Development

New Dog Old Trick has an interesting post called The Train is Leaving the Station about date-driven vs. content-driven software releases. Actually, the New Dog’s post points to and is titled the same as Ed Sim’s post on the same topic. Excerpt from Ed: There are a couple of different ways to manage engineering releases.

Viruses could be good

Computer viruses are bad. There’s all manner of havoc they can wreak on unsuspecting users. Spyware, adware, popups, data loss, drones, hidden ftp sites, etc. etc. etc. And the talent required to write some of these viruses is astounding. Yes, there are some “script kiddies” who just cut and paste, but original virus authors are […]

Opportunity: VW-branded biodiesel

Here’s an example of an important new product opportunity. Volkswagen has a turbo diesel engine called the TDI. It’s available in the US and Canada in their Golf, Beetle, Jetta, Passat, and Tourag cars. It runs on diesel fuel, and depending on the model gets up to 50 mpg. It’s also really fun to drive; […]


As a prelude to my return to active blogging, I have upgraded to MT 3.121. Last month there were almost 1,000 comment spams on this backwater blog. Hopefully the new tools in 3.x will help manage the junk. [Update: They do. Much better, thanks.]

Contract opportunity: formatting outlines

I have a desire for some Mac OS X “glue” code, and I’m looking for thoughts on whether it would be affordable for me to contract the work. If this can be built for a small fee then I’ll be happy to contract for it. If it’s a bigger project than I imagine, perhaps I […]

SMBmeta and rapid adoption

At the Harvard event I mentioned that I thought geographic search was still a hot topic, and how Dan Bricklin’s SMBmeta proposal was a good approach. Here’s what I wrote when I first heard about it. My main point got sidetracked into a discussion of how Vindigo delivers much value, but what I was coming […]

Bob Frankston

After the webloggers roundtable 14 of us went to dinner at Bombay Cafe on Mass Ave. I ended up sitting next to Bob Frankston, who, with Dan Bricklin (also in attendance) invented VisiCalc, setting fire to the personal computer revolution and effectively defining the very essence of “killer app.” I have a lot of respect […]

Rapid product development

These are rough thoughts and I’d be interested in your comments. Some of the discussion last night got me thinking (again) about product development and why sometimes it works really well and sometimes it doesn’t. For me, the key question is: When developing products, how might users specify what they want? It’s well-known that users […]

Weblogs at Harvard

Brett and I went down to the Dave Winer’s Harvard weblog roundtable last night and had good fun. A great group of creative people. Donna wrote a live blog of the event. And Dan Bricklin took a lot of great photos. I had nice conversations with Henry Copeland and Betsy Devine. Other good reports by […]

Train kept a’rollin’

One thing I love about Mac OS X is how reliable it is under heavy use. Yesterday, all day, I just pounded on it. Six or more Terminal windows ssh’ing to various computers; Internet Explorer; Safari; Mailsmith – I love Mailsmith; Acrobat; Word; Excel; Photoshop; GoLive; BBEdit – I love BBEdit; NetNewsWire scanning RSS feeds […]