Jeff Sexton

Thursday, August 19, 2010


"Forget deep-fried Mars bar. One of the unhealthiest snacks in the world can now be found in Ukraine."

 Chocolate covered pork fat...

Last Thursday, Out of Control? 

"Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard wants to beef up police patrols to crack down on musicians who play too loud or too long at Last Thursday, the monthly street festival along Northeast Alberta Street. Separately, city neighborhood officials have floated the idea of taking contact information for festival vendors."

If supporters of Last Thursday want the event to continue, then local residents and Alberta businesses are going to have to step up and take ownership of the event - and pay for some of the costs.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

MS Lost

Logo for the Microsoft Corporation, used until...Image via Wikipedia

"Microsoft has "lost a generation" of users — but from this number-cruncher's point of view, the situation is worse than Microsoft's CEO concedes."

Just one generation?

Getting users used to products at an early stage has served Microsoft well in the past. But eventually, the products have to actually be good.


"The next Patch Tuesday, scheduled for August 10, will include 14 bulletins, eight of which are rated critical, Microsoft's highest severity classification, generally reserved for bugs that can be exploited to remotely execute malware on vulnerable systems with little or no interaction on the part of the end user."
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Image representing Google Wave as depicted in ...Image via CrunchBase

Google is ending development on Wave because it has "not seen the user adoption we would have liked." Why has Wave not been a success? There will be a lot of commentary on this, and I'd predict that the main point made will be that Wave provided little that wasn't being done already by other good applications, including cloud applications from Google itself like Docs and Buzz. But I think this misses the mark. After all, the same thing is true of Twitter whose popularity continues to baffle.

It is true that a typical user sees Wave as a communications tool. As such, the very first concern is, "do I the need to check both email and Wave now?"

This point reveals one thing Google could have done a better job of. Wave should have been folded into GMail at least, if not also Reader and Docs right from the beginning. Wave as a stand alone tool (even going to far as to have its own independent user names!) should come as no surprise however given how Google seems to pursue it projects as a multitude of completely independent tracks - toss everything out there, go with what flies.

And so Wave's presentation to the world invites missing its most interesting feature; what Wave is, a question that seemed to be asked endlessly.

What Wave actually does, is provide a federated server environment that can keep synchronized a complex XML structure. This is incredibly powerful, with significant business applications well outside people chatting and sharing a photo "live". I hope Google doesn't miss this point. I don't think they do, since the official blog entry includes this:

"...we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects."

Wave technology in other products? Yes, please.

Aside from the ability to synchronize and revision complex data, Wave has a second innovation going for it in federation. Wave servers can be set up and put on line by anyone, anywhere, and will communication with each other, just like email servers, or MTAs, do. In other words Google doesn't have Wave all locked down to its own hosts only. This is sure something one could never picture the likes of Microsoft doing. And its something that adds exponential value to Wave.

I hope it has a future, in some new form. I think it will.

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New Pok Pok

Image of downtown Prescott, ArizonaImage via Wikipedia

"Foodie haven Pok Pok restaurant in Southeast Portland is opening an outlet at NE 15th and Prescott."

No, not Prescott Arizona.
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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Modes of Time

The Passage of TimeImage by ToniVC via Flickr“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.”

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

* * *

"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past."
-- Thomas Jefferson

* * *

"We seem to be going through a period of nostalgia, and everyone seems to think yesterday was better than today. I don't think it was, and I would advise you not to wait ten years before admitting today was great. If you're hung up on nostalgia, pretend today is yesterday and just go out and have one hell of a time."
-- Art Buchwald

* * *

Some food for thought... Philip Zimbardo’s remarkable talk on the Secret Powers of Time:

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A Two Level Economy

Mvc-017xImage via Wikipedia

"MR. ALAN GREENSPAN: …I think we’re in a pause in a recovery, a modest recovery. But a pause in the modest recovery feels like quasi recession. Our problem, basically, is that we have a very distorted economy in the sense that there has been a significant recovery in a limited area of the economy amongst high-income individuals who have just had $800 billion added to their
401(k)s and are spending it and are carrying what consumption there is. Large banks, who are doing much better, and large corporations, whom you point out and the — and everyone’s pointing out, are in excellent shape. The rest of the economy, small business, small banks, and a very significant amount of the labor force, which is in tragic unemployment, long-term unemployment, that is pulling the economy apart. The average of those two is what we are looking at, but they are fundamentally two separate types of economy."

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