BlogHer, BlogHim

I think BlogHer is wonderful but I don't think it's a good idea to make room for more men at BlogHer. IMHO, the idea makes as much sense as making room for men in the ladies room: uncomfortable for both genders. Only when greatly out numbered, men will be pacified enough to contribute constructively to BlogHer. I think 1/3 is the most the conference can handle without turning on alpha male bits among attending men and disturbing the women into their clamshell.

Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP

Woot. 24-inch LCD display (Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP) I ordered last week arrived. I don't typically upgrade monitor and computer at the same time to keep the shopping madness under control, so good reviews and reasonable price (~$700) clicked. Installation was dead simple and the screen is very sharp and responsive without a single dead pixel. What I like the most about this size LCD is that DPI is just right for my eyes when it's pushed back to the far edge of my desk.

  • Babe Not Included

AFLAX and Aptana IDE

Paul Colton and team at Aptana are a wild bunch. They wrote AFLAX, an open source javascript library that opens new doors for AJAX webapps by leveraging Flash. Just take a look at this AFLAX.Canvas preview demo. Who in their right mind would implement DIV-based Canvas for smooth user experience degrading? It sounds easy in theory but not in practice because you have to implement the Canvas drawing API in pure JavaScript. Crazy! I love that kind of crazyness. 😉

They are smart too because, instead of trying to compete with other popular AJAX libraries, they integrated with them (Dojo, MochiKit, and Prototype with Rico so far).

Under the hood, AFLAX requires Flash 8 or later because it uses the ExternalInterface feature which allows a Flash movie to expose an API accessible from JavaScript. The downside is that I don't think Flash 8/9 penetration is anywhere near ubiquity yet. But recent popularity of podcasting and ready-to-serve media services like YouTube and MySpace need the new features provided by Flash 8 and 9 for best UX so I am optimistic about AFLAX.

Last but not least, Aptana is building an Eclipse-based IDE for AJAX webapps in general and AFLAX in particular. Checkout some Aptana IDE screencasts. Cool.

My thumbs are UP for AFLAX and Aptana IDE. I sure hope they have enough energy left to get to the finishing line cuz I can see how far they dragged the mountain already.

A Question for the AFLAX team: what's with stack overflows in demos? They seem to occur during page transition.

Link Boycott

If Friendster heads in the wrong direction with their social networking patent, I think a link boycott should be called for. How does link boycott work? A link boycott is intended to starve a domain out of the Web by a) refusing to serve requests from a link from the target site and b) directing all links to target site to elsewhere. That leaves only bookmarks as the sole onramp to the target suckster. Ouch, that should hurt.

a) is easy to do. b) take some massaging. All this can be implemented transparently with a proxy or filter.

I hope Friendster tries to push the issue. I want to see how effective link boycott can be in practice. Note that such a boycott won't be as effective against China because links across language barriers is not very strong. Still, I think link bocotting China could be annoying enough to force them to abandon broad censorship, particularly when the next Olympic nears.

MB/MBP Reliability Survey

Interesting preliminary survey results from Macintouch:

  • Nearly 11% report sudden shutdowns, 19% "the buzz", 12% "the moo", 7% warped lid, 10% AirPort dropouts, and 11% a refusal to wake from sleep. 14% report "other" problems, with excessive heat being the leading write-in candidate.
  • …nearly 5% of the MacBook/MacBook Pro models have needed motherboard replacements, 4.4% battery replacement, and nearly 5% "other" repairs. The DC Inverter Board for the display is the leading write-in for repairs, plus a large handful of complete computer replacements.
  • Just six people reported a melted MagSafe connector (0.2%), with another 30 (1.0%) reporting fraying, and an additional 38 (1.3%) reporting a loose connector.

Worse than I thought. More revealing is this chart:

My biased reading is that MB/MBP buyers have 60% chance of getting a 'perfect' machine and 3-8% chance of getting a machine with enough serious problems to regret buying MB/MBP. I hope Apple improves the numbers with Merom-equiped MB/MBP.

Comparing AJAX Libraries

Dan Webb compares four popular AJAX libraries (Dojo, Prototype, Yahoo UI, and Mochikit). Links are broken and the article is already more than month old 😉 but it's a good read. I ran into it while wrestling with Dojo toolkit which JotSpot uses and sponsors. It doesn't mention Google Web Toolkit (GWT) though which is understandable since GWT is a rather odd beast, odd in the sense it made me chuckle and shake my head.

Among the four, I like Dojo although trying to use it made me feel like I was wrestling a fat sweaty lady. Dojo, indeed. Doc! I am bleeding over here!

Sales Roundup Podcasts

I never got into habit of listening to podcast (probably because I don't jog nor drive much) but, while I am experimenting with some OPML apps, I am running into enjoyable podcasts which I wanted to share.

BTW, I tend to listen 'out-of-the-box', meaning podcasts that offer glimpses of other industries or perspectives I don't usually have regular access to.

Anyway, I've enjoyed listening to SalesRoundup today. SalesRoundup is a weekly podcast by Joe & Mike, two experienced tech salesmen. Not everything is new to me and I don't agree with everything they say but it was rewarding to listen to their perspectives and problems they face.

To Joe & Mike: could you guys do a show on selling open source products/services? What are the challenges and strategies? What works and what doesn't?

New Experiments

I am setting up two domains for some experimental services: appily.com and myidpage.com (they are either in DNS transition or empty so don't bother going there yet). Appily will be my workbench of sort for myriads of experimental webapps. First one will likely be OPML related. MyIDPage.com is intended to be the identity portal for Appily services all of which I'll talk about when they jell and firm up.

Lube for YouTube

John Battelle's post on YouTube valuation and comments are interesting. My take is that the fact that people are arguing about risks to YouTube's business model make the risks real enough.

If I was in YouTube's shoes (I wish, hehe), I would adopt bartering to the business model in which content owners receives some adspace and/or some editorial control over pages that uses their copyrighted content.

Here are the two main reasons why I think YouTube can make this work:

  1. YouTube is free marketing resource to many copyrighted content owners. Clips from TV shows or movies promote the content just like TV and radio ads and movie trailers do. If done right, YouTube can even charge companies for YouTube service.
  2. Giving copyright owners some editorial control will ease their concerns over abuses like people posting full contents in pieces or spoiler clips that reveal key parts of newly released movie.

To implement this, YouTube will have to add automated IP claim processing service that automates most claims by managing risks through sampling and account rating while shifting much of the manual work to the claim submitters and clip posters. No, this won't be easy an easy job but IMHO doable.