October 11, 2005

jonathan schwartz is getting a dell




"Mmm...Xeon Roasted!"

Jonathan posted this pretty funny video parody that pokes fun at Dell/Intel servers for running hot.

The latest generation of servers do consume enormous amounts of power, and with the increased density of multiprocessor boxes and blades, the power density in a standard rack footprint is already heading north of 15kW per rack. That's a lotta power, and most data centers are ill-equipped to cool and deliver power at this level. Yes, it's true that the current round of AMD Opterons are more power efficient than the latest Intel Xeon CPUs, so Sun, an AMD shop, can legitimately poke Dell, an Intel loyalist. But the trend is not our friend on this -- computers are going to keep on dissipating more power in smaller volumes, and IT guys are going to want it all in less floorspace. So no matter whose boxes you use, you've got a problem.

This is actually a great argument for moving to the utility model of computing -- take all these problems out of the customer's hair and just provide them with a managed, on demand service. Maybe Jonathan's next video should be "Dell Dude, Where's My Datacenter?"

Posted by Gene at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2005


I had never seen this machine before, but I think it takes the grand prize for the most over the top, gizmo-laden pinball game evar. Can you name that game?


"Get hipper...with flippers!"

Posted by Gene at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

name that game

Back in the Wonder Years, I spent many long hours (and many many quarters ;-) in front of classic pinball and early videogame machines. I was never very good at Space Wars, but I loved the silver balls, and I can remember vivdly the first time I heard that deep bass thump of the Space Invaders aliens marching into our lives. So our trip to the California Extreme arcade games show this weekend was definitely a pilgrimage to the past.


So here's an easy test for you afficionados -- name that game:


Posted by Gene at 12:44 PM | Comments (1)

July 14, 2005

all potters eve

With All Potters Eve just around the corner, let's not forget this stroke of genius...

Posted by Gene at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2005

the queen of fruits


Just deleted a comment spam advertising mangosteen. Weird, apparently the "queen of fruits" has some purported medicinal qualities (what the heck are xanthones?) and so the network marketing/spammer crowd is all over it. Well I will attest that I found it very nice to eat, but it didn't seem to improve my life in any discernible fashion. Oh well.

Posted by Gene at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2005

we've got kittens

Two of 'em. Film at eleven.

Posted by Gene at 11:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 20, 2005


I like the ritual of giving blood. It's a highly structured process designed to simultaneously put you at ease, filter out high risk candidates, make you feel special, collect needed data, grab the precious bodily fluids, and get you to come back again real soon now.

Today's script was pretty much like every other time I've gone: a series of familiar scenes in a standard order, but with small new variations at each step. The greeting. The clipboard and questionnaire. The taking of vital signs and blood chemistry. The interview (including the consultation of maps). The barcode. The donor room. Which arm. The pack (what’s your name?). The cuff and squeezer. The iodine. The needle. Flow. The filling of extra tubes. The removal of the needle, and raising of the arm. The bandage. Ahh, at last the juice and snacks (including bonus spilled juice ;-). And just for today, a new element -- the 3 gallon gift, w00t! But don't get too excited, the special recognition board for multi-gallon donors tops out with one guy who has given 36 gallons...yes folks, that's 288 needle sticks, 288 pounds of blood, and about 20 continuous days of bleeding into little plastic bags. Oh, and perhaps a few lives saved, but you know, I'm just in it for the cookies myself.

Posted by Gene at 12:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 15, 2005

February 20, 2005

we were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert...


Farewell Hunter.

Posted by Gene at 10:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 18, 2005

a couple of good consumer privacy things

These are not really new, but they are not well publicized and the credit agencies are deliberately keeping them obscure, so it's worth a mention. I have tried both of these services, and as far as I can tell they are entirely legitimate.

In the US, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the major credit tracking agencies to provide an annual free credit report for consumers. The rollout of this program is staged by region of the US; it is already available for the West, and will cover the upper Midwest as of March 1. "Interestingly" (infuriatingly), the credit agencies have designed the free report website (https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp) so that it does not allow direct linking. Fortunately, EPIC has provided an automatic redirect page to the free credit report website.

You can also opt out of receiving those annoying pre-approved credit card offers, through a website (https://www.optoutprescreen.com) run by the same credit reporting agencies. Same deal on direct linking and redirects. Use this redirect page to opt out of credit card offers. The site seemed a little squirrely when I used it, so make sure you get the confirmation page that says your submission was received.

[via EPIC and LifeHacker]

Posted by Gene at 09:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 01, 2004

make sure your voice is heard

If you're an American, be sure you go down to your friendly neighborhood polling place tomorrow, and vote. I'm personally voting against [placeholder for Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Wolfowitz, Rove, Poindexter, and the rest of the extremist bastards that have stolen my country], and against the pro-development bloc that wants to control my city council, and for my incumbent legislators, and against a bunch of dimwitted California propositions, but I don't care whether you agree with me or not. Just exercise your right and responsibility as a free citizen of the USA, and VOTE! No excuses, go do it. And if you don't vote, then come Wednseday when you're pissed about the outcome, just shut up, because you don't get to complain unless you VOTED. Okay?

Posted by Gene at 06:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 20, 2004

contextual dissonance

The Jon-Stewart-on-Crossfire thing has been saturation blogged, but it's still buzzing around in my head. I mean, wasn't it weird to see Jon Stewart outside of his regular contextual frame, dropped into and disrupting a completely different frame? It was a bit like reading Beetle Bailey, except that Uncle Duke had dropped by from Doonesbury for a strategy session with General Halftrack and Lt. Fuzz.


fig 1. familiar daily show context


fig 2. jarring cnn context

Compare and contrast.

Posted by Gene at 06:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 18, 2004

grab bag

No time to chat!

William Gibson is blogging again.


Because the United States currently has, as Jack Womack so succintly puts it, a president who makes Richard Nixon look like Abraham Lincoln.

And because, as the Spanish philospher Unamuno said, "At times, to be silent is to lie."

The New York Times endorses John Kerry. Big time.

Amazing, heart-wrenching, high-larious: Jon Stewart on CNN's Crossfire. Huge download, but worth every penny.

Tom Tomorrow

Jay Rosen: cogent analysis on the Sinclair Broadcast affair.

Posted by Gene at 10:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 14, 2004


I got the call tonight, so I'm giving blood this weekendas a directed donor for a patient in need. You should consider it too; when was the last time you gave a pint? Type O, type A in short supply this week around here, maybe where you live too. It's one of the most selfless acts of kindness available to you, guaranteed to make you a better person. But more importantly, free POG and cookies when you're done!

Posted by Gene at 10:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

a fine conundrum

This is an excellent wine, this Conundrum spun from Caymus. Consistently one of my favorites over the last decade. Good fuel for bloggers, IM ever so HO.

Posted by Gene at 10:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 02, 2004

the billionaires are coming, we're doomed

Omigawsh: Billionaires for Bush.

Billionaires for Bush is a grassroots network of corporate lobbyists, decadent heiresses, Halliburton CEOs, and other winners under George W. Bush's economic policies. Headquartered in Wall Street and with over 60 chapters nationwide, we'll give whatever it takes to ensure four more years of putting profit over people. After all, we know a good president when we buy one.

[via zephoria]

Posted by Gene at 04:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

how about we debate over a beer?

I sat down and watched the first Bush/Kerry debate last night, and a surprising thing happened: I realized that I kind of liked George Bush. Not as president, mind you; I'm a firmly committed vote against the plague of verminous hate-and-fear-mongers that infest the W administration like maggots. But as an imperfect, funny, yet passionate product of heartland America, George Bush has a certain personal appeal. I'd like to have a beer with the guy.

John Kerry certainly came off better in the context of the debate. He was more articulate, had better logical arguments, was better versed in issues and better prepared with data. He also showed more physical poise and self-control. But in the context of getting to know the men behind the candidacies, I found myself responding more warmly to W rather than Kerry.


Posted by Gene at 10:21 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 03, 2004

brands are tedious, purpose is good

Since we're thinking a bit about brand image, I'd like to point out that this hugh macleod cartoon packs a lot of truth into a small space:


Brand love may be well and good, but truly, brands don't love you back.

Anyway, so Hugh's got a good rant going, which he calls the Hughtrain (heh), in which he shouts: "THE MARKET FOR SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN IS INFINITE." Well worth reading, so what are you waiting for? Stop screwing around on this boring site and go read something intelligent!

[via Ben Hammersley]

Posted by Gene at 12:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 28, 2004

this is not from around here

protea flowers are from outer space

Lovely outer space flower, Maui HI April 2004

Posted by Gene at 03:27 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 06, 2004

you're a stupid dumbass

I'm sick like a sick dog with some nasty flu bug, but I just couldn't resist this. You know, I don't really believe that Bush is a stupid dumbass. But when he says stuff like this, I really have to wonder about my beliefs.

(Context is Bush's speech today to the UNITY: Journalists of Color conference)

Mark Trahant, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and member, Native American Journalist Association: "What do you think tribal sovereignty means in the 21st century, and how do we resolve conflicts between tribes and the federal and state governments?"

President Bush: "Yeah. Uh, tribal sovereignty means that, it's sovereign. You're a... you're a... you've been given sovereignty and you're viewed as a sovereign entity. (pause, audience laughter) And therefore the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities."


(Full text of speech and Q&A at whitehouse.com, er, gov)

Posted by Gene at 10:21 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

April 19, 2004

what i've been doing at work

Some things I've been working on at my day job are going public today...

Movie-making magic enhanced with utility computing power

"HP Labs goes Hollywood"

Posted by Gene at 10:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 06, 2004

bichon frise demonic energy

Merrydeath Yayanos finds this photo of a possessed Bichon Frise, causing a frisson of chills down my spine. I realize that I have seen this too...


Posted by Gene at 07:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 12, 2003


Things to do for Ubicomp: "Start taking pictures of your meals when you arrive in Seattle and upload them to http://cc.media.mit.edu/ubmeal/"

Here's my first contribution.

Posted by Gene at 03:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 07, 2003

silicon valley 4.0

SV4.0 turned out to be a fun conference, despite the expected handwringing. The basic premise was, SV Version 1.0 was semiconductors, v2.0 was PCs, v3.0 was the Internet, so what will v4.0 be? Not-so-subtle subtexts included: what is the state of venture investing, the maturation of information technology, and will the Valley be where 4.0 happens at all?

And the answers are? A bit fuzzy, but:

* 4.0 is wireless, or biotech, or nanotech, or sensor nets, or the digital consumer, or a reinvigorated Internet sector, or some hybrid of these.

* VCs are still quite cautious, but also surprisingly optimistic about the next 6-18 months.

* Yes, IT is maturing. But Geoffrey Moore asserts we are now in "the indefinitely elastic middle", a long, productive period between the wild ramp-up of the tornado and the slow inevitable decline.

* The Valley is still relevant, especially because of the depth of talent, the entrepreneurial infrastructure, and the unparalleled access to capital. However, it's a global world, and India and China represent game-changing players on the world's tech stage.

Some notable sound bites (quotes are very approximate since I'm a lousy transcriber):

Judy Estrin, on being introduced as having helped Vint Cerf invent the Internet protocols: "There are already enough 'Fathers of the Internet'; Vint Cerf was leading a group developing TCP, and I was the masters student who got up early in the morning to test the link to London"

John Sculley: "Not going to the Intel platform was one of the biggest strategic mistakes Apple ever made"

Geoffrey Moore: "Remember, 1.0, 20. and 3.0 are still here...now you have a bigger canvas to paint on"

Mike Moritz, on the secret of Sequoia Capital's investing success: "Staying awake"

Rich Karlgaard, coining a phrase after a rant by Heidi Roizen: "Now we have Roizen's Rule: 'A bad software company costs 3 times as much as a good software company'"

Janice Roberts: "The days of Super Bowl commercials for pre-revenue companies, are over"

Best talks of the day: Geoffrey Moore, Rethinking Innovation (he was kind enough to post his slides, what a class act)

Joseph Chamie, director of demographics for the UN ("I have 191 country bosses"), who stole the show from the venture business cats who were his fellow panelists. Some choice bits:

* "You need to understand, there is a new international population order"
* World population growth is happening in the developing nations; by 2050 India will have 1.5 billion people. The entire European Union growth in all of 2000 was equalled by India in the first 6 days of the year
* The US will have 400M people by 2050
* There will be many new "longevity millionaires" living more than 1 million hours (114+ years)
* Women are moving into the labor force globally, which will effectively double Earth's mental capacity
* In 2050, world pop ~9 billion, stabilizing around 10B in 2100
* They are starting to look at 300 year forecasts (!)

A few intriguing demos were shown:

* Mirra (get one. just do it)
* IXI Mobile's "Personal Mobile Gateway" (SW platform play putting server and router on phones/personal bricks and gatewaying to low cost specialized devices on the PAN)
* ManyOne Network (Joe Firmage's attempt to create Web 2.0 by doing a graphical 3D capable caching browser, seemed kind of spacey but maybe that's just Joe)
* Treo 600 and the Brain (Jeff Hawkins shows off the cool new Treo, and speaks mysteriously about a revolution in understanding the neocortex and modelling it in silicon)

Plus good chow, good networking, and a surprise appearance by my old pal Roseanne.

Posted by Gene at 11:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 06, 2003

The future of the future

I'll be at Silicon Valley 4.0 tomorrow. It's taglined as "The Future of the Future", though I'm sure we'll be lucky if we get much more than "The Future of the Past and Other Handwringing About the Post-Bubble Valley" or something like that.

As a leading indicator, I called up and was told there's no conference WiFi, and I was also informed they will not allow power cords in the auditorium "because of the safety hazard". So I'll be husbanding my precious battery power accordingly, sigh.

Actually, the speaking lineup is packed with local luminaries, so it could turn out to be a lot of fun. I'm cautiously optimistic. Well, at the very least it'll be a chance to see the new Computer History Museum ;-)

Posted by Gene at 08:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2003

you have no privacy, get over it

Well who the heck are these guys?

Posted by Gene at 11:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack