October 1, 2006

Closing out my tabs: some quickies

Posted in Fun, Links, Search, Software at 12:23 am by mj

Some things that have remained in my open Firefox tabs…some, for weeks…which I’ve realized I’m never going to blog by themselves, but I still want to share.


Why Search Sucks
Danny Sullivan on Why Search Sucks & You Won’t Fix It The Way You Think. A nice look at the relatively static history of (web) search UIs and some of the more interesting experiments. All of which give too many options in an unintuitive way.


Mad Money: Or Just Mad?
Is the Cramer Effect costing average investors money?

I gave Cramer’s advice on “markup week” a test. There are already good tracking blogs out there: Mad Money Machine, Mad Money Recap, and, for longer-term performance, Booyah Boy Audit has pretty graphs.

My result was mixed. Up 1.1% following his advice to a tee. So, with $10K to invest, and (very) low trading fees, you could be up $100 for the week.

Sounds low, but if all weeks performed just as well, a 50% pre-tax annual return on your discretionary investment income is pretty good. Most of his advice, though, is longer-term than one week.


Best rant of the year
Leon Spencer responding to Tim Bray on domain-specific markup languages in Ruby.

Frankly, if you’re embedding enough HTML markup in your code to make it worthwhile to create, use, or even argue over HTML-like DSLs…you’re doing something wrong.

Now, (ir)regular expressions and XPath, on the other hand…


Is YouTube Worth Buying?
Mark Cuban says no. True, YouTube is big only because of all the illegal or questionable content. (Odd how they do a good job of policing porn, though.) But don’t forget its name. It is the Napster of its time. It could be burned to the ground by the RIAA, MPAA, SAG, WGA, and NCAA, and still…it will rise again, in some form or another, under one ownership or another. That could be valuable. Hell, even Netscape is still kinda sorta in some weird, scandalous way “recognizable” today.

How much would it take to make a YouTube “killer” in six months? Let’s go all out and hire a team of 100 engineers (overkill). 1000 high-end servers (overkill). SpammingViral Marketing like nobody’s seen since MySpace (overkill). Add in PHB overhead (always overkill). Total cost? Maybe $80M.

So is the name and the (unloyal, but impressionable) audience worth $920+M? I don’t think so.

Which just means we’re looking at a purchase price of about $3B by January. You read it here first.


“Jim Mcgreevey” does Letterman’s Top Ten List
I was just thinking how I rarely watch Letterman anymore… and I miss the best Top Ten in probably five years. (Thanks, YouTube!)

Would they have allowed this on the air 10 years ago?


That’s enough tabs for tonight…

November 12, 2005

Restarting my links: first up, joannejacobs.com

Posted in Education, Links at 12:15 pm by mj

I’ve decided to start over on the blog links I show over to the right, and introduce new links one-by-one as I talk about them. This will help me:

  1. keep only the good ones listed,
  2. prune my normal reading list,
  3. contribute more than simple links (Mindless Link Propagation is just so evil), and
  4. ensure I’m finding new blogs

First up is joannejacobs.com, a blog about education. Well, mostly she writes about problems in education, or innovative techniques that teachers find to accomplish great things in spite of a broken system. That she’s not a teacher herself probably discredits her in the eyes of some–particularly those who have a political agenda she has ridiculed at some point–but she finds excellent articles and provides succinct commentary.

I found Joanne’s blog through Findory, which I’ve started evaluating to see if its recommendation/personalization engine is as good as I’ve heard. As I prepare more for being a parent (no, I am NOT pregnant–and neither is my wife), education and childrearing resources are something I’ve started seeking out.

I’ve always been interested, but have just given up on what I see as a fundamentally broken, corrupt educational system that will eventually implode. Judging from some of Joanne’s stories–school districts removing history from their curriculum, high school teachers forcing students to agree with political polemics, teachers refusing to use best practices to teach math resulting in students who can’t calculate change, not to mention “intelligent design”–I’m not far off.

But going into parenting, as with any endeavour, you can’t be ignorant. Not only do you have to know what to do correctly, you have to know what’s being done wrong so you can prepare for and correct it in your own sphere of influence.

I haven’t been reading her long, but I’m sure she’ll still be in my regular line-up two years from now.