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Archive for December, 2007

On Spock, MySpace and Real Embarrassment

December 6, 2007 3 comments

I’ve written previously about Spock, but only in a dry dispassionate way. Now the shit has hit the fan, and I have to rant.

Spock really screwed me over. I mean, big time. At the office, through a series of unfortunate incidents that I won’t go into detail about, a few coworkers found my “profile” page on Spock: http://www.spock.com/Saumil-Mehta-3WLSK1rB 

And of course, the goddamn thing had a photo of me while I was chillaxing in a hot tub in South Lake Tahoe.

Sigh. What an unmitigated disaster from there on out. Now my photo might well be up on the company bulletin board.

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Categories: life, spock, tech

On The Count of Monte Cristo

December 2, 2007 Leave a comment

It has been a really long time since I blogged about a book; don’t worry, I haven’t turned into a retard who doesn’t crack a book. I’ve just been lazy is all.

When I was a kid, we didn’t read unabridged literature. We read these abridged “pocket books” with illustrations, and my ultimate absolute favorite was always Dumas’ wonderful work of loss, hope, faith, triumph and pure unadulterated vengeance.

So it was fortunate that I came across a copy of Monte Cristo while walking around Borders Palo Alto and decided to plunge into the unabridged version of the tale.

While the book in and of itself is nothing short of fantastic, it is set in France in the early nineteenth century. Consequently, there are some cultural artifacts that I simply dont understand:

  • Why the hell would you challenge a dude to a duel, then bow to him respectfully before taking his leave? When you threaten to kill someone, shouldn’t you spare the social niceties? I mean, if modern culture tells us anything, it tells us that the French ain’t the most polite people in the world to begin with!
  • Why do husbands and wives sleep in different rooms? There are several instances in the book when the husband says to the wife something to the order of,  “Let me meet you in your room in ten minutes” or “I am retiring to my room since you are being a querulous bitch”.
  • I haven’t read up on the tradition of the duel, but why would you throw a glove at someone to challenge them? Is it me, or is that the most effeminate method of trash talk of all time?

All in all, well worth the 500+ pages!

Categories: books, reviews

On Why I Love Yelp – Officially

December 1, 2007 Leave a comment

I’ve been a Y! Answers fan for quite some time now, amazed by their sheer gargantuan scale. When I first started my cushy gig at Kosmix, I wanted to integrate the Answers service into our product and noticed very soon that the service was adding 20000 resolved questions every single week. In the Health category alone!!! That is just unbelievable.

Well, recently I’ve been thinking about moving up to the city and finally checked out a place up here in the glass-and-steel-encrusted SOMA district. I don’t know a hell of a lot about living in SOMA and decided to check out Yelp with a little plea for help using their “Yelp Talk” service.

I posted a question at 6:30pm PST – and the replies started trickling in right away! That is pretty damn cool and not something that’s available on other Q&A services like Yedda or even vertical services like Trulia Voices.

Well done, Yelp! I’m glad to hear you’ve got a bunch of Facebook-style addicts on board.

Here is the full thread (with timestamps, natch) if you’d like to bask in the awesomeness as well:

http://www.yelp.com/topic/san-francisco-living-in-soma-542-brannan 

Categories: tech