Archive for May, 2008

Challenge to the Techmeme Blogosphere: One Day without a Twitter Post

Update: As expected, I FAILED.

This retarded crap has to STOP. It makes Silicon Valley and the people who cover it look like a bunch of little girls obsessing over Lauren Conrad. Or Hannah Montana. Or some other floozy, take your pick.

I like Twitter. I do. I use it all the time. But I swear I get ticked off when I can’t plow through a single frigging major tech news blog without some writer bitching about Twitter. Or praising Twitter. Or shedding tears everyt time the goddamn things goes down. Or comes up. Or stays alive for greater than 6.47 hours. Or talking about its business model, perceived and otherwise.

Bloggers, trust me. We’ve heard it all. We don’t care. Twitter doesn’t care. God doesn’t care. You look like idiots with your shameless self-serving pandering. Just because you don’t get charged printing costs is no reason to abuse the “Publish” button.

Just to get this out of way, the fact that I am doing a Twitter post myself is not lost on me. But I’m not a big name blog site, so I don’t count. So there.

Categories: snarky, tech

I’m officially jumping on the six word bandwagon

May 19, 2008 1 comment

I love life, reading, comedy and technolgy. That’s six words. So how cool is it that I found something that combines all four?

I heard about this one from our co-founder – SMITH magazine asked users to subscribe six word “nano-memoirs” via Twitter last year. The submissions, which have now been collected into – what else – a book, are nothing short of amazing.

I especially love the video with the photos and the ultra-sunshine song “Stretch” by Pedalsped.

Six-Word Memoir book preview from SMITHmag on Vimeo.

Categories: life

Just started reading “The Big Switch”

Nick Carr is a fantastic writer. I’m super excited. More when I plow through this bad boy.

Categories: life

SF Cabbie Stereotype: The Gearhead

May 11, 2008 2 comments

This is classic Bay Area. So I get into a cab last night at 8th and Market and 1130pm, slightly tired but juiced up and ready to party it up in the Marina district in SF.

Cabbie was friendlier than usual and we started chewing the fat about the weather, the summer and other things you’d expect to talk to cabbies about.

Conversation suddenly turned to how I was being very productive on Caltrain because of my laptop card. I virtual-patted myself on the back for my attention to efficiency. I was awesome.

But the other shoe dropped when my cabbie disclosed that he had hacked his iPhone in order to be able to tether the laptop to the modem over the EDGE network.


Before I had time to violently retch at my unsavory faceplant, ol’ boy busted out his iPhone and showed me all the cool things that he’d done with it, including a screensaver of a beer mug, a Windows XP startup sound and other myriad wonders enabled with the help of a “bunch of hacker blogs”.

Double gulp. Was this guy a writer for Engadget and just driving a cab for shits and giggles?

He ended the ride with countering my assertion of a 200 dollar 3g iPhone and claimed that the blogger who predicted it had been wrong many times in the past.

At this point, I swallowed my pride, vowed never to underestimate a cabdriver, and rolled into the bar to become one with a bunch of shallow-ass Marina people.

Categories: life, tech Tags: , ,

On SF Cabbie Stereotypes

This has got to be a new category on this blog; if I’m spending 40 bucks a week on cabs, I may as well as write about WTF these guys talk about. Angry cabbie, loquacious cabbie, porno cabbie, gearhead cabbie. Its all coming.

Categories: 1

Saumil’s Guide to stupid ValleySpeak: Cycles

May 9, 2008 3 comments

Why do Silicon Valley types find it so necessary to inject ridiculously lame software/hardware terminology into everyday conversation? Is it not enough to obsess over algorithms during our morning showers? Does it leave a void if we can’t accost a poor sap to discuss the joys of being a chirp-chirp status update robot?

When ordinary, unpretentious people in Indiana need to get shit done by their employees, the conversation is very simple.

Boss: “Employee #x, I need this shit done. Now. Drop everything else”. [Employee doesn’t even respond, gets on it].

But that would way too normal for the Valley. What’s the point if you can’t talk about clock cycles? We’ve got to pull bullshit like, “Hi Karen, what do your cycles look like for the next month?”. Fellas! Remember, when you ask a lady about her monthly cycles in a hallway conversation, she may slap you. With good reason.

Same goes for begging for “bandwidth” when a project is important. People’s time is not a dumb pipe. This shit has got to stop.

Categories: life, silicon valley, snarky, tech

On Craigslist dating and web developers

May 6, 2008 3 comments

Okay, I don’t really keep up with all the sneaky shit that people do on Craigslist Wild Encounters, etc. but this one is a doozy.

So I’m out having beers at Eddie Rickenbacker’s with my fellow Stanford alum MJR. After we’ve exhausted our supply of stupid tech gossip and other industry happenings, talk turns to my friend’s personal life. I ask him where he met his girlfriend and he replies like a real straight shooter, “Craigslist!! Worked like a charm the first time itself!“.

I start to laugh my ass off in disbelief when MJR, a true web geek takes it one step farther.

“I really wanted to a/b test which picture would work the best.”


If you know what a/b tests are, you are likely busting your guts. If you don’t, skip this post.

So basically, here are the steps for you Craigslist daters:

  • Host the image on your own server when you post the ad. I didn’t even think you could do <img src/> on Craigslist with src pointing to a third party site. Live and learn.
  • Rotate through the images on your server
  • Measure response rates. Could be via a post-fact questionnaire but I wouldn’t mind more details from MJR on how to do this. Is there a way to connect a click on the “send email” link with a particular img file? Since the click event can’t be logged by third party server apart from Craigslist, how do you do this?

All in all, hilarious, though.

Categories: life, silicon valley, tech Tags: , ,

Saumil’s Guide to stupid ValleySpeak: Rock Star Developers

If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I hate stupid corporate terms that I come across in the Valley. Here is my previous coverage:

Today’s phrase is “Rock Star Developers”.

Everytime you hear a startup founder or a hiring dev manager, its the same goddamn grind: “We’re looking for rock star developers”. I’ve even had some morons come to me and say, “Do you know any rock stars?”. I am simply supposed to know that they’re talking about programmers, not The Chili Peppers. Oh how juvenile of me for questioning your assumptions.

Okay, let me set the record straight: COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS ARE NOT ROCK STARS. THEY ARE NOT ROCK STARS. THEY ARE NOT ROCK STARS. I get it – you’re referring to their competence level, but please. The comparisons are ridiculous. Ask me for von Neumann clones, then, not for people with a drug problem.

Just because a guy smells like a Linux box or hasn’t seen the inside of a gym in 3 years does NOT MAKE HIM A ROCK STAR.

Developers are fine with being developers. They like – nay, love – to build scalable systems. They love to push pixels around until every single one aligns perfectly to their command. Good ones obsess over the efficiency of their algorithms. They fix bugs and document their code (okay, scratch that last one).

No developer I’ve met in my nine years learning and working with computer scientists has said to me, “Boy, I wish a groupie would do lines on the back of this ThinkPad”. Does that really surprise you???

So quit your bogus rockstar developer fantasy. And just deal with the fact that you work in the kingdom of geeks WHO ARE NOT ROCK STARS.

Update: The stupidity never stops. Was hauling tail down 101 this morning and saw a large billboard in San Mateo by obsessed-with-pink Zecco that screamed the following three words: “Rockstar Developers Wanted”. Sigh.

Sprint Customer Service sucks beyond belief

I thought I was going to be more productive with a mobile broadband card. I gutted my previous provider – cingular – in favor of Sprint, which supposedly has better data service.

Wrong answer! I’ve spent three hours this weekend trying to get this goddamn thing activated, to no avail.

Categories: 1

Xobni is officially fantastic

May 2, 2008 3 comments

I know, I know, I tend to get over-excited about these things. I don’t care. I’ve been following Xobni from a distance and was let into the private beta today (funnily enough, I just met their co-founder very briefly last night).

This product rules. I don’t know how or if they’ll ever make money or stand alone, but the fact that this functionality wasn’t built organically by one of the big email client vendors (cough MSFT) is a potent reminder of why startups exist. In either case, I don’t care about their monetary concerns.

Their product is the bomb – even the parlor tricks they pull (fastest response from me to someone else) are sick.

Categories: tech Tags: