Friday, April 9, 2010

California Drivers

Growing up in the mountains of Colorado, I always just assumed that all the drivers I saw from California were driving slow because they couldn’t handle the mountainous roads we have there.  After driving on Highway 1 north of San Francisco I have found that, in fact, the exact opposite is true – their Department Of Transportation is just way better than ours.

In Colorado, when you see a sign that says to take the next turn at 25MPH, it can be assumed that the actual safe driving speed is closer to 45MPH. On Highway 1, we spent 6 straight hours of tight, hairpin turns, and I can now verify that every single one of those signs is perfectly accurate.  Especially the ones that say 10MPH (!).

In addition, according to my new Fuzzbuster, there is an invisible cop once every 15 minutes or so, even in the most remote regions of this state.  I’m sure these aren't actually cops, but rather small installations that just record the speeds of vehicles, and maybe take pictures of their license plate. Along some stretches, I was actually most likely getting pinged by an aircraft somewhere over head (here in CA, for whatever reason, they seem to be required to tell you by what method your speed is going to be determined on every single speed limit sign – we’ve travelled perhaps 100 or so miles of these special aircraft-speed-enforcement zones).

Monday, April 5, 2010

Leaving the Nest

As a young man, one of the hardest things I have ever had to do has come to be: I’m leaving my home of the last 25 years today, in my effort to travel to Seattle, WA, in order to accept a dream job at the venerated Microsoft Corporation.

Yesterday was one of the most emotionally racking experiences I’ve ever had – saying good-bye to my family. My mother was the first to cry, but everyone else followed soon thereafter; tears streamed down our faces for what seemed like an hour, while I gave everyone one last hug.

I have planned what is sure to be a grueling trip if it were just myself – thankfully, my friend Chris has packed his things over the last 4 days to make the move as-well, so I will at least have a copilot for it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sherriffs are Slooooow

Managed to get stuck behind an El Paso County Sherriff on the way up The Pass tonight. He insisted on going the limit. You better believe that three and a half seconds after we hit the county line, I was in the left lane, and my speedometer read 80mph. Teller Boys, Represent!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

UFOs

A new website for amateur and professional astronomers to (possibly) report UFOs has an interesting flow-chart for identifying unknown daytime phenomena: Is this UFO the Sun?
(click to see full version)

via Phil Plait

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Things I can do at work

I can:

  • use Twitter
  • Write a blog post
  • Read Google Reader
  • Do something with Facebook (I'm not sure what goes on over there)

I can not:

  • Check my gmail
  • Install the things I need to do my actual job

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How to Fail at Web 2.0: Alienate the Geeks

Today, Twitter made the biggest mistake it could make: removing their user’s freedom to choose. Now, I’m not saying they didn’t think it through—they blogged about it exactly one year ago, so they spent an entire year thinking about how it would effect their user base.

This isn’t just about discovering new people: I’ve told many of my friends on several occasions that some of the most interesting this I have to say are in reply to somebody else. I think this applies to most people: rarely do I find it interesting when people are talking to themselves—and almost never do I actually learn something about them.

The community response to this whole thing has been overwhelming: as of this writing, #fixreplies is the hottest trending topic. Followed closely by #twitterfail and "Goodbye People I Never Knew" (which was the title of a blog post about it). So overwhelming, in fact, that Twitter updated their blog post to include some smarmy “you’ll still see mentions” crap.

They seem to think that a #followfriday-style recommendation was “just as good” as replies—but, what is a better recommendation: them conversing with someone because they truly are interesting, or them telling you somebody is interesting? I tend to think the former.

Now, I understand: something like 97% of Twitter users never changed the default setting (the one that's now thrust upon all of us). The people who did change it, however, are the ones that Twitter owes the most to: the power users. These are the early adopters—the geeks—the people who told their friends “hey, have you checked out this Twitter thing? No? Here, let me set you up an account.” These are the people who drove the current media storm into a frenzy. They used to use Twitter to discover new, interesting people, and that was part of why it was successful. But now? They are pissed.

When your core business revolves around communication, you should just stand back, and let people communicate.

P.S. In the time it took me to write this, there were 2400 #fixreplies tweets.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Twitter Lexicon: A Proposal

 

As I use Twitter more, I find myself trying to referencing it in new ways. Most of them are simple, and many other people have already started using—but some things just don’t come up often.

Glossary

Twitter [twi-ter] (n): A microblogging service. “I use Twitter.”

twitter[twi-ter] (v): To use Twitter. “I’m going to twitter that.”

twittering[twi-ter-ing] (v, present): Using Twitter. “There are a lot of people twittering this.”

twittered[twi-turd] (v, past): Previously used Twitter. “I twittered about that.”

twit [t-wit] (n): A person who uses Twitter. “I am a twit.”

tweep [t-weap] (n): A person you know on Twitter. “My tweep @LtWorf and I are going to the store.”

tweeple [t-we-ple] (n, plural): A group of people on Twitter. “Some tweeple just don’t get it.”

tweet [t-weat] (n): A post on Twitter. “Did you read that tweet?”

tweet [tw-‘et] (v): To post on Twitter. “I’m so going to tweet this.”

tweeting [tw-‘et-ing] (v, present): Currently posting on Twitter. “Hold on, I’m tweeting what you just said.”

twate [tw-‘at] (v, past): Having posted on Twitter in the past. “I twate about that an hour ago.”

twaten [tw-‘at-n] (adj): Has been twate. “That has been twaten to death.”

twote [t-w’ot] (v): To quote something from Twitter. “@StephenColbert just twote @biz on-air”

twoted [t-w’ot] (v, past): Quoted something from Twitter. “Earlier, @StephenColbert twoted @biz on-air”

Regarding “Twate”

I spent many hours thinking about what form the past simple and past participle forms of “tweet” should take, and I had a couple other candidates:

“twote”/”twitten,” from “wrote”/”written;” but it sounds like a portmanteau of “twitter” and “quote,” which made it into the lexicon on its own.

“twang”/”twung,” from “sang”/”sung” — Just doesn’t sound right at all.

“twaid” from “said;” but could be mistaken for a portmanteau of “twitter” and “paid.”

Eventually, I settled on “twate,” using “eat” as a conjugation template, and arrived at the tweet/twate/tweeten.