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Working big: ACM interviews Werner Vogels of Amazon

By taking out core elements of the business - from backend supply chain to front end ratings, rankings and search - and all the others in between and sub divided, Amazon are able to delegate ownership, management and process of these tasks to small efficient crack teams within their organization.... So technically they have it right, even if they are struggling to figure out how to test - a problem I totally understand: trying to figure out how to simulate a customer with a specific problem I hadn't even encountered yet was quite hard - instead I focused on making error reporting more robust and iterate faster.

Posted in change inertia on May 20, 2006 01:34 AM

Blogs & Social Media Forum - Opening Session

Euan Semple has kicked off the forum today with the reasons why we're here and how to get the most out of social media. The thing is - we're not sitting here and being told stuff we may already know - we're pushing through panels, breakouts and table discussions: learn by the experience of your peers.

Posted in change inertia on May 17, 2006 09:36 AM

Dance through the ages

Caught this virally - the most amusing dance segment you'll ever see - tracing the 'history' of dance through about 20 common dance styles. You'll definitely remember yourself doing a few of these....

Posted in change inertia on May 11, 2006 01:47 AM

Note to world: time to pay up

Apparently in 1945, a US state department survey found that the US public felt that Britain was one of the least trusted allies.This is probably because the US perceived us to be the strongest ally and therefore the most likely to rise up against them, and not about the fact that we owed the US several billion, not to mention we were getting the best discount on goods - ever. I don't know how those attitudes have changed given the most recent coalition, but I suspect that even now trust is still individual and not national: I understand secret information sharing tends to happen in discreet and 'unsanctioned' channels, for example.

Posted in change inertia on May 10, 2006 07:26 PM

We Media Fringe - Suw Speaks

The first day - when I was on site was great for networking but not much else: it felt a lot like the BBC were busy self-agrandising but not really advancing the conversation: it was great to be a part of a live if a little scripted BBC show, but really I heard commentary along the lines of - "great, the BBC gets it...... The one event that wasn't scripted was the off-the-cuff fringe event where the we in democracy got together to present, rant and share ideas from the floor.

Posted in change inertia on May 4, 2006 11:36 PM

David Weiss: A Tour of Microsoft's Mac Lab

I'm going to write a little bit more about what I do to help MacBU ship great software and provide some color around what's it's like to work on Mac software at Microsoft. Often when we have press events or special visits from our MVPs I'll give them a tour of the Mac Lab and explain what we do.

Posted in change inertia on April 26, 2006 08:08 AM

Complex data relationships in Rails

Trying to figure out your data relationships in Rails can quite literally be a nightmare - however this dance-off should help you understand the subtleties between the methods: ...confusion is understandable, since has_many :through is still pretty new there isn't much written about it. has_and_belongs_to_many is the old, established player and most stuff out there assumes that's what you use for a many-to-many relationship.

Posted in change inertia on April 26, 2006 07:59 AM

And the eight hundredth award goes to...

Looks like every major agency has about 5 nominations and every web2.0 app that has sold out and is more than 6 months old has 3 a piece. No, i'm not jealous (even though I am sure my blog is deserving of some award or another), but I was taught that awards are about rewarding the best, not making sure all your friends get a nod.

Posted in change inertia on April 12, 2006 02:10 AM

Tab Remainders

danah boyd appears on O'Reilly - been posted a number of times, however I wanted to link to it - danah did fantastically well facing up to stiff competition. Brad Feld posts a link to one of his CEOs talking about the challenges of hiring GREAT sales people...

Posted in change inertia on April 10, 2006 01:03 AM

Clearing tabs..

The geek and the prom chick - how low will she go to get her essays done?... Notes for blogging class - Scott Adams (Mr Dilbert) writes up a collection of notes about how blogs work, for the luddites who still haven't got it.

Posted in change inertia on March 22, 2006 12:53 AM

Getting Permission

First of all - skype makes distributed working a reality. It really has crossed a void -- and more and more every day I find I rely on skype - wow.

Posted in change inertia on March 6, 2006 11:49 PM

The Future of User Experience

I can see myself using it to do so much - from photo management to scratching/beat mixing- it is fantastic. How cool would it be to have a widescreen version in your favorite club's DJ booth - they'd be able to bring their ipods, and hook into the scratch station, and be able to beat mix digitally.

Posted in change inertia on February 10, 2006 03:18 AM

VC 2.01

I just read Rick Segal's post about vc2.0 part two, and I wanted to clarify some areas I hadn't really touched on yet.... I'm involved in a pre-seed project right now where we've been requested to give info and then told “We want to invest, but you need to prove yourself with users first”.

Posted in change inertia on January 30, 2006 02:11 AM

Disruptive Capital - or how to make funding better

From an entrepreneur's perspective, more often than not we need the baggage attached to a capital investment, be it seed or vc.... have the contacts to grow the business (even if those contacts are not directly in the area of interest; more often than not, you will have them by talking to cool people, blogging about the right stuff and so on).

Posted in change inertia on January 29, 2006 04:09 PM

Here's one for the lazyweb....

In the far corner I can spot andy in the corner with his flock crew, all on skype video linkup, since they're in different cafés around the world....

Posted in change inertia on January 18, 2006 06:58 PM

Why Switching Makes Sense

I'm glad I'm able to just use 'the shell' locally, but get gui I can really use.... remembering that Windows has CTRL and ALT and no CMD when I come to use it requires a sticky / post it.

Posted in change inertia on October 23, 2004 12:07 AM

Why journalism is no longer safe

Yet another journalist has been jailed for refusing to reveal their sources by a federal judge in the U.S. Whilst in general I don't believe that the freedoms afforded by the first amendment are used wisely: often it's used for ill gain, usually to exhort influence and pressure over a target. However, in cases of reasonable and balanced news items all rights governed by the first amendment should be provided and under no circumstances should those be prevented or hindered by political, legal or other influence.

Posted in change inertia on October 13, 2004 10:35 PM

The plight of IndyMedia

I appreciate that, in this post-innocent society we live in, where we have to deal with the constant threat and exposure of countless terrorist organizations around the globe acting against our cultures and our own survival, from both hidden and visible sources, certain measures which curb our freedoms and civil liberties must be taken to ensure our safety.... By rebuking and standing out against such liberal suppression, and by doing all you can to prevent such control being abused in such a massive way again, we can ensure balanced, free and open media can continue without the shackles of censorship that such actions threaten.

Posted in change inertia on October 10, 2004 11:14 PM

Suw's Infatuation

Suw egogooglebombs simon pegg - she's trying to get to the top of the google rankings by getting _everyone_ to link to her. We all know it works, but the interesting vector is _how_ long it takes...

Posted in change inertia on October 3, 2004 07:53 PM

Package Management 101

I spend a fair amount of time maintaining various systems across all three major platforms: Windows, OS X and Linux/BSD. I have conclusively decided that package managers in Open Source environments are bad, unhealthy and frustrating to use. They aren't just bad around the edges - they truly suck. Here's why, and how to fix them.

Posted in change inertia on September 26, 2004 06:58 PM

Vazu Pimped by the AP

Vazu recently just launched a new couple of products - one to send residential/business listings and one to send 'any-old-text' - both to your cell phone. This is coupled with their previous web-to-cell service for contacts. Very cool tools!...

Posted in change inertia on September 11, 2004 01:09 AM

Comment Spam Analysis

Well, I got hit by some horrible comment spam floods again. Seems that i've become a target for comment spam, getting over 1000 comments (fortunately, blocked by the ever incredible mt-blacklist) in the last week or so, and about 200...

Posted in change inertia on June 5, 2004 12:31 AM

Comment Spammers, Part Deux

Yet again comment spam has changed. In response to the various wonderful comment spam tools, (specifically Jay Allen's wondrous MT-Blacklist plugin), the spammers have a new tactic: Post the same link, or sub domains of the same link to a...

Posted in change inertia on June 2, 2004 01:11 PM

Wired article about Denton

Wired contributing editor Stephen Levy writes about in next month's wired. Link here. Not much to say other than this is quite an interesting, raw look at one of the players behind the reinvention of media, and the decentralization it...

Posted in change inertia on May 27, 2004 04:33 PM

Radical cleric Abu Hamza arrested

Radical cleric Abu Hamza arrested Police arrest the controversial preacher at his west London home after the US government requests his extradition. [BBC News] and about time to....

Posted in change inertia on May 27, 2004 08:11 AM

Tracing My Internet Family Tree

I got linked over to the ia from my newsreader earlier, to see some throwback quincy show, linked by tom coates. During the course of that little travel, I was reminded by one of the cool 'features' of the internet:...

Posted in change inertia on May 27, 2004 07:05 AM

Some links from my newsreader...

Ben demotes Kofi Annan with a bounty on his head. Ben, this is a world leader we're talking about! :) BBC News writes about wi-fi on trains. Surveys showed that wifi on trains would actually increase the userbase of the...

Posted in change inertia on May 20, 2004 07:39 PM

On Blogging, Frequency, and so on

Interesting discussion in IRC. We're talking a little about the motivation behind blogging. Kevin is suggesting that for those people who spend time working in the blogosphere, like providing services such as technorati or typepad, spending time blogging is like...

Posted in change inertia on May 5, 2004 11:21 AM

Google IPO SEC Filing Analysis

So I have read the sec google filing. It's mostly full of financial data, as well as how the IPO will work, but it's also full of some interesting internal aspects of the googleplex and its community. The information describes...

Posted in change inertia on April 30, 2004 12:28 AM

Workstation Loyalty

A study by the Media Lab at Penn State University has shown that people show "loyalty to computers". The study found that individuals are more likely to queue to use a 'favored' workstation than to sit at an empty one,...

Posted in change inertia on April 25, 2004 05:48 PM

Richard 'Dirty' Desmond Returns as a Tory!

bbc news online reports today that Richard Desmond's (known as Dirty Desmond for his numerous pornographic magazines and tv channels) Daily Express paper has once again returned to support the Tories given Tony Blair's u-turn on the EU consititution referendum....

Posted in change inertia on April 22, 2004 07:17 AM

Secure? Don't think so

A recent study by conference organizers in the UK shows that 71% of workers would be willing to share their password in exchange for a bar of chocolate. The study also found that well known factors based around which password...

Posted in change inertia on April 20, 2004 04:07 AM

Here's an idea..

TrackForward. The next post i'm about to make before I head off to bed is about a meetup in london for all the British bloggers - and I want to ping all the local community to let them know (perhaps...

Posted in change inertia on April 16, 2004 03:53 AM


Almost Everyone has posted about amazon's new a9, however, no-one seems to have seriously commented on it's style, ui or usability. Firstly, the site has a pink/orange style, which does not fit the general look and feel. If you compare...

Posted in change inertia on April 15, 2004 03:18 AM


php|cruise is now done - and we had an incredibly groovy and fun time. :) The great thing about the cruise was that it enabled us to meet all sorts of new people - and this one was no...

Posted in change inertia on March 7, 2004 04:59 AM

Smart Appliances

Robert Scoble wrote about his experience with a SPOT watch. I read with interest about his wired life - but I wonder what's taking so long for the eu/uk to get on board. It's interesting because the US has always...

Posted in change inertia on February 27, 2004 01:41 AM

MIND Skydive

It's time to really do it. I'm about to embark on a tandem skydive for MIND. I just need to raise a little bit of money to do it, for which i've enlisted the help of orkut (man, he's gonna...

Posted in change inertia on February 4, 2004 01:40 AM

The Secret Underground of Desireability

ebay has many little 'cliques' of collector items. Sometimes stamps, sometimes beanie babies. But it also has an interesting collection in banned items. One such item is the A&F 2003 'Sex' Catalog, which is making over $50 per item right...

Posted in change inertia on December 5, 2003 06:25 AM


I am just watching this show on the travel channel about a tribe in Brazil. It talks about a group of missionaries who are local to the tribe, and who are trying to reeducate them - to teach them about...

Posted in change inertia on November 7, 2003 01:59 AM


Miguel held another of his impromptu talks at PDC today. He seems excited about Indigo - having it working within mono before whidbey, and avalon later using cairo gfx - and about the way that Mono is moving forward...

Posted in change inertia on October 29, 2003 02:54 AM

End of Day 1 at PDC

So I guess it is time to write up an end of day note for pdc. Today has been an interesting PDC experience - lots of things going on. People should see more longhorn now - it's out in the...

Posted in change inertia on October 28, 2003 06:53 AM

BillG, DonB and friends...

OK. I am just getting into the network after not having any network all weekend, and my plans from blogging billg during his talk were scuppered as the wireless network was down... (fun). Anyhow, I have a stack of photos...

Posted in change inertia on October 27, 2003 08:10 PM


So Mark grumbles about his book using a word that certainly isn't in my dictionary. Books never are entirely the work of the author - except for the ones where the author is also the editor, publisher, marketing and manufacturer...

Posted in change inertia on October 9, 2003 06:36 AM

California Recall

Warrior Tang has it right about the recall -- it's absolute madness. Not only does the candidature include a prostitute, arnold (who's campaign website looks alot like Senator Dean's national campaign), and over 100 others, the election itself has been...

Posted in change inertia on September 17, 2003 06:23 PM

A True Old Fashioned

DrinkBoy posts about a drink that we share an affection for: the Old Fashioned. The Old Fashioned is as Robert describes, a drink with a venerable history to its name. I won't go into details, but do read the link...

Posted in change inertia on August 31, 2003 06:12 PM

Application Interop

I recieved my new phone (a Sony Ericsson t610) yesterday. Today (at 1:30am) I got my contacts imported....

Posted in change inertia on August 29, 2003 02:05 AM

Visiting The Soka Gakkai

Joi writes about meeting the 'cult' of the Soka Gakkai today. He also gets flamed for getting sucked in. The thing is, he didn't. I agree with Joi's views about religion -- in many ways it's nothing more than organized...

Posted in change inertia on August 20, 2003 05:19 PM


So I have gotten to the stage where I just can't handle email anymore. A few quick stats: I have 1.2GB of email. That's 128879 messages. (it will have increased). I'm getting more at a rate of about 1000 a...

Posted in change inertia on April 30, 2003 06:14 AM

The Mechanics Of Replication

Some time ago, at the turn of the year, I wrote a chapter for a forthcoming book, "MySQL Transactions and Replication Handbook". My chapter was all about how Replication works. The problem was, I wrote the chapter for Wrox Press....

Posted in change inertia on April 28, 2003 08:47 AM

Kim Jong Blog

So i discover that the leader of North Korea has been lj'ing... I wonder if he'll talk about SARS ? I am sure mr bush should be getting worried.......

Posted in change inertia on April 24, 2003 08:43 AM

Muslim Cleric No Longer Welcome

The Muslim Cleric, Sheikh Abu Hamza, has been stripped of his UK citizenship. He is clearly not wanted here anymore. I have written in a bit more depth about this here....

Posted in change inertia on April 5, 2003 09:06 PM

Early April Fools

Early, but amusing: Memo: Potential depletion of lumineferous electronsFrom:  Paul Reisenfern, Director            Office of Health and Safety, Computer DivisionTo:      All Computer UsersDate:   1 April 2003         As a result of recent studies carried out in cooperation with the National Science Foundation,...

Posted in change inertia on March 31, 2003 05:56 AM


Good to see that during the war, the hackers are still about, and well, mexico has their thoughts in the right place. I had a whole bunch of cool things to blog about... and then I realized I had forgot...

Posted in change inertia on March 26, 2003 12:18 PM


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. All comments belong to their respective author. (just in case it wasn't clear ;)) -->...

Posted in change inertia on March 20, 2003 07:02 AM

Topical Bush Joke

From a friend-of-a-friend: A plane was about to crash and there were five people on board and only four parachutes.  The first person said, "I'm an emergency room physician in a small town, and I save lives routinely.  There's a...

Posted in change inertia on March 18, 2003 09:08 AM

Robin Cook Quits

Robin Cook has become the first minister to quit in light of the war on Iraq. Good for him -- it will certainly boost his profile. He announced his decision in an emergency cabinet meeting, and is expected to make...

Posted in change inertia on March 18, 2003 12:42 AM

Peer Info (Wrox/Glasshaus/Friends Of Ed)

Further Peer info updates/urls: employ former peer workers.. join the discussion groups starting up... glasshaus blog... fresh from blogs.. (via early blog about it.. el reg... another blog quoting the same mail.. Also, if you worked on a book...

Posted in change inertia on March 17, 2003 10:03 PM

Wrox's Fat Lady

So i am perhaps a bit late, but nevertheless. It would appear that Wrox press have gone into insolvency. Their investors pulled the plug. All Wrox employees are now out of a job, whilst the recievers work out what's saleable...

Posted in change inertia on March 17, 2003 04:15 PM

P2P Caching

p2p caching has been discussed before... and at some length.. but someone brought it up again in the mozilla irc channels, which prompted me to mention it. Apart from the obvious issues about caching sensitive data (like online bank statements) or...

Posted in change inertia on March 10, 2003 12:58 PM

RSS Aggregation

Thinking about the RSS aggregator thing again, I have been digging up a bunch of links relating to it. These are mostly for me really, but they may be useful to other people. reply to a Zawodny comment ( AmphetaDesk (

Posted in change inertia on March 7, 2003 12:41 AM

Shell Explorer Integrated RSS

OK, via Scott, a Chris Pirrillo doozy. Except it's not really new, it's something I have been thinking about for a bit. The thing is, this isn't all that hard. And Chris, it's on my todo. Also is some other bits...

Posted in change inertia on March 5, 2003 11:19 PM

Inbox Hell

RFB talks about inbox panic. Right now I have 326 items in my inbox -- and I like to think I stay on top of them. (I actually read inbox mail). My biggest problem is that I have much mail which requires filtration... hence...

Posted in change inertia on March 3, 2003 04:01 PM

Sex. Another Experiment

sex. This is an experiment to sex get good ranking....

Posted in change inertia on February 18, 2003 03:52 PM

Media Junkies

The war is really just about making ratings. This clear channel internal memo (thanks pud!) proves the most important thing about media: "Always err on the side of overkill. Actually, there is no such thing as overkill in a situation...

Posted in change inertia on February 13, 2003 08:03 AM


Nothing much to report right now about the web. This week has been very quiet. Apart from getting the chapter done etc, and driving really too fast in my driving lesson (90mph :)) nothing much has progressed.  ...

Posted in change inertia on February 13, 2003 06:55 AM

Sheriff Control

dougt talks about Sheriff duty. Whilst he makes several valid points, doug forgets that many developers do not look at tinderbox. What this results in are a bunch of checkins that may cause horkage (the hook problem). On top of...

Posted in change inertia on February 10, 2003 06:48 AM

aol, ted turner and $99bn.

Reading through my news aggregator (as promised!) and I notice Tim Oren's post about Ted Turner, AOL, and $99bn. (Tim, you need to fix your radio settings for the archive, but I am not entirely sure why they are broken.)...

Posted in change inertia on February 7, 2003 07:13 AM

PHP Developers Cloud

Sebastian's post about his stats from discussion on php-dev led me to play with agora and his datacloud. I ran the datacloud in the visualizer, and split it up such that it was possible to see everyone on the cloud. My results...

Posted in change inertia on February 4, 2003 02:06 AM

another update...

Snow sees the beginning of Feb. However this time around, the snow made life tough, and more so made the bar really empty tonight. My driving lesson through the snow was fun, certainly experience that you wouldn't normally get. Sorry...

Posted in change inertia on February 1, 2003 09:05 AM

Real Player Can Kiss My Ass

I haven't written anything yet today, so I figured I had better, or feel the wrath of not blogging. Today's rant is about Real player. Real actually have a very good piece of software. Their player is not bad, and...

Posted in change inertia on January 29, 2003 01:15 PM

Sticky Jam

Drive better. that is the solution to our driving problems. I haven't seen a better article about it than the one over here. Bill Beaty highlights how providing space in dense traffic flow helps reduce the density. He's right: by...

Posted in change inertia on January 28, 2003 03:06 PM

Getting the Chills - Haunting Music?

Can anyone recommend some good choral classical type music? I am looking for the type of music that could be classed as haunting. Imagine the kind of music that makes you close your eyes -- that involves you... The kind...

Posted in change inertia on January 27, 2003 11:45 AM

Ok. So it is time

Ok. So it is time to start updating this blog again for real. Work continues on my writing and projects, and offline somewhere i am continuing with college. Also, my driving is coming along, so that's good too. Sterling Hughes...

Posted in change inertia on January 22, 2003 01:50 AM

Long time since an update.

Long time since an update. Well, I kind of broke radio, and a few other things -- very busy. I am busy working on a number of projects.. and i'll talk more about them in the next few days --...

Posted in change inertia on October 10, 2002 07:46 PM

So, what else is new

So, what else is new today. Might end up going to SF next week, instead of the week after, because there may be a gig to fix up PHP. Sucks. I will possibly do a "open letter to priceline"...

Posted in change inertia on August 4, 2002 12:33 PM

Just got off the phone

Just got off the phone with a book publisher in New York. About the same time, the chap I work with at Wherewithal im'ed me. It seems that not only do I probably have a gig writing a book, I also...

Posted in change inertia on August 2, 2002 07:32 AM

about me

If you ever wanted to know who it is behind this screen..... well now you can find out. read more...

Posted in change inertia on August 1, 2002 04:58 AM

VC funding sinks to pre-boom

VC funding sinks to pre-boom levels. A mere $5.7 billion was handed out to start-up companies in the second quarter of this year, the lowest amount since 1998, according to a new survey. [CNET] At least funding is still...

Posted in change inertia on July 31, 2002 12:48 PM

Long days suck. I just

Long days suck. I just got up after semi-sleeping off a 30 hour day. I was just about to drag myself of to bed after a hard night's coding, and my little brother comes to me, says he needs to...

Posted in change inertia on July 31, 2002 12:36 PM

Blog Evolution. William Grosso writes

Blog Evolution. William Grosso writes about the evolution of blogging in his O'Reilly Network Blog today. [Radio Free Blogistan] interesting link from RFB. I figure there are a fair few people wondering about where to take blogging next. It's not...

Posted in change inertia on July 30, 2002 03:21 PM

windows software.

I have just noticed how trying to run Bersirc and radio at the same time doesn't work. They fight for CPU supremacy. This unfortunately is annoying -- software for windows these days sucks. Also, I am getting more and more...

Posted in change inertia on July 30, 2002 06:43 AM

Religious Conflict

I wrote the following article as an email to a friend living in Israel. I wanted to post it here, to both gauge response to anyone who might care to read it, but also to record, as a snapshot, of...

Posted in change inertia on July 29, 2002 09:24 PM


So, I finally went out and bought the thing. I figure that if I want to be able to keep people up to date on what i'm doing, I may as well run a weblog. The fact that I am...

Posted in change inertia on July 29, 2002 06:20 AM