Chris R's Weblog

Daily link October 31st, 2007

I’m going to a TC event in Boston

Unless I’m somehow barred from doing so, I am going to a TC event in Boston on Friday the 12th 16th.

Assuming they let me go, I will try to bring a camcorder so the blog readers here can see it as well. I will most likely bring the high def camcorder I purchased for us to make a demo video. So hopefully all will go well and you’ll see and hear what I see.

UPDATE:  Heather of TC replied to my question with this quote:

“Chris: Yes, attendees are welcome to photograph and video the event. Venue bandwidth is reserved for event sponsors, but everyone is welcome to memorialize the event with independent Internet access.” 

I guess everyone on this blog will be attending TechCrunch in Boston with me. Woohoo!

Daily link October 31st, 2007

Marc Andreessen talks about Google’s new Facebook API clone

In this blog post Marc talks about Google’s new openID Facebook API clone dubbed “opensocial” which launches this week.

While I think the idea is good, I don’t like the idea of Google by themselves developing a OpenID profile data xml output standard. As with Google checkout, I am doubting the acceptance of this standard. They do have a few good websites on board though.

UPDATE: Faulty OpenID comparison cited by David Recordon and fixed by me. This isn’t exactly a point to point FB API clone either since it works with several networks as generic containers for structured data.

Daily link October 31st, 2007

More speculation about gOS for mobile web 3.0

I originally posted this on TC, but I think it’s a good, so I’m reposting here.

I bet you anything gOS phones/mobile devices will have ethernet, vga and other mini-ports on the bottom, and will dock in a cradle such as this…..228087.php
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But with firewire, USB and other KVM style ports, where the miniports on the phone expand to full size ports on the dock to plug in standard peripherals, such as a full size keyboard, mouse, and LCD monitor which are currently connected to your IBM PC clone or Mac Desktop computer.

Then the gOS phone/mobile devices will completely power your LCD monitor, keyboard, and your mouse. Making the same phone you use on the go, your home computer. And making workstations fully personalized. This is how Google will annihilate Microsoft for good.

Further thoughts: Ultimately you will unplug your peripherals from your current computer, plug them into this dock and throw the big box away. This is what I believe Google is doing, and I think it will revolutionize the industry.

Also, external drives such as this one will also plug into the dock via USB for data duplication and backup. These phones will not be powerful enough for everyone, but will be good enough for most people that check email and social networking websites. Just as not everyone needs a monster truck and most people can deal with compact front wheel drive cars.

Daily link October 31st, 2007

Yesterday I built a queuerunner, what is a queuerunner?

A queuerunner in the context of a server is a daemon or service that takes a queue of tasks and runs them down either one by one or at the same time restricted by a number of threads or machine resources, until all the tasks are done. Kind of like the kernel, but not really.

So yesterday I built a queue runner for verification purposes. I made a new service in /etc/init.d/queuerunnerd and I made the configurable parameters in /etc/queuerunner.conf

I made the app with PHP to save time, but unlike most PHP processes this app is stuck in a permanent while loop, like a Java or C++ int main(); You have to be careful when writing a service script in init.d for php because the ps aux binary it runs under is always “php”. This means that if you use php to start and kill processes, it will kill unsuspecting php processes on the server as well as the deamon. What I do to get around this is make another php binary

cp /usr/bin/php /usr/bin/php-queuerunner

That way you have a safe binary name that you can kill when you want to /sbin/service queuerunnerd stop  with your service script.

Amongst the most famous applications of server queuerunners are YouTubes video encoding queuerunner. To make sure their video encoding farm does not get overwhelmed, youtube queues up requests for videos to be encoded by the server side encoding software. When you upload a video to you get a message saying to wait a few minutes or hours for your video to finish encoding. Your video encoding request is placed in a queue and sent to a server on the farm that is under the least stress.

Queuerunners are great for loadbalancing tasks that would otherwise bottleneck server resources.

Daily link October 30th, 2007

What would you like to see on this blog?

In a past thread, commenter Yuvi posted that he isn’t his friends aren’t that interested in Microsoft, so I ask, and thus I ask everyone:

“That’s perhaps my point. My friends aren’t *that* much interested in Microsoft ”

What else are you and your friends interested in ?
Do they like gaming? There are quite a few game companies here in the area. Can you guys over in India afford gaming consoles?

What other things are they interested in?
Here is your chance to tell us what normal things you are interested in. Please elaborate.


Anyone else that would like to see me do video-casts or interviews dealing with subject matter in the Boston/Montreal/Quebec area, please jump in, and let me know. We North Easterners have a great tech industry to match and beat that of Silicon Valley. I am here to expose it for you. What do you want to see?

Daily link October 30th, 2007

Silicon Valley has a bridge in Brooklyn they want to sell you

Description: Investment hype 2.0, The goal of this is to boost public perception of a web 2.0 company’s net worth over a span of 1-2 years. This networth is so far about 1000-100000 times the actual capital worth of the company, making this scheme a big winner if pulled off correctly. A company with as little as 1-5M in worth in cash flow and assets can now boost their value to anywhere from 200 million to 15 billion dollars with the mere use of the blogosphere and without actually expanding or doing anything significant.

 Steps to Reproduce:

1. Move company to Silicon Valley, San Francisco Bay area

2. Make friends with bloggers, specifically Robert Scoble, TC bloggers, TM bloggers and anybody else near the top of Technorati

3. Pick a number, any number. Make sure it is high and impressive, completely out of your financial league. Hundreds of Millions or Billions is the norm. Don’t worry if your capital worth is under a single percentage point of that.

4.  This plan takes 1 year or more, so plan out your long term strategy accordingly.

5.  Now this step guide will resemble an episode of 24, except it will be 12 for 12 months starting from the date you plan to begin. You have already moved to the Valley, and it has been months or a year or so. You have made your contacts and you pretty much can lead bloggers on with any tidbit of info.

6. Go and get a BAD DEAL. Yes, a bad deal. Like one that you know will not work out. Spend time effort and money in order to NOT get this deal and make sure that you listen closely to any wild amount of money that is thrown out in the process. Mention the number from step 3 and hope that an exec on the other side leisurely says: “Yeah, maybe we could do that” or something to that effect. Secure this statement and move on.

7. Leak the details of this deal to all the San Fran bay IT press. Do this all at once and make sure that they plaster the top tier of the blogosphere with the news of your UNSUCCESSFUL deal. How you are SO SURE of your small company, that you are willing to throw away hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in cash away. The dumb 2nd tier bloggers and so on down the food chain will consume this and plaster google with search results for your company’s worth for years to come.

8. Let about 6-8 months pass. Rumors will pop up and die on their own due to people’s stupidity and boredom.

9. Now find a company to invest a tiny amount of your number from step 3. Make sure to sell in private non-voting shares so they can’t make you liquidate or something crazy like that if they go nuts. If your number is 10 billion, get them to invest something like 200 million. Tell them that they’ll make out like bandits in the end. Find 2 or 3 if you have to, just to be convincing to future investors.

10. Wait another 4-6 months and file for trading on an exchange. Use your steps 6 and 9 in the investment banker valuation process. Use your blogosphere rumor capital to fuel a dutch auction where you actually secure a share price that will get you the number in step 3 for total market capital.

11. Sit back and appreciate the ease with which you used large, but not super large amount of money to create a super large amount of money from the market.

Daily link October 29th, 2007

Can a single programmer and a small team really build a “Google Killer” ?

Yesterday we had an interesting conversation on the TechCrunch forums about the possibility of a young man from Los Angeles assembling a team to build a “Google Killer”. While this forum is full of spammers and people that offer to break into email accounts, it does have a pearl here and there. In this post a TechCrunch moderator weighed in.

While I think that ideas like this are healthy, I do not think a small operation, even us can build a “Google Killer”. I explain why in detail in the thread, but to recap, Google is too big, rich and powerful to touch right now. Building a tech army to go against their tech army would be a years long and multi-hundred million or billion dollar affair.

While this may seem like I am saying our search can not succeed. I am simply saying our search can not succeed at replacing or even making inroads on Google’s turf. That doesn’t mean that people can’t effectively use it and we can’t make some good money on it. Google is Google, and Powerset and companies like Gigablast and BeerCo are what they are. Apples and Oranges. You wouldn’t race a Corolla you bought off the lot against an F1 racing car, then talk about how the F1 was so much faster. You have to use some type of reason.

Daily link October 27th, 2007

Alexa is saying that this blog is starting to get popular

Yeah, I’m here on a Saturday because I HAVE TO. You’re reading my blog because you want to. Jesus Christ. I’ll be on the top of Technorati by spring of 08. If not for BeerCo’s search engine then because people have absolutely no lives. You guys should really try iTunes. I downloaded some Avril Lavigne videos today on break and some Sum41 video with Will Sasso. Really. Use your computer for something fun! Our search engine will be fun!!! Computers weren’t meant to be virtual CNN machines. Come on.

Daily link October 27th, 2007

This man, Rory, used to work at Microsoft

He worked 4 hours per day, then decided it was too grueling and quit.

Today he muses about places in France where naked women dance. But can not come to the realization that there are plenty of them. Not only in France but in the US, Canada, especially Mexico and all other countries, except for maybe communist China.

Why am I blogging about Rory, a former Microsoft employee? Because he was the best and the brightest Microsoft had to offer. Listen to his post-retirement clip and resume from his other website.

This is what Microsoft has to offer it’s shareholders and it’s customers. Lots and lots of people like Rory. Until they quit from all that stress that is. This is part of why I recommend open technologies as a superior solution. Open source doesn’t boast a whole lot of employees like him. I’m not judging him here or making any kind of comment about his professionalism or lack thereof. I am just saying, look, listen and judge for yourself. I am trying to be as fair as possible, all the while informing people that read this blog.

I have no hard feelings against Rory. I hope he finds his hole in the wall. I wish him well.

UPDATE: I just saw this on digg, and I thought I could throw it into the pot pourri: Ten Absolutely Stupid Quotes By Steve Ballmer

Daily link October 26th, 2007

What did installing OSX Leopard Nuke???

Quite a lot actually. If you had any software installed from the Repository . Get ready for Steve Jobs to Nuke your world to pieces. Your PHP, Apache, and other packages will be disconfigured and replaced by php5 and apache2 from OSX Leopard. It will store the configs in funky directories in meaningless ways, and will ultimately ruin your configuration making you spend minutes or hours reconfiguring your mac. It will nuke your entropy MySQL config and remove it from startup as well.

Wow, that was great. NOT. So I fixed it so the employee wouldn’t have to come Monday morning, but what a pain. It should ask you in the install instead of simply overwriting sh*t in arrogant, your stuff isn’t important enough for mighty Steve Jobs’s “vision” and “electronic art” fashion.

Does Steve’s Leopard ask you what you want to install as services? No. It just installs and copies and overwrites files like a drunken turtleneck wearing, alimony dodging moron from Socal.

My review of OSX Leopard is done. Oh, and it slowed down the performance of the machine as well. It’s a recent iMac 24″ Core duo 2.16. My guess is that they did this to make you buy a new one.

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Chris R. works at (title: President of Development and Sales). This is Chris's work blog.

Disclaimer: BCS will not let personal views of any employee, including Chris, regarding any software product, company, standards or otherwise get in the way of any company that hires it to provide a solution. Companies pay BCS and BCS provides solutions regardless of the views of any employee. That’s part of being professional, and BCS is a professional software company.

Everything here is Chris's personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else on this blog.

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