If You Use Outlook E-Mail, Meet Xobni

Congrats to Adam and Matt for getting featured in the New York Times!

17 Mile Drive

Yesterday I made a short day trip to Pebble Beach, Carmel, Monterey, and Santa Cruz. I wanted to see some of the Pacific coast before I move to Seattle in June.

All of the cities were pretty, but 17 Mile Drive was especially beautiful. It’s a private road in Pebble Beach — it costs $9.25 to use the road — but the views are amazing. There are great views of the Pacific coast, the Pebble Beach golf courses, and some spectacular homes. Here are some photos from the trip!

A chance encounter with Hiroshi Ishii

I was reviewing some old outgoing email this morning, and I found a message I sent last month, regarding a book I had listed for sale on Amazon Marketplace. A few weeks ago, a man named Hiroshi Ishii attempted to place an order for one of my listings, but there was an error processing his payment. He emailed me asking if I could take PayPal, but as a diligent seller, I said we had to complete the transaction on Amazon. He never did, and I eventually sold the book to someone else.

At the time, the name “Hiroshi Ishii” meant nothing to me.

I now know Hiroshi Ishii is a professor at the MIT Media Lab and the author of a seminal paper in Human-Computer Interaction. He’s coming to speak to my Research Topics in HCI class in a couple of weeks.

I should have just sent him the book for free. 🙂

Top 10 Reasons to Avoid the SimpleDB Hype

There is a ton of chatter on the Internet about Amazon SimpleDB, Apache CouchDB, Google App Engine’s Datastore API, and other distributed key-value data stores. Their biggest perceived advantage is scalability: they can help eliminate the bottleneck imposed by single-server databases.

But the hype around these new databases is growing frantic. This morning I read an article by Todd Hoff which fawned over SimpleDB’s unconventional rules to such an extent that I thought it might be satire. There are some significant drawbacks to developing in this new database paradigm. In fact, many of Mr. Hoff’s supposed advantages are actually serious disadvantages to the paradigm. Before designing your architecture around a database engine like SimpleDB, it’s important to consider the reasons not to do so.

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Tufts Beelzebubs – "Let's Get It Started"

This is just an incredible recording: all a cappella, no instruments. The link should auto-play the song in your browser.

Urban Dare DC

“We plan on setting the record for the most people participating in a 3-legged race.”

My calendar

I’ve started to publish my calendar on my website so that everyone can see when I’m busy or free. It may not be terribly useful, but it was pretty easy to do, and a fun little programming exercise. Read on to learn how I did it.
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