Pending Rennovations

The TL;DR version: I’m shutting down this blog and starting up another. I’ll post the new link here, and to twitter (@dws).

The slightly longer version: For the past few years, with good (and fun) reasons, I’ve had too little attention left over for writing here. There have been some changes on that front, and I’ve accumulated a backlog of things worth writing about.

The boring technical version: I noticed several years back that I was having to upgrade WordPress nearly every time I sat down to write. I was also having to pass on the sad news to friends and colleagues that their WordPress sites had been hacked. I thought my site, which I’d spent some time hardening, was safe and would survive long enough for me to replace it. My ISP had other thoughts. They just sent out an urgent advisory that they were doing to disable older versions of WordPress. So, if you’re reading this, that hasn’t happened yet. They did; I upgraded. I’ll be replacing this site with a new one, using a static site generator.


Goodbye, Reader

If you’re reading this on Google Reader, it’s been fun ride, hasn’t it. But it’s time to say goodbye. The plug on Reader gets pulled tomorrow.

Reader streamlined the way I consume news. It’s been a core part of my daily routine for what, seven years? It seems like longer. seven years of making the firehose less daunting to drink from. Everyone at Google, current and past, who had a hand in making Reader what it is (was) has my heartfelt thanks. Its absense from the scene is going to leave a huge hole.

Knowing something of what goes on under the covers to make the Reader magic happen, shaking off the temptation to write my own Reader replacement was easy. Others are on that, and good luck to them.

Still Alive

Hi. I’m still here. Been busy.

The short version: I took a new job, then we moved.

The slightly longer version: I joined Google. After working in narrow, sometimes obscure industries, or on things I couldn’t talk about, the chance to work on products that touch millions of people was compelling. Building things at Google scale is a bit beyond anything I’d taking on previously. That meant a lot of new stuff to learn, and a few things to unlearn. Discretionary time took a serious hit; many evenings have been given over to study. Then, partly because we missed living in Mountain View, and partly to get our daughter in to a well-rounded High School, we bought neat little house in Mountain View that needed some work, and camped out in it for several months while our furniture stayed in San Jose to help sell the old house. Now we’re looking ahead at doing some remodeling. Eeek. And, just as things were finally settling down, I signed on as a mentor for my daughter’s High School robotics team. The competition season starts in 10 days. Eeek. There goes the next few months. (Months? Maybe longer. We’ll see.)

Life has been… disrupted. Mostly in a good way. I don’t know that that means for this blog. We’ll see. I’ve learning a few things along the way. Time permitting, I’ll write about them.


Out with the old theme, in with the temporary one

‘New blog theme’ has been on my TO DO list for a lot longer than I’d like to admit. I’ve made several starts at building one from scratch, but an honest look at priorities pushed that off the back burner. So, I picked simple, clean theme from elsewhere as a starting point, and will fix breakage and iterate as time allows.

Scoring My 2009 Predictions

For the past few years, my reading group has started the year by making predictions. These were mine:

1. This year I will finally see a Zune in the wild.

Unless there’s one at the New Year’s Eve party tonight, this gets scored as WRONG.

I’ve been puzzled and amused that the huge amount of marketing and advertising money that Microsoft has poured into the Zune has yielded a complete absence of the devices in my corner of the world, except on a few store shelves. Granted, I live near the Apple mothership, but I do travel, and do noticed what people are plugged in to. When I asked around, friends who had seen Zunes had only seen them in possession of friends of theirs who work for Microsoft.

2. There will be a very public failure of ‘Cloud Computing’.

This was a ‘shooting fish in a barrel’ prediction, since something, somewhere, was bound to happen. I was thinking along the lines of a cascading set of accidents involving a backhoe and a washed out bridge taking a data center offline, but the Microsoft/Danger/Sidekick fiasco lost a huge amount of ‘trust us, it’s safe in the cloud’ user data. This prediction gets scored as RIGHT.

3. Congress will step in, on the wrong side, to correct the Bilski ruling.

In re Bilski, the Supreme Court, in a moment of apparent sanity, threw a wet blanket on business practice patents. The ruling has since been used to toss out claims in several software patents.

I guessed that since so much money was on the line, and the players who stood to lose had so much political clout, that Congress would act. I underestimated both how long it would take for challenges to work their way through the courts, and how distracted Congress appears to have been by the huge food fight they’re engaged in.

I still think that Congress will get involved, but it’ll be a few years before this one makes it back on to my list of predictions. For 2009, unless I missed something in the news, this prediction was WRONG.