Monthly Archives: November 2004

I am NOT Defensive!

Malcom Gladwell has a tremendous ability to detect trends and patterns in places where most people see chaos. He dispassionately analyzes his chosen subjects deeply, and presents insights which are often challenging but unimpeachable. But something must have rattled him during his recent investigation of personality tests, because he turned out anuncharacteristically flimsy and defensivepiece […]

The Apprentice as Team Builder

Recently one of the teams in my division used a mock competition based on ‘The Apprentice’ as a team building exercise. Luckily nobody got fired, and it turned out to be a good team builder. But I somehow doubt that thereality TV show as actually practiced demonstrates a good way to get people in a […]

Your Girlfriend Reads Tim Bray’s Blog

Tim Bray is speculating about how you could use your blog to interfere with a person’s chances at employment or procreation: ?Suppose I posted a piece here whose title was that person?s name, laying out in succinct but forceful detail the nature of the bad behavior, solidly illustrated by pointers to online examples. Suppose I […]


At Microsoft, we sometimes use ?personas? when designing features and writing specs. A ?persona? is an imaginary character we invent to embody a set of characteristics for a particular target group of users. For example, ?Jane is an MBA who has a job in the IT department at a major insurance company. She writes code, […]

And the Loser is…

Eminem. Young adults don’t like being treated like children, told what to think. That’s why Eminem is so popular among the under-30 crowd. He has been a master at sensing out the prevailing rules of youth conduct and doing exactly the opposite of what propriety suggested. Even when America was gripped in the patriotic fervor […]

And the Winner is…

Tonight while driving my daughter home from her preschool: Daughter: Daddy, we voted today in class today!Dad: Really? About what?Daughter: About bears!Dad: Who won?Daughter: Me! Nice…

Controlling Access to Metadata

I really like the idea behind Flickr, but I am noticing a big problem. To allow my friends and family to see the photos I publish, I have to convince them to get Flickr accounts. Forcing geeks to memorize a different name and password for each system they use to communicate with friends is tolerable, […]

Tanenbaum’s EVP

Just a day after getting excoriated for perpetuating poor understanding of ?margin of error?, the votemaster at EVPreveals that he is Andrew Tanenbaum. Yes, that same Tanenbaum who taught us so much about operating systems. That same Tanenbaum who kids today forget while lionizing Torvalds. Wow.

History of Podcasting

Dave Winer doesn’t want to end up like Eric Bina, written out of the history of a creation he helped usher into reality. Adam steps up to make sure Dave gets credit. This time, there is less reason to worry. First, the WWW (which Eric helped enable) is now an independent and democratic public record […]