I’m reblogging this because I hate the Standard. The drinking venue, the people, the hotel, I hate it. Why? Because I’m just not cool enough for LA in general and I project my sadness on bars.
I would embed this, but those gawker peeps get paid for getting pageviews not for making us free tumblr content.
I don’t get paid by pageviews if that makes you feel any better. :)
And you can’t embed Gawker vids anyway…
I hate the Standard too. The one time I was in LA we kept trying to go by there on random weekday nights, and they wanted us to stand in their non-existent line for a while before they let us into their half-empty bar. Fuck that.
But, Ed’s dancing is almost enough to make me give the place a second chance.
“What did I take from all this? Bill Gates was amazingly technical, and he knew more about the details of his company’s software than most of the people who worked on those details day in and day out. He understood Variants and COM objects and IDispatch and why Automation is different than vtables — and why this might lead to dual interfaces. He worried about date and time functions. He didn’t meddle in software if he trusted the people who were working on it, but you couldn’t bullshit him for a minute because he was a programmer. A real, actual programmer.”—
It’s true. I met the man once, briefly, at one of those summer intern barbeques he was always hosting. I was essentially too intimidated to say anything real, so I just sort of stood there while he entertained an endless hail of questions from other, more eager, interns. This was in 1996, and there were 20 thousand or so employees at work on a million different projects, and he seemed to understand everything that everyone was doing. He seamlessly dropped into a discussion of force-feedback joystick technology, then took a detour through 3D rendering algorithms before heading back to discuss the arcana of something in Office. He just stood there and held forth, on and on. It was incredible. He was the king of all geeks.
“Not only did the weeds grow much larger in hotter, CO2-enriched plots — a weed called lambs-quarters, or Chenopodium album, grew to an impressive 6 to 8 feet on the farm but to a frightening 10 to 12 feet in the city — but the urban, futuristic weeds also produced more pollen.”—Can Weeds Help Solve the Climate Crisis? (nyt)
“HE’S A FUCKING LITTLE BOY, ” she said and “IF HE JUST FINISHED HIS NOVEL, MAYBE HE COULD AFFORD TO BUY BEDSHEETS.” She went on to say how pathetic his work ethic was and that she was tired of “PICKING UP THE SLACK.”—Albert (!) Daulerio
The city has been a bit socked in for the last couple days, and I’m glad, because it keeps the smoke out. I was down on the Peninsula yesterday and the air was thick with the smell of San Bruno Mounain burning.
The most important antigen is the machismo that continues to permeate these work environments. We found that 63% of women in science, engineering and technology have experienced sexual harassment. That’s a really high figure.
I’m still going through stuff from the week I was away. ComputerWorld talked to Sylvia Ann Hewlett about the study she co-authored for HBR about the sudden drop-off in the percentage of women in technology jobs that occurs around age 35 — an attrition rate of about 40%. Hewlett cites a bunch of factors, many of them related to workplace culture or to the fact that there aren’t many other women around to begin with.
Alarmingly, the 15-30% of women in the tech workplace actually looks pretty good compared to the 1.5% of open source developers who are women, as estimated by Milking The Gnu. This statistic is much more troublesome for me, both because I feel some allegiance to the OSS community, and because I have no idea how you fix an institutional problem in a community that specializes in not having institutions.
Part of the problem seems to be that in the looser community of OSS development, there are fewer checks on people acting like dicks. But there’s something more pernicious as well, and MTG quotes a European study that concludes this:
F/LOSS also has a deeply voluntarist ethos which values notions of individual autonomy and volition. As a result participants largely do not believe that gender has anything to do with their own individual actions. The situation is thereby perpetuated in spite of the expressed desire for change.
A number of the comments bear this out; the best response may be this one. I think this is actually in part a symptom of a larger issue with the mindset of coders, but I’ll leave that for another time.
Next to Potter’s computer there’s a sheet of notebook paper. On it is an intricate computation in a neat, squarish hand. Not his — the calculation was done by his oldest daughter, Emily, a high school senior who plans to start a degree at Oxford next fall. She is, for the moment, serving as her father’s higher-math consultant. “He gives me bits of calculus to do,” she says, in a manner that suggests she feels ready to assume a position of greater responsibility on the project.
Slightly stale Wired profile of Gavin Potter, aka “Just a guy in a garage”. Potter is currently ranked 6th (at the time of the article, 5th) on the leaderboard for the Netflix Prize, which is a fairly fascinating $1m computing prize awarded to whoever can improve the Netflix recommendation algorithm by 10%. Potter is different because, unlike the teams at places like AT&T, he works basically alone. He’s also different because he’s not so good with the math stuff, but he’s really into the psychology. He accounts for behavioral economic phenomena like anchoring that would distorts what — to the rest of us computer people — seems like a perfectly good set of crunchable data.
Since the article was written, he hasn’t really closed the gap with AT&T’s leading BellKor team, and the entertaining weblog he briefly maintained has gone quiet (although he hasn’t stopped submitting new code). But that doesn’t mean what he did wasn’t pretty sweet — and the lessons for broader software development are obvious. The trick is figuring out how to apply them generally.
“One of Mr. Tsvangirai’s most senior aides, Tendai Biti, was freed Thursday on bail of a trillion Zimbabwean dollars, or about $90. He was arrested two weeks ago on treason charges, which carry a potential death penalty.”—The Laboratorium: Zimbabwe in Two Sentences (quoting nyt)
Defamer brings Molly and Ed, but also a typically Gramb-esque digression about Back to the Future. Mission Mission brings its own media (in the form of a cool unaesthetic photo), but also a completely weak “y’all”.
Advantage: unclear. But in SF, we’re apparently working to keep our skaters off the streets.
I saw this when it first aired on PBS and it had a measurable effect on my life. It was definitely in the back of my head when I started sniffing around the Mozilla bug database a year or so later. Most of the people featured in the film have moved on, although Pavlov is still around, and so is Brendan Eich. Jamie Zawinski, of course, runs a fashionable nightclub.
“This is why we have been consistently surprised how sensitive media members we’ve tweaked on the site have been; it’s like no one has ever criticized them before. And, in a way, no one really has. When you hear old-school folks like Bob Costas talk about how “meaner” everyone has gotten online, it’s clear they’re missing the point. It’s not that people have suddenly become cruel toward you; it’s just that you can hear them now. Twelve percent of this country thinks Barack Obama a Muslim. You think 100 percent of your readers/viewers are going to love you?”—The Will Leitch Farewell Tour Bus rolls on
“West is standing at his Magic Marker board, drawing a diagram of the company’s hierarchy as it affects his group. “There’s some dogs and cats out here,” he says. “This guy is a nonissue.” He draws a large X over someone’s name. “This guy disappears in time.”—Tracy Kidder, The Soul of a New Machine. (Incidentally, Tom West is the father of Jessamyn West.)
Reading Ondaatje is like having something thick injected into your brain. You stand up straighter and swing your arms more violently when you walk. Your thoughts organize them selves into short, clipped sentences.
I’m sick of their bullshit treatment of Leah Culver. The Gawker model seems to demand vapid celebrity, and since they somehow can’t find enough, they’ve decided that Culver is a subject of derision because she can code and she’s cute.
It already sucks enough to be a woman programmer in the Valley without this sort of thing.
The easy way out is to say, hey, so there aren’t that many female programmers; no big loss. There are plenty of other jobs out there. But it is a huge loss. It is the biggest fucking deal in the world if you happen to know what being a programmer really is. Nearly everybody out there thinks that being a programmer is a what. They’re all wrong. Being a programmer is a how.
“A recent poll by the irreverent Deadspin.com Web site tabulated his national approval rating, based on some 8,000 votes, at 6.2 percent. TNT’s Charles Barkley, who called Mariotti a “loser” during a March radio appearance, earned a thumbs-up from 95.6 percent of Deadspin voters.”—Tribute: Sun-Times colleagues go after Jay Mariotti (via deadspin)
“In the software industry, we’ve been chasing quality for years. The interesting thing is there are a number of things that work. Design by Contract works. Test Driven Development works. So do Clean Room, code inspections and the use of higher-level languages. All of these techniques have been shown to increase quality. And, if we look closely we can see why: all of them force us to reflect on our code.”—Michael Feathers:The Flawed Theory Behind Unit Testing
Suddenly a happy little conversation on camera turned awkward. Did he flinch because Facebook had expressed interest? Or because, unlike Claman, he knew Facebook wasn’t even sniffing around — an admission that would call into question LinkedIn’s value right when Nye’s gunning to take the company public?
This is classic Valleywag — what they’re alleging here doesn’t really make any sense. LinkedIn is largely ignored by the ‘Wag and the rest of the Valley media, because it’s “social networking for old people.” But unlike Facebook, the relationships it tracks are actually worth something individually, rather than just in the aggregate. In other words, the value of the network is easier to extract, which is why LinkedIn is actually profitable.
In the Valley, the startups get all the attention, and which startups are hiring which people is the only sort of job-hunting that people care about. But outside that fairly limited sphere, an increasing amount of recruiting and job-hunting is being done within LinkedIn.
This Thursday, 9pm at Mezzanine. I don’t think I can go, unfortunately. I saw a Wholphin 5 screening at 12 Galaxies a few months ago, and it was great stuff, including the incredible Madame Tutli-Putli.
The dramatic shift in fortunes is symbolized by one piece of turf in Beacon Hill, right next to the Storrow Drive West ramp, about a block from the top of Charles Street, formerly the home of Buzzy’s Roast Beef. […] Where’s Buzzy’s now? It’s in Roast Beef Heaven. The jail has been turned into a boutique hotel called The Liberty that happens to have the hottest bar in town, a place called Alibi that’s unlike any Boston scene I can remember. There’s a doorman, valets, celebrities, $12 drinks and dressed-up women hoping to hook up with rich guys, as well as an extensive line just to get into the hotel to drink upstairs in the Bar That Nobody Really Wants To Be At Because They’d Rather Be At Alibi.
- Simmons, who has apparently forgotten that Buzzy’s was delicious.