Why Siri

[From The iPhone Blog][tipb]:

> Equally interesting is what [[Siri][siri]] portents for Apple. Just like the App Store began the intermediation and exclusion of Google by offering users a better experience interacting with data in apps than via a web search, Siri continues it by theoretically making it easier and more enjoyable to engage in query/response with Siri than with Google. In typical fashion, Apple isn’t building a search engine to compete with Google, they’re building something to obsolete the current conception of search engines. And they’re not doing it by becoming a walled garden — there’s no profit in that. They’re doing it by becoming a walled gate with a multi-directional toll system.

Great observation. Reminds me also of how Apple got out from under the [Microsoft Office Sword of Damocles][microsoft 150] with [Safari][safari] and [iWork][iwork].

[tipb]: http://www.tipb.com/2011/10/12/ios-5-iphone-ipad-walkthrough/ “iOS 5 for iPhone and iPad walkthrough—TiPb”
[microsoft 150]: http://www.apple.com/ca/press/1997/08/AppleMicrosoft.html “Microsoft and Apple Affirm Commitment to Build Next Generation Software for Macintosh. The $150 million was a smokescreen to avoid the obvious anti-trust move of bundling Explorer in order to keep Microsoft continuing to develop Office for the Mac.”
[safari]: http://www.apple.com/safari/ “Safari: Browse the web in smarter, more powerful ways—Apple”
[siri]: http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/siri.html “Ask Siri to help you get things done—Apple”
[iwork]: http://www.apple.com/iwork/ “iWork: Documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. The Mac way—Apple”

Tilting the Netflix windmill

My friend, [Andrei][Andrei], [points out][Andrei link dump] [an article][abovethecrowd article] as possible counter point to my [observation][first article] and [ridicule][second article].

It is [an interesting article][abovethecrowd article] for those not familiar with the legal basis created by the Right of First Sale or the Betamax case (though the application is not **literally** true in the case of Netflix. [Netflix revenue shares][hacking netflix], and has used similar deals [to bargain with in early streaming contracts][netflix warner]).

But, despite those good points, here is why this article is actually pretty terrible…

[hacking netflix]: http://www.hackingnetflix.com/2009/09/netflix-pays-a-revenue-share-on-about-half-of-rentals.html “Netflix Pays a Revenue Share on About Half of Rentals—Hacking Netflix.com”
[netflix warner]: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/07/business/la-fi-ct-netflix7-2010jan07 “Netflix agrees to delay in renting out Warner movies—LA Times”
[abovethecrowd article]: http://abovethecrowd.com/2011/09/18/understanding-why-netflix-changed-pricing/ “Understanding Why Netflix Changed Pricing—AboveTheCrowd”
[Andrei]: http://zmievski.org/
[Andrei link dump]: http://terrychay.com/article/dvds-by-mail.shtml/comment-page-1#comment-682857
[first article]: http://terrychay.com/article/dvds-by-mail.shtml “DVDs By Mail”
[second article]: http://terrychay.com/article/translation-from-asshole-speak-to-english-of-selected-portions-of-netflix-ceo-reed-hastingss-e-mail-to-netflixs-entire-customer-base.shtml “Translation from PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’s E-Mail to Netflix’s Entire Customer Base”
[second article]: http://terrychay.com/article/translation-from-asshole-speak-to-english-of-selected-portions-of-netflix-ceo-reed-hastingss-e-mail-to-netflixs-entire-customer-base.shtml “Translation from PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’s E-Mail to Netflix’s Entire Customer Base”

Continue reading about my critique of the defense after the jump

Who puts the P in LAMP?

Received this yesterday:

So I’m thinking of starting a new web project and was wondering if I could seek your advice. My tendency is to use PHP since that’s what I know and have used most in the past. Though, after talking to a lot of folks (namely Googlers…go figure), I’ve been encouraged to instead choose Python.

Seeing as you’re my favorite PHP Terrorist I was wondering if you have any specific thoughts on the subject.

I still need to write another article on Python, but the short answer is I think if it’s web, PHP is probably the better choice.

“PHP is the shortest point between two distances on the web.”
—Me, tongue-tied at a talk

However there are some mitigating factors to consider:Continue reading about Python vs. PHP for web after the jump

bebo recruiting math

Bebo Logo
Image via Wikipedia

I got an e-mail from a recruiter at Bebo looking to hire me into the same position I had at Tagged. This caught my eye:

Bebo (www.bebo.com), Located in San Francisco; with over 40 million registered members viewing billions of pages monthly, it is the largest social networking site in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand, and the third largest behind MySpace and Facebook in the US. Officially launched in July 2005, received the 2006 Webby Award People’s Vote as the best social networking site in the world.

Our people can boast demonstrated records of success in viral online marketing and social media, having come to us from such companies as Google, Ringo, Tickle, BirthdayAlarm, Friendster, Organic, Yahoo, and MTV.

From its $15M initial round of funding back in early 2006 (from Benchmark Capital) Bebo has enjoyed positive cash flow since day one.

Our recent merger with AOL will bring tremendous opportunity by combining Bebo’s fast growing user base with the social graph of AIM and other assets.

Third place in the U.S.—really?

Facebook US rank: 3
MySpace US rank: 5
Tagged US rank: 108
Hi5 US rank: 288
Bebo US rank: 394
Friendster US rank: 534

Hmm, Tagged passed Bebo just after they got bought out by AOL for $850 million (and while I was working there) and Friendster right before I left. Given that Friendster passed on hiring me twice—that’s the sweet taste of satisfaction! 😀

Depending on the metric, you might make a case for it being #4, but to displace Tagged? Really? Not to mention, completely pissing on the hard work I did there. 😉 Besides this slight isn’t exactly going to make me jump ship from my new job back to my old one—just with a different color scheme.

Continue reading about Remembering bebo after the jump

LIFE on Google

I read a while ago that the LIFE photography archive was on Google, but I didn’t really think about it until I stumbled across it while checking out the new version of CoolIris, which I’ve mentioned before.

On a whim, I tried looking for the famous cover photo of the LIFE article on the Lindy Hop.

The Lindy Hop

In CoolIris you can easily see that this version of the image was scanned from a physical print that has creases in the upper right. Here is the magazine cover, August 23, 1943.

I’d have taken a video but for some reason the video in SnapzPro doesn’t work with CoolIris on Safari. 🙁

The name “Lindy Hop” came because a news article on Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 flight of the Atlantic. It is said that the newspaper headline of the day read “Lindy Hops the Atlantic.”

Speaking of which, I wondered if they had a photo of the man who introduced aerials to dancing: Frankie Manning.

Yep, there’s one.

I met Frankie Manning once in 1998. I used to take photos and video of my friends dancing, so I asked him, on a whim, to give an intro to the website on camera. He looked into the videocam and said:

Welcome to the UIUC Swing Society web site. Those hep cats are really swinging!

Haha. I should dig up that video. Good times.