Archive for August, 2007

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

2 years at Yahoo!

Today is my 2nd anniversary at Yahoo!. Looking back, it’s been a great time. Since I don’t know how long ago, I’ve fantasized about being involved in research. Check. Since sitting across from the mobile guys for 5 years in W3C meetings, I’ve fantasized about working in mobile. Check. And since I wrote Web search, without the web (demo), I’ve fantasized about working on web-scale search.


What will the next two years bring? I don’t know, but I’m certain they will be even better than the previous two. -m

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

The biggest gift

It’s too easy to get absorbed in all the terrible things happening on the news. But not everything is like that. Take 7 minutes and watch this. -m

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

What I’m reading

Yeah, they’re related. -m

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

XForms Essentials at…Target?

Yeah, it’s for real. You save 27%! Sure, it’s powered by Amazon, but it’s still a little weird to see this come up in search results… -m

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

HOWTO: find the VTA light rail schedule

There’s a tram that goes by Yahoo, very convenient. Here’s a simple, step-by-step guide to finding schedule information through the official website.

  • Navigate to
  • Click on “Schedules, Maps and Fares” in the left sidebar.
  • Click on “Route Schedules and Route Maps”.
  • Scan down to the bottom third of the page. Click “Light Rail Schedules”.
  • Click on “Mountain View to Winchester (902)” (You just have to know this, even if your journey takes you nowhere near either of those places).
  • Scroll below the fold. Try to figure out whether you need “Northbound” or “Southbound” service, even though it runs predominantly east-west in this neighborhood.
  • If you guessed wrong, click ‘back’ and try again.
  • Scroll down the huge table until you find the information you need.

See, it’s easy. Now, if you manage a web site, is yours this simple and usable? -m

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

My favorite image for the week

Here. -m

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

New W3C Validator

Go check it out. It even has a Tidy option to clean up the markup. But they missed an important feature: it should include an option to run Tidy on the markup first then validate. This is becoming the defacto bar for web page validity anyway… -m

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

The planetary air conditioner

If a free energy device (like this one) were really possible, simple economics would dictate that (as soon as patents expired, etc.) one or several would be found in every cell phone, iPod, notebook computer, desktop computer, appliance, automobile, airplane, house, building, and factory. That’s a lot of waste heat that would get dumped onto the planet’s surface, maybe even worse than burning-stuff-to-produce-greenhouse-gasses.

But if you have unlimited energy, it would be straightforward engineering to produce a large scale air cooling unit that would (beam|radiate|dissipate) heat into space. In effect, a planetary-scale air conditioner.

Remember when you were younger and you left a window open with the A/C on, and somebody said ‘what are you trying to do, cool off the whole outdoors?’ Finally an answer to that question. :)
November, National Novel Writing Month, is coming up. Could this be the kernel of a story? What other practical considerations would there be around free energy? Comment below.