Fancy Dance – Michael Roberts

This is Michael Roberts. I've met him twice, once in Connecticut at this low key pow wow at Foxwoods and then again at the Stanford Pow wow last May. He's one of my favorite dancers. Mike's footwork is phenomenal and his outfit is one of the best– the beadwork, the featherwork are really beautiful. He's getting two songs here, a Northern song and a Southern contest dance song. Talk about that later.

Garmin Edge 305


The hottest toy on IronTeam of late is the Garmin Edge 305.  It's a pretty wicked bike computer/heart monitor/GPS device.  It's about $275 at Amazon.

For runners, the hot item from Garmin is the Forerunner 305, which is more or less the same product but you wear the device on your wrist.  It's about $215 at Amazon.

Anyway, I don't actually want either of these.  I really don't care about bike stats, kinda takes the fun out of riding a bike.  I do have a bike computer, which has ended up being a very expensive clock (not totally true since I do use it for knowing total distance but close enough).

Some people love bike stats and many bike computers are able to hook up to laptops and you can monitor a workout by distance, time, elevation, etc.  Pretty comprehensive.  Here's an example.

2008 Madone 5.2 Pro

Just when I thought there was nothing left to buy…here comes the 2008 model of the Trek Madone 5.2. I can get this in a frameset woohoo if I'm a good boy. Trek's color choices lately haven't been great (the top of the line bike is black and orange, WTF?) but luckily they make a blue.

I had a 2004 Trek 5200 that had a frame issue due to chain suck. My current Madone 5.2 '05 bike has been through three Ironman seasons and will go through it's fourth Ironman in August. I don't even know how much mileage that is. I'm sure it has a few more seasons left, so maybe next year for a new bike. Maybe?

Usually when I set my mind to liking something I go get it. I need to start doing that with stocks and stuff more.

The Paradox of Choice

I pulled down previous posts on this book (for no good reason), The Paradox of Choice. If you're in software, marketing, general business, or just having issues, I recommend this book.

Top Takeaways

  • For people in business, basically saying that there's a pretty big opportunity in just making life simple and easy for people and to not give people *so* many choices. Life is already hard as it is.
  • This book kinda tells you how to make choices or at least helps you understand what you're doing, profiles you in how you make choices, and provides really good insight with real examples. Almost every page, I'm like yup I can relate.
  • Basically reinforces that life is tough.

One last thing.  Taste is so hard to figure out.  Yelp and Amazon reviews are starting to not be so helpful anymore.  From a quick search perspective, reviews are still good.  Getting any more details on a product, service, restaurant, etc, better off getting a recommendation from a friend or hopefully finding others who consistently have the same taste as yours (which are usually friends).

La Virgen de Guadalupe

A day in Mexico City was interesting. Got to stay in a cool hotel, the Emporio Reforma Hotel, very chic and modern with lovely soap and shampoo (that I of course brought home). Didn't get mugged, didn't get kidnapped. Mexico City is a tad busy, dirty, smoggy, muggy, and it kinda made me sad. Reminded me of Manila.

Anyhow, made my pilgrimage over to La Basilica de Guadalupe which is basically falling down. The new Basilica next to it has a funky looking architecture on the outside but it's nice on the inside. Ended up going to Mass there, that was cool.

Now La Virgen de Guadalupe is an interesting story that we do get taught in Catholic school. It became a little more concrete when seeing the cloak of Juan Diego in the Church, as in, oh this story is real. It's hard not to be skeptical but you have to not be if you plan on being religious. If you're not familiar with the story of La Virgen de Guadalupe, you have to read about it. It's required reading for wanting to know anything about Mexico and Latin America.

It was cool seeing a miracle first hand (even though I'm about 500 years too late). Not often miracles happen.

Web Browser Market Share Projection

Steve Jobs put together a slide of his view of the Web Browser market share and what he wants. This is my view of the Web Browser Market share and what *I* want to see. I have Keynote too baby.

Given the current state of the Web browser market — if Mozilla keeps doing what they're doing, Apple keeps doing what they're doing, and Internet Explorer continues to suck, then my wishful projections aren't far off.


  • Internet Explorer at 40%; it'll stay with the highest share because of corp usage, and default distribution
  • Firefox at 30%; because of International strength, simplicity and product strength
  • Safari at 15%; because of default distribution on Mac OS X
  • Others at 15%; variations of Firefox/IE, Opera etc.

What's more realistic is:

  • Internet Explorer at 55%
  • Firefox at 20%
  • Safari at 15%
  • Others at 10%

I've been tracking browser market share since 1999. What amazes me about it is the fluctuation over the years. You'd think it would be more stable but it's not. Two more things: 1) before the web was young and so users were being added like crazy. Now it's more of a zero-sum game. 2) With all this talk about browsers, Flash has *all* the users. It amazes me how they did it. should have Adobe and Flash in their sights if keeping the Web open is their top priority. Adobe and Flash scare me.

Needle Movers

The biggest needle movers:

  • If Google enters the browser market or continues to ride Mozilla Firefox. I'm hoping the latter. If Google enters the browser market, they're just getting greedy because they already have the primary hooks in Firefox. Google needs to continue to help distribute Firefox, especially to maintain their goodwill with developers and the Web.
  • How Mozilla does in Asia, China, Japan, and Korea. Also if they pay for PC distribution or improve on getting Firefox in the Enterprise space.
  • Some other browser that we don't know even know about that's better than what's available today.
  • Major cheating by either Apple or Microsoft by making certain programs only work in IE or Safari.

Have to go to the beach now…I'll update this post in a bit.

wax on, wax off

Things I do for IronTeam (sigh). I will be a participant in a "waxing" fundraiser where people can bid to wax different parts of my body, clearly to inflict much pain. I have my chest, arms, and legs for sale? Brazilian wax is off limits.

I've never had a body wax before, it's a very metrosexual/gay kinda thing to do. Athletes like swimmers and cyclists do shave their legs though and I've done that before (for cyclists it's basically when you fall, wounds heal a little more cleanly).

Anyway, here are the details – Saturday, June 23rd, Crissy Field in San Francisco at 12:30pm. There will be lots of food and lots of hair flying around. And lots of men crying.

Playa del Carmen

photo of Playa del Carmen

This is Playa del Carmen, I'm here through Sunday and then to Mexico City for a day and then home on Monday. May drop over to Cozumel on Saturday and definitely would love to vacation here for real to see Tulum, Chicken Pizza, and hang out for a while.

I'm doing work though and actually a product launch hopefully today. I came because have to work out some things and then the fact that Playa del Carmen has wicked good web access sealed the deal. Otherwise, I'd do the product launch from home but then why not launch a product from Mexico or work from Mexico or anywhere in the world really if you can.

Which brings me to this. Wireless internet access should be ubiquitous as the phone. I should just be able to open up my laptop and start surfing away regardless of location: in the mountains, on the beach, in a cafe, at home, wherever. I had a problem in San Mateo the other day and I was looking for directions. I had to go into a Starbucks and pay for web access when I really should've just been able to open up my laptop and start surfing.

Mountain View and San Francisco via Google is going to get wireless access City Wide. I'd like to see Ask step up and give free wireless access to the city of Oakland. Maybe Microsoft should do the same and do it for Seattle and possibly AOL for Washington D.C. Once that starts happening, maybe other companies need to step in and the government can step in and then we'll have this crazy free (or pay a premium for a little better/more secure) wireless network.

Thoughts on XUL Runner

[I had deleted an earlier post for one reason or another on XUL Runner. I'm rewriting per a request]

I'm coming at this from a different perspective so what I'm thinking could be inaccurate.

Background 1

The evolution of XUL runner was based out of AOL being able to leverage the Netscape browser into the main AOL client. Basically one instance of the browsing engine should be on the machine and it could be leveraged by AOL, Netscape, CompuServe or whatever application that may need it. This kinda launched as GRE or Gecko Runtime Environment. One of the bigger reasons for this at the time was download size of the different applications. Of course that was in a still dial-up world in the year 2000.

In any case, AOL never embedded Netscape into their main client, it was tested and launched in the long defunct CompuServe client. It did work though.

Background 2

The modern thoughts on XULRunner came when the Mozilla Suite needed to be broken up into the separate applications. The thought was a Firefox or Thunderbird or Sunbird or whatever other applications that come up could leverage a single XULRunner instance and the download would be light, there would be shared components, and all would be happy.


There are three:

1) to do a XULRunner is hard, not easy building one of these and be able to predict what all the applications want, different versioning, etc.

2) The investment in XULRunner was minimal (just not a priority and if it's not Firefox who cares) and didn't get the chance to really get flushed out. Who was gathering the requirements? Who was talking to customers? Who was evangelizing the platform? Where were the white papers? It's still a project and maybe it will get it flushed out more down the road.

3) Possibly the biggest issue, no one is building client software anymore, none that matter anyway. You have two extremes, little shareware type applications that do one or two things that can be done using platform specific code. The other extreme is like an Adobe Photoshop i.e. some wickedly complex piece of software and you're not going to base Adobe Photoshop on XULRunner. Given #2, you're not going to get #3.

The interesting thing is that XULRunner is in direct competition with offline apps. XUL versus AJAX type offline apps would be a neat exercise to see what's good and bad about each. It's funny because we've had "offline" apps for the longest times, it's called n|VU and Thunderbird, and Songbird.

*I think this is what I said in the post deleted "XULRunner Pipe Dream" or something like that. I just whipped this up so I probably have more thoughts on this.

Traffic School

Mitchell wrote about her experience with traffic school, and I had a good laugh at that (not that I was surprised, it was just funny). Anyway payback sucks in terms of schadenfreude and I got my first ever speeding ticket in April on my way to San Diego. I've gotten a bunch of tickets lately, a no U-Turn ticket in Alameda (on Park Street), and a couple of parking tickets. And I'm like what the heck is going on!

Anyway, I used It took me a little over an hour to complete the course and test which was pleasant. It was a good refresher but I don't remember anything (thank goodness for tabbed browsing and the nifty find feature).

What differed with my experience from Mitchell is that verification of who I am was done online (otherwise a notary or some other method is required). I did my verification through Experian the credit history people. I gave them information about my accounts that really only I should know and they gave a time limit for me to answer them. They asked about accounts I've held and also how much my mortgage was and a few other challenge questions. [I'm wondering if someone could just buy my credit history and do the same thing.]

Now, there's got to be a better way to verify identity than me having to pay Experian a $15 convenience fee. I need to read about DSS some more which I guess is standardized? And I don't know about personal certificates either. People just won't get how that works.