Category Archives: Uncategorized

CTO4Hire John Waters New Company

A friend and former collegue, John Waters has recently started a new venture I thought would be of interest to people who read my blog considering he’s one of the best I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I met John while at Falafel Software and his new company is CTO4Hire. John’s extremely knowledgable and has experience working on a wide range of technologies across a broad spectrum of businesses. I believe his skills and business acument make him uniquely qualified to offer the type of services provided by CTO4Hire (from his website):

CTO4Hire provides C-level business executives with on demand access to a highly qualified and experienced CTO, assisting you and your team on a per project basis, or on a retainer, with projects ranging from systems integration, evaluation of technology, vendors or employee assessments, software architecture and systems design, due diligence of planned ventures, and leadership of teams in startups or established enterprises.

You can contact John here. Having recently started a CTO position myself I’m particularly interested in following CTO4Hire.

Possible to fix card slot for Nikon D70?

I have a Nikon D70 and one day I found the flash card sticking out and discovered some little hands had been playing around with it. The issue was one of the pins was bent to the point where I couldn’t insert the card. Using a small screwdriver I was able to realign the pin and insert a card however the camera fails to recognize the card and just displays “-E-” where the image count normally would appear.

I’m curious, is this worth trying to fix? Anyone have a repair place they would recommend?

First phase of MerchantCircle redesign goes live

Shortly after MerchantCircle was acquired by Reply.com a site redesign effort was launched and I was asked to lead the effort from the development side. At the time, I’d been working as the sole developer on bloglines.com so for me this was an interesting challenge not to mention a fairly sizable gear shift. The site is built with a Python templating engine called Cheetah and consists of just over 2000 template files, in other words it’s big. It would be fair to say there was a good deal of skepticism about launching such a large undertaking and it took me a few weeks wrestling with a few approaches before I settled on a pattern I felt comfortable with. On bloglines I’d heavily leveraged Cheetah’s support for visual inheritance, something not used in the original MerchantCircle codebase though it’s the cornerstone of the redesign.

Below is the old MerchantCircle listing page (right) and the new redesign as you can see there are significant differences which are far more than skin deep.

Old Design
OldDesign_Nov_2011
New Design
NewDesign_Nov_2011

The redesign in the press:

Reply Relaunches MerchantCircle As A More Consumer-Focused Merchant Marketplace
Reply revamps MerchantCircle.com in days leading to Yelp IPO

Too many automated bill payments on the credit card

Our credit card company called yesterday and said a 3rd party database was compromised. They canceled our cards and reissued. I forgot and swiped my card at the grocery store doh! Then couldn’t download something from the AppStore and couldn’t stream a movie from Amazon and now I’m awaiting a slew of bill pay failures.

Ah the conveniences of the modern world! It’ll be nice when this is over.

Pay-per-view streaming notes

When I worked at Falafel Software as Director of Software Training I pioneered Falafel’s online training business allowing people to attend training remotely as an alternative to having me or another trainer onsite. Obviously, there are several advantages to the online model not least of which is cost when it comes to offering training. In the summer of 2010 I’d spent time reseaching hosting options for pay-per-view delivery of training videos but found it prohibitively expensive.

Fast forward a year and I’m in the hunt to create a life-style business and offering online video training is not only something I have experience it can be very lucrative as well. I haven’t looked recently but when I left Falafel online training was $499 per person for a 12 hour session over three days, four hours per day. With a little simple math (8 attendees x $499 / 12 hours) you can quickly see how lucrative it can be on an hourly basis which for a consulting company is music. Generally, the classes I conducted had well over 8 attendees thus $600-700/hour wasn’t uncommon.

As I look around at the online landscape Amazon simple keeps pushing the envelope with regard to the wide range of cloud services they offer and recently the 

Casualty of a Google Panda Update?

I’m beginning to wonder if my blog has become a casualty of a Google Panda update. Looking at Analytics my traffic is down 40% over the last month yet I’ve only posted a handful of times. That’s a pretty dramatic drop when nothing else on the site has materially changed. As I search on Google for post that I’ve written which have driven traffic to this blog they’re nowhere to be found.

Screen shot 2011-11-12 at 11.05.00 AM

Then again, perhaps I’m just getting punished for my Leaving Andriod post. (but seriously, that post was on Oct 20th)

Update Jan 16, 2012: Down traffic continues to the point where my traffic is 1/3 of what it was a year ago.

CNN’s sad attempt to use Mike Arrington

While browsing tech news this morning I stumbled into Mike Arrington’s post about an interview he did with CNN. While I’m not always a fan of Arrington, though in this case, I completely accept his explaination of what happened in his interview with Solidad O’Brien. I’ve never read CNN for Tech news and rarely look at it otherwise though this incident will further cement that relationship (or lack thereof).

Btw, my prior and current CEO where Egyption and Persian respectively, both Entreprenuers.

American Airlines Threatens to Take Away My 9598 Miles

Dear American Airlines, 

Screen shot 2011-09-13 at 8.15.03 PMLast September was one of the most difficult of my career. I spent 24 of 30 days on the road flying all over the US on many American flights (Seattle WA, Columbus OH, Lexington SC) and ending with my family on our vacation at Disneyland and while I was left attending a conference in San Diego not that you’d know or care about any of that. Though you were kind enough to inform me today if I don’t find some way to engage with with you you’ll cancel my hard earned miles.

I just wanted to say thanks for adding this little nugget to my day.