Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blog moved

This blog has become pretty dead over the last few years. I have taken on a new blog and a new project. . this blog is about using a hobby cnc machine to create a full sized fully working r2d2 from locally available parts. check it out

Friday, April 3, 2009

Movies? Piracy? Wake up Movie industry!

The movie wolverine leaked onto the net the other day, and the movie companies are mad. What are your thoughts on these leaks? Wouldn't it be easier for a movie to be available on the internet, a DVD, and the theater at the same time? Wouldn't more people pick one of those options to view it legally? Not sure about where you live, but in San Francisco, its 10 dollars for a ticket (20 if you go with someone) about 6 bucks for a soda, and about 7 for a medium popcorn.

If I could pay 20 for a high quality version on release day I would do it in a second. It would be less painful than searching trojan infested sites for movies. Alas, in order to watch a movie legally we either have to share a large room with sticky floors, talking people, and the shushers (shhhhhhhhhhhh!) Oh, and the owners of the theater telling you what to do with your cell phone.

In the day of high definition home theaters, it is sometimes more fullfilling to sit at home and enjoy a flick. I dont promote piracy, but I think the movie industry is ripe for some changes. The record industry has adapted (because they were forced by pirates to change) For most people it is much easier to download their songs from Itunes than to search for a particular mp3. (although DRM is a pain in the ass)

So the movie companies are being stolen from, thats sad, but don't you feel like youve been robbed when you spend good money for a handfull of popcorn that probably cost less than 50 cents? Support the movie companies, but also let them know how you feel!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday, September 18, 2008

ready set go!!!

Ok, its been a nice long break. We had the trip to Europe, the wedding, George and Brad's wedding in LA. Time to return to real life. I'm currently finalizing a small contract project for a possible company to be built around. But its time to get a bit more serious, so I updated my resume, and have spent some time picking a few places I would like to work at. Now I need to write up some cover letters and hand them off.

I thought I would like doing nothing, but that just isnt in my nature. I am also currently working with someone on a screenplay for a project, but I am not counting on that as a real item, since these things need funding, and he will have to "sell it" to someone willing to take a risk on a small film.

For anyone reading this that plans on leaving a company with a name like Google, just be careful about where you inquire for job's, since if you post your info in public places, your email box will fill up with a bunch of headhunter emails quickly.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sept 15, 2008

We attended the wedding of Brad Altman and George Takei over the weekend, it was an amazing and emotionally touching event. I have a few pics posted here: PICS

They were also kind enough to attend the wedding of Andy and myself last month. Congratulations to them both!

Its important that marriage remain legal in California, lets not let this slip away.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Personal Journey On Google Earth Part 1

Well it's done. I've cut the Google ship loose. Yesterday was my last day at Google. I gave them four years of my life, and it all started about six years ago at a small company named Keyhole, at that time, the Google Earth ancestor was known as Earthviewer 3D...

On Saint Patricks day in 2003 I began work at a small company of about 28 people in Mountain View. We were working on this cool little application that allowed people to manipulate a 3D globe and zoom down to highly detailed overhead views. Too bad there were only a handful of cities with data worth viewing.

I always like to joke that when I started at Keyhole, their financial situation began to improve. The company had just come out of some hard times where people had gone without his/her paychecks because there was no money to pay them with. In reality, the truth was that the war had just started in Iraq, and "Shock and Awe" was all over the news. Our little product started to get some attention on the web and in the news due to CNN using it constantly to report on the war. CNN was a paying customer, "WOO-HOO!!! Paychecks won't bounce", I thought to myself.

Keyhole was always scrambling to please our biggest customer, the Agency, which used our cool interface to view their own top secret data. Even today, the Agency is a large customer of Google's, but their importance and influence on day to day development has wained since their money is no longer a significant part of Google's income.

As a software engineer, we always were prepared to quickly change direction and help deal with whatever issues the Agency may have had. This was sometimes problematic, since the computers running the program and experiencing the issues were often in "secure" areas. This meant that they were contained in rooms with no outside telephone lines and shielded from cell phone signals. A tech trying to resolve their issues would have to leave the secure area, talk to one of our engineers or support people, go back and try something, yadda yadda yadda.... You can see how issues sometimes took a while to resolve......

The Agency kept keyhole in business, a kind of lifeline, but we were still looking for something more. Keyhole continued on for a while in that same state, evolving and adding more features. We matured to the point where we looked more like a legitimate Windows application and decided to ditch the mickey mouse type interface for a more professional look. Due to a lawsuit over the naming of the application we had to change the name of our product.

Earthviewer 3D became known to the world as Keyhole Pro (NV and LT for the consumer World).

Since this is my first day without an obligation to go to work I will finish this little story later.