Sometimes you just have bad luck:

the blog » hardware issue: “Looks like the failure is more serious than simply a primary disk array. We lost two disks simultaneously in a big storage server called a RAID 5 array. Our RAID 5 arrays are supposed to be able to lose any two disks and keep running, but you can’t really lose two disks simultaneously. It’s all a bit technical, and I’ll spare you the details. Almost immediately after that happened — you really can’t make this up — the power went out at our secondary datacenter.”

Working from home: rythm vs. structure

When you’re working for yourself, not just working from home but really working for yourself, you don’t have to stick to 9 to 5. 9 to 5 is only used because it’s easy to control by companies, anyways. Nobody is productive from 9 to 5. I never heard anyone say: “Jee, I’m really at my best from 9 to 5.”

So when you work for yourself, instead of a structure that tells you when to work, you have to find your rythm. The times of the day when you get certain stuff done.

For me, after a coffee in the morning, I have a few hours of very creative, focused attention in which I get a lot done. Rythm has a lot to do with how you eat, by the way. But it’s different for everyone. So, finding your rythm. Figuring out when’s a good time to do coding, versus when’s a good time to go to the bank.

See also: Get your rythm

During Friday Curfew Busy Mansur is Empty 4

“Curfew in Baghdad normally starts at 8 pm most days. This means no cars are allowed on the streets after 8pm, and you shouldn’t be wandering outside your house without extremely urgent business.

These days Iraqis tend to be at home by 5 or 6pm.

Before the war, even during the sanctions, Mansur was a hip, lively, exciting area. Think of it as the East Village or Mission District of Baghdad.

Now the curfew begins at 11am on Fridays, and doesn’t end until 6am Saturday. This means Iraqis are prevented from travelling the city for almost 24 hours one day a week.

When you include this with the other 60 hours Baghdad residents are under curfew, this means you are under curfew about half of your life in Baghdad.”

"Minuteman Fuera de NYC!!!": the "Minutemen" are this self-appointed group of people who want to get immigrants out of the country. What a crazy idea, and racist too. This is a video of a protest against the minutemen.

Watch movie (Quicktime, 3.8 min, 30.1 MB)

Original post, from gerardo romo z.:

Protestas contra el grupo anti-inmigrante Minuteman Click here to view video

(Via Mefeedia)

Get your rythm

I’m up early today, couldn’t sleep with the heat. It’s 4:00 am. Yeah, that’s ridiculous.

So I figured I’d do an experiment. Since I work mostly from home these days, I’m always trying to find the best rythm. I know that usually, I get up and from like 8:00am to noon, I’m very productive. In the afternoon, not so, so I do chores then.

What can I get done this early? Is it a time to code? To wax philosophically? To read up?

What do you do?

"Prodigio peruano en Nueva York". I met Gerardo a few weeks ago. He’s videoblogging for El Diario, a Spanish newspaper in New York. His videoblogs are fantastic, a great insight in daily life of Spanish New York.

He’s a pioneer. He must be one of the first paid videobloggers in the world.

Watch movie (Quicktime, 1.7 min, 13.7 MB)

Original post, from gerardo romo z.:

(Via Mefeedia)

"AK – Parking Lot, pt.1" American King – check it out. The true America.

Watch movie (Quicktime, 2.7 min, 15.3 MB)

Original post, from Human Dog Productions:

Garrett explains a new job prospect as part of his plan to get his life back together. Look for more on Friday. Subscribe to Human Dog using the Big Feed Button on the left and get American King and the rest of Human Dog delivered free. Your comments are appreciated. DOWNLOAD Quicktime/iPod VIDEO FILE DOWNLOAD Windows VIDEO FILE

(Via Mefeedia)

"Sometimes I Feel Like This". Short, atmospheric, and making a beautiful point, I like this kind of videoblogging.

Watch movie (Quicktime, 0.7 min, 2.3 MB)

Original post, from Ryanne’s Video Blog:

Know what I mean? Jay definately caught me in a mood. That mood seems to have been lasting about 2 weeks. I’m slowly slipping out of it though. Thanks to things like Node101 Weekend which remind me that there is still hope in the world. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

(Via Mefeedia)

P.O.V. – The Tailenders . Behind the Lens. Filmmaker Interview | PBS: “The Tailenders” documents Global Recordings Network, which is an organization that has the goal of translating Bible stories into every language in the world. The organization use low-tech hand-wind players to distribute those recordings. And the film follows them going to the Solomon Islands, India and Mexico as they make translations and distribute them.”

Just saw this movie, very interesting.

In all the web 2.0 business talk, I never hear anyone say that it’s perfectly valid to create a business, run it for a while and then kill it. Why is that?

Here’s an article about something that was a real eye-opener for me a few years ago: it costs more to be poor.

Basically, if you’re poor, you pay more for everything. Housing (you rent, you don’t own), food, loans, you name it.

Study Documents ‘Ghetto Tax’ Being Paid by the Urban Poor: “The poor are also the main customers for appliances and furniture at “rent to ownâ€? stores, where payments are stretched out at very high interest rates; in Wisconsin, a $200 television can end up costing $700.”

Keywords » Oligarchy: “During the years that George W. Bush has been in the White House, productivity growth has been stronger than ever. But the real compensation of all but the top 20 percent of income earners has been flat or falling. Gains in wages, salaries and benefits have been increasingly concentrated at the uppermost rungs of the income ladder.”

What seems to be happening is that, at least in the US, the rich are getting richer: Fujita-san Fujita-san: “A couple days ago she came to me with a print out of this database record. It turns out the subject of that record, Santaro Fujita, lived in our house in 1942 (though we don’t know if he rented or owned.)

What will sadly not surprise you, if you connect a Japanese name and the year 1942, is that the record is evidence of his relocation that year to the Central Utah Relocation Center, but not before being housed at the race track in Tanforan (San Bruno, California). As in, horse stalls converted to barracks. (You can download a Powerpoint presentation featuring photos of Tanforan.)

Look again at that record. That such a reductive, factual presentation of data can stir up such sadness is a bit shocking. Fujita-san was no recent emigre. At the time of his relocation, he was nearly 60 years old, having lived in the United States over 40 years. The idea that our government considered him in any way a threat is dismaying to a remarkable degree.”

Momentshowing: Amercian King

Momentshowing: Amercian King: “Let me tell you why I like American King:
Daily shows are becoming very popular in the Videoblogging world. I think the TV industry really gets into the idea of short, daily content. I’m personally not so interested because it reminds me of “distraction entertainment”. It’s the “i’m bored at work. Make me laugh.” There is certainly a place for this kind of video. Topical. Breezy. Light. Fun. It’s here and then forgotten. Next thing.

Chris has made a name for himself creating the universe of Human Dog. Like an HBO series, the story is told in parts. Each part informs the later videos. A rich, complex world is formed. The stortelling of Amercian King assumes that the viewer will follow along and learn the world. Like an HBO show, the story begins and will eventually end. Complexties and subtleties are the highlights.”

Mefeedia development practices

For mefeedia, we’re getting better and better at developing practices. I always had a way to print out queries being performed on any page, today I added a way to have an EXPLAIN statement run on those queries and output a warning if something looks funky (using filesort, no index used, …). That way, I can browse through the site and very easily see if there are potentially bad queries on a specific page, like in the picture below.

In the example below, there’s a query that uses a filesort, which is often a bad thing, so I go to PHPMyAdmin to do an explain on that query, and see if I can improve that query by adding an index or something.

Other development practices that are really helping that we use are (clearly) using versioning, a bug database and a fairly clean internal API. For our internal API, we also run PHPDoc to generate automatic documentation, which is really easy when trying to find if there’s a function that does what you want and for refactoring stuff.

Another pretty cool thing we got is a script that does simple counts of rows in the database. It’s on an external server (a shared host), and just pings the db every hour, gets a list of tables and logs their rowcounts. It’s a great way of adding stats, I’m surprised I didn’t find an open source solution to do that. We added graphs to make it even nicer. The only regret I have is that I didn’t start doing this from day 1.

The only things we feel we are really missing now is a way to do a 1-click go-to-beta and a 1-click go-live of changes. That’ll help us roll stuff out more regularly. We’re working on that.

Codec for Sony vegas

Sony Vegas is great, but if you make movies witha small digital camera like the Canon Powershots, the videos are in avi format with a codec that Vegas doesn’t have. The result is that, when you add a video to the timeline, only the audio shows up.

A lot of places try to sell you codecs for like 20$.

It took my a while to find, but the first link on this page (morgan-multimedia) is free and works great and fixed the problem: :: View topic – How do I open AVI files create by still cameras?

Jon’s Radio

Jon’s Radio: a great post on licensing aggregated data.

It’s a question I’ve been struggling with for mefeedia. Clearly, all the data like posts and videos is licensed under the license specified by the creators.

But there are also lists, playlists, tags and so on that we and our users create and aggregate.

During a discussion with Jon, I started thinking of it as “the people’s data” instead of “mefeedia’s data”. That helped.

And I am trying to find a very open license to license our aggregation of the people’s data out again. It’s a struggle all aggregation type services will have to deal with.

The all new Yahoo! homepage, has, for the first time ever, no longer any trace of the directory that made them so famous. The directory was already moved towards the bottom of the page in a tiny box last time, but now it seems like it’s totally gone. (I’m not counting the search box directory switch).

Wigblog – Things Internet and Otherwise by Richard Wiggins

Wigblog – Things Internet and Otherwise by Richard Wiggins: “Imagine my surprise one day in April 2006 when, while merrily Googling away doing research for the book, I discovered you could already buy it! O’Reilly had assigned the book an ISBN — 0596101910 — and submitted it to the Amazons of the world as a soon-to-be-published book!”

OReilly is telling the world that they are publishing Lou Rosenfeld’s new publishing house‘s first upcoming book.

Is OReilly playing dirty? An honest mistake? Whatever the case, it does sound like OReilly could make a bit more of an effort to straighten this out.

Scripting News: 7/15/2006

Scripting News: 7/15/2006: “In the case of Podshow, I know who they are, and have seen how ruthless they can be with other people’s work, not just mine, and how their lack of conscience means they’ll do things that I don’t want to know about, but since it’s in my area of creativity, I have to be concerned.”

O’Reilly Radar > A Week in the Valley: GData

O’Reilly Radar > A Week in the Valley: GData: “I had a great lunch with Chris DiBona and Mark Lukovsky at Google. There’s a huge move within Google away from SOAP and even REST-style ad hoc APIs and towards GData instead. The big point for me was that GData is just Atom/RSS for reading, Atom Publishing for writing, and A9 stored queries for searching. They had to specify a bit of glue around sync and so on, but the whole thing is that simple.”