Monday, October 31, 2005

OXO and design failures. 

"We're not afraid of a slow build," says Levy. "We're designing products to last a long time."

OXO seems to have a very agile approach to product development. They go through iterations of products because a lot of things just aren't apparent until you see them in real life. For instance, they made a bagel slicer which makes slicing bagels a lest dangerous activity. When they demoed it in Chicago it was somewhat of a failure in that they hadn't designed for Chicago sized bagels (much smaller than their New York counterparts).

The cool thing is that they learned from this mistake. When they made a mango splitter they made sure to test against many varieties of mangos; not just one type. The same thing can be done in software development. When starting a new project most seasoned developers make sure to have source control available, for instance.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I know it's been a while 

But this is how I've been feeling for a while.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Cato Institute's view 

An interesting opinion in that it says both the Republican and Democrat candidates are wrong when it comes to Iraq. I don't agree with the article's conclusion, but at least it's somewhat fresh.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

The Fall Season 

We've been trying out a few of the new fall shows to give Tivo something to do in place of Angel and 24 (which officially sucks as of season 3). There are three shows that seem quite promising: Lost (NBC), CSI-NY(CBS) and Veronica Mars(UPN). Lost is kind of a first season 24/Survivor mix with surprising good suspense. CSI-NY is darker more disturbing brother of the original CSI. Much better than CSI-Miami because David Caruso is a chode in contrast to an enjoyable Gary Sinese. Veronica Mars is a non-supernatural Buffy (a high compliment in my book).

In other news the Bahama Breeze restaurant on Stonelake Blvd is being replaced with a Baby Alcapulco's. I already forsee a few nights of Purple maragarita debauchery.

Monday, September 27, 2004

I didn't inhale. 

My continuing obsession with The Daily Show.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Wireless Replays 

I'd love this feature on a small handheld at the races we go to. BTW, there will be road courses next year.

More from Italy 

We got back from Italy last week and I'm happy to be back. It was my first foray outside of North America and definitely my first extended trip in a country where I don't at least speak a little bit of the language. Without question it was a great time and it was made all the more fun to be able to share it with Laura. She's quite a bit more well traveled than I am so she was able to smooth the way a bit in the more stressful situations like driving around in swarms of Vespas and clearing customs on the way back.

People keep asking me my favorite part of Italy and what things stuck out most as being different than the states. And both have pretty much the same answer: the extensive history. Everywhere you went, it was readily apparent that humans had called this place home for a long time. Certainly people have been in the US for a long time, but native Americans didn't leave as much Western type signs that they were here. Or at the very least, those signs have not been integrated so tightly into the prevailing culture as they have been in Italy.

Laura and I really enjoyed Florence. Although this is an over simplification, the difference between Austin and Houston is about the same difference between Florence and Rome. Rome is huge, has lots of culture and definitely feels like a large metropolitan city. Florence is a quite a bit smaller and feels more like a place where people live. These perceptions are probably more related to where we visited and how the tourist areas are laid out.

We had no problems finding good inexpensive food in Florence. Much like Ed suggested, we would walk down the street, see a busy place and get in line. We had some GREAT fresh pasta and Florentine steak that I will never forget.

Tuscany reminded me a lot of the wine country in California; which I guess isn't a huge surprise. Quite pretty and very laid back.

But finally, we got ready to go home. I was really looking forward to ESPN, the Simpsons in English and most importantly, Tivo. Well I guess Tivo and my friends and family, but you get the point. At the Rome airport it was interesting to note that the check-in counter for our flight back to Chicago was off to the side and you had to go through a security checkpoint to get there. The security was a few uniformed military looking people with fully-automatic weapons. There was also a couple of guys with guns walking the cat-walk up top. All of the flights had one of two things in common: they were headed for the States or they were headed for Israel.

Democracy Inaction 

I just got this book from Amazon today. I've only read 2 pages of it and it's already made me laugh out loud at least 6 times.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Mid Afternoon 

For JP:

Early afternoon - 12-2pm.
Mid afternoon - 2-3pm.
Late afternoon 3-5pm.

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