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Archives / 2005 / September
  • Tech company execs generally make lousy presenters

    Being in Guam, I'm limited by budget and geography in not being able to personally attend big events put on by leading firms in the high-tech sector like Google, Microsoft, CBS News, Oracle, etc.  So I watch a lot of streaming video of their grand presentations, both from live trade shows and from pre-produced marketing devices.  I've now developed another excuse for not going: the presenters, more often than not, are absolutely terrible.

    I normally have to force myself to remain focused on the content therein, not the typical boring/uninformative/unentertaining way in which it is presented (a key factor to the success of any talk).  Many execs, technical VPs or product managers seem like they'e just unpassionately reciting an prepared script, and others make me wonder if  they even have a pulse at all.  Ironically, the "presentation" is missing from their delivery.

    This brings to light the common conundrum for tech firms: most marketing people aren't technically savvy enough to conduct the presentation in a manner which would allow them to leave the room without being torn to shreds by the audience (typically 95% techie/5% mainstream news media); and most engineering types tragically don't possess the salesman-esque people skills - humor, passion, delivery - needed to really effectively communicate a message.  How can we leverage a presentation where the content is technically accurate and integrated, yet retaining the conviction, quality of delivery and evangelism that's so required?

    Most people aren't gifted with being blessed with cross-discipline skills, so one suffers.  And in my experience with tech presentations, it's always the sellability factor.  It just makes for boring, uninspired viewing.  The passion is obviously there, it's just not effectuated.

    Think about it - how many software engineers in large shops who write complex functionality code simultaneously work on UI development?  It's the segmented, single-purpose nature of the industry that's given rise to this deficiency. 

    These companies have cash coming out the wazzoo, so take a note: hire the genius of Penn Gillette to do your next keynote or product demo.  He's known the world over for his wit and delivery, he's a geek and is phenomenally gifted technically, and his ability to marry even the most complex technical concepts with proper delivery (i.e., get the books-on-tape version of Nicholas Negroponte's "Being Digital", read by Gillette) is much appreciated by people like me, who consider the holistic value of tech speeches.

    If not, then there's some serious work to do.

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  • "eBay Hotties"? That's just wrong.

    I was perusing several Slide image stream channels and noticed that one was named "eBay Hotties".  Intrigued, I checked it out, and it looks to be a gallery of corsets and other slinky regalia.  I dug it - very nicely done, artsy, and tasteful.  But my initial reaction - the very notion of promoting pictures of women and men appearing in online auctions was just difficult to latch onto.

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  • No love for my hometown in mapping apps

    This is a self-defeating argument, but it irks me to no end how I can write all these cool apps integrating Google Maps and Google Earth, but there's no representation for Guam (this is so often the case with most industries).  I know it'll be there someday, but I wish I could participate in all the Flickr craze displaying my company's site, my house, my school, and other places while the technology's still in beta.

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  • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes - September 29, 2005

    EPISODE #120 - I recall my night of stress as MSNBC.com's outage causes my homepage to break, I drill down into a fantasy football segment I'm developing for TV and the idiosyncracies involved, and I wonder why Natasha Bedingfield has an alternate version of her video for "These Words" running on MTV on VH-1.

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  • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes - September 27, 2005

    EPISODE #119 - I'm back in the office and back with tech bits for you to consider.  I totally luck out, discovering that the cup holder device that holds my iPod Mini perfectly holds my cell phone, so I've got my own digital theater (albeit streaming video on a 3"-x-2" screen with choppy audio.  But hell, it works, right?  Plus, I give you a little teaser about the new business plan I'm working on to develop KUAM's new broadband channel.

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  • Is a blog without an RSS feed *really* a blog?

    I just now had a very Scoble-ian thought: can a blog without an RSS feed to which people can subscribe really be considered a blog?  I've been discovering several sites lately that claim to have blogs, and they pretty much hit the mark in terms of features indicative of the medium (reverse chronoligical posts, categorized/hierarchial sorting, contact info, etc.), but no RSS feed. 

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  • Generating maps dynamically with Google Maps and ASP.NET 1.x

    I spent part of the weekend tapping the Google Maps API, developing a custom ASP.NET 1.x app that pinpoints some of the more memorable locations during my brief residency in Seattle (see my sample here).  Bill Pierce created a .NET custom server control to use Google Maps in ASP.NET 1.x, which basically acts as a wrapper for the public API so that you can use server-side event handlers that automatically generate client-side code that display a map.  Bill's process really makes the effort easy. 

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  • Neat little CSV with US/territorial zip & area codes

    Bill Bercik has a nice little Ajax programming tutorial in PHP for dynamically displaying city names and area codes after a user specifices a zip code.  The key component of the downloadable source code is a CSV that contains nearly 42,800 zip codes and area codes for U.S. cities and cities within U.S. territories, which can be easily imported into a database.  It's a great source for data if you're developing apps or utilities involving geocoding.

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  • Suffering through buffering: MTV's "Overdrive " - streaming...but not quite?

    I'm thinking I may have to issue a retraction for what I'm about to assert at some point in the future, with Guam's bandwidth being crappy (along with other infrastructure- and consumer-based technologies).  But I've spent a hefty part of what I'm assuming is a lovely Sunday evening trying to figure out exactly if MTV's customizable broadband service, MTV Overdrive, really is supposed to deliver video to my desktop by way of archived streams, or not.  

    I've tried a few different times throughout the week at various times of the day to capitalize on non-peak load, and I can't get the video to truly play-as-I'm-watching, being forced to endure long buffering periods.  It took me about 54 minutes to finally get all 8.5 minutes of a Kelly Clarkson piece from the 2005 VMAs.  And when it did come down, it was stellar - crisp video, rich audio - and I really dig the playlist feature.  But it was a major chore getting to that point.

    Maybe it's just me, or maybe the demand for VMA videos is still in high demand.

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  • Google Maps mash-ups dominate mapping hacks for Rita

    One thing I've noticed from the blogosphere and then have been able to somewhat confirm with a quick Google search is that the number of Google Maps hacks tracking Hurricane Rita far outnumber those from MSN Virtual Earth.  The former are legion; the only examples I've been able to find of the latter are here and here. And that's sort of to be expected, being an MSNBC product, and due largely to Scoble's pimping

    I've yet to personally hack around with Virtual Earth, and, coolness factor notwithstanding, I guess the ease-of-use of the API, viral marketing push for Google Maps, and expected "anything as long as it's not Microsoft" mindset is what keeps it so popular among the developer community.

    Have you realized what this says about participatory journalism?  This is Participatory Development!  I've seen developers normally apathetic towards global events build things rapidly for mankind's benefit, just because it's the right thing to do.  Any major events in the history of the world, acts of nature or otherwise, from this point on are going to be documented, archived, coded, architected, and shared through all sorts of neat apps.  More impressive, mapping apps are still at the embryonic stage where the APIs aren't easy enough to tap for the neophyte to use (case in point: blogs circa 2001).  Imagine the community's reaction when developing a custom web-based mapping application, obtaining geocode coordinates, dropping in a few custom pictures, an adding commentary will be as simple as point-and-click and drag-and-drop.

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  • Joel Ross tackles GoogleNet, Microsoft's reorg

    RossCodeWeekly 19 is now online, both as a blog post and a downloadable podcast (as read by yours truly). Joel Ross presents his views on a whole bunch of things this week, including the finer points of VoIP, the iPod's Bluetooth support (or lack thereof), the weird world of DVRs, and of course, Microsoft's reorganization and GoogleNet.

    Good stuff...check it out!

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  • I am so envious of Adrian Holovaty

    Envy, being one of the Seven Deadly Sins, makes for strange behavior patterns within those who exhibit it.  It's generally accepted in society that having such feelings are bad for one's moral structure, mental stability, and health.  That having been said, I still can't help but feel absolutely jealous of Adrian Holovaty.

    I've long admired Adrian's impressive body of work as a web developer, intelligently bridging proper functionality with stellar presentation.  And if it lends any more credence than the next guy because I'm also in the same profession and we share a similar background, that's a bonus (see below).  In my mind, he's the best, and our industry's web celeb - the dude who's rightfully getting proper recognition for his groundbreaking work.  

    Adrian recently won the prestigious Batten Award for outstanding achievement in online journalism for his masterpiece, ChicagoCrime.org, a groundbreaking Google Maps mash-up showing detailed and multiple profiles of various types of offenses in the Windy City.  The nod also netted him a cool $10,000, which he plans to reinvest in the project to support expansion, newer features, and even greater success.

    So I'm envious not because he's gotten fame, fortune and a sweet job for his toiling - I'm more upset at my own community, in that I'll never be able to pull off a localized equivalent of ChicagoCrime.org.  The critical underlying data upon which such a system would be based simply isn't available from my local government in a format easily attainable or programmatically accessible by myself or others.  The Illinois state government is fortunately modernized that it not only has data warehousing savvy to archive such information electronically, but is also of a liberal enough mindset to make this information available for public use.  

    Guam's public sector has traditionally been so apathetic and ignorant to keeping electronic copies in modern formats that every decade or so this develops into a big archival issue.  (And if you think I'm going to spend months scanning/OCR'ing Word-based police blotters, you're out of your damn mind.)  Also, and in my mind the larger issue, the arrogance of small-town leadership (Guam's population teeters at around 155,000) is such that information of that type will never be released for endeavors such as Adrian's, even if as a means of serving the public sector.  It's a hording of information that rightfully needs to be divulged to the public in as many forms as possible.  Sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn't it?  Welcome to my world.  

    I've long wanted to build a very Web 2.0-style application to my local community's benefit, my own hack of the public Google Maps API, but it can't happen.  I could build a really snazzy UI, having a deep feature set and all sorts of neat things to really improve the lives of citizens living here; but such would be bunk, sans data.  For that reason, aspiring developers, whether those wanting to bid for such a project or do pro bono work, are, for lack of a more politically correct term, screwed.  Style without substance, indeed.

    Oh well, I guess I'll live vicariously through Adrian's accomplishments.  At least one of us in the biz pulled it off.



    We share a similar background, Adrian and I (his being significantly more high-profile).
      We both can't claim to having formal academic computer science backgrounds, yet we both wound up developing software in the news business (I'm a marketing major from the University of Guam now at an affiliate station; he's from the University of Missouri's School of Journalism and working at The Washington Post).  We've both won awards for our work in developing innovative web apps.  We both work to develop web-based services that serve the communities within our respective hometowns (Adrian's from Chicago, I'm from Guam).

    So I guess in retrospect, it might not be jealously after all.  Respect, where I'm from, is a very valuable thing.

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  • What if Google gets into the developer tool market?

    If you subscribe to and read my blog with any regularity, you'll probably pick up on the fact that amidst my normal rants and raves, I go through brief and intermittent periods of being fixated with certain dominant themes - writing about specific technologies like Ajax and RSS, concepts like SOA and Web 2.0, or platforms like podcasting and wireless.  Such are things I take momentary intense interest in understanding and typically pine over for a couple weeks until I get it all out of my system, asking a bunch of questions, proposing different theories and drawing certain conclusions about one thing for that moment in time.

    My latest such obsession has been with all things Google

    As such, I'm now wondering what the world would be like if Google got into building, marketing and releasing developer tools.  They've already made great strides with the public APIs for its search and mapping services, taking a very Web 2.0 approach to connecting with their targeted audiences.  So one can expect them to have at least considered becoming very active and eventually dominant in the external programing space and fostering relationships with ISVs. 

    So how about it?  What if the Mountain View company started producing its own new programming languages, IDE(s), utilities and more to make building custom Internet-aware applications using their technologies?  Now we're talking head-to-head competition with Microsoft on an entirely different level.  I think it's a very natural and expected progression as a software giant, and I'm quite sure more than a few of the smart people there have tossed this around at some point.  Shoot, I know much smaller dev shops that hav written their own custom scripting languages and proprietary platforms.  Why not?

    What do I know?  They're probably doing so already.

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  • Manning publishes "what is Ajax?" screencast

    I got an e-mail from Manning Publications about a "screencast" (I'm not sure exactly what that is, but I'm guessing a series of screenshots set against narrated audio) for a "What is Ajax?" presentation.  It's 4 minutes long, so it'll be a nice break while you download today's podcasts or synch your PDA.

    Check it out:
    http://www.manning-sandbox.com/category.jspa?categoryID=229

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  • How Google is able to innovate…and why Microsoft can't keep up

    Remember the pivotal dialogue in the 2001 movie "Antitrust" about how actor Tim Robbins was worried about smaller startups in garages overthrowing the marketplace dominance of Fortune 50 companies - an archetypal paranoia based on a few well-known tech industry heavyweights?  Indeed, fact is stranger than fiction.

    Author Clayton Christensen theorized that market leaders will often contract an "innovator's dilemma" - that no matter how well-managed a business is, it can be displaced by newer, cheaper technologies, despite their best efforts to maintain their lead.  Illustrating this concept, I don't think Microsoft in this day and age would ever be able to pull off painting the broad strokes Google is now, in terms of developing, executing and ultimately achieving its vision for product development and competitive positioning.  Nor would IBM, Sun, Intel, or Cisco - they're all just too damn big.  

    Market constituencies won't allow such grandiose and rapid innovation by a single player already having firm industry footing.  Such immediate and bold jumps in maneuvering wouldn't be permitted to allow companies to become even more leading than they already are.  Lawsuits to prematurely ward off implied anti-competition would be filed; shareholders may not approve of such tactics for fear of catastrophic failure and subsequent PR nightmareand stock price decline; existing strategies and current allocation of corporate resources might not permit it; mounting pressure from intense regulatory scrutiny, and the media would be all over them - tapping their inside sources and invoking leaks against such a company's better wishes to keep grand schemes and their most guarded corporate secrets behind closed doors.  

    No such restrictive concerns face Google, which is being motivated by unprecedented stock popularity, positive support from mass media, the nod from the developer community and virulent mainstream marketing push in the community at large.  Christensen's premise suggests that perhaps there's an even simpler reason: the new supplanting the old in a practical exhibition of commercial Darwinism.

    Or possibly it's inaccurate and unfair to measure Google by conventional means - they're trying to achieve something on a scale and scope never before attempted in American business.  In other words, they quite literally are becoming the next Microsoft…only to be exceeded by another younger, faster, leaner player sometime in the future. 

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  • My first (and likely last) e-book experience - "The Google Legacy"

    Everyone remembers their first time (buying an e-book).  I surely will.  I was really jazzed about the release of Stephen E. Arnold's "The Google Legacy - How Google's Internet Search is Transforming Application Software", available exclusively as an e-book, a concept I've never been big on.  Until now...what the hell, right?  Rather apropos that I'd purchase a PDF'ed manuscript about an open-source company wanting to move everything from the desktop to the Internet.

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  • Remember, GoogleNet's a revenue model, NOT a WiFi network...

    Hats off to Mitch Ratcliffe, who reminds us before we all go too overboard with unmanaged/unregulated/uncontrollable viral marketing push in extolling GoogleNet, that the "product", whose name is still sort of informal, having been so named by Om Malik, is still fundamentally a community of channels through which to stream Google AdSense advertisements, NOT the infrastructure upon which it runs (namely, the free WiFi network being built).

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  • GoogleNet launch, Microsoft reorg make me lose focus on work

    I'm so swamped Florida would be envious of me today with work on a variety of projects, but I can't concentrate - what with news of GoogleNet's brief appearance and Microsoft's announced reorganization.  I'm not going to drill into the semantics of either - men and women smarter and more informed than me in MSM, the podosphere and blogosphere can analyze the details for you ad nauseum.

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  • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes - September 21, 2005

    EPISODE #117 - Geekdom is back!  No sports today - but a lot of codespeak.  I feel a major sinus headache coming on, which is being slightly offset by the Programmer's High I'm feeling after having developed new RSS feeds, becoming fluent with the Google Maps API, and using new media applications to avoid dealing with HR departments.

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  • Vote for the 1988 USA Men's Volleyball Team as the greatest ever

    The USOC is giving people the chance to vote on who they think are the best teams and individual competitors for induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.  One of the five squads nominated this year for best team is the U.S. Men's Volleyball team, which won gold in the summer games in Seoul, Korea.  I had the VHS tape of these guys that I watched so many times it eventually snapped, and they were beyond awesome.  Even non-fans of the sports thought they were cool to watch.

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  • MLB's digital rights and ESPN streaming baseball games live on mobile devices

    I was catching up with my podcast listening on the drive home from work tonight.  I listened to an ESPN.com time-shifted digital audio presentation from last week about the business side of sports (really good podcasts ESPN puts out, despite my earlier assertion).  One of the key concepts discussed was how ESPN was finalizing an arrangement involving digital rights with Major League Baseball - alluding that the network would soon be able to stream entire games over mobile clients, specifically wireless phones.  This is an improvement over the network's previous idea to preload video on mobiles for higher quality.  

    This blew me away.  The ambition and bravado of such a concept is expected from The Worldwide Leader in Sports, but still surprising.  I'm guessing that this would invoke a polar response from a passerby - either exhibiting in a fair-weather observer a very "Wow!  That's totally cool!" or "What are they…nuts?" reaction.  The very notion of expecting users to watch an entire baseball game (or even parts of it) in somewhat captive fashion on a device with a limited screen size and even more limited bandwidth is as preposterous as it is logical.  But in my opinion, nonetheless still really neat.

    Despite living on bandwidth-challenged Guam, where by virtue of geography I can’t go to the ballpark to catch a game anyway, I do find myself spending more and more time watching wireless broadcasts like press conferences, stand-up comedy bits, and music videos on my mobile unit via MobiTV (which is working on streaming of live games, too).  This summer's season is historic: MLB.tv has done wonders with providing live streaming of entire games to the desktop, and many swear by it.

    I realize that there's a certain degree of securing a contract in we'd-just-better-do-it-to-prevent-our-rivals-from-doing-it fashion, and that's fine.  But can streaming live sporting events realistically be a quasi-killer app?  And at least something significantly profitable?  By 2013, will the cost-effective availability of truly massive amounts of pipe, efficient streaming video compression rates, affordable consumer technology and growing dependence on mobile devices and their subsequent applications really make applications of this ilk non-niche?  I think so.

    When you think about it, of the four major professional sports in America, our national pastime is the only real athletic competition we could feasibly stream today.  Basketball, football and hockey are too intense and would lag too much to be worth it, collapsing the respective league's presence in the mobile market faster than did the XFL on NBC.  Baseball's painfully slow pace makes it the perfect candidate for such a live-action webcast (it's not like batters exactly sprint at top speed around the bases after jacking a homerun).  Why do you think - content aside - streaming newscasts always have always done so well?  It's high-quality production value created in part by limited movement.  

    I can't see myself watching an entire nine innings, but having the ability to jump in at any given time is a nice advantage to the platform.  It'll kick ass during the playoffs, or when Barry Bonds steps up to the plate to break Hank Aaron's homer record.  There undoubtedly will be geeks out there who actually spend three hours glued to their mobile screen, incessantly commenting on the coolness factor of seeing a live game on their phone, fans more of the platform than the actual sport.  And I don't know about you, but under long-term use my Motorola V710's battery gets HOT!

    My point isn't to piss on ESPN's parade.  Quite the opposite, in fact - it's to help promote it and shed light on what a landmark achievement this is going to be for broadcast technology.  It's totally a step in the right direction, even though many of us may not immediately warm up to the concept.  I wish ESPN luck, and I can't wait to try the new service, eventually.  

    Even though streaming quality levels will undoubtedly continue to improve to the point of near-TV quality within the next five years, it'll never be the same as seeing a masterful pitcher go to work over the course of a game.  Even the best encoded video stream can't capture the beauty and magic movement of a well-placed slider from a savvy, methodic hurler like Barry Zito, Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina and Tom Glavine; not to mention the impossibility of trying to properly display hellfire deliveries like those of Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and Dontrelle Willis, whose velocity we have a hard enough time keeping up with on real-time HDTV via satellite. 

    The progression of platforms from print to radio to TV is indicative of technology's impact improving the quality of life.  I think product developments of ESPN's may result in an overall reduced experience, but the sheer "cool" factor of it will keep it above water, I believe.

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  • New Guam RSS feeds - Flickr-like communiy image gallery / police blotter

    I rolled out my company's new RSS feeds for Guam news, developing an RSS 2.0 feed for Familiar Faces, which is our Guam community image gallery.  I got the idea for an image-heavy RSS feed from Flickr.  I also did a feed for our local police blotter.  Why it is that people are so driven to police blotters and obituaries is beyond me.

    The latter is of particular interest, since it's based on transforming one custom XML structure into RSS.  Our local police force e-mail us the blotter updates, which are - GROAN! - manually inserted from a Word document into an XML fie and then uploaded to our web server.  This same document populates the public web blotter, albeit in RSS 2.0 form.

    I'm planning on using a similar strategy to get our obituaries, community events calendar, speeches, and other kinds ofdata with semi-consistent structure and great frequency out to our audiences.  Not a bad way to spend a morning, eh?

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  • RossCodeWeekly now a podcast

    Proving that intercontinental collaboration does work, thanks to some schmuck's voice (mine), Joel Ross' RossCodeWeekly is now a podcastI previously mentioned that Joel Ross of TourneyLogic finally published an RSS feed just for his weekly thoughts, and I've agreed to voice them for awhile.   RCW #18 is chock full of news and thoughts about the PDC, Google, the ROKR iTunes-enabled phone, and a lot more. 

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  • Book Review: Building Websites with the ASP.NET Community Starter Kit

    I previously discovered Packt Publishing Company after a random search for ASP.NET books. I was very happy I did, having now found a source of great, no-nonsense, quick-read compendiums of rock-solid technical information.

    "Building Websites with the ASP.NET Community Starter Kit" is chock-full of practical, easy-to-use samples that go beyond just "Hello world!", each accompanied by a helpful screen shot and poignant code.  The book's 11 chapters together make 211 pages, which is a good size, and won't have you reading more and stressing less.  In my experience, the CSK, while intended to aide developers and streamline work, can be confusing if not approached properly.  This is a book that makes sure you get the most out of the CSK.

    As far as writing style, the authors are quick and to the point.  K. Scott Allen and Cristian Darie don't bore you with exhaustive explanations of the core technical concepts of ASP.NET or the CSK - they talk a little about the foundations and then get right into making it work for you.  In my experience, this is the voice with which most developers prefer their tech books by written.  It therefore requires a bit of experience with ASP.NET programming already, but can be tackled by even novice devs.

    All the major topics dealing with CSK programming are dealt with - administration, themes, skinning, core architecture, configuration, databases, modules, custom controls, and much more.  I particularly enjoyed the chapters on publishing RSS 2.0 feeds and deployment; especially the latter's considerations for the differences between the Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 servers.

    I also appreciate the book's physical properties.  Packt's design is for the serious developer, using heavy paper that should be able to withstand a developer's stressful punishment - repeated opens, spine-breaking stretches, constant page-turning.  This book is made to last.

    Now in criticism, I will say that the book's arrangement of the chapters isn't exactly intuitive.  I would have preferred that the chapters on configuration come first, then aesthetics with skinning and themes, then the database, and lastly coding the modules.  I would guess that many ASP.NET developers would feel the same.  Also, I enjoy when books use a chapter-independent approach to writing, not forcing the reader to have to refer to previous sections for reference.  I found myself skipping around somewhat and not able to use each chapter as a standalone guide if I needed insight on a particular topic.  

    But the good far outweighs the bad.  It’s a very helpful, very educational, very entertaining look at using the optional set of controls, modules and pre-fabricated tools from Microsoft to build great, quick, secure, community-centric web applications.

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  • A9.com's cool mapping service

    This is a really neat mapping service that combines MapQuest-based mapping, driving directions, and other cool features with real-life images from the surrounding areas.  There are several U.S. cities represented, and it's fun as hell to use.

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  • I finally gave in...got a Google Maps API key

    I finally did it...I've been fascinated by other people's work with developing custom apps with the Google Maps API long enough - I downloaded the documentation and am going to start playing with it.  This sucks because there are only a few ASP.NET examples out there, and that my hometown isn't represented on Google Maps.  No sweat...I'll figure something out.

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  • Maps to the stars homes - via Google Earth

    Damn, I love playing with Google Earth...who needs Robin Leach or MTV Cribs?  I just did my own celebrity tour of outrageous homes of celebs in southern California by doing a wide-area search on Malibu and then enabling the "People and Culture" layer in Google Earth by going to:

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  • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes - September 13, 2005


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    Leave me a voicemail, send me a shoutout, or make comments about today's podcast: 1-206-600-4JAS (4527)

    EPISODE #114 - you asked for it...less tech, more rock-n-jock (ironically, it was techies and developers who asked about this more than anyone).

    Topics Discussed:

    • Countdown to Extinction - DP's days are numbered...I'm going to start work on a new series of sports podcasts for football season soon, so this show is getting 86'd
    • The worst part about suffering a concussion is that you can't go to sleep
    • Got a copy of "Podcast Solutions" autographed by Dan Klass of the Bitterest Pill

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  • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes - September 12, 2005


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    EPISODE #113 - you asked for it, you got it - less nerd, more jock & more rock.  This is a sports-heavy podcast, as I keep coming back to sports, no matter what kind of rant I go off on (and there are several).  Enjoy the random, scattered thoughts on the global impact of competitive athletics, catching up with pro wrestling, and my recorded reactions to this past weekend's MTV VMA awards.  I carry on the tradition between my best pal Matt & I, playing the ND fight song after they beat my Michigan Wolverines.


    Topics Discussed:

    • The NFL is back!  Screw baseball, football is America's pastime...and has been for years
    • Please don't bother me with silly/expendable/pointless e-mails during football season
    • Lots of people recognized "grody" from Show #112
    • Fulfilling a commitment to a friend - since ND beat Michigan 17-10 in the Big House, I humble myself and play the Fightin' Irish fight song
    • Ya gotta love those SEC referees
    • Watch out for the Lions this year...
    • The diminishing mainstream success of pro wrestling these days - huge athletes, smaller venues, watching old guys like Ric Flair compete
    • My thoughts on the 2005 MTV VMAs, as narrated into my PDA phone's voice recorder
    • The "talents" of Eric Roberts
    • You must buy "Best of the Best"
    • Pepsi's new "better with food campaign"
    • Kelly Clarkson kicked major ass & got major props
    • Receptionist Shelly gives her thoughts on the VMAs, Diddy's hosting savvy, My Chemical Romance and the posture of the lead singer for The Killers

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  • Up-to-datedness of Google Earth imagery

    I'd always wondered about how current the satellite imgery used in Google Earth is/was.  Last night I was perusing some college football stadiums for teams I follow as a sportswriter, and laughed when I saw the following shot of Pro Player Stadium in Miami:

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  • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes - September 8, 2005


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    Leave me a voicemail, send me a shoutout, or make comments about today's podcast: 1-206-600-4JAS (4527)

    EPISODE #112 - I hear many voices in my head...and they all tell me to GET TO WORK.  Today's reduced-calorie show is a totally free-form, a capella podcast this morning (meaning no promos, podsafe music, voicemail or clips) as we gear-up for our telethon to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  I present my first reactions to Apple's new foray into giving iTunes mobility, the new features of iTunes 5, and hype my friend Joel's weekly rundown of tech industry news and views. 


    Topics Discussed:

    • Battle scars: I have many shaving knicks this morning
    • Let's take a trip through the wonderful world (and schedule) of public access TV
    • Apple releases new version of iTunes / 2 new iPods (accompanied by my misinformed reviews of each)  [ iTunes Mobile || iTunes 5.0 || iPod Nano ]
    • Sabrina and I are emceeing a 5K run/walk event this weekend (at 4AM)
    • You must check out RossCodeWeekly for all the news that's going on in the tech world

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  • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes - September 7, 2005


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    Leave me a voicemail, send me a shoutout, or make comments about today's podcast: 1-206-600-4JAS (4527)

    EPISODE #111 - the retirement of Jerry Rice was both sad and unceremonious.  Hear me talk about some developing issues in sports, the narrowing gap between thin- and thick-clients over the Web, what I think is the first "JobCast" by the Podshow guys, continuing efforts to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, celebrity appearances on KUAM, Mickey Rourke's mojo, the Cosby Show Conspiracy, and the simultaneous success of Black-Eyed Peas in the mainstream top 40.


    Topics Discussed:

    • Don Schokow from the Magical Theme Park Podcast gives an update on Disney's $2.5M donation to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort 
    • LISTENER MAIL: (Danica, Anaheim) - is having really thick Web clients such a big deal?
    • Michael Butler & Ron Bloom from Podshow do a "jobcast" 
    • If you're on Guam and would like to help out our "Donations for Disaster" telethon this Thursday e-mail me ASAP
    • I haven't listened to MSM radio in months...I checked the Billboard Top 40 and didn't recognize 30 songs
    • Black Eyed Peas have 3 songs in the Top 40
    • Sabrina met BEP's Fergie in 1998
    • The Cosby Show Conspiracy - did Lisa Bonet's role in "Angel Heart" cost her a role as Denise Huxtable?
    • Who in Hollywood hasn't Mickey Rourke done (on film)???
    • Setting up GMail on POP client (Inbox & Sent folder linked for managing conversation threads)
    • A preview of some debatable sports topics on JockTalk 61 (listen live over the 'Net 9PM EST) 

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  • Goodbye, Jerry Rice...

    Today is truly a sad day, seeing the end of the career of the greatest receiver to ever lace 'em up - Jerry Rice.  He'll always be #80 - forever a 49er.  He gave skeptics like me a reason to believe in the power of spirits and dedication.  The day Joe Montana was traded, the man with whom the great Rice shared a million highlights, was one of the more downtrodden days as a sports fan I've ever known.  Today eclipses it.  Totally.

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  • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes - September 6, 2005


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    EPISODE #110 - an after-Labor Day MegaCast featuring - what else???  Technology, sports, and rock-n-roll!  I talk about the implied responsibility of all communicators - mainstream and otherwise - to get the word out and encourage people to help the victims of Hurricane Kartina, weird marketing nuance over the years, truly innovative web sites, how great college football is, emerging concepts in web development, and a lot more that I honestly now forgot about as I write this post-show.  :(


    Topics Discussed:

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  • Lombard Street in San Francisco

    Funny....I remember Lombard Street being a lot more twisty and slanted, but then again, it's been 15 years since I've been to the Bay Area.

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  • How tough is Google's interview process?

    With Google positioning itself to be "the new Microsoft" - to be understood as gaining a place in the mind of the SEC, the media, the developer community, the business student, rivals, and prospective employees as the most popular/dominant/challenged/feared/innovative software company in all the land - it's no far reach to say that a heckuva lot of people are going to want to work there (myself included), and that opportunities will abound.  One thing I remember about interviewing with Microsoft a few times was how legendary & intellectually rigorous the interview process was, all by design.  I'd thus like to know in contrast how difficult Google makes it for justifying one's qualifications for varying positions.

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  • Throwback unies in college football don't work for me

    I caught many of the games on TV today for the first full-blown weekend of college football, the greatest sport in the land.  I love this time of year, but I was rather bummed to see a couple of uniform changes by some traditional powerhouses:

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  • Find cheap gas with custom Google Maps app

    Someone brilliant (moreso than I) hacked the Google Maps API and built something really neat and useful.  I couldn't get into this site because of a restriction on the # of IE requests per day, but it's a great idea these days, letting you search for inexpensive gas prices (an oxymoronic statement these days): http://www.mywikimap.com/

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  • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes - September 2, 2005


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    EPISODE #109 - I'm back after another 2-day hiatus dealing with storm coverage as a typhoon passed over Guam.  I give you a behind-the-scenes look at our round-the-clock coverage in all sorts of formats and platforms, and comment on the anticipated fallout from Microsoft's inevitable entry into podcasting.  I also fall in love with Pandora, and lament over not passing the time while working on storm stories with satellite radio.  Please do the right thing and make a donation to the American Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.


    Topics Discussed:

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  • SEC shocker: Sun's ask price on NASDAQ

    It's been years since I actively kept track of stock quotes and prices.  When PC applications became so demanding that I couldn't run my live stock ticker on my Windows desktop anymore, I stopped.

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