February 28, 2005

Yahoo! Search Web Services Launch!


Yahoo! Hacks, coming thirds summer I'll write more about this later, but it's really late in NYC, I'm stuck on bluetooth/verizon since the Hilton's network sucks, and I'm getting tired.

So for now, read this stuff:

And, yes, that book cover is for real. There will be a Yahoo! Hacks book this Summer.

Now I need to update my presentation and hopefully sleep a bit too.

Oh, one last thought. It just got a bit easier to talk about "what I do" in my new job.

Update: New sources added.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:21 PM

February 27, 2005

Headed to New York City for SES

On Monday morning I'll be heading to New York for the Search Engine Strategies conference. I'm presenting on and participating in the "News and Webfeed Search" panel at 2:00pm on Tuesday the 1st of March.

Jerry Yang is doing the keynote that morning.

If you're attending, make sure to hit the Yahoo party on Tuesday night. As the site says:

Please join us as we celebrate Yahoo!'s 10th birthday on Tuesday, March 1 at the Hammerstein Ballroom, located at 311 West 34th St. between 8th and 9th Ave., from 7:30 - 10:30 p.m. Stop by the Yahoo! booth, #1001, to receive your invitation and don't forget to also bring your SES conference badge to attend the party. Hors d'Oeuvres and cocktails will be served. We look forward to seeing you there.

Free Drinks! :-)

I'm heading back to San Jose on Wednesday morning so that I can board a plane headed for Japan on Thursday. More on that later.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:44 PM

Being mean is against the GMail rules...

This is a little odd. I was reading the Gmail Program Policies and noticed this in the large list of things that users may not do.

Interfere with other Gmail users' enjoyment of the Service.

That seems sufficiently vague.

If someone sends a message to my Gmail account to tell me I'm fat and it's pissed me off, does that constitute interfering with my enjoyment? Can I have their Gmail account terminated for doing so?

This reminds me certain food makers who are lame enough to print "enjoy by" instead of "use by" as the label over the freshness date on their food packages.

What if I merely want to eat the food without the pressure of having to enjoy doing so?

Posted by jzawodn at 05:36 PM

February 26, 2005

Motorola V710 Data Rates on Verizon

With some help from Russell I got my V710 cell phone working as a Bluetooth modem for my Windows XP notebook. So, of course, the next thing to do was hit dslreports.com and perform a speed test.

As you can see, it's not bad. Certainly better than dial-up but also not quite as good as I'd have hoped. But this was only one test performed from the second floor of my townhouse. I'll probably try others during my upcoming travel.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:35 PM

February 23, 2005

The world could really use Google Calendar

There's been a lot of speculation about Google Calendar recently. And you know what? I sure as hell hope they do it. There's been so little innovation in the world of on-line calendars these last few years. Perhaps Google getting into the act would finally change that.

I've often wished for a web-based calendar that didn't suck but they all seem to. I want something that:

  • plugs nicely into my e-mail client (Thunderbird)
  • has busy search capabilities, invites, and other scheduling aids
  • syncs with modern hand-held devices and mobile phones
  • does resource scheduling (conference rooms, summer houses, whatever)
  • handles conflict resolution and notification
  • sends reminders and alerts
  • sports a sane permission system
  • produces RSS feeds
  • provides vCal support
  • is presented with a modern, slick DHTML interface

Help me out here... What am I missing?

The company that does this stands to gain a lot of new users--not just individuals, but small and medium sized business too.

Once the kinks are worked out, they can integrate it into the Google Search Appliance and provide a platform and e-mail client neutral calendaring for larger businesses too.

Update: It was implied in a few of the things I wrote, but having good Web Service APIs would be essential.

Update [4/12/2006]: It's been over a year and now Google Calendar is finally live.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:37 PM

February 22, 2005

Speaking: Hitchiker's Guide to the Blog Universe

On Thursday of this week, I'll be one of four panelists speaking at a lunchtime meeting the San Francisco Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) on the topic of blogging and PR:

Our expert panel will tackle the burning issue of how PR practitioners can effectively leverage the emerging blog landscape, while avoiding the danger zones of a new medium that is dynamically altering the world of public communication. Panelists will cover all the angles from the media, employee, corporate and legal sides of the debate, covering critical topics such as:
How do you respond to rumors posted on blogs?
If an employee is a blogger, what are his responsibilities and what are the dangers to his employer?
What are the rules for journalists keeping blogs?
Do they have to fact check everything they post?
How are corporations reacting to the blogosphere?

Also on the panel are Michael Bazeley from the Mercury News and SiliconBeat, Mike Manual of Media Guerilla and Voce Communications (blog), and Todd Friedman from The Blueshirt Group.

Full details are on the site. Drop me a comment or email if you're a regular reader and planning to attend.

Posted by jzawodn at 01:53 PM

Subliminal Eating

When I wandered over to URL's (our cafeteria) a bit ago to get lunch I saw a table set up in the lobby sporting Apple Computers: Powerbooks, G5s, iMacs, etc. Very cool. Except that I own and use a Powerbook already, so I didn't join the crowd to gawk at their wares.

After checking out the food selection, I noticed that the Apples on the fruit island looked good today. So I got a red one and a green one. They were crisp and yummy. (Yeah, small lunch.)

Moments after tossing the core of the second apple, I realized that I might have just been the victim of subliminal eating or something.

But it was was a good lunch. Or mabye I was just programmed to think that?

Either way, if it means having great apples in the off season, I'm all for it. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 01:18 PM

February 20, 2005

Using a 20 Pound Propane Tank with the Weber Baby Q Grill

Last summer I wrote about how I was loving my new Weber Baby Q Grill:

This little grill is great. It took all of 5 minutes to unpack and assemble. I can use standard propane cylinders on it (much like I would for a small torch) and the lighting mechanism has worked flawlessly so far. Temperature control is straightforward. The only thing I might add is a decent grill thermometer, but so far I'm getting along quite well without.

It turns out that I haven't found the need for a thermometer yet.

The only thing that has bugged me since then is having to use those little propane tanks on it. I've probably gone through 10 of them since then and you can't refil them. That means you're wasting metal that nobody seems to want to recycle. And, of course, it seems to always run out while you're cooking something.

So I went looking for a hose that'd allow me to use the more normal 20 pound tank that you might see on a full-size grill. It turns out that Weber sells one. Weber part #41455 is the hose you need. The hose is available on Amazon.com for $20.

Thanks to Mom & Dad, I got said hose and a tank for giftmas. Now I just need to find a place that'll fill it up for me.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:38 PM

TiVo + Flickr = Cool

Okay, I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't have sold my TiVo last year. If nothing else, this Flickr API and TiVo HME Experiment would have given me a nice way to browse photos from the comfort of the recliner.

Of course, I can do that with a laptop and get a higher resolution at the same time. But still. Isn't that cool? :-)

This is exactly the kind of stuff that can happen in the Web 2.0 world when vendors think of themselves as not just service providers or hardware vendors. If you think of yourself as platform for developers and invest a bit of support getting them started, a ton of interesting stuff seems to sprout.

Many companies could learn a lesson from this--including the one I work for. How about an IMVironment SDK for starters?

Posted by jzawodn at 10:28 PM

Craigslist is a Community, Not an Application

A few days ago, I read of Rohit's speculation about an "open source" craigslist. At the time I wanted to shake my head and write something about how he's completely missing the point. But I was lazy and they had comments disabled (excuses, excuses).

Luckily Tony Gentile has already done it.

Craigslist isn't about the software; that's easily replicated. It's about:
a) Community; and
b) "Capital" that allows them to (comparitvely) reach marketplace inflection points (the point at which a market becomes self sustaining) in different verticals in different geographies more efficiently than their competitors (to date).


Rohit, craigslist is a communal product of Craig Newmark and those who've been active in the craisglist community ever since he unleashed the service. Please explain what source code has to do with any of this.

This reminds me, I need to write my post about the eventual downfall of eBay one of these days.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:08 PM

February 19, 2005

Soaring is an Addiction

HGC Duo Discus We've often joked about it at the airport, but the signs were quite evident today. With the uncertain weather forecast, I arrived hoping to fly but expecting to do little more than update the airport database in my LX-5000 flight computer. As it turns out, the winds were blowing at 15-20 knots down runway 13 and it was raining on and off. There was no way I'd assemble my glider in those conditions, nor would I leave the canopy open while I tried to interface my laptop with the LX-5000.

So I did the only other thing I could do: hang out, watching the weather and complaining about not having any good flights recently. Jonathon and Miguel were itching to fly, anyone could tell. (They ended up taking up the Grob 103 in search of wave lift.) Yesterday Lance said he's been dying to get a good day of soaring in too. And I've had that feeling for a while now too.

I chatted with Richard a bit as we waited around and watched the weather. With the wind blowing that strong, I figured there had to be wave somewhere. I really wanted to go find it, but the clouds were making that nearly impossible.

After a bit more time went by, Drew suggested that I take up the Duo Discus with Richard. I'm not one to turn down a chance to fly that fine machine, so off we went. We towed to 5,700 feet and found little more than light rotor. The only exciting part of the flight was my landing. Landing on 13 with a 20 knot headwind made the approach amusing but uneventful.

The rain was really starting up again when we landed. I hung around long enough to help Richard and Brett launch in the Duo. As I was leaving, I witnessed Scott taking off in the 1-34 in heavy rain.

Driving home in the pounding rain, I thought about the activities I had just seen and particpated in. A bunch of us were so desperate for decent flights that we put up with the rain, heavy cloud cover, and 15-20 knot winds in late Feburary.

I tell you, soaring is an addiction.

See, after that I came home and futzed with the Gimp and ImageMagick in long but successful attempt to add an overlay of labels to a new local soaring forecast that Dr. Jack has developed.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:44 PM

February 18, 2005

Web Spam Summit CFP

As Dave Sifry notes, there's going to be a Web Spam Squashing Summit next week: Thursday, Feb 24th.

Technorati is organizing the event (thanks guys!) and we're hosting it on-site at Yahoo in Sunnyvale. The main goal to get the tool makers in a room together to talk about web spam, share info, and brainstorm.

So far AOL, Google, MSG, Six Apart, Technorati, and Yahoo are on board. I hope we'll also have representation from Feedster, WordPress (hi Matt), and Ask Jeeves and/or Bloglines too.

As Dave says, space is limited, so send a note to rsvp@technorati.com if you're interested.

Sadly, I won't be there the whole day. I'm on a lunchtime panel in San Francisco (more on that later) so I'll be around for the beginning and end, but not the middle. But our best spam fighters will be on hand. :-)

And just to be absolutely clear, this is a technical working session, not a media event. You can expect to see some of the attendees blog about the day, of course.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:06 AM

February 17, 2005

Filangy Invites?

I'm looking for an invite to try out Filangy. If you can help, drop me a line. The tinkerer in me just can't resist. :-)

Update: Got one, thanks!

Posted by jzawodn at 11:56 PM

February 14, 2005

Lonely Housewives Want Me

If my mailbox is any indication, at least. Apparently their husbands go on long business trips and never have time to "satisfy" them.

Here's the funny thing. If my inbox is any indicator, I won't do a much better job than their husbands to. You see, it seems that I'm also in need of Viagra and numerous anti-depressants and pain medication.

In other words, I must be pretty messed up. But these housewives? Wow, they must be really lonely.

Maybe they just want access to all that inexpensive Windows software that seems to be all the rage in the Asian spam I get.

Isn't spam fun?

Posted by jzawodn at 10:33 PM

Bad Spell Checker, No Biscuit!

In the process of checking the spelling on the previous posting, the spell checker in w.bloggar tried to "correct" me in a rather amusing way:

Maybe it thinks my colocated servers are crap?

Either way, that we me on the floor laughing for a few minutes. These are not the droids you're looking for. Move along.

Posted by jzawodn at 06:49 PM

RAM Upgrades Are A Wonderful Thing

The laptop that I was bitch-slapped for using had one problem: it came with only 512MB of memory. In my mind that's laughable. This is 2005!

I can't imagine using a modern computer with less than 1GB of ram. When you factor in Thunderbird, Firefox, Emacs, two IM clients, Office Apps, PuTTY, the Gimp, and the various other stuff I run daily, it's not difficult to see why.

Windows likes memory.

Come to think of it, what doesn't? My Powerbook as 1GB. My Linux box has 1GB. My Windows desktop has 2GB. Most of my co-located servers have more than 1GB.

So I got an upgrade this morning to 1GB and, as expected, it has made a world of difference. No more swapping mid-way through the day. As the tech guy was doing the swap, I commented on how most of the time people who want a "faster" computer simply need more memory. He confirmed that a RAM upgrade often does the trick.

Consider this my public service announcement for the day.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:11 PM

February 12, 2005

Amazon Prime Rocks

When I read Nelson's Amazon Prime post, I realized that he said pretty much everything I was going to, including:

The inflection point for me was when Amazon started offering free shipping for orders over $25. I stopped worrying about the friction of buying things, just ordered what I needed and waited. And thanks to Amazon Prime, I don't even have to wait that long. Now that I'm in the club I get everything I want sent to me in two days.

Yup, I was a very happy Amazon.com customer before and now I'm loving it even more. Amazon continues to be my preferred on-line retailer. Or are we still calling them e-tailers? I lost track.

I continue to be baffled by the on-line retailers who haven't learned from Amazon's many examples.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:57 PM

Remote Linux Kernel Upgrade Success

For the first time in history, I performed a remote kernel upgrade on the server that was previously cracked (goodbye local root exploit) and it actually worked when I rebooted the box in the middle of the night.

As a devoted Debian user, here's what I did...

Get New Kernel Source, Unpack It, Make Symlink

# apt-get install kernel-source-2.4.27
# cd /usr/src
# bunzip -c kernel-source-2.4.27.tar.bz2 | tar -xvf -
# rm linux
# ln -s kernel-source-2.4.27 linux

Copy Old Kernel Config, Update It

# cd linux
# cp ../kernel-source-2.4.23/.config .
# make oldconfig
(answer No to everything)

Compile Kernel, Build Debian Package, Install

This particular machine uses a non-initrd kernel, so I do this:

# make-kpkg clean
# make-kpkg kernel_image

Otherwise I'd do this to get an initrd-based kernel package:

# make-kpkg clean
# make-kpkg --initrd kernel-image

In either case, installation of the new kernel is trivial, thanks to Debian's kernel-package:

# cd ..
# dpkg -i kernel-image-VERSION_i386.deb

That populates everything needed in the /boot directory and moves the necessary symlink to make the current kernel image the backup (old) kernel image. It then will offer to make a boot floppy and run lilo.

Cross Fingers, Reboot

After I double checked that everything looked right in the / and /boot directories and that /etc/lilo.conf was reasonable, I did asked for a reboot and crossed my fingers.

# reboot

And left a command running in another window:

$ ping family2.zawodny.com

When it started returning pings again, I knew things were in decent shape. Twenty seconds later I was able to ssh in and verify that things were all happy:

jzawodn@family2:~$ uname -a
Linux family2 2.4.27 #1 SMP Sat Feb 12 01:03:32 PST 2005 i686 GNU/Linux


Now I can start moving everything back off the 3.5 year old backup machine onto this much faster box.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:32 PM

Emerging Tech Dinner at Yahoo

A couple days ago, I was leaving work and was really surprised to run into Scott Rafer (Feedster CEO), Rich Skrenta (Topix.net co-founder), Ross Mayfield (Socialtext CEO) and a few others. I immediately suspected that I had completely forgotten about some important event, since that cast of characters is at nearly every conference I attend.

As it turned out, there were on-site for a dinner in which Yahoo folks were talking about Yahoo, RSS, Syndication, and so on. Since I was on my way out anyway and uninvited, I didn't head upstairs to see what was going on. However, I've managed to find a few folks who wrote about the dinner.

Over at sfist you can read a long summary of the presentations and questions that came up.

Susan Mernit wrote up a shorter summary that I hope others read. Her first two points are:

  • Yahoo gets the long tail, absolutely.
  • Yahoo has the capability to turn into an infrastructure platform for blogging and micropayments of ad revenue and shopping, courtesy of work done by the My team and Overture.

I'm sorta bummed that I didn't know about this event beforehand. It would have been great to spend 15 minutes there to meet some of the attendees who I've probably wanted to meet for a long time. But it looks like a few of the attendees are getting the message and helping to spread it. That's good news.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:08 AM

February 11, 2005

Flying Temptation

Ted Grussing, a fellow 304 owner and pilot, is organizing a fly/drive-in in the late Spring. To help tempt other 304 owners into going to Sedona (Arizona), he sent along the following picture:

Sedona From the Air

Click that image and have a look at the larger copy. The scenery there is amazing. When conditions are good, it's even possible to fly to the Grand Canyon.

It's quite a drive from the Bay Area, but sooo tempting.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:24 AM

February 10, 2005

School or Burning Man?

Fron the San Francisco Chronicle's School year's early start burns parents:

The Board of Education is expected to approve the school district's calendar for the 2005-06 academic year tonight -- but not before a spirited debate among parents over when classes should begin.


This year, however, brings a new wrinkle -- the 20th anniversary of the Burning Man art festival in the wastelands of Nevada is scheduled for Aug. 29- Sept. 5. In an only-in-San Francisco argument, several parents are demanding that school start Sept. 6 so their children can attend the event.

I find that highly amusing. It's such a California thing to do. Really, it's such a San Francisco or Bay Area thing to do.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:58 AM

February 09, 2005

A Chat with Mark Jen

John Battelle asked some good questions about the Mark Jen controversy.

Believe it or not, I met Mark tonight (err, "last night" to most of you at this point) and had a chance to chat with him about his brief time at Google and various other things. I'm not going to reveal everything we discussed, but I would like to clarify a few things and respond to John's request for commments.

First off, nothing Mark said surprised me. Yes, he was fired from Google. It was directly related to his blog. He was employed there for just a couple of weeks.

Mark's a good guy. He doesn't believe he was doing anything wrong (neither do I based on what he told me). In fact, he wasn't even aware of the blogosphere's Google obsession--or at least the search bloggers who watch every little thing Google does--until this happened. Let's just say that he was surprised by his sudden fame.

John (linking directly to my RSS feed for some odd reason) asked what Scoble and I have to say about this. So here's my take.

At Yahoo

Yahoo has been very good at dealing with blogging. A lot of people at Yahoo read some of what I write here. Some of them are even on our executive team. If I write something about Dan (our COO), there's a really good chance he'll hear about it. He may even read it himself. The same probably goes for Jerry. In fact, he and I met late last year to discuss employee blogging. I didn't have to sit in a room very long with him to realize that he gets it.

Jeff is a big supporter of the Yahoo Search blog, our first "corporate" blog (I dislike that term). He reads blogs every day and wishes we posted every day. He's also proven to be a very good barometer for what's blogworthy and isn't. How many SVPs at other companies can you say that about?

I could go on with more exmaples, but that makes my point quite well.

Has it all been fun and games? No.

I've been at this for a few years now, so there were bound to be problems. To date, I've removed one posting and modified one or two others. Each time, someone paid me a visit to discuss the problem. We went into a conference room and talked it out. All along it very clear to me that we were trying to figure out what's reasonable. The person was quite up-front about the fact that Yahoo doesn't want to be getting in the way of my rights to write what I want to write. Each of us walked away having learned something. We were getting closer to shared understanding of where "the line" is.

Oh, and I have managed to piss off, anger, and otherwise frighten more than my fair share of PR folks at Yahoo, including Chris. But that's hardly a surprise. Many PR professionals initially have strong reactions. Some continue to do so. But on the flip side, ask the recuiting folks if writing my blog has helped or hurt our ability to hire. I think you'll like the anwer you'd hear.

[Clarification: That didn't come out the way it should have. I left out an important bridge between this that paragraph and the next one. Chris and others in PR are really supportive of blogging (just like the others I called out). She and the PR team are writing the policy I mention below and doing it with all the right intentions. After a few folks asked, I realized that it sounds like was painting her as a roadblock or someone who doesn't get it. Sometimes the things in my head don't quite make it out the same way here.]

Aside for the normal agreements that one signs as a Yahoo employee, we have no additional policies or rules about blogging. But we're working on something: a set of guidelines that are very much in line with those used by Sun Microstems. The idea is to let all employess know that it's okay to blog about life at Yahoo, as long as you're smart about it.

At Google

Last Thursday I lad lunch at Google for my second time (the first was back in October). Yes, the food is good. And free.

Both times I've joked that I didn't expect them to let me in the door after I typed my name into the badge printing computer in the lobby of building 41. In reality, it's just that: a joke. We're all allowed to talk to hang out and talk to each other. I have several friends who are happily employed there and even tried to track one or two other people I'd been hoping to meet.

When I got back to Yahoo, a couple friends asked me what we talked about at lunch. I think I said something like "just about everything that wasn't realated to work."

Google has their reasons for being paranoid about public communication and remaining as secretive as they can about nearly everything they do. That's just the way it is, and I won't speculate on their reasons. But I do think they're missing a real opportunity to get involved in a lot of interesting discussions. For now, though, they're apparently content to watch and listen.

The only advice I have for Google is this: please make sure it's abundantly clear what the rules are. You're getting to be a big company. Don't rely on unwritten rules or company tradition/culture to do the job.

My advice to Google employess who really want to be more open than they can be: send me your resume.

Just kidding!

Well, I'm only half kidding. And it's late, so I should sleep.

Update: Scoble's response.

Posted by jzawodn at 02:19 AM

106 Miles #2: Recap

As with last time, tonight's 106 Miles gathering was excellent. I didn't arrive until ~7:40pm but managed to catch much of Dave Sifry's discussion. Of all the interesting things he said, one really stuck in my head. In the context of dealing with VCs:

If what you want is advice, ask for money. If what you want is money, ask for advice.

Good advice, I'd say. :-)

The discusion continued long after the official Q&A (I got home after 11:30pm). I had several great conversations which ranged from startups in the valley to Google in the early days and even tagging and efficiency in PHP.

Oh, and Russell (after his second day as a full-time Yahoo) made the funniest Freudian slip ever. He managed to say "Google" when he meant to say "Yahoo" in a sentence like "What I've been doing for the last several weeks at Yahoo is..."

The rest of us were highly amused. I accused all that AdSense money of going to his head. :-)

Thanks again to Joyce and CommerceNet for making 106 Miles happen.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:40 AM

February 08, 2005

106 Miles Tonight Featuring Dave Sifry

I just wanted to post a quick reminder of 106 Miles tonight (blog). Tonight's guest is Dave Sifry, founder of Technorati. He also helped start LinuxCare and Sputnik.

I'll be there a bit late (~7:30 or so) because of the TopCoder chat, but I expect to see a good crowd.

Thanks in advance to Joyce for organizing!

See Also: My notes on last month's gathering.

Posted by jzawodn at 04:54 PM

I'm in the TopCoder On-Line Chat Tonight

I'll be in the TopCoder on-line chat tonight from 6-7pm Pacific Time. Since Yahoo is sponsoring the 2005 TopCoder Collegiate Challenge, I was asked if I'd like to participate in the hour-long chat that happens before each competition.

Of course I would!

Now, I've only ever been part of one programming contest before. It was 1996 (I think) and a small group of us from BGSU drove up to the University of Waterloo to participate in the regional ACM Programming Contest.

The Waterloo teams kicked everyone's asses, but it was still a lot of fun.

Anyway, I'll be on-line to answer questions about programming and software development in the real world, at least to the degree that the companies I've worked at or consulted with represent the real world. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 08:03 AM

February 07, 2005

Goodbye Mapquest

I believe you've met your match.

More on this later--unless 50,000 other folks have written about it when I wake up. Then I won't bother.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:07 PM

McDonald's Fake Blog

Ronald, how could you?

According to the Strategic Public Relations blog, there's a fake blog running on TypePad that's there to support some dumb Super Bowl advertisement.

If you link to the site, I suggest using the text "fake blog" because, you know, some search engines care about that stuff. :-)

You can also read Scoble's Shel's take on The Red Couch:

... Fake blogs have neither. In fact, they demonstrate that no one is passionate enough about the product inside the company so they had to hire an ad agency to do a fake blog to try to get bloggers to link up.

Dyson wouldn't need to do a fake blog to sell their vacuum cleaners, would they?

Posted by jzawodn at 12:26 AM

Firefox: Bigger Than AOL?

Firefox is the energizer bunny of web browsers. I just keeps going and going and going.

Asa noticed this and began to wonder if Firefox has supoassed AOL's 22.2 million users.

We don't have solid usage stats and I've been mostly going on the numbers I see from OneStat, TheCounter, and WebSideStory. The only problem there is that while they all generally agree that Gecko is somewhere between 7% and 8% of the market, neither say how large that market is. I suspect that they're assuming a global share of between 500 million and 800 million users (though this is nothing more than a guess.)
If that's anywhere close to reality, then there should be between 35 million and 60 million Gecko users. Assuming that a bit more than half of those are Firefox users (and the rest are legacy Seamonkey users or Netscape users) then there's a very real chance that Firefox usage is very close to or already past the size of AOL's user base.

The adoption rate of Firefox is nothing short of amazing. The IE team at Microsoft has to be busting their butts on the next version of IE.

Expect to see lots more good Firefox stuff coming.

Let's just hope this get patched in a hurry.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:15 AM

February 06, 2005

Y!Q on my blog...

I've just updated the template for my individual post pages to include Y!Q, which I wrote about on the Yahoo Search blog. Here's a screenshot:

The results are pretty good in that one, huh?

Adding Y!Q to your site is easy. If you're using MovableType, adding something like this to your template will give you what I've got on mine, using the post title as the "context" for the Y!Q search.

First, in the document head:

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript" 

Then, where you want the link:

<form class="yq" action="http://yq.search.yahoo.com/search"
<input type="hidden" name="context" value="<$MTEntryTitle$>" />
<div class="yqact">
<input class="yqbt" type="submit"
  value="Possibly Related Stuff"
  onclick="return activateYQ(this)" />

However, it now occurs to me that I won't know if anyone finds this useful. Well, I suppose I could get a torrent of "thanks for adding Y!Q" emails, but let's be realistic. Since I'm not getting any click data back from Y!Q, how do I decide if I (as a publisher) should keep it?

Any ideas? I'll feed 'em back to the Y!Q team.

Also, here are a few other blogs sporting Y!Q that I've seen: Russell Beattie, Rasmus Lerdorf's Toys, and JR Conlin. Oh, and Matt is deconstructing Y!Q.

Now I should probably do the same over on the Yahoo Search blog, huh? Someone rightfully accused us/me of not eating our dog food.

Updated to include the script/head stuff I forgot the first time.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:43 PM

Rich Ord and Nick Wilson Dragging Yahoo's Name in the Mud?

This is the sort of thing that really bugs me. Rich Ord in Threadwatch Blocked By Yahoo's Russell Beattie? and Nick Wilson in Russell Beattie Bans Threadwatch seem to be to dragging Yahoo's name through the mud because of something that Russell may have done.

The fact that Russell works at Yahoo has absolutely nothing to do with this, but Rich felt it necessary to put it in the headline he used. In case you don't know, Russell was pretty damned popular all on his own before he was involved with Yahoo.

Rich, your headline seems to imply that Russell "belongs" to Yahoo that it it's somehow relevant.

Nick wasn't as bad but his post lead with:

..."A list" Yahoo! blogger Russell Beattie...

That's odd when you consider that Russell is known as a mobile blogger--that's his claim to fame and he knows his stuff. But Yahoo is what Nick focused on too.

Guys, if you've got an axe to grind with Yahoo, please come out and say it.

Posted by jzawodn at 06:01 PM

Google Hoarding the Pie?

Om Malik looked up some of Google's SEC filings and found the following:

Google has been paying more money every quarter to the affiliates. However, TAC as a percentage of advertising revenues generated by network sites is declining. For instance in quarter ending June 30, 2004, the company had paid out 80% of the revenues generated by its network. In quarter ending Sept 30, 2004, it was down to 79% and now in the December 2004 quarter, that number was down to 77%.
Now one way to read it is that, with their dominance on the contextual ad-market complete, they are doing the slow squeeze on the publishers. I hope not, since do no evil is their motto!

His conclusion will likely ring true with a lot of "small publishers" (and bloggers). Many times in the last 6 months, I've heard from people who noticed an apparent declining slice of the pie in their monthly AdSense earnings some time ago.

Some have theorized that Google purposely gave us a larger slice in the "early days" to help accelerate adoption of AdSense and cement their position as the reigning monopoly. Then, months before the big IPO, the began to slowly keep more and more of the pie for themselves.

True or not, everyone seems to agree that we could really use some competition in this business.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:33 PM

February 05, 2005

Russell Becoming a Full-Fledged Yahoo!

Excellent news. I ran into Russell at URL's (the cafeteria) on Friday and he told me the news: he's going to become a full-time Yahoo soon.

We also noted that it was really hard to believe that it's been three months since he started as a contractor (story).

Time flies when you're having fun, and we've both been doing a lot of that recently. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 10:46 AM

February 04, 2005

Tablet PCs at Yahoo!

First it was Powerbooks. I was seeing them more and more around campus. But today I was in a meeting where two of our execs appeared, both sporting Tablet PCs.

Tablet Computers at Yahoo!

The near one was using it as a mini-laptop while the far one had sworn off the keyboard.

After the meeting I got a really brief look at them and later received an "Ink" e-mail.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:58 PM

February 03, 2005

Leak Update

In the last several days of chaos, I've been slow to post here. So let's start with the thing everyone has been asking me about: the leak!

As I suggested last week in my Day #7 report, Robert dropped by the next day. By the time I got home that evening, I had a working shower!

The "guest" bathroom was fully functional. There was much happiness!

Because he was pressed for time, we agreed that I'd have Robert come back in a few weeks to finish up a few things, including the master bathroom shower.

It just so happens that I recently bought the camera I've wanted since the day it came out: the Canon EOS Digital Rebel. A co-worker was selling one at a great price, so I finally jumped. The pictures below are two of the first four pics I've shot with it so far. I hope they serve to illustrate how much collateral damage was done to my living room wall. :-(

Close Shot of Hole in Living Room Wall Complete View of Hole in Living Room Wall

But, hey... at least I can shower!

Posted by jzawodn at 12:38 AM

February 01, 2005

Box Cracked

Well, my primary box was cracked by a dipshit going after the recent awstats.pl bug.

It's the same thing that hit Russell the other day.

The bare bones stuff (blog/comments/inbound email) is working on my secondary box. But a lot more needs to be fixed.

Yeay for me having reasonably good backups!

Boo for the asshole who did it.

More later, but I need to sleep. It's 3.5 hours past when I planned to go to bed.


Posted by jzawodn at 02:29 AM