July 19, 2003

Yahoo! India

From rediff.com:

Yahoo! the global Internet communications, commerce and media company, is the latest on the block to begin outsourcing its software requirements from India by setting up a development centre in Bangalore, its first outside the United States.

There's been a lot of talk about this among some of the engineers at work. "How long until we don't bother hiring US engineers?" and stuff like that.

It's too soon to tell what it all really means, but it's a real reminder of the fact that we live in a global economy.

Amusingly, there's a typo at the end of the article: "As one of the first online navigational guides to the Web, Yahoo! caters to over 235 users in 25 countries in 13 languages." It's been pointed out in the comments, but I guess the rediff.com folks don't bother to read those.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:06 AM

The Pain

My body hates me.

Thursday night, not long after dinner, I felt a bit sick. Not really sick, but I had a pain in my stomach. At first I assumed that Murphy was messing with me--going for a replay of the Denny's Episode.

But after a few hours, I realized it was something entirely different. The sensation reminded me of the pains I had before my gall bladder was removed last year. A slowly building dull pain in my upper-right abdomen that eventually became quite intense for an hour or two and then would slowly go away.

The differences this time were that (1) the pain wasn't nearly as bad, and (2) I no long have a gall bladder.

Figuring it was just some odd problem, I went to bed hoping that it'd be gone in the morning. I woke up yesterday morning to find that it was mostly (but not completely) gone. It wasn't so bad that I couldn't eat, so I had a banana and muffin for breakfast. I went about my morning routine and headed to work.

Sitting at my desk, the pain got worse and I started to feel very, very warm. The pain got worse. I decided to try waiting it out. But after 30 minutes I gave up and decided to go home. There was no way I was going to get anything done anyway.

I arrived home and sat in the Lazy Boy recliner with a laptop on my lap. The pain got worse. Then it occurred to me that I could have picked it up from someone. After all, on Thursday, I had picked up the Friedl's from the airport. They had been in Japan for 6 weeks and there was a bit of sickness going around while they were there.

I gave up and laid down, hoping to sleep it off. No luck. It was too damned hot to sleep. So I laid there, annoyed and in pain. For hours.

Eventually I got up and went back to the computer but wasn't really able to focus. Most of the night continued this way. I tried laying down and/or sleeping on the bed, couch, and even the floor. (The floor was nice and cool as the cooler air came in.) It still hurt.

After a while, I noticed that the pain wasn't getting any better but it also wasn't getting any worse. It still reminded me a lot of a gall bladder attack. I began to wonder what could cause such a thing. What if the clamp/staple/whatever that they left in place when they disconnected my gall bladder had come loose? Maybe it had hooked on something and was now tearing up my insides?

Who knows. I'm no doctor.

I considered going to the hospital. Several times. But each time I told myself that I couldn't stand the thought of sitting in the waiting room for 2-3 hours (though the air conditioning would be nice). I convinced myself to give it just a couple more hours. Around 1:30AM, I moved back to the couch and was able to get comfortable. I slept there, on and off, for about 3 hours. I woke up feeling a bit better and decided to go to bed for real.

Waking up this morning, I felt better. I was terribly hungry (hadn't eaten for 24 hours), thirsty, and generally worn out. I did the dishes and had some breakfast (peaches and a banana). The pain is virtually gone, but for some reason it feels like it could return at any moment. That's probably just my paranoia. I hope.

Like I said, my body hates me.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:02 AM

Root Danger

From Phil Greenspun:

I'm not going to say who it is because he'd be embarrassed but perhaps the incident reveals something general: people over the age of 25 shouldn't use Unix/GNU/Linux/whatever, unless they are full-time professional Unix sysadmins. The dialog boxes on WinXP are annoying but for those of us nearing 40 perhaps it would be nice to have the computer ask "Are you sure that you want to overwrite all the most critical files on this machine?"

Maybe that's another vote for Mac OS X? :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 08:34 AM

July 18, 2003

Pulling down the bucks...

According to CBS MarketWatch:

Yahoo Chairman Terry Semel sold 500,000 shares via exercised stock options just a few days after his company announced a pact to acquire online advertising firm Overture Services, according to regulatory filing disclosed Friday.
Semel exercised the Yahoo (YHOO: news, chart, profile) options and sold the shares in two parts on July 16. He exercised 437,500 shares at $9.24 and 62,500 shares at $16.46. All of the shares were sold at prices ranging from $32 to $32.64, according to the filing.

You do the math.

See also: It pays to be an eBay exec

Posted by jzawodn at 10:03 AM

July 17, 2003

Harry Potter's Wang

If you don't have a sick mind, stop reading this now.

Oh, good. You're sill here. :-)

Thanks to jwz, I ran across this:

Purely in the interests of science, I have replaced the word "wand" with "wang" in the first Harry Potter Book. Let's see the results...

Damn. That's some funny stuff.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:36 PM

Flipping the Bozo Bit

I hadn't seen this before, but it's quite amusing (and true). Every once in a while, you need to Flip the Bozo Bit.

(Insert story of inept co-workers here.)

I'm half expecting Derek to recount a story about someone from his days at Yahoo. Or his current job. Or just about any job he's every had. Derek's funny that way.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:24 PM

More Yahoo! Buzz RSS Feeds Launched: TV and Sports

The fine folks at Yahoo! Buzz have launched 5 new feeds:

We don't have an official feedback channel, so feel free to post comments here. I'll make sure that the folks involved see them.

See Also: Yahoo! Buzz RSS Feeds

Posted by jzawodn at 06:20 PM

MySQL Query Benchmarking -- slides now on-line

After a bit of a delay, I've also posted the slides to the MySQL Query Benchmarking talk I gave at OSCON last Friday. They're available in HTML and PDF. The PDF sucks and I'm not sure if I should blame OpenOffice or ps2pdf for that.

If you're a Yahoo engineer, expect to see this as a Tech Talk (in some form) in the not too distant future.

See Also: Mike Kruckenberg's notes.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:58 PM

MySQL Scaling Pains -- slides now on-line

After a bit of a delay, I've posted the slides to the MySQL Scaling Pains talk I gave at OSCON last Friday. They're available in HTML and PDF. The PDF sucks and I'm not sure if I should blame OpenOffice or ps2pdf for that.

If you're a Yahoo engineer, expect to see this as a Tech Talk (in some form) in the not too distant future.

See Also: Radwin's notes and Mike Kruckenberg's notes.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:53 PM

Schwarzenegger for Governor

Oh, what the heck. I say we elect him if he runs. I think it'd be terribly amusing. We don't have enough amusement in politics these days.

Update: Welcome Google, Yahoo, and other search engine users! Perhaps you ought to read this for futher evidence that Google isn't as smart as you might think. Heck, the fact that you probably came here from a Google search should be evidence enough, right?

Posted by jzawodn at 04:52 PM

Disk Storage Increases

From the excellent interview with Jim Gray:

The first thing to keep in mind is it's not over yet. At the FAST [File and Storage Technologies] conference about a year-and-a-half ago, Mark Kryder of Seagate Research was very apologetic. He said the end is near; we only have a factor of 100 left in density--then the Seagate guys are out of ideas. So this 200-gig disk that you're holding will soon be 20 terabytes, and then the disk guys are out of ideas. The database guys are already out of ideas!

Very good stuff. Go read it.

Thanks to Phil for the pointer.

Posted by jzawodn at 04:11 PM

July 16, 2003

Welcome to the Neighborhood

To the incredibly beautiful 20-somethings that moved into the apartment next door, on the off chance that you're reading my blog tonight, welcome to the neighborhood.

You you may not have noticed this yet but I have. Two of the three largest windows in my apartment (kitchen and bedroom) happen to face the same windows of your apartment. I noticed that in a hurry. But you haven't opened your blinds much--yet. So you may be unaware of this little bit of trivia.

I guess there are times that apartment living isn't that bad.

I don't expect you to be like neighbors that lived there in most of 2001. They were quite loud when it came to, uh, bed time.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:43 PM

On Buying Feedster

Dave says:

Isn't it obvious that either Google or Yahoo will buy Feedster so their search engine can understand RSS. Then the other guy is going to wonder why they missed the boat. After that, they can make their search engines understand OPML and throw out the antiquated centralized directories and let the amateurs compete to create the best directory for a given topic, the same way we compete for page rank.

What makes Dave think that Yahoo and Google's technology doesn't already "understand" RSS, I wonder? RSS is simple. Really simple. And structured. Hardly the mess that HTML is. It's not a really hard problem if you already have crawling infrastructure and the ability to query structured data.

Heck, I fully expect Microsoft's search engine to grok RSS and/or OPML.

I don't mean to detract from Scott's work on Feedster. It clearly fills hole that nobody else has.

(Reminder: I don't speak for my employer or any of my employer's technology providers. Not that will stop anyone from reading all sorts of stuff into what I say...)

Posted by jzawodn at 09:42 PM

Radio got TrackBack


Here's the news.

Anyone know if AOL will have TrackBack support?

Update: Err. As Dave points out, it's Manila, not Radio. But it sounds like Radio is next, so yeay anyway.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:21 PM

July 15, 2003

Apartment Living Can Suck

I really want my old house back so I can get out of my apartment.


I managed to break the bathroom faucet.


I turned it.

Did I call my landlord?

Yes. But he's not home and either doesn't have an answering machine, or the one he does have is full.

Grr. If he's not around in a day or so, I'll have to call someone to come fix it. Maybe while the mystery plumber is here, s/he can have a look at the leaky kitchen pipes too.


If only houses here were so damned expensive. Despite all the advantages of living at the epicenter of technological spew, I'll sure be glad when I can leave and afford a house again.

Of course, if our stock price manages to hit $75, I'll consider buying a house here. But the odds of that happening are quite slim. And the thought of dropping close to a million dollars [that I don't have] on a house is a bit insane.

I could move to a cheaper and nicer apartment, but I really really really hate moving. I'd only end up saving $100/month if I did, based on what I've seen. (My current rent is $1,300/month, thanks for asking.)

Okay, enough bitching. I have work to do.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:38 PM

July 14, 2003

Is the Internet an Application?

Robert Scoble thinks so:

I believe the Web became such a success because it was a single app that did so much. I was a BBS, then Prodigy, then AOL, then CompuServe, then came to the Web in 1995, so pretty early on (certainly not first, but certainly before 99.9% of people got on).


He's wrong. The Internet is a service. Applications are built on top of the infrastructure provided by the Internet. The Internet helps to deliver the World Wide Web, E-Mail, Newsgroups, Instant Messaging, and so much more.

AOL isn't an app either. It's a service. AOL is a service provider--at least in this context. AOL is also a big evil media company, but that's a side issue.

I know he knows better, but this bugs me in the same way that people who say "My Internet is down!" do. They really mean "My Internet connection is down!" but don't know it.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:13 PM

Down on the Net

Apparently the Internet is Shit:

And look what we've done with it. Food wrappers and soap operas now tell us to visit their websites. Money is pumped online by people who can't even spell HTML. All manner of pointless and irritating content is continually poured down the infinite hole of data, unfiltered and over-appreciated. In accepting freedom of speech, we can't hide from its consequences - which in this case is millions of terabytes of unreliable information, badly designed and clumsily written. We have failed our own creation and given birth something truly awful. We're just too busy cooing over the pram to notice.

I'mn not saying I agree, but go read it and decide for yourself.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:03 PM

Check Out Feedster's Backlog

Ray and I were just talking about this feature for Feedster the other day. What do you know? Scott already had implemented it as Feedster Backlog.

If you want Feedster to index your entire weblog, all you need to do is generate a new RSS feed with everything you've ever blogged in it and then give us the URL to it as well as your existing RSS url. What we'll do is load the old posts, discard the duplicates and then get it all indexed.

So I've setup a full feed here using this MT template.

Scott rocks.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:41 PM

You know it's hot out when...

Posted by jzawodn at 07:41 PM

Revenge of the Denny's Sausage

If you're on a road trip through Oregon and California and find yourself at the local Denny's ordering the "French Slam" for breakfast, do yourself a favor. Do order the sausage to go with it. If you do, make sure not to eat it.

You'll spend the rest of the day with a very bad feeling in your stomach and no appetite for the next 24-36 hours. You'll feel like you need to barf it all up, but it won't happen. You burp now and then, careful not to burp too hard, tasting the sausage a little bit each time. It'll just ripen in your bowels for a while.

This concludes today's public service announcement.

Posted by jzawodn at 02:30 PM

Back Home

After a long drive and a few mistakes, Ray and I arrived back in the Bay Area at roughly 4am this morning from Portland. I hadn't slept but managed to fix that pretty quickly. (Just got up a few minutes ago at 11am.)

Lots to catch up on. Apparently Yahoo is buying Overture. It's about time that happened.

I have many pictures to upload and a few older entries (from the trip) to post later today.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:18 AM