Random Thoughts

Tech, words and musings from an Englishman in Seattle

Halloween Happenings

I like Halloween. It wasn't really an event in the UK when I was growing up, but as kids we had heard about the “Trick or Treat” action that all the lucky US kids had.

Fast forward a number of years to October 1997, and as a recently relocated Brit I was just about to experience my first US Halloween. Kids in the hallways of the offices; pumpkins everywhere; lots of fun. And last year I got to experience my first trick or treating with Julian. We had a blast.

This year started out around 6pm, with Julian's pals MacKenzie, Gabby and associated parents. We went off around the neighbourhood even though it was raining - much candy was collected. After a short while we headed back home and then had lots of little visitors to the house. Creatively dressed and very polite, the kids were fun. Most of the kids took just a little candy each - I said they could take extra, after which they might take just one more.

Nice kids.

About half an hour after the visitations had tailed off the older kids started to arrive. No costumes, open backpacks and attempting to take fistfuls of sweets.

“What are you dressed as?”, my wife asked innocently.

“I'm the lollipop sucking pimp”.

Very funny. Now piss off.

I think I only vocalized the first part.

Anyhow, after a couple of those visits, I just turned the lights off, moved the pumpkins inside and the visits stopped.

A few hours later and everyone except myself is in bed when I hear what sounds like someone taking potshots at the house, starting at one end, and working it's way down across the windows.

Some git is paint-balling the house.

I get a quick look at the truck they're shooting from before it disappears and call the cops. They stop by after a while and say “it's Halloween”, and they expect it'll continue around the neighbourhood. They'll keep an eye out.

It looks like they were aiming at a particular ghost decoration on the deck, but the hits weren't in a very tight pattern. I guess they were just very poor shots.

Ho hum.

Collapsible Blocks

I just added a much asked for feature to Memeflow - collapsible blocks. You can show or hide the contents of the block and the state is persisted on the server.

What's cool is that you can still drop links onto a block even though it is collapsed. I have a block full of stuff to check out, and this feature has proved pretty useful over the past couple of days.

Let me know what you think, and let me know of other work-flow optimization features you think would be useful.

More spin from Sony

I really try to avoid writing anything that smacks of flaming the competition, but this is just pure spin. Via Gamespot

Appearing at the Tokyo International Digital Conference on Thursday to talk about the technological capabilities of the PlayStation 3 and the Cell processor, Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi said he expects the PS3 to be capable of running games at a stunning 120fps, according to a report in The Nikkei BP.

What game? What resolution? What graphical or CPU intensive features? Are you going to be running the game's world and physics simulation at 120hz?

I'm sorry, but if you can run at 120hz on current hardware (even the Xbox 360 or PS3) you ain't pushing the hardware hard enough.

More on Gmax

It looks like Gmax isn't being canned next week as previously announced by Autodesk. We received an update via email, which they posted themselves in their official forums. Here's an except:

Recently we communicated a plan to cease new development on Gmax and ramp down support on the current offering; this decision was based on multiple factors and data points, including diminished interest from games publishers. Since the announcement, more partners provided feedback that we are investigating -- for this reason we are happy to announce that we will extend the previously communicated November 1, 2005 deadline and continue to make Gmax available to the active community.

Looks like they got the message that quite a few people actually use it…

Build your own full motion simulator

Full instructions (four chapters free, full pdf for $15) on how to build your own full motion cockpit for Flight Simulator.

If you want to experience true virtual flight then you need motion. The following how-to articles represent my efforts into perfecting the least expensive, easiest to build, most versatile motion simulator for home use.

The JoyRider is a two axis flight motion simulator you can build without the use of expensive hardware. It's VERY fast, and SMOOTH and best of all it can be affordably constructed from readily available supplies with simple hand tools.

Please let me know if you've actually built this…

Via MAKE Magazine.

Welcome AVSim Readers!

A quick perusal of my site stats this evening revealed that ASim's main page had jumped to the top of my referrer stats. Hmmm, after a quick look at AVSim I see that they have linked to the flight sim team blogs from the main page. Jason also notes the mention.

Cool! We've been linked to from various articles in the forums, but I guess that a bunch of people had missed those. I've been a lurker on AVSim for quite a few years, and have posted under a few pseudonyms a number of times… It's cool to be in the open about all this now…

So welcome to all my new readers! And if you're just interested in the Flight Simulator stuff, I categorize it all and it appears in the Flight Simulator index on this site, but I hope you'll stay to read all my other ramblings too.

On another note, I'm a big fan of many of the add-ons that the community produces, especially scenery stuff. For example, just take a look at this (Flight Scenery) work in progress from Flight Scenery - and there are many more talented developers like them out there, producing great add-ons for Flight Simulator.

We love you guys!

The origins of Basketball

Via a mailing list on Game Design, I found a reference to a paper written by James Naismith - the inventor of the game of Basketball. Chapter 3 is very interesting, as it details the process he went through designing the game and formulating it's first set of rules.

I concluded that the most interesting game at that time was American Rugby. I asked myself why this game could not be used as an indoor sport. The answer to this was easy. It was because tackling was necessary in Rugby. But why was tackling necessary? Again the answer was easy. It was because the men were allowed to run with the ball, and it was necessary to stop them. With these facts in mind, I sat erect at my desk and said aloud:

“If he can't run with the ball, we don't have to tackle; and if we don't have to tackle, the roughness will be eliminated.”

I can still recall how I snapped my fingers and shouted, “I've got it!''

What is really interesting, as a European, is that the initial rules, especially rule 3, sound a lot more like Netball (popular in the UK, Australia, NZ, etc…, not really popular at all in the USA), than Basketball.

3. A player cannot run with the ball. The player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it; allowance to be made for a man who catches the ball when running at a, good speed.

It seems to me that Netball is very closely linked to the original design of the game, and that Basketball evolved from that.

Anyhow, this just seemed interesting to me. In the industry there is a large amount of published information about ”videogame" design, but this is the first time I've seen anything about the design of an actual sport.

Plus, it's slightly amusing that the inventor of one of the three big US professional sports was a Canadian…

Blog Valuation

A few people have pointed to an amusing tool at the Business Opportunities weblog that values your blog based the sort of valuation used in the AOL/Weblogs Inc deal.

Apparently my blog is currently worth $42,240.50.

Another site that has been around for quite a while, and is a lot more fun, is BlogShares. With this site you can buy and sell “shares” in blogs, perform leveraged buyouts, and generally treat blogs as though they were publically traded companies.

It's a hoot.

The “value” of a site is not only based on the value of incoming links, but also on a traditional buy/sell model - the more people buy shares in the blog, the higher it's valuation.

An impressive piece of work.

Time's Top One Hundred Novels

Via Maryam Scoble's blog, I found the list of Time Magazine's top 100 English-language novels of all time, and was pleasantly surprised to find my favourite graphic novel, Watchmen, on the list. If you haven't read it, you must.

As an aside, I thought it might be interesting to see how many of the books I've actually read. I scored a paltry nineteen. How about you?

Taskable - an OPML tool

I've been playing around with Taskable, an little application that sits in the system tray and lets you browse the links in OPML feeds you've subscribed it too.

Taskable is a new kind of RSS and OPML browser built into the Windows taskbar notification area. Clicking on the “little orange guy” (have a better icon? We kind of like his XML-orange-ness) provides always-on, instantaneous access to your favorite feeds from simple menus that can be traversed with the keyboard or the mouse.

It's so simple, it's brilliant.

I subscribed it to the OPML feed for my blog, and instantly had access to all my posts, in a categorized, hierarchical fashion.

My blog in Taskable

Memeflow, my ajax bookmarking web service also pushes out an OPML feed for all users, so I pointed Taskable at my bookmark feed and then had all my bookmarks available instantly via the system tray! How cool is that!

Mind you, my system tray is getting very full. It really isn't the place to dock these little applications. Maybe I just need to go and install Vista and write a Gadget. So, how about it Sean I think an OPML widget would make a great addition to the Windows Sidebar.

Movie Review: Layer Cake

Layer Cake is the directorial debut for Matthew Vaughn, who produced Lock Stock and Snatch. This movie is much better than both of them - and they were great movies too.

Excellent. Just incredible.

What with an exceptional cast of British acting talent (including Daniel Craig playing the nameless lead character, Michael Gambon and Colm Meaney), this movie is not to be missed. It's a slightly different take on the whole “British Gangster” genre, similar to the others but purposefully dumping the unneeded humour, and adding a ton of style.

Don't miss the Q&A feature on the DVD, especially the part where Vaughn explains how they got French Connection UK to allow the director to use their name on the labels of bottles of cocaine and other drugs during a particular scene.

Does it sound like I'm gushing over this movie? It's because I am.

The movie follows the nameless lead character as he attempts to retire from the high end of drug dealing, but gets dramatically pulled back in. It is violent, but the movie focuses more on the effects that the violence have on the perpetrator.

Go rent or buy this movie now.

A few podcast recommendations

It seems that I've been a bit light on the posting front this week. I guess that's normal - I never had the “I must post at least twice a day” urge that leads to the low signal to noise blogs out there.

A few items of note. I've been listening to a bunch of new podcasts recently, so here's a few goodies.

In Venture Voice, Greg Gallant talks to a bunch of interesting, some times early stage, start-ups. The series on VideoEgg's preparations for demo were great, and the show on TerraCycle is not to be missed.

I haven't been listening to music based podcasts very much as I prefer talk when I'm in the car, which is where I do most of my podcast listening. However when I'm at work, I've moved away from listening to standard music (i.e. CD's I've ripped) and now have a playlist setup with a bunch of music podcasts. Of note is The Tartan Podcast. It is just superb. Don't let the moniker “Independent Scottish Music” put you off - this is not bagpipes and men in kilts! Highly recommended.

While I'm at it, a large portion of the podcasts that I listen to are British in origin. If you want to find more, head on over to Britcaster. On the site you'll find a list of them all, and a highly active forum.

Also, congratulations to Simon Toon from the Slam Idol podcast for scoring an interview with Stephen Fry. Nice one Simon!

Holy Cr*p!

Google reports third quarter results

Google reported record revenues of $1.578 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2005, up 96% compared to the third quarter of 2004…

Ninety. Six. Percent. Warp factor eleven Mr Sulu!

Sad news

Today we heard the sad news of an aviation accident that took two local students from Seattle's Aviation High School .

The Flight Simulator team had close links with the school, but no-one had a closer link than Hal Bryan, who writes about the event over on his blog.

Our thoughts go out to the family, friends and faculty.

Memeflow and Internationalization

While I was implementing the GoTo service I always had internationalization in the back of my mind, but I am by no means an expert on the subject (even though I subscribe to, and regularly read, Michael Kaplan ). I made sure everything was utf-8 end to end and did all the right sort of development things and kind of hoped for the best…

I am by no means a language expert and being a one man band had no test resources1. I cut and pasted some text from Japanese sites, linked to some and all seemed to be well. So I was very happy to see some (what I think are) reviews of the service on websites that I cannot read. For example, here's one2].

It looked like everything was working fine.

Then today I received an email from someone who doesn't have good English (his words, not mine), asking for help as he could not log in.

Uhh Ohh.

One issue that the service has is that it authenticates the XML response from the server with every transaction. If the XML is malformed, then the authentication doesn't work and you are effectively locked out. I suspected that this is what had happened.

So I looked at the database, and sure enough his last entry had had the title automatically filled in by a background job that scans the web pages for newly added sites. This code had an internationalization bug in it.

I fixed the bug; nuked the title; re-ran the title scan, and hey presto, he can log in.

1 If non-English readers could confirm/deny that things are working well for them, I'd appreciate it! 

2 If someone could translate this site for me, I'd appreciate that too! 

Web 2.02 - Interactive

An excellent post by Nick Bradbury, citing the current Web 2.0 hype and stating that the desktop still has a place. Steve Makofsky also weighs in here, as does Robert Scoble. But at this point, I'd like to disagree with Robert.

For me, streaming HDTV is irrelevant. I've yet to find a good definition of "Web 2.0", but I'm pretty sure that fast, reliable interactivity is a key component, which rules out streaming as an interesting feature.

I'd like to add another rule to Nick's:

Certain classes of applications cannot, by definition, be instantiated as a web service.

Well, for the foreseable future anyhow.

Of course, by this I mean a rather large subset of interactive entertainment. E.g. Games.

Yes, you can download a flash app, but at that point it's a local application. Yes, you can run something from Wild Tangent. Again, at that point it's effectively a local application streaming content.

For the smarts of the application to be remoted we need might higher bandwidth than is currently available today, and more to the point exponentially lower latencies.

I don't know about you, but I like my interactivity to happen at least at 30 hertz.

Memeflow GoTo - Fixes and features

Time for an update on Memeflow GoTo, my little bookmarking web service. It's been a while...

The big new feature is RSS feeds. You've always had an OPML feed of your links, but now you can get that as a full RSS feed, with each block as a separate item, or a changes RSS feed with an item per day detailing all the additions to each block.

The changes RSS feed is pretty nice as you could have a block set up for a particular topic (or, dare I say it, tag) and you and others can subscribe to the feed and see your changes. I'll probably add feeds for the specific blocks too.

The layout of the site has been tweaked too, so that all the informational blocks on the right-hand side are now placed on tabs. Take a look at the changes tab for a list of bug fixes. Most of the bug fixes have been to do with UI problems:

  • Make OPML compliant to v1.1.
  • Fix a bug where clicking another mouse button while left-click dragging a block or item would cause weird things to happen.
  • Fix a bug which could cause multiple edit boxes to be open for edit and out of sync in page.
  • Small pages adjustments. Separated system blocks into tabs.

In the queue for new features we have:

  • RSS feeds for specific blocks.
  • Provide a public facing page, so you can provide other people with read only access to your page.
  • Allowing re-ordering of items within blocks.
  • Import of bookmarks from IE or Firefox.
  • A place to enter comments or tags for links.
  • Some form of collapsible UI for the actions at the end of each link.
  • The ability to collapse blocks.
  • Pages of blocks.

Please let me know of any other ideas or bugs...

Another win for Media Center

There goes another reason for not switching to Windows Media Center (via Addicted To Digital Media).

What with the 1000 DVD changer (mind you, I'd rather rip them all to a terrabyte server...) and the fact that DirecTV seems like it's going to be dumping TiVo like a lead ballon, I really want to switch to Media Center. Not least the fact that I want all the TVs in my house to have access to the same media repository - the same recorded TV shows and the same audio library, plus all the home videos.

My only blocking point is HDTV. I need HBO, Showtime and Discovery in a recordable HD fashion. DirecTV gives that to me now via my HDTiVo.

Podcasts playing our stuff!

I was just checking out our band's listing at the podsafe music network, and was happy to discover that a couple of podcasts have played our stuff!

Very cool.

Please check out BandTrax who play Trance, and have a really nice intro from us starting at 17:30 into the September 28th show, and Gamechat Live who play Silver Bullet. We're on the Gamechat's October 14th show, but I haven't heard it yet as I'm getting timeouts from their host, archive.org...

Ain't the net fun?

A Brit Abroad - October 13, 2005

Today I have a very special guest! It's been eight months since the last time we did a podcast together, and as band practice was cancelled for today, my very good friend CJ joined me for an almost live and uncut edition of the show!

Amongst other things, we talk about life as a home dad, music, vasectomies(!), iPods, Dylan and Hockey. We also drink beer.

Today's music is by our band, Spank, and we get interrupted by the dog...

At just under 45 minutes and weighing in at 30.9MB, It's A Brit Abroad!

Show Notes

00:00 Name and date check.
00:05 Intro sweeper and music.
00:19 Introduction to the show.
00:32 CJ introduces himself.
01:47 Home dad.
03:19 How Steve got into playing the guitar.
09:08 Break to get beer.
10:53 The band's upcoming gig on November 16th at The Central Club in Kirkland, WA.
14:40 Music industry pushing for more money from online sales.
21:03 Friends having babies.
22:50 Friends back from Iraq.
24:05 Bob Dylan.
25:57 MAudio USB audio gear.
28:00 Music by Spank - Flotsam.
32:08 Video iPod.
36:06 The dog gets annoying.
40:35 Hockey is back.
42:05 A failed joke.
43:04 Conclusion. Comments welcome, both text and mp3 - steve@steve-lacey.com.
44:35 Outro music.
44:55 End.

Enjoy!

Virtual Pub Crawl…

Reaching into the "mail of the wierd" file, a reader points me at a virtual pub crawl... taking place using a virtual aircraft!

The Flight of The Hopper chronicles the continuing journey of The Hopper and its crew as they traverse the world in search of beer. Utilizing Microsoft Flight Simulator, the crew will establish a weekly flight plan which will bring them to a new location, where they will procure a sample of the local brew for consumption on the next leg of their journey.

The Flight Of The Hopper.

Burp!

John Battelle at Microsoft

This afternoon I attended a lecture/book reading/book signing by John Battelle, co-founder of Wired magazine, author of "The Search", and much other stuff. The event was on Microsoft campus as part of Research's lecture series.

I got there fairly early and the room was strangely empty for quite a while, then five minutes before show time, and in typical Microsoft fashion, the meeting room was packed and ended up standing room only.

John spoke for about half an hour, relating anecdotes including hist first visit to Microsoft in 1994 with the other founders of Wired. They met with BillG, amongst others and talked about how he was awestruck. The meeting became the first story in their new HotWired venture.

Maybe he was just playing to the crowd (I don't think so), but he seemed genuinely warm to Microsoft. He talked about how he felt disenchanted with the tech industry after 2001 and the dot-com bubble collapse, and believed that there were no new stories. "New York", as he put it, were in the "I told you so" game. But then he discovered search and how the search box could capture a culture's history.

He asked the room how many people had looked at the Google Zeitgeist and a good majority of hands were raised. He quipped that that was more people than had raised their hands when he visited Google - "mind you, most of them were hired yesterday..."

The Zeitgeist interested him and he wondered what Google might be doing - that led to his ongoing fascination with search, and to the book. Despite what people may think, only half the book is devoted to Google. He needed a lead role for the book which Google filled - Microsoft just wasn't in the space at that time. He jokingly said that his publisher wanted it to be called "The Google, all about google, google, google..."

In the Q&A session, it started to become apparent that he believes Google to be a naive corporation and is expecting it to go through growing pains, have it's big PR problems, etc... When he asked Sergey Brin about how the patriot act affected Google, Sergey hadn't read it and didn't realise the problems that it could cause the company.

I asked John how much he thought Google is moving from an "access to information via search" company to a collector of information (library scanning, etc...) and how that meshes with the Google WiFi play.

He gave a long and thoughtful answer about the potential for collecting individual information to target search better and that if done wrong that could be a "bad thing" - effectively steering peoples' search experience by knowing what other activity they perform online. Of course, he wasn't suggesting that Google would do such a thing, but as a source from inside the company told him: "We're one bad PR event away from being viewed as Big Brother". As a company gets bigger and bigger, control over actions can be difficult, and the Google needs to recognize that.

Another observation in response to a question was that Google is expanding in all directions at once, with no obvious guiding strategy. Wall Street might not necessarily like that, but it might be in response to the "one trick pony" press aimed at Google after the IPO. His gut tells him that there is more strategy behind all those 20% projects than Google is letting on...

A question was raised about Google's record of academic pushing as compared to other companies. Considering that Google was born out of academia it seems very bad that Google doesn't publish anything. Apparently this question was asked of Sergey at Web 2.0 last week. His response was that "they're aware of the problem..."

Overall, a great talk. I'd been meaning to get a copy of the book for a while, so I picked one up at the talk and had John sign it.

Now I just need to read it...

Parking Lot Annoyances

I've just driven over to main campus from the Game Studios' buildings (you know, the ones by the gravel pits, not the shiny downtown Kirkland ones) for a lecture by John Battelle, author of "The Search".

Anyhow, the parking layout in the particular building is just dreadful. Long rows of parking spots, predictably all full, and each of them teminated by a dead end!

Hopeless.

Couple that with all the monster sized trucks that people seem to like bringing to work, and you end up with the parking migraine the size of a small moon that I'm currently experiencing.

Mind you, I think that I just have bad parking karma.

Anyhow, John is about to start, so back to note taking mode...

Dropping in random dlls

Note that this is a bit of a rant, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible... Anything I say is not the opinions of my employer, etc..., etc...

In a recent thread over on AVSim, people have picked up on a "fix" to Flight Simulator that helps fight shimmer with objects (such as AutoGen objects, e.g. trees) that heavily rely on alpha test.

Basically, this dll shims DirectX and forces some state settings, in this case both anti-aliasing and alpha-to-coverage.

Putting aside that it is an incredibly risky thing to be doing "Ah, here's a dll that effectively replaces a system component as far as the app in concerned, lets drop it in and see what happens!" - just witness the people that have had problems:

Dropped the two DXOverride files (.dll and .ini) into my FS9 directory and then found FS9 wouldn't start.

Might I need to edit the ini file? If so, does anyone know what changes I would need to make and why??

...

A friend has a MSI 9800 PRO 128MB card, the tweak is not working for him.

He gets an error message when starting FS9:

"FS cannot run because the version of MS DX installed on your computer is incompatible. Please reinstall DX9.0 by running FS setup."

He reinstalled Windows XP, Service Pack 2, Catalyst 5.8 drivers and FS9 and he stills get the error.

Any help will be appreciated.

...

etc...

Yup - risky thing, but if it works for you, err, ok. Just please don't start calling customer support when random things start going wrong.

Oh, and don't start me on that one. I've lost track of the count of email we check saying something like "Blah add-on won't start because it says FSUIPC is a wrong version, can you help?"

But I digress.

Back to this mod.

As far as I understand it (note, I have not installed it), this mod forces on some newish features on 3D hardware called "Alpha To Coverage". What this basically does is gives you a form of sort-independent transparency It requires anti-aliasing to work as basically it samples the coverage of an output pixel in the multi-sample buffer and uses that to calculate a level of alpha. The problem with normal alpha-test is that it generates hard edges that are unrelated to real geometry - this means that standard multisample anti-aliasing can't help soften the edges.

So, how does this affect you? Well, for a start it forces on anti-aliasing. If you weren't already using anti-aliasing then you just took a big fillrate hit as Flight Simulator his now having to render many more pixels, plus the associated memory requirements for the render targets.

More important is that FlightSim did not know that this is going on. I.e. FlightSim thinks that it's not doing anti-aliasing and is doing different things because of that fact. You're doing things behind it's back - not good (and don't get me started on hardware vendor's "value add" control panels that basically do the same thing). Don't blame FlightSim if you start having panel problems...

Now, lets look at how the fix for alpha-test is enabled in the mod. This is a new feature of some hardware, and not exposed in DirectX 9, so I imagine it is turned on via a vendor specific backdoor to the API similar to this one by nVidia. In this example, a feature is turned on by setting a state that controls adaptive tessellation (i.e. a totally unrelated state), with a value that is a private communication between the vendor's driver and the application.

Does that sound portable and hardware independent to you?

At least if the application is doing it, it has some idea about what is going on (it might have checked PCIIDs to confirm the hardware type, etc...) But in the case where a shim between the application and driver/hardware is doing it? Well, caveat lector...

Algorithmic Entertainment

What a cool definition of games:

Like every other games researcher, I've had to come up with some useful definition, or at least a general notion, of what a game is. Unlike many others, I've dispensed with a lot of the obvious stuff to get to what I find to be most essential.

In my definition, gone are victory conditions or even explicit goals. I've discarded conflict and competition and, perhaps most surprising, even interaction.

I've boiled and sifted, reduced and sorted until I came up with a definition that I think works:

Games are algorithmic entertainment.

I think I need new business cards - "Steve Lacey - Algorithmic Entertainer"

Read more over on buzzcut.com.

A Higher Power

Please tell me it ain't so. From the BBC: "God told me to invade Iraq, Bush tells Palestinian ministers."

Autodesk acquires Alias

Big news in the game development space, Autodesk has agreed to purchase Alias.

For those that don't know, Autodesk produces Max and Alias produces Maya which are competing high-end applications in the 3D modeling and animation space many industry types, but especially for game development.  Most studios use one or the other.  Internally on the Flight Simulator team we use Max, but other studios in MGS use Maya.  Max is a very strong product, but Maya has always been thought of as a stronger animation package.

It'll be interesting to see how this one shakes out.  Discussion abounds in our hallways...

Recent Memeflow fixes and blog coverage

Over the weekend I made a few fixes to bugs/suggestions reported by users:

  1. Items could temporarily disappear if moved from blocks with only one item. Fixed.
  2. Fixed display of confirm box in IE.
  3. Deletion of items now requires confirmation.

Thanks to Andy and Xavier for reporting them.

On a secondary note, I've got a few new features in the works:

  1. Public pages.  This basically means that your GoTo page is available in a read-only fashion and you can link to it.  I'd been meaning to do this for a while, but Dr Martian's post has pushed me into getting it finished.
  2. Ads.  Yup, I think I'll do this, but only for the public pages.  As a registered user, your own private view of your (i.e. the one you have set as your home page) will remain unencumbered.  Gotta (hopefully) pay the bandwidth bill somehow!
  3. RSS feeds.  You already have an OPML feed for your content - this will provide you and your subscribers a feed for updates.

If anyone has any comments or questions about this, either email me, or preferably leave a comment here.

As a side note, I'd like to thank everyone that has posted reviews or mentioned Memeflow on their blogs or websites.  The feedback has been 100% positive which is a great sign.

Some links in chronological order:

Congratulations Mike and Ellen

Yesterday, Nabila and I had the distinct honour of attending Mike Schroeter's wedding to Ellen Webber.  Mike is the guy on the Flight Simulator team that builds our incredible core simulation engine.

Ellen and Mike

The wedding was pure class from start to finish.  From the wonderful ceremony at St. James Cathedral to the classy reception at the Women's University Club.  As expected, the bride was beautiful and Mike was Mike. 

The speeches were hilarious, especially the one by Ellen's dad,  but we had to leave straight after his Rindercella speech (you had to be there...) to rescue the baby sitter...

Congratulations, Mike and Ellen!

Scoble’s search rank trajectory

If Robert Scoble does switch to a new blogging platform, and hence new domain, I wonder what his trajectory to the top of the search engine results pages will be?  Will it be based purely on the heuristics that the search engines normally use for mere mortals? I.e. via inbound links, relevancy, etc... Or will the sites (google, msn search, yahoo, technorati, bloglines, etc...) seed their data so they can come up on top if he does another battle of the search engines?

© 2001 to present, Steve Lacey.