Tuesday, September 30, 2008

order of operations

My friend Zach Radding has been working on the coolest project ever, an all-electric Lamborghini Diablo replica.  Zach is a mechanical genius and has been documenting his progress on his blog.  However, this order of operations made me smile.  Below is some great video of him zipping around the airfield.

Note the entry for the video is before this entry.

The one where he installed the seats.

Just an amazing project. And green, too!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


This is so cool.  Ponoko is selling user-created jewelry.  Those of us who built and lived Second Life have been talking about this for years, but Ponoko seems to be crossing over into mainstream a bit.  What's especially interesting is that Ponoko allows you to create using design software, sending in drawings, or working with a designer.

How long until they take Second Life creations directly?  Instructables already have a tutorial for using Google SketchUp, so it seems like a no-brainer to turn the world's largest supply of creators loose by connecting to SL.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

pairing iphone and audi a3

Neither the Audi dealer nor the local Apple store had any idea how to do it, and after reading a lot of different opinions around the web, I was worried that getting an iPhone properly paired with our new Audi A3 was going to be a hassle.

It wasn't.
  1. Turn on Bluetooth.
  2. Start car.
  3. Wait for iPhone to find Audi, press button to pair.
  4. Type in 1234 (yay for obvious defaults!)
  5. Wait about 30 seconds for Audi to slurp up address book and voila!
Nobody seems to make a cradle for the iPhone thats compatible with Audi's charging spot, so I purchased a car charger for the iPhone.  No, it's not aesthetically pleasing, but it appears to work fine.

Friday, September 19, 2008

magic card divestment, kudos to card kingdom

While building the arcade game Magic: the Gathering -- Armageddon I, along with most of the team, spent a lot of time playing the card game Magic: the Gathering.  A lot of time.  For those not familiar with Magic, Richard Garfield created the modern interpretation of collectible card game when he created Magic in 1993.  It is a wonderful game and one that I still enjoy playing when I get the chance (which unfortunately isn't often).

A downside of Magic is that you accumulate a ton of cards.  A few weeks ago we were cleaning the garage and I decided it was finally time for the collection to go.  Having neither the time nor patience to eBay the valuable ones as singles, I sent the most valuable 200 or so to Card Kingdom in Seattle.  Huge shout out to Card Kingdom for having a really well designed site, clear instructions, easy submission process, and rapid turnaround.  Certainly I could have made more money off of eBay, but the time savings was dramatic.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

22 billion minutes

Dean Takahashi interviewed Mark Kingdon, Linden Lab's new CEO, over on Venture Beat.  One comment really jumped out at me.  Talking about in-world voice, Kingdon said:

Looking forward to the next 12 months, we are on a run rate of 22 billion minutes
22 billion minutes.  How much is that?

We know that Skype recently made a big deal about 100 billion minutes in it's first 4 and 1/2 years.  Assuming a very tail-heavy curve consistent with their growth, that's 40 billion minutes a year.

So Second Life users are already generating nearly 50% of Skype's voice traffic.  That is an astounding amount of voice traffic and and a great demonstration of how useful high-quality, spacialized voice can be in a collaborative environment.

Monday, September 15, 2008

so you want to change the music business...

What I love about joining EMI is the chance to dramatically change the music business. Everyone around music has opinions about what is right and wrong about what we're doing, but nothing compares to being part of a major and seeing the big picture form the inside. Even better, I get to build a team to tackle a broad set of challenges with all the modern tools and firepower the web brings to the table.

The team is still small, but now that we have office space in San Francisco -- rather than working out of our homes, Starbucks, airports, and other random locations -- it's time to start the next phase of hiring. Like the previous teams I've built, I want brilliant generalists. We face a diverse and changing set of opportunities over the next couple of years, so I need people who can learn and build on their existing skills.

Moreover, you have to be comfortable taking new looks at old problems. Disruptive change is hard, especially in industries with long histories and complex ecosystems, but creating disruption is about the most fun you can have as a developer (at least with your clothes on).

We're built from ex-Google, Yahoo, Linden, Schwab, and CNet employees. We believe in learning from our customers, working efficiently, boutique dark chocolate, and under-promising/over-delivering. We've all built teams and companies before and are on a mission to change the music business.

If you think you are up to the challenge and match up with one of the descriptions below, send a plain text resume to cory dot ondrejka at gmail dot com with the role you're interested in as the subject line.

Software Engineer
EMI Digital Music is looking for great software engineers to build cutting edge applications using Ruby, Rails, and Amazon Web Services at our new San Francisco office. The perfect candidate enjoys creating well designed software, is current with new technology and trends, and is passionate about delivering high quality products. EMI Digital Music is seeking generalists who are comfortable in multiple parts of the application stack and who enjoy complex challenges.

Job description
  • Design and implement new features to support internal and customer-facing projects
  • Help to maintain existing systems
  • Participate in on-call rotation and help troubleshoot production issues
  • Work with customers to help determine requirements and priorities
  • Document and test your work
  • BS/BA in Computer Science or equivalent
  • 5+ years of software development experience
  • Mad Ruby and Rails skillz (or can demonstrate that this Rail's crap is easy)
  • Lazy when appropriate, experience working with free and open source projects
  • History of getting things done quickly
  • Believe testing is part of the development process
  • Play well with others and enjoy working in insanely collaborative ways
  • Experience writing JavaScript. Exposure to and some usage of libraries such as jQuery/YUI! is even better.
  • Good understanding of CSS
  • Experience working with AWS, CDNs, SSO systems and/or music & video production workflows a plus
  • Experience dealing with cross browser issues in relation to web development a plus

Web Engineer UI
EMI Digital Music is seeking a UI Web Developer to push the limit of their craft at our new San Francisco office. This role will be responsible for the development of innovative user interfaces, feature enhancements and other cool shit to make the music industry rock. There will be a strong preference for candidates with a background developing modular components for large-scale web applications that extensively leverage stylesheets and JavaScript-driven functionality. The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate an adherence to best practices in their work regarding browser compatibility, usability, and the separation of content from presentation.

Job description
  • Mad skillz to produce web interfaces, widgets, applications and other front-end components using XHTML, XML, CSS, Flash, and JavaScript
  • Work with a tight knit team of engineers, UX peeps, product managers and project managers to identify the needz to create fast loading, clear, and creative solutions for music web sites
  • Optimize pages for cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility
  • Rectify styling issues with CSS and troubleshoot JavaScript bugs
  • Superior attention to detail
  • 3+ years of UI development or graphic design experience / appropriate degree
  • Photoshop CS
  • Illustrator CS
  • Ability to write semantic XHTML markup
  • Familiar with using CSS for table-less layouts and DOM manipulation
  • JavaScript 1.0 and above
  • User Interface design experience
  • Familiarity Ruby on Rails / ERB
  • Ability to write and update design specification documents
  • Proficiency with Javascript libraries such as YUI, Scriptaculous or JQuery a plus
  • Knowledge of Flash 8 or above (ActionScripting a big plus)
  • Experience creating or consuming web services a plus

Junior Software Engineer
EMI Digital Music is looking for a great Ruby software engineer noob. The right person for this job is someone that really wants to become a software craftsmen. Start as a Rails apprentice with a team of rock stars at our new San Francisco office. You *must* stay current with new trends. EMI Digital Music is seeking generalists who are comfortable in multiple parts of the application stack and who enjoy complex challenges.

Job description
  • Take direction from senior engineers and implement new features to support internal and external projects
  • Help to maintain existing systems
  • Participate in our on-call rotation and help troubleshoot production issues when they arise
  • Document your work, document, test, and document
  • BS/BA in Computer Science or equivalent experience
  • Willing to work hard learning the craft
  • History of getting things done quickly
  • Ruby skillz
  • Experience developing and deploying Ruby on Rails
  • Experience writing JavaScript. Exposure to and some usage of libraries such as jQuery/YUI! is even better.
  • Good understanding of CSS, AJAX, and other Web technologies
Product Manager
Love music? Love technology? Have we got the job for you. EMI Digital Music is looking for smart, passionate product managers to define compelling products to rock the music industry. You will be part of a fast-moving, entrepreneurial team building the next generation of products for fans and artists based on technologies like Ruby, Rails, and Amazon Web Services. The ideal candidate has a proven track record of creating web-based products that customers love.

Job description
  • Understand and analyze the needs of EMI customers, including fans, artists and labels
  • Perform market & competitor research
  • With engineering, define product vision, future direction, and execution roadmap
  • Gather and analyze data to measure product success
  • Evangelize products internally and externally

  • BS or BA, computer science or other technical degree a plus
  • Ability to think both strategically and tactically
  • Passion for well-designed products
  • Thrive on ambiguity & managing complexity
  • Strong technical abilities and understanding of internet technologies
  • Solid analytical and communication skills
  • Experience building large-scale, web-based consumer products is a huge plus

Thursday, September 04, 2008

automation not helping

I'm at Heathrow and the intraweb, apparently unaware of certain events that occurred in the skies over southern England, is serving me the German version of sites.  This is not helpful, although I could get used to using Google to search "Das Web."


Somehow had lost indexed from my reader.  Glad I found it again:

Monday, September 01, 2008

thanks, henrik!

I've been up to my eyeballs getting EMI digital up and rolling. We have our temporary space in San Francisco, have made a few early, critical hires, and the path ahead is becoming clearer. So, full steam ahead.

However, looking back can be fun, too. Henrick Bennetsen, who many of you know from the Metaverse U summit, sent me links to some funny movies from my SLCC'06 talk. They are archived as part of the Stanford Humanities Lab's wonderful "Archiving Virtual Worlds" project. Thank you, Henrik, these videos made me smile!

The video referenced in my talk. Second Life circa September, 2001.