Ignition Blog Roundup 11/29

* Nice mention of Judy’s Book over on A VC — “…the brain child of Andy Sack and his partner Chris DeVore…Andy is a smart and scrappy entrepreneur…”
* Jobster live is way fun. And Jason continues to post an amazing amount of HR and Job stuff
* Martin is trying to kickstart Energy investing in the Northwest — I missed the first meeting but would like to make it to future events
* Alex Bosworth continues his stream of innovation with BozPages.
* Rich with a couple of date night restaurant recos
* Rich also recos Call of Duty2 — also a timewaster at our house. Along with FEAR.
* Rich on software — recovering PIDs, Shareware award winners

Recent Books

* “Appointment in Samarra”:amazon by John O’Hara. Great look at smalltown society — the machinations, the viciousness, the artificial stratifications. A much better book than “The Great Gatsby”:amazon, maybe because the setting maps better to my hometown.
* “The Truth (With Jokes)”:amazon by Al Franken. Al has done more to move me towards a more liberal viewpoint than anyone. He cracks me up. His attacks on corrupt and two-faced politicians are truly hilarious. Delay and Frist take a beating. He does go in the ditch on social security funding — Al is not much of an economist or mathematician, the notion of “present value” completely escapes him. And somehow he thinks that there is a real fund backing social security — somehow it is ok with him that the social security “fund” is fully invested in US treasury securities; this is to me akin to the GM pension fund being 100% invested in GM stock, a practice which has been judged to be very bad. I actually agree with most of Al’s views on social security funding but he really botches his handling of this discussion. But when he sticks to character and integrity issues, he is generally dead on. And he throws in just enough humility and self-deprecating humour to make himself credible.
* “The Wrong Side of Paris”:amazon by Honore de Balzac. Outstanding book. A great break from American and British period fiction — the moral calculus of the characters is so different. You have to wonder why we are seeing the 97th remake of pride and prejudice in the theatres, why is no one dipping into this vein of literature. Ok I am ignorant about the french film making industry, maybe this story has been filmed 6 times.
* Oh and a list — the top 20 geek novels. I’ve read too many.

The OSU and the bowls

OK now that I am off the high of the Michigan game, what’s next? Let’s assume enough of the BCS top 6 win out, ie there is no way for The OSU to jump to the #2 position. Si.COM says OSU will get left out of the BCS mix, pushed out by Oregon and ND — the claim being that the Fiesta Bowl holds all the cards and that they may be tired of The OSU.

After a careful reading of the BCS selection rules, I don’t get it. The Fiesta loses Texas to the Rose and so they get first pick to replace. They can pick any BCS eligible team. I think the game is all about avoiding WVU as they are the worst TV draw. So the Fiesta can pick Penn State as their first team. Then they have to list 3 choices for their second team, and WVU as a conf champ has to be at least their #2 pick. And the Orange wins tiebreakers, so assuming both the Orange and the Fiesta choose ND as their first choice, the Fiesta gets WVU (or even worse, USF!!).

Alternatively, the Fiesta could pick ND as their first team, and then they have to list Penn State and WVU as their top two choices in their list of three. Again they lose the tiebreaker to the Orange and end up with WVU.

Either way it seems like the Sugar ends up with the last choice and (assuming The OSU falls this far) will get to pick between The OSU or Oregon. And it has been a while since The OSU has been to the Sugar.

Related post: Most recent NCAA stupidity

Software Roundup 11/16

  • Gave foldershare another try post-msft acquisition. Yet again I hit the 10K folder limit. They talk on the website about how it can handle an unlimited number of files but in actuality it is broken. I have 60gig of music, and a lot from compilation discs, so I end up with a kabillion artist folders in my music folder. And foldershare barfs on it. It does work fine for my photos folder. But the limit is arbitrary and makes the software useless for me. I am also wondering about the lag in syncing — it looks like it is going to take 24+ hours to sync my 3000 photos across 2 machines, I wonder why so slow. Especially since it had all night to run when my network at home and at work were largely doing nothing.
  • Haven’t tried it but the way Quintura lets you visually scope your search looks cool. I love personalized search scoping ideas — Swicki (hosting my Halloween search) is another one I am playing with.
  • Not clear I need a bunch of free games but here is a pointer to some — between FEAR, Call of Duty 2, Age of Empires III, I have no shortage of ways to burn my time
  • Wikicalc from one of the creators of Visicalc. Haven’t played with yet but I will have to.
  • Itunes/ipod addons — Poddmax, idleTunes. Haven’t tried either but it seems obvious to me that someone will build a nice business targetting the ipod/itunes customer base.
  • Martin’s review of Network Magic — a balanced look. I’m on the board of Pure, I am sure that those guys will make Martin happy with a future release.
  • Browser plugins — MSFT makes a developer toolbar available for IE, IE Tab for Firefox, and Ed Bott’s favorite Firefox extensions

Going 1-3 over the last four years had made the Michigan fan base testy

The UM fan base is getting rev’ed up for The Game. Westsider Rider has some of the best:

  • A friend of mine on the way to the game gets flipped the bird by a little kid, meaning like 8 years old and his dad pats him on the head and says “Good Job”. We start them young in Ohio.
  • This past year in Vegas during the summer I’m walking into the Mirage as I walk in head to toe in Michigan gear, my good luck gambling gear, an old grandma easily 60+ yells at me “Fuck Michigan!” I don’t know what the fuss is, that is pretty much how we say “good morning” to each other in Ohio.
  • The one that trips people out is the year Ohio State won the National Championship you can see their crowd in Tempe and read lips as they pan the crowd following the game people are yelling “Fuck Michigan!” Like we have any relevance at that point, that’s how much they care about us. You have to understand, “F M” is a good sentiment for any occasion.

Former UM QB Michael Taylor whines about going to Ohio Stadium. Hey, well, don’t come again if it is so bad.

UM people seem to have thin skins — here’s hoping they have another year to stew in their juices.

Related post: The Game

Ignition Blog Roundup 11/15

* Martin and Seattle Biodiesel in Newsweek — congrats! Seattle Biodiesel is a rocket.
* John Conners and his first year at Ignition — “It’s a kick.”
* The NetworkGarage guys love the Sonos.
* NetworkMagic gets a review up on Toms and now available at Amazon.
* Phil has a new version of Berry411 out — better and better.
* Phil also takes a hard look at the new Google Analytics. And raises some good concerns.
* Jason on recruiting budget trends“Several employers i spoke with indicated that they fully intend to scale back their job board spending and invest those funds instead in the areas of passive candidate recruiting and driving traffic to their own websites”
* Phil on searching all sites linked to by a certain page — another great twist on search scoping.
* Rich on how to get your music off your ipod

Books 11/7

Not much reading in the last month due to Halloween. But I got a couple in:

* “Olympus by Dan Simmons”:amazon. Probably more enjoyable if you know greek myth and shakespeare inside and out. An ok tale. Still wishing that Dan would produce something like “Hyperion”:amazon again — the Shrike is one of the greatest beings in science fiction.
* “Hot Property by Pat Choate”:amazon. Good retrospective of IP systems. I was uninformed about the large differences in patent systems across different countries, and how the patent systems in other lands are not designed to protect inventors as much as they are designed to further industrial policy. Made me a stronger supporter of ip protection. Not sure how I really feel about the nationalistic tone in the book, I’d like to see a more global view of IP policy.

For the buckeye fan who has everything

OK you don’t need another sweatshirt or t-shirt. You have 7 varieties of caps. You have the windbreaker. The flag. The posters, the books. The marching band records. The foam finger. A Brutus costume. The “Muck Fichigan” pin. So what do you need? Some fine ideas from the alumni mag:

* The Fossil watch. Ok not that exotic.
* The scarlet or gray blazer. Always in fashion.
* The popcorn tin. (Hey Marion, how did you let this business slip to some company in Virginia? Marion is the popcorn capital of the world!)
* The marching band miniatures.
* Not one, but two varieties of Buckeye Coffee — Ohio State Varsity Blends or Drinkstorm. Particularly apropo for Seattle area residents like me.
* Coffee cups and other pottery at Hartstone Pottery
* A buckeye carpet. This would look great in the living room.
* A buckeye park bench. And here is your living room furniture.
* And a mural for the wall — won’t they wonder about our civilization 1000 years from now when they dig this up.
* Buckeye Crunch cereal — the breakfast of true champions.
* Or a trip to an exotic part of the world with a group of alums — Alumni Tours. Nothing says buckeye pride like a trip down the Nile.

Enjoy! And I will accept any and all of these for the holidays.