Dreamworks PDI Makes Wishes Come True

“Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG made their Wall Street debut today to rave reviews from investors, who sent shares of the producer of “Shrek 2” and “Shark Tale” soaring at the opening bell.” according to Josh Friedman and Jesus Sanchez of the LA Times. “The stock of the Glendale, Calif.-based animation house began trading on the New York Stock Exchange at $38 a share — $10 or about 38% more than the $28 initial offering price set Wednesday. In later trading, DreamWorks shares had slipped below $37.”

So all those folks who watched IPO Fatigue? Watch PDI” last August, where ExecProducer CEO William Jolitz called it right with PDI/Dreamworks should be laughing all the way to the bank today. Oh, and if you missed it, you can still see what you didn’t know about at William Jolitz on ExecProducer MVP. Who knows – maybe his next company tip will put you on easy street.

Forum for Women Entrepreneurs Video – “FWE Success Story”

The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs – Bay Area Chapter latest events video introduces Derinda Gaumond, Founder and CEO of workit.com. Derinda talks about the value of FWE to women in business as part of the SJSU Entrepreneurial Society and College of Business Neat Idea Workshop panel 9 Sept. 2004. Footage courtesy of Chris Surdi and the San Jose State University
Entrepreneurial Society.

“I’ve Just Got to Get Organized – If I Can Just Find What I Was Looking For…”

Michael Bazeley of the SJ Mercury News today takes folks to task for leaving all those digital photos and vids on their disk drive just waiting for it to die. He says people should be putting their personal stuff on other people’s sites (which does help with backup issues). And if you don’t have many photos, and you’re already organized, and you don’t mind transient views, that’s probably a great idea.

But what if you’ve got loads of photos – a lot more than a simple photo album page – and a lot of clips too. If they’re cluttering up a disk drive, surely they’ll clutter up a site. So you become disorganized in two places at once! Well that doesn’t sound too promising…

There’s one more way people can organize their photos (and vid clips). Make a movie with ExecProducer! Here’s how…

Fun Friday: Kuiper Airborn Observatory and SOFIA, Sun Fun, and Intel Bails Out Again

Wow, such a busy Friday. On the humorous side, Sun president Jonathan Schwartz is free to call Hewlett-Packard’s HP-UX a “dying operating system” because HP-UX really is a dying operating system. At least, that’s what Sun said back to HP when they whined about Sun picking on them. Maybe I’d be sympathetic if HP was the size of a one-man op, but last I heard they’re a big fat corporation. Talk about not being able to take a taunt…

On the pleasant side, this “candy dish” mirror was unveiled as the “Astronomy Picture of the Day” today. Does anybody remember NASA’s Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO)? It was a 1m IR telescope mounted on a C-141 that flew out of NASA Ames for about 20 years, ending in the late 1990s. Well, its successor is this telescope mirror destined to fly on the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). Turns out William Jolitz has a lot of memories of the Kuiper mirror, as he worked on it when he worked at NASA as part of the NASA-Ames work-study program while he was a student at Lynbrook High School (before he went on to Berkeley). For some good inside stories, check out Memory – Mirror for Kuiper Airborn Observatory as a homage to all those great people who worked on this earlier project.

Finally, looks like Intel has cancelled a major chip for flat screen TVs that was their flagship consumer electronics semiconductor project. This after killing the 4 GHz pentium 4 last week. Looks like Intel President Paul Otellini is reevaluating some of his predecessor’s projects.

IP Dogma and Cognitive Networks at the Stanford Networking Research Center

I came across a scheduled talk at Stanford Networking Research Center this week on “Cognitive Networks: Implementing Alternate Network Management & Routing with Software Programmable Intelligent Networks” by Shannon Lake, CEO of Omivergent. Unfortunately, I had another seminar to attend at exactly the same time (as usual), but I was curous about this talk and Mr. Lake’s assertions on “IP dogma”. So I went and asked him why do we need to “change our views on IP networks”, layer 3 versus layer 4, and the impact of jitter. He most kindly replied.

Buzzmachine and NYC Video

Chatting with Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine on viral video after seeing him in the NYTimes. Viral is right. But old-line media types don’t want to get viral. They think it means “steal”. Or loss of message control. They don’t master it. They really should read Sun Tzu. They also don’t get that they’re increasingly dependent on the whirlwind of the Internet, networks, computers, and other technology. That it’s rapid response and message control by using the medium itself. Jeff’s right when he says “welcome to the future of TV”.

What else does he say. “There will need to be a Google of video — a means of helping people find what they want. And, no, that’s not just about creating a search engine. It’s about capturing the metadata we create when we watch and share things and making sense of it. It’s not trivial but it’s vital for without a great guide, we’ll never find the programming we want and this new medium won’t work. This video Google thing will be the next Google and TV Guide and it will be big. And I doubt that either Google or TV Guide will be the one to create it.”

Jeff’s right on the money. And metadata has been quite an ExecProducer obsession for several years. We don’t just do search for video – that’s too narrow and doesn’t leverage the medium well. We care about the metadata and the meaning. It’s the end-to-end production to deployment that’s key. Very difficult. Years of technical work. Operational system. Deep business model.

386BSD Design Notes Video Series: Configuration Story

Ordered configuration is simple design, but is it good design? Join William and Lynne as they discuss the issues, architecture, and implementation of an unordered configuration model in the 386BSD Design Notes video Configuration Story. Early work appeared in 386BSD Release 1.0, while later versions of incorporated “self-healing” software modules.

Fun Friday – Now, What is it About Unix or Yourself You’d like to Change?

Well, it probably comes as no surprise that I read Physics Today. But it sure came as a surprise to me to see GRE and research proposal disguised as recruitment ad…

Some of the questions are very interesting. Like question 5, “What’s broken with Unix? How would you fix it?” or question 4, right out of Adventure Unix days, or 12 “In your opinion, what is the most beautiful math equation ever derived? (perhaps Hamilton’s, as any physicist knows, but I’m sure they don’t). Even 14 – What will be the next great improvement in search technology?

It’s a GRE-styled booklet test. Not an ad. A booklet. If it had been blue instead of green, it would have been a classic “blue book” from Berkeley for exams. It was made for scientists – not just compsci people. Remember the most beautiful equation question – that’s speaking to a physicist’s heart and also a mathematician, but I don’t know if they bother with hearts at Google or any other Silicon Valley company these days.

It’s called the GLAT (Google Labs Aptitude Test). Would you know how to solve in a 2-d rectangular infinite lattice of 1-ohm resisters the resistance beteen two nodes a knights move away? (I’ll give you a hint – we use an infinite lattice to avoid edge effects so the equations are simple). 🙂

Interesting? Especially the Unix question…this shouldn’t be here in a “work for Google” ad. Nor the Adventure one. Or should it?

A Tisket, A Tasket, I Lost My TCP Packet Part II

Well, my Japanese datacenter manager story hit a bit of a nerve, with one reader asking “doesn’t anyone test equpment anymore?” You’re correct. This was the first question in this incident. Didn’t anybody test anything? Yes, they did, as did the datacenter. Here’s the continuing saga of A Tisket, a Tasket, I’ve Lost My TCP Packet direct from that datacenter manager.

A Tisket, a Tasket, I’ve Lost My TCP Packet

A gentleman today wondered if his expensive leased fibre line was causing packet loss, even though he compared it with an ADSL line from the server to the host. As Dennis Rockwell of BBN pointed out “What you have discovered is that your 2Mbps link is not the bottleneck; that lies elsewhere in your network path. The extra bandwidth of the fiber link cannot help this application”.

Dennis is correct. But how do you know where to look to fix the problem? Here’s a little story from a manager of international datacenters in Japan and the US to illustrate how complicated the issue can become…