Friday, June 30, 2006

How Google Releases Products

I left work early today for the long-winded journey to Houston, and I managed to stay awake! That's two long trips in a row without totaling a car. Oh, and we got banana splits at work today. How awesome is that? Anyway, there was a strange lack of news with substance today, just little things. The only thing worth talking about was how Google releases new products. They all go through Marissa Mayer, who's almost a celebrity among geeks, and she actually gave human responses to BusinessWeek's interrogation. I'm surprised because usually people in positions like hers have to give pretty generic answers in interviews. My favorite thing that she said was blasting long specifications for projects as being unnecessary and restrictive to engineers' creativity. I understand that detailed planning has to be undertaken before a major software effort, but there's definitely a point of diminishing returns that I don't think some companies enveloped in red tape don't quite understand. It sounds like she has a good grasp of how their products fit in the big picture and that sometimes they think a little too much of the short term, which I was impressed that she was willing to state in print. I think it shows a lot to be able to learn from your mistake and build on them, and that's what Ms. Mayer is showing me here. Now I'm even more intrigued to co-op there to see if things really work this way.

Click to enlargeThe picture to the left here isn't particularly new or anything, I just love that it shows the people playing the game as well as the game itself and is just so representative of what the Wii is all about. You can see some other great Wii-related pictures you may have missed over here. People are starting to get pretty ruffled over Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage program and seem to think that it could balloon into another rootkit, so they've initiated a class action lawsuit. I don't think the program is big enough for them to end up winning this one. Dell has unveiled the first computer in a long time that has really impressed me: a 20 inch laptop that folds out like a computer. It combines the portability of a laptop with the ease of use of a desktop, and I think that it'll be huge when they managed to bring the price down a bit. If you've ever missed your music at work then you should check out Vibe Streamer to stream your music from your home computer. I haven't tried it out yet, but I'll have to see how well my craptacular Internet connection in Dallas can handle it. Lastly, Simpsons fans will get a real kick out of this clip from Conan O Brien showing some of the voice actors doing their stuff live. I've only seen Hank Azaria do them before this, and he's really fun to watch as well.

There's very little movie news today, but I'll make the best of what I have. Kevin Smith has finally decided to release the red band trailer for Clerks 2, and it's pretty damn funny. It's much more representative of the kind of humor you'll see in the movie than the normal trailers are. The good folks at Latino Review got their paws on the script for Wolverine and it sounds like they actually made a great screenplay out of the saga that is Wolverine's past, including his arch-enemies. I was definitely skeptical of this movie at first, but now I think that it could actually be pretty good. The last item I have is some new clips from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, many of which extend parts of the trailer. It's so nice being in Houston where I can actually stream video at broadband speeds.

Now for Friday's Feast:

On average, approximately how many times per day do you yawn?

At least 10, but probably around 20 or so times. I tend to yawn randomly, even when I'm not bored or overtly tired.

What was your most memorable school field trip?

Probably going to Big Bend for a week. It could've been more fun, but it was definitely memorable. I really want to go back to Big Bend again someday because it's just so gorgeous.

Fill in the blank: I was extremely __________________ this week.

Productive, which is a welcome change from my earlier weeks at TI.

Main Course
Which color do you think of when you hear the word "soothing"?

Light blue. Maybe because of the ocean?

What is something that, if you had to, you could save up the money to buy within one month?

A MacBook Pro :) I don't have to buy it right now though, so I'm not going to.

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