Late at night, I often listen to the radio as it helps me unwind, wash away the day as I’m finishing up email for the day or attempting to drift off to sleep.
My preference is to listen to open line type programs like Dr. Bill Wattenburg on KGO AM, Bruce Williams and even the occasional Coast to Coast AM. What makes open line programs great is that the callers make up the program as opposed to guests. You’ll never know where the conversation can head.
So it was a bit of a departure last Sunday night when Bill Wattenburg had Richard Muller as a guest. Richard is the professor of one of the most popular Berkley classes (voted by students) and book of the same name Physics for Future Presidents.
Imagine it: You are the President and a terrorist has planted a dirty bomb in midtown Manhattan. What do you do? How do you react? If you don’t know anything about Physics you won’t be able to act quickly or wisely. But if you do. . .
Future presidents (and voters) can’t afford to be ignorant about nuclear weapons. Physics for Future Presidents gives you the knowledge necessary to survive in today’s political and increasingly nuclear world.
What is the difference between a Uranium bomb, a Plutonium bomb, and a Hydrogen bomb? What are the real dangers of nuclear waste?
I really enjoyed this. You can watch the entire lecture series on YouTube or if you want the Cliff Notes in a great Q&A format, listen to hour 1 and hour 2 from KGO in their archives.
Plenty of fun stuff happening this week on the site, all starting with a birthday song bh Chris Anderson and Don Box. It has been a pretty amazing ride for everyone since we launched the site. A fun week ahead of celebrating, remembering and visions for the future.
Check out some of the special birthday wishes for Channel 9.
It snowed again this morning at our home in Fall City, Washington. I’m not sure when this cruel joke of winter will be over here. I moved away from Saskatchewan to leave snow. Although to keep it in perspective, it hasn’t really been cold.
Making up for it all was this amazing photo that my wife captured this morning. Great show of a hummingbird braving the winter for a drink in our backyard.
Interested in what the weather is like in Redmond, Washington at Microsoft? If so, you can check out my Microsoft Redmond Campus Webcam. I put this up a couple of months ago when made the move to building 24.
After trying a few different pieces of Webcam software (with epic failures) I am now having success using Fwink. Fwink has now been running for about 3 weeks with no restarts required.
Hat tip to Jeremy Cath for the recommendation of Fwink.
I’m a major fan of the television program Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. This show with Guy Fieri goes across the United States popping into great places with good food. Here in Seattle I’ve eaten a few times at Voula’s Offshore Cafe which has been on the show. You have to eat their Greek Hobo.
I’m actually on a secret mission (guess its not a secret now) to eat at all of the places that Guy Fieri frequents on his popular Food Network show. While in Las Vegas for Mix on our last night I convinced a four friends to make a trip off the beaten path to the Four Kegs.
If you are a Guy Fieri fan boy like me, well this place is like a Graceland. It is where guy hung out while going to college. While there we ordered strombolis, ribs, the cheese steak sandwich, a salad and a few drinks each.
Total bill $86.00. Not bad for food and drinks for five. The food was as good as it looked in the video above and we really enjoyed the staff.
Lots of character, I’ll definitely be going back. Now, for the next dive on my list.
Once again for Mix, my team worked on what we call the live experience. Since PDC 2003, we’ve been working on ways for the folks at home and those attending in person can make a connection to the event.
We’re always trying to do new things too, one example is that this year we added a segment called #ASKTheGu where I moderated a live interview Scott Guthrie and Jeff Atwood with questions coming in live via Twitter tagged with #ASKTheGu.
We cleared out the keynote hall for this and opened up just for those watching on the Internet stream. We wanted to do something just for the home audience and try and bring the hallway conversations which we all find so valuable to those at watching online.
I’ve done a fair amount of interviews and videos over the years, but this was a nerve racking experience and my heart raced both leading up to and during the segment.
What if no one asks questions? Will anyone tune in? Can we keep up with the flow? What if I lose my Internet connection on stage?
To see how it turned, you can watch the on demand video. (permanent page coming soon). We ended up having no shortage of questions, the Internet connection survived and I am not sure it showed how nervous I truly was.
Thanks Tim Harris, Thomas Lewis and Tiffany Leinassar for the work to make this real and of course Scott and Jeff for taking a chance on this experiment.
We will do this again and hopefully won’t wait until PDC to do so. Thanks everyone who attended Mix Online and in Vegas too.
My 9 year old daughter is a major fan of Disney’s Club Penguin. She loves to go online in this virtual world, hanging out with her friends, updating her status and buying virtual items to trick out her igloo.
Josie was sad this week when she attempted to login to Club Penguin and was denied access.
“A moderator has banned your account for 24 hours”
She asks her mom as she had no idea what the message meant or what she had done. Unsure either my wife contacted Club Penguin support. After validating that we were her parents (Club has decent parental controls where you can monitor access) the representative informed us that Josie was banned automatically from the system for using profanity in a status message.
What was the profanity? Josie had updated her status for Penguin with, “Quietly shits the door.”
Oops. I guess moderation tools aren’t able to account for accidental misspellings yet. It was an interesting conversation explaining to our daughter what this four letter word meant and why she was banned.
Times have changed since then and I find myself updating my status to Twitter and wanting to be selective about what I update Facebook with my Twitter status. Not because I am trying to hide my Tweets from Facebook friends, just that all of my @ replies tend to be spammy within Facebook.
There are now many ways to update your Facebook status with your Tweets too. The first that came along was the official Twitter Facebook application. Installing it on your Facebook profile will update your Facebook status with any tweet you write. The problem with it though is it is quite spammy to your friends.
I now use two applications – Selective Twitter and Tweetdeck.
Selective Twitter by Andy Young allows you to select what Tweets go to your Facebook status by appending #fb to it the post. It allows me to choose what updates go to my less-geekier friends who have not yet made the move to Twitter. It also strips out the #fb hashtag from the Facebook status. I use this when I am sending a Tweet via a text message on my mobile phone.
Tweetdeck with Facebook Connect Pre-Release is what I use on my computer. it allows me to choose when writing the post if I want it to go to Facebook by selecting a checkbox. Bonus points for also displays the status updates of my Facebook friends too.
The both work great and are a great step in integrating my social experience on the web.
Oxite began as a side project of Adam Kinney and Duncan Mackenzie and is a subset of the Channel 9 source code. When it was time to do a reboot of the Mix Online web site Duncan and his team created an experience where could release the source code (a popular customer request of Channel 9) that used ASP.NET MVC to have 100% control of the resultant HTML. Yes Virgina, you too can support web standards with the Microsoft Web Platform.
It has been a very exciting time with Microsoft PDC week now here. One of the things that is new from my team is the PDC live event coverage.
On the homepage of the PDC Website, you are able to watch the day 1 and 2 keynotes live. We’ve also superimposed recent activity from Twitter alongside the keynote stream. This is one of my favorite parts of the experience.
For the breakout sessions where we go deep with technical content, we did a complete reset on the user experience. The PDC Session browser, in its new form should make it a lot easier to pick your sessions at PDC.
For those following along at home we will publish all keynotes and also the breakout sessions live within about 24 hours of them taking place. These will live on Channel 9, but you can use the PDC Session Browser to find them.