One year since San Francisco

Today marks one year since I left San Francisco, and it's hard to believe that it's been so long already. I've had no regrets about leaving and there's been very little (hmmm, has there even been anything?) that I've missed about the city. Of course I miss my friends, and I wish they would all move to NYC so we could be close again, but that's about it. It's been a good year, difficult in parts, and I feel like I've grown a lot. I'm thankful for all the new amazing people I've met here, and I love living in New York City. It's nice to look back after a year and know I made the absolutely right decision.

How soon we forget

According to this San Jose Mercury News article, Friendster spurns Google, Friendster rejected a $30 million offer to be acquired by Google. Why? Because Benchmark and Kleiner (two big-wig venture capital firms in Silicon Valley) were willing to give them a $53 million valuation during their most recent investment round. The article also points out that, "Just two months ago, Friendster was valued at $12.5 million."

Hello? Did we totally forget what happened just two or three years ago?! Sure, Friendster is cool, but eyeballs and traffic do not a (huge) business model make. Remember? We already learned this! Obviously this is another deal with a valuation based on potential and not actual revenue (or did Friendster's revenue increase from ~$4 million to ~$17 million in the past two months?), and sure, there is potential there. But I hardly think there's $53 million worth. Earth to VCs: cut it out, before you force another crop of companies to grow too big, too fast, all to recoup an investment you shouldn't have done in the first place. [via Cameron]

Related: BusinessWeek opines with A Dud in Cupid's Online Quiver?

And also: Sippey does some math on the whole thing.

Perhaps my dorkiest thought ever

I'm not sure why this finally occurred to me, but it did. If only I'd been born two years earlier, I'd have been born on the Unix epoch! And then I'd always know my age, give or take a few hours, in milliseconds. So handy! It's almost enough to make me wish I were two years older. Almost. Being a bit weird, I'm now thinking about the people who were born on the epoch, and wondering how many will die on January 19, 2038 (the end of the 32-bit epoch). Because that would be the ultimate in nerdy, and also sad since you'd only live to be 68 and that's not very long.

Using language to dominate politics

There's a really fascinating interview with UC Berkeley professor George Lakoff discussing how conservatives use language to dominate politics. Reading this makes me realize that Democrats are going to need to do a lot more than just hold Meetups and have blogs to win anytime soon. Also Lakoff has the best quote I've read in a long time about why we pay taxes and why we should pay taxes.

Taxes are what you pay to be an American, to live in a civilized society that is democratic and offers opportunity, and where there's an infrastructure that has been paid for by previous taxpayers. This is a huge infrastructure. The highway system, the Internet, the TV system, the public education system, the power grid, the system for training scientists — vast amounts of infrastructure that we all use, which has to be maintained and paid for. Taxes are your dues — you pay your dues to be an American. In addition, the wealthiest Americans use that infrastructure more than anyone else, and they use parts of it that other people don't. The federal justice system, for example, is nine-tenths devoted to corporate law. The Securities and Exchange Commission and all the apparatus of the Commerce Department are mainly used by the wealthy. And we're all paying for it.

I guess if Republicans continue to relieve us of taxes, they'll eventually relieve us of the infrastructure our taxes fund. [via jason]

A timeline of the most amazing thing

Friday evening: I get home from work and I open my trusty iBook. I'm happily doing my computing when the screen goes all Matrix wacko: strange lines start streaming down it, then things get all blocky and pixely, then it freezes. Several reboots later, and it's still happening. iBook is unusable. Panicked and sad, I power it off and go to sleep.

Saturday: I go upstate to see the leaves, and spend the day in denial.

Saturday night: more rebooting confirms the terrible state of affairs: iBook is seriously messed up. 😦

Sunday AM: in the worst throes of my cold, I trudge to the Apple Store in Soho. I'm there ten minutes before it opens so I can be first to the Genius Bar. After five minutes of fiddling, Christopher confirms my deepest fears, "Something is seriously messed up with your iBook. It needs to go in for repairs. It's probably a hardware problem related to the video. It'll take 7 to 10 days." I trudge home, sleep all afternoon, and spend the evening backing up everything onto another computer.

Monday 11 AM: I drop off the iBook at the Apple Store. "Godspeed little doodle," I say as it disappears into the back. I've never had a hardware problem. Why now? Why me? "Godspeed," I whisper as I exit the store.

Tuesday: I miss my iBook.

Wednesday 10:40 AM: a package arrives at work. It's the iBook, and it's come all the way from Tennessee! It's back! It's back! In less than 48 hours, it's back and it's fixed! Godspeed? More like Super-duper-Allmighty-God-Light-Speed! I am amazed. And relieved. And happy.

Misbehaving.net is live

A new site that I'm contributing to called Misbehaving.net has launched today. It's a group blog with lots of smart techy women participating to discuss women's contributions to computing, and also to highlight opportunities and challenges within the field. Though women are making posts, the discussion is open to everyone, and I hope that people who are interested in the topic will join in.

Ugg Boots

All I can think when I see these boots on the streets of NYC is, "Uggh!! Why are you wearing those stupid fucking boots?!"

Update: obviously these boots are ok if you're in the Arctic trudging across tundra. If it's so cold outside your feet would freeze without them, then you can wear them. If they ground is dry, or there are palm trees within a two mile radius of where you stand, you cannot.