Thursday, November 23, 2006

States I've Been To

Found the link on Lino's blog. Here are the states I've been to:

create your own visited states map

There should be a prize if I manage to connect them coast-to-coast.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sweet Dreams

I can no longer remember why, but somebody gave me a red nano. And then I woke up, and the first thing I said to Mabel was "oh, that was a dream?" Funny thing is, it sucks to no longer have an iPod that I didn't really want in the first place (it's not hard to get your hands on one where I work) and never actually had. Humans are funny.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Would You Like Fries with That?

There's a McDonald's along my way home, and I noticed that under the golden arches outside they have a sign that says "Over 99 billion served." This leads me to call for all of you to eat more hamburgers, because for some reason I'd like to see them reach 100 billion.

Fast food burgers are bad for health, so I won't be participating in earnest. But all of you who don't care should eat more.

Friday, November 10, 2006

That's Not a Tag, Stupid

Tagging is all the rage, but few people actually understand what it's for. It's easier to explain what it's not. It's not the identification of key words in an article. To take a recent Slashdot front page as an example, here are some of the tags applied to various stories:

"New Mono 1.2 Now Supports WinForms" - mono, itsatrap
"History To Repeat Itself With PS3?" - no, ps3, yes, ps2, sony
"Microsoft's Patent Pledge 'Worse Than Useless'" - microsoft, itsatrap, patents, opensource
"Preview of Vista On Old Hardware" - vista, windows, hardware

Why are these examples of awful tagging? Because terms like "mono", "ps3", "microsoft", and others are already in the text and can readily be searched by a machine. "no" and "yes" are even dumber, because they are not meaningful terms to look up later. The list of items you will find tagged "yes", for example, just aren't related enough to be useful.

Now, what's a good tag? A story like "Solar Power Becoming More Affordable" was tagged "science", which would be useful if the article wasn't otherwise classified by section. The article is not likely to contain the word "science", and a future user of the tags might well be looking for science stories. In this case, it was in the Science section, so even a tag like "hippiecrap" would be more useful. Similarly, an article like "Microsoft Interested In More Linux Deals" tagged "embraceandextend" makes sense.

The point is to intelligently relate an article to its meaning in a few words. The point is to do something a machine cannot. So don't be stupid.