Nov 18 2010

Predictions 2011

Just like opinions, at the end of the year everyone has their own predictions for the new year. I came to these predictions by reading the back of caps of green tea bottles. If you like to see my accuracy with past predictions see the predictions for 2009 and 2010.

  • Mark Zuckerborg will be summoned by congress for a congressional hearing to clarify privacy settings and violations when some White House intern force checks in the President at a Hooters.
  • Digg will buy Reddit from Conde Nast and rebrand the merged organization as Reddigg.
  • DVDs and Blu Rays sales will slow as users switch to on demand streaming service such as Netflix and Apple iTunes.
  • Groupon will be purchased by Yahoo for $1.5 billion dollars.
  • Facebook will have a major privacy and security flaw but non of its users will notice because they all found a pony in their stream.
  • Google will allow its developers to only use cheap commodity Linux machines. Google employees will no longer be allowed to program in Macs.
  • Google will start to aggressively push and market the Go programming language as an replacement of the Java programming language in the enterprise.
  • Google will buy PostreSQL.
  • Google will buy the Library of Congress.
  • Quora will buy the domain ask.com.
  • Ticket Master will buy Eventbrite.
  • Rupert Murdoch will sell MySpace for $35 million.
  • Mashable will be sold to Rupert Murdoch for an undisclosed $50 million dollars.
  • Michael Bay will write, Steven Spielberg will direct, and Johnny Deep will star in Zynga: The Movie.
  • Zynga and Rock Star Games will co-develop a crossover game called Grand Theft Auto: Farmville.

Oct 25 2010

US Patent: Virtual Currency

Zynga is one of the fastest growing social gaming companies. Zynga is the maker of compulsion loop filled social games such as FarmVille, CafeWorld, and Mafia Wars. These games have proved to be like crack for people bordering on obsessive-compulsive disorder. Now Zynga has patent the novel idea that has been around for decades of virtual currency. Zynga’s file to patent Virtual Playing Chips in a Multiuser Online Game Network. They claim that real money can be exchanged for virtual currency. The virtual currency can be used to purchase virtual goods between any two users. A user can be credited or debited virtual goods based on the outcome of events in games. The virtual currency can’t be exchanged back to legal money.

There are, and have been for a long time, games that thrive because of the virtual economy built into the game. Games such as Second Life and World of Warcraft, which have been released since 2003 and 2004 respectively, depend on virtual currency to a large degree if you want to get far in the game quick. Within these games you can virtually work and earn currency or simply buy in-game money to buy virtual property such as a house or armor or whatever you like. The maker of Second Life have gone as far as to name their currency after themselves, the Linden Dollars. According to Wikipedia, in 2009 the Second Life economy grew to to half a billion dollars!

Outside video games, virtual currency has been used in real life scenarios such as at amusement parks and or places like Chuck E. Cheese’s or Dave & Buster’s. Chuck E. Cheese’s has game chips that you purchase with real legal tender while Dave and Buster’s uses smart cards to debit and credit in-store currency. In both franchises, the in-store currency can be used to play games priced using the in-store virtual currency. Two users can exchange and gift the in-store currency and based on the results of such game you win points that can be used to purchased goods.

All of their claims have been around for years and have been implemented in a variety of systems for years. Another real life example is iTunes. At most retailers, people can purchase iTunes gift cards. The virtual value that can be redeemed from a given iTunes gift card is usually given at a rate of $1 iTunes dollar to $1 real dollar. But some retailers, such as Costco has rates of $1 iTunes dollar to less than $1 dollars. The iTunes gift card will be used to credit a user with some amount of value which can later be used to redeem virtual goods such as songs, movies, and apps through iTunes, the online network application.

Outside of games that force you to tend to virtual crops for virtual money, in other words virtual share cropping, virtual currency has been used to control runaway inflation.


Feb 7 2010

Retweet January 2010

From time to time I just blast tweets about software development, project planning, team dynamics, or whatever else comes to mind. Here is a synopsis of recent tweets and rants. If you want to follow the conversation follow me at techknow and/or juixe and I’ll be sure to follow back.

Software Development

  • If your code works not because of your programming intentions but because of bug side effects and your client doesn’t care, it is not done.
  • I need a software development bug repellent.
  • Design fail if you fix a log message and you break some functionality.
  • If a carpenter’s rule of thumb is to “measure twice, cut once” then a programmer’s rule of thumb should be “design twice, code once, refactor a few times, and optimize only if you have to.”
  • Saying you know programming is like saying you know how to read, a first grader knows how to read!!
  • Requirements gathering is not creative writing.
  • I love requirements: The initial instruction should completely initialize the initial value.

Team Leadership

  • The only two requirements for a manager is that he is breathing and that he can communicate with his team in their language.
  • What happens to you is not other people’s fault, it is your opportunity.
  • There is nothing worse than a perfectionist that doesn’t know what he wants.
  • The worst thing you can so when you make a mistake is lie about it.
  • Every once in a while you have to recalculate, reshuffle, and/or remix your priorities.
  • Embrace the edge.

Product Placement

  • In Google We Trust.
  • Google claims their motto is to ‘do no evil’, put I suggest they change it to ‘do no customer support.’
  • If you use Google search to find Google Mail customer support and still can’t find it, is that a fail in their customer support or search?
  • There should be Freedom of Information Act for corporations. I want to know everything that Google knows about me and how that info is used
  • Can’t believe the AT&T website is not iPhone/mobile friendly.
  • Apple should develop a dual screen iPhone, iPhone GS3 DS.
  • I imagine a time when Zynga will have in-game ads for Monsanto genetic modified seeds on FarmVille or Foster Farm turkeys for Cafe World.
  • Facebook saves everything you create/post/save/click/delete, it can reverse engineer what you where thinking.
  • Doing four square drive-by check-ins.
  • Does Craigslist have an iPhone app?
  • Do you have multiple twitter personality disorder?

Quote

  • If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living. – Seneca
  • If I could make the same amount of money but wake up until when I can’t hold in my pee any longer, I will be a success. – Phil Kaplan
  • The answer to the question “where do good ideas come from” is always the same, the come from bad ideas. – Seth Godin
  • Only the mediocre are always at their best. – Jean Giraudoux
  • From pitch perspective, the more you wear your idea, the more it fits you… – Brad Feld
  • Nothing fails like success. – Arnold Toynbee
  • I totally question the conventional wisdom of the American dream. – Anil Dash
  • If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything, is ready, we shall never begin. – Iva Turgenev

Feb 6 2010

Retweet December 2009

From time to time I just blast tweets about software development, project planning, team dynamics, or whatever else comes to mind. Here is a synopsis of recent tweets and rants. If you want to follow the conversation follow me at techknow and/or juixe and I’ll be sure to follow back.

Software Development

  • Are we that good that some features work because of an unintentional side effect of a bug?
  • I’ve heard of cloud computing, even ground computing, but I can’t wait until I can do intergalactic-interdimensional computing.
  • Maintenance is a real full time job and it should be planned, scheduled, and budgeted accordingly.
  • Maintainability is a feature.
  • Team meetings should not feel like AA meetings.
  • The debugger don’t lie, but the test might.
  • Old legacy systems don’t die, they just complicate your architecture.
  • Mashup data with dreams, feeds, and feelings…

Team Leadership

  • Guilt is not the optimal way to inspire people to do what is right.
  • Knowledge is like an fractal iceberg, and what you know is the tip of a snowflake in the tip of an iceberg in an ice planet.
  • Usually there is only one way to win at a given time, but many ways to lose most of the time.
  • When people don’t listen to the truth they are lying to themselves.
  • Not all great ideas make for a good business.
  • Thinking Asymmetrically!

Product Placement

  • Should I get a Droid or wait for the new Google phone?
  • Does Zuckerborg eat his own dog food when it comes to privacy, his real profile is not public, just his fan page in which he doesn’t post much.
  • The only way Zuckerborg would appreciate privacy is if TMZ deployed their paparazzi on him.
  • @zynga I would love to give points/credits as a gift in non-spammy and non-recurring way without signing up to services I don’t need.
  • @zynga can I buy Cafe World gift card?
  • I just got a subscription of Mobile Me. I like how I can track, lock down, and erase the data of my iPhone from the web.
  • Got crack? There’s an app for that!
  • Twitter should increase to 256 characters…
  • Money don’t grow on trees, but with these prices for xmas trees you would think it does.

Quote

  • What came first, chicken nuggets or the egg mcmuffin? – Little Jackie
  • If I ask no questions I hear no lies. – Little Jackie.
  • The Three Es of Good Work: Excellent, Engaging, and Ethical. – Howard Gardner
  • The United States has been dominated by the three Ms: Money, Markets, and Me. – Howard Gardner
  • If you can’t cover it up, turn it up. – Adam Curry/NA-152 #noagenda
  • We have privatized our foreign policy – Philip Brenner
  • The more complex an economy is, the more fragile it is, and the more cataclysmic its disintegration can be. – Bryan Ward-Perkins