November, 2007

Nov 07

my favorite

my favorite, favorite new video. [kid cuteness alert: video is of our son and is probably not all that relevant to anyone but us.] i could watch this all day long. seems so happy.

[warning: doesn’t seem to load right on firefox 3 nightlies at present]

Nov 07

no new library for sunnyvale

Last week was election day — and one of the things I was really hoping would pass, Measure B to support building a new library here in Sunnyvale, lost. Lost big, actually: we needed 2/3 and only mustered 59%. That’s a gigantic margin, and I think indicates broadbased opposition to the new building, or at least the $108M price tag.

I’m a bit discouraged by the vote — the library that we have in Sunnyvale is way too small for the population it serves, and is nearly 50 years old. It’s funny in that while I worked on the campaign and am also on the Library Board here, getting a new library doesn’t have a lot of effect on my own life. I tend to buy my books, I tend to access the Internet, well, everywhere. But I think it’s an important public good, so worth supporting.

Anyway, I think that I now believe that the combination of soaring construction costs, a general population who’s losing touch with libraries (and maybe books), and a fiscally conservative city government taken together mean that Sunnyvale may never get a new library. Branches maybe, a bookmobile maybe. But I think this may mark the last opportunity to get a real central library built.

On reflection, I’m not really sure whether I think that’s a bad thing. I know that my personal relationship with books is changing. I’m still reading a lot, of course, but I’m consuming a larger percentage of my content either on the Internet now or in video form. I’m starting to get annoyed that books are so heavy and take so much space in my house, not to mention that they’re a pain to move. I really, really want the eReader that’s coming from Amazon to be useful and have great content. I’ll switch in a flash.

I’m starting to think more about what needs it is that libraries satisfy, and whether we can reasonably expect a building 30 years from now to satisfy needs then. It feels to me like our pace of change is speeding up now, and I hesitate to predict what public spaces for collaboration and learning will look like even 10 years from now. (A visit to university classrooms today is incredibly provocative for me — they’re nothing like they were 15 years ago when I was there.)

So while I’m disappointed that we didn’t get the bond passed, I’m now thinking it might be a good challenge/opportunity to try to escape the constraints of big buildings for libraries. What’s next?

While I’ve got you here: Jim Griffith, Sunnyvale resident and a friend of mine, did an incredible amount to try to get this bond passed. Phone banked every night. Raised a ton of money. Got a campaign headquarters and dozens of endorsements. Put up lawn signs. Wrote op-ed pieces. Went to meeting after meeting after meeting. Jim’s work makes me hopeful that local government can work.

Nov 07

stacks and bins on leopard

this is a really beautiful hack to address the unfortunate icon mess that stacks in the leopard dock are. i’ve been looking at my new bins all day and am super, super happy that i changed it. it’s the small things.

Nov 07


Just got to my hotel in Tokyo, going to take a shower then go to a meetup here with, hey — other people who live near me in Silicon Valley! 🙂

Really here to see Chibi and Kaori and Gen and Kohei and Joi and Nobu and other folks from Mozilla Japan as we think about what to do here in 2008. It’s been fun and productive to work with the team here as they’ve grown from just a couple of folks 2 years ago to a real office now. Japan is a tough culture/market to really crack for open source, but Chibi (Takita-san, head of Mozilla Japan) has worked hard on raising awareness of OSS here for years, and is making real headway. I’m excited to talk with her, the board, and the rest of Mozilla Japan tomorrow.

But tonight, Web2 types. 🙂

2 random tidbits: (1) in Japan, my iPhone seems to be an iPod — no connectivity at all, and (2) I haven’t been here in a year or so, and am reminded what a great place Tokyo is. I’ve been to lots of great places in the past couple of years — Tokyo really is one of the world’s great cities, alongside London and Manhattan, in my view.

Nov 07

congratulations Miro!!

One of my very favorite software projects, Miro, launches their 1.0 today! I’ve written about this before, when Miro was called the Democracy Player. Today represents the culmination of two years of hard work by the Miro team, and a serious start at reinventing video. As Josh Quittner at Fortune points out, this makes even more sense in the context of the WGA strike — entertainment is changing quickly, for sure.

[2 disclaimers: (1) Miro uses Mozilla technology for their Windows & Linux versions, and (2) I’m on the Board of Directors of the non-profit Participatory Culture Foundation, who makes Miro.]