Monthly Archives: February 2006

Note to Google — move us to the metric system?

internet is really increasing standardization. Language is becoming standardized around English and even odd English
acronyms like IMHO and LOL are becoming commonplace.

But I would
have thought that, by now, the U.S. would be closer to adopting the metric system. Here is an area that America is far behind the rest of the world in …

I wrote
five years ago:

why, o’ why, do we still use
inches, feet, miles, pounds, acres, leagues, ounces, Fahrenheit, tons, gallons,
bushels, hogsheads, horsepower, pints, and teaspoons?

I’m still
not sure. but I have a proposal to
Google … help us slowly move to the metric system.


Here’s the


First —
the old English system of measurements (that even the English don’t use
anymore) is evil. It is incredibly
inefficient and hard to grapple with. So
here is a small proposal on how Google can help rid some of this evil …



deliver information in both the English system and the metric system. In Google maps (which for American users
displays all distances only in miles) also display distances in
kilometers. If I type in "weather
san Francisco"
into Google, also display the results in
Celsius. Etc.


simple. A few small changes could help
the American public slowly acclimate to this "crazy" metric system.

how meebo got its office space

like a lot of hot start-ups today, Meebo had trouble finding office space.

Meebo ( just got funded by Sequoia and
went from three to six people and had to move out of the founders’ living room
and into an office.   They had a hard time finding an office so they posted a
"anyone know of any good office space in

palo alto

?" on their blog and the landlord of a
cool office saw the post and replied.   And Meebo just moved in last

is a really cool anecdote and part of a larger trend in corp blogs. 
Companies are using their blog as a
tool to help them accomplish more than just marketing — they are using it to find people, office, and more.   of course, that’s what Edgeio has tapped into.   

Living Forever

Year 2050:

Backing up my brain takes a long time.   To do a full brain back-up can take 6 hours and it is hard to get an appointment.   A brain restoration could take 3-5 days … if you can find a body to put it in.

I’m waiting for a body right now … I’m living inside a computer.

Like many cautious executives, I go in for a regular brain back-up — especially when I fly long distances.   I went in for my last back-up a day before an especially hairy trip I was taking to Central Asia.   Luckily I did.   Our jet was shot down by pirates and I "died" in the crash.   Well at least my body died.   That was the second time it happened to me.   The first time was from the bioterror outbreak two years ago.   Last time I "died" I was lucky — was able to find a new body in a few days.   Now I am languishing … I yearn for some exercise.

The weird thing is that since my last brain back-up was about 29 hours before our jet crashed, I don’t remember anything about the crash.   I’ve tried to recreate some of the events as I want to have a fairly full memory.

It is weird being here … bodyless.   My friends can "visit" with me … and we can talk anywhere.   It is easy for me to go to them as I’m just bits right now running on a fault tolerant system with instances in mountain view, capetown, santiago, and moscow.   

One thing I found is how many people are like me … in limbo.   According to the US Congress, you cannot vote when you’re in limbo.   But I’m not sure how anyone will even know.   Most of my correspondence and communication is through my avatar anyway.

I remember not that long ago when death was something to be fear.   Today it is only rebirth …

(author’s note: Bank in 1990 (when i was 16), I wrote a short-story on this phenomena called The Bourgon File)

Book: When Genius Failed

When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management by Roger Lowenstein

Full_image_7 this is another great book i’ve been wanting to listen to for a long time … the rise and the fall of LTCM.   ever since debating about the bail-out with my friend Richard Voon, i’ve been fascinated with how so many smart people could create a financial model that produced such staggering losses.

it is simply amazing.  essentially, they were fooled by randomness a bit.   

Lowenstein is a very good author who seems very fair and keeps the saga fast-moving while still going into a great deal of detail.

Book: Disney War

DisneyWar by James Stewart.  Full_image_6

if your a techie Silicon Valley guy like me who sometimes dreams about the world of Hollywood … read this book.   you’ll never want to work in Hollywood again.   

DisneyWar is all about back-stabbing, lies, and insecure people who go nuts if someone else is given credit for a success.   

i’m a big fan of James Stewart … he’s a compelling writer and a great storyteller.   of course, i’d listen to this book.   and it is definitely worth it.