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Monday, November 28, 2005

Ex-Googler Being Micromanaged

“But on the whole I was struggling, not just technically, but personally as well. The situation was exacerbated by my manager, who thought that the answer to my falling behind schedule was to start micromanaging me. That just made things worse. Much worse. I had been a senior scientist at a national research lab, essentially the equivalent of a tenured professor (but without the teaching responsibilities). I was used to being my own boss more or less, and I really resented being asked to make detailed lists of everything was going to do every single day. After all, Google had come asking me to join them, and so I felt I ought to be accorded more respect. But on the other hand I had to admit that I was not really performing, and so all the micromanagement was in some sense justified. I responded, I’m ashamed to admit, with some passive-aggressive head games, and so the situation deteriorated rapidly to the point where my manager and I were barely on speaking terms.”
– Ron Garrett, who now joined the great Ex-Googlers blog, in Into the Breach.

Sergey’s Crawler Fast as Light...

When Google co-founder Sergey Brin celebrated a birthday in his twenties, his father posted the following poem for him online (from: The Google Story, by David A. Vise and Mark Malseed):

“You are growing stronger
In body, spirit and mind.
I am getting older
Leaving decades behind.

You are tough, you mine data,
You surf first and think later,
And your crawler fast as light
Wanders madly in the night.

You work hard to squeeze a thesis
From the world wide web of feces.
You live abroad on the sunny coast
To you, my son I propose a toast.

In the stately oval office
Clinton grimly counts his losses,
Plumpy interns taking turns,
Many wonderful returns.”

Googlers Playing Paintball

Yes, they do.

Yahoo Store Back Online

Yahoo! Gear, a sort of Google Store for Yahoo, is back online after a longer hiatus. Now you can have an “incredible glowing pen slash flashlight" for 12 bucks... [Via Zawodny.]

Google Web Accelerator Not Showing Google Videos Anymore?

I wasn’t able to see Google Video playback anymore in Germany even with the Google Web Accelerator toolbar enabled in Firefox. Did they disable it?

New AdSense Flavor?

Dan Neal pointed me to a weird ad on his blog. It’s indeed originating at Google (right-clicking the inline frame revealed it was an “official” one). The screenshot above shows the ad in its original size. Only minutes later, the ad disappeared.

So is Google testing a new AdSense flavor? On their AdSense layout overview page, this ad doesn’t appear. At 120x60 pixels, it would be the smallest ad available.

Firefox AdSense Referrals Go International

Amit Agarwal notes non-US webmasters can now make money by referring people to Firefox as well. All you need is a Google AdSense account, and you get $1 per “virgin” user installing FF for the first time. Just click on your AdSense “Referrals” tab and you’ll notice the second “Firefox” tab which was available for US publishers only so far.

Update: Brinkie G. told me after installing Firefox, the Google Toolbar displayed several icons three times (three Gmail icons, three Earth icons, three Desktop icons...).

Christmas Lights Webcam

December is nearing and our friend Alek’s made a Christmas lights webcam, the 26,000 lights of which you can turn on and off via your browser. Alek promises it’s real, too!

Oh, and there are movies too.

Rule for Web Startups

“You know that old saw about a plane flying from California to Hawaii being off course 99% of the time – but constantly correcting? The same is true of successful startups – except they may start out heading toward Alaska. Many dot-com bubble companies that died could have eventually been successful had they been able to adjust and change their plans instead of running as fast as they could until they burned out, based on their initial assumptions. Pyra was started to build a project-management app, not Blogger. Flickr’s company was building a game. Ebay was going to sell auction software.”
– Evan Williams (co-founder of Blogger, now Odeo), Ten Rules for Web Startups, November 27, 2005 [Via Waxy.]

Invalid AdSense Clicks?

What makes an AdSense click invalid, thus resulting in no money being made for the advertiser? Graham W. tried to find out, but it appears Google is keeping the answer to that secret.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Just saw the Hitchhiker’s Guide movie and have to say, in retrospect I’m amazed at all the bad reviews I read on it before online. I’ve read the book as teen and been a fan ever since, collecting everything from comic book to radio shows and what-not... this was a great, funny, charming and fitting movie. (And I’m not a mindless fan either, the comic book and TV show were quite bad, actually!) So, I should print this in big yellow letters on the back of my monitor... DON’T READ. (Reviews, that is.)

On a side-note, this is the homepage of the studio that made the Guide animations in the movie (Shynola). I didn’t know they were behind the “Move your feet” animations as well. You can download two videos at the site (the other one is for a Blur song).


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