Rael Dornfest

Netflix's take on "s**t happens"

You know, sometimes mail (of the snail variety) does indeed go missing. S**t happens. And such s**t must happen regularly to Netflix. Being very much a virtual being, it doesn't happen to me all that often. So when one of my recent rentals never made its way to Netflix, I gritted my teeth and clicked the "Report a problem" button,…

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Rollyo: Roll Your Own Search Engine

ROLLYO is the latest mind warp from Dave Pell. Rollyo affords anyone the ability to roll their own Yahoo!-powered search engine, attenuating results to a set of up to 25 sites. And while the searchrolls (as they're called) you create are around a particular topic (e.g. Food and Dining), they are also attached to a real person (e.g. Food and…

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David Pennock makes the TR 35

David Pennock, with whom I've had the pleasure of working on the Buzz Game collaboration between O'Reilly and Yahoo! Research Labs, has made Technology Review's list of top 35 technologists under the age of 35. David's work on futures markets as aggregators of intelligence resulted in the dynamic pari-mutuel market underlying the Buzz Game. You'll find all the nitty gritties…

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ETech 06 Call for Participation

The Call for Participation for the 2006 edition of the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference [aka ETech] is open. I'll be blogging more about and around the conference as we build it over the coming months. We're five years into the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, covering peer-to-peer networks to person-to-person mobile messaging, web services to weblogs, big screen digital media to…

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JSAN, the JavaScript Archive Network

It seems every Perl hacker I spend any more than five minutes with these days is neck deep in JavaScript. Pal David Wheeler has been bending my ear about his port of Perl's Test::Harness to a JS Test.Simple for some weeks now. Michael Schwern on a recent visit toted not a small number of pounds of JavaScript tomes about with…

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Yahoo! Mindset

While brewing up the Tech Buzz Game on a visit to Yahoo! a few months back, we got to lay hands on an early incarnation of what was today announced as Yahoo! Mindset. Mindset is a simple slider interface (c.f. "Sliders are the new drop-downs") to Yahoo! search results along a commercial / non-commercial axis. Search for o'reilly -bill with…

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feed:// is the new http://

Remember when you actually had to type fully-formed URLs? There was the http:// bit to ensure you didn't end up in a gopher hole. About gone is the conventional www.. And then there's the shrinkage of domains to their smallest unique alphanumeric representation: google instead of google.com. Not to mention the the AOL Keywords-alike for the web baked into Firefox:…

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Ajax Patterns

Following a trackback from Brent Ashley, I ran across Michael Mahemoff's "Ajax Patterns: Design Patterns for Ajax Usability" post, now living in wiki form at AjaxPatterns.org. AJAX holds a lot of promise for web usability, and the underlying technology has already delivered some stunning applications. But it’s no magic bullet. Careful design is always required, and it must be based…

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New way of doing the Radar Books page, or The Backpack API

In the emerging tradition of constructing the O'Reilly Radar blog out of a growing number of loosely-coupled building blocks, we're rolling out our new Books page, built on the backs of Amazon Web Services and the Backpack API — launched today….

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Hoist by my own petard (was Google has del.icio.us tags and RSS feed autodiscovery)

I stumbled over a rather confounding side-effect of the browser-rewriteable web yesterday, posting: Continuing it's tradition of throwing in a link to more juicy data or metadata whenever the opportunity presents itself, Google has added del.icio.us tags and straps one of those ubiquitous orange [XML] RSS bugs to every result sporting an RSS feed. ……

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