Chris Ritke is thinking and writing...

...about this and that and some other things...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Ok, Here's a question:

Do you like the new t-shirts?

Would you like us to make some more?

Voice Questions - Not Opinions.

Just found some great advice Nine decision-making pitfalls—and nine simple devices to beat them.

That's awesome.

One of the best in my view:

PROBLEM: Yes-man echoes
DEVICE: Voice questions, not opinions

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Ok, I'm an idiot

In my last post I wrote Wales with an 'h' after the 'W'. How embarrassing. And not just once. THREE TIMES.

That proves it.


That I should always use my spellchecker! Come to think of it I probably did - 'Whales' is a valid word for those big things in the ocean. So now what? I guess I just have to check every word I don't use at least once a day with to make sure it actually means what I'm trying to say.

Thanks a million to Igor for correcting me on this!

Oh brother.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Wales != England != UK

Wow - just spoke with Marie who's doing Knitcast, the knitting podcast - wonderful person! The interview will be up in a few days at 49media.

I can't believe the stuff I learned from just speaking with her for about 20 minutes. one example: For me, Wales, England, Great Britain, UK and all that was one and the same. But now I've learned otherwise! It turns out that if you say you're talking to somebody in England and they're in Whales it's like saying I'm in Texas even though I'm in California. So you either say Wales or England or whatever - or - refer to the whole thing as Great Britain. It's like California or Texas - and they're all part of the US.

Ok, I think I've been thorough enough on that. I love podcasting!

Oh, by the way: != is programmer's geek whatever for 'not equals'

Monday, June 20, 2005

Webzine 2005

Looks like webzine 2005 is going to happen in San Francisco on Sept 24 & 25. It went away with the bubble that burst a few years back - but I somehow have a feeling that a new something is growing - if it's a bubble then this one might have a tougher skin... what a wild ride! So check out Webzine 2005 - I know I will!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Testing? Oh boy.

This is in response to a post at - I got so into it that I figured I should post it here too:

Yes - testing should drive development. I know my problem is that I often come up with some new cool feature (at least I think so)... test it to a certain point and then just upload it. How often has it happened that two minutes later I see a bug that I could have spotted if I had tested properly. Umpf. I just get too excited. Testing is soooooo boring. I need a personal 'kick-me-in-the-rear-end-before-I-upload-a-new-feature-assistant'.

I suspect that I might not be the only one with this problem. But I have to say - when you code something the bugs you're creating usually show up on the other side of the app - so the rule pretty much has to be - change ANYTHING in the code and then test THE WHOLE THING. But then you'd pretty much be spending most of your time testing - and then the app would never get out there, a big mistake in this fast paced world.

And then there's this other problem. You write an app - put it out there and people start doing things you hadn't anticipated. And if you don't think of a certain way of using something then you can't test it. So maybe the answer is - keep it in beta for ever... take a look at Flickr - it still has 'beta' plastered everywhere... it doesn't seem to bother anybody, it didn't bother Yahoo... I wonder why?

So now what?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

HOWTO make a movie and post it to a blog

This is actually for the vlogformykids blog, I'll also be sending it to them so they know what I'm up to - but I figured it might be a good idea to post it here as well. I'm not an expert on this but at least I'm getting it to work. And: the whole thing is soooo much more fun on a Mac - a Mac Mini to be precise - and I actually get to use Uta's whenever I like.. I'm going to have to get one of those for myself so she can actually get some work done... especially since I'm starting to do a lot more video stuff from day to day!

Click Image to Start Video:

Saturday, June 11, 2005

SpinXpress & Ourmedia

Markus Sandy and Dave Toole turned me on to SpinXpress the other day - which I've downloaded and tested a bit. It really is a great tool for sharing media in private p2p spaces.

Markus also suggested I try Ourmedia which is a great place for sharing media. I was using the site to upload audio and video for the 49media podcast and vlogformykids, but now I've installed Ourmedia Publisher which makes the whole process so much easier, and the uploads are available immediately. Really cool!

I spoke with Markus in a podcast and Dave (on the phone) - they are both great guys doing really cool stuff!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Atom Feed Problem - Fixed!

Just republished my feed and all the links and images are back in there. Whew. That really had me scared. I suppose somebody at blogger made a mistake - and they just fixed it.

Hey - let me tell you - I know what it's like to make mistakes coding. You fix something here, add something there and boom, something blows up over on the opposite side of the code.

Porn Bloggers?

The adult channel is in 49Media because those blogs exist. 49Media started out with 4 very respectable blogs and just kept going from link to link and at some point just started finding them - so somehow they're all interconnected. So, we could either delete them all as they come in or put them in an adult channel that requires an extra step to get into - and is also the last channel.

My view is that there are all kinds of blogs out there - deleting the ones I or whoever else doesn't like out of 49Media won't make them go away - and I don't think that would be the right thing to do. Now of course, if I find anything that's against the law I'll notify authorities and delete it right away... but it seems that what it has been finding to date is ok, at least with the law, as far as I know. I do know, for example, that you can find that kind of stuff in Yahoo as well, they even have an advanced search option to specifically allow adult content...

I think my views are the way they are because I spent such a long time in Europe (almost 25 years) - people there just aren't as uptight about this as they are here. I know that a lot of Europeans I've talked to just don't understand America because of this - land of the free and all that but not so free in some ways. I try to tell them about history and all of that - but they still wonder.

Check out what Steven says at

Atom Feed Problem - An Update

Ok, so now it looks like blogger is ignoring the short/full feed setting - it publishes short (abstract) feeds even if you select full. This is not good. It's very very bad. I hope they're thinking about this over there.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

OMG - What did Blogger do to my feed?

I just noticed that none of the images I have in my blog posts are showing up in the atom feed ( Have I done something? Did they change something? What is going on here? I hope I'm dreaming. I'd better go to bed.

WHAT? I'M NOT DREAMING. It even strips the links out. SHIT. Does that mean they're stripping all html out of posts in the atom feeds? WHY? WHY? WHY? It doesn't make sense.

This is a bad day. I'm going to go bake a cake.

Basil Pesto

I love it. Basil pesto. They've got Basil at Trader Joe's - I make a batch about once a week. Leave it in the refrigerator overnight - it's sooooo good - I eat it almost every day. Well, maybe every two days.

Ingredients: Salt, Garlic, Roasted Pine Nuts, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Basil.

I crush the garlic, salt and pine nuts with a fork - I like it when half of the pine nuts stay whole.

And, of course: Pasta made from 100% hard durum semolina and grated parmesan - I don't add the parmesan to the pesto but rather sprinkle it on after I mix the pasta with the pesto. That's just me - you might like it mixed in with the pesto.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I can't believe it.

I can't believe it. I just got an email from some guy who found his stuff in 49media. OMG! What horror! We are actually indexing his weblog and showing people thumbnails of his images. We should be put in prison for that. No - better yet - we should rot in hell for a million years for doing that.

Just imagine: Somebody might actually find his site through 49Media and start reading. Or even store images of his images in their brains.

I just reminded him to send google, yahoo, and a zillion other search engines emails telling them to delete references to his weblog and thumbnails from their servers. GOOD LUCK!

Hm. This reminds me of some guy who wrote in a forum: "I think the Mac Mini Sucks. It won't even run Windows XP!!!!!!!" Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhhh!. There sure are some pretty wild people out there.

Oh - wait... I just got an email back from this gentleman - it seems the 'shitty' is that we didn't first ask him whether we could include his site in ours. Now I'm wondering, are we supposed to send an email to the owner of every blog in our database (man, there are a lot!) asking them if it's ok to have links to their blogs? Do all bloggers have to ask the owners of other blogs if they may link to them? Does Google, Yahoo and all of the other guys out there have to send emails to the owners of all of the sites they're indexing? There's an army of people out there that are doing nothing but trying to figure out how to get blogs and web sites INTO the search engines and get them to the top of the list... this guy should start a company whose mission is to get blogs and web sites out of the search engines and to get the hit count as close to zero as possible.

Boy. I sure am glad I have a blog so I can vent a little. Now I can get back to doing what I had planned for today.

PS. I THINK I'm right about this. If not please let me know... I'm always in learning mode.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

A Vlog For My Kids

I've decided to start a Vlog For My Kids - I'll be posting every few days so they can see what I'm up to.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Ok, so now I'm a podcaster

It's funny - I was at the podcasting meetup in San Francisco because of 49Media and somebody asked me what my podcast was about. My answer was: nope, I'm working on a site where you can find podcasts.

On the way home I was thinking - what? a podcast? I'm not doing one where I talk about myself or do music... there are so many great shows out there... but hey - I'm finding all of these great people online doing blogs, podcasts and vlogs - why not interview them - 49media would be a great platform for that. And - it would be a great way to get the excellent work of these people exposed to others that might not find out about it otherwise.

So here I am, a week later and the first introductory podcast is up - I've got a few people line up for interviews and there are so many I have on my list to ask... I haven't been this excited in a loooong time.