Twitter Thoughts

According to my profile on Twitter, I signed up 29 days ago, during which time I made 188 tweets. As I wrote a few weeks ago, I had my doubts about Twitter, but decided to try it based on others I know saying that it proved its value after a few weeks.

Twitter is described as micro-blogging, but I feel that does Twitter, and the concept, a disservice. Blogging is often said to be a conversation, but I've never found it to be so. As I've stated before, to me, blogging is like speaking from a podium. Turning on comments is akin to taking questions from the audience. Using trackbacks and pingbacks akin to a panel discussion. Twitter is much closer to being a true conversation. I find it to be like a cocktail party. Conversations are all around you, streaming past. As you find topics interesting, you might listen, or join in. Like a cocktail party, you might continue conversations with old friends, or even acquaintances that you only see at similar events. You might meet new people, and make new friends. You might find business contacts, kindred spirits, people of like interests or personality. It's a giant, asynchronous cocktail party, with thousands of participants.

The past month has been a rough one for Twitter. It's original architecture wasn't created for what it has become. The implementation of that architecture has shown many flaws. It's often down, in toto, or with some of its most useful features disabled to keep the basics going. But even with all that, I've found Twitter to be useful.

I've found other twits tweeting on Twitter, and have been entertained. I've made new business contacts, extending my LinkedIN network thereby. I've been pointed to news events, technical happenings, venture undertakings, and information that is of professional and personal interest. And I've heard it on Twitter first, so that when I read it in the news or in a blog, sometimes days later, I would smile and think "I know that".

Update: One of the folk with whom I now have a tweeting relationship is @tawnypress. Since she's also relatively new to Twitter and has blogged about her experience, I thought I would trackback to her "Twitter - Two Months & Counting" post.

So, yes, after a month and with only a couple of dozen followers while I follow less than an hundred, I find Twitter to be useful. I most like using it through Hahlo3 on my iPhone; Hahlo3 is an iPhone specific interface to both Twitter and Summize (a service that searches Twitter by hashtags, people or location). There have been problems, and some frustrations, but it's a cocktail party. No reason to get upset if the bar is crowded or the buffet table empty. You'll get your drink by-and-by, and someone will refill the trough soon.

Twitter can fail if it doesn't overcome it's architectural and scaling issues. I hope not. I like it. I would like to see it succeed, expand, and become a part of my daily communications.

Join in. You'll like it.

Comfort Food

Every once in awhile, we all need comfort food. There's no one recipe, or one meal, even for each person. Comfort food is whatever makes you feel secure, protected, comforted. Tonight, I needed some comfort food, and here's what I made.

Creamed Corn
  1. Why am I starting with creamed corn? Because of the items on this menu, it takes the longest to make. "WTF?" you ask. "You open a can and heat it. How long can it take?" To which I say "Yuck!". Here's how I make creamed corn. Preheat an oven to 400ºF and get some ears of corn, one per person, plus some more, as fresh off the stalk as you can: grow it, get to a local farmer, whatever it takes, but every minute the corn is off the stalk, it's losing sugar and taste. Gently peel back the leaves on the corn, removing only the toughest outer leaves. Rub off the strings. Pull the leaves back over the kernels, and place each ear in a bowl of salted water. Once all the ears of corn are prepared, wrap each in heavy duty aluminum foil and place in the hot oven for 45 minutes.
  2. At the end of 45 minutes, heat a heavy sauce pan (I use porcelain coated cast iron) over low heat, preferably on simmering bricks. For each ear of corn, add 1 pat of butter, a bit of turbinado sugar, a grind of white pepper, and an half-cup of heavy cream to the heating pan. While the mixture is heating, unwrap the corn and return to the oven to brown for 15 minutes. About the sugar: if the corn is from your back yard, you should need very little, if picked that day, perhaps a quarter of a teaspoon, if from some warehouse and a chain supermarket, maybe a whole teaspoon per ear.
  3. Once the cream mixture has heated and the corn has browned, remove from the oven, and peel back the leaves. Using the leaves as an handle, which should be cool enough to hold, use a sharp knife and remove the kernels from the cob. Add the kernels to the heated cream. If need be, add cream until the kernels are covered, or better floating in the cream.
  4. Increase the temperature and allow the cream to boil for 3 minutes, return the heat to low or the pan to the simmering bricks and keep warm, stirring, until the meal is ready to serve.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  1. I use yukon gold, and either one small or one-half medium potato per person. Peel and halve the potatoes, add to salted, cold water in a heavy pan. Peel one garlic clove per person, and add to the pan. Heat over high heat until boiling, lower heat to maintain a simmer, check after 10 minutes and keep heating until the potatoes can be easily pierced to their center with a fork. Remove the potatoes and garlic cloves from the boiling water, and allow to drain.
  2. Pour out the water, and return the pan to the stove over low heat. Add an half-tablespoon of butter to the pan, with the garlic cloves and a grind per potato of white pepper and another grind of nutmeg. Allow the butter to brown at the edge, and the garlic to lightly brown. Add a tablespoon of heavy cream per person to the butter and bring to a boil. Put the potatoes back into the pan, and mash with a potato masher; alternately, you can pass the potatoes and browned garlic through a coarse-disk food mill into the pan.
  3. Whisk it all together, and stir over heat until you're ready to serve
The Beef

I generally like Niman Ranch Ground Round for the meat. You can use any ground beef, or thin steak, pounded or not, or dry-aged New York Strip. For comfort food, the ground, for fancier meals the strip. :p You can dress up the ground with sautéed onion, Worcester Sauce, mustard powder, egg, whatever. You can rub the steak with a crushed garlic clove. With good quality meat, I don't like anything hiding the flavor. Use anywhere from 4 ounces to half-a-pound per person. Six ounces is a standard restaurant portion. Heat a pan over medium heat, add extra-virgin olive oil. Brown the meat for at least five minutes on a side, until nicely dark brown (lots of esters generated from browning, making for richer flavor). Cook the meat to the desired degree of doneness, rare to well-done.

The Sauce

While the corn is roasting, do the prep work. That includes the potatoes above, but also the prep work for the sauce or gravy. What's the difference? Flour. If you want a gravy, make a roux from butter and flour, a tablespoon of each per cup of liquid, cooking the flour in the butter for three minutes. Whisk the hot liquid into the the roux, until thick. What liquid? Keep reading.

  1. Use about an half-inch of a red torpedo onion per person, thinly sliced.
  2. Use four to six cremini mushrooms per person. Clean and slice.
  3. Remove the meat, when done, from the pan, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Add oil if the pan is dry.
  5. Add the onionslices to the pan, lower the heat, and sauté until translucent, add the mushroom slices and cook until tender.
  6. Deglaze the pan with red wine or stock, working loose all the nice browned bits.
  7. Add 4 ounces per person of vegetable, mushroom or beef stock
  8. Here's the part where you can work the roux if you want a gravy.
  9. For a sauce, cook the liquid, stirring often, over high heat until the liquid thickens - 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. If the meat has cooled too far, return to the pan for the last five minutes.
  11. If added, remove the meat, turn off the heat, and work a pat of butter into the sauce.
The Finish

Plate it up, with the sauce on the plate, or the gravy on the potatoes and beef. Put two to four heaping tablespoons of creamed corn in a small bowl for each serving. Maybe add some crusty bread and a salad, maybe not. Serve with the red wine used to make the sauce. Enjoy.

Twits Tweeting on Twitter

I've been resisting Twitter since I first heard about it, maybe 18 months ago. Whenever I've seen example tweets posted on someone blog that I follow… umm, let's just say that it seems well named. But I also keep reading that after two weeks or so, the business value becomes apparent.

I've been on Twitter for about a week. I was only following 15 folk to start, and five were following me in return. Three folk began following me whom I never met, even in the blogosphere. I'll follow more folk, essentially trying to follow everyone whose blogs I read or who I know, one way or another. I'll be looking for folk in the BI/MDM/SOA/PA, clean/green tech, rocket science, SaaS/PaaS, collaboration/enterprise2, project/program/portfolio management, Agile and distributed workgroup spaces. The areas that interest me, and in which I work. Maybe I'll even look for folk talking about cooking, Italian traditions and culture and food, and SciFi/Fantasy: the stuff in which I'm interested but don't work.

So, far, the closest thing to business value I've encountered is in my post in Open Source Solutions on "SOAP vs REST and OSBI News". Umm, not really that much business value.

I will say that I enjoy using Twitter much more on my iPhone through the web app Hahlo3. The actual web interface from Twitter.com is not enjoyable to use at all. Hahlo3 is a web app formatted for the iPhone, and combines Twitter, the micro-blogging/group-chat platform with Summize conversational search. The "hash tag" feature that finds comments tagged about an event is particularly useful, even when the tweets about the event aren't.

We'll see. I'm keeping an open mind, and trying to be positive. &#59;)

SOAP vs REST and OSBI News

I recently joined Twitter. I must share the following:

Roebot: #e20 note to organizers: If your panelists do NOT know what SOAP and REST are they prolly shouldn't be on a mashup panel!!! WTF!! about 5 hours ago from twhirlend quotation
-- Aaron Roe Fulkerson on Twitter

To which I responded:

Joseph_di_P: @Roebot wiki(SOAP) is what you use in tub to get clean; wiki(REST) is what you do in tub when not using SOAP :-D Easy, yah! about 1 hour ago from Hahlo in reply to Roebotend quotation
-- my response on Twitter

I know, I know, all the important stuff happening in the Open Source BI related world this week, and this is what I blog about. Is it a sign of dementia when you crack yourself up? :)) :crazy:

Here's some of the more important stuff that's been happening:

There's much else to do, including some additions to our linkblog with open source for MDM and more open source communities. But, I'm tweeting. :D

iPhone 3G and MobileME

It looks as though the rumor mills were right on and I was dead wrong. The 3G iPhone is coming to 22 countries on July 11, with 8GB model being $199 worldwide, and the 16GB model going for $299. Some conflicting guesses, but no apparent mention of a 32GB iPhone 3G. The 8GB and 16GB iPhone 3G are on the store for preorder.

Dot-Mac is being replaced in July by mobileME and me.com. Current dot-Mac users will be migrated to mobileMe and can choose to retain their mac.com address or get a me.com address. The big news is real-time push synchronization from/to/among all MS Windows, Apple MacOSX, iPhone (and iTouch I assume) NATIVE APPLICATIONS and browsers including Firefox2+, IE7 and Safari (Camino, Opera, OmniWeb, others???). The mobileMe news is on the store, but the link to upgrading for dot-Mac users is broken.

The WWDC is a developers' conference, and the news and the majority of the keynote was about developers and their applications: how to build, how to distribute, how to charge or not. For iPhone developers, the background ping/notification service looks to be the big news.

I'm actually more interested in how the iPhone2 applications will work on current iPhones than I am in the 3G iPhone, but it looks good. And if the apps work fine on my current iPhone, I'll be content to wait to upgrade the hardware until the inevitable mid-year corrections take place (32GB, 64GB, more &#59;) The iPhone software update page talks about things like GPS - so will my guess that first generation iPhones will be able to turn GPS on as well prove to be correct? If not, then the software update page is confusing. Will v2 apps work with 2G phones?

There was no mention of handwriting recognition on the iPhone, but there are full enterprise applications email attachment reading for both iWorks08 and MS Office, but no direct mention of OpenOffice.org/NeoOffice nor of ODF support. The eReader site still says that they're investigating iPhone support. /sigh No mention of copy/paste/drag/drop support in iPhone2 software either. /SIGH

But there will be search for contacts - it's on the web site picture anyway. GPS and more inclusive VPN support are welcome features too.

And yes, 10.6 is coming soon, with emphasis on security, stability & reliability, and its name is indeed Snow Leopard.

Update: There's a important message to dot-Mac users in my inbox ;-)

Dear .Mac member:

Today Apple announced a new Internet service called MobileMe - taking the best of .Mac and adding a host of new features. As a current .Mac member, your account will be automatically upgraded to MobileMe in July. For a closer look, watch the MobileMe Guided Tour and read below for an overview of your new service.

Mac integration you know and love. With MobileMe, you'll continue to enjoy features that take advantage of seamless integration with Mac OS X and iLife - Back to My Mac; access to your iDisk in the Finder; Mac-to-Mac syncing of Dock items, preferences, and more; iWeb site publishing; and photo and movie sharing directly from iPhoto '08 and iMovie '08.

New web applications for when you're away from your Mac. MobileMe features a suite of web applications at www.me.com that have the familiar look and feel of the applications on your Mac. Because these web applications stay in sync with your Mac and other devices, you'll have the same information wherever you go. Here's what you'll find at me.com:

Mail, the anchor of the new suite, is even better with a refined interface.

Contacts has a new three-pane interface, contact groups, maps integration, search, and photo support.

Calendar is a brand-new web application that feels just like iCal, featuring multiple calendars, click-and-drag event creation, and more.

Gallery lets you manage your collection of shared photos and movies from anywhere. You can now upload photos, rearrange their order, and set sharing preferences, all from a browser.

iDisk now has the familiar look of the Mac OS X Finder. It features drag-and-drop filing and an easy new way to share large documents, by sending an email with a link for downloading the file.

Account lets you manage settings such as storage allocation.

To use the new web applications, make sure you have one of these browsers: Safari 3, Internet Explorer 7, or Firefox 2 or later.

Push email. Push contacts. Push calendar. In addition to Mac-to-Mac syncing, MobileMe now keeps your iPhone, your iPod touch, and even a PC in sync. MobileMe pushes new contacts, calendar items, and bookmarks to your Mac or PC, and over the air to your iPhone or iPod touch. For example, if you add a calendar event on the web, the change will automatically be pushed to your Mac and iPhone. New email will be pushed to your iPhone in seconds, eliminating the need to check for messages manually.

As a MobileMe subscriber, you can continue to use your mac.com address for email. You will also be issued a me.com address with the same user name that you can use if you prefer. The choice is yours.

Double the online storage. To give you plenty of space for your email, photos, and other files, MobileMe doubles your storage from 10GB to 20GB for an individual subscription.

We'll be sure to update you when the new service goes live. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the upcoming transition from .Mac to MobileMe, please visit the MobileMe FAQ.

Sincerely,

The MobileMe Teamend quotation
-- from email, 2008 June 9 12:48:26 PDT

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The TeleInterActive Press is a collection of blogs by Clarise Z. Doval Santos and Joseph A. di Paolantonio, covering the Internet of Things, Data Management and Analytics, and other topics for business and pleasure. 37.540686772871 -122.516149406889

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