Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lunch May 27th

Topics of interest over lunch today:
  • TWiT 195 - Leo, John C. Dvorak, Becky Worley, and Molly Wood
  • DrupalCon by the Numbers
  • The IASP Conference on Science and Technology Parks - Held in Raleigh, NC next week.
  • Marshall Brain's link to Greek Firework Battle
  • Gamasutra Interview with Tim Sweeny - Tim Sweeny founded Epic, which is best known for the Unreal Engine, used to make video games, and Gears of War; but they started in the 1990's as a shareware company. Epic is based in Cary, NC. This is a great 10 page interview.
  • More on Epic - Wikipedia Page and Triangle Biz Journal article with following quote: "The magazine did not report a potential purchase price for Epic, but based on past speculation, it could reach reach 10 figures. Earlier this year, GamePro magazine reported that Microsoft was in talks to buy Epic for $1 billion – a figure that, at the time, industry observers said made sense."
  • How the Mighty Fall - Business Week Cover Stories Podcast - A very interesting discussion of the stages of failure in large formerly great companies, and how to recognize the problems. Definitely worth listening to for anyone in a large corporation. This podcast is based on a discussion of the new book, How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Meeting of the World's Richest Philanthropists

A report of a secret meeting of the Worlds Richest Philanthropists:
Invited by the world's two richest men Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, along with David Rockefeller, a Who's Who of American wealth and influence gathered around a long table in a window-lined private room overlooking the East River on May 5.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Organics in RTP

Bella Bean Organics - Bella Bean Organics is an online farmer’s market and weekly delivery service. Each week they deliver fresh local and organic produce and specialty foods in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, or Durham.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

RTP Area Companies Hiring

Stolen from the TriLUG mailing list:

Bizcom Web
BlueStripe Software
Channel Advisor
Computer Sciences Corp
Credit Suisse
Elster Electricity
Extron Electronics
Harris Stratex
Health Decisions
INC Research
Lexis Nexis
NWN Corp
PRA International
Progress Software
Redwood Software
RH Donnelly
Sports Endeavors
Square 1 Bank
SRA International
Thompson Reuters
Wake Med

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Teen Entrepreneurs

USA Today has a couple of articles on teenage entrepreneurs in today's issue.
Many entrepreneurial kids will use their businesses to scrape together summer spending money, but the fledgling firms can blossom into something much bigger.

As a teenager, Tommy Hilfiger sold customized clothes in his Elmira, N.Y., hometown. Microsoft maven Bill Gates co-founded a data business that focused on traffic counts, Traf-O-Data, when he was in high school.

Besides that article they have a side article on tips from teens on starting a business. For example:
"Allow your business to grow, and then grow your equipment into your business," says Rice, echoing advice he was given by others. He invested in his first riding mower at age 12 (bought at a yard sale with savings from a newspaper route) and as his customer base grew, he conservatively bought more equipment.
Many dot-com businesses should have followed the same advice!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Notes on Starting a Software Buisness

Someone forwarded me a link to this article recently.

It is titled "How To Successfully Compete With Open Source Software", but could just as well be how to start a small software business on the side.
I run Bingo Card Creator, which makes educational bingo cards for teachers and parents. It is about as B2C as you can get. Sales last year were in the $20,000 range, sales this year are up substantially, and I expect profits will exceed my day job salary/benefits/etc by the end of April. I started the business in July 2006, when there were already at least two OSS projects which did roughly the same thing: BingoCardMaker and bingo-cards. (You can tell we really spend a lot of time thinking about naming in my niche, can’t you.)

The tweet-able intro to marketing is short and to the point:
Software solves problems. Customers have problems. Customers do not know that their problems are sometimes solvable with software.

Worth a read.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

TED presentation Style

From Presentation Zen site.

The top ten TED Commandments

  • Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out thy Usual Shtick.
  • Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, Or Share Something Thou Hast Never Shared Before.
  • Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion.
  • Thou Shalt Tell a Story.
  • Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the Sake of Blessed Connection and Exquisite Controversy.
  • Thou Shalt Not Flaunt thine Ego. Be Thou Vulnerable. Speak of thy Failure as well as thy Success.
  • Thou Shalt Not Sell from the Stage: Neither thy Company, thy Goods, thy Writings, nor thy Desperate need for Funding; Lest Thou be Cast Aside into Outer Darkness.
  • Thou Shalt Remember all the while: Laughter is Good.
  • Thou Shalt Not Read thy Speech.
  • Thou Shalt Not Steal the Time of Them that Follow Thee.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Fountain of Youth

I have recently had the time to listen to a number of Futures in Biotech podcasts. A few of them have to do with research on how to extend life expectancy; for example, the episode with Dr. Cynthia Kenyon. For a while it has been thought that calorie restriction could extend life and slow aging. Dr. Kenyon's research seems to offer an explanation for why we might see those effects.

An other interesting episode is the one with guest Aubrey de Grey speaking on the Thousand Year Lifespan. While de Gray's over all proposal sounds outrageous, his description of individual problems to be solved sounds quiet logical.

The second episode of the podcast involved aging. I think I need to give it a listen.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Need a wiki? MediaWiki is the software behind Wikipedia. It is based on PHP and MySQL.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Dealing with Sounds

Forum post discussing how to detect when a sound has finished playing.

Using c functions
in iPhone development.

Mixing C and Objective-C