MSN’s Comings and Goings Of Late

Today was the financial analysis’s day at Microsoft in the main conference center (building 33). I saw them prepping for it when I was up in Redmond yesterday. One of the sessions was Winning in Internet Services, where MSN presented to analysis what we’ve been up to and what we’re working on. As the article from Microsoft Watch indicates, there’s a lot going on from Virutal Earth, to MSN Messenger 7.5 to MSN Search and the work we’re doing in web mail. As you can tell, we’re up to a lot and there’s a lot more to come, like the friends of friends system the article mentions.

Also, for a great discussion on MSN, check out Paul Thurrott’s showcase on MSN, which talks about some of our back end systems, like our Addressbook Clearing House and gives a good history of the division.

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Mail Call – The Kahuna Blog

We’ve started Mail Call, the blog for our Kahuna team! There’s nothing much on it yet, but expect members of our team (my self included) to be posting more about Kahuna on Mail Call and on our own personal blogs.

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Kayaking in the SF Bay

I went kayaking in the bay on Saturday. There’s a kayaking outfitter in the city on Pier 38 that rents by the hour single and double kayaks. It was my first time kayaking, ocean or river, but it turned out to be a bit eaiser than expected. We went from the outfitters down to SBC Park and McCovey Cove then double backed to the Bay Bridge. It was a lot of fun and I’m thinking of going again this weekend and most definitly want to give river kayaking a try, too.

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VirtualEarth Goes Live

MSN VirtualEarth went live this morning. It’s a great app that integrates panning maps with MSN Search that has great features like scroll wheel support for zoom and local search integrated in nifty UI monikers.

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A Shooting on Minna Street

The main window from my loft overlooks the 500 block of Minna Street, between 6th and Russ. Minna is the street that’s been the bane of my living here, filled with all sorts of noise and trouble ranging from trash trucks every day to 12 year old wanna be gangbangers smoking pot to men beating up women while walking down the street. To add insult to injury, there was a shooting in the apartment building that my window looks upon where a man was killed over a dispute in a card game. It’s time to move.

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smugmug Gets It

A good bunch of folks use smugmug to share photos online. It’s so good it makes me contemplate ditching my home grown solution and just using theirs. No storage quota, easy to use, beautiful templates, and access to the originals. The best part is that they get it about vendor lock-in: they make it easy to leave. It’s a powerful way to keep a company true to their customers and I applaud them for having the humility to listen to what people want.

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Dreading Alaska Air

I’m booking a day trip to Seattle for next Wednesday and our travel site shows the on time percentages for the Alaska flights I’m traveling on:

  • 7AM SFO – 8:59 SEA: 70% – 79%: okay, not so bad. It’s early, I can live with being a little late.
  • 8:40 SEA – 10:51 SFO: 60% – 69%: that’s horrible! The last thing flight I want to have such a high risk of delay is the one that’ll get me home late. It’s awful.

I’m dreadfully looking forward to these flights.

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AIDS Walk SF 2005

We did AIDS walk this morning after registering last night. It’s the 2nd AIDS walk I’ve done, the first in San Diego and now this one. The venue was Golden Gate Park, a 10K walk east to west across the park. The weather was the usual mix of gloom and sun in that corner of the city, with clouds and fog rolling through continually. We took the N out to the park from Civic Center. As usual during any special event, it was packed, body to body. I’d never taken it outbound, and much to my suprise realized half way through that there’s another tunnel after Church/Duboce to basically expresses the train all the way to the park. It’s by far the fastest way out to the park and sure beats driving.

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March of the Penguins

At the Clay Theater, I saw the March of the Penguins, a documentary on the life of the emperor penguins. It’s fantastically visual journey in the life cycle of the penguin at the South Pole. The director, Luc Jacquet, and his team spent four years at the South Pole gathering footage and piecing together this stunning film.

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Amazon’s Merchants

Amazon offers multiple merchants when shopping for certain products. I noticed this while shopping for a digital camera. It’s curious, offering sellers of new product. It begs the question, what their cut is on listing the other vendors. In other Amazon news, it’s reached it’s 10 year anniversary.

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