Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Heavy Trees Redux

Heavy Trees Redux
Originally uploaded by dmourati
Heavy Trees Redux

Look at all that snow. Those poor trees can barely hold up their branches.

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Top 5 Lessons Learned from Skiing

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008/2009 Ski Season: Day5

Sugar Bowl

Heavy Trees Redux

We got to Sugar Bowl at 9:00 AM on the button on the Bay Area Ski Bus. Tahoe in general has been hammered by storms throughout the past week. Sugar Bowl got probably 2 feet of fresh since Christmas.

I took one quick run on the Judah lift which served a groomer/terrain park.

We spent the morning on the White Pine lift teaching a new skier how to ski for the first time. The sides of the trail were 1-2 feet of fresh while the run itself was all groomed for the beginners.

The best skiing of the day was on the Disney side of the mountain. Off the Disney Express, the Crow's Traverse gave access to Strawberry field which was tree runs jammed with fresh powder.

Lines were pretty short, the weather was great, and we got a trace amount of snow to boot.

Great day at Sugar Bowl!

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Sugar Bowl Posse

Sugar Bowl Posse
Originally uploaded by dmourati
Warren, Lauren, Jodi (and Demetri if you look at the reflection in Jodi's goggles). Taken on the White Pines Chair Lift, aka the Bunny Slope.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Gonna Have a Bad Time

French fried when he should have pizzad:

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2008/2009 Ski Season: Day 1-4 Recap

I'm back from my trip to Snowbird for the start of the 2008/2009 ski season. What a blast! We hooked it up with the Bay Area Ski Bus and flew to Salt Lake City on Saturday, December 20th. The flight was out of Oakland, so we packed our gat, locked the doors, and hoped for the best.

We met Walter and the rest of the crew at the gate. I was the only one of the group who had previously skied Utah so, naturally, everyone started to ask me questions.

What's the snow like?

What happened to that skier in the avalanche last week?

How big is the mountain?

What about Alta? (Alta is for skiers :) )

After answering all these questions and more, I was dubbed the "expert skier," much to my chagrin.

We landed in SLC and hooked up with Canyon transport for the ride to Snowbird. Our driver was really cool. My only question to him was about the roads. They are notoriously dangerous and often closed. He assured me we were all good on that front so we headed out.

We made a pit stop at the grocery store at the base of the canyon. Jodi and I loaded up on trail mix, cheese, crackers, and my favorite, yogurt.

When we got to Snowbird, we checked in to the Cliff Lodge. This place is tight! Right on the mountain, you can ski in and out of the Cliff via the Chickadee slope or the Cliff Access run. We got a crappy room on the 6th floor with two queens. Unacceptable. I went to the front desk and upgraded to a King on the 9th floor with access to the Cliff Spa. Nice!

Day One:

I took Jodi down to Cliff Sports to rent some skis. She got Dynastar Legends 165s which were perfect for the pow pow in store. We headed out to the Chickadee slope with Andrew, also on Legends. I could hardly wait. As I clicked in, I started whooping and hollering. Jodi and Andrew were a bit slow and I couldn't wait any longer for the first turns of the season. We did a few laps on Chickadee then took the plunge and hit the tram.

We took the tram to the top and it was a mad house. The wind was howling and snow was blowing everywhere. I took a few minutes next to the ski patrol shack to hang out with the recscue dogs and ski patrol. We needed to get moving or get blown off the mountain!

It was a bit dicey coming down Chip's Run. I needed to do some cajoling to get Jodi down the mountain. In retrospect, maybe the tram wasn't the best place to start out. However, the mountain is pretty difficult to navigate and I only learned later how to get to easier lifts from the Cliff.

The lowlight of the day was getting mowed down from behind by an out of control snowboarder.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. We hit Gadzoom, Gad 2 and then headed back in. All in all, it was a great first day of the season.

Day 2:

Jodi went in for a lesson and Walter and I ripped it off of Peruvian. Tons of snow, maybe 12" overnight plus some nice ungroomed all over the mountain. It was a blast. My legs were feeling it for sure. We met up with Jodi at the Mid Gad lift and shortly thereafter. Jodi and I headed to Gad2 when I decided to hit up Little Cloud.

As I ascended the mountain on the Little Cloud lift, things got progressively more hairy. The wind was whipping around and snow was poudning my face. My gloves were frozen, my face bright red, and my jacked stuck to the lift. When I got off the lift, it was an absolute white out. I couldn't see two feet in front of me. There were a group of 4 skiers hanging out ther and I shouted "I'm following you guys, I have no idea where I am going." That plan didn't work out too well as two of the four guys were clearly outmatched by the conditions. Only one skier and I went down the slope right away. He was okay but kept stopping. As I didn't want to go alone into the abyss I stopped too. At one point, the wind was blowing so hard the snow was whipping by me at over 40 mph. I was stopped but had the feeling of moving due to the snow drift. That really freaked me out. I eventually got to a bit lower elevation and regained some visibility. I was frozen through and kept turning all the way down to the base of Gad 2.

When I met Jodi near the Gad 2 lift, I let out a shreik. She says: "I've never heard your voice so high." I was pretty shaken up but was good for a few more laps. We hit the Bass Highway and called it good.

Day 3:

We started out at Baby Thunder lift. There was tons of fresh powder. I had some fun ripping up the ungroomed sides of the runs. There was one whole run that was untouched. That is utill I got there.

We hit some more laps off of Gad 2. There was pleanty of freshies to be had in between the zig-zagging Bananas run. I had some mogul action, a brief encounter with some rocks, and I was all good.

Day 4:

Our last day was also really fun. We got out for first chair on Wilbere and hit up the Baby Thunder area again. They had come through and groomed most of the runs which made it more fun for the beginners. I ripped it up under the chair and got some more fresh tracks. We went to Gadzoom and it was still pretty windy. We hit up Wilbere lift and then headed in to turn in Jodi's skis and have lunch. The whole Bay Area crew was there at the Cliff getting lunch. We headed back to SLC airport and flew back to Oakland on Christmas Eve in time to wrap presents and sack out.

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Powder Stash

Powder Stash
Originally uploaded by dmourati
Volkl Mantra 184s eat powder for breakfast.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wasatch Mountains on a Clear Day

View from Gad Valley at Snowbird. Shot while skiing on Christmas Eve 2008.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Originally uploaded by dmourati
First tracks on Blue Belle off of the Baby Thunder Lift. DEEP Pow, maybe 3 feet. I have no idea how noone beat me to it. Those tracks to the left are mine from the previous run.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Praying for Snow and Getting It

Olli throws down in front of the Gad 2 lift.

I saw Olli getting suited up in a neon green boarder outfit. I figured he would look good in front of the brownish wall in the background. He agreed to get me take the photo. He didn't like his pose in the first one so wanted to really throw down for this one.

Check out the snow!

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Sunday, December 21, 2008


Originally uploaded by dmourati

Handheld at dawn out the room of my hotel.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Making a List

Making a List
Originally uploaded by dmourati
Checking it Twice

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Hip Hop Lego Style

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Junior Meteorolgist in Training

This time of year, I put on my weatherman hat and turn into a junior meteorologist. I can tell you how the wind is blowing at Squaw, or how much powder fell at Alta. I'm talking about skiing. It is my winter passion and I am absolutely licking my chops.

I've scheduled a ski trip to Utah for December 20-24th. I've been there before, and I loved it.

The snow is already in good shape at Snowbird, with a 32" base. They got 8" earlier this week and another 1-2 feet are on the way.

Perhaps more impressive is the storm heading for Tahoe right now. My sources predict 3+ feet of snow in Tahoe between now and Tuesday.

If you are looking for snow information, specifically Tahoe for the rest of the season, or SLC for the next week, stay tuned!

Additional Sources:
Best for predictions What's fallen as of this morning Up to date snowfall including today

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Adidas

My Adidas
Originally uploaded by dmourati
Man, I love these shoes. I bought them at some funky soccer shop in Chicago circa 2000. They're still kickin'

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Indoor Soccer Starts Again

Tonight I play my first indoor soccer game in over 5 years. I found a league at Off the Wall Soccer in Santa Clara, CA that plays Wednesday nights. My team is Balco United. I hope there is no steroid requirement before taking the field.

When I was a kid in high school, I used to play indoor at the Odeum, then run by a Greek named Tony Dallas. I would go around school during the day and recruit players at $5 each to join in to rent the field. We would show up there, 8 or 10 of us and pool our money together to pay for the field rental. I think it ran about $60 an hour. Somehow, we always wound up short but Tony would let us play anyway. I think it was in no small part because both he and my dad (and me) were Greek. Either that or he figured there was noone else there vying for time on the field. Still, we would play for two hours or more every week. It was a great time.

I'm looking forward to getting back into playing. I took a few days to get sorted out last week and played one 3v3 pickup game and then just kicked around with Jodi to get some semblance of touch back. Mostly, I'm concerned about fitness. The field is huge and it's 6v6. We may have only one or two subs which will make for a long time out on the field.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Originally uploaded by dmourati
Nathaniel, that is.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

13 Second Waterfall

13 Second Waterfall
Originally uploaded by dmourati
Experimenting with the D90 long exposure settings.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008


Originally uploaded by Seattleye
Click in to see my comments.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mystical Barrel

Mystical Barrel
Originally uploaded by dmourati
Lonely Mystical Barrel

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Hot Peppers on a Sunday Morning

Taken at the Mountain View, CA farmers market on a Sunday morning. These organic hot peppers were on display in all their colorful glory. They are jalapenos in front and perhaps scotch bonnets in the background.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Originally uploaded by dmourati
Wine Country, 10/25/2008

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Thursday, October 23, 2008


Originally uploaded by dmourati
Respect my Authority!

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Knock Knock

Who's There?
8649 8651 505 2469
OK, come on in.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Today is my 34th birthday! 2007/2008 has been fantastic. As I write this I'm recovering from an awesome kung fu workout. In addition to martial arts, skiing has been a huge part of the past year. My interest in cycling has also blossomed this year. Between June and September 2008, I participated in over 10 organized rides, including the Sequoia Century (I did 35 m), Giro Di Peninsula (70 m) and Livestrong Challenge (65 m).

While my active lifestyle has been fun, I have to say having Jodi along with me for all the above has made it great. She ripped it up at Sierra, Squaw, Northstar, and Sugar Bowl. We shopped for a bike for her in June and by the end of the month, she was riding 70 miles competitively. We formed team JD for the Livestrong challenge and tackled the Metcalf Mauler. We're still eying a century ride in 2008 though we may have to wait to 2009.

Tonight, we'll enjoy a quiet meal at home. I can't imagine a better celebration.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008

Domain Name Registration for Beginners

How to Carve out your own Little Space on the Internet. Domain name registration is the process by which you register and buy your domain name and set it up for use on the Internet. An example domain name is

Domain Name SEO | digg story

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Landing Page Design Toolbox: 100 Tools, Tips and Resources | Virtual Hosting Blog

The Landing Page Design Toolbox: 100 Tools, Tips and Resources | Virtual Hosting Blog

Posted using ShareThis

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10 Principles of the CSS Masters

When it comes to CSS, there are lots of resources and supposed "expert tips" on the web. These are from unproven, self-proclaimed "gurus" who have no street cred in the design world. While they may have valid points, how is one to know whether a CSS tip is a valid resource or just an untested hack?

read more | digg story

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30 Free High-Quality Wordpress Themes

In this article we present over 30 fresh free high-quality WordPress themes. All themes can be downloaded, customized and used for free — in personal or/and commercial projects. Please read license disclaimers carefully before using the theme in commercial projects — they can change from time to time.

read more | digg story

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

vSNAX: Free App, Good Videos

Download it from our site, vSNAX Videos.


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vSNAX Videos Features on Mac Rumors Forum

Users are discussing vSNAX Videos on the Mac Rumors Forum. We've been talking about adding a forum to the vSNAX website. The hope is that it will allow some communication between us and our users.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

ServerTweak Domains

Doing some digging around looking closely at ServerTweak's business. Here's a bunch of other domains I've been able to tie back to him through whois records, DNS server assignments, and other investigative techniques:



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Robtext Swiss Army Knife Tool

Robtex provides

swiss army knife internet tool
in the searchbox above you can search for:

* RBL checks multible RBL:s if a specific is listed (
* DNS checks detailed dns information for a hostname ( or a domain (
* IP-number checks ip number information such as dns reverse and forwards (
* C-net checks an entire c-network (24.6.175)
* whois lookup checks whois information for a domain (
* route checks a specific routed prefix ()
* AS numbers checks information on an AS-number (AS ())
* BGP announcements checks prefixes origined from a specific AS-number (AS)
* AS macros checks who belongs to an AS-macro (example: as-ams-ix-peers)
* RFC documents Request For Comments (rfc2822)

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Tip: Hiding Files Inside An Image in Linux

An image file like JPG is read from the beginning of the file and terminated with an ‘End of Image’ marker. An archive file like ZIP has their metadata stored at the end of the file. Put them together and the image will be read as a valid image file and the appended ZIP file will be read as an archive. Here is how to do it in Linux...

read more | digg story

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Netflix Glitch

On Thursday, I received a notice from Netflix apologizing for a delay in shipping me DVDs from my movie queue.

Here's the email:

We're Sorry DVD Shipments Are Delayed Netflix
Netflix Dear Demetri,

Our shipping system is unexpectedly down. We received a DVD back from you and should have shipped you a DVD, but we likely have not. Our goal is to ship DVDs as soon as possible, and we will keep you posted on the status of your DVD shipments.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. If your DVD shipment is delayed, we will be issuing a credit to your account in the next few days. You don't need to do anything. The credit will be automatically applied to your next billing statement.

Again, we apologize for the delay and thank you for your understanding. If you need further assistance, please call us at 1-888-638-3549.

-The Netflix Team

On Friday, Forbes reported Netflix resumed normal operations.

I'm off to the mailbox to check for the Wire, Season Five.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Cast of Characters in ServerTweak Saga

This whole ServerTweak situation came a head over the past 48 hours. It's time to spell out the whole cast of characters that had to get involved in this unfortunate mess.

1. Ivan Gonzalez ServerTweak
2. Ramesh, E-Unibus
3. Demetri (me)
4. CRG West (colo facility)
5. Jameson Agraz, CRG West
6. Leslie Cook, CRG West
7. Sgt Max Nobida, Milpitas Police
8. Officer A. French, Milpitas Police
9. Officer Mark Doyle, Milpitas Police
10. Niki Gonzalez ServerTweak
11. Melissa Harrison, Accounts Receivable, Hurricane Electric Internet Services

I want to capture this post from Ivan in case he gets smart and deletes it.

Ok, this thread is getting out of hand a bit. But a few things i have to say. I'm not going to say any names but below is the cause then action we take, normal practice to any colocation provider

All colo clients are under contract, if a client wants to leave all invoices needs to be clear and/or cancellation fee's plus release form all needs to be faxed in. If client fails to sign and/or clear his/her invoices/cancellation fee then we hold the right to remove your access.
Officer made a mistake, Chief of Milpitas knows and called me after the fact and is taking care of this mistake forcing Valley Exchange to remove servers that was under contract, this where lawyers and court system comes into play not the officers.

In this case, that's what happen. client had 7 months left and he/she open a ticket letting us know he like to remove servers and not come back. We agreed but only to pay the fee and sign the release form. Client did not like the facts, and try to bully us and Valley Exchange. Next thing i know Officers showing up at Valley Exchange demanding to remove servers. I was clear to the Officers that client is under contract and left it as is.
Make a long story short, Chief (Stevenson) Officer boss called and told me that the officers made a mistake and can not be between a business to business contract and will be calling back to get the resolve correctly.

The move from Fremont to Milpitas was done months ago not weeks or days, we did not know or the client reported that he did not want to move. Mass emails 1-2months then weeks and days *before* the move even happen, this was a plan move. If client had a problem with the move then it should of been reported sooner. Client was with us for 17 months never reported any problems until few days ago. We are sorry to see him go, but we follow the company rules and contracts.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

ServerTweak Choses Levanta (Who then Fails)

Dan Kusnetzky, writing for ZDNet, interviewed Ivan Gonzales of

One month later, Levanta Failed, and 4 months after that I beat ServerTweak.

Demetri 1, ServerTweak 0

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How I Beat a ServerTweak, a Colo Provider Trying to Hold Systems Hostage

How I beat ServerTweak

Original Post

Hi All,

Here's a tip for all of you suffering under the new ServerTweak colo at Valley Exchange, Milpitas. It goes out to any other unfortunate souls who have been bullied by this incompetent and unethical company. I want to reach out specially to anyone whose servers were moved from HE in Fremont to this Milpitas facility without their consent. It happened to a lot of us, I'm sure.

1. File a ticket servertweak. com. Ask Ivan to put you on the list for physical access to your servers. He will specify "no removal" because he thinks he is smart.

2. Wait for the confirmation to come back from him, permitting access. This shouldn't take too long.

3. Show up to the facility, sign up, and get your badge. Make sure you have a copy of your contract with Ivan from the HE Fremont location, your initial quote and a list of all your equipment with original receipts.

4. Have security escort you to his rack where he stored your equipment.

5. Remove the equipment and put it in the wheelbarrow right there

6. Call the Milpitas Police (408) 586-2400. Speak Sgt Nobida, Ofcr Doyle, or Officer French. Tell them you are at Valley Exchange, Milpitas, 1656 McCarthy Blvd and that you need a "civil standby."

7. Take the equipment outside and wait for the Police. They should be there shortly.

8. If you all do this now, you can get out of your contract with Ivan. You see, he broke his contracts with each of you by moving your equipment from HE to Valley Exchange. If you want out, now is the chance.

Any questions just ask.

And oh yea, is in possession of all the documentation for the above.



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Monday, August 11, 2008

vSNAX Videos Live One Month, Here's What Our Users Say About the Service

vSNAX Videos, the free video player app for your iPhone of iPod Touch has been live for one month.

What better way to give a glimpse to just how good this service is than straight from our users.

love it! when can I search for videos?


Very cool app you have put together. I love all of the up to date videos that are come in, and right after they actually happen. I just watched the news on the Obama cartoon and I got on here five minutes later to see find the news reel I'd just watched. Again very cool.

However I have a complaint. The volume ajuster is very weird be buggy. If u could take a look at that I would very apprecite the improvements to this awesome program.


First class job on this app. I and many will love the ability to scroll for video wile watching. This is a chanell surfer's dream come true.
Ed: Name Redacted

really cool channels but the videos always stop playing and then won't play. also can't wait for G4 tv but I hope I'll be able to view it cause of the video stopping

Email address: withheld

Hey I wanna see more music vids on here:) thank for the app

Email address: withheld
Great, great, great! Love ur app!!
Maybe a Cnet tv, maybe Comedy central adds would my you dominate!

Email address:

Spike tv is a tease.... You should have an adult channel

Hop on over to our site and download vSNAX Vidoes for yourself
. It's free, and as you can see, we read your feedback so you'll have an opportunity to help us shape this service.

What videos would you like to see for free on your iPhone?

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jQuery: The Write Less, Do More, JavaScript Library

jQuery: The Write Less, Do More, JavaScript Library

Posted using ShareThis

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iPhone 2.0 Jailbreak Apps You Can't Find in the iTunes Store

Now that jailbreak developers have had a full month to work on applications for jailbroken iPhone 2.0 users, there's a bigger selection than ever of jailbreak iPhone 2.0 software that lets you do things App Store offerings don't. Let's look at a few of the good ones.

read more | digg story

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Game developer wants to learn from pirates, asks them "why"

One independent PC game developer is inviting pirates to tell him why they pirate his (and other) games.

read more | digg story

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Insights Peek into the Minds of Google Searchers

I've been writing about Analytics, the App Store, and SEO, so here's another post in the same vein. This time I cover the new tool from Google called Google Insights.

Head over to Google Insights for Search and search for iphone apps over the past 90 days.

The graph shows a spike around the time of the launch of iPhone 3G and the App Store.

A search for vsnax turned up no results. I guess we'll just have to wait and see on that one.

Update, Andrew Chen has put up some pretty pictures showing state-by-state adoption for some well-known sites. Or, are these sites just known by Silicon Valley nerds?

Wait, does the fact that these sites are well known to me make me a Silicon Valley nerd?

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

How do You Move 1 Million iPhones

Previously I wrote about how Medialets App Store Metrics provided a valuable tool for measuring App Store success. Medialets has once again provided the industry with some useful information, this time showing graphically how you move 1 Million iPhones.

Noone would be surprised to learn the the US dominated the global uptake of 3G iPhones.

Where do you think the next 1 million iPhones will go?

Check the Techcrunch post and Medialets as well for more information.

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Great Reviews of iPhone Apps on TUAW

The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) has some great reviews of iPhone Apps. Check out their review for Bubble Level which they call "surprisingly useful."

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Monday, August 04, 2008

The New iPhone 2.0.1 Firmware Update Is Out Now

iPhone 2.0.1

Plug your iPhone into iTunes and upgrade. Not sure what all it fixes yet, but hopefully quite a bit.

read more | digg story

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App Store Statistics and vSNAX Videos

Previously, I wrote about How Startups Should Look at Analytics.

We've been tracking the downloads for vSNAX Videos closely over the past few weeks. Our ranking got as high as 32 but has since dropped back down due to placement on the App Store page. Its great to see the App Store bringing in strong revenue for some iPhone devs.

Because vSNAX Videos is a free app, this does not really apply to us. However, we are concerned with daily download totals, if not daily revenue totals. At least we don't have to share 30% of our revenues with Apple.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

50 Greatest MCs of the Last 20 Years

In his book, The Art of Emceeing, writes, "A rapper is to an emcee what an average street fighter is to a trained martial artist. They are both fighters but the degree and depth of their skill is very different." This list represents those MCs who managed to sustain our faith in hip-hop over the years. Here are the Top 50 MCs of Our Time.

read more | digg story

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Suspect in 2001 anthrax attacks kills himself - LA Times

The Justice Department was preparing to file criminal charges against Bruce E. Ivins in the anthrax mailing assaults of 2001 that killed five.

read more | digg story

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lifehacker's Top 10 Command Line Tools

It was the first way humans told computers what to do, but as graphics became increasingly important, the command line, or terminal, became an insiders' secret weapon. But with the right commands and a little bit of know-how, anyone can get things done from a text-only interface.

read more | digg story

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How Startups Should Look at Analytics

Startup companies have a ton of stuff to do. They have to build their product, test it, get it to market, and keep it running. That's just to survive.

To thrive, you need to do more. To thrive, you need to measure. You need to measure, and then you need to do something.

The question, then becomes, what do I measure?

Analytics is one term you'll hear frequently used to describe this process. Google has a whole toolset especially for measuring these analytics.

Another may be KPI, or Key Performance Indicators (Indexes).

This is a slippery slope. Once you start measuring, the tendency is to measure everything.

But, wait, I hear you say, OMG, I'm just a startup, I can't do those fancy analytics.

Andrew Chen writes in Futuristic Play that "If you're not going to do something about it, it may not be worth measuring."

I couldn't agree more.

I would go one step further and say:

If you're not going to do something different about it, it may not be worth measuring.

You see, I spend most of my days looking at measurements, reports, KPIs, but mainly graphs. Graphs do it for me.

As a visual learner, I tend to spot trends in graphs more than just looking at raw figures. Got colors? Even better. Adding more colors helps me to differentiate one data source from another.

Here are just some of the graphing and reporting tools I'm running right now and what I use them for:

Nagios, to keep track of all my systems.
Splunk, to keep track of all my logs.
Ganglia, to monitor the health of my systems.
Cacti, to watch KPIs, make bandwith graphs, monitor latency and more.
Google Analytics, to check who's hitting my sites and from where.

I'm sure there are several others, but these are the top dogs.

What are you running to keep track of your business?

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Monday, July 28, 2008

LIVESTRONG Challenge Finish Photo


Demetri crosses the finish line after the Livestrong Challenge 65 mile course. July 13, 2008

Previous Posts

LIVESTRONG Challenge in the Bag
LIVESTRONG Challenge Update

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6.9 Million Searches for the Apple iPhone

6.9 Million Searches

comScore, released a study on “iPhone”-related search terms which showed that 1.3 million people conducted 6.9 million searches for iPhone-related terms in April 2008.

That's 5.3 searches per person on average.

Google Dominates

Of the iPhone-related searches that generated click-thrus, the vast majority (88.4 percent) occurred on Google search, 33 percent higher than one would expect given Google’s share of total Internet search click-thrus.

Top Searches

Search Term Searches (000)

1. IPHONE 1,488




5. IPHONE 2.0 75

6. IPHONE 60

7. IPHONE 2 59

8. IPHONE G3 43



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Sunday, July 27, 2008

3 Steps to the iPhone Web

With the popularity of the iPhone, many sites, including Amazon and vSNAX are setting up custom sites just for the iPhone browser.

So you want see the web through the iPhone but you don't have one? No problem.

Here are some simple steps you can take to see what crafty webmasters are up to.

1. Download and install the User Agent Switcher. Restart Firefox.

2. Download and import the updated useragentswitcher.xml. Choose to override existing user agents.

3. Enable the new iPhone profile and surf to Amazon or vSNAX.

Got another site that has been optimized for the iPhone? Think this is a slippery slope? Not using Firefox? Don't understand what is going on at all?

Let me know in the comments section.

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Google Maps Walking

Google maps finally lets you walk it out. They have added a new "walking" feature to Google maps.

One step further would be to allow cycling directions. That' what Bikely aims to do. I submitted a feature request to the Google team over a year ago for that. We'll see if they have "bike it out" feature in the works.

Shouts out to Lifehacker for the image.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

vSNAX Videos Featured on Mediapost

Content Targeting

Contributing writer Steve Smith for MediaPost Publications had this to say about vSNAX Videos in his article The Ad Store:

Rhythm NewMedia, which already runs ad-supported video channels in the U.K., has far and away the most sophisticated iPhone app so far. The player window lets you browse other clips while the main clip runs dimly in background. Rhythm pulls in some of its major media partners like CBS News, Ripe TV, VH1 and Ford Models. In addition to the obvious brand extensions and branded video placements, the interface itself offers ample opportunities for pre-rolls as well as overlays. Both Pandora and vSNAX seem to understand better than some others in this catalog the fundamentals of the content business. If you create lush and appealing editorial environments, then advertisers will want to be there.

For more from Steve Smith, check out the minsider Blog.

For more about Rhythm NewMedia's vSNAX videos, visit them at


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Friday, July 25, 2008

Users OK with ads in streaming TV, not on YouTube uploads

Consumers generally welcome advertising in online video if it will stay free, but they are more receptive to ads in certain types of video than others. The latest data comes from Ipsos MediaCT's ongoing digital video study, which asked a "representative sample" of US Internet users about their online habits and preferences in February.

read more | digg story

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vSNAX Featured on Idlemode

Idlemode published a cool review of vSNAX Videos, the latest iPhone App from Rhythm Newmedia. The review, Innovative iPhone Apps: vSNAX, gave us props for great content and a "nearly seamless viewing experience."

Hey, we're getting there right?

Check out v1.1 of vSNAX videos that just hit the App Store tonight.

Let us know what you think via our feedback page.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Medialets App Store Metrics

Today a colleague forwarded me a link to medialets. Medialets is a new company focusing on iPhone Apps. They have already put together some great resources including dynamic ranking pages by category, top free, top paid, and movement within those rankings. This is much more useful that the static lists that are available in the App Store itself.

Medialets has a continuously updated version of the App Store Metrics.

Perhaps the most interesting idea I found on their site is the medialytics offering. This is an SDK one embeds with an iPhone app to capture, record, and upload events such as program starts, terminations, phone models, and more.

This type of information is not readily available and would really help most new developers get a better handle on how their apps are performing on this new platform.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Shopping Trip To the App Store For Your iPhone

Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret review several apps from the iPhone app store.

read more | digg story

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vSNAX Videos featured on

Wow, our marketing team is all over this one. Here's another great link that will bring you vSNAX Videos goodness., from CNET.

Oh, did I mention its FREE?


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vSNAX Videos Featured on appSafari

We're working hard to promote vSNAX Videos, the FREE native app for your iPhone or iPod Touch. We've just gotten word that the app is featured on appSafari!

Go to appSafari, and search for vSNAX. You'll find us there.

It would be a great help if you downloaded our app as well.

Free videos are there for the taking so go ahead and check it out.


iPhone Apps

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Thursday, July 17, 2008


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Earliest examples of emerging hip hop & graffiti in New York

Video shows vintage footage of NYC subway trains completely covered with graffiti. The photographer says: "We are in the art center of the world and we're ignoring this whole range of art". Kids: "We were not rioting - we were dancing!" (With a gun and a knife). Big media spoiled everything? Old school DJ setup. The book "Hip Hop Files".

read more | digg story

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Monday, July 14, 2008

LIVESTRONG Challenge in the Bag

Yesterday Jodi and I, Team JD, completed the LIVESTRONG San Jose Challenge 65 mile course. It was a fantastic day. Special thanks to all those who contributed to the cause! I'd also like to send a shout out to all the fantastic volunteers who made this event possible.

It was an awesome experience I will never forget.

The highlight, or should I say lowlight, of the day was definitely the climb up Metcalf road, in San Jose. I can't explain just how steep this hill really is. Here are some photos but they don't do it justice:

Photos by Keijiro. Check out his blog here:

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Splunk Testimonial

I shot this testimonial with the folks from Splunk detailing how Rhythm NewMedia has deploy the Splunk software to monitor all our servers. Check it out.

Splunk at Rhythm New Media

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I've updated my goal to $500 for the LIVESTRONG challenge in San Jose this Sunday, July 13th.

Check it:


Thanks so much to all who have supported me!

It's not to late to donate. You have until tomorrow, July 12th to make your contribution.

Updates will follow!


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Monday, July 07, 2008


Jodi and I are riding in support of the LIVESTRONG foundation this Sunday, July 13th. We're signed up to ride 65 miles to help fight cancer.

I found this article today on CNN about cancer etiquette.

You can find out more about the LIVESTRONG challenge on our team page.

Also, please check out my individual page.


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Saturday, July 05, 2008

3000 Miles and Running

On today's bike outing to the local loop, I crossed 3000 miles on my beloved Bianchi Axis. It was fitting to cross the 3k mark in front of a local landmark, known simply as "The Dish."

I also crossed off another goal, 100 miles per week. So, two milestones down. Let's see what the next 1k has in store.

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Monday, June 30, 2008

2008 Giro di Peninsula

On Saturday I completed the 2008 Giro di Peninsula. I chose the 35k (22 miles) route which took us up to Crystal Springs Resevoir. After the ride, we had a pasta lunch and then rode 25 miles home from San Mateo to Mountain View along Alameda de Las Pulgas. All told, the ride clocked in at just under 50 miles.

After the ride, we went to Village Pub to celebrate.

I did the same ride last year, check out that shot:


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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008


I'm sitting in the Pittsburgh airport waiting for some friends to arrive from Chicago. As I peruse the RSS feeds on Google Reader I come a cross a post by Matt Assay confirming the open source release of Red Hat Network, codename Spacewalk.

I've been a RHN customer for most of my professional career. I helped bring Satellite Server, Red Hat's flagship system management platform to my past employer where we leveraged the software to great success.

At my new gig, we are running an open source derivative distro of Red Hat called CentOS. One of the major features lacking with this approach has been the abillity to manage updates and patches for a large number of distributed systems. Spacewalk fills that void.

I'm excited to start playing with this new software and using it to better maintain our existing infrastructure. I was also pleasantly surprised to see a related project, cobbler, mentioned as the first integration point in Red Hat's rollout of the new platform. We've been using cobbler to manage our system deployments for the past year or so and I'm active on the mailing list for that project. When two software projects dovetail together so nicely, it makes the job of any architect much easier.

Hat's off to Red Hat for finally getting around to releasing Spacewalk in open source. I have some work to do, but it will be both fun and familiar.

Here come my boys, gotta go.


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Monday, June 16, 2008

iPhone Economy: Application developers swarm to iPhone

Can someone explain how so many developers are going to make money exactly? Or is this a typical herd effect that won't benefit anyone but Apple?

read more | digg story

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17 Reasons Bicycles Are Most Popular Vehicle in the World

This week, EcoWorldly authors from six continents contributed articles on bicycling in their country. With exerpts from those articles and others in the blogosphere, here are seventeen very good reasons to bicycle no matter where you live. Click the headings as you go to read more.

read more | digg story

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Know How

Dressed in yellow
She says hello
Come sit next to me
you fine fellow

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

No Signs of Intelligent life on Earth, Says Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking opens up to Discovery News correspondent Irene Klotz. In this fascinating question and answer period Stephen Hawking says the human race has no future if we don't go into space and he hopes there is intelligent life somewhere in the universe because there are no signs of it here on earth

read more | digg story

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Tour de Cure Pre Ride Report

Thanks to all my friends and family who have generously donated to the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure. The ride is tomorrow morning and I'm happy to report that we've raised over $500 this week to help find a cure for Diabetes!

Today, we did a training ride of just over 10 miles to get prepped. My legs feel good and ready to tackle Alpine Road tomorrow on the climb.

I'll put up a photo of my ride as soon as I get it.

There is still time to donate! If you would be so kind, please follow this link to my Tour de Cure Page. Your donation will go directly to the ADA and will help find a cure to this deadly disease.

You may continue to make contributions up to one month after the ride.


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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

New Tires and Tubes

I decided to upgrade my bike by adding new tires. The bike came stock with cyclocross tires which are 35 mm in width and have quite a tread on them. To replace the stock tires, I chose Schwalbe Stelvio tires which are just 23 mm in width and with no tread.

To accommodate the slimmer tires, I also upgraded the inner tubes. For tubes, I chose Qtubes 700cx18-23 mm with a 48mm presta valve.

A quick test ride up the block and back revealed what you might suspect, the bike is faster! This is good news for me as I've been riding with the clunker tires since I got the bike. I'll take a longer ride on Saturday or perhaps Friday and see what my average speeds look like before and after the switch.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tour de Cure

Help fight diabetes by supporting my ride this Sunday 6/8. I will be riding 75k or just over 45 miles for a ride put on by the American Diabetes Association.

You can pledge your support on my Tour de Cure site here:

Demetri's Tour de Cure Page

Tune in here for more details.


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Sequoia Century 50k in the Bag

Sunday I rode the Sequoia Century 50k ride. I started around 10 AM from the VA in Palo Alto and finished there at around 12:45. It was a fairly easy ride with just one climb up to the Alpine Rd/Portola Rd intersection. From there, a nice descent to Redwood City and then back through residential streets to the start.

Next week: Tour de Cure!

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sequoia Century

Today I helped register people for the Sequoia Century ride put on by Western Wheelers. Tomorrow, I do the ride.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Luck (PIC)

Ok, so now how do we get out of here?

read more | digg story

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Where Da Cash At

In the business world, the applications are more grown-up and mission-critical. One example is churn prediction - i.e. finding out if a (say, wireless) customer would stay loyal with the current provider, or move on ("churn") to competitor (in which case, the current provider could try to entice him/her to stay with appropriate promos). The customer data used for such churn prediction applications contains categorical (e.g. gender, education, occupation) and numerical (e.g. age, salary, fico score, distance of residence from a metro) attributes/columns in a table. The data in these numeric columns will be widely dispersed, across different scales. For e.g. values within salary can be from 10s of thousands to several millions. Two numerical attributes will be in different scales - example salary (30K - 2 mil) vs age (1-100). Such disparity in scales, if left untreated, can throw most mining algorithms out of whack - the attributes with higher range of values will start outweighing those in the lower range during the computation of prediction. For such algorithms, the numerical data is normalized to a smaller range [-1, 1] or [0, 1] using the z-transform, to enable uniform handling of numerical data by the algorithm.

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