Facebook user names

June 12th, 2009

Today at 9:01pm PT Facebook opened up their signup for usernames. In good old MySpace style, people can now access Facebook profile pages by going to a facebook.com/name.

As one can imagine, the rush to get one was crazy. At first I tried to get my well-known and long-lasting standard username ‘ulfw’, which I tend to use as much as I can. My car’s number plate says it, my yahoo and aol accounts are ulf and even my URL as you all know is ulfw.com
Sadely Facebook permits 5+ character names only (like Google). So instead of going with something like ‘ulfmw’ or ‘uwaschbusch’ I opted to go with something different this time and made my profession the user name.

You can now find me on http://facebook.com/productmanager

Here are a few other funny ones:

Last week I visited Google’s 2nd i/o developer conference in San Francisco’s Moscone West center. As part of our presence there, we actually had the nice opportunity to demonstrate MySpace Mobile to the Android and Google developer community with our own stand for both days in the developer Sandbox section. Here is a short video that Google filmed while we were there.
Now I have to preface some of the awkwardness you’ll see by saying:
– we only had one microphone to share. Thus I was told to be as close as possible to Scott and Matt in order for their voice to be picked up by the mic
– the interviewer was standing left of us outside the video frame when she asked us the questions
– we were told not to look at her and to repeat the question, as the question will be cut out (which apparently didn’t happen. So Scott’s and my funny faces are actually on the video, which gives it a certain charm I think ;)).
Anyways – without further ado. Here you go:

Yesterday I watched the newest Star Trek movie. And I have to say – I loved it! The actors are great, the action was awesome, the story was good. Even the JJ Abrams lens flares rocked! 😉

In unrelated news. I am scared. We just had a 5.0 earthquake literally less than a handful of miles of my apartment. Everything and everyone’s alright, but I got pretty shaken.

PS: Several aftershocks after the quake. Today we had a 4.0 while I was at work. This one felt more like a fighter jet going supersonic rather than an earthquake. I am getting worried about the amount of them lately. I had nothing like that in San Francisco. 🙁

Congrats Wolfram on launching Wolfram Alpha!

Might still have to work a little on your results though, no?

When browsing around today, we ended up looking up basic human anatomy. Hilarity ensued when we got this result back for the query ‘average woman‘:

Ouch…

Super slo-mo HD surfer

May 7th, 2009

I am not much of a surfer dooood. Unlike everyone else in this city of Angeles it appears. Anyhow – forget that. Just check out this trailer video from the BBC in HD glory. It’s be-au-ti-ful!

Now these are actually pretty cool geeky ads (for a change). Creatively well done by intel and their ad agency.

Stanford Love

April 18th, 2009

I miss Stanford. A lot. I miss the great friends I made, the great experiences I had, the fun, the excitement, the frustrations, the laughter, the late night study sessions, the abundance of brilliance, the palm trees. Everything. It’s one of the great places to be or have been at.
Stanford now has a twitter channel. So when I expressed my joy of seeing Stanford on twitter, someone was friendly enough to write me back from the Stanford account, welcoming me home. Aww I hope I can visit again soon. And god knows – maybe even share my knowledge and teach or guest lecture there at some point. One can dream…

Music makes the body move

April 11th, 2009

Crazy LA…
Saw these couple of guys and gals randomly dancing in a side street in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA. Why they’d dance like this in front of a Buddhist temple is beyond me, but hey – why not…


Filmed with my new Canon SD780 in 720p HD.

Wayback Machine

April 10th, 2009

The Wayback machine project is awesome. I was lucky to have my website featured and cached in the Internet Archive, a non-profit organization, since 1999. waschbusch.com started in 1995 (see History) btw.
Anyhow, check out old episodes of times way past here.

Trapped in LA

April 10th, 2009

LA traffic sucks. There I said it.

Los Angeles is a strange town. Having lived more than five years in the Bay Area and only about 10 months in LA, I might still have a jaded view of NorCal vs. SoCal. But one thing is clear: Los Angeles is not a city. It’s a conglomerate of small communities that pretty much only function on their own.
If you live in Santa Monica, best to have your friends, shop, go out to eat and do business in Santa Monica. If you live in Beverly Hills, best to have friends around there. God forbid you live outside of central LA, say in Pasadena or down south in the OC.

Here is a prime example of what I’m talking about. A random shot of Google Maps on my iPhone, taken at the same time. Left is the peninsula of the San Francisco Bay Area (where I used to live) and on the right is West LA (with the blue dot marking my current location).

Now in San Fran, my options to get from place to place are almost endless. If I live in SF and want to go south to see friends in the valley – let’s hit 280 and I covered the 50 miles in 45 mins. And vice versa.
In LA, the story changes. When you check the map, you’ll notice I really only have one option: go west on the 10 to Santa Monica, i.e. go home. That’s all. If I want to go to the valley (the San Fernando one), I’d be stuck in south-north traffic. If I’d want to hit downtown to see a show, I’d be stuck in bad west-east traffic. If I’d want to visit friends in Orange County, god forbid I’d be stuck forever in north-south traffic.
The map only shows part of the story. When you zoom out you’ll see lots of more red and even black (stand still) traffic.
Now I don’t want to use this post for random ranting. It’s actually not even about what is better or worse. There actually is an interesting social difference I have noticed between those two places. In the Bay Area, it was never really an issue where people lived. You can pretty safely guesstimate how long it would take each other to meet and just plan accordingly. In LA, it’s more like – OMG you live 20 miles away? Er… I think I’m busy or… Maybe let’s meet later in the evening (i.e. when the roads are free). This seems to lead to smaller communities who are much more focused on themselves than the interconnected communities in the Bay Area seem to be.
Interesting stuff…

Update: Here’s some statistical data to back up my case. Study: Los Angeles has worst, most costly traffic jams and the mobility data report for Los Angeles. The Los Angeles area topped a study looking at urban traffic congestion, saying that area motorists spent 485 million hours idling in traffic delays in 2007, which was the most in the nation. The delays also caused area motorists to use up 367 million more gallons of fuel in 2007 than they would have if it were not for traffic delays. Overall, traffic congestion in the area cost an estimated $10.3 billion in 2007, again, ranking number one amongst all areas.