October 22nd, 2009
Let’s hope Windows 7 will be less of a disappointment than Vista back in the day. So far the press echos seem to be really favorable. Either way, it seems Microsoft is going with a more hip branding campaign for this launch.
August 22nd, 2009
Next up is a HD video of one of Tokyo’s best known street crossings in the Shibuya ward just off the Shibuya station on a Tuesday evening.
August 22nd, 2009
I just got back from my awesome Asia vacation, seeing the impressing cities of Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo.
More to come, but I thought I’d start it off with a panorama shot taken from Hong Kong’s Victoria peak.
July 13th, 2009
I had a few days to think about wether I should write this post or not. But it seems people have noticed my absence. or chose to write a similar post before me.
So with this I would like to dedicate the post to the awesome people I had the chance to work with at MySpace.
As we all know, all good things come to and end eventually and thus it’s time for me to say good-bye. A move to the Bay Area will be next for me in a month or two. And from there? We’ll see.
To reminiscence a little: I really had an awesome time with all of you there!
In the last year we had a phenomenal turn-out of new products, gaining and satisfying literally tens of millions of new and existing users and changing the mobile landscape together with our tremendous set of partners from Microsoft to RIM, from AT&T to T-Mobile, from Google to Shazam. I’m proud to have been able to work with a tremendously dedicated and passionate group of people, which I am happy to call friends now.
With our nimble mobile team, we were able to achieve a great set of product launches, including among many others:
- Mobile WebNext, one of the world’s most advance mobile websites for WebKit browsers
- a whole new m.myspace.com, with enhanced graphical abilities and new feature sets and tremendous performance and uptime improvements leading to tremendous usage growth.
- a unified new look and user interface to make users feel home on multiple platforms
- a revamped SMS status product
- photo uploads via eMail, MMS, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Sidekick and more. Today a very large percentage of photo uploads to MySpace come from mobile.
- the first social networking application on Android, gaining the number two download spot on the Android Market
- the fastest downloaded application on RIM BlackBerry devices
- numerous new releases and feature updates for the Apple iPhone app, Sidekick, Nokia devices and more.
One thing we should not forget is the tremendous scale at which the team worked. Every little piece of code literally has an impact on millions of people. This I think should humble us all. Farewell friends and best of luck!
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:
May 19th, 2009
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.
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…
April 11th, 2009
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.
April 10th, 2009
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.
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.