Hong Kong – Victoria Peak

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.

More pictures can be seen on my Photo Albums page – including slideshows. Larger version here.

I found this fun mashup by DJ Morgoth – a mashup creator and DJ based in Germany and a video by thriftshopxl on Youtube. Enjoy!

Good-bye MySpacers

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!

LA fires

July 8th, 2009

So I guess this is the first fire of the season here in LA.
I just drove by on Sunset Blvd, crossing the 405 to see that the police has started blocking off all traffic going onto 405 N. Turns out that the hills behind the Getty Center are on fire. Yellow clouds could been seen from afar.


Last year we had a terrible season of fires here. In fact, one day I was coming out of a dinner in Beverly Hills – when all I could see was… the air! A very strong yellow-orange tint could be seen all the way to ground level, combined with an odor of BBQ. Really weird.

LA alright…

June 19th, 2009

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!