anthonybaxter: (Default)
Go see Slumdog Millionaire. I've liked pretty much all of Danny Boyle's movies so far, but this one is so far ahead of the rest it's not funny. Trailer is here and although it contains no real spoilers, I had even more fun walking in knowing almost nothing other that it was
a) Danny Boyle
b) set in Indian, with Indian stars
c) fucking good.

All of these things are true.

And stay for the closing credits. They got a second round of applause from the audience at the preview tonight.
anthonybaxter: (Default)
btw, if you're not watching Leverage yet, you're missing out on some of the finest heist/caper stories you'll ever see.

Yaaaaaay!

Dec. 9th, 2008 12:10 pm
anthonybaxter: (Default)
My original project at google is finally launched:

http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/new-in-labs-tasks.html

[update: to make it clear - this is not "my" project in the sense of creating it, others did that. I only worked on it when I started at Google. A bunch of people worked on it, I was merely one of a team of trained monkeys getting it done.]
anthonybaxter: (Default)
So a while back, OSDC contacted me and asked me to do the conference dinner talk. I went "sure" (because, you know, inability to say no + standing in front of an audience talking shit = gold).

Last week, I realised "wow. I really should think about something to talk about". It gets to Wednesday last week, a week before the dinner. Hm, what have I done that a) I can talk about b) would be suitable for a half-pissed audience of geeks. Nothing comes to mind. Through a rigorous process of

* screaming
* pounding my head on the desk
* wondering if I "accidentally" got hit by a bus, I could get out of it

I realised something. What do I do well? Hm, coding, yes, but nothing obvious there. Hating and snarking, hmmmm. There's something there, I'm sure. Then I recalled some of the utter crap I've seen on the internet with reference to internet businesses and the like. Ok, fine. So, tentative talk title number 1: "A Tale Told By An Idiot of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing" is replaced (ala Friends) with talk title number 2: "The One With Anthony Being Mean To Marketing People". (note: I don't think I ever made it through a full episode of Friends, but I liked the utter laziness they brought to their episode naming).

Ok. So I have a vague idea of what I'm going to talk about. Spent Thursday thinking of things to hate. The weekend comes, I'm down in Melbourne for the recent wedding, plus various birthday related things and socialness and whatnot - really didn't feel like working on it. Gets to Monday. Still have no structure, have a bunch of jokes about various things. Spend 2 hours scanning through the last 6 months of techcrunch, looking for buzzwords to hate on. Lose will to live. Still have no structure. Whine over IM to Nat Torkington that all I have is a collection of hate, not sure I have a talk here. His response, and I quote here:

"are you mad? it's easiest to be funny when you're full of hate."

followed by:

"have you figured the organising principle for your talk?
e.g., chronological, n thematic areas, or even alphabetical. hmm, one for each letter of the alphabet ...."

And suddenly, it all clicks. New (and final) talk title number 3: "The One With Anthony Being Mean To Marketing People, in Alphabetical Order."

Rocking. Can start really churning now. Of course, various friends received IMs over the last few days of the form "can you think of an Internet business trend or buzzword starting with P that is really crap?" which I'm sure has been confusing for them. Still, I'm getting there. Have most letters worked out, have slides on the way (People who have seen my talks know that I loves me some cheap jokes using all the technology on my laptop that I can).

Hits Tuesday night, night before conference proper starts. In pub with one of the organisers. "Have you looked at the venue for the dinner? I'm not sure there's a way to display slides there."

Ooooo-kay.

Sit for a bit, cursing life in head. Wonder again about bus accidents. Have brilliant plan.

All through the conference rooms, I had noticed those tripods with big pads of butcher's paper attached (the ones where can scribble on them, you flip the page over the back and keep writing). Oh yes, oh yes. I can go somewhere with this.

Today arrives. "Oh, we should have a projector sorted out, will find out what's going on".

"Actually, don't bother. I have another plan".

I steal the two with the largest pads of paper out of conference rooms and a bunch of large pens, sneak away into the dinner venue, and copy slides to pages. It turns out that drawing a lolcat when you have no artistic skill whatsoever is kinda hard. As is the O RLY owl. Also, I have the handwriting of a natural typist.

I presented my little alphabet of hate to a half-drunk audience of geeks, and it seems to have worked. Hurrah! It was full of cheap jokes and stupid references. I got through two full tripods full of paper. Probably the slowest rate I've ever gotten through slides in years - the fun drops when you have to hand write every slide in giant letters.
anthonybaxter: (Default)
sorry about the late notice - busy busy busy. Anyway, I'm in Melbourne this weekend for B and Rob's wedding, so I figured what with my birthday on Thursday, I'd have some drinks on Friday evening. Say, starting from around 6-ish, at Pause in Balaclava? map here. It's just near Balaclava Station, for those on PT.

Hope to see some of you there!

geeking

Nov. 24th, 2008 11:39 pm
anthonybaxter: (Default)
OMG 30 Rock and Steve Martin? Hold me now.
anthonybaxter: (Default)
Town Name Most Likely To Inspire Giggling Like A 12 Year Old Boy: here.
anthonybaxter: (Default)
(via ML at work)
anthonybaxter: (Default)
"My friend, you brought a spoon to a spork fight"

John Stewart and Stephen Colbert covering election night. Ooooh yeah.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/index.jhtml?episodeId=209493
anthonybaxter: (Default)
HAHAHAHAHA SUCK IT, REPUBLICANS.

Also, Dear Onion. Please do not jinx the next 8 years. The day Bush was inaugurated, their headline was "Our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is over". Please don't do that again.

mo mo

Nov. 4th, 2008 02:06 pm
anthonybaxter: (Default)
So I've decided what the heck, do the movember thing. Prepare to be scared. Yes, there will be photos. If you care to help out, go here. Moneys go to depression awareness and prostate cancer.

Current plan is to go the full jethro mo.
anthonybaxter: (Default)
Charles sent me this:

Young Chuck moved to Texas and bought a donkey from a farmer for $100.
The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.
The next day he drove up and said, "Sorry son, but I have some bad news, the donkey died."
Chuck replied, "Well, then just give me my money back."
The farmer said, "Can't do that. I went and spent it already."
Chuck said, "O.K., then, just bring me the dead donkey."
The farmer asked, "What ya gonna do with him?"
Chuck said, "I'm going to raffle him off."
The farmer said, "You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"
Chuck said, "Sure I can Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he's dead."
A month later, the farmer met up with Chuck and asked, "What happened with that dead donkey?"
Chuck said, "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at $2 apiece and made a profit of $998."
The farmer said, "Didn't anyone complain?"
Chuck said, "Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back."
Chuck now works for Goldman Sachs.
anthonybaxter: (Default)
With less than a week to go, can I just say:

anthonybaxter: (Default)
As far as performance goes, Sinofsky isn’t willing to offer any hard benchmarks, but he claims Windows 7 shows an across-the-board performance boost over Vista. In fact, Sinofsky demoed the OS using a netbook with a 1-GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM. After booting it, half the machine’s RAM was still available.

What, so it only needs half a gig of RAM to boot? Gosh. That's so impressive. *golfclaps*

In more uplifting news, check out these photos.

Finally: Izzard, Lego and Star Wars. Really, what else do you need?.
anthonybaxter: (Default)
HBO series "True Blood". Awesome vampire fun, from the creator of Six Feet Under. Gotta love some New Orleans vampire fun. And yes, you can call the Ken rule on me now.
anthonybaxter: (Default)
Unlike most cases, the US remake of Life on Mars is actually pretty damn fine. Plus, ooo, Harvey Keitel.
anthonybaxter: (Default)

It is perhaps the last great Antarctic expedition - to find an explanation for why there is a great mountain range buried under the White Continent.

The Gamburtsevs match the Alps in scale but no-one has ever seen them because they are covered by up to 4km of ice.

Geologists struggle to understand how such a massif could have formed and persisted in the middle of Antarctica.

Now, an international team is setting out on a deep-field survey to try to get some answers.

...

"This region is a complete enigma. It's in the middle of the continent. Most mountain ranges are on the edges of continents, and we really can't understand what these mountains are doing in the centre."
BBC News

I'm sure this will go well
anthonybaxter: (Default)
This American Life follows up on their previous amazing piece on the subprime mess with another piece, called "Another Frightening Show About The Economy". If you're wondering "how screwed are we?" this is the show for you. Spoiler warning: Very, very screwed. You really want to spend an hour listening to this.

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