Ice on Mars, Found on Twitter?

Very, very strange to see breaking news come through Twitter.

But the Mars Phoenix mission actually has its own twitter feed:


And as the LAist reported just a few hours ago, there was an exciting tweet just 3 hours ago:

Are you ready to celebrate? Well, get ready: We have ICE!!!!! Yes, ICE, *WATER ICE* on Mars! w00t!!! Best day ever!!

I am, in fact, ready to party over this news. Check out more info at the official NASA website.

I feel like I need to have separate aggregations in Twitter now – the streams from friends, the streams from columnists/bloggers, and news/event streams.  I have a hard time seeing a solution other than multiple aggregated lists… How can I see a tweet from a friend, a tweet from Barrack Obama, and a tweet from the Mars Phoenix team and expect anything but a jumble?

LinkedIn and the Three Bears

Alright, alright.  I know I’m not supposed to be posting about LinkedIn on my personal blog.  But sometimes, the news is really big, and worth sharing with friends & family who read this blog.

So, before you read it in tomorrow’s newspapers, you might want to catch the blog post by Dan Nye, our CEO, on the LinkedIn official blog.  Dan did a great job with the intro:

One of our fundamental beliefs at LinkedIn is that the company you keep is one of the most credible reflections of who you are and what you have to offer.

Like individuals, successful companies are also built on strong networks of relationships, and LinkedIn continually strives to create the right partnerships to help us build a great service for our members, and advance our business.

Today I am happy to announce that LinkedIn has raised additional funding from our original investors and added another world-class investor to our team. Bain Capital Ventures joins our existing group of investors – Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and Bessemer Ventures – and leads this round of investment at a total of $53 million.* (LinkedIn has previously raised $27 million).

The (*) is the footnote that the investment implicitly values the company at over $1 Billion in total.

As a result, there is a lot of press already published, and a lot more to come I expect.  Reading through comments already in the blogosphere, I’m definitely seeing a “Goldilocks” theme to the comments:

  • This bear thinks the price is too high
  • This bear thinks the price is too low
  • This bear thinks the price is *just* right

But I think Dan’s post reflects the true issue with an investment like this – we have a great new partner joining the LinkedIn team who believes in the vision and the value we are creating with the company and its products and services.  More importantly, it’s a reminder that investors are placing millions of dollars in trust with the LinkedIn team to fulfill this vision, and create a business of extraordinary value.  Our users also invest in us every single day with their time, their effort, their passion, and their careers.

So, I’m going to bow out of any debate on valuation, and focus on the real challenges ahead.  I’m hoping that our actions and efforts in the coming months and years will speak louder than words (or numbers, in this case).

Let me leave you with some thoughts on LinkedIn from our investors:

Who is the LinkedIn Gorilla?

The new LinkedIn Company Store is now online, with all new photos and products.

LinkedIn Company Store

I am a sucker for LinkedIn s.w.a.g. (Silicon Valley-speak for “Stuff We All Get”, typically company logo merchandise). So I love the store.

One of the cool features of the store is that all of the people in it are actual LinkedIn employees… in fact, many of the homepage stars (Kate, Chris, Steve) are actually on my team.

Buried in the FAQ, however, there is this gem of a photo. The LinkedIn Gorilla, modeling the new light blue LinkedIn T-Shirt:

LinkedIn Gorilla

With the last launch, I posted the picture of me at the Company Store. Digging through this version, however, you might be wondering where I am.

The answer can be found on Youtube…

The things I do to help support LinkedIn. Apparently everyone liked the Halloween costume so much that it deserved an encore performance.

Special thanks to Mario Sundar, chief blogger-in-residence and giggling voice in the background, for capturing this photo shoot on video.

Father’s Day 2008

Another wonderful Father’s Day this year.  Simple pleasures.  We did manage to make it out to the mall for some updated photos of the family.  Here are some shots that capture a bit of Father’s Day 2008 for me.

Here is a particularly funny shot, that I didn’t even realize was funny until we saw the photos.  What can I say, it was a Zoolander moment…

Adam Nash: Gentleman, Internet Tactician

Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for that title. 🙂

My friend & resident blogger at LinkedIn, Mario Sundar, found this follow-up post to a comment I left on one of the “live-blog” write-ups on my Graphing Social Patterns East keynote yesterday.  In the write-up, Craig (the author) had left a slightly snarky response to an answer I had given during Q&A.  I posted a quick comment to help clarify the issue, and to express my honest thanks for the live-blog synopsis.  As you can tell from the title, Craig liked the response:

Worth noting here is how Adam–in a way befitting the professionally oriented nature of his enterprise–responded so perfectly to my intemperate post. He started with a compliment and shifted into a clarification that reframed [and corrected] what I’d written. He ended with another compliment.

This is a near-perfect display of best practices when responding to a negative post: Remain calm and respectful, do nothing to escalate a the exchange, clarify the point, keep it short. He comes off looking good, representing himself and his company very well.

I’m really glad Craig wrote this post, because it’s a topic I’m fairly passionate about.  (Plus, he gave me the title for this blog post.)  I honestly believe that the way employees behave and communicate with the outside world is part of the brand and part of the connection that a company has with it’s customers, followers, and even detractors.  More importantly, when you help participate and encourage friendly discussion, it helps you remember that we’re all just people – people with opinions, sure, but real human beings.

It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget sometimes when you get caught up in theoretical and emotional arguments in email, groups, and blogs.

The truth of the matter is, I was really grateful to all the people who captured content from the conference.  I’ll be posting a more official summary of the material tomorrow on the LinkedIn official blog.  For tonight, here are some snippets that might entertain my family & friends who read this one.

First, here are the three live-blogs of the keynote I gave, called “LinkedIn: The Business Social Network“:

The last one is where I left the original comment that Craig was responding to.

Here are some Flickr images, courtesy of James Duncan Davidson:

This is from the keynote in the morning.

These three were from a really fun panel called “The NEED for FEEDS” that we did in the afternoon.

Anyway, while it’s good to be home, I had a lot of fun participating in GSP East 2008, and I learned a lot from the conversations I had with different people there.  We’re in such early stages of people figuring out the social internet, it’s wonderful to be a part of it all.

And Craig, just in case you read this, you should know that our Director of Communications at LinkedIn thinks I should add your article (and title) to my LinkedIn profile permanently. 🙂   Hopefully, we’ll get to chat live in the future sometime.

Dan Nye on Fox Business this Morning (LinkedIN)

Catch it here if you haven’t seen it:

Dan Nye, CEO LinkedIn, on Fox Business this morning.

I’d embed the video, but I don’t think WordPress supports this video type (yet).

Of course, as the product guy, I’m one of the few who notices that they used old screenshots from last year… 🙂 But it was a great interview, and great coverage of LinkedIn.

Update: Here is the post on the official LinkedIn blog.

Keynote @ Graphing Social Patterns East 2008

Just putting the finishing touches on my slides for the keynote tomorrow at the O’Reilly Graphing Social Patterns East conference in Washington, D.C.

Blog post about the schedule is on the official LinkedIn blog.  My speaker profile is up on the conference website.

Extremely excited to be here… many thanks to Dave McClure for the arrangements.  If you are in the area, the LinkedIn blog has a code for a 20% discount.

The Last Cylon is Hungry for Redemption…

Great comment on my original Battlestar Galactica post, from rebelsnoopy:

rebelsnoopy, on June 7th, 2008 at 1:52 am Said:

From reading peoples theories about who the last Cylon is. People always assume that whomever it is will suffer while they are seeking redemption.

Hybrid prophecy/Razor: “And the fifth, though still in the shadow yet clawing for the light, hungry for redemption, that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering”

I suggest that the last cylon wont suffer.

But that someone else in the fleet, and I really think the people in the fleet will suffer. There will be another terrible tragedy and this last Cylon will do something incredible to save the Colonial fleet. Therefore redeeming him/herself.

That is exactly right.

The last cylon isn’t hungry for redemption for something they did wrong… they are hungry for redemption for what the Cylons did by committing genocide against the 12 colonies.

My guess is that these last two episodes of the half season get us to the reveal of the fifth cylon.  I then believe that the last 10 episodes of the final season will be the story arc around Earth & resolution.

Using Time Machine to Migrate from PowerPC to Intel

I ran a very interesting experiment last night… and I didn’t even mean to do it.

As you probably know by now, my PowerMac G5 died last Friday.  (Apple *still* hasn’t figured out why).  In any case, the new Mac Pro arrived yesterday, and it was my first opportunity to really put Time Machine to the only test that counts – restore.

When I booted the Mac Pro for the first time, it asked if I wanted to restore the machine from a Time Machine backup.  I said yes, without thinking, because it seemed like an obvious way to get back up and running as soon as possible.

It took about 3+ hours to restore over 200GB, but after the long install, I had my computer largely working as I left it.  The last Time Machine backup was literally maybe 37 minutes before the final crash, and everything was restored.  Documents I expected.   Applications I expected.  Then I noticed it also migrated System & Library files… uh oh.

The Mac Pro is Intel-based.  The PowerMac is PowerPC-based.  I suddenly became very aware of the problems that I might have caused.

I was able to easily walk through my applications one by one to check whether they were Universal or PowerPC.  Most were already Universal, but a few were PowerPC, like older versions of Acrobat Reader, Stuffit Expander, and some video applications.  I deleted them, and downloaded new Intel versions… likely a good housecleaning anyway.  (I even found a few Mac OS Classic applications in there!)

Unfortunately, the world of extensions and bundles loaded by Mac OS X was a little mysterious to me, especially with regard to things like control panels, menu extensions, background services, etc.  I was worried I would need to do a clean install to fix everything.  Of course, the system seems fine, but I was worried nonetheless.

Well, I have good news.

It looks like there are limitations to the Mac OS X Rosetta technology that prevent Intel-based applications from loading PowerPC bundles.  As a result, most extensions, etc that are not Universal won’t load.  Harmless.

I also found a great tip on Mac OS X Hints, which I wanted to share here.  You can use the Activity Monitor application to tell which processes are running PowerPC or Intel.  Here is how you do it:

  1. Launch Activity Monitor.  It’s in your Utilities folder, which is in Applications.
  2. Right-click on the title of the table, and check off “Kind”
  3. You will now have a column that says “PowerPC” or “Intel”

The good news for me tonight is that only two processes running are PowerPC:  Quicken 2007 (which I guess I need to replace), and the Disk Warrior Hard Drive Daemon (likely an upgrade issue).

In fact, the only bad news I’ve gotten so far on the migration is that the TWAIN driver for my scanner, an Epson Perfection 1660 Photo is PowerPC only, so it requires me to set Adobe Photoshop CS3 to Rosetta-mode.  Hello, Epson, I upgraded to CS3 specifically so it could run natively on Intel…

I’ll likely be hitting people up for suggestions on either native drivers, or a new photo scanner pretty soon.

Vanguard Is Splitting 3 ETFs… But Why?

Vanguard had a funny announcement today that I had to comment on (from

Vanguard announces share split for three exchange-traded funds

June 04, 2008 – Vanguard announced today a two-for-one split of shares of Vanguard® Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF (VWO), and Vanguard Extended Market ETF (VXF). The conventional shares of the funds are not affected by this split.

The share split entitles each shareholder of record at the close of business on June 13, 2008 to receive one additional share for every share of the ETF held on that date. The additional shares are expected to be distributed to shareholders on June 17. The shares will trade at the new split-adjusted prices beginning June 18.

I need someone to explain this one to me.  After all, splitting a stock does absolutely nothing for the fundamentals of the stock.  You might argue there is some emotional, momentum-based advantage when go-go growth stocks do it, but this is an index fund.  And a Vanguard fund to boot!  I just can’t imagine the Vanguard trustees chasing momentum money, or expecting momentum money to flow to an index fund just because it’s splitting.

There is that old argument that you want to keep share prices low so “small investors” can buy a “round lot” of 100 shares… but that logic went out the door with odd lots and discount brokers about 30 years ago.

So why did they do it?  Are they trying to capture small investments under $100 with the ETF?  Brokers like E*Trade already offer free dividend reinvestment on ETFs, which allows you to buy partial shares.

Anyway, if you own any of these funds, note it in your calendar, Quicken, etc.


Slowly But Surely… Resurrecting My Home Machine

Definitely not at full strength, but slowly resurrecting my home workstation from the catastrophic failure of my PowerMac G5 last Friday.

Tonight I got a brand new (OK, well, refurbished) 2.8Ghz 8-core Mac Pro from the Apple Store.  I managed to use Time Machine to resurrect the boot drive from my G5 onto it, which seems to have worked well so far.  I’m a little nervous though about how many PPC items might have been moved/executing as system extensions, etc, on the new Intel-based Mac Pro.

I also decided to go wireless with this machine on the Keyboard & Mouse.  The keyboard is fine, but the bluetooth mighty mouse is a little… off.  Not sure what it is, but I’m debating going back to my USB Logitech.

In any case, I likely won’t get a lot of blog posts in this week, but a few may crop up here and there.  I’m excited to put the new machine through its paces, but that’ll have to wait until I get my photo library back online, install Photoshop CS3, and start ripping movies again.  I hear that this machine can rip a 2-hour movie to MP4 in about 40 minutes, which would be approximately 10x faster than my old G5.

BTW Despite promises from the Apple Store on Saturday that they would run diagnostics and tell me the problem with my G5 by Monday, I had to call them today (Wednesday) just to find out that they still can’t get it to boot.  They think it is the power supply, which is good news because that means $300 could net me a machine that will sell for $1200.  If it’s the logic board, then I’m hosed, and I’ll likely sell the box, sans hard drives, on eBay for parts.

In any case, I’ll post at the end of this ordeal about the Mac Pro and the transition, and what is better/worse about the new setup.  I have to say, I haven’t been this excited since… I got the PowerMac G5 4 years ago.