January 6th, 2009

Laptop with wireless mouse

The Twelve Panettoni of Christmas, and other Notes

The first panettone was medium-sized, good for a few days of breakfast for two of us. The second panettone was very large and fluffy, good for an extended family at Christmas with breakfast, dessert, and snacks. The last ten panettoni were single-size portions, on sale for 59 pence each in the after-Christmas grocery store sell-off, but not nearly as good as the first two.

Smoked Lincolnshire Poacher: all the wine-rich smoothness of [the cheese's usual] taste, laid over with the richness of oak smoking. Highly recommended.

The bad part about working Mondays in Canterbury: The Goods Shed is closed. (What wasted opportunities!)
The good part about working Mondays in Canterbury: The Goods Shed is closed. (So that'll save me some money then.)

You know you've been using the Mac graphical interface for Unix (and no other flavors) for too long when:
  • You have to man rm in order to reassure yourself what flags it takes.

  • You forget that Macs don't have root enabled by default, so su isn't going to get you anywhere.

  • Suspend is really not the same thing as kill.
Fishy Circumstances

LJ Staff Cuts

I'm sure the news is spreading fast, but so far I've only seen it through posts from the UK SF community. LJ has just laid off part of its staff - possibly 13, possibly 20 of its 28 employees. Financially, it's not really surprising - LJ was bought for a hugely inflated price and with the global credit shrinkage, it's not worth much. It never really was worth as much as was paid for it. Frankly, it could have weathered the financial situation more securely if it hadn't been valued so highly in the first place.

In the years I've been using LJ, this is the most threatened it has ever looked to me. It's not going to be closed yet - perhaps never, depending on what happens - but, just as a preventative measure - it's worth backing up your data now. Just in case.

I truly hope it doesn't go away though. Our social networks would scatter among other sites. FB* is the only other one I regularly use, but it's no substitute for our extended prose and picture interactions here. Even if it did, however, its influence will be long-lasting, from all the open-source software it developed, its creation and championing of OpenID, and the large, robust communities it created, and individual social interactions it enabled. No obituaries yet though - this is a large warning flag, not The End.

Edited to add: No real additional news, but another news article on the subject, this one from Marketing Vox.

Further: More confirmation of 13/28 laid off in the US, plus a couple more in Russia, but that still means the company retains the better part of 50 staff members in Russia, plus 2/3 of their US staff. Another article, from paidContent, saying that the layoffs are part of a move to focus the company in its Moscow HQ. In which case, it really is just a restructuring move, not a more worrying sign.

Further yet: Ah, the PaidContent article is apparently regurgitating a press release from LJ. (That's good! They're doing PR!) Mashable quotes the press release, but is still cynical.

* If for some reason you wanted to stay in touch that way, my full name is available through the "about" link in the sidebar on my LJ. If you don't think I know you by name, please include your username when making friends requests there!