Search This Site
Silicon Valley veteran doing Technical Community Management. Photographer with a strong interest in birds, wildlife and nature who is exploring the Western states and working to tell you the stories of the special places I've found.
Author and Blogger. They are not the same thing. Sports occasionally spoken here, especially hockey. Veteran of Sun, Apple, Palm, HP and now Infoblox, plus some you've never heard of. They didn't kill me, they made me better.
Person with opinions, and not afraid to share them. Debate team in high school and college; bet that's a surprise.
Support This Site
If you found this page interesting, please consider clicking through this ad and buying something.
If you do, Amazon will pay me a small percentage of the price. You don't spend any more on the item, and the money helps pay for the site and the more people who do this the more time I'll be able to spend on the site improving it and adding content.
More to Read
- Some Thoughts on Lightroom Keywords
- How not to be a doofus with a camera
- Beyond 'Vacation Snaps'
- A teachable moment (or why I love birding, even when I make a fool of myself)
- Sherman, set the wayback machine to…
- An audience of one....
- Talking about 'Stuff'
- What I do for a living…
- 50 reasons Why I Haven’t Been Blogging
Want more? Try this list...
New on the Blog
- The new flickr design
- Yosemite Road Trip 2013 – Day 1, teaching.
- The Raffi Torres Hit
- Tioga Pass, Yosemite
- Back from Yosemite
- Bobcat before and after
- 2013 playoffs, round 2
- Fuji X100s Review – Fallin’in Love All Over Again
- If you give them an easy out, they’ll take it.
- Another reason Don Cherry should retire (or be retired…)
Rent Gear at Borrowlenses
Don't buy that gear before trying it out! Renting a lens you're considering buying is a great investment in saving yourself from buyer's remorse!
And if it's a piece or gear you aren't going to use constantly, renting it when you need it is a great way to save money, and I highly recommend Borrowlenses as a place to rent high quality, well-maintained gear.
Monthly Archives: March 2012
The Mac App Store has been a huge boon to Mac software developers, but has an enormous flaw: it needs to allow developers to charge existing customers a discounted price for major upgrades.
Right now developers selling through the Mac App Store face a lose/lose choice: either provide all major upgrades to existing customers for free (thus losing a quarter of our revenue), or create a “new” product for each major version (creating customer confusion) and charge existing customers full price again (creating customer anger). Why The Mac App Store is Nice
This was one of those things I got to talk about with developers a lot back in webOS land. All developers want this. No app store (with any significant audience, that I can find…) implementation provides it. Why the disconnect?
Behold the three stages of product manager hell:
- Okay, to make this date, what features do we absolutely positively have to have for launch? Upgrades? We can add that later. It waits.
- The SAP geeks say it’ll take eight months to add support to the back end for this. We need to launch in Botswana. It’ll have to wait.
- I know the developers are asking for this, but we seem to be doing pretty well without it. It just doesn’t seem to be a priority right now, not compared to [REDACTED].
Now, throw in a random “oh my god, do you know what this will do to our tax liability and reporting requirements in Lithuania?” and you get some sense of how you end up down this path. I’m sure no software developer has ever had discussions like this about their product, right?
My view on this: I see the developers pain. I see what the expectations users have for this. One of the things I asked for when we implemented coupons (aka promo codes) was the ability for a developer to send out discounts to existing users so they could release “Delicious Monster: TNG” at list and give existing users a code to upgrade at 20% off. Did I get it? (hollow laughter).
If you look at what Apple does (since it doesn’t actually say anything) and guess to their intentions, I’m guessing — based on what they’ve done with Aperture — that their model is moving forward without upgrade discounts. Instead, they’ve cut the cost of the product up front. What used to cost $200 now costs $79. When they release Aperture 4, it’ll cost $79. And Aperture 5 will cost $79. And if a user complains about paying full price for each release, Apple can ask if they’d rather go back to paying $200 for the package and getting upgrades for $99. it’s actually a persuasive argument, if your business plan can handle it and you don’t mind getting hit on the head a lot while explaining it.
And so, if you’re building product, that’s what I’d recommend you plan for. No upgrade discounts. Which implies setting your pricing scheme so that you can make a good “cost over the life of product” argument to users, and make sure each release has persuasive upgrade features (I’m looking at you, Adobe CS 5) or users will simply yawn and skip the release.
Honestly, as a user, I can live with that model. And yes, if I think a product is overpriced or the features of a release are not persuasive, I will skip it (he says, as a proud owner of CS 3; neener, Adobe, I spent my money elsewhere — but happily upgraded to Lightroom 4, because it was worth it. hint hint). It’s going to require retraining users who expect discounts. that will be painful. But I think Apple has set this standard, and I think that’s going to be what it is moving forward. I don’t see a persuasive reason for them to change their strategy.
And whether they admit it or not, I bet a lot of product managers for app stores on various platforms have the “if Apple isn’t doing it, why should I?” test for feature requests. And then they go off into a closet and come up with reasons for the powerpoint that don’t sound so, well, reactive and lame.
The Mac App Store has been a great new source of revenue for Delicious Monster — we’ve seen almost double total sales of “Delicious Library 2” through it. And although paying ~⅓ of our gross to Apple is pretty steep, if Apple’s finding new customers who wouldn’t have found us before the Mac App Store,
Of course, if you remember back to the good old days… Not the good old days of selling downloads on your own site, but the REAL good old days, if you could have gotten your software INTO a store like Best Buy, you’d have to pay for physical packaging and distribution, and deal with returns and all of the sales and management of your retail channels — and those channels would suck about 50% of your sale price off on top of it for THEIR margins.
And FWIW, that 30% margin they take is maybe break-even. they certainly aren’t paying for expensive cars in the parking lot with it. App stores aren’t cheap to run. Or so I hear.
In the post game, Ray Ratto and Drew got into it. I admit: I missed this live, because Laurie and I were so thrilled at the game, we turned off for a DVRed episode of Good Eats. No, really. Good Eats reruns.
Here’s my take on all of this. If you caught me on twitter during and after the game, you’ll know I pretty much wrote off the Sharks after this game. For once, Ray Ratto is right: this is not a playoff team. It hasn’t played like one since the start of the year. Last night, I saw a team working hard, but not working desperate.
I love Drew, he’s smart, fun to listen to and usually right, but last night, his attachment to the Sharks and to coaching got the best of him. He loves this team (and so do I), but his rant last night was more denial than explanation. Ratto nails it. Here in the Western Conference, which is a nasty ass conference, and the Pacific Division, which is a nasty division, the Sharks are not a playoff team. Even if they squeeze into the playoffs, I can’t see them getting past the first round.
After the game, Joe thornton said this team needed to win out and go 4-0 to close the season. Best case is 3-1 might get them in. Is the team that lost the last two games going to do that? I don’t’ see it. They’ll be lucky to go 1-3. Right now, I expect the Kings should sweep them.
How did we get to this point? That’s a tough, complicated question, one I’ve grappled with for a while. My current thinking is something like this:
First, and most important, the conference and division has gotten better around the Sharks. This is, first and foremost, not about the Sharks getting bad, but about the team being as good as it is and the rest of the league catching up. Did you see St. Louis getting as good as it has this year? No, me, neither. There are no soft teams in the west, and even “bad” teams like Edmonton can and will make you crazy. So the primary “failure” here is — parity.
Having said that, I think this team has had a “of course we’re a playoff team” mentality, perhaps leaning a bit too hard on “we just need to be ready for April” and planning to flip the switch. You can’t ever let the regular season be a tuneup for the real season, or, well, you hit the last ten games of the season in a dogfight for 8th, and lose that slot to a team that’s learned how to be desperate. This team maybe has coasted a bit on its belief that it will just be there when it really matters, and now that it’s really mattering, finding it’s not quite as easy as it thought.
I think injuries have taken a toll on this team; there have been enough to keep the roster in flux all season, and that’s kept this team from ever generating the kind of “on a roll” chemistry it’s shown in the past.
I’m am curious whether or not Marleau is playing with an injury. If he’s not — what the hell happened? Marleau has always had times when he’s gone into funks; it’s never been at crunch time and he’s always ended the season putting up the kind of numbers we expect from him. But honestly, right now I want to put his picture on a milk carton. I don’t see any reason why he’s been so — invisible — on the ice. He is the only top six forward I can call out as being a significant disappointment to me. It’s now the Joe and Joe and Logan and Ryan show out there, and all four get nothing but positives from me.
Drew’s support of the coaching staff is not misplaced. I share it. I don’t see this as something that puts either Doug Wilson or Coach McClellan’s job at risk. I do wonder — and I am completely unqualified to judge — how significant the loss of Trent Yawney from the staff for this season is affecting things, especially given the plummet in performance in special teams. Jay Woodcroft seems like a great person, but it seems to me this team might need a more seasoned and experienced voice helping McClellan (and let me emphasize that I’m not saying anything against Woodcroft other than maybe this team needs someone further down the career path; or maybe not — that’s something Doug Wilson will have to evaluate).
Wilson made some roster changes during the offseason. I like and continue to like the Brent Burns deal. It took him some time to acclimate, once he did, I’ve liked his play. Given setoguchi’s play in minnesota, a no-brainer. the Heatley deal for havlat got sidetracked by injuries, that was a known risk of the deal, and it’s a risk that we got hit by.
I look at Huskins in St. Louis, and I look at Ian White in Detroit, and then I look at Colin White here in San jose, and I think to myself — really? Sorry, Colin White was not an upgrade, not in any way, shape or form. This team would have been a lot better off keeping Ian White; I’m not a huge fan of Huskins, but he’s been put in a system where he’s been solid. Even so, Huskins would be a step up from Colin White.
That said — that’s a minor blip in the Doug Wilson track record.
The end result here? The better a team is, the harder it is to keep making it better. I think the Sharks ran into that this year. They plateaued. At a high level, but it’s still a plateau. I think the biggest off-season loss was Yawney on the coaching staff, and I think that needs to be looked at in the offseason. Injuries were never catastrophic (no Sydney Crosby injuries) but enough injuries happened to keep the roster from gelling and this team from ever building momentum or chemistry. It challenged the organization depth, and the depth is okay but only okay. And I think this team mentally got a bit complacent, and got into a mindset that what really mattered was being ready for the playoffs. And they did that in a conference full of teams hungry for the playoffs, and now — it’s on the outside wondering what happened.
And then there’s the mystical missing Marleau.
And perhaps missing the playoffs will make this team pissed again, and playing with that edge again. Which is something this team needs, and which I think was missing this year. And that will be good for this team — next season. It’s too late this year.
I don’t think this team needs major surgery. I do think changes need to be made, but that’s true every year.
For now, though, I’m just counting down the days to the playoffs, and I’m looking forward to seeing just how far the Blues can go, and how many team they’re going to scare along the way…
(hat tip: Kukla)
63.6 Awarded Goal – In the event that the goal post is displaced, either deliberately or accidentally, by a defending player, prior to the puck crossing the goal line between the normal position of the goalposts, the Referee may award a goal. In order to award a goal in this situation, the goal post must have been displaced by the actions a defending player or goalkeeper, the puck must have been shot (or the player must be in the act of shooting) at the goal prior to the goal post being displaced, and it must be determined that the puck would have entered the net between the normal position of the goal posts. When the goal post has been displaced deliberately by the defending team when their goalkeeper has been removed for an extra attacker thereby preventing an impending goal by the attacking team, the Referee shall award a goal to the attacking team. The goal frame is considered to be displaced if either or both goal pegs are no longer in their respective holes in the ice, or the net has come completely off one or both pegs, prior to or as the puck enters the goal.
So right now, twitter and the sharks broadcast are harping on the official call leading to the third goal. Here’s my take. Okay, two takes.
If you read the rule, the intent of what Boyle did means nothing. He knocked the goal off, whether he intended to is irrelevant. If the referee feels the puck would go in the net, then he was correct to call the awarded goal.
That was the incorrect interpretation, but if it took us three looks in slow-mo on replay, I’m going to cut the refs some slack on the call. It was fast, close, and a lot of moving parts. The puck missed by maybe an inch. Catching that at full speed in real time is tough at best.
There was a somewhat extended discussion with the situation room in Toronto, but the decision that matters (“the goal was going in, so the goal is awarded”) isn’t reviewable. Even if toronto tells the refs what happened, unless the refs on the ice can change that call, it won’t be changed. it looked to me like all four zebras huddled to see if someone had an angle on the call — and ultimately, the original call stood.
And so the goal did, too. That’s how it goes some times. The referees made the appropriate call on the ice. It wasn’t the right call, but it was a situation where the right call was almost impossible to make, and it was a call that Toronto’s situation room couldn’t correct on review. (whether we want even more interminable delays in the game for reviews is another argument. I lean towards coaches having one call a game in some situations, but honestly, I don’t want more time spent standing around wondering what Toronto is going to decide slowing down the game)
And frankly, this all misses the point completely.
it matters not at all whether the Sharks lose this game 2-1 or 3-1.
the Sharks still lost. And now are holding onto the playoffs with two fingernails and a prayer. They didn’t play badly, they didn’t play great. They needed great. And the Ducks are the difference this year between the sharks winning the division and maybe missing the playoffs. A team the sharks simply don’t match up well against, and it showed again tonight. Close, no cigar.
And the OTHER team the Sharks really don’t match up well against is — the Blues. And who are the sharks likely to see in the first round? And if not the first round, sometime in the playoffs? yup.
So to me, this non-controversy is even more non-controversial, because I still don’t see the Sharks going far if they do make the playoffs.
That’s how it goes sometimes….
No, things aren’t going well for the Sharks.
But they’re also on a stretch that has them playing nine games in 15 nights so Todd McLellan decided that his players needed time away from the rink more than they needed another practice.
Yes, I know, some of you would have bag-skated them after going 0-for-California at a time that’s crucial to their (fading?) playoff hopes.
It almost pains me to say it, but right now, the Sharks look to me to be missing the playoffs.
It’s hard to put a finger on what’s wrong. I don’t think the coaches know. I don’t think the players know. I sure don’t. But from watching them, it’s not that they’ve given up or stopped caring. They haven’t tuned out the coach. I like their work ethic. their conditioning seems fine. They’re trying hard. But at key moments, they don’t seem to try smart, and mistakes bury them.
And now they’re second guessing themselves. something goes wrong, and they falter. the textbook definition of “fragile”.
McLellan is right that bag skates is the wrong thing, especialy this time of year. Especially since it’s not lack of effort. That’s not sending a message or fixing the problem, that’s just revenge thinking. wrong idea.
Fact is, this team just isn’t clicking. In the West, there’s no margin of error, and this team is error prone. If I were to point at a single failure point, it’s the number of and timing of injuries — this team simply never got a roster set and in a rhythm. I think. Maybe.
right now, I think it’s too late. I suppose they can wake up and go on a run, but I don’t think they will. I’m not sure they should. Why cost ticket holders one round of playoff tickets? (that sound you just heard was Sharks ownership wincing). But unless this team really changes overnight (and it won’t), even if they squeak in, they aren’t going far.
I’m guessing they have company. Detroit and detroit’s goaltending looks to be joining the “what happened here?” club. I’m not seeing them go far, either.
God help whoever runs into St. Louis in the first round. they’ll need it.
I could, I guess, get up some righteous anger at the Sharks, but you know? Some years, it just never happens to plan. I think we’re seeing a glimpse of what might have happened if Havlat had stayed healthy.
I know there’s been some rumblings about the Minnesota trades during the offseason, but to be honest? I think the Sharks won those trades. Heatley/Setoguchi are at 77 points for the season, but Burns and Havlat are at 56; not that far behind, and Havlat only played 30 games. If he played 70 at close to that rate, this pair well outscored the former sharks. And heatley and seto are a combined -19 vs +14. And look at where the Sharks are in the standings vs. the wild. I’ll take what we have vs. what we gave up.
So for me, it’s about playing out the string and seeing how this team fights through the rest of the season. I don’t think sharks fans need to panic. I do think they need to realize that sometimes, an engine throws a rod, and by the time you fix it, the race is over. That’s the Sharks this year. But I’m unconvinced you need to throw out the engine or the drive for next year’s race. (but replace a few parts? definitely. But that’s for later… there’s still hockey to complain about…)