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Evan at Millennium Park

Originally uploaded by dreeves.

My nephew (when your cousin has a baby, how are you related?) enjoys the fountain at the Millenium Park in Chicago.

Chicago is a fun place to be, especially when the weather is as nice as it was last weekend. For a Bostonian, Chicago seems very spacious — apartments are bigger, streets are bigger, there are more vacant lots, more unused space. It had an urban vibe that I hadn’t really experienced since C and I were in Berlin two years ago.

And there’s a lot Chicago shares with Berlin; a great music scene, small shops, and most importantly: space.

When space isn’t so precious, things can happen. It’s all about having some kind of critical balance of creative people in an environment that *isn’t* precious, so they can try things without huge amounts of debt, or watchdogs with too much time on their hands breathing down one’s neck.

Google Credit Card Fraud

Earlier this month, I noticed a strange charge for $160 on my credit card for advertising in Google’s Adwords program. As I’ve never done any advertising on Google, I sent them an email to let them know and see if they could reverse the charge.
Turns out that was just the beginning; in the next two days, my credit card (still physically in my possession) was hit with additional Google charges for $677 and $699. I cancelled my credit card, and shortly thereafter received a nice email from Google saying they had closed the account that made the charges.
With all the overseas gaming and porn sites desperate for everyone’s attention, I couldn’t help but wonder if many of the credit card numbers stolen in the recent breach were being used to buy Google ads.
And, for investors in GOOG, what does this mean about the quality of their earnings?

QuickBase Fall 2004 Release, Part I

It’s been two weeks since the Fall 2004 Release of QuickBase. Now that the usual post-release dust has settled somewhat, I want to take a moment to describe some of the features in a little more detail.

The first:

Spreadsheet-Style Create


When many business users have to deal with lists — whether it’s a task list they need to send around, or a list of project issues, the tool they usually turn to is the one already at their disposal: the spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are fantastic tools, and they make it very easy to quickly bang out a list and send it around by email. For most people, the breakdown happens when you have to change it, or when you’re expecting more than one person to make edits to it. More often than not, this sends many people straight to ‘where-is-the-latest-version’ hell, even if they’re equipped with more advanced geekery like shared network drives.

Here’s why people tell us they like spreadsheets:

  1. Speed. Nothing beats opening up Excel and hitting the arrow keys to move between cells. Fill down, across, copy columns — there are few better ways to work with your data.
  2. Simplicity. No need to develop a new mental model — the entire structure is right in front of you, putty in your hands.
  3. Malleability. When you’re starting out with something like a task list, you’re very often not sure what you’re going to need. There’s no better way to figure that out than to start entering the data at the same time that you’re working with the structure. If you need a new field to track “Contact in Helsinki for this task,” just add a new column. Done.

Spreadsheet create comes from one simple idea: Creating spreadsheet-based lists obviously works for business users. How can we make creating a QuickBase as easy as creating a spreadsheet?

The Economist Endorses Kerry

As Mr Bush has often said, there is a need in life for accountability. He has refused to impose it himself, and so voters should, in our view, impose it on him, given a viable alternative. John Kerry, for all the doubts about him, would be in a better position to carry on with America’s great tasks.


QuickBase Reviewed in PC Magazine

Overall, QuickBase’s slick set of databases for important workgroup tasks and its high usability are its standout selling points. If you don’t need to update an existing corporate database in real time, it is a useful and inexpensive choice for keeping workgroup users up to date on project, sales, and custom data.

Full Review