Headlines for Sunday:

Summary: I learned that role models are important to me. I've created a wiki to make that more visible. I also jumpstarted http://www.plannerlove.com.


Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
AX@1000 Get free food in courtyard; bring plate
AXSet up and launch plannerlove wiki
AXSend minutes to Toastmasters
ACReview all of my expenses
BXLook at Ninang Susie's 2 year plan : E-Mail from Susie Blanco (social)
BXCall Andrew to set up meeting


1. More about Spec Ops

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Jon_P wrote: <blockquote> Also, don't forget that most hardcore geeks in the Philippines dabble in Linux. The extent of familiarity with MS technologies you will see in local programmers are relegated to VB programming, which is nowhere near the level of sophistication needed to contribute to a project like David.

Wrt to SpecOps' hype, I initially had a similar reaction as you expressed above when I saw their first generation web copy, but closely scrutinizing a succeeding version, they actually made a small bit of effort to explain some technical details behind what would possibly make David an improvement over WINE. Still far too little though, and now such details are gone again. </blockquote>

I don't think that hardcore geeks in the Philippines are just limited to Linux. I know a fair number of .NET-wielding and C++ hacking Windows geeks. ;) Although Microsoft doesn't really do development in the Philippines, there's still a lively developer community. I remember joining a well-attended Microsoft <nop>DevStock convention in Manila.

So yes, there are hardcore Windows programmers. In fact, they're quite cool.

They'd have no reason to work with <nop>SpecOps, though. Why bother?

With regard to Spec<nop>Ops' hype: explanations of technical details are just handwaving until they show us a product, not a rigged demo of someone else's code. Considering that they were supposed to have a working demo last year--or was that two years ago?--then they _really_ should have something to show for all their time, money, and hype about contracts here and agreements there.

Too little, too late.

I don't know how they managed to get people mixed up in it. I'm _so_ curious about <nop>SpecOps now. I want to know the whole story. For example, Caslon Chua's name has been liberally splashed over the story from the beginning. I've been wondering why he hasn't backed out of it, given that he's with DLSU. I always thought teachers needed better BS detection filters than most people, or else students would have a far too easy time with their subjects. I think he's probably bought into it big, and he can't afford to discredit them or pull out because he'd lose his investment. What's up with Turbolinux, too?

I have very good reasons to believe that <nop>SpecOps name-drops more than it should, which is one of the reasons why I don't like them. I find it difficult to trust a company that's so... well... "trying hard."

Still, maybe they're on to something.

Riight. More likely that they're on something.


Samuel 17:40? More like Jeremiah 9:3.

(By the way, I'm ordinarily a very nice person. But <nop>SpecOps insulted the talent in my country and made a laughingstock of us on Slashdot not just once, but every time they've made it there. I get along with business people, but I want business to be backed by substance.)

2. Business speaker in the Philippines: Bob Martin, ex-CEO of Walmart

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<blockquote> On Friday 7 October 2005, Mr. Bob Martin, retired President & CEO of the largest retail operation in the USA shares with the members and friends of Entrepreneurs Society of the Philippines <http://www.entrepreneursociety.com.ph/> the highlights of his career and his insights on business and entrepreneurship. This unique, not be missed, special evening at the New World Hotel is from 6:00 pm to 9:00 p.m. and it is open to members and friends. The entrance fee is only Pesos 300.00 to cover the cost of the venue and a light snack. Seats are very limited and we require pre-registration and payment of the tickets. Please call Pres. Jimmy Siybauco at 726-6740 or 726-5466 or email your reservations to esp@rmpconsultancy.com. </blockquote>

E-Mail from Rafael M. Pefianco

3. Stranger and stranger

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More from Jon_P: <blockquote> To infer from what I read on one of the now-absent pages in the SpecOps website which had technical details, Caslon _is_ the guy who was responsible for the breakthrough innovation that underpins David and differentiates it from WINE. I've since forgotten what exactly that supposed innovation is, and since SpecOps is not even bothering to explain it today, I don't know why they deserve the media mileage they are getting with their extravagant, unsubstantiated claims (i.e. the stuff that gets reported in Erwin Oliva's columns like).

David smells to me like Freedows redux, except on a bigger scale and with commercial vendors sucked in by the hype. </blockquote>

The media have been too kind to <nop>SpecOps, but I'm glad that Chin Wong and other writers don't just publish the company's press releases but also report the other side of the story.

You know, one of the things I would _definitely_ like to read--would even pay a reasonable price for--would be an account of what's _really_ going on at <nop>SpecOps. How long are NDAs binding? When can a journalist get in there and crack this case wide open? Do you think any whistleblowers will come forth? I can smell a nice business book coming out of all of this; heck, even a documentary like the one on Enron... Heck, I'd be really amused by even a hype-laden we-are-the-best book or press release.

Seeing a company spiral into the depths is strangely fascinating. Their last-ditch attempts remind me of someone grasping at straws. They complained about the lack of talent in the Philippines and made some noises about outsourcing, then they showed up at <nop>LinuxWorld Philippines soliciting random people for cold interviews. They've even tried appealing to people's greed with an unrealistic contest.

When the company dissolves and the NDAs are no longer in force, I want to find out the whole story. I want to piece together exactly what happened. I want to see what's on the other side. I want to know why they're doing this, what pressures they're facing. I want to be able to say I understand both sides. I would _love_ to talk to their HR person after all of this is over. Wow, what a challenge. What a tough job. And oh, what lessons we could learn from all of this.

No, it's not crab mentality. We're not trying to prevent them from succeeding. We just won't take BS from them.

You know what could save them at this point?

A confession. An apology. A much more realistic and humble plan to make things work.

I don't think they're going to do that any time soon, so pass me the popcorn. We'll sit back and watch the Titanic sink. And then we'll wait for the book.

E-Mail from Richi's server

4. Looking for role models: Marissa Mayer

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<blockquote> Tell me who you love, and I'll tell you who you are. - Creole proverb and many other variants </blockquote>

Role models are important to me. Job titles don't tell me enough about work, but people's stories show me what I want for my own life. When I read people's stories, I find aspects that I'd like to include in my life. I learn about skills I need to develop. I find names for the things I want to do.

I'm going to share my role models with you as I discover them. You'll get a sense of what I want to do, and you might find some of these role models also inspiring.

Today from tech.memeorandum: Marissa Mayer of Google.

Managing Google's Idea Factory: Marissa Mayer helps the search giant out-think its rivals<br/> http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_40/b3953093.htm

<blockquote>What Mayer does is help figure out how to make sure good ideas bubble to the surface and get the attention they need. </blockquote>

I want to do that. I want to be exposed to all sorts of ideas bubbling around me. I want to listen and draw ideas out. I want to connect people to other people and resources they need to make their ideas reality. I want to know who's doing what and make it easier for them to do it.

I'll need to work on:

- listening really well - evaluating ideas quickly - combining ideas in my head - remembering people's names, faces, and interests - meeting more people

5. Wiki for rolemodels

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I've decided to put up a wiki to list my role models. =) It's at http://sacha.sachachua.com/rolemodels/ . Still incomplete. There are so many things I need to flesh out, but it's a good start!

Please be nice to the wiki or I'm going to make it read-only. =) Feel free to leave comments, just make it easy for people to tell the difference between your thoughts and mine.

6. On booth babes and sex in technology

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Jon_prez reacts to my comments on Microsoft booth babes and open source posters: <blockquote> Be fair to Microsoft... those booth babes are still in much better taste than Red Hat's lame 'fsck me' - Carmen Electra ad. </blockquote>

Right. Hence the "SHEESH. Shame on all of you." comment in 2005.09.17#5.

In fact, open source companies have done a _lot_ worse. Was that Red Hat with a poster of an almost-naked women with... err... just a strategically placed penguin or something like that?


And they wonder why girls don't really like tech.

_Definitely_ one of the things that gets my goat.