Thursday, February 28, 2008

Laguna Seca sound restrictions

The sound limit at Laguna Seca raceway is 92dB. This is incredibly quiet for a race car. The sound check booth is on the right side of the track on the exit of turn 5. Many folks do something simple to their exhaust like this: A piece of metal macaroni that redirects the sound away from the booth. This is my Lotus tailpipe the night before my track day.

UPDATE: The macaroni worked well while it was attached. When it came loose, which happened 3 times, the car was over the sound limit. The net result is that my day ended early with 3 strikes for sound violations. Boo hoo. I need to get something that bolts on.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Beware of this game

This flash game sucked my life away for 3 1/2 hours last night. Don't let it do the same to you... It is called Dwarf Complete and I found it via someone else's blog posting. I don't even remember how to be honest - but I ended up starting it late last night and just *had* to finish. You see... it's a flash game, so if you close it you have to start over next time... SO I THOUGHT! I found out today that you can leave the site no problem, and it will give you the option of continuing where you left off. *sigh* If I knew that - I would have been sleeping before 5:30am.

3 hours and 36 minutes of missed sleep. What a really cool little game!


News flash! The second time through is much easier! 1 hr, 25 min. I *hopefully* will not play it again...


Okay... so I left Apple and went to a new company. If you're a Java Posse listener, you got a bit of a scoop on where I landed. I am now the Director of User Experience at Navigenics. It might sound like a lofty title, but hey - it's a startup. Take all titles with a grain of salt when talking about a startup. In short, my job is to focus on the user experience of this relatively uncharted territory of personalized genetics.

Our company is still pretty stealth, so I can't say much about it... but it is really really cool, and frankly is a key part of the "new world" of genetic science. I learned a bit about genetics in high school - and bit more in college on my way to a degree in engineering physics. I am now surrounded by the smartest folks I've ever met, which are apparently the top folks in the genetics industry. This is going to be a wild ride and I am going to learn a lot in the process.

The simple description of our company is this: We receive a DNA sample from you, and use it to run your genome (DNA map). With this raw data, our scientists can determine what chances you have of developing several genetic conditions (diseases), and more importantly what you can do about it. The goal is to provide a prioritized action plan for you to proactively overcome whatever issues you may have in your cards. It's about responsibility for your health - leveraging the amazing new tools available to us only now.

Privacy is key. This is not a DNA Facebook. Your DNA information is perhaps the most private thing anyone can know about you - so it is for you alone. We take this very seriously, and we treat your DNA and the information within it with the highest medical respect that it deserves. This industry is too new to be regulated, but we're acting like it is very tightly regulated already - and working with the groups that will eventually define the regulation standards. We're looking to set the bar.

User interface is key. This is where I come in... :-) DNA information is extremely complex, and there really isn't any precedent for how it can be visualized in a meaningful way to regular people like you and me. Navigenics will make it very easy to understand what you need to know about your DNA, and more importantly understand what you should focus on.

A lot of other things are key - but I think I've said enough. I am really excited about this new challenge! By the way, we're hiring!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Election ju ju

While I'm at it... I took this voting survey just now and it looks like I am VERY STRONGLY IN FAVOR of... nobody. I may not even bother voting this time around. Sigh. We're pretty much guaranteed a better president, right?

Try it yourself in this finely crafted online survey. Clearly hewn from pure granite. Totally solid.

All hail beard papa

This posting has a duel purpose. First of all, this blog posting
should alert the world to the sheer awesomeness of beard papa.
Secondly, it shall serve as my first test posting directly from my
iPhone - er - I mean my bio-diesel powered internet tuba.

That's right folks. I am now a mobile blogger. You should be frightened.

- Joe

(sent from my bio-diesel powered internet tuba, of course)

Friday, February 08, 2008

2+ years... and no longer counting.

Today was my last day at Apple. I'll be starting a new job very shortly, and will write a bunch about it here... I think I am a bit too tired to spend the time on the lengthy posting it deserves. This is especially true since I know about 3 people on the planet read this blog.

Phew. Leaving Apple was a very very very hard decision to make. I truly love that company. Maybe someday I'll return there in a different capacity.

Nap time for Joe.

- Joe