Shawn

Shawn Wildermuth

Stories

Tagged with Business


Goodbye Netflix API (And HowToWat.ch Too)

largelogoToday is the day that Netflix has decided to shut down their public API. They stopped giving out API keys a long time ago, but except for a select few apps, all others are dead…including mine.

As I shut it down today I have no regrets. I actually am surprised by how long it has lasted because the road was rocky and I learned a lot.

When I built the app, I was trying to build a service that I wanted. Unfortunately without Netflix, I don’t think the service is worth keeping alive. The reality is that I really believe that every success is built up other perceived failures. The net result of HowToWat.ch is a lot of learning that has served me well and I am sure will serve me well in my next idea (whatever it is).

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Atlanta Startup Weekend - My First Time

SW_Atlanta(UPDATED 11/12/2012: Added links to meetups/groups)

What a weekend. Much to the chagrin of my beleaguered girlfriend, I signed up to be part of Startup Weekend here in Atlanta. I haven't had the chance to do one of these events before and it was a lot of fun. I want to thank the organizers and the great people at ATDC for holding a great event.

For the uninitiated, a Startup Weekend begins with a series of business idea pitches. This has to be a new idea that you haven't worked on before (no code, no design, etc.). After the pitches (2 rounds) you join a team to help build a business proposal over the next 54 hours. This usually entails a prototype, a business/marketing plan and a 4 minute presentation at the end of the event.

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What is Wilder Minds?

As many of you have known for a while, I've been running my AgiliTrain training company focusing on technologies like Silverlight, WPF and the Web. My interest in training isn't going away, but I've yearned to work with a small group of thought leaders to help companies in more innovative ways. With this goal in mind, I am launching Wilder Minds.

The vision for Wilder Minds is to be a complete solution for companies who are trying to move to new technologies (like Windows 8, HTML5/JS, Mobile Development, node.js, etc.) Instead of just doing training, we're expanding to help in three primary ways:

Wilder Minds is still focused on training. We are still building and teaching our courseware as we did as AgiliTrain. This hasn't changed. We have adapted to the changing way people are taking training and suspending our publically-held courses. We won't be doing our "Tours" any longer, but we will continue to teach our courses (and custom courseware) as clients request them. In addition, we're continuing to build courses for PluralSight and do some remote classes. Training is still a major focus of this new venture.

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What I do...

codeI’ve heard a lot of people wonder what’s going on behind my privacy curtain. If you follow me on twitter or notice the time of some of my blog posts, you might conjecture that I never sleep. That argument is not completely without merit. But it got me to thinking that it would be good if I wrote a short post explaining the types of things I do.

My work life is split amongst several types of work:

I own AgiliTrain and we do both public courses as well as onsite face-to-face training. We’re focused on XAML, Mobile and Web Development.

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What I've Been Doing...

SYILogo

It’s been a long nine-months and I am excited to be able to talk about what I’ve been working on for the first time. I am working with a small team of people to build a new set of products. But unlike what I’ve been doing in the past, this new set of products is not for developers...

The target of my new project is people who like tattoos (and other body modifications). I found that there wasn’t a good way to share tattoo pictures on the web and on Facebook. That’s what I am tackling. By the end of the year I will be launching this new web application to help people do just that.

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Am I just too Low Brow?

Url: http://www.crownplaza.com

I have a problem.  When I (or my customers) are being taken advantage of it makes me so very angry...probably angrier that it should.  I am in Hartford, CT this week to teach a course for a corporate client. One of the recommended hotels is a Crown Plaza Hotel at $199/night.  It was the cheapest of the three hotels they selected.  While I find expensive hotel rooms ostentacious, usually I can figure out why they are so expensive: excelent service, nice rooms, etc. The room I am in right now is actually about 1/2 the size of the $75/night hotel I stayed in a couple of weeks ago.  Not just the size, but its a bit shabby actually. 

When I checked in I was shocked that they charged extra for Internet access in the rooms. Ok, $9.95 a night.  Big whoop.  I find it offensive to be nickle and dimed, but its their hotel.  Fine.  But then when it didn't work, they wanted me to call a 800 number to get it working.  Final straw was when the guy on the phone (a 3rd party company I am sure) said he didn't have time to fix it and got me working but told me that tomorrow I'd have to call again to get it actually fixed.

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Microsoft Furlough's 1,000 Contractors?

Url: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12921149/

According to this MSNBC article,

"Microsoft Corp. has told about 1,000 technology contract workers to take seven days off the job, without Microsoft pay, in a cost-saving move that came as the company unveiled a series of new perks for its internal staff."

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Is this what passes for marketing these days?

Url: http://news.com.com/Newly+renamed+Palm+unveils+...

Palm announced their new logo today and told the press what the new logo "means".  Here's the logo:

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Interesting Article on what Apple-heads Say is Wrong with Longhorn

Url: http://applematters.com/index.php/section/comme...

While I don't agree with much of what they say, especially that MS code is poorly written and buggy; I am convinced that MS has lost their way with what the story around Longhorn really is.  They announced so many interesting ideas in Longhorn that have been either dropped (WinFS, Monad) or moved it to pre-longhorn (Indigo, Avalon, Aero), that they have lost the momentum story. 

The funny thing is that I don't think Apple or Linux have an opportunity here (unlike what the article perports).  I think Windows real competition in the next round is with Windows XP/2003.  People just won't move because Microsoft wants them to.  XP is a solid OS (unlike 9x or even 2000).  I cannot imagine that unless there is a real story here around Longhorn (and they get it right *not*, not when the public beta arrives), many people will move.  Unfortunately, I think Ballmer is betting the company on Longhorn's success. 

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The Demo Gods are Angry at CES

Url: http://metahost.savvislive.com/microsoft/200501...

Here is video of Gate's MCE demo at CES.  Not only a MCE crash, but also an XBox crash later on in the day.  Very embarassing.  But it isn't without a precedent:

Windows 98 BSOD

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My First Day as a Magenic Consultant

Url: http://www.magenic.com

I just joined Magenic Technology as a Consultant and they put me at a client right away.  Its been so long since I commuted to a job that it was kinda wierd getting up at 6am and driving for an hour.  After a couple of years of getting up at the crack of noon and working till late into the night, this is a great change...of course after a couple weeks of this, I may not like it but we'll see.

Right out of the box I am getting to work with Rocky Lhotka's CSLA.NET business object framework.  If you know me, you know I have been living and breathing DataSets for several years now.  Rocky and I have always been at the opposite ends of the business object discussion.  I know there are pros and cons to both of our points of view.  I suspect as I use his framework over the next few weeks that my opinions will either strengthen or weaken.  Keep tuned in...

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Corporate Logo...

Url: http://www.logogame.com/game.php?id=8

I haven't been this annoyed with an online game in years.  I've goten about 17 of the logos, but stuck on the last six.  The only nasty thing is that if you want the answers, they charge cash!  So please help me out with B, D, F, H, L, N, O, P, Q, U, V, and Y.

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