The Cult(ure) of Netflix

Posted in: Consulting & Entrepreneurship, Effecting Change, Software Development Team Leadership

Great document, in slide format, that is purportedly an internal document from Netflix that defines their company culture.

There are a lot of big ideas contained within, and many are not widely accepted as the norm, so no doubt this document will spark a lot of debate. However, debate is a good thing, because at least people are thinking.

Culture
View more presentations from reed2001.

Twitter Recap for Week Ending 2009-06-15

Posted in: Social Networking

Twitter Recap for Week Ending 2009-06-08

Posted in: Social Networking
  • Bad sign for attendence @ #javaone. Keynote hall set up much smaller than previous years, definitely fewer seats #
  • Sitting in #communityone keynote session #
  • Wondering if physical disaster recover sites should now be replaced with cloud services #
  • First technical session of the week – Taking Advantage Of Subversion’s New Features #
  • Family Blog Update: insert witty fork pun here… http://bit.ly/b28K3 #
  • 2nd session of the day “Test Your Product On Multiple Machines in Parallel with Hudson” #communityone #
  • @chungsean welcome to #javaone sir #
  • Sitting in “Community Equity: Social Value System for Social Network” #communityone #
  • Just arrived @ pavillion reception for #communityone #
  • @alicia_s is it really small? Stupid fat hobbit #
  • Following semi-naked marching band to next party @ #communityone #
  • @alicia_s we’re talking about whatever you want to talk about #
  • Frankie says relax at #communityone party #
  • @srabon having an OK time. I am carrying some flu symptoms, so taking it easy to make sure I last the whole week. in reply to srabon #
  • Need one more person to use me as a refererence for #javaone registration to get the Flip. Earn yourself some good karma points – W1302019 #
  • In #javaone opening keynote, waiting for it to start, same DJ as last year #
  • Grey foggy morning in SF, will only get worse if Ellison shows up at the #javaone keynote #
  • Some McNealy and no Elison so far. Oh and I caught on on t-shirt. Good so far, #javaone #
  • I spoke too soon, Elison on stage now. ;( #javaone #
  • Elison was doing ok until he dissed AJAX – wrong room for that statement. #javaone #
  • In 2nd tech session of the day already at #javaone. This one on Amazon EC2. Also saw the one on OpenESB and BPEL. #
  • Is #OpenSolaris the product with the most swag and the least number of users at #javaone? Seriously, I do not get it. #
  • Watching JBoss mini-talk on there new ESB in the pavillion #
  • Thanks to @abridgwater for inviting me to the Press/Analyst Reception tonight. Cheers mate. #javaone #
  • Heading to the Java Community Process party at the Intercontinental for more #javaone fun #
  • Family Blog Update: cute of the day… http://bit.ly/PxdvC #
  • Mashed Potato Martinis at the JCP party! #javaone #
  • In a lab at #javaone about building social apps. using Zembly – same tool that @briankous demoed to the Behr team last Friday. #
  • In Joshua Bloch’s Effective Java talk for about the 5th year straight. #javaone #
  • In HtmlUnit session w/ @briankous at #javaone #
  • @briankous the jboss party is tomorrow night @ jillian’s, not tonight. how about a team dinner instead? in reply to briankous #
  • Netflix just sent me Weeds: Season 4: Disc 1 #
  • team dinner @ Magnolia, 1398 Haight St (Haight @ Masonic) 7:45pm – meet in lobby of my hotel 7:30pm to share taxi, or see you there #
  • Having dinner w/ @briankous @chungsean @michaelpallas and @tshumaker @godfather #
  • BTW, what kind of douche uses @godfather as their Twitter handle? Freakin’ Vito #
  • Sitting in a restaurant on Haight St in San Francisco and they are playing The Grateful Dead – is that just gratuitous? #
  • #JavaOne After Dark moved to the Marriott (4th & MIssion) because of probable bad weather tomorrow (actually later today really) #
  • RT @ABridgwater: Adrian on ZDNet.co.uk “The view from the floor at #JavaOne” http://bit.ly/3gb6d #
  • Urgh, the OpenSSO lab I am in is full of problems. #javaone #
  • FYI, if your English is not so good, strapping on a mic. and yelling and speaking really fast is not going to help the situation. #javaone #
  • #JBoss Party is starting. Free beer and a front row seat to watch the Lakers on a 20ft screen. I love Java. #javaone #
  • Damn, @briankous just broke a beer glass. Half a beer and we are going to have to cut him off already. #javaone the corruptor of innocents #
  • @gorkeyv are you high? #
  • @chungsean and I have moved on to the After Dark Party @ the Marriott #
  • I am watching the original lead singer of Toto sing Africa. i think I have slipped into a totally awesome alternate dimension @ #javaone #
  • @gorkeyv since when do you get so sticky over the Lakers? #
  • If there is any actual original member of Skynyrd on stage, is it OK to scream for Free Bird? #
  • I just saw any original member of Skynyrd play a 10:30 version of Free Bird – all bets are off for the rest of the night. Fuck yeah! #
  • Last keynote at possibly the last #JavaOne has just started – probably a few teary eyes in the room by the end I expect #
  • Today’s #javaone keynote, no emotion expressed, no acknowledgment of the end of JavaOne in this form, and also no “see you next year”. #
  • 2nd to last #javaone session about to start. Hopefully Mr Galbraith will be as interesting as usual and will keep me awake #
  • #javaone we are off to on on good start – Ben just slammed SAP user interface :) #
  • @jazzlifejunkie and if that all goes well, red eyes in the morning #
  • Beer Log: Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA #
  • #Beer Log: Rogue – St Rogue Dry Hopped Red Ale #
  • @jazzlifejunkie touche sir #
  • #Beer Log: Rogue – Hazelnut Brown #
  • #Beer Log: Rogue – Anniversary Charlie – Dry Hopped American Strong Ale #
  • #Beer Log: Moylan’s – Hopsickle Imperial Ale – Triple IPA #
  • Family Blog Update: He’s coming home today… http://bit.ly/Dnuoo #
  • @gorkeyv thanks for the balanced well thought out reviews. you realize that it is #apple that has cult like followers , not #palm right? in reply to gorkeyv #
  • Maybe that should be the #pre tag line “Guaranteed to be really a lot like an #iIPhone since we used the same people” #
  • Adelaide Crows def. Essendon Bombers, 130 to 114 #
  • Family Blog Update: Back From San Francsico http://bit.ly/bZJhT #
  • Family Blog Update: Birthday Present http://bit.ly/Om85e #
  • Family Blog Update: Certified : Totally Nerdy http://bit.ly/sc7nF #
  • Family Blog Update: Are You Going To San Francisco? http://bit.ly/rAjbc #
  • Family Blog Update: Fog In San Francsico? http://bit.ly/2A6nBL #
  • Forgot my camera cable. Finally able to post my #javaone photos. http://bit.ly/KjZTE #
  • Everyone expects the new #iPhone to be announced tomorrow at WWDC, but will it also be available in stores tomorrow? http://bit.ly/t1U6e #
  • Family Blog Update: Stayin’ In Touch http://bit.ly/gyyGb #

Twitter Recap for Week Ending 2009-06-01

Posted in: Social Networking
  • #JavaOne book signing schedule available http://bit.ly/10ZIlm #
  • @gorkeyv – your precious Pre is available on bestbuy.com for $849. why dont you run out and get one. right now? http://bit.ly/MGN3Z #
  • I think my #TweetDeck is going to meltdown trying to follow the #JavaOne related tweets this week. #
  • My little one’s 18 month birthday today. Wife and I are celebrating with cupcakes and a Mendocino Brewing Co. White Hawk IPA. #
  • @gorkeyv who cares about the #pre. the real question is, will you be smart enough to buy a new #iphone in july instead? in reply to gorkeyv #
  • #DMB new unreleased album now on Pandora in its entirety. http://bit.ly/18csV #
  • @gorkeyv the revolution train left the station a long time ago and #Palm never bought a ticket to ride. #
  • @aiku1337 I believe Sun Certifications are free if you are attending #JavaUniversity on Monday, otherwise it is $79 for #JavaOne attendees in reply to aiku1337 #
  • Woo Hoo! Reached 150 connections on LinkedIn. World domination is surely just around the corner now. #
  • Palm Pre in iPhone class, but Palm is running on fumes says Mossberg. #palm #pre #iphone http://bit.ly/CX9K8 #
  • @crunchgear says Palm Pre is an also-ran. #palm #pre http://bit.ly/VskcZ #
  • Netflix just sent me Horton Hears a Who! #
  • Netflix just sent me The Black Crowes: Freak ‘n Roll into the Fog #
  • Family Blog Update: Where’s Callum? http://bit.ly/xGomM #
  • Happy Birthday @alicia_s. BTW, you are so totally old! #
  • Family Blog Update: Why are there no lights? http://bit.ly/gJE7E #
  • Netflix just sent me Death Bed: The Bed That Eats #
  • RT @JavaUp: JavaOne Party Planner http://ff.im/3oC1d #
  • Basking in the glow of passing my SCEA exam on Friday afternoon! #
  • Welcoming @michaelpallas @chungsean @srabon and @briankous to the Twitterverse. #
  • #javaone hell week officially begins. flying SNA to SFO today, hope to catch some of the Glassfish Unconference this afternoon. #
  • In Admirals Club @ SNA. Check-in was as dehumanizing as usual. #
  • Family Blog Update: Party Time!…. http://bit.ly/Ryr02 #
  • Checked into hotel. Room is on the 29th floor. Should be entertaining in earthquake country. #
  • Checked in @ #javaone. First load of swag is in the bag. #
  • They are handing out hand sanitizer as part of the swag @ #javaone registration. #
  • At the Glassfish Unconference. Approx. 60 people here by my count. #javaone #communityone #

Twitter Recap for Week Ending 2009-05-24

Posted in: Social Networking
  • Family Blog Update: Subscribe! http://bit.ly/2M6nX #
  • First beta of Adium 1.4 with Twitter support just released. http://bit.ly/XkhAo #
  • Netflix just sent me Australia #
  • New Hoodoo Gurus album rumored for September. Sweet! #
  • RT @alleyinsider: Palm Pre Launching June 6 For $199 $PALM $S by @fromedome http://bit.ly/AhzGK – should make @gorkeyv happy #
  • Just added myself to the http://wefollow.com twitter directory under: #software #agile #j #
  • Just felt another quake here in OC. Confirmed with other people in the office, but not seeing much on the USGS site. #
  • OK, USGS now saying 4.1 magnitude and looks like the exact same location as the one on Sunday night. http://bit.ly/8nyvP #
  • @JonathanGiles there has been wireless in the last few years, but it can be spotty and usually non-functional the first morning in reply to JonathanGiles #
  • Go #Lakers! Ok, even I didn’t believe that. #
  • Netflix just sent me The X-Files: I Want to Believe #
  • Don’t miss Sun’s going away party at #JavaOne. Make sure Oracle gets the right message. http://bit.ly/QcLX2 #
  • D’oh, My Nam Is Earl just got cancelled. http://bit.ly/SxuL3 #
  • Testing out ping.fm #
  • 2nd Test of #Ping.fm #
  • Trying to figure out how to control all of my various content streams and get them to the right people without drowning anyone. #
  • Testing ping.fm from Blackberry #
  • #JCP Party at #JavaOnehttp://bit.ly/QJtMt #
  • #Hulu’s first live-streaming concert = Dave Matthews Band on June 1st. http://ping.fm/ElXz2 #
  • According to this site http://ping.fm/c2hB8 my “Power Animal” is a Honey Badger! Can this be true?? #
  • Just saw StarTrek. Total man-crush on James T. Kirk #
  • Internet connection is down … is suicide really painless as the opening credits of MASH taught me? #
  • Internet connection retored finally. Suicide averted. Verizon blows! #
  • Rolled 7 games this morning, averaged 151, not bad. And then breakfast in central park with wife and little one. God bless long weekends. #
  • @jazzlifejunkie What % of the latest Jonas Bros tour are you getting in exchange for Kalia? Just curious. in reply to jazzlifejunkie #

An Email Strategy

Posted in: System Administration

Anyone with an email address has had to deal with spam. Insidious, potentially offensive, sometimes incomprehensible but definitely time wasting spam. It is such a problem that there is a whole industry of software products out there to deal with the spam. Some of these tools can delete the spam straight away, others just tag it and allow you to redirect it to a Spam folder or something similar. But what none of them can tell you is who gave away your email address? Was it that online store you purchased a gift from last month? Did they then sell your email address to a list broker? Maybe it was a co-worker playing a joke that gave your personal address to that porn site?

Wouldn’t it be nice to know who gave away your email address? I certainly want to know.

In addition, unfortunately as good as some of the tools out there are, some spam inevitably gets through. I have given up on email addresses because they had become so riddled with spam that the signal to noise ratio was not worth the effort anymore. My original Yahoo! mail account comes to mind. I want to be able to block as much spam as possible – not tag it or redirect it, I simply want to know nothing about its existence in the first place.

So this is how I manage my email and deal with spam.

Firstly I purchased my own domain name and I set up an email server to host the email for that domain. Even the most basic Linux hosting plans will be more than enough for this purpose.

Next I set up just one real account on the email server. I then configured the server to redirect all of the email sent to that domain to that one real account. This is often called a catch-all account.

Now whenever I need to provide an email address for something, I use a unique one-off address. For example, when I signed up for Netflix, I used netflix@mydomain.com as the email address for my account. Whenever Netflix sends me an email at that address, it still ends up in my Inbox because of the catch-all account. l also know that if I start getting spam email being sent to netflix@mydomain.com then I need to have some harsh words with Netflix (thankfully this has not happened with Netflix).

If you implement this strategy, you’ll be surprised how many of these one-off addresses you end up creating. So to keep things organized (and so I do not forget who I gave the address too) I try to map these addresses to the domain names of the website or the company I am giving them too. This however, will raise some eyebrows from time to time. When the car salesman at the BMW dealership asks for your email address and you tell him it is bmw@mydomain.com you will almost certainly get a strange look.

OK, so now I can give out unique (traceable) email addresses to companies and websites when they ask for them. If I start getting spam being sent to a specific address, I know who sold me out. It also means that the email address that my personal friends and family use is kept reasonably secluded and not plastered all over websites and in databases all over the planet.

Now what do I do if the spam being sent to one of these unique email address gets out of hand? Easy, I just block receiving email for that address on the server. Any email sent to that address will bounce back to the sender with a message telling them that the account is no longer valid. I never see the email, I am never even aware of its existence, I never waste time downloading it to my phone or laptop. Perfect. In addition, the rest of my email is not affected, it still all gets through.

In my environment I run Sendmail as my mail server. Configuring Sendmail to completely block certain recipient addresses is very simple. You will need to edit the file /etc/mail/access which is a simple text file – if it does not exist, you can create it. In this file, you will need to add a line for each address you want to block. Here is an example

To:bmw@mydomain.com REJECT
To:vistaprint@mydomain.com REJECT

Sendmail will reject/bounce any inbound message sent to either of these 2 addresses. In my actual file I have about 15 addresses total being bounced currently.

Once you have edited the access file, you have to turn it into the database format that Sendmail expects. This is also easy to do.

$ cd /etc/mail
$ makemap hash access.db < access

That’s it. You don’t even need to restart Sendmail, the settings take effect straight away. Anytime you need to start rejecting another email you just add another line to the access file and regenerate the database.

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I admit that I do still get some spam. This is spam that is being sent to addresses that are legitimate and which I do not want to block. But I do know that the number of spam messages I do see versus the number that are getting bounced is slanted heavily in my favor – something like 1 or 2 per day get through versus 1 or 2 hundred that are getting bounced.

Let me know if you have any other ideas for taking better control of your email.