Monday, May 26, 2008

Programmable New York Times On the Way

New York Times API Coming

Now, the Grey Lady is working on an API that aims to make the entire newspaper "programmable."

In addition to the API, New York Times CTO Marc Frons told that internal developers at the paper will use the platform to organize structured data on the site. Following that, the paper plans to offer developer keys to the API allowing programmers to more easily mash up the paper's structured content -- reviews, event listings, recipes, etc. "The plan is definitely to open [the code] up," Frons said. "How far we don't know."

Smart move. For far too long the Times fought interacting with the internet, instead trying to create an isolated New York Times registration required site. In general those are bad ideas for web content (they are useful for some things) but it was an especially bad idea for the New York Times (they had more great content than all but a few sites and should have allowed much more linking to there content by millions of people like me. Because that way they would gain huge readership. This API plan sounds good.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Laid Off? Take a Vacation Around the World

Expat software has adopted a operating plan along the lines of one of my dreams. Travel around the world and do work that pays the bills while you enjoy different locations.

Expat Software is a small consulting and development house, staffed by a number of expatriate Americans.

We offer high quality software consulting services at rates that are much less than you might find from other US based software firms. The reason for this is simple: we are not presently in the United States, and therefore do not suffer the high overhead costs that come with a base in a large city.

Where exactly are we located? That is difficult to answer, as it changes on a regular basis. A good place to look would be a nice beach with cheap bungalows to rent and a fast internet connection.

They posted an excellent blog post today, Laid off? The one thing you absolutely need to do on the first day:

You're in IT, right? So chances are you've been laid off at least once from some crappy company and it's going to happen again. Here is my one piece of advice to you. The single most important thing to do as soon as you make it back to your house with that box full of stuff:

Book a flight

Seriously. Do it now, before the initial shock wears off and that logical side of your brain starts coming up with lame excuses. You will never have a better chance to get out and see the world than right now. You have a pile of saving and a severance package. You've got 6 months to a year before your skills start getting rusty. There is absolutely no reason to start looking for work immediately, and every reason to take that round-the-world trip you've always dreamed about. Right. Now.
You're going to want to stay gone for 6-9 months. Less than that and it you'll be kicking yourself for not leaving enough time, and you'll be rushing through entire countries just to keep up with your itinerary. I know that this seems silly now, but somewhere along the way somebody will ask how long you've been in Vietnam for and you'll answer "Only one month." Timescales work differently on the road.

In my experience (did I mention that I take about 9 months vacation a year and spend most of that traveling in the developing world?), I tend to start missing work after about 6 months away.
But I don't have any money saved...
You can't possibly be serious. Are you saying that you've been working in IT for all these years and haven't put away a lousy ten grand??? Shame on you. Get a book on life skills and open a bank account fer cryin' out loud.

Very nice advice that I admit I would not likely follow (I have never been without a job so I don't really know...). But I wish I would. I might get to the point where I make the decision to just stop working full time and either travel and work on projects for pay or work on projects and then take 6 months off before taking on another project with another company.

Related: Save a Cash Reserve - Buy Less Stuff - Saving for Retirement - Curious Cat Travels

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Most Walkable Cities in the USA

America's Most Pedestrianized Cities

It had to be on the list, didn’t it. Manhattan is the only place in the country where more than 50% of the population doesn’t own a car. Over ten percent of New Yorkers walk to work, which is remarkable, but the truly impressive number takes into account the 50% that take public transit. Over 60% of the city doesn’t use their car to get to work; a mark normally only approached in college and military communities.

The other cities: Washington DC, San Francisco, Boston and Newark, NJ.