This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



April 2010

Pajama Party

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner…

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Online Privacy
  • Arizona Immigration
  • Financial Regulation
  • Gizmodo iPhone Stuff
  • Big Apple

Just click to listen now:

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Recorded 26 Apr 2010″]


1-Click Subscribe in iTunes

View Podcast in iTunes

View XML Feed

Hiring Software Engineers - Email Me!

Last month I posted that my company was hiring. They still are. But now I am also hiring for my own group. If you are a Software Developer (and I know some of you are) and you might be able to be convinced to come to the Seattle area for a good position at a good company on a good team doing interesting things, please toss me a resume at and I’ll give you some more background and get you into our system to start the process of looking to see if you would be a fit for the spots I am hiring for, or other places within the company. The specific job description for my team:

[My] team manages a number of systems which enable [us] to target highly relevant content to the users most likely to respond positively. Our systems span the range from completely automated email and website programs to systems which assist human schedulers in finding and applying relevant targeting. Our systems rely heavily on computational advertising, data mining and machine learning techniques. [Our] team is looking for truly exceptional software engineers with strong technical abilities and a passion for this area.

The ideal candidate will have strong development skills in Java or C++, with experience in designing and architecting scalable high-performance systems and services that are also flexible, reliable, and maintainable. They will have excellent problem-solving skills, a solid understanding of computer science fundamentals, a quantitative mindset along with a proven track record of on-time delivery. We are seeking engineers that are highly pragmatic and can solve real-world problems faster than others believe possible. Candidates should be familiar with machine learning, data analysis and data mining techniques. Database skills and experience with large-scale multi-tiered distributed systems are also highly desired. Advanced degree in Computer Science with a strong Mathematical background preferred, minimum 3-5 years work experience required.

Note that we are looking for engineers with less experience as well. So if the 3-5 years listed at the end of the above is the only thing holding you back, email me anyway.

And if you don’t meet the description above, but know someone who does, send them my way too.

As with my post last month, I’ll mention that I make a habit of not naming my company explicitly online (at least on my blog, you can find it at LinkedIn and elsewhere if you look and pay attention), but it is a Fortune 500 company based in the Seattle area which is not Costco, Microsoft, Paccar, Weyerhaeuser, Starbucks, Nordstrom or Expeditors, and it is in the tech/retail space and is named after a geographic feature in South America… if you can’t figure it out with that, we don’t want to hire you anyway. :-)

Alex meets Ivan and Juana

16 Mar 2010 02:03 UTC

Roscoe and Amy on Dora

Spin Blade

11 Mar 2010 05:53 UTC


After initially setting up some stuff with twitterfeed, I decided to try instead. At the same time, I upgraded this Postie thing thing that I use to sometimes post via email. Between those two things my last post went kind of nuts and didn’t do what I wanted. So more testing here. Apologies in advance. Regular programing will resume shortly.

Winding down Scrabble

Starting right before the new year, I got all wound up playing Scrabble on the iPhone with various Facebook friends. I was having lots of fun. I was spinning up to always be playing 10 games at a time. (All asynchronously, often with moves a day or two apart.) I of course had a whole little system worked out so that whenever I dropped below ten games, I’d start a new game inviting friends to a new game based on a randomized system where people who I knew were Scrabble players had greater odds of being invited than people who were not, and people who I’d never invited had better odds than people who I had invited before, but hadn’t played. I kept graphs. It was fun.

Somewhere along the line though, Facebook made it so that Scrabble couldn’t send notifications any more. This made it so it was harder for people to know when their turns were. (At least people actually playing on Facebook, the iPhone still has push notifications for this.) It made it harder for me to scan and see who was playing and who was forfeiting (so as to change the weights on the probabilities I was using to determine who to invite.) It just generally made it harder to do what I was doing. I could still do it, but it was a bigger pain than before.

So I decided a week or two ago to just wind down my playing. I’ll still accept requests for games from anybody who wants to play, but I won’t be sending out any new requests. So my number of games is slowly winding down. From the ten I was keeping it at I’m now down to five. Unless I get unexpected invites, those will slowly wind down and I’ll have none left.

Oh well, it was fun for awhile!


7 Mar 2010 23:25 UTC

Feeding my blog to Facebook

For quite awhile now, maybe a year, maybe less, dunno, but for awhile, I have had the Facebook “Notes” app set to import the RSS feed from my blog. So basically each of my posts would show up as a Note in facebook. This seemed to work pretty well. My posts would usually show up on Facebook an hour or two after I posted them on my blog. And I started to get more comments to my posts via Facebook than directly on my blog. Which is cool I guess.

But lately, the last month or so, the delay between me posting and things showing up on Facebook was getting longer and longer. A few hours turned into half a day. That turned into about a day. Then it was several days. Then a little over a week ago I noticed that none of my posts had moved over in almost a week. So I went in to the Notes application and reentered the address of my RSS feed. It responded by quickly importing several of my recent posts it hadn’t gotten yet.

But then I made more posts. It has once again been a few days (not quite a week yet) and nothing has come through. So I think I am done with that method.

I’ve been using TwitterFeed for quite a few months to dump my blogging into Twitter. Turns out it can do the same for Facebook. (I could also add a level of indirection and go from Twitter to Facebook, but…) Anyway, I set it up a little bit ago, and see it already posted my most recent blog post.

Unlike the notes, it is just a headline and a link to the post on my blog, rather than a full copy of the whole blog post. Guess that means less people will actually read any of them, but I guess that’ll be OK. If you are one of the folks who looks at my posts only through Facebook, you’ll just have to click through. Or just go to directly of course.

For now, I haven’t actually turned off the notes feed. In theory it is still supposed to work. I’m curious if it will ever start posting stuff again. Maybe it will, just with a two week delay or some such. We’ll see. If it does start doing something again, I’ll probably turn off one or another method of doing this to avoid duplicates depending on how things are going at the time.

Of course, I know there is also the idea that just having the same things posted to my blog, Facebook and Twitter defeats the purpose of them as separate platforms, and maybe I should just use each of them in distinct ways. Maybe. But as far as I’m concerned, my blog, where I have full control of what is in it, I have the backups, I could switch hosting whenever I want, etc, etc, etc is my single place for anything I want to put online. Everywhere else can have pointers back, but I’m not going to put stuff I really care about in someone else’s system as the primary place it lives. Pointers linking back are just fine. It is bad enough that I am using Flickr and YouTube for some pictures and videos. But the original copies of all that content remains safely in my care. I just use them for convenience. :-)

Anyway, we’ll see how TwitterFeed works for this purpose. Theoretically, with this posts on my blog should always show up on Facebook (and of course Twitter) within 30 minutes. That will be better than what the Notes import was doing even when it was working, let alone when it started lagging by days… if it is even working any more.

If anybody has any thoughts on this way of doing things, or on alternative ways to accomplish this kind of thing, I’d love to hear them. Thanks!


7 Mar 2010 23:19 UTC