This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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Kindle Ratio for 28 May 2010: 55%

As I have since December 2008, after I finish each book I read I’ve been calculating what percentage of the last 20 books I have read are available on Kindle.  I’ve been doing this because I have said all along that once that ratio was greater than 50% I would “Officially want a Kindle”.  Well, it seems that since the last time I looked at this in April, several of the 20 books in question that were not available on Kindle have become available.  As of today we are at 55%.  In other words, 11 out of the last 20 books I read are now available on Kindle.  So it is time.  I “officially want a Kindle”.

This does not however mean I will order one today.  I am in the middle of a physical book right now, and the next book in line I also already have a physical copy of.  And there are other items ahead of a Kindle in the spending priority list.  But as of now, I do want one.  :-)

I have also decided on the algorithm I will use to determine what to read next whenever I finish a book once I have a Kindle as well.  But I will wait until I actually have one before describing it I guess, in case I change my mind.  :-)

I will continue reporting this ratio until I actually have a Kindle and read the first book on it.  After that I will stop.

Xenocide

Author: Orson Scott Card
Started: 26 Mar 2010
Finished: 10 Apr 2010
592 p / 16 d
37.0 p/d

I continue to make my way through all of the Ender Series on my way to the latest in the series which Brandy gave me awhile back.  This time it is Xenocide, the third book in the series.

The third book is a bit more blah than the first two books.  It is still an interesting book and examines some fun concepts, but it seems that the first two books had more big, new and surprising things.  This one just sort of continues the story.  You explore the notion of different levels of alienness some more.  It makes you think about what makes a person a person, and about how much you have to change a person before they aren’t really the same thing any more.  Fun stuff to philosophize about.  But it did seem like somewhat treading the same waters that were covered in the last book.

To be clear though, it is still a fun story, and leaves me wanting to read Book 4.  I think when I read this series before many years ago, I only got to Book 4.  So I’m eager to go ahead and read Book 4 (the plot of which I can’t say I really remember) and then get on to Book 5 and beyond.

I will also say that in this series the character I’ve always enjoyed the most is “Jane” the sentient computer network.  I remember when I was a teenager reading a lot of books that had sentient computers as characters, and it was always something I was drawn to.  Of course we still don’t have good sentient computers.  They really need to get back to working on that.

Still Hiring Software Development Engineers for Amazon

I’ve still got open slots in my team at Amazon. Yes, rather that make a little puzzle like my last post I’m saying it specifically.  :-)  We have a lot of fun and challenging things we are working on, and Amazon in general is a great place to work.  Full updated job description for my open positions:

Automated and Targeted Merchandising

The Automated and Targeted Merchandising team delivers relevant merchandising content to users who are most likely to respond favorably to that content. Our team manages a wide range of automated, highly scalable systems, for delivering targeted email and website content to receptive customers. We also own a number of systems that assist marketing and merchandising professionals to find, schedule, and apply relevant targeting for any subset of users. Automated and Targeted Merchandising systems rely heavily on computational advertising, data mining and machine learning techniques. These techniques, combined with aggregated customer behavior data, allow us to provide a high degree of accuracy in targeting the right demographics – and driving higher sales as a result.

Qualifications

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 highly desired.  Familiarity and comfort with front end web technologies a plus.  Advanced degree in Computer Science with a strong Mathematical background preferred.

If you are a Software Developer and the job description above sounds like it might be up your alley, toss me a resume at abulsme@abulsme.com.  If that specific position isn’t quite what you might be interested in, the Website Application Platform group I am a part of has a bunch of other spots open as well, not just software engineers.  See the WAP Jobs site for more information.

If you don’t fit any of the above yourself, but know someone who does, send them my way too.  :-)