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Greggles, Gregorybeans, Frijoles, Beans

Rocky Mountain Independent: Stillborn? Unprofitable in spite of reduced layers/management?

In January I was sad, but not surprised, to see the Rocky Mountain News shut down. They made a cool video did some nice retrospective posts, and shut down the operations. Since then the Denver Post (which was kind of a part owner of the Rocky) has picked up some of the more popular journalists and probably some of the other staff.

So, some of the staffers, photographers and journalists got together and decided they were going to do things right. They weren't going to be driven by corporate greed like the evil capitalists, they were just going to do the news and make enough money to keep the business rolling. They created a site I Want My Rocky as a rallying point for the former employees of the news and as a place to gather interest in a proposed online-only pay-for-content news source.

Old Media: Guess what, you're old and you're doing it wrong

I was most recently drawn to the site by a post from Cindy House - one of the main people in the post-RMNews project - about New models, new challenges. She talks about how they haven't been successful in getting a readership, so they can't afford good content, so they can't build the readership. So, they're going to start providing consulting services, specifically: "Web design, search engine optimization and editing/writing services to other businesses."

So, how good are their consulting services?
Often the homepage for a service provider is weak. This is the so-called "Cobbler’s Son Has No Shoes" effect. However, there are some painful mistakes on the IWantMyRocky site which are actively hurting their efforts. Let's look at the home page:

I want my rocky SEO weakness

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Contributors to Drupal 7.x - Code Freeze Looming Update

The code freeze for Drupal 7.x is looming large on the horizon. From that point on we will be limited in what kinds of changes we can get into Drupal core. For some the code freeze is a time of relief: it means we are down to bug fixes and the final release should be coming soon. For others it is a hard time - bug fixing isn't always as fun as adding new features.

So, as we head into feature freeze it seemed like a good time to run some statistics on who has been contributing the most to Drupal 7.x so far.

Contributors to Drupal 7.x. Through August 10th

Following on from previous times that I've run these stats, I've published documentation of the process to get the data on This time I went straight to the commit messages stored in database tables on This has the benefit of counting new files as well as old files (the last times I did this it only counted changes to existing files).

So, who are the top 10 people based on the number of times their name is in a commit message?

Name Commit mentions
Damien Tournoud 192
catch 179
chx 123
pwolanin 113
Dave Reid 109
boombatower 95
yched 77
c960657 57
drewish 56
Berdir 56

The total number of mentions is 3133, so those top 10 are responsible for roughly 33% of the code. On the flip side, people with 3 or fewer mentions are responsible for roughly 15% of the code. We still have a long tail of 222 people who are mentioned in only one message. We see a fairly typical "long tail" distribution: the people who are most involved do a lot of the work, but the people who only get mentioned a few times each are still responsible for a large number of commits when aggregated together.

Commit mentions Count of people with that number
1 222
2 80
3 38
4 17
5 15
6 13
7 8
8 7
9 5
10 6
11 1
12 3
13 3
14 5
15 2
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I hate you ATT Wireless (and Apple)

This is a cranky post. Sorry. I'm pissed.

Earlier this week my phone stopped working. Parts of the touch screen no longer responded to my touch. My wife still responds to my touch, so I assume it's a phone problem, not a touch problem. Conveniently, my buddy davexoxide let me know about a $50 refurbished 3G phone.

Today I decided to do something about it.

My experience so far today:

1. Log on to ATT Site, Get a Free Upgrade!

Turns out, the ATT site says I qualify for a free upgrade.

I click to do it and see the error message below. So I called that number.

2. Call the number

I called the number. They suggested I go to a store.

3. Go to a store

I went to the nearest store. It says AT&T all over it. It is not an "AT&T Core" store, though, so they don't have the iPhone and can't sell it. They suggest I go online. I mention that the website gives me an error. They suggest I call. I ask for an entry in my customer records.

4. Go online, try again


5. Call the number suggested by the website

While I'm waiting on hold I hear:

Please keep in mind you can always visit any of our retail stores to view any of our latest product offerings and phones.

Not "any one" only "AT&T Core" stores. assholes

Talk to Adam. Adam is friendly without wasting my time. He suggests:

"To get the iphone you have to do the upgrade in stores."

I suggest that I did that. He suggests that it has to be an "AT&T Core Store." If that is an important distinction, as it is in this case, shouldn't they always make that distinction?
He apologizes and says that he can't do anything, but Alyssa will.

Alyssa says

"Hold on a second, OK"

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Fun With Wood: How to be a "woodworker" and make furniture without wasting time

When I was a kid I spent a fair amount of time with my mom, dad, and papa working on various projects. We would build things from bare wood up to something fun (go kart! fort!) or practical (furniture!). But I would never consider myself to be a "woodworker" or really good with wood. Wood is fun - the tools and techniques for handling it are fairly cheap and easy - but it is also really tough to do "well." So, here are my secrets to having fun and making decent wood projects, in an environmentally friendly way. I've listed the secrets as part of narration of a little counter that I built for an empty spot in our kitchen. Our stove left an 11 inch gap going to the wall. Given that we lacked counter space, gaining that 11 inches of extra space became a welcome improvement to cooking happiness.

1. Start with Scrap Wood

It's not just good for the environment, it's good for your bank account and your creativity. Start with scrap wood!

These are leftover pieces of wood selected from among the rotten pieces we tore down when we replaced our fence. We're giving life to something that would be trash. It also gives a fun feeling to the end result: weathered and full of character from the first minute. If you don't have your own scrap wood, go to a construction site and scrounge from their dumpster. They'll be happy to let you do that because it's less waste for them to pay to haul off. Other great sources include your local dumpster, the alley, fence replacement projects(!), any business that deals in large goods delivered in crates, wooden sign companies (they have to take them down too...).

Dealing with scrap wood also helps with secret number two.

2. Measure twice, cut once, but only if necessary

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Best Monitor and Laptop Stand Ever - Ergotron Lx Dual Desk Mount Arm

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When moving into our new office space I really wanted to have a professional setup for the desks. Using these monitor/laptop arms helps regain desk space for papers, staplers, cords, and other desk junk. It also helps make sure that the monitor is at the right height regardless of my height.


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