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Brad Fitzpatrick
Works at Google
Attended University of Washington
Lives in San Francisco, CA
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Work
Occupation
Hacker
Employment
  • Google
    Hacker, present
  • LiveJournal
    1998 - 2007
  • Danga Interactive
    1998 - 2005
  • Six Apart
    2005 - 2007
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
San Francisco, CA
Previously
Beaverton, OR - Seattle, WA - Hillsboro, OR - Dresden, Germany
Story
Tagline
hacker, drinker, gopher
Introduction
I love to travel, hack on fun projects, make things, learns languages [poorly], scuba dive, {bi,motor}cycle, run, eat, drink.

Dorky stuff I've created or worked on: LiveJournal, Danga, memcached, MogileFS, Perlbal, Gearman, OpenID, PubSubHubbub, Android performance/framework, WebFinger, Go, ...
Bragging rights
wrote some code you use
Education
  • University of Washington
    1994 - 2002
  • University of Washington
    Computer Science, 1998 - 2002
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Single
Other names
Bradley

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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Google Music just discarded data I spent years creating without warning

So, my music collection is in Google Music. Ironic, yes, but I was an employee there at the time that I uploaded it all, and by the time I realized that was a mistake, trying to pull my data back out didn't seem quite worth the effort.

Well, the product just went through a UI redesign. Before the redesign, there was an option to rate songs on a 5-star scale rather than thumbs up/down. I used that to carefully curate my collection, and I very commonly actually took advantage of the ratings to optimize playlists for quality vs. variety depending on my mood.

After the redesign, thumbs up/down is now the only option. There is no way, in the UI, to see my existing ratings. There is no public API. Essentially, Google Music just deleted a bunch of my data with no warning. (It may be possible to recover using one of the unofficial projects that have reverse-engineered the private API; I'll find out this afternoon.)

Introducing an aesthetic design change that I don't care for is one thing, and as much as I dislike it I understand that product designers cannot satisfy everyone's tastes at once. But taking data I spent literally 15 years building and making it inaccessible to me without any warning is completely unacceptable. You cannot do that. This should go without saying. You must, at the very least, offer a way to download the data as an archive or something.

I know how this conversation went at Google:

Designer: It would be easier for me to make a simple, beautiful design if I didn't have to design for two different rating systems.
PM: Our stats show that less than 1% of users use the 5-star rating feature (which is buried in the options that no one ever looks at). Let's just remove it.
Engineer: But... I use that.
PM: You're an engineer. You aren't representative of the general population. We don't care what you think.

This pattern happened over and over again in my last few years at Google.

It seems that all data stored in Google products is now at-risk, particularly if you use any niche features. I thought "the cloud" was supposed to keep my data safe.
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Brad Fitzpatrick

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35 laps around the sun as of today.

(Thanks to +Katrina Sostek for finding this random video. And the FAQ: http://www.1happybirthday.com/faq.php)
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+Brad Fitzpatrick​ I made the pope retire predicting the #costliest natural disaster ever world wide before they crucified me http://tinyurl.com/myfoxphilly don't doubt me go to Google and type in MADE THE POPE RETIRE then click the button not directly referring to me making the pope retire quoting dirty harry but the button you usually click when you Google something like MADE THE POPE RETIRE
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Brad Fitzpatrick

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When I'm not on vacation I normally "file bugs" (i.e. whine on Google's internal G+) , but since I am still technically on vacation, here's a fun one that I'll share publicly.

I have no clue what Google Now was thinking.

And this is with me dogfooding nothing. (stock Android, stock Chrome, stock gmail, etc...)
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18 comments
 
I told you!
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Brad Fitzpatrick

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In Buenos Aires for a couple weeks with +Nick O'Neill, +Rebecca Kaufman, and Placida. And +Erin Earl will be here at some point for a few days, coincidentally.
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+Marcelo Glezer, both.
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I'm in NYC for about two weeks. A coworker from SF is coincidentally also here. She also has her own plane. And flew here from SF. And offered to take me up for a quick loop around Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

Hell yes.

It was amazing.
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31 comments
 
Hi
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Brad Fitzpatrick

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This is awesome: they've turned cameras into microphones and are recovering sound from the minute vibrations seen in objects.

Short video... worth watching.
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+Chris & +Joseph, the laser microphone can detect the distortion from either pane of glass as long as it's not directly perpendicular to each surface. On a double-pane window, the vibration of the outside glass would change more from the outside noise. The inside pane would vibrate more to the inside sounds. The vacuum between (most double-pane windows are filled with gases, not vacuum) would not transfer the sound from inside to outside & outside to inside but the glass would still vibrate & that vibration is detectable with the right angle.
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Have him in circles
56,314 people
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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Do NOT buy a +Nest smoke alarm. They false alarm and are unhushable. Please spread the word.

Watch this horror video of me trying to quiet mine.

You can stop or mute this video if it's annoying, but you cannot stop an actual Nest protect.

This went off in my house all day, annoying my neighbors.

When I got the Android notification that my house was burning down I immediately assumed it was false, since my Nests had already cried wolf before.  I also checked video cameras and saw my house wasn't actually burning down, so I stayed at work. My poor neighbors, though.

Disclaimer: I am a Google employee. I paid for these myself. So I speak as myself.
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138 comments
 
+Nicholas Lechnowskyj, who says I'm not also doing that? But I feel that these Nest Protect units are damaging the Google brand & reputation. So I'm defending Google by steering users away from this product, before those users experience the same thing that I did. Maybe the Nest Protect product will get better later. Who knows. I don't work on it or know their plans. I file lots of bugs against Google products (usually alpha / dogfood stuff). But in this case I paid $500 for these bugs, for a finished product, which is lame.

I don't have to agree with everything the company does or makes. And Google doesn't want me to agree or pretend to agree either, which is one reason of many why I love working there.

Anyway, I'm closing comments here because I don't have time to keep up with them and reply to everything. I have the same thread going on inside Google and am participating there. Also G+ isn't a very good place to have big conversations with many forks, IMO.

Brad Fitzpatrick

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Teaching Argentines "football".
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3 comments
 
is that a ramen spice packet?
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Brad Fitzpatrick

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One of several highlights hiking in Patagonia near El Chaltén: Laguna Piedras Blancas. This was our first amazing find from a 12 hour, 26+ mile hike.

This was after 10 miles walking to the trailhead to save 200 pesos ($14) because we thought it was 3 miles, and 5 miles of navigating "south" (including use of a compass), since +Erin Earl and I only had a cartoon map (not to scale) and Google Maps with no details and digital compasses we didn't trust, and ended up hiking on the "wrong" side of the river. Turns out a trail was on the other side. But our side got us access to this.

After 17 miles we found a proper trail. And a sign apologizing for the poor condition of the trail. In comparison it felt like an airport people mover.

More photos to follow, once I have a computer and decent network.
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18 comments
 
I would love to go there. Chile is a thought on my mind lately.
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I couldn't stop taking pictures.

#golang   #dotGo   #Paris  
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Great set, thank you:)
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Brad Fitzpatrick

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In San Francisco? tl;dr: Winelandia's Wine Club delivers wine to your house:

https://signup.winelandia.com/

Disclaimer: this is a friend's new (1 year?) wine company but I wasn't paying attention too much and didn't know the details until just now. (I guess we're not super tight friends and/or I suck.)

But I just realized that part of the company (in addition to selling wine, which requires thinking) is that they pick wines and deliver them to your house. That's two types of lazy in one. I approve of the business model and want it to succeed so I continue to get wine delivered.

I'm sure other people do this too, but I'd never heard of it before.
Natural wine, delivered to your doorstep
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Good sign: They carry https://winelandia.com/product/matthiasson-2013-linda-vista-chardonnay-napa-valley/ by 2013 Winemaker of the Year and (disclaimer) family friend Steve Matthiasson.
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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Camlistore 0.8 ("Tokyo") is out!

Main highlight: importers for your other sites. But much more. See the release notes for more.

Thanks to everybody who's contributed during this release.
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+Magnús Örn Gylfason, a simple Dockerfile is simple. I'm working on making it run well on CoreOS, etc. In progress!
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