What Have You Done?

You may have heard my name in connection with some of the following items. These aren't exhaustive lists, just some of the things that you actually may have heard of, and a few things you almost certainly haven't.

(For a more detailed view of my professional life, see my neglected résumé)

Art Projects


Companies I Started

  • I started a company called Xigo with Lenny Raymond and Dan Bornstein. Xigo built something like a real-time program trading system that was usable by regular people. As of this writing, the system is still in use as part of E*Trade's backend, and probably a few other places too.
  • With Neal Stephenson and Lenny and a few other people, I started a company called Subutai Corporation. Subutai built an online publishing system, and created Foreworld, which is now a highly ramified transmedia property including novels, comic books, and short stories, the oldest and most well-known of which is the novel The Mongoliad.
  • With Jordan Weisman, Lenny, and Kev Ray, I started a toy company called Smith and Tinker, to make internet-connected toys.
  • With Lenny and Chris Foley, I started Totomic, Inc., where we built technology to revolutionlize the real estate industry. (They didn't like it.)


  • I am probably the reason why HTML uses angle brackets to delimit tags. In 1989 I did a research project for Apple, in collaboration with Frank Halasz of Xerox PARC, in which I designed the first hypertext interchange format. I used angle-bracket-delimited tags, because I was already familiar with SGML. A summary of the work may be found in the Proceedings of the hypertext standardization workshop January 16-18, 1990 National Institute of Standards and Technology and Jakob Nielsen's trip report from the conference where we presented this work is here.
  • I wrote Pandora, which was the Perseus Project's early search engine for works in Ancient Greek.
  • Wallpaper: Software to edit, display, and randomize desktop patterns on old-school Macs.
  • I worked on automatic summarization and collaborative filtering at Apple in the 90s; the summarization is part of current MacOS releases. I am probably the inventor of the infinite scrolling newsfeed, which was a feature of the collaborative filtering work, and which is documented in the patent record and in this paper which discusses my design for a relevance-ordered infinitely-scrolling prioritized list of messages from socially-connected people. This is the same class of system that was later used by Facebook, Twitter, etc., so I feel pretty confident in saying that I am the inventor of the infinitely-scrolling social news feed. (I'm really very sorry.)
  • I wrote some code to let a Raspberry Pi read temperature from an infrared sensor and some useful software for PID control. And some other software like a Haskell implementation of the NewHope key exchange protocol.