One serious strike out

Lately I’ve worked long hours to help with Google TV in addition to Search. While I truly love my job, I also very much love not working, and perhaps I’ve been a little too heads down recently.


Anyway, this one belongs in my trophy case.


Boy: Are you here by yourself?

Me: Yes, but only right now. I’m waiting for my girlfriend. I mean, not my “girlfriend,” but my friend from childhood. She’s a girl.
Good save, Maile!
What about you?

Boy: I’m here for a company thing. It’s a coworker’s birthday.

Me: How fun that you’re all friends! What company?
Ugh. I shouldn’t have asked about his job. Now I probably sound like I’m sizing him up.

Boy: Zynga.

Zynga? Yay! This is so perfect. I have lots of Zynga questions for Google TV. This is perfect perfect perfect!
Me: Zynga. That’s great. Hey, are most of your games in Flash?

Boy: I think so.

Hmm, “think so?” I wonder what he means. Maybe I should change the subject. I could ask him if he likes his cocktail, or what he’s drinking, or if he lives in the city…


Me: Do you know the minimum framerate for FarmVille?

Next thing I saw was the back of his head. But I bounced back! I always try to keep a little self-esteem in my back pocket.


NASA Scientists Plan To Approach Girl By 2018

Recovering from a broken heart in HTTP status codes

Sometimes a breakup is a breath of fresh air and sometimes it causes chest pain. The stages below are for the chest pain moments. I’ve totally been there. If you’re there now, maybe HTTP can help you through. HTTP helps everything.


I often think of myself as a website with several facets/folders. It’s a pre-req for this whole post so please bear with me. Imagine you’re a structure like:

(yeah, you’re a real winner.)


Just kidding. If you’re into the subdomain vs. subdirectory debate, that’s fine. I made subdirectories because that’s what came to me, but feel free to knock yourself out with subdomains.


Now imagine that you’ve been dumped (or you dumped the other person, whatever). And your feelings are just not cooperating. In a word, you feel “sadness.” That sucks, but it’s human, and of course things gets better — it’s like working on your website.


Stage I
503s across the entire domain is down. This is the equivalent to being in shock. Life is difficult.


Foo: Bar, I heard the news… how you doing?
Bar: Site-wide 503.
Foo: Sorry, dude.


Stage II (optional)
404s across
503s or 200s nearly everywhere else


This stage is optional and can last weeks/months/until you find someone else attractive. Never been at this stage myself, but sometimes in movies you’ll hear dialogue like:


Friend: I know Jack broke your heart, but how about I set you up with Dave? He’s a nice guy.
Main character: I know you’re trying to help, but no Jack, no Dave. I swear off all men completely .


Stage III
200s everywhere except…
503s for romantic-interest/


Hooray, you’re functioning! This can be a really productive stage. I bet the content on has expanded. And with all your free time, you might even have new folders: and


Stage IV
302 temporary redirect from
200s everywhere else


Also known as the “rebound.” Try not to make the target of your redirect 200 on the domains or The key to Stage IV is that’s it’s a 302, not a 301.


Stage V
200s everywhere, including romantic-interest/


Yay for life! The orb is green. Backend ready to publish unique content. Your frontend always turning heads.

Reproductively focused “blathering idiots”

My team recently moved from the Android building to the new posh office space right across the creek from main campus. In our big microkitchen, I enjoyed talking with one of my new neighbors. Later that night he sent this really funny email that referenced an equally funny study:

Hi Maile,


Fun chatting with you today. It got me thinking about this report on a study I read, where guys have a tendency to be reduced to blathering idiots when they are talking to an attractive girl. And I was totally doing that today! I promise, I’m usually extraordinarily eloquent and charming.


The same study said that girls aren’t affected by chatting to handsome men, so I’m not surprised that you didn’t change. haha


See ya.

Pseudocode for giving compliments

Women are diverse. And, in this beautiful diversity of women, there are some (like me) who are (at times) slightly neurotic (let’s pretend it’s endearing?). I think this is one reason why, if you’re a boy, complimenting a woman can be difficult.


Women are people, and people can be caught up in their thoughts, past relationships, childhoods, etc. Navigating personalities and knowing the “right”, or even just the “all right,” thing to say can be like walking through a minefield. What worked in one situation could be a total turnoff the next time around.


In most aspects of life, randomness sucks. If you’re a man, and if a woman has taken your compliment the wrong way, I empathize. I hope that all compliments from nice guys are accepted as they were intended, but for whatever reason, sometimes compliments falter — either they fall flat or they do more harm than good.


For all my neuroses, I’d still like to think that I’m logical. Here’s my first pass at creating a complimenting algorithm to help guys make more sense of (at times, crazy) people like me.


Again, pease note that I, Maile Ohye, am strange/nutty/<your-adjective-here>. The tests and algorithm do not apply across the board.


Compliment test cases


  1. On the phone: “You’re perfect.”
    I could literally feel my brain pagefaulting when I heard this — my flaws are numerous. He seemed fairly sincere, but this had to be a joke. He later clarified that by “perfect”, he meant that he “respected me and held me in high regard.” So while my first reaction was “this guy is illogical” this compliment had a happy ending.

  3. At a bar: “You’re pretty.”
    FAIL (So sorry, kind of harsh, I know)
    It’s always nice to hear that you’re pretty, but it feels a bit strange, too. I tend to wonder how many drinks he’s had, and whether he has any interest in me as a person. Besides, “pretty” isn’t an adjective I would use to describe myself. It’s just so dainty.

  5. Accidentally turning/bumping into each other at a bar: “Wow, you’re pretty!”
    So spontaneous it’s sweet.

  7. At a bar: “You’re pretty. But you probably hear that all the time. I just really like your smile.”
    Lol, thanks! (I’ll take it.)

  9. If you’re in a relationship together: “You look pretty!”
    Aww. So nice of you to say.

  11. All of the compliments above, but said to me in my early twenties.
    You could’ve said “I love your pink hair” and I would’ve eaten it up.
    Update on 04/13/2010: To clarify, I never had pink hair.

    My algorithm for giving compliments in common situations


    if (she’s your girlfriend || she’s not super confident) {
      needs and/or likes reassurance = true;
      desires appreciation for how she hopes to see herself = true;
      noteToSelf(needs and/or likes reassurance, desires appreciation for how she hopes to see herself);
      // also good to randomize calling customizedCompliment()


    if (you’re pre-relationship) && (she’s a confident person || she’s no longer in her early 20’s) {
      needs reassurance = false;
      desires appreciation for how she hopes to see herself = true;
      noteToSelf(needs reassurance, desires appreciation for how she hopes to see herself);
      if (your compliment is truly spontaneous) || (your authority on the topic is indisputable) || (your sincerity is unmistakable) {
      else {
        // best to elaborate


    Please let me know if this doesn’t make sense.

DateRank: PageRank for singles

DateRank: noun. An authoritative gauge of the guy/girl sitting in front of you that’s far more accurate than your hopes or pre-conceptions.

In the uncertain world of dating in the city, where you often know very little of your date’s background, people find it reassuring to meet friends of the person they’re dating. First of all, phew, your date has friends! Second, it’s truly affirming if your date’s friends are people you could imagine being friends with as well. It’s like hoping that they have quality inbound links.

Last week as Vanessa and I made our way home from the Beauty Bar, she coined this concept as DateRankā„¢. While perhaps dehumanizing and unromantic, the parallels between DateRank and PageRank remain numerous.


DateRank PageRank
“He has really cool friends.” Quality inbound links
“His friends… let’s just say they’re questionable.” Links to bad neighborhood
“Eh, we’re friends, but I don’t know her that well.” rel=”nofollow”


Other dating signals Other ranking signals
Name-dropping Keyword stuffing
Repetitive/monotonous Duplicate content
Looking for a meal ticket Made for Adsense