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Choice Bits

It’s Good to Be Branson

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  The Virgin Tweeter, lessons learned, and other projectiles lobbed from the tweeting trenches.  

What’s Hot

Top-Ten lists are passé—ours goes to 11. These are the top titles that folks are interested in currently, along with their rank from last month. This is based solely on direct sales from our online store.

1^NEWDesigned for Use
22Agile Web Development with Rails
4^9iOS Recipes
55The RSpec Book
6^11Exceptional Ruby
7v4Programming Ruby 1.9
8^NEWHello, Android
9^NEWSeven Languages in Seven Weeks
10v6HTML5 and CSS3
11v3Crafting Rails Applications

The Virgin Tweeter

It’s not hard to produce interesting tweets. Just tell us what you did today. Like this guy.

At Cape Canaveral to see off astronaut Mark Kelly @ShuttleCDRKelly at the last shuttle launch: — @richardbranson

Joan and I were honoured to have dinner with the Queen and @BarackObama at a state banquet last night: — @richardbranson

On top of the sub at the @virginoceanic launch. — @richardbranson

I am guest editing @BigIssueSA—special edition on #entrepreneurship with @virginunite. It’s out now. — @richardbranson

Spent yesterday walking through beautiful Marrakech—it’s a wonderful time to visit Morocco. — @richardbranson

Swimming the Irish Sea to help raise £1m for Cancer Research UK. Here’s how you can join me: @JoinTheSwim #jointheswim — @richardbranson

Tempted to give the climbing wall a go—best not until the knee is better. — @richardbranson

I have bought Pluto & intend to reinstate it as a planet. This could herald a new age in space tourism. #virginpluto — @richardbranson

Lessons Learned

If you are receptive, deep insights will come to you every day. Be sure to share them on Twitter.

Has anybody noticed that as languages grow in complexity, the best programmers switch to simpler languages? — @unclebobmartin

OK, this is SO WEIRD: Don’t wear polarized sunglasses when using the iPad. When it’s in portrait orientation, the screen goes black!! — @Pogue

The lesson here is probably not to buy a lawn mower at WalMart unless you want all the oil to leak out onto your garage floor overnight. — @tottinge

This morning, I am reminded of the research paper “Goals Gone Wild”: — @estherderby

Read about Kepler’s laws & Schrodinger’s cat for bedtime stories past few days to kids. Started with resistance, but now they’re intrigued. — @venkat_s

Children are asleep and wife is on vacation in Istanbul—perfect opportunity to continue with compiler project: tweaking lexical analyzer. — @staffannoteberg

In my day we managed our own memory and we LIKED IT. — @atomicbird

Commitment—(noun) : Opening a carton of Häagen-Dazs and throwing away the lid. — @bketelsen

“We think that dating is a problem to be solved using data and analytics,” says OKCupid’s Sam Yagan. /gg — @OReillyMedia

Product Blog: How to use Basecamp to plan a wedding. — @37signals

Won’t go to my old bar, the Glenview House again. Someone bought it. It is no longer a dive. No foosball; No pool; Couples on dates!?!? — @jwgrenning

WWDC keynote: Royal Wedding for nerds. — @petermaurer

It’s not the space I like; it’s the lack of people in it. — @invalidname

I want stickers that say “As Seen On Failblog”, and place them on unsuspecting passers-by. — @PragmaticAndy

You know, just because your BnB directory or grilled cheese sandwich shop is tied to the web doesn’t make you a tech startup. — @dannysullivan

Reading about how more women in a group make for a smarter group… — @JeniT

Whenever I feel bad about cheesy stuff I’ve done, I remind myself that Justin Timberlake was in N’Sync. — @ginatrapani

Just has a sneezing fit. Counted 32 sneezes. It’s still going on. 35 now. Lawks. — @stephenfry

We’ve done more between breakfast and lunch than some folks do between brunch and afternoon snack. — @scottdavis99

Life is too short to remove USB safely. — @bigoudii

This month we followed Abigail A, Chris Adamson, Richard Branson, Esther Derby, Scott Davis, Stephen Fry, James Grenning, Tom Harrington, Andy Hunt, Chris Johnson, Brian Ketelsen, Uncle Bob Martin, Peter Maurer, Staffan Nöteberg, O’Reilly Media, Tim Ottinger, David Pogue, Venkat Subramaniam, Danny Sullivan, Jeni Tennison, 37signals, and Gina Trapani. You can follow us at