I realized something important about productivity. There is an important difference between feeling it, and doing it. One of those things that feels productive, but isn't necessarily, is making a list. If you write down all the things you need to do, somehow, somewhere, that feels like you've accomplished something. Except, of course, you haven't.
Another thing that feels productive, but isn't, is blogging. That is the primary reason I took a nice long vacation from writing here. I'm the kind of person that always has a side project. Sadly, I found that I was spending a few hours on a Sunday writing and that I felt "productive", satisfying my need to be doing something. Except I wasn't. My list was just getting longer.
So I took a few months "off" to actually focus on some side projects, and, lo and behold, things got done. Excellent. One of those side projects (not really "side") is our work blog (not up yet) that will be focusing on face recognition issues. Face recognition is a fairly fascinating topic and so I'll probably be writing a fair bit for the company blog on the issue in the coming weeks/months.
As for side projects, here's one of them: replayspider, a starcraft 2 replay aggregator. If you aren't a starcraft 2 replay junky, like me, you'll likely be very uninterested. Scrape all the good sites (esp. the Korean and Chinese ones), download all the replays, extract the most useful metadata, and let people search for replays in a sane way.
It's not even close to where I want it, but at least it's launched. I'll circle back to it when I've got a few more minutes. Next feature idea: trying to detect maphacks from the replays themselves.