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Showing posts from December, 2005

A Treo, a blog, and a decompressing airplane

In some ways, blogging is a fusion of diary writing, watercooler discussion, and Andy Warhol's 15 minutes of fame. I like being able to share my observations and experiences here, but some people clearly take it too far. Take, for instance, Jeremy Hermanns. A proud owner of a Treo 650, including the integrated camera, and a blogger. Jeremy experienced one of the nightmares I dream of: a plane, at 30K feet, suddenly having a hole in the fuselage and explosively decompressing. Faced with panic, fear, and his fiancee elsewhere in the plane, what did Jeremy do in the heat of the chaos? He whipped out his Treo and started snapping pictures for his blog, including a self portrait with his oxygen mask on. Jeremy, I don't know whether to salute you, or use you as a cautionary tale for others. What I do know is, with your insights, as well as your non-union stance, my friend Pete clearly wants to be you someday. He's flying shortly; let's see what he comes up with!

Mobile Life Tips: sync your Palm's clock

If you are reading this, you know I cannot live without my Palm. One annoying thing: when you sync appointments, you sync reminders as well. All good, right? Except when your Palm clock runs faster than your PC. Thus, every minute, your computer or Palm is reminding you. AAARGH!!! Keep them in sync, for free, with TimeSync XT v1.0 , It adds a conduit, and, every time you sync, you sync your Palm's clock to your PC's clock. Since Windows lets you keep your PC's clock in sync with the Atomic Clock, you'll never be out of time! ;-)

The Ultimate Xmas lights: a farewell

Ok, I'll admit it. I've been a bit obsessed with the Internet phenomenon of the ultimate Xmas light diplay. As we say goodbye to Xmas 2005, it seems only fitting to see the ultimate collection of the truth about this amazing display, including an interview with the man himself, his family, and even another video. Carson, my thanks for bringing such a great thing to the world. I hope Miller Lite helped you recoup some of that $10K investment and your electric bills for the commercial they used your house for. Thanks again...and happy holidays!

Blogger Web Comments for Firefox

Now this is potentially a world changer. You know blogs, of course; after all, you are reading mine! Imagine coming across a web page that seems interesting. A small icon pops up, and you can see excerpts of what bloggers have been saying about that page! This is truly what blogs were made for. It's the Wikipedia-izing of the entire web: no page exists in a vacuum. Imagine a page that looks like it's talking about a charity, and the blogs point out it's a scam! Or an eBay auction that looks legit, but the blogs tell you your money is about to be stolen! If you use Firefox for a web browser, you need this. Now. Read more at

Top 50 gadgets of the last 50 years

Year end, time for year-end lists. But this one is pretty good: the top 50 gadgets of the last 50 years. Overall, I think they got it right. Towards the end, there are a few I'd quibble with, but this is a gadget historian's dream. Now, where did I put my old Sharp Wizard OZ-7000... Read more at

Konfabulator & Salesforce: how hard could it be?

It started as a simple idea: make a widget for Konfabulator so that I could see my schedule in Salesforce , updated as often as I update in Salesforce. No, I am not a programmer, but armed with enthusiasm I waded in. First stop: documentation . Have I mentioned how much I hate PDF files? They are bloated, hard to maneuver, and really only good for printing. Loading Yahoo’s guide crashed my Acrobat copy several times. Instead, I made do with the smaller Tutorial . Basically, widgets are collections of JavaScript: to access the JavaScript, you just drop the widget on the converter, and voila: files. Ok, next stop: a scheduler widget. The Yahoo Day planner seemed up my alley: it reads your schedule from your choice of sources: Yahoo, Outlook, or an iCal file. Couldn’t be too hard to convert it to look at Salesforce, right? Finally, was there anyone who had done a Salesforce widget before? Yes: a task oriented one, like this . Even he made it seemed simple. Armed, I waded in. I was loo

Validation: Radar Detector nirvana

A few years ago, I started working for, in Monterey, CA. I commuted a few days a week from my home in Marin, a trip of about 125 miles each way . Obviously, I wanted to make the trip as short as possible: that meant driving slightly faster than the speed limit. Hence, I needed a radar detector. I looked at all of the ones I could find, and could not really see much of a difference between the ones at the usual consumer electronics companies. Then, a co-worker asked if I had seen the Valentine One ? I hadn't even heard of it. I checked it out, and did my own research on the reviews: this thing was head and shoulders ahead of anything else: in most reviews, on a scale of 1-100, the most all other radar detectors score is 70; this was a 98. Bloody expensive though. But, what price that against a ticket for doing 110 in a 65 zone? I decided to try by buying one on eBay first; saved $100. WOW. This thing was GREAT: no false alarms, notice MILES away. I sold my used one on eBay

What's on YOUR desktop?

I’ve really gotten into using Konfabulator more, with the new desktop. If you have the screen real estate, and want to see elegance, check it out. The modules I am using: X-a Info. CPU, memory usage, and volume controls, all packed into a sweet Tron-like interface. NFL Ticker. Catch the scores, updated in realtime! NFL team Schedule . Customize to your team, see the games, when they are on, and more. The Venice Webcam . Live rotating shots from a variety of webcams around Venice. Ah, Venice... Gas Prices. Keep an eye on the cheapest gas in YOUR area. Keep an eye on what’s in your Netflix Queue with this handy widget. Living on the West Coast, can’t be without an Earthquakes monitor. And finally, gotta keep tabs on The Weather , as well as the moonphase and the forecast with this one! Comes with the application. As always, Konfabulator is free, and both Apple and Microsoft are chasing after it in their OS releases.

Yahoo 360: an interesting idea

I use social networking sites mostly for business, but Yahoo 360 is making me rethink it. A great execution: blog, links, even flickr photostreams all in one place. And elegant Yahoo integration. I'm impressed. Like the best of Blogger, combined with Orkut and flickr. I'd have expected this from Google, not Yahoo.

Linguistic entertainment

DORMITORY When you rearrange the letters: DIRTY ROOM PRESBYTERIAN When you rearrange the letters: BEST IN PRAYER ASTRONOMER When you rearrange the letters: MOON STARER DESPERATION When you rearrange the letters: A ROPE ENDS IT THE EYES When you rearrange the letters: THEY SEE GEORGE BUSH When you rearrange the letters: HE BUGS GORE THE MORSE CODE When you rearrange the letters: HERE COME DOTS SLOT MACHINES When you rearrange the letters: CASH LOST IN ME ANIMOSITY When you rearrange the letters: IS NO AMITY ELECTION RESULTS When you rearrange the letters: LIES - LET'S RECOUNT MOTHER-IN-LAW When you rearrange the letters: WOMAN HITLER SNOOZE ALARMS When you rearrange the letters: ALAS! NO MORE Z'S DECIMAL POINT When you rearrange the letters: IM A DOT IN PLACE THE EARTHQUAKES When you rearrange the letters: THAT QUEER SHAKE ELEVEN PLUS TWO When you rearrange the letters: TWELVE PLUS ONE AND FOR THE GRAND FINALE: PRESIDENT CLINTON OF THE USA: When you rearrange the lett

Loyalty Lab: looking for an email stud

Our email business is getting bigger, so we need to add resources. Anyone you know? They can come join the fun! Job Title: Email Operations Consultant Company: Loyalty Lab Summary Loyalty Lab Inc. is a growing San Francisco venture-funded supplier of hosted retail multi-channel loyalty systems. Loyalty Lab’s suite of powerful SAAS (software as a service) marketing solutions allows retailers to create and manage loyalty and relationship marketing programs without any commitment to software or hardware. This is your hands-on opportunity to make an impact at a top tier venture funded startup. You will be responsible for email campaigns for our top customers. This requires working with our clients, partners and internal groups to guide successful implementation of email programs and delivery best practices. Responsibilities Maintain high deliverability rates for client campaigns. Manage relationships with ISPs (including white listing process) Enforce privacy and anti-spam policies. Monito