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Showing posts from July, 2007

Am I Getting A Good Seat?

Thanks to a clever link from my new favorite travel site, TripIt , I found . Ever wondered whether the seat on the plane you are choosing is any good? Does it fully recline? Are there power outlets for the laptop? Does it suck? No more guesswork: SeatGuru has the answer. A service of the always great , SeatGuru has a hell of a mission statement: "In October 2001 frequent flyer Matthew Daimler launched with a single color-coded interactive airplane seating chart. Having realized the vast differences between airline seats, he was determined to build a repository of this useful information and share it with other travelers. Over ten million visitors later, SeatGuru has enjoyed incredible success and has expanded to over 275 airplane seatmaps from over 40 different airlines." With it, I was able to book seats for an upcoming Texas trip on American Airlines, avoiding the "Poor Seats" and "Be Aware" seats with complete c

Hope...and professional football...Springs Eternal

Here we go again: a group of frustrated billionaires who are anxious to own a professional football team, propose to start a new league to challenge the NFL . Called the United Football League (the logo here is from an old defunct league), they think they have the tools and the talent to succeed where so many have failed before. And they actually might be right. The New York Times had a much better article on this (you have to pay $5 to read it...sigh) that outlined the case. First, the head is Bill Hambrecht, one of the most successful investment firm heads to ever walk the financial halls. He also has the bruises to prove he knows what he is up against: he's a former part owner of the Oakland Invaders of the ill-fated USFL. His argument is that the NFL is not in most of the top 25 TV markets of the US: cities like Orlando, San Antonio, and yes, Los Angeles, have no pro football. Second, he cites great GM's and coaches who point out the last 25 players on an NFL team are inte

Christmas in July

Few brands inspire warm and fuzzy feelings in me. Of the ones that do, it's because they have the capacity to surprise and delight me with delicious unexpected gifts at the most opportune times. And I'm happy to say, one just has. Tivo, whose service I have awaited with endless frustration to come onto my behemoth of a clunker Comcast DVR, has just released TivoHD. Yes, there had been a Tivo HD DVR before....for the ungodly price of $1,000 (fell to $700). Instead, I was driven into the arms of that cheap tramp from Comcast, who promised me a "good (HD) time" for less than $20 a month. Well, as you might expect, I walked away with an empty feeling, pining for the luxury that was my Tivo, but knowing I was not willing to fork over the asking price. Today, the sensuality of my lovely Tivo in glorious two tuner HD, with Amazon Unbox service and web-based programming, can be had for three precious Jacksons , 70% less than before. Caveat: you have to argue with Comcast to w

Dude, I'm So Tripping

I travel a lot for work and fun. I tend to book trips on the individual airline's websites (after I use Farecast and SideStep to find the best deals), so I get the mileage bonuses. The pain of that is that you get all of these different confirmations, emails, and tracking numbers, so it's not easy to consolidate them down to my schedule. I use TravelTracker for the Treo to type it all in, but it's time consuming, and annoying. Enter TripIt . That email confirmation you got? Forward it to In under a minute, you head over to TripIt, and you get this: Want to add more to the trip, like a car rental? Just forward it on, and TripIt adds it to it. Want to track some activities you want to do while on the trip? Use the TripClipper to bookmark it to your trip. I like the service a lot: they focus on ease of use and solving a problem. There is definitely room to improve here, though: syncing with Outlook or Google Calendar, for instance. Consolidating Frequent Flye

Adventures of an Anal Retentive Comic Geek

As Charles says, "What are bros for?" He chortles, as he sends me an URL that is guaranteed to cater to my not so recently supressed past, as well as the vein of obsessive compulsion that runs through me, causing me to quake and realize that its time to come clean about my deepest, darkest secret... Hello, my name is Josh, and I am a comic book collector. Well, "collector" implies a bit of present tense, so it's not entirely true. With the exception of the signed Kevin Smith original Daredevils and Green Arrows I picked up in the last couple of years, my collection is firmly rooted in what I consider comics' heyday, the 1980's. Like all of my ilk of that time, the X-Men and their spinoffs dominate my collection. but that is also the time of Frank Miller's Dark Knight series, which changed comics (and movies) forever. It's the time of Alan Moore, who brought V for Vendetta to a public who clearly had no idea what to do with it. And it's the

Go Speed Racer!

I had only peripherally heard that there was a live action Speed Racer movie being made. An Anime come to real life? Yet it's being done by done other than two of film's greatest auteurs, IMHO, the Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix, Bound, V for Vendetta, etc.). Charles pointed me to it this AM, ruining the productivity of my day. And yet, feast your eyes on the Mach 5. Do I care who's in it? No (but Susan Sarandon, John Goodman, and Cristina Ricci are). Do I care what the script is? No (but it looks actually good). Will I see it on the basis of this car alone? Yes. 2008 is Go!

A Real Ring for a Fake Championship

Now, I'm a Madden fan, but this is insane. Jostens is making available a custom made Madden Championship ring for you to order to commemorate your completely imaginary accomplishment. Life may imitate art, but does it need to celebrate it? Ladies, please note: this is the new universal symbol of men to stay away from.

Reason #482 Blogs are important

A while back, I blogged about how a person in my company was using his blog as a good tool to help better position himself and his job satisfaction in the company. Today, while perusing my Google Reader, I read his latest entry. This excerpt caught my eye: "I hope some of the candidates I interview run into this blog entry. In reality, the ones that are curious enough to try and Google some information about my company or SQL Server DBA interview questions will run into lots of more useful information before coming upon this blog. Unfortunately, those are few and far between." Damn, that's smart. I never thought to use my blog to define my perfect new hire. It makes sense: why not demystify the process, and let people know just the kind of person you are looking for? Hell, I know people Google me before an interview; why not see just how good and smart they are by leaving them the tips they need to ensure I understand they are the right person for the job? Thanks, Ed.

What's so great about Facebook?

At some of my co-workers urgings, I recently added Facebook to my litany of online networking tools; you can check out my page , if you are so inclined. I gotta say...what's the big deal? It's like a (slightly) more grown up version of MySpace , but lacking in many of the amazingly powerful tools of LinkedIn or Plaxo ; with those tools, you get the business, as well as very slick automatically linking and updating tools, without the "oh, look at me" factors. In essence, what a business pro needs. And yet, the news is going crazy with stories of how they will (or have) surpassed MySpace as the premier online destination, and more. Remember, Rupert Murdoch's $400 Million purchase of MySpace was considered unreal at the time, yet Facebook is already rumored to be in the $750 million range, and considering going IPO. Hell, they say they'll make $100 million this year. For such a juggernaut, I can't help but wonder why the site is so ungainly. For instance, in

Wii would like to play.

My normal Saturdays usually start with a catch up of my favorite blogs and sites, followed by a blog entry or two. Yesterday's passed without this. Today, my arms are sore as I type this. The reason for both? We are now the proud owners of a Wii , thanks to Charles' serendipity. See, on Friday, as he took the day off with his family, he was wandering around Berkeley and saw a store that not only had the Wii in stock, but at it's list price! He frantically tried to get a hold of me to see if he should pick it up, and I gladly agreed. Forget the iPhone; this thing is sold out everywhere, months after its release! He delivered it Friday night, and my weekend was officially shot. It's rare when a device's performance lives up to the hype, but the Wii is one of those that absolutely blew me away.I know, you're thinking, "Oh God, another geeky videogame rant," but trust me, it ain't. Hardcore gaming performance wise, the Wii is the weakest of the 3 "

The noble steed, freshly shod

Nothing like a friday afternoon flat to start the weekend off. Glad the ferry gives me time to change tires!

Could I be happier? Trillian gets Widgets!

Well, installation of Trillian Astra was a breeze. So far, nice skins (and you can change them without restarting!), great layout view, and smooth operation. But...wait...what's that I see, buried in my Astra profile? I can add... widgets ? I have died and gone to Trillian heaven. They are elegant, very nice to look at, and useful as all hell! Weather is sweet, the Flickr widget is so cool (compared to the Yahoo Widget Engine one, which I expected FAR more from), and the Twitter one makes following tweets easy!I'm looking for the RSS feed one to come out NOW...then we're talking!

Woo-HOO! I'm a Trillian Astra Beta tester!

Remember when you used to actually enjoy getting emails? Well, I just had that feeling, as my Gmail let me know that I was just accepted as a Trillian Astra beta tester! Yep, I've just downloaded the ecstasy that is the next generation of unified instant messaging, so I'll be reporting on my impressions as they happen. Look out, world: I'm on the future of IM. ;-) Just a side note: over 4 years ago, I started converting a page of my website to a series of random ramblings and impressions of cool gadgets, things in my world, and more, for my family and friends to enjoy. Since then, blogging has gone mainstream, and many of my friends have started their own blogs, which are a blast to read. It's something I could not have envisioned, nor was I sure how long I'd keep up with it, but, despite several false starts, different blogging platforms, and long absences that my work enforces, I'm proud to celebrate my 500th post in this blog. I've enjoyed every bit of i

Tivo FINALLY coming to Comcast in August

With the unbelievable noise that is the iPhone, an important news item slipped out unnoticed, except by the good folks at Ars Technica: Tivo is FINALLY coming to the Comcast DVR's, over a year after it was first announced. The best part of this is this quote: "Comcast DVRs based on the TiVo software should be ready in select areas as early as August." Comcast, I'm hereby DEMANDING I be in one of those select areas. I want my Tivo Comcast DVR before Heroes and Lost start again! Our long national cable nightmare for cheap(er) DVR's may finally be on the verge of ending.