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Showing posts from October, 2007

Snippets from the Marin

Trick or treat! My normal high speed ferry in to work this morning had mechanical issues, so it was replaced by the Marin . The Marin , one of the older (and slower) Spaulding ferries, but the Marin is special: it underwent a multimillion dollar renovation to take this 1970's relic to a state of the art ship. Primarily, it was renovated to accommodate the tourist traffic on the San Francisco to Sausalito run, but, on occasion, it is pressed into service for Larkspur. Impressions: - The staff is completely bewildered. Although the Marin was specifically renovated to handle over 70 bikes (as are common in the Sausalito run) with dedicated bike racks belowdecks, the staff directed commuters with bikes to the aft, outside (with no racks) "to spare you from having to carry the bike downstairs." - The seating configurations are fascinating. The bow seats, both belowdecks and on the main deck, have La-Z-Boy seats with combination armrests and trays. Nice touch! - One of the mor

Maps + News = YourStreet

Just a quick link to a good TechCrunch article on YourStreet, a mashup between news stories and hyperlocal Google Maps. Want to see what news is happening in YOUR neighborhood? YourStreet automatically detects where you are and shows you what's going on. Yes, you can also change location, but a very useful mashup for news junkies like me.

Full moon over SF

Nice night tonight for a ride!

Email, now landing on runway 44

Email is never as sexy as it is in the movies. Think of Mission: Impossible , or Disclosure , among others: email there is cool, animated, and very sleek. Sure, there have been some attempts to help out, like IncrediMail , but they are mostly cartoonish and not at all engaging. Not to mention that, if you have email volume anything like mine, it's not even close to realistic. But help (or hurt?) is on the way! 3D Mailbox , who brought us your email inbox represented as Miami Beach, now introduces Level 2: the LA Airport! Yes, depending on where your email came from, you can see a jumbo jet land in 3d photorealism, along with pilot chatter and more. Want to see Spam eliminated? What's that...a surface to air missile? Email attachment...hey, is that a DHL cargo jet I see taking off? See for yourself: Yes, I admit it's hilarious...and horrific...yet oddly compelling. TechCrunch sure hates it, as does CrunchGear . I am inclined to try it, if only for the ATC voiceovers. Years

Bob Geldof Was Right.

I don't like Mondays. Well, Monday came and went with no Treo update . Sigh. However, in signing up for Palm's MyPalm service, I was alerted to an older update to the Treo, offering improved battery performance and a new camera application. Despite my misgivings, I installed it. While I don't see much change from the update, I was surprised about the process. First, the update took about 30 minutes, with frequent Treo reboots as part of the process, making it more reminiscent of a Windows update than a Palm one. Second, quite annoyingly, the update either wiped out several applications, or lost the registration info on others. Paired Bluetooth headsets? Gone. Serial numbers? Reset. It took over an hour to recreate...argh. If this is what I have to look forward to for the next update, I'll make sure my old Boy Scout motto gets put to use, first.

What the...Palm's updating the 680?

What the heck is in the water at Palm? After literally years of malaise, first they chuck a product that the market clearly didn't want, then they introduce a $99 smartphone that people actually seem to like, and now comes word that they pushing out a free update to the 680 (my Treo) with actually cool features people want! Is this a signal that Palm is on its way back? According to Treonauts , 10/22 (Monday) will bring us AT&T 680 owners a bevy of new goodies: Maintenance Release for the Treo 680 Available 10/22 (current record) * Enables PTT feature * Places Stub applications on the devices in support of: o IM clients (Yahoo!, AIM, Windows Live) o TeleNav o MobiTV * Ability for a MP3 or any sort of music file to be translated as a Ringtone * Will be available as free download for all AT&T Treo 680 customers o SMS blast from AT&T will alert customers in addition to traditional channel and Customer Care messagin

Screw Photoshop! Hello, Picnik!

Flickr managed to seduce me from keeping my photos on my website, but Picnik takes me all the way. See, normally I upload my raw pictures to the PC, fire up Photoshop to do my crops, color balances, and edits, and then painstakingly save each photo, finally uploading the finished product to Flickr for the world to see. However, Photoshop is a HUGE program, and, as the last version I purchased is several years old, I am always loathe to get in there with the monstrous kludginess. This year, after taking some photos in San Antonio and capturing the Blue Angels from Angel Island , I decided another approach was in order. I uploaded the raw images to Flickr, then fired up, a site that claims to be a free online Web 2.0 photo editor. In literally seconds, I was pulling in my Flickr images, and editing, faster and better than Photoshop ever let me do. Cropping? Definitely. Color and contract balancing? Count on it. Best of all, an "auto-fix" feature that corrects my ho

Decrypting the NFL

Just a quick link to a website that shows all of the NFL games every week, and what markets will see what games. After last week's trek to Petaluma to take in the Dallas-New England Armageddon, I definitely have a new appreciation for A) good sports bars with good food, friendly service and fun (not Raider-like) fans; B) the value of DirecTV's Sunday Ticket; and C)the frustration of the fan who can't figure out what game is on where. Now, where will I watch my Cowboys bounce back against the Vikings?

Tretakoff vs. Tretakoff

Yep, today's the big game. My beloved and undefeated Dallas Cowboys play host to my hometown (and also undefeated) New England Patriots. Tom Brady vs. Tony Romo. Randy Moss vs. Terrell Owens. Jerry Jones vs. Robert Kraft. All amazing matchups, but none compares to the biggest blood feud: Amy vs. Me. Yep, my wife has blossomed into a full out Pats fan, and we're going to the nearest sports bar to watch the battle unfold. Why? In the Bay Area, the biggest game of the season thus far is trumped by the Raiders vs. the Chargers. As part of NBC's whopping $3.6 billion dollar contract with the NFL for Sunday Night Football, NBC wisely got a concession out of the NFL: "flex" scheduling to allow them to select the best game for the Sunday Night national audience. So why are we not enjoying the "Highlander" ( "There can be only one" ) game in the comfort of our own home? Alas, flex scheduling does not start for 6 more weeks. NBC has to be grinding their

Business Line Becomes VOIP Line

In the last few weeks, we've rearranged our offices to separate the business teams from the development teams (seems us business types tend to make a bit too much noise for those heads-down developers). I've also hired two new team members. As a result of these two events, instead of paying yet another exorbitant telco install fee, I decided to make the leap from landlines and switch the team to Skype for our phone service. I should point out that this is not my first foray into Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). My home phone us run by AT&T's CallVantage service, and one of my team members has been on Skype since she joined us. I also used Skype to chat with another company executive while he was in India. In all cases, I was impressed with the voice quality, and the price is unreal. To start, I installed the latest Skype client, and got it working with my headset: the whole process took about 2 minutes. Next up was getting a plan so I could call regular phones; Sky

A Tale Of Two Ferries

As I avail myself of ferry transportation every day, I am always fascinated with the genre and it's twists and turns. For instance, on the ferry I take, I continue to be frustrated by their lack of vision. Two key runs sell out in the morning, and all others continue to be a dramatic money loser; rather than cut service in those dead times and offer a third run in the peak times, the Golden Gate Ferry continues to plod along without changes. Heck, contract the onboard beverage service to Peet's or Starbucks, and take a piece of the revenue! However I complain about my ferry, it is still a magnificent way to commute. Folks in Sydney seem to feel the same, as they have started to experience not just great ferry service, but eco-friendly ferry service. With a combination of flexible solar panels and wind harnessing, they commute with half of the emissions of a traditional high-speed ferry. Nice work, down under. On the flipside, there are my friends at Hawaii Superferry. A massiv

I'm Not Dead

It only looks that way. Work has been brutal, but the end is nigh: I have hired two new staff members, and one has already started. With trips to Chicago and NY coming up, the extra help could not have come at a better time. I've also been logging a lot of biking and other fun exercise, so blogging (and calls to my mother, father and friends) have suffered. I've been reduced to Facebook status updates and occasional snippets...but hopefully, I'll be back in a regular publishing groove soon. I owe a big post on Plaxo , as they worked through my issues to get me fully working. And man, is it sweet. Look for it shortly. I also need to point out the best PC deals ever in the Dell Outlet ; top of the line PC's for under $400. Plus my recent solution for podcasts on the Treo, syncing with iTunes. And that's not mentioning my recent transition to Skype . And finally, a review of Madden 08 on the Wii: the results will surprise you. For now, I leave you with an image of the