Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2008


As an iPhone owner, I am one of the thousands waiting anxiously for the June 9th unveiling of iPhone 2.0, and the applications it will bring to the iPhone. Sure, I've enjoyed unlocking my iPhone, and using some interesting apps, but, as the commercial says, ain't nothing like the real thing, baby. However, today brought a new announcement that add even more anticipation. StyleTap will bring it's Palm OS emulator to the iPhone . Why is this good? I have invested literally hundreds of dollars over the years in Palm apps, and some I miss every day. Sure, iPhone 2.0 will open the floodgates for many (eWallet among them), but there's some great Palm OS games and apps I would dearly love to have again, and it looks like WWDC will bring me both new native iPhone apps, and restore some of my beloved Palm ones. Of course, this is wonderful for me, but essentially kills Palm. Why would you spend for a Treo, when you can have an iPhone with a Palm in it, as well? It's already

Sunrise At Logan

My 5 state, 2 plane day starts at 4:30am at Boston's Logan Airport with sunrise.

Riding the City Rails

Got to love San Francisco's restored classic streetcars. Running every 5-10 minutes up and down Market St., it's like stepping back in time.

Melodic Birdsong

Twitter continues to impress me. Not the service, per se, but the ways it is used, how it's connected, and so on. For instance: - Want to track a package? Sure, you can use the web, and "pull" from a page to find out the status of your package. But what if you could get a Twitter message (a "tweet") at every step of the package's journey? You'd know if you need to be home to accept a package the next day, without having to remember to visit a webpage in advance. Just send a Direct Message to TrackThis with the tracking number (any carrier) and a name you want to refer to the package by, and you'll get updates on every movement of the package. - The Bay Area is famous for the weather phenomena of microclimates. Up in San Rafael, for instance, I can get an update every 30 minutes on the weather. - Twitter is actually useful for discovering new people, as well. For instance, MistyKhan saw I was struggling with some Microsoft Outlook issues, and offered

How NOT To Do E-mail Marketing #147

In my business, I tend to work with a lot of online marketers. I also tend to work with a lot of companies who look at loyal customers, and focus on ways to keep them loyal. So, when I come across a particular example in my personal life of one that does both so badly, I have to point it out. Today's example is a company called Haggar. I know, you're thinking "the people that make those expandable slacks my grandfather wore?" Yes, them. About 10 years ago, they invested heavily in a new brand image: hipper, cheaper, and good quality. They opened a ton of factory outlet stores, while bringing the new lines into retailers like Mervyn's, JC Penney, etc. And thus the modern Haggar was born: a mix of casual clothes and traditional suits at extremely low prices, with modern styling. 5 or 6 years ago, I used to commute 120 miles each way to work. I know, sounds insane, but I loved the company, and the commute started in Marin County, CA, and ended in Monterey, CA: now,

Lost's Ideal Airport

For years now, I have wandered through San Francisco Airport's former International terminal with amazement. The building is deserted. Empty. Completely vacant. Yet it's location is directly between the massively busy United/American Terminal 3 and the hodgepodge of Terminal 1's Delta/US Air/Everyone else. That means that travel between the two inevitably requires walking through this cavernous maw of 1970's architecture, with only the sound of your footsteps and the squeaking of the wheels of your rollaboard to keep you company. It's downright eerie, and strange, since every other terminal seems so overwhelmed with traffic and business. With it's central location, and easy gate locations, it's always strange that it lies there, dormant, in an otherwise modern busy airport. Heck, you even have to pass the Airport Police as you enter, as their station lives at the entrance. Nothing like armed police eyeing you suspiciously, wondering why you are willingly ent


On my recent 48 hours East Coast trip, I had a rare joy; the use of a train instead of a plane to travel. For the first time, I took advantage of Amtrak's Acela Express to get from New York to Boston, and I have to say, the easy access to trains is one if the few things I miss about the East Coast, but the Acela Express takes it to a whole new level. First, why did I choose the train? My New York meetings were in Long Island. I flew in to JFK and grabbed the connecting Long Island Railroad to get to my destination, so I was already rail-enabled. The price for a shuttle flight from JFK to Boston was about $200; the train? $100. Between waiting for the plane and security, it would have been about 2.5 hours, plus having to get from Boston's Logan airport to 25 miles south of the city to my destination. The train? 3 hours, station to station, 10 miles from where I was staying and no downtown traffic. No brainer. The experience is all city to city travel should be: fast, comfortable

Trike To Work Day

What fascinates me about this trike that was on this morning's ferry is the clearance between the ground and the chain: maybe 1"? One good SF pothole will do a number on that. Still, he rides in comfort!

Iron Man: Shellshocked

After partaking of the much anticipated Iron Man this last week in a surreal theater, packed with DLP technology and nearly every seat occupied by a bizarre confluence of bears , I came away with all of my hopes realized, and almost all of my fears allayed. Warning to those that have not seen the film yet: there's gonna be some serious spoilers here, so if you are not inclined to have the experience ruined, see the film before reading this one. Suitably (ahem) warned? Ok, here we go. What I liked: - The movie took a cue from two highly successful comic book films: Spider-Man and Batman Begins . In Spider-Man, the movie worked so well because the director focused the attention on sharing the experience of what it would be like for a kid to suddenly have these powers. It wasn't the costume, or the bad guy: it was the sudden freedom to be able to do whatever he wanted, when he wanted. Peter Parker's scream of delight as he leapt from rooftop to rooftop was a primal expressio

The End of Paper?

Imagine if there were a way to capture every piece of paper, every article you ever read, every scrap of information, online or offline, and be able to dump it all into a single program, that would index it, store it, and make it available to you, wherever you were. Now imagine that program worked with your PC, Mac, or cellphone. Imagine if the program was smart enough to be able to look at the every scanned image and interpret the text it sees there, so you could search on the text in the image. And imagine it's constantly getting better, learning as it goes, being automatically updated. Now imagine its free. Ladies and gentlemen, I humbly direct you to Evernote . I've been playing with it in private beta for a week or so now, and I have to say...I'm impressed. I've written previously about my hatred of all things paper, but Evernote takes it to a new level, with online storage, built in automatic optical character recognition (OCR) of text, and so much more. Some peo

Marvel In Jokes

With this week's release of Iron Man , yet another Marvel Comics hero makes the leap to the big screen. The track record thus far has been blockbuster or miss: Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four , and X-Men have been unqualified hits; Daredevil, The Hulk, and Ghost Rider less so. I'm pulling for Shellhead, and Charles tells me my hopes are justified from his lunchtime excursion today. One hallmark of a Marvel movie is the cameo of beloved Stan Lee, the creator of so many of these characters. Cameos are a Marvel hallmark, as are clever in-jokes. For instance, in this summer's new Incredible Hulk movie , starring Edward Norton and Liv Tyler, Robert Downey Jr. makes an appearance as Tony Stark from Iron Man! Heck, this is getting just like the comics! As for Stan Lee, he finds a cameo in all of these films, and this article indicates Iron Man is no exception. In fact, there's a whole YouTube collection of the cameos of Stan The Man; check them out below. My favorite? O

Bait & Switch In the Online Age

Unacceptable e-mail from today. Subject line: $299 Laptop...22" LCD $199...37" HDTV $599 Of course a $299 laptop is appealing to me! When you open the e-mail, this is what you get: This may work in 42nd St. in NYC, but not on the web. Guess Tiger won't be getting my business.