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Showing posts from December, 2009

TechCrunch is Wrong: The Cost Of Nexus One Freedom

TechCrunch has an article on the new "GooglePhone," the NexusOne, and "why it still matters." In essence, it's been revealed that you can buy it, unlocked to any carrier, for $530. The article makes an attempt to justify that, while the cost is high, it still is amazingly groundbreaking. I could not disagree more. Let's have a look at what the argument is for "why this still matters," and why it's a crock. Google is supposedly selling this $530 Nexus One completely unlocked. Uh, so what? This is a GSM phone, which means in the US, that vaunted "unlocking" lets you not only use it on T-Mobile (the preferred carrier), but all other US GSM carriers. What's that you say? Who are the vast selection of others? AT&T. That's it. Yep. So, let me get this straight: I can spend nearly twice as much for a phone that I can choose to sign a contract to use...with all of 1 other carrier? Oh, and if I do want to use this with AT&T,

What Riddles Reveal

GigaOM has a snarky post today on the "wacky" questions that are asked during job interviews. In looking them over, as well as who's asking, I'd actually say that many of these are very smart and reveal more about the interviewee than a typical open ended question. Examples: What was your best MacGyver moment? – Schlumberger junior field engineer Why the hell would you NOT want a person who can answer this, if you are putting someone who needs to be able to come up with solutions, alone, in the field? This is brilliant. If two cars are traveling in a two lap race on a track of any length, one going 60 mph and the other going 30 mph, how fast will the slower car have to go to finish at the same time as the faster car? – Morgan Stanley trader You have a job that involves making quick calculations and forecasting. Again, this question illustrates how fast you can respond to either. Tell me how you would determine how many house painters there are in the United States?

Dawn of The Realtime Location Based Social Network

I've been dipping a toe with trepidation into the world of location-aware social networking. I say "with trepidation" because I have had many primal concerns about broadcasting my location to the world...and I am questioning that trepidation. The immediate fear is about a loss of privacy, yet I am a staunch proponent that privacy is an illusion: with the advance of Google, the growth of social networking, and the ubiquitous presence of smartphones, the reality is that privacy has long been gone. Think those text messages you send are private? Wrong . How about those pictures and videos you publish to Flickr and YouTube? Please. Watching cable or renting a Netflix disc? Yup, those companies know just what you like and can be compelled to share that info. Your GPS and cell phone can't be tracked, surely? Are you kidding me? Every single device we use to make our lives easier with increased communication has a dark side: those same communication paths can be followed bac

Football Season is Over

No, the NFL season continues on. But my Fantasy season has come to an inglorious end. I've had several great seasons , but this one doesn't rank up there. In 2006, I took it all. 2007, I came 1 win short of the title. Last year, I snuck into the playoffs after having given up, and managed to even get through the first round. This season? Not so much. Despite having the #1 pick of the draft (which I did NOT arrange for, as commissioner, despite conspiracy theories to the contrary) which I used on fantasy stud Adrian Peterson, and my beloved Cowboy gunslinger Tony Romo as my QB, and even a new iPhone app to manage my team , I failed to make the playoffs for the first time in my fantasy career. I finished on a high note, as the image shows here, with yet another strong performance. In fact, in my league, I scored the 4th most points all season. Yet I could not overcome the attention deficit that my work life imposed, causing me to make late adjustments and poor lineup choices. Th

Make Mine Marvel

Thanks to a wonderful Xmas gift last year, I have been catching up on a decade and a half of missed comic books without the frustration of the actual books. Marvel's Digital Comics have thousands of digitized comics, all laid out for enjoyment. And Marvel has introduced version 3.0 of their reader , which has made the experience far more seamless and rich. I still dislike the gaps in the issues, and the difficulty in reading the crossover events (would it kill you to index the Civil War and Secret Invasion series, folks?), but this reader is a definite improvement. Now, Marvel, make me an iPhone version, and we are seriously talking. Hey, you already offer issues for sale for reading through Comics X on the iPhone; can you just extend my subscription to those?

Trillian Makes it to the iPhone

Yes, it finally has happened. My favorite IM client has made it to the iPhone , and it was worth the wait. For $5, Trillian users instantly get their full buddy list, across all IM services, complete with renamed buddies and, best of all, push notification for new messages! There are features a plenty, but the biggest advantage Trillian brings to the iPhone is stability and seamless sync with PC clients. I've been using it for a couple of weeks, and I'm pleased to see it works so well. The push notification mostly works perfectly, except for the occasional odd time it doesn't alert you, but it's made life a lot easier so far. Of course, not all is golden; there is room for improvement. I'd very much like to see a few changes: Allow buddies to be displayed in tiles, as Trillian does on the PC. With the small screen of the iPhone, this is almost a must. A one click to set status messages from presets. Better control of the sounds to choose different ones for the notif

The Pinnacle of Steampunk

Gentle readers, you know of my quasi obsession with all things steampunk. Unlike many who share in this quirky alternate history reimagining, I posses extremely little actual talent in the use of tools or the artistic skills to put them to good use. Luckily, Bruce Rosenbaum of Sharon, MA, has not only the skills, but has transformed his home into his canvas of expressions. My friends, I give you the Steampunk Home . T here are so many jaw dropping elements to this abode, I can barely believe it. The door to his file storage room in his home office pictured here is just the beginning. Not only does it simply stand on its own, but: The lock wheel is functional and the signal light over the door illuminates along with the interior lights when the door is opened. The kitchen alone is a marvel of design and efficiency, not to mention a first that I have seen at how it combines human and canine creature comforts. The false fireplace/mantle that artfully houses the home entertainment is anoth

Wall Outlets for the Gadget Minded

For those of you who follow my feed in Google Reader , you may have seen a few of these latest posts. This USB-enabled replacement for the humble wall outlet is one of my recent smack-on-the-forehead "Why didn't I think of that?" Moments. For a measly $10, you can replace your wall outlet with a source for your vampiric gadgets, especially the Dracula of the power hungry, the iPhone 3GS. I've had sporadic luck with these USB slots at airports and planes with Apple's tether, but with a whole house of power available, I'm fairly sure it can force the ravenous appetite to be sated.