Mojave! a stupid campaign

Is it just me or does the mojave campaign just brag about a bunch of apps that come bundled with the OS, and not the OS itself.  The most recent ad is ridiculous, talking about how a bundled photo app stiches images together.  I mean that's cool and all, but it's got nothing to do with me trying to get a netbook on a network quickly

But the whole campaign is ridiculous overall.  Of course vista demos well, no one said it was ugly.  The problem is that it's a bloated unstable beast rife with bugs.  I can only hope for microsoft that they come out with windows 7 soon, no one wants a copy of Windows ME 2008.


Mumbai Attacks

Lately I've read a lot of blogs and heard a lot of people talk about this as precision attack, and I'm dumbfounded.  The terrorists did a crappy job and I'm glad, but thanks to airheaded media they were successful.  Kill foreigners to get it on CNN and the BBC, and suddenly india is one of the most dangerous places in the world, congratulations assholes with guns, terror achieved.

This wasn't a crack team acting with surgical precision, it was a bunch of yahoos with weapons that'd make your average nutjob survivalist chuckle.  The violence was little better than random otherwise many more than 200 would have died.  The fact that only 200 died suggests that the security response was actually pretty damn effective. I'm just sad that stuff like this makes people comfortable with giving up civil liberties for cleverly named "safety measures" like the patriot act.


Know what's in the bailout

Given that there's probably a lot of confusion around the bailout, here's a link to a super useful site for bill transparency: www.publicmarkup.org where you can review and post comments to pending legislation. It's a great idea for more transparency of government, but when are we gonna have the time to review pending bills.


Social Websites revisited

As I try to sort out/streamline my digital life, which seems to be inversely related in activity to my analog life, I've chanced upon a couple sites I signed up for ages ago but never really started using till just now.
  1. OpenID, and the rep building site attached to it called jyte, of course now that google and yahoo are on the boat too I have several openID's to rationalize
  2. Twine, which for me has now completely replaced del.icio.us because I like the way it's configured, and the idea of colaborative link accumulation around topics appeals to me
  3. ThisNext which is basically a site where you post links to stuff you find cool to show people how ahead of the curve you are, but it's also a great place to find links to awesome stuff.
Of course these days I'm a member of soooooo many "social networking" sites that it's beginning to make my head spin


Internet meme timeline

Whilst digging I found this sweet timeline of some of the biggest internet memes. Well worth the jump so you can remember where you where at when the hamsters were first dancing, or when Mr T first ate my balls


New blog, 6thing.com

After playing with blogger and twitter and facebook and all the rest I decided to try a short format blog and have created with some friends 6thing.com It's a simple blog that posts arbitrary lists of 6 things. The lists come in via submissions over email, or from the recesses of my mind. Take a look


Forgotten Memes: Ate my balls

So whilst over at nina's museum blog ( check the blogroll), I noticed that egads! She's a member of a webring, they still exist. Like finding a bakalite felix the cat at a garage sale I was suddenly excited. Wow, I remember these from when the web was young.

One of my favorite web rings for inane humor in the late 90's was the "ate my balls" webring. Of the same level of class as "Fat chicks with party hats," the ate my balls sites featured entire sites devoted to comic strip like speech bubbles over images of people where they'd talk about various ways of eating balls. These days something like this would just end up on something awful.

According to wikipedia, nehal patel's "Bob Ross ate my balls" was the first, but his 1998 Mr T ate my balls was the site that drove this fad to it's highest popularity.

Added some yelp to the blog

I figured since I keep posting food pictures anyway I may as well add the yelp "bling" to the blog. I still use yelp a fair amount, even when my blog postings are infrequent, cause hey... you still gotta eat. Overall yelp is very useful when you don't know where to go in any given area, but for a newcomer to the site, unless you know the tastes of the reviewers, it super easy to get burned by reviews from people who think themselves experts. By and large quality of reviews is allover the place, but when a place has been reviewed 20 or more times you can usually get a good bead on it.


One day only in the big easy

Just came back from a 30 hr trip to New Orleans, and boy was it fun. Met up with Jack (the pirate) and crashed at the W in the Quarter. We managed to make our way from the quarter down to frenchman stopping at bars and gorging ourselves on fried food such as the delicious sandwich pictured above. Highlights of the evening were talking to locals in little random dive bars, an awesome frozen irish coffee, fried green tomatoes and shrimp in a spicy sauce at a hookah bar, and getting out of the torrential downpours that peppered the evening


if a tree falls...

I've started playing around with twitter because I like the idea of jotting down little notes to stir up discussion points in bite size pieces ( each of which is actually 140 byte sized pieces, but I digress). That and I'm too lazy to update my blog much with interesting stuff

The problem is I don't have many friends reading my tweets ( though I prefer to call them twits since it's more fitting to the caliber of my posts), so my grand view of spurring the debate, or just publishing my status to groups of friends isn't working. In fact the way most people were getting my twits was through my facebook status updates which no longer functions thanks to twitter im being broken.

What I'd really like is for something like dodgeball to work, and while I'm wishing it'd be nice if it was seamlessly integrated withgoogle talk, my google contacts, google maps, and an rss feed I could embed ( or not) in my blog.

Also with all that metadata I'd love to have one giant database of posts which could be queried and displayed by ranges across maps, tag, timestamps, friend groups, etc. And if you could google earth animate it with little popup bubbles that'd be extra sweet. Imagine a trip journal like that. All you'd really need to carry in terms of data model would be

  • timestamp
  • geocode
  • recipient list including predefined groups

  • text content
  • multimedia attachment ( picture, audio, video)
So just a simple app on top of the existing mms infrastructure could carry all of this. You could also create an easy restful interface, and im bots for jabber, aim, and yahoo. Google has all the pieces to make it happen, but I bet it's a product management nightmare, especially since I haven't seen any new development on dodgeball in a while.


Jottin and reqall

So I've recently started using a couple services to facilitate my mobile lifestyle. "Jott" and "Reqall" The basic premise of both is that you call in to a special number, apply some voice commands, and then you get speech to text conversion with some additional functionality to produce emails, blog posts, calendar updates, todo lists etc. As I understand it reqall's been around longer, but I find as I start using twitter more, the extensible nature of jott will probably win me over. After all, the command can be used to interact with nearly any simple RESTful service. I'll post back with how well they've worked out for me.


The train cometh

I am soooo freakin happy that this could go forward. The commuter's dream of fast train from SF to LA might just actually happen read the gas2.org article for more.


Friend Network Pr0n

So if you're a regular reader of this blog you'll know I love infoporn, especially when it's network maps. Facebook now has a couple applications that will traverse your sets of friends and see how they're interconnected, or produce Venn diagrams of them based o various attributes.
As you can imagine, I love this and would like to see linked-in offer this kind of functionality because raw multivariate data analysis is interesting, but well supported by big data analysis tools (like TIBCO Spotfire). Community network analysis tools that import from social networks are hard to come by. I'd also like to see the ability to generate some better graphs of my friend network ( like the facebook friend wheel, only in a 3d space where I could rotate it and move nodes to see how people are interrelated as well as add wighting for the quality of the connection like orkut used to allow. Then you could start to do some really interesting personal network re-engineering/planning.
Another interesting thought that came out of this, and discussions with my friend Nina, was a discussion of how facilitate connections between sparsely connected groups of friends, or attempt to prevent Worlds from Colliding! (said in exasperated jason alexander voice). These will have to be explored later and with more subtlety



I've been hearing a lot of people talk about all kinds of detox diets with all kinds of crazy stuff in them ranging from nothing but maple syrup to some olive oil lemon juice concoction. Whenever I come off a long stint of travel or a weekend of junkfood excess I do my own super reliable detox diet which I've decided to share cause it actually works and really isn't that tough to do. If you can keep on it for a couple weeks your colon and skin will love you, but the key is making your own food, and making it taste good otherwise you'll be off the diet in a flash

Here are the basic pieces
  1. Hydrate, you have to drink a ton of water, minimum 3 liters a day ideally 4-5. You don't realize it but you get a lot of sodium in your diet regardless of how well you eat, especially when eating packaged foods. Drinking lots of water takes some strain off of your kidneys and liver since everything's more diluted
  2. Get some exercise. A lot of detox can be assisted with good cardio health because your body works it's way through everything faster. It also helps your body regulate stress which can make the whole process easier
  3. Manage your blood sugar. This means a lot of little things but the basics are don't eat refined sugars and starches because they cause your blood sugar to spike which is rough on your system. If you're going to have starchy or sugary things make sure you get some nuts or seeds or olive oil with them to slow down the sugar processing. Also eat many smaller meals over the course of the day instead of 3 bigs meals
  4. Be nice to your kidneys and liver- avoid alcohol, caffeine, tylenol, kava, etc.
  5. Eat fresh foods- most prepackaged food has been designed for taste and shelf life, not nutrition. Whenever possible go for raw fruit and veggie snacks over packaged ones and stay way way away from processed meats. Cooking your veggies is okay, but you're gonna want to lightly steam them if possible just to make sure you still get most of the vitamins
  6. Eat clean proteins- chicken, fish, eggwhites, soy, are all excellent sources of protein.
  7. get your fiber- leafy vegetables, fruit, bran cereal, undercooked oatmeal, etc.
  8. Eat some bulk starch but stay away from the refined stuff. White rice and pasta are bad, and small boiled potatoes are borderline ( lots of skin, high water content), so brown rice, cracked wheat (tabouleh), quinoa, and whole wheat cous cous are the way to go
  9. Misc extras: don't drink too much water with meals ( do it before or a couple hours after), avoid dairy and fried foods. Make sure to adequately season your food!!! lemon, salt, pepper, onions, garlic, ginger, cumin, chicken broth, fish stock, etc. All of these add a whole lotta flavor without making things bad for you, but remember with more salt you need to drink a lot of water

Example menus

  • all bran with soy milk and apple slices
  • eggwhites with spinach, onions, and mushrooms
midmorning snack:

1-2 pieces of fruit
home roasted almonds ( just toss em on a cookie sheet with no oil)
preservative free dried fruit

  • Salad with oil and vinegar dressing with grilled chicken or fish and fruit
  • brown rice sushi (sad, I know but sushi homma has made a name doing it)
  • Chicken Wrap on whole wheat tortilla/chapati

Afternoon snack:

Carrot/celery sticks, fruit, homemade jerky

  • Steamed black cod w/ ginger
    wilted peasprouts with garlic
    brown rice
  • sashimi
    raw tofu with ginger (go easy on the bonito flakes)
    cucumber sunomono
  • Grilled chicken w/ a little rosemary and olive oil
    lightly steamed french green beans ( with salt pepper and a squeeze of lemon)
    boiled potatoes w salt a little fresh garlic and just a little olive oil
You get the idea. It's tricky to follow when going out with friends, but you can usually do okay by sticking to a salad with grilled chicken or fish. Eating at home gives you the option of customizing the meal to make it a little more interesting.

Internet stalking tools

I know this roundup has been done before, but I was amazed today how much things have moved past the usual goog, myspace, facebook, linked in search.

So hop on your browsers and check out spok, wink, pipl, zoominfo, wikiyou, and peek you. See all the content there is about you on the internet, and systematically destroy it. Now that my life has changed a little, I personally am considering reviving the MHP to protect my privacy and my identity.

Gadget bag revisited

So I may be back to posting occasionally rather than just dumping a photo on from my phone. I figured the best way to kick this off was dusting off what's in my gadget bag, since it's changed enough that I thought I might as well drop it on you again. There are some gems for the road warrior, that you might not have thought of.

  • The laptop- still rockin the Thinkpad line, but the office saw fit to upgrade me to the t60 a while ago. I still haven't seen a laptop that's as good for the road warrior as the thinkpads are
  • Biz phone- still with blackberry only now it's the 8310 GPS is a nice tough, but the trackball interface is not quite there
  • Personal phone- I caved and bought an iphone, I still hate many things about it, but the N95 it's nearest competitor is too heavy and has worse battery life :(. I wasn't going to jail break it because I figured the SDk would drop faster, but I need to get me some mms, a bluetooth keyboard, and some copy and paste so I might be forced to
  • 3G Internet- I went with the Sprint U727 usb modem cause the terms of service allow for rebroadcast ( cluch), it stores the drivers in the device, it can hold microSD cards, and it can be used by the next gadget in the list
  • Cradlepoint PHS 300 -This thing is awesome, it's a battery powered wifi hotspot that can be used with my usb modem for dsl like speeds across my computer and iphone at once. The battery lasts for 2 hours of hard usage which is enough for most times
  • APC usb battery pack- everything else on this list but the hotspot charges/runs off usb, so this thing is a no brainer easy to charge, easy to use. Better than the macally one because it has an LED indicator, major con is that to use it you have to hit a button every 15 mins to wake it up
  • Sony Ebook reader- I bought it two days after it came out and it's still with me every trip. I've got a lot of free books loaded on the thing and when I'm caught somewhere it lets me catch up on some classics
  • Creative portable speakers- still great when you wanna play some music or watch a movie on the laptop
You may have noticed I lost the camera from this list. I realized I don't really care about image quality and both my personal and work phones have acceptable cameras for capturing fun moments


Pork chops with lime-mead pan sauce

Today I was extra cool and decided to make something fancy so I hit the grocery store to try and decide on a pork chop menu (the wife loves em). Whilst I wandered I remembered I had a half finished bottle of mead whcih would go really well with some lime and chilli for a marinade and pan sauce so the meal was born. I got lazy with the sides and just steamed some broccoli, and sliced red peppers. But for desert we had a pretty good fresh mango, and a ton of sweet hawaiian rolls dipped in the remaining sauce that had all the chili and sliced garlic left in it


Great kushiyaki at Taisho

Every time I make it into NYC I go to Yakotori Taisho, aka Oh! Taisho ( fer realz, just read the menu). This place is an amazing for a snack or full meal, but Irecommend going with a big group so you can enjoy everything the menu has to offer. My yelp review here.