Friday, September 28, 2007

Beware the carpet sniper

I'm not sure what's more dangerous - how ugly the carpet is, or that it's jumping up to "sniper" passersby...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

iPhone Update (not)

The blogosphereama is all a buzz with news of the new iPhone software update 1.1.1 - so, adventurous as I am I just checked: no update available. It's saying that 1.0.2 is the current version. Interesting. Guess things take longer to get across the InterWeb to the South.

Update (in the update): I got to thinking...I updated iTunes to the latest 7.4.2 (which blocks the hack allowing any song to be installed as a ringtone for free) and voila! the 1.1.1 update magically appeared. Ah, and people got irate at Microsoft for their forceful marketing tactics...

Update: iBrick...stay tuned

Update: Well, the iBrick was restored and the 1.1.1 firmware is on it now. Everything else appears to be correctly restored except photos. The iTunes setting to synchronize photos was unchecked for some reason so none of my pictures were on the phone. Now I have a "Last Roll" and "Camera Roll" (Previously only a single category).

They've changed the icon for charging - looks like a plug now. Much better. The iTunes for WiFi is very quick - optimized for revenue, I'd say...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

iPhone task list

A terrible oversight on the iPhone is the lack of a usable task list. Between the useless calendar and no task list the iPhone - as a organizer - is less worthless. I miss, quite frankly, the Treo for that. There is no way to synchronize (that I've found yet) between the iPhone and Outlook, for example.

I've been playing with web-based task list sites. Most that I've found are simply too slow when loading on Edge, and difficult to use in the browser even after loaded. One that I've used and like is from BaseCamp, and though it loads nicely on the iPhone it is quite slow and not formatted for the screen.

One that I've found that us very nice and productive, and has been designed specifically for the iPhone, is VitaList. They have a special URL for the iPhone: .

The "system" that it follows is the found in the Getting Things Done (GTD) book - which I have but still haven't gotten around to actually reading (it's one of the oldest ignored items my task list). But the approach is straightforward and doesn't require following some complicated method of personal organization. When used in conjunction with the desktop version of the site it is quite powerful. Projects and contexts can be easily setup and used on the iPhone.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

New Apple Store Opening

I still remember hearing about the first Apple store opening in New York I think. People said they were crazy. Yup, like a fox. In this area there are stores, now, at Lennox, Northpoint, Perimeter malls and now the Mall of Georgia.

The Mall of Georgia is the latest sighting of the seemingly unstopable incursion of Steve Job's band of artistic nerds. They are giving away T-shirts to the first 1000 people; I'm seriously
wondering if there might be that many in the line in front of me. The Northpoint community church drummer in the line with me thinks its close...

Update: We were about 350th or so. At the opening there were about 500 people in line. The store is really nice - a bit bigger than Northpoint and laid out nicely.

They have people in the store that must specialize on store openings. We spoke with one man who was walking the lines answering questions - this was his 5th store opening. They really have it down, and the hype machine turned up. On the opening their announcement brought resounding cheers from the employees and those of us in the line. Lots of energy; lots of true Believers.

Blake and I were able to get shirts; his is just a little large for him, but he wore it proudly. Ah, another generation of cult membership.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ghost Recon sux

GRAW - Ghost Recon Advanced Warfare 2 - is probably one of the worst games I've played in a long time. Either it's insanely too easy or just the opposite. Your squad is dumb and worthless, and the controls are nothing like the previous franchise. I'm pretty disappointed in the game especially since I paid for the darn thing.

I love the crap your squad says: "Captain, I'm taking fire." and they'll just sit there and get blown apart. Nice. I liked how you could switch and play one of the other characters in the first GR. Not in this one, though... Dumb game play, dumb engine, poor design. Survey says? Splat.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

WSJ: Superbike riders die

Yup. That's true. Give a guy 160 hp with a 500 lb bike, no training and a double digit IQ and there's bound to be problems: (Quote below - link is inside paid subscription)
Superbike riders suffer much higher death rates than riders of other kinds of bikes...

In 2005, riders 40 or older accounted for 47% of motorcycle fatalities, compared with 24% 10 years earlier. In the same period, the fatality percentage for riders younger than 30 years of age fell to 32% from 41%. Safety officials attribute this in part to a tendency of "returning" riders to overestimate their ability to handle the latest powerful bikes. "

You have a lot of people saying, 'I'm in my 40s and I want to start riding motorcycles again,'" says Daniel Lonsdorf, director of the Wisconsin Bureau of Transportation Safety. "But these aren't the same motorcycles they remember from 20 years ago."

Ah, but that new 'Busa is a bad motor scooter...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Housing market prices

How accurate this chart is I have no way of determining; if it were a roller coaster this is just about the point where the car plummets amid screams and squeals of joy. The screams are people who 100% financed there $600K house on $100K annual salary. The squeals of joy are the vultures that must be savoring the impending feast.

Then again, what is it they say about stats again?

Friday, September 14, 2007

AirTran - Vent of the day: Charge for seat?

Some of my family is getting together in Phoenix for a 50th anniversary (woohoo!) In researching flights - always a frustrating endeavor - I finally decided to fly AirTran since they had the cheapest flight. The most surprising thing? They charge for seat assignments. That's right - if I use their website to choose my own seat I pay $5 for coach or $15 for an exit row. Sounds like extortion to me, since if you don't choose your seat you get the dredges of the plane. Personally, I've flown AirTran only a handful of times, and have always hated it (I'm a Delta flier).

The funniest part of this story has to be the comment by Blake (my 8 year old son): He told me that he hated to be mean or anything, but he doubted that anyone would pay attention to me writing about buying a ticket on the web...too true, too true :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My iPhone got run over by a truck

Monster truck (driven by Rich) verses iPhone...Sad, sad day.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Software and Shoe Repair

Never underestimate the resources available in your average software shop. I keep my older walking shoes here at work and they were starting to come apart at the soles.

Me: Where's that Gorilla Glue?
Grant: Right there...(points to desk full of too much stuff including a large, but expired 30spf sunblock)
Me: Where?
Grant: There!
Me: Ah
Grant: You're gonna need a clamp.
Me: I can just put something on it.
Grant: (points to clamps)

Yup. I went to the right office...

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Maybe she should have flown Hooters Air...

Gimme a break (CNN video). This girl was escorted off a Southwest Airline plane because her clothing was too revealing. First, she looks less revealing than the average teen one sees wandering most malls today. Second, why'd they even let her on the plane in the first place if they had a problem with her outfit. Third (um), is this really the job of a darn airline?

I say she should sue, not because she deserves a payout but because they deserve a whoopin'. Boo. Hiss. Come on...! Southwest, you owe her, and America, an apology.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Steve continues to establish iPhone's world domination

Imagine my surprise, as a recent iPhone convert, in reading in the Wall Street Journal online that Apple has announced a dramatic $200 price drop. Imagine my delight at their announcement of a $100 credit for us early adopters ($200 for those who bought within the past 14 days - since these all could simply return the phone).

As observed by my friend Jeff, the price drop is a good move in that it preserves and even builds more good will and repositions itself into a price bracket for the next wave of adopters who've balked at the steep price, but who wanted the phone. I am curious, however, at the early drop in price. I'm wondering if this signals that there was less early adoption than predicted given the slower-than-expected sales.

Some have expressed anger at the drop in price. (Nokia attempted to capitalize on perceived frustration with a Google ad campaign. yawn.) I don't understand this at all. When I made the decision to buy I fully understood the price - and knew that there would come a time in the very near future when Apple would announce a new, bigger, better version. A price drop was surprising since Apple generally preserves price points while offering more at the same price. Their strategy must be working...check out the 5 year chart. I'd hate to ride a bike up that mountain slope :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Lego man

Following the crowd and supporting viral's my lego personae.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I hope my tax money didn't pay for this study

I worked with a friend that loved to respond to patently obvious statements: "Well, that falls squarely in the No Sh*t category". This study is the poster child. Good grief...

Nature is not politically correct

Ah the serenity of a day in nature. The natural world, it seems, hasn't gotten the memo that we should all play nice on the playground, and that vegetarianism is desirable. User discretion advised...and it doesn't end like you'd think.