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In general, I don’t talk about the news but the few times that I do, I tend to not have an appropriate category to list things under. This will cover world, and local news that I may bring up from time to time.

Written By: Gary on July 10, 2013 No Comment

So Google retired Google Reader on July 1st, I still can’t believe this. They announced it until March but it took me until the last minute to switch, because I really didn’t want to. I did export my data from Google Takeout which you can still do until July 15th, so go get your data! But I’m really glad that I tried Feedly in advance because they didn’t even need my exported data, they just sucked it out of Google Reader and I was ready to go.

feedlylogo.jpgFeedly works an awful lot like Google Reader, it stores my items in categories/folders and they make it really easy to navigate from folder to folder. What is REALLY nice about the folders/categories is you can configure the look and it remembers it for just that folder/category. So if that folder has photo blogs or cartoons, I can configure it to show me the whole thing. If it’s just a news folder, I can show all the headlines. Regardless of how you configure it, it remember it the night time you’re in that category.

Here’s the three reading modes:

Feedly Title Text View
Feedly Title Text View.
You would see more text if you window was wider, but I wanted to show the date.

magazine-view.jpg
Feedly Magazine View.
You’d see much more text if your window is wider.

Feedly Cards View
Feedly Cards View.
You’d get three columns of these in full screen and it appears a little larger, I had to shrink it 20% to make it fit my column width.

They actually have a full feed mode (which I wasn’t going to put above), which is how I used it in Google Reader, but I like these other modes much better!

Plus, it’s super fast. I think it’s great. I don’t like that it always starts in the “All” folder, I’d rather it start in my first folder with unread items. The only other suggestion is that if I’m in a folder with a hundred items and I’ve only read halfway down, I’d like a way to mark everything from there and up as read.

It integrates with multiple apps (and they have their own Feedly Reader). Reeder is my favorite iPhone RSS reader (which is temporarily free, so go get Reeder). They haven’t updated the iPad Reeder yet, but the iPhone app is just as good and works great in 2x more.

So I give it two thumbs up. Regardless of what you want to use, you only have five days to get your data out of Google Reader so go do it!

Written By: Gary on November 23, 2012 No Comment

The Early Edition 2 works OFF-LINE for news reading!!! You don’t need WiFi to use it, just to sync it! So if you have the data plan (or even if you don’t have a data plan), you can sync beforehand and not pay for any data! This pre-caching makes it really fast to use, it’s slow at the beginning when it’s pulling stories and images down, but once it’s down , you don’t have to wait for a thing. Even if it didn’t have this feature, it’s great for news reading of any topics you might be interested in.

And it syncs with Google Reader, I haven’t tried that yet. (I should, I use Google Reader all the time). I think the choices are GoogleReader or stand alone, no integration.

early-edition-2.jpgI love this app, I can’t decide if it’s #1 or #2 of my favorite news readers. But this is the one I use sometimes when I’m in the house, but all the times when I’m out the of the house. As I put my iPad in the sleeve, I run Early Edition 2, so it syncs with my WiFi as I’m heading out, then when I get somewhere, even if they don’t have WiFi, I have pages and pages of things I’m interested to read on my retina iPad. If you want to do this, be sure to set the settings for “Preload Images” to “ON”, or else you won’t have any images there and under “General” I set “Autofetch Options” to run “Every Launch”. (I set my “image frequency” to “Most”). There are separate settings for 3G (I assume that include LTE, 4G and HSPA+) so that it doesn’t automatically fetch and cache images.

It’s got settings for “Unread” news, “Today” or “All” news. I use “Unread” and in the settings I have it set to ‘if I see the headline, it counts as read’. So if I see something interesting, I have to read it then (or star it for later).

early-edition-2-page.jpg

It’s got great sharing options: Twitter, Instapaper, Readability, Facebook, Pinboard, Delicious, RedItLater and Evernote. I’m not on-line, I just mail a link to myself (I always forget if I star something off-line if it remembers it for later).

My biggest complaint: When reading an article I click it to go full screen (you have to or you don’t see enough) and I can swipe for the next article (if I want it). BUT to close an article I have to move my finger to the very tippy-top of the screen and click “done”, it needs something different (double-tap on the white space or anywhere that isn’t clickable) to close an article.

Downside on the setup: It’s a little awkward to manage your sections. Once you learn it, it’s okay, but it takes a little bit. It’s worth it though!

$4.99 is a little pricey though. I think it’s worth it. It goes on sale occasionally (but not often and not for long)

Written By: Gary on March 15, 2012 No Comment

I don’t like sitting at the computer all the time, so why do I do it? Because that’s where all the information is at! With KindleFeeder.com I get my information sent wirelessly to my Kindle (I have the Kindle Keyboard 3G) automatically twice a day and I can read it anywhere! It’s in a magazine format that makes it really easy to navigate around. It looks pretty good on the iPhone and iPad Kindle readers too, not exactly the same format but still very easy to navigate.

So I’ve got 38 FULL feeds that I removed from my Google Reader: kindlefeeder.gifNYT, BBC, Economist categories I like (science, tech, most e-mailed), a few other (long post) blogs, some finance (Get Rich Slowly and The Simple Dollar), and a few learning Spanish sites (that I’ve never read before). Then I added a dozen feeds that were popular at KindleFeeder. I took those feeds were on my Google Reader and I put them in a KindleFeeder category, so I’ll know that I don’t really need to look in there for those articles (unless looking for something particular) and eventually I deleted them. These are my longest, most interesting blog sites (that aren’t very colorful) that I can read on the go, very comfortably, even in the sun.

Bottom line: I think KindleFeeder.com is well worth the $20 a year! Convenience and time is everything. So try it out!

You can generate some sample issues (10 feeds with up to 512 MB of images) without paying anything to try it out (but you need to try it for a few days in a row, it’s a little overwhelming the first time you run it on a few sites since you get everything).

Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6Warning! The downside is that it doesn’t work easily on the newer (late 2011) B&W Kindles unless you transfer the files via USB (super inconvenient, IMHO). You can read the articles fine, but it’s not in the easy to use navigation.

Geeky stuff you really don’t need to know: I was worried about the number of images (4 MB max per delivery), but the first time you add a feed it adds all the past articles, once you’re past that (issue) I think it’ll be okay; some feeds only update a few times a week, but they’ve still got a history. Two feeds each had a history of 20 items were both each over 3.5 megabytes, so they looked bad the first time, with twice daily deliveries it’s rare I miss an image; I put the few sites that I don’t care about images last, so if any turn up missing, it’s those.

It has a clips feature that will let me easily mark something on the web (via the Kindle) to save it and thenI can delete that “issue” from my Kindle, so that’s good (but I don’t know if I can “un-clip” them later). From the Kindle (if you’re a paying subscriber) you can even request the delivery of another issue at any time (and if you have a 3G model, you can pull it down free over the 3G network).

Written By: Gary on July 30, 2011 No Comment

According to CNN, Apple now has more cash on hand than the United State government. Wow!!!

“the government had an operating cash balance Wednesday of $73.8 billion.

Tech juggernaut Apple had a whopping $76.2 billion in cash…”

Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company Owen Linzmayer, Owen W. Linzmayer The thing to keep in mind is: isn’t most of the ca$h the government has already allocated for something? This money that Apple has isn’t even allocated to do anything (to our knowledge). Their stock has hit it’s highest numbers ever and they’re likely to release a new iPhone in a month or two when they usually release new iPods and new iPod touches.

The was a rumor the other day they might buy Barnes and Nobel for $1.5 billion, that’s pocket change when they’ve got $75 billion(!) in the bank. Imagine how cheap they could have got Borders if they had wanted it.

Written By: Gary on June 22, 2011 No Comment

So when driving during rush hours, I listen to WWJ 950 AM for traffic reports on the 8′s. But the don’t get a chance to report every problem every report and sometimes I miss the last report as I’m walking out the door. So I also subscribe (for free) to Traffic.com (which is run or sponsored by NAVTEQ) and they send me text alerts during the time frame that I select (Usually about the hour before I need to be there). Usually if they don’t send me one, the ride is pretty good, so it’s been very helpful. If they do send me one, I pay attention to the on-ramp before I get on the highway or if they say it’s really bad, I’ll take an alternate route.

traffictext

It’s just traffic for the expressway part, and they think I have 9 minutes on the express way and there is a 2 minute delay (total 11). I think they’re being generous, my experience is to double or triple the number they use for the delay; plus, it’s never 9 minutes on the expressway unless it’s the middle of the day or late at night.

As you can see there is a number to call and there is also a mobile web site at mobi.traffic.com, but I’ve never used those. For me, the text is just enough to tell me that if I’m in a hurry that I might have some delays. But I have a relatively short ride, when there is no traffic, it’s just during rush hour that it stinks, and I’ve got limited options.

They’ve also got an Traffic.com iPhone app (and an ad-free version for $3) and one for Blackberry.

I can see my routes (from the web site) on the iPhone app and it tells me how bad the traffic is. This is helpful for routes that I take often, but not often enough to where I want text messages. I use this for for a quick glance when heading to the doctor’s office after work so that I’m not late.

The thing is, when it texts me, I remember; when I have to look at the app, I forget…

Written By: Gary on April 12, 2011 No Comment

And this is why you should have your seat belts on, even if you’re not on the runway.

Watch at YouTube.

I believe this was yesterday that an Air France Airbus A380-800 (F-HPJD) clipped a Comair Bombardier CRJ-700 (N641CA) at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. I don’t think anyone was hurt, but still…

Written By: Gary on April 9, 2011 No Comment

One of the stranger posts I’ve seen on Facebook.

NASA Kennedy Space Center In the event of a government shutdown, we will not be posting or responding from this account. We’ll be back as soon as possible

Hopefully they leave the runway lights on if we’ve got something up in orbit…

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Written By: Gary on December 15, 2010 No Comment

So the other month I did a post about “Where were you when _______ happened..?” and mostly the things we remember in that kind of significant way aren’t very positive things (usually disasters or death). So I’ve been thinking of a few non-negative “where were you?” things and thought that I might use a few of those for a few blog posts.

Landing on My Feet: A Diary of Dreams Kerri StrugI’m not a huge sports or olympics person but I remember being home watching the Olympics. In particular (at the time) I do recall thinking the Canadian coverage was so much better than the US coverage. Now that I look it up, I didn’t even remember that was the year they were in Atlanta, so that’s even weirder that I remember that about the Canadian coverage, but that’s how I remember it.

I remember the one time she did the vault where she hurt herself*. Then she went again and while it was perfect she had to stand there on one foot and you could really tell that she hurt herself. She literally crawled away and they at some point Bella carried her around and that was one of the photos you saw over and over again for the next few weeks. It was the Olympics, and with prime-time television coverage delays I don’t really know how “live” it was but to me it was (actually I think I caught this before before it played on the US feed, because I remember talking to my Mother about it later).



Here is the direct link to the video

I’m not sure what it is that I remember, the determination, the way she did the bowing to the crowd on only one foot (it was like a scene out of a movie, but real) or what. But it’s just one of those events that really stuck in my head.

* Now that I watch it again, I really thought she hurt herself more on the first vault.

Written By: Gary on March 6, 2010 No Comment

So people used to say something like “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?”, for most of my life I think the closest I could come to that was “Where was I during the attempted Reagan assignation?”, it’s not the same thing, but it’s a President being shot so it’s what came to mind for me in those situations.

sts-51l-challenger-2.jpgTwo other things that stick in my head were the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. The Challenger sticks more in my head mostly due to the imagery of it’s explosion 73 seconds after the launch.

Clearly for many people, “Where were you on September 11th, 2001?” will be that type of question. Personally, that one sticks in my head mostly because I saw much of it live. But then I assume the attacks was designed that way, one crash so that everyone was watching and then additional crashes while so many were already watching. And then so many watched the towers fall so even if you missed the earlier part of the disaster there still parts for you to catch live.

It’s generally disasters or death that people remember: The Oklahoma City bombing (1995), the London Bombing (2005), when John Lennon was shot, when Princess Diana died and things along those lines (FYI, I don’t remember when all these happened). That’s sad that these are the parts of life that people remember and talk about. Keep in mind, it’s not when the event happened it’s really about when you heard about it.

Maybe because disasters are always disasters to most people but great things to one person aren’t always a great thing to another person…

If you can think of some “Where were you?” events, please add them to the comments!

Written By: Gary on February 11, 2010 One Comment

Here are some newly released aerial photos of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center from the New York Times. I can’t believe this was over eight years ago…

wtc33302052.jpg

The images were taken from a police helicopter — the only aircraft allowed in the air space near the towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

33302064.jpg

ABC posted 12 other photos from the collection of the 2,779 pictures. Some look to be the same or awfully similar.

Found at Zudfunk.

Written By: Gary on January 23, 2010 No Comment

Here are a series of three videos taken in Haiti last week by CNN. They’re not of the earthquake itself but of the area afterwards.

What is so interesting is that it’s video and you can drag the mouse to look in all directions, but the video (and audio) keeps playing as you drag the video around. At 900×500 it’s pretty large video too, I can’t promise how it’ll play on your older computer. CNN put this together so maybe they’ll add more later.

cnn-haiti360.png

Video 1 in a three minute car ride through Haiti.
Video 2 on a three minute walk in Haiti.
Video 3 short car ride through Haiti.

It’s similar to the YellowBird demo I mentioned a few months back

Written By: Gary on October 31, 2009 One Comment

In the United States Daylight Savings Time (DST) ends today. DST around the world (Picture from wikipedia)So at 2 AM on Sunday November 1st, 2009 set your clocks back one hour in the US (if you’re in the EU, you should have done it last week).

I hate them messing with the clocks, but more importantly, I hate them messing with my internal clock…

But I won’t complain about the extra hour sleep :)

Image courtesy of WikiPedia…

Written By: Gary on August 28, 2009 No Comment

The Space Shuttle Discovery is on the launch pad right now. This always excites me and still gives me chills when it takes off! You can watch NASA TV live on their site. At this point, they are in a hold and I think they are still supposed to launch in the next hour (11:59 PM EST).

sts-128.pngI’ve always wanted to see a launch, I don’t know why I’ve never made this happen. I was supposed to go a few weeks ago to see this launch (STS-128), but they moved the date so it didn’t work out. I’ve got to make this a priority over the next year before they stop the shuttle launches.

It’s been 25 years since this ship’s maiden voyage, it was August 30th, 1984 when Discovery had it’s first launch! It was the third orbital vehicle in service (OV-103) and is now the oldest running shuttle. Wow!

Once they introduced the shuttle, I always thought they’d have some way to take passengers. I always assumed that’d be airplane type seats in the bay, like envisioned in the 1970′s James Bond movie Moonraker (anybody have an image of this?).

So let’s just plan to catch a shuttle launch in the next year, okay? Anyone have any tips on going to a launch?

Written By: Gary on July 20, 2009 No Comment

On this day 40 years ago Apollo 11 landed on the Moon. astronaut_Apollo_11.jpg I’m not sure what else needs to be added to that statement: “We landed on the Moon”! How amazing is that?!?

Just for some frame of reference: The Moon is 238,000 miles away (384,000 km), if you were driving 75 miles per hour it would take you 3,100 hours. Keep in mind that’s speeding and you don’t get to pull over for any bathroom breaks or snacks!

Actually it took them more like five days to get there, so just dividing that out, that’s around 2,000 miles per hour (assume it took them a while to speed up and slow down).

When I was a kid, my mother purchased me a two record set of the mission. Lots of audio recordings of the launch and landing. I’m thinking there was some insert with a bunch of photos too. I played that a lot on my record player. I don’t have any idea what year she purchased that, but I’d say I was six or seven(?), and it was amazing to me!

It’s still amazing to me. Whenever I can watch a launch of some kind or another, I always turn on the TV and still get thrills and chills. I get chills just thinking about it as I’m writing this…

Apollo_11_bootprint.jpg
The sad part is we only landed six times and then we stopped.

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia.

Written By: Gary on June 28, 2009 2 Comments

It’s a shame to become so popular after someone dies. I guess in Michael’s case so extra popular (since he was so much more famous in the past and not so much lately).

And it’s always shame for someone to die so young.

michael-jackson-itunes
This is from just a few minutes ago at the iTunes store.

Rest in Peace Michael!

Written By: Gary on March 11, 2009 No Comment

golfitoquake.pngHeard there was another earthquake felt in San Jose, Costa Rica. Actually, I saw a tweet from The Tico Times when they felt it. USGS reports that it was a 5.7 about 175 km (110 miles) SSE of San Jose. I was kind of worried after the last big one.

A 5.7 should be a bit less than the last one and it was centered in the water, but it was in the bay of the Osa Peninsula by Golfito. I’m hoping there won’t be as much devastation as the last one.

UPDATE: And this is followed four hours later by another quake of magnitude 5.9 just a few miles away. I’m not sure what makes this a new earthquake and not an aftershock, but @TheTicoTimes stated it that way.

LATER UPDATE: Looks like no injuries and very limited damages. And depending on where you look the magnitudes for the bother of the above range from 5.5 to 6.3. Here is an image from the Tico Times. They’ve got an article up, but I’m not sure how long until they rotate out the article.

earthquake-costarica-daily_03_12_09.jpg

Written By: Gary on January 22, 2009 One Comment

So a bill has been proposed to repeal the 22nd Amendment, it’s the one that says how long you can be president.

The title for H.J.RES.5 (111th Congress) is:
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.

Introduced 1/6/2009 by Rep. Jose E. Serrano [NY-16].

This is a direct link to the Library of Congress search results the actual document isn’t very long. If the link doesn’t work you can do the search yourself: go to the search and search for “H.J.RES.5″, be sure to change the search to “Bill Number” (make sure the 111 is selected at the top).

You know me, I’m not way into politics, maybe someone suggests this every year…?

Written By: Gary on January 20, 2009 No Comment

Obama-inauguration-speech, originally uploaded by abde.

I like this word cloud of President Obama’s inauguration speech that someone put together. Here’s a larger version of the cloud and a copy of the speech (I think this is who did the word cloud).

There’s also one for Obama’s Victory Speech.

FYI, the whole Inauguration Speech is available in HD.

Written By: Gary on January 9, 2009 No Comment

Costa Rica had a huge earthquake yesterday (Thursday, January 8th, 2009), 6.2 on the richter scale (I’ve seen reports that say 6.1). Just north of the San Jose area. This is the biggest one that I’ve heard of in Central Valley. The Tico Times has a lot of the earthquake coverage (you do have to do some clicking and scrolling, they’re mostly a subscription service).

costricaearthquake-2009bpba.pngThey’re reporting about 23 dead with 11 still missing (at least that’s how I’m piecing everything together, I’ve seen numbers all over the place; as high as 30 dead). Lots of damage, mud slides and people trapped in various areas. 1,000+ people relocated and another 1,000+ stranded. If you check out the news stories from around the world there are definitely conflicting reports (especially on the death toll). Lots more earthquake details here and if you’ve got Google Earth installed there are some additional visual details if you click on the spot of the earthquake.

I can’t imagine the chaos and devastation that something like this causes. My thoughts an prayers go out to everyone affected by this…

I’ve been having a hard time getting my head around some of the damage, I found some photos at Inside Costa Rica and a video clip (in Spanish).

You can see many of the areas that felt it on this map, people can actually report it and that’s what feeds the map (don’t know how long they keep these on-line).

How many people are affected by this that I’ve met on my various trips down there? Places that I’ve visited or stayed at the I don’t recognize the names. I wonder how much it freaks out the tourists, imagine if they didn’t speak the language. I don’t speak Spanish well enough, in a crisis, without my translation book, I don’t know what I’d do…

There was a slightly bigger one (6.5 richter scale) in November when I was there, but I didn’t feel it and I don’t remember this much death and damage, but it was way at the south end of the country (I think it might have been in Panama) and if it was a few of my more isolated days I wouldn’t have gotten much news. My biggest earthquake ever was also in Costa Rica (4.3 richter scale) but most people didn’t even notice it (it was just after midnight).

A slightly erratic post but these thoughts have been in my head and wanted to share them…

I’ll add more links below:
Pictures from the Tico Times newspaper (more landscapes and buildings are towards the end).
Photos from al Dia from La Cinchona de Sarapiquí, Heredia
La Paz waterfalls had to close down. I believe some people took shelter there when the roads got cut off (I might be mixing the location up).

FYI, I’ve been updating the details in this posting daily, it was originally from January 9, 2009 but some of the details might be from up to a week later.

Written By: Gary on November 5, 2008 One Comment

Random results thoughts – (these are based on my observations not statistical calculations)

  • Across the nation, most proposal results seemed lean towards pro-choice.
  • Also across the nation, most proposal results seemed to be against any gay/lesbian/non-traditional family units. Even at the cost of allowing children to not be adopted.
  • The medical marijuana use proposals seems to have passed in most places (all?).
  • We still don’t have results for North Carolina (only 14,000 difference in the votes). Although this still won’t make a difference in the end.

    I still don’t think you should be able to vote straight ticket on your ballot. If you really want that, then fill in all those circles by hand. You only vote a few times per year people!

    I also still think the electoral college is weird and electoral votes should be based on the what the people of the state voted not what the winners party. Or just ditch it and have the whole thing based on popular vote. I understand there are reasons not to base it on popular vote, but…

    Final part – The president I voted for won and so did the proposals I picked, I don’t know if that’s happened to me before (but Michigan didn’t have many proposals this year).

  • Written By: Gary on November 5, 2008 No Comment

    I was suprised to get this e-mail a few moments ago…

    Subject: Sold out but more to come
    Date: November 5, 2008 4:46:47 PM GMT-05:00

    2B537D9A-5
    With the announcement of a new president and high voter turnout, this election has proven to be historic on many levels. Due to numerous requests to purchase additional newspapers, more copies of today’s Free Press are being printed and delivered to local retail outlets and select locations in outstate Michigan.
    They will be available Thursday morning.

    It’s just not a typical e-mail that I get from my paper…

    Smart marketing though!

    15 minutes later – I seem to have gotten a second copy of the same message.

    Written By: Gary on November 4, 2008 2 Comments

    Results for the election are interesting. They’ve got Michigan listed as won by Obama, but only 20% of the precincts have reported. Now most of those being waited for are smaller precincts but there is less than a 50,000 vote difference. Does that even count all the mailed in absentee votes?

    A few years ago (in the early days of the Internet) the first time the Michigan government put detailed election results on-line I was the person who put them on-line so I needed to know what time I needed to be available for the uploads. I’m not going to get into particulars (and I’m sure many have changed now) but if I recall correctly, it was way way after the news shows posted their results and after the newspapers printed the results before real tallies were even started. And (if I recall correctly) two of the bigger counties didn’t even get in their totals until the next afternoon.

    And pay attention on sites where you see election results they say things like “Results are based on projections and unofficial returns. Candidates listed in bold indicate projected winner”.

    But these early “results” are generally correct so I guess I can’t complain. But you generally don’t call a sports game until it’s over unless it’s a landslide. From what I’ve been watching (and it’s not much) just in the last 90 minutes McCain has gained about 38 electoral votes (with 7 states still voting and 9 states that haven’t been called yet) so it’s still got a ways to go.

    But if it goes the way Dori predicted we don’t even need the other states votes we just need all the tallies from the precincts that closed by 9PM EST. Just so you know Dori is a computer person, not a political blogger and generally just blogs life and tech (who does occasionally blog political things). FYI – As of 10:30 PM her chart matches all the states we have tallies for so far.

    Written By: Gary on November 4, 2008 No Comment

    Here’s a cool election result widget from MSNBC.

    Thought it was pretty simple in how it worked. Very Edward Tuft-ish

    Written By: Gary on November 2, 2008 4 Comments

    The video shows it all.

    Here’s the original Detroit Fox video. Or try here.

    Shouldn’t this be illegal since she’s buying votes?

    Written By: Gary on November 1, 2008 One Comment

    ImagesI see websites and blog posts picking on McCain (and Palin) and Obama. I see lots supporting Obama. But I don’t see many supporting McCain…

    Maybe it’s just the (digital) places that I hang out? Or maybe that just says more about me…

    Written By: Gary on October 14, 2008 One Comment

    Current has a post up called “Candidates as…” and this shows one of the many images of the candidates compared to different types of objects with visual analogies. Yes, this does pick on the candidates, avert your eyes if especially sensitive.

    Candidates-As-Writing-Technology

    They also have other ones with the candidates based on money, trains, Star Trek characters (and The Matrix and The Simpsons), airplanes, watches and more. Almost Edward Tufte-ian in their simplicity to get their point across with very few images.

    Found at The Fire Wire (with Google Reader).Since I’m bringing up election politics again (not my normal thing). I was just listening to this Jay Leno interview with Rachel Maddow, I had know idea who she was before listening (has a show on MSNBC) and listened for the whole eight minutes; that’s pretty long for my attention span, especially if it’s about politics…

    Odd coincidence:
    And at the end Leno mentioned Rachel Yamagata was on next which was really weird since I had just finished listening to the preview of Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart just moments before and debating a purchase. I’m off to see if YouTube has a video of her performance now…

    Written By: Gary on October 11, 2008 2 Comments

    These are my new rules for campaigning:

    • You can’t talk about your opponent.

    That’s it. I’m tired of them answering a question by talking about their opponent. It doesn’t tell me what they are thinking. It’s a waste of time if I want to hear what a politician is thinking and planning if they are wasting half their time talking about what their opponent is (or isn’t) doing.

    Politics for Dummies Ann DeLaneyThey need to sell themselves! Show us what they can do. Convince me to like you not to dislike the “other guy”…Imagine if you were trying to get a job and you spent half your time talking about (and bad mouthing) the competition. Or if you were trying to get a date and badmouthing the other guy trying to win her heart. Or telling the police office who pulled you over that guy in the other lane was driving faster. You’re not going to get very far.

    Speaking the competitions name over and over and over again can’t be great marketing either. How often do you see Coke or Pepsi mention their competitor in an ad?

    Written By: Gary on October 4, 2008 No Comment

     Images PrplribcrpOctober is Domestic Violence month. They say one in four of us are affected some way by it and it’s why you’re seeing the purple ribbons this month. Every 15 seconds a woman is battered (it’ll probably take you twice that time to read this blog entry). October is kind of an everything month (there are only 12 months to share) and breast cancer seems to get a lot of the attention and sometimes DV gets overlooked. (Related news.)

    FirststepFirst Step is a local shelter in Wayne County and they are celebrating their thirtieth anniversary this year. Over 14,000 crisis calls, 7,000 nights of shelter and 20,000 hours of counseling are provided almost every year. I’ve volunteered with First Step, generally I’d be on call a few times a month (8-12 hour shift) and get called to hospitals (police stations, etc.) and talk to people and their families after they’ve been assaulted, I’ve also done things with the kids such as day care, field trips, etc. I originally started doing this at a shelter in Lansing; taking the kids on field trips and watching them while the Mother’s were in meetings/sessions. Field trips were just the older kids (ones who walk on their own), but when were were just watching the kids it was from infants on up.

    First Step always having fund raising events so keep your eyes out for those, it’s a way to donate and have fun at the same time (sometimes it’s a movie night with auctions, shopping at department stores [you get a discount and they get a cut]). Shelters are always looking for donations, please don’t just think of them around the holidays, they need donations all year round. They always need volunteers to help. My links here just point to First Step, please search around for services in your area.

    Written By: Gary on August 17, 2008 No Comment

    The Tico Times is the english weekly paper from Costa Rica. For the last eight months I’ve been subscribing to the paper edition of The Tico Times. I’ve mentioned my Tico Times delivery issues before, it usually takes a while to get to Michigan but it’s much easier to read on paper than on the screen (they also offer a PDF subscription).

    I’ve wanted to see what’s going on in the country when I’m not visiting. I’ve been paying attention to opinion pages, letters to the editor, classifieds and more local ads. Of the five times I’ve been there it’s all been in April or between the end of November and beginning of January (and really only covering half-a-dozen different weeks) so I’ve really only seen a portion of the year while there. So I’ve been paying more attention to the non-tourist type articles; when I’m there traveling I’m generally looking more for what’s going on there at that time.

    Written By: Gary on July 24, 2008 4 Comments

    Have you seen my news coverage yet?!? I’m so excited!!!

    If the video doesn’t start, click the image once the video finishes loading.

    Or go straight to http://GaryForPresident.com/

    Written By: Gary on February 15, 2008 2 Comments

    For much not being on television I’ve been highly entertained by the tube this week…

  • Deal or No Deal – I haven’t been watching the show lately but they’ve added a new twist so I’ve been catching it this week. Every time someone does not win a million dollars they’re removing one of the other “cases” and adding a million dollar case. Stupid people who think they can beat the odds have thrown away many many hundreds of thousands dollars who don’t think $250,000 is enough money and draw another case. So sad. The banker is also making low offers to get them to continue to play, he lo balled an offer and was actually boo-ed by the audience (he offered $98,000 when it should have been closer to $200,000). The latest woman got so excited and emotional when she found out 1/2 the cases (13 of 26) had $1,000,000 in it there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. TiVo makes it possible for me to zip through the slow parts or I’d never make it…
  • Torchwood – I was wrong when I thought an episode was on the other night. There were two! After “Adam” I saw “Reboot” which was the first of three episodes with Martha Jones! I had forgotten she was going to be on it. She was a little cocky but it was a good episode and all the other characters were a little jealous that she had an unknown connection with Jack. “Adam”, of course, was brilliant, much too confusing to explain but another great episode by Catherine Tregenna.
  • Stargate Atlantis – Teal’c meets Ronin. And as when all heroes meet the first time, they clash before saving the world. A very fun episode!!!

    Fortunately, I’ve barely caught any news coverage, it’s just embarrassing the way that the networks turn tragedy into entertainment. Or maybe it’s that fact that people watch it like it’s entertainment that makes me feel that way.

    My heart and prayers go out to anyone with any connections to the tragedy at Northern Illinois University.

  • Written By: Gary on February 2, 2008 No Comment

    Who cares!?! Unless you own stock in Yahoo, of course :)

    Microsoft has nothing to offer Yahoo, IMHO, they’ve never been great with the internet (search, MSN, webTV, etc.) and that’s okay. Really, Bill, it’s okay. It really is.

    I’m assuming Yahoo! will take the money and run, unless they’ve got a lot of debt, this is a nice chunk of change (and if they’ve got a lot of debt, this’ll pay it off).

    I do worry about Flickr, Del.icio.us, the nice mobile web portals and whatever other sites that Yahoo owns. But at the end of the day, I think the ‘net will be okay and not have anything to worry about…I don’t really understand the concept of business at 44 billion dollars, so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about but I promise I’d be a fast learner if anyone ever put me into into a situation where I would need to learn about it…

    I just think about Guy Kawasaki and he must be really kicking himself for not taking Yahoo’s offer to be president way back in the day. Several years ago I saw him speak and he mentioned that tidbit after mentioning other people’s famous mistakes like “640k is all anyone will ever need”.

    Written By: Gary on November 29, 2007 One Comment

    So a few weeks before I left I subscribed to the TicoTimes. It’s a weekly English nation-wide newspaper about the size of Metro Times or a magazine from the Sunday section of a newspaper that comes out on Fridays in Costa Rica. A month’s subscription included the ability to download the PDF file every week. It’s a little hard to read on the screen, I think I get one more electronic issue, but I’ll probably buy a copy tomorrow.

    ticotimesIt was nice to get a feel for what was going on in the country. From a to do list it wasn’t very helpful to me. It comes out on Friday and the calendar generally doesn’t stretch much past the weekend. So I might go somewhere else tomorrow and I should have stayed here for something, but I’ve already made my arrangements. I did find out about some kind of air festival in the northwest but I forgot all about it, I’ll have to check on that…

    From a news standpoint I did know the rainy season was dying down early, I know the colon was going to go up in value (their “Greenspan” changed something), that the phone company might go on strike (they didn’t) and a few other things. It’s definitely worth the $8 to get the four issues on-line if you’re considering traveling the country. I recommend this for anywhere, I’ve gone to the bookstore and picked up a newspaper for London, England to get an idea of what’s going on there too (you might have to reserve these in advance).

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