Electrical Independance

August 5th, 2013









The Missing Piece

May 28th, 2008

The first time I heard about the need for a disconnected web was from Vint Cerf, the father of the internet in a talk he gave at Fidelity back around 2000. You can see an updated version of the presentation he gave by clicking here (sample included below)

Although he was talking about the challenge on an interplanetary level, it made me think about how the disconnected web was an issue for us normal earth bound beings as well. So with the announcement today of google documents with the optional google gears install, I can now have the satisfaction of riding the train where there is no internet connection and still work on my document in the browser and not be concerned with it re-synchronizing the next time I use it from a different computer. I will post an update once I have had a chance to try it out.

So if I recieve a message from someone on another planet, will it include any sounds from the space it traveled through like these?

4 Hour Workweek

March 10th, 2008

What a fun article on Get Rich Slowly, found through Self Made Minds. Best part was how he describes his 4 hour workweek, it is not about taking time off to party, rather it is about reducing the things you are not good at and making the most of your strengths. I found the same principle to be true when I was studying for my Business degree. The first years where very tough with new and impossible assignments. By the last year of study the groundwork had been laid and I was able to build upon the parts I was best at, strategy, statistics and management. It often felt like I was only working 4 hours a week, yet I was fully occupied the entire time doing work I loved while making a difference.

What I would like to see in this next year one person to comment how some ideas from this site have helped them to focus on a new direction and to become successful with it. Then I would consider my time spent here a success. What it really means to me is to find your talents and to build upon them, make the most of them, and to choose a direction that will help you succeed with them.

iPhone Challenger

March 3rd, 2008

Who would have thought Apples greatest invention could be outdone? Apple has been working on a handheld computing device for decades (think Newton) and with the iPhone they broke new ground on many fronts including a double touchscreen.


So what happens when they come up against an established portable device accustomed to touch screen computing? This was a direction I did not expect – the nuvifone from Garmin! How could Steve Jobs allow it to happen? He probably won’t.


The nuvifone is not due out until Q3 of this year giving Apple plenty of time to beef up their offerings. The biggest differences as I see it between the two are bandwidth, double touchscreen, installed user base, and GPS. Why have I not included visual voicemail in my list? You know the one Apple likes to talk so much about? More on that below.

Currently the iPhone uses the 2.5G network, which, although always connected it is a bit slow. The nuvifone is currently listing theirs as being either 3G or 3.5G compatible. So what is to keep the iPhone from bumping up theirs to the same? Battery life. People expect the iPhone to replace their cell phone. And cell phones are supposed go on one charge for at least a whole day, if not several days. If Apple puts a 3G card in their phone they will have a lot of trouble keeping it powered up for a whole day of use. Garmin has a chance of getting away with it since most GPS units get plugged in while in the car, or they may elect to make their unit a bit larger to accommodate a bigger battery.

Roomers abound on Apple adding GPS to iPhone with some people trying out a software package that makes use of cell phone towers to give a general idea of location. This will need more work and I will be watching Apple to see if they can bring this one in. Garmin is way ahead on this front and should work to capitalize on it.

The iPhone has been a big pusher of Visual Voicemail and a unique feature of theirs. Yet anyone using www.grandcentral.com will quickly realize they do not hold any monopoly on it. I anticipate Garmin allowing their browser to connect with GrandCentral to easily bridge the gap.

No word on the double touch screen yet for Garmin. Unlikely they will be able to work this one out and it will be missed. Once you have tried this feature it is tough to look at a single touch the same again. A bit like the mouse with two buttons (so why do mac laptops only have one?)

I can’t help but wonder if people will be willing to hang their iPhone’s from their windshields? Apples products are not normally meant to be left ‘hanging’ around and this may be the main reason Apple has not included any GPS functionality options for their phone.


Wireless Trends

February 20th, 2008

With all the big names starting to go wireless with their newest devices (iPhone, gPhone, Skype phone)  and the shift in how people are using their computing devices no longer at the desk but with handheld devices; I thought it rather interesting that the new Mac air has no ethernet port.  Seeing how Steve Jobs always likes to minimize his computers and push the envelope with the new technologies I thought it rather fitting he now wants to have us all go wireless with our networking.  There will still be a slight transition before everything is wireless, in the meantime I can see a market for a complete kit like this one.

I was considering Guy’s comments on his new Mac Air and how it is still inconvenient to go totally wireless.  It reminds me a lot of the change to no longer include a floppy drive in the Macs several years back.  I think I would miss the DVD drive more since I like to watch my own movies while flying or on the train.  Yet this option makes for a much larger and heavier machine so I am not surprised it was left out.  As for the solid state drive, this has been a long time coming and I feel it is about time we began to move away from disk drives.

Horses at Play

February 9th, 2008

Take a warm blooded mare, 2 mustangs and a donkey and give them a pond in the summer and this is what you end up with:

Horses at Play

Sounds like Greek to me

February 8th, 2008

A few years back I was commuting on the train in Boston and talking with another passenger.  We were discussing foreign languages and he proudly told me he can speak every language in the world except Greek.  And of course the punch line was ‘it’s all Greek to me.”

So today I was writing a response to an email in German and was having trouble with the spell checker in my email program.  So I thought it was time to update it with the German language dictionary and looked in the options to do so.  Being a software product of MS there were no choices available, so I tried my other options with Thunderbird and Firefox.  I was surprised to see it was a matter of 2 clicks and I was on my way again.  I want back again later to take another look at the MS product, still not sure what the intended path is for their product.  Later I was reading about how the stock price has dropped with their bid to buy Yahoo and I could not help but wonder if there was a relation between the two.

Considering the ROI for the next few years it is hard to find synergy that would increase the market value for the combined company.

Did anyone else notice the ilu.com domain for sale?  Current bid is $12,587.  Would make a great Valentines website (think I Love U .com!) and have excellent product endorsement tie-in options.   Get this ranked by next year and you could easily sell it again for at least twice that amount.

Building Blocks

January 31st, 2008

What makes the web so interesting for me is that different pieces from competing interests can work together – a bit like building blocks, they just need to be carefully packaged. When the job is well done it can fit together to create something new!

In case the media did not find you this week – Lego turned 50. I was hoping they would sell a box of gold bricks, instead they brought back the original Lego town set. I think a more suitable set for the anniversary might have been the Eiffel Tower set:

Eiffel Tower

I like how it adds complexity with style. Just think of all the budding young minds who can be exposed to some French culture while working out the structural challenges of this landmark tower.

Thinking about building blocks, a lot of websites are starting to use WordPress for their ‘base layer’. Google is supporting them and that helps a lot, but what I like about it is how they can be modified with plugins to bring out cool new features with very little setup time. You want to add a reviews section, no problem just plug it in. Need some link building tools, there they are waiting to be used. With a tool like this there is no reason any small business can’t have a presence on the web. And while I am thinking about it, in case you have not registered your own name as a domain, now is the time to check if it is still available.

Replacing your TV with the internet

January 26th, 2008

Last night we received a call from a woman taking a count on the number of people who thought children have too much access to violent/sexual/swearing content on TV. Her argument was time shifting mature content was too easy and children could get exposure to it now when before they might not have.

Our answer was obvious – we don’t have television so we did not know. Meanwhile I was watching two of my kids downloading videos on youtube and watching their own selected content. I know it is very easy for them to find mature content on youtube and it made me take notice that revolution had just taken place.

Kids are not even interested in ‘feed me’ content anymore. They want to pick what video, when, and how many times in a row to watch. I am hearing a lot about Apple computer having a movie service now and it surprised me that Amazon – the bringer of all web purchasing goodness was not involved. So today while I was checking on a few things I came across this:

Compare that to the kiosks you find in front of McDonald’s and remember how painful it can be to bring the disk back on time or get charged an outrageous rate. I would like to hear your experiences on it if anyone has a chance to try it out. Here is the link again so you don’t need to go searching for it:

Update: So what are we doing about filtering content for our kids?  The best way is still to keep their media in our space so we can actively guide them as they are watching.  They have become very aware of what is allowed and what is not, and they are helping each other with keeping the rules in place (it can be a bit strange the first time you see a child tell another child what is not allowed to be watched.)

Finding Lost Money

January 18th, 2008

Great article from Get Rich Slowly today. There was a time one of Grandfathers came to me with a faxed document that showed a savings bond. He said if I could find it and cash it I could have half. This was just before my summer with Smith Barney working with the stock brokers. All summer I kept working on it, asking people about it and doing research. Turns out there was not enough information to prove any ownership, and the company it was with had been bought a few times. In the end I learned a lot about how the business works, but did not get the $2500 that would have been mine. Looking back I think he gave me more by not giving me anything. You know the old saying, better to learn to fish than to have a fish given to you.