Posts matching the query string: Tag=Cyber%20Life.

My ratings (R) are from 1 to 9. My Dates are also permalinks. Click on the column headers to sort Jots. Feel free to use the address bar like a command line interface by setting the optional query string parameters: Dtm1 (10, 20, 30, YYYYMMDDhhmmss), Dtm2 (YYYYMMDDhhmmss), IsJot (Jot or Not), Tag (zero+ times), NotTag (zero+ times), OrderBy (PostForDate, PostTitle, PostLink, PostText, PostSource, PostRating, PostSize) & Desc(Desc), and Limit(integer).

  1. Time for templates! TAGS: Cool. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Google. Office. TECH.
  2. Baby's First Internet TAGS: Blogging. Comics. Cyber Life. Funny. Images. Text.
  3. Knol TAGS: Cyber Life. Google. Wikipedia.
  4. Ex-Google engineers debut 'Cuil' way to search TAGS: Cyber Life. Google.
  5. '.wow': ICANN to allow almost any domain suffix TAGS: Business. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. News. Standards. TECH.
  6. Google Maps for walking TAGS: Conditioning. Cyber Life. Google. Health. Maps.
  7. Cyber Rules TAGS: Cyber Life. Family. Google. Kids. My Stuff. Security. Shopping. TECH. Wikipedia.
  8. What Makes for a Good Blog? TAGS: Blogging. Cyber Life. Writing.
  9. Google Chrome TAGS: Browser. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Google. Open Source. TECH.
  10. Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth TAGS: Cyber Life. Philosophy. TECH. Text. Wikipedia.
  11. Obama on the Warren Court TAGS: Audio. Cyber Life. Journalism. News. Politics. Radio. USA. Videos.
  12. Anti-religion agenda among social media users TAGS: Atheism. Cyber Life. Faith.
  13. Clear Carbon-Nanotube Films TAGS: Cyber Life. Hardware. Images. Nanotechnology. TECH.
  14. Saddlebacking TAGS: Crude. Cyber Life. Funny. Language. Politics. Pr0n. profanity. Saucy. Sex. Text. USA.
  15. Kindle 2.0 by Amazon TAGS: Amazon. Books. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Engineering. Gadget. Google. Hardware. TECH. Text.
  16. Amazon Announces Kindle 2, With Slew of New Features TAGS: Amazon. Books. Cyber Life. Gadget. TECH. Text.
  17. Snapshot of cyber communications today TAGS: Communications. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. TECH.
  18. Did You Know TAGS: Culture. Cyber Life. News. TECH. Videos.
  19. One Number to Rule Them All TAGS: Audio. Communications. Cyber Life. Google. TECH.
  20. Gmail Sidesteps the App Store TAGS: Cyber Life. Google. Programming. TECH.
  21. A New Breed of Netbook? TAGS: Computers. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Gadget. Google. Hardware. Open Source. Software. TECH.
  22. Kindle DX: Amazon's 9.7" Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation) TAGS: Amazon. Books. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Gadget. Hardware. Images. Reading. TECH. Text. Wikipedia.
  23. A Speedier Google Chrome for all users TAGS: Browser. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Google. News. TECH.
  24. What is Twitter? TAGS: Cyber Life. Relations. TECH. Twitter.
  25. Here's 17 Minutes Of Starcraft II Gameplay TAGS: Activity. Animation. Blizzard. Computers. Cyber Life. Video Games. Videos.
  26. University of Chicago freshmen to translate great literary works as 'Twitterature' TAGS: Cyber Life. Literature. Reading. Text. Twitter.
  27. Free is not a business model TAGS: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Economy. Google. Money. TECH.
  28. Head in the clouds TAGS: Amazon. Books. Cyber Life. Gadget. Google. Hardware. Images. Photos. Reading. Software. TECH. Videos.
  29. Digital Media and e-Books TAGS: Amazon. Apple. Audio. Books. Computers. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Family. Gadget. Google. Hardware. Inspiring. Kids. Music. My Stuff. Reading. Software. Standards. TECH. Text. Videos.
  30. Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule TAGS: Cyber Life. Programming. Relations.
  31. Sony Takes On Kindle With Two New E-Readers TAGS: Books. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Hardware. Reading. Standards. TECH. Text.
  32. Introduction to HTML 5 TAGS: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. HTML. Images. Programming. Standards. TECH. Videos.
  33. SVG TAGS: Animation. Cyber Life. Flash. Images. JavaScript. Open Source. Photos. Programming. Standards. SVG. TECH. Videos.
  34. Apple iPad TAGS: Apple. Audio. Books. Cyber Life. Gadget. Hardware. Software. TECH. Videos.
  35. The Web Way to Learn a Language TAGS: Cyber Life. Education. Language. Self Improvement. World.
  36. Chrome versus Firefox 2010-02 TAGS: Browser. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Firefox. Google. TECH.
  37. Top Ten Mistakes Managers Make With Email TAGS: Communications. Cyber Life. Email.
  38. Clive Thompson in Praise of Online Obscurity TAGS: Cyber Life. Relations.
  39. Now A No-Evil Zone TAGS: Cyber Life. Philosophy. TECH.
  40. The real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash TAGS: Apple. Audio. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Gadget. Hardware. Images. Operating System. Software. TECH. Videos.
  41. How to Enable Vertical Tabs in Google Chrome TAGS: Browser. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Firefox. Google. TECH.
  42. Digg V4: The Broken Covenant (aka Selling Out to "The Man") TAGS: Cyber Life. TECH.
  43. Multi-touch and Mobility TAGS: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. My Stuff. TECH.
  44. I love my new Alienware M15X laptop TAGS: Computers. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Hardware. My Stuff. Software. TECH.
  45. Dreams and Controversy TAGS: Cyber Life. Faith. MARTIAL. Philosophy. Politics. Psychology. Ramblings. Relations. Self Improvement. Sex. TECH. Thoughts. Violence.
  46. Multitasking the Android Way TAGS: Cyber Life. Gadget. Google. Operating System. TECH.
  47. About Music Beta by Google TAGS: Amazon. Apple. Cyber Life. Google. Microsoft. Music. TECH.
  48. Google to End Health Records Service After It Fails to Attract Users TAGS: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Family. Health. TECH.
  49. Review of my software usage TAGS: Amazon. Apple. Cyber Life. Google. Hardware. Microsoft. My Stuff. Software. TECH.
  50. Gmail Categories TAGS: Cyber Life. Google. Ramblings. TECH. Thoughts.
20080722 171935 Z www.metafilt … icals-repository Activity, Cyber Life, Magazines, Reading, Text A site where people scan in magazines and added to the archives as viewable, taggable, and linkable PDF-based Flipbooks. You'd think that public libraries should provide this sort of thing.
20080906 140432 Z Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.1 Alpha 2 tech.slashdo … 0256207&from=rss Browser, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Firefox, Google, TECH So they'll be incorporating some of Chrome's features like the ability to drag and drop tabs between windows. Sweet. And the JavaScript engine might even be faster than Chromes? Hooray!: The public benefits from browser wars!
20080907 132335 Z Little things that matter … that-matter.html Cyber Life, Google, TECH The problem was that an event in Google Calendar would occupy the entire horizontal space and you couldn't click on the same time slot if you wanted to add a new event. But now there will always be a few pixels of gutter space on the right that's clickable. A simple, elegant, and useful solution!
20080913 021332 Z You should never ask for help on the internet farm4.static … _o.jpg?t=1053139 … _internet?OTC-ig Chill, Crude, Cyber Life, Funny, Images, NSFW, Photos O my. Literally LOL! The dude is asking for some Photoshop help.
20081023 152526 Z The Internet and the Death of Rovian Politics www.huffingt … at_b_136400.html … _Rovian_Politics Cyber Life, Politics, TECH, USA, Videos I know the link is a left-leaning site, but the subject of the article is partisan to some degree. Basically the Web has made fact-checking so fast and easy, that it is harder to run a campaign based on lies and FUD. YouTube in particular was founded in 2005 so this is the first US Presidential election with a YouTube influence!
20090220 172839 Z The 32 Totally Essential (and Free) Apps for Every New PC www.maximump … y_essential_apps … for_Every_New_PC Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Free Gratis, Free Libre, Open Source, TECH I have a good number of these, and some of them I've rejected, but I'll archive this here in case it has a few that I don't have but do want. See also
20090305 161753 Z New in Labs: Multiple Inboxes … ple-inboxes.html news.zdnet.c … html?tag=nl.e550 Cyber Life, Email, Google, TECH One of the nicer things to come out of Google Labs for Gmail lately. It will save me a few clicks.
20090305 210129 Z This is the Microsoft I want to see venturebeat. … t-i-want-to-see/ … microsoft_vision Cool, Cyber Life, Gadget, Microsoft, TECH, Videos Ubiquitous Internet/cloud-enabled, touch pads. I'm surprised Microsoft hasn't been putting out more videos like this, because they've shown them at conventions before.
20090412 033515 Z Single-finger text input blog.makezin … OTC-0D6B48984890 www.reddit.c … nger_text_input/ Cool, Cyber Life, Free Gratis, Free Libre, Software, TECH, Text, Videos Cool! I downloaded Dasher and I made this post entirely by using one hand and a mouse.
20090413 173537 Z The Pursuit of Laziness … uit-of-laziness/ www.reddit.c … _to_read_in_bed/ Amazon, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Kindle, Reading, Text I'm afraid that if I show this to my wife, then she'll want me to make it for her and her Kindle. If on the other hand I had my own Kindle, then I'd make it just for kicks.
20090417 180628 Z We Didn't Start the Flame War www.collegeh … om/video:1907543 … _War_Music_Video Chill, Crude, Cute, Cyber Life, Funny, Live Action, Videos Good job! Sadly, many of us have seen almost everything in the video.
20090420 162256 Z Operating System Interface Design Between 1981-2009 www.webdesig … tween-1981-2009/ … etween_1981_2009 Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Images, Software, TECH Oddly exciting to see the screen shots of old GUI operating systems. Looking at stuff that was new when you were younger makes you feel old and young at the same time.
20090428 211726 Z New Page 3 www.reddit.c … e_of_a_clueless/ Culture, Cyber Life, TECH The real humor is in the reddit comment thread about the older folks who just don't get computers and the Internets [sic].
20090428 213123 Z Cornify Chill, Cute, Cyber Life, Funny, Images, Quirky Note to self: Cornify.
20090505 144612 Z Wolfram Alpha and Google Face Off www.technolo … 22585/?nlid=2001 Computers, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, Science, TECH I saw the various stuff on Wolfram Alpha yesterday, including the video Stephen Wolfram discusses Wolfram|Alpha: Computational Knowledge Engine []. It looks cool, but there was a feeling of a stacked deck, i.e. the questions were coached so as to get good results. This Technology Review article asks other sorts of questions. Google of course has to deal with a broader user base that asks a broad range of questions.
20090521 145502 Z 55+ Extremely Useful Online Generators for Designers www.balkhis. … s-for-designers/ Color, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Images, TECH Some more useful than others.
20090621 132230 Z Greatest freak out ever (ORIGINAL VIDEO) … rsIyzsOpc&fmt=18 … ccount_and_Video Blizzard, Crude, Cyber Life, Funny, Home Videos, Live Action, Quirky, Saucy, Video Games, Videos Some people are saying fake, but it looks pretty sincere to me. You have to love siblings.
20090621 133558 Z The Coolest PC Game Gun Mod www.gossipga … pc-game-gun-mod/ … ame_Gun_Mod_Ever Activity, Cyber Life, Engineering, Gadget, Hardware, Live Action, Video Games, Videos Interactive immersion play is the way to go. Gryoscopic and motion detecting technology is key, but I like this guys innovation where the screen moves around with you so you get the an even fuller gryoscopic experience from your inner ear. Plus McGuyvered the thing with cheap parts from Walmart. Brilliant!
20090624 171432 Z Doctors Baffled, Intrigued by Girl Who Doesn't Age abcnews.go.c … d=7880954&page=1 Biology, Cyber Life, Health, News "Brooke Greenberg is the size of an infant, with the mental capacity of a toddler. She turned 16 in January." A fascinating story in of itself, but the differences between the Digg comments and the reddit comments are interesting as well.
20090628 160535 Z LibraryThing Julia Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Folksonomy, Text Sounds like fun. "LibraryThing is an online service to help people catalog their books easily. You can access your catalog from anywhere—even on your mobile phone. Because everyone catalogs together, LibraryThing also connects people with the same books, comes up with suggestions for what to read next, and so forth."
20090707 165414 Z Google Apps is out of beta (yes, really) googleblog.b … -yes-really.html Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, News About time!
20090729 161712 Z Yahoo Gives In to Microsoft, Gives Up on Search … 90728_826397.htm … ves_Up_on_Search Cyber Life, Google, Microsoft, Money, News, Yahoo! So Yahoo search (~20% share) will effectively become Microsoft Bing search (~10%), and will become the clear 2nd place search engine following Google with 65%. This smells of the death of Yahoo. Yahoo stock went down 11% after this news came out: "Stocks slump on Yahoo, durables" []
20090731 190006 Z A Better Way to Rank Expertise Online www.technolo … 23100/?nlid=2235 Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Folksonomy, TECH Identifying and weighting better content and users is key for quality purposes.
20090806 150138 Z StarCraft II Update forums.battl … 0062236&sid=3000 games.slashd … os=16&art_pos=16 Blizzard, Cyber Life, Video Games It's official: StarCraft II will not be ready for release by the end of 2009. This 2 year delay is almost unbearable (plus the lack of LAN support and the fact that they're making us buy 3 games). The delays due to upgrading smacks of more control issues. All that keeps my wallet half-open are the promises for "an epic entertainment experience" and "a real-time strategy gaming experience worthy of the series’ legacy".
20090806 181400 Z E-Reader Growth Hinges on Women, $99 Price Tag, Says Forrester … orrester-320027/ Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech I've been watching the e-book thing very closely and this article has a more insightful analysis of the market. I was gunning for Amazon to retain its early dominance simply because I don't mind a one-stop-shop for books, music, vidoes, etc.. I hope Apple, Sony, Barnes & Noble, and the like keep pushing each other for the sake of the consumer. It's a new market with lots of potential. Who will do what it takes to win our cash?
20090807 170519 Z Waterloo Labs: FPS with Real Guns - Episode 02 waterloolabs … -episode-02.html games.slashd … l-Guns?art_pos=7 Chill, Cool, Crude, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Live Action, Software, TECH, Video Games, Videos Slap some accelerometers on a wall, feed it to LabVIEW, project your game onto the wall, and bam! All hits on the wall are fed into the game. Up voted for dudes in lab coats.
20090807 171827 Z Poll: E-readers Need to Reach 'iPod Moment' to Catch On www.editoran … nt_id=1004001327 Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, TECH, Text Yes, critical mass or an iPod moment will happen with e-books. Finally someone acknowledging that Sony may have a reader but needs more content.
20090807 202234 Z Wolfram Alpha for crossword puzzles www.wolframa … put/?i=cr_ssw_r_ Cyber Life, Language, Text Apparently you can use Wolfram Alpha to help with crossword puzzles, hangman, and the like.
20090808 144312 Z Bye bye land line Cyber Life, Family, Home, Kids, Movies, My Stuff, TECH, TV, Videos All we get on the land line is spam. We have cell phones (which gets spam too). We don't phone/fax much. There's lots of video on the Internet. We don't watch much TV. So... We're going to dump the AT&T land line, DSL (2.58 Mbps), and dish TV at $140/mo. We're going to get Comcast cable Internet (12 Mbps) at $43/mo and Netflix at $9/mo. Wife and kids approve. All is good.
20090810 150842 Z An Operating System for the Cloud www.technolo … 23140/?nlid=2255 Apple, Cyber Life, Google, Microsoft, Operating System, TECH A review of the operating system (OS), from where it's been with the mainframes and Microsoft, to where it is with Microsoft, Apple, and Linux, to where might go with Google. The review could have been more in depth but the potential of the article is nice.
20090821 151022 Z Windows 7: The OS that launches a thousand touch-screen PCs? … ouch_screen_PCs_ hardware.sla … Market?art_pos=8 Books, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Reading, Software, TECH Finally some real tech news. I'm past bored with all the rumors for the Apple tablet. "In the past three weeks, five leading PC makers have announced or been reported to confirm plans to release touch-screen PCs running Windows 7, which will provide built-in multitouch features, as well as enable touch applications written for it." These will be great as netbooks. If they want to be great as e-book readers, then they need long battery life, a good store, and some way to read in bright light conditions. Where are the multitouch tablets from Dell, IBM, etc.?
20090821 152304 Z No, I'm the Batman! www.reddit.c … o_im_the_batman/ Cyber Life, Funny, Images, Show Biz, Text Brilliant! It makes you appreciate the breadth of Kermit. Based upon Kermit Bale []
20090914 181700 Z A Kindle World Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Reading, TECH, Text A Kindle and e-reader blog by Kindle enthusiast Andrys Basten.
20090917 205332 Z to Join the Intuit Family blog.quicken … e-intuit-family/ Cyber Life, Money Intuit, the maker of Quicken, announced their intent to buy, one of their biggest competitors in the online personal finance market. Better get some of that INTU stock!
20090923 191345 Z Courier: First Details of Microsoft's Secret Tablet … ts-secret-tablet www.reddit.c … s_secret_tablet/ Amazon, Books, Computers, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Images, Microsoft, Reading, TECH, Text, Videos Some details about the tablet by Microsoft called "Courier". More details than we've ever gotten from Apple about their potential tablet. While I'm biting my nails over the potential choices, my wife is simply enjoying her Kindle. She's so smart.
20090925 155827 Z Hitler Loses Faith in Reddit … ch?v=eNW2y6DTwtw www.reddit.c … nce_with_reddit/ Cyber Life, Funny, Live Action, Videos The source would have to be reddit. ಠ_ಠ
20091006 180021 Z Super-Social Networking: Superhero Facebook Status Updates www.comicsal … cebook-status-u/ … k_Status_Updates Chill, Comics, Cyber Life, Facebook, Funny I liked the one from Superman and Dr. Doom the best, but for those in the know, the Spiderman one rocked too.
20091013 190437 Z 10/GUI: The Video www.reddit.c … _reimaginations/ Animation, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Hardware, Operating System, Software, TECH, Videos Not just a multi-touch tablet, but ideas on the interface. Interesting but the whole thing needs trials. The Reddit thread has some ideas too.
20091119 185510 Z A Well-Mannered Gentleman's Argument, via Email www.reddit.c … ument_via_email/ Cyber Life, Funny, Inspiring, Quirky, Writing Oh my. This stuff caught me in the right mood because the email exchange and the Reddit thread are of the funniest stuff I've seen in a while.
20091201 015005 Z Best Tool For Remembering Passwords? ask.slashdot … words?art_pos=23 Cyber Life, Security, TECH Filing away here. A few good jokes, tips, and site recommendations like,,
20100104 170007 Z Twitter's List Of 370 Banned Passwords … urce=twitterfeed … Banned_Passwords Cyber Life, Security, TECH I'm sure I've seen lists like this over the years.
20100104 192618 Z Apple, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, Hardware, Reading, Software, TECH We need more tablets! Apple, Google, Freescale, etc. Not just eBook readers, but cheap expandable touchable Internet tablets.
20100127 175215 Z Apple announcement 2010-01-27 Apple, Cyber Life I can't eat lunch until I find out what Apple is up to.
20100129 165650 Z's Historical Browser Statistics www.michaelv … erVisualization/ www.reddit.c … r_visualization/ Browser, Chart, Cyber Life, Flash I like the data and I like the presentation.
20100129 170731 Z EchoSign Cyber Life, TECH, Work Interesting mix of physical and digital.
20100129 175859 Z The 4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures blog.okcupid … rofile-pictures/ www.reddit.c … re_attracted_to/ Cyber Life, Images, Photos, Psychology Interesting stats and all, but whether you smile or show off your body or whatever is simply a personal decision.
20100213 132816 Z These tablets do what the 'iPad don't' … -10452930-1.html Apple, Cyber Life, Gadget, TECH I've seen some of these iPad-like devices before but it's nice to have them in one post. The whole area needs more polishing.
20100216 155306 Z Cyber Life, Funny, JavaScript, Programming, Sad JavaScript humor.
20100225 010534 Z Top 10 Free Ways To Discover New Music Online www.makeuseo … ver-music-online www.stumbleu … ver-music-online Audio, Cyber Life, Music, Radio Misses stuff like and, but it has new stuff to try.
20100225 031429 Z AND CALL HIM GEORGE. www.language … hives/003787.php Animation, Cyber Life, Funny Ha! You'd think that as a George, I would have noticed that 'There is a meme running around the internet that takes the form "I'm gonna love him and pet him and squeeze him and call him George"'. I might have even seen the George skit with Bug, Daffy, and the Abominable Snowman [] before.
20100225 035022 Z Exclusive: How Google's Algorithm Rules the Web … +Stories+2%29%29 Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google I thought they didn't let anybody look behind the curtains.
20100227 235033 Z I'm just sayin' www.reddit.c … ing_windows_sfw/ Activity, Cyber Life, Funny, Saucy Clever. Hint: Resize your window.
20100303 030720 Z Best Fails of 2009 www.funnyord … -2009?rel=player … _Fails_of_2009_7 Chill, Cyber Life, Funny, Live Action, Videos The kids and I liked this, but then again we've been keeping up with failblog.
20100308 005453 Z Internet access is 'a fundamental right' … logy/8548190.stm Cyber Life, TECH, World "Almost four in five people around the world believe that access to the internet is a fundamental right, a poll for the BBC World Service suggests."
20100309 202316 Z Web Standards for E-books www.alistapa … /ebookstandards/ Books, CSS, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, HTML, Standards, Text epub is XHTML and is read on every e-book reader except for the Amazon Kindle.
20100308 193545 Z The Problem with Passwords www.alistapa … -with-passwords/ CSS, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Programming This article by Lyle Mullican deals with one particular problem: People commonly want to reset passwords reset because they think they've forgotten it. Presented are two options of showing the user their password, without losing the familiar masked password text field.
20100310 200158 Z The Beast File- Google (HUNGRY BEAST) … ch?v=dv4j4bguYYk Cyber Life, Google, Videos It's not too bad, here in the belly of the beast. This is so well done that you think Google made it themselves!
20100316 182114 Z Top 10 Things That Annoy Programmers www.kevinwil … noy-programmers/ Cyber Life, Life, Mind, Programming, TECH So true.
20100426 171356 Z New Software Processor Can Transcribe Music From Any Performance www.popsci.c … unds-sheet-music Audio, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Music Turn music into sheet music? How convenient!
20100502 153258 Z Top 10 Things You Didn't Know Google Maps Could Do lifehacker.c … nt=Google+Reader Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Geography, Google Making an convenient tool even more so.
20100502 154425 Z Blogging, Cyber Life In case you haven't noticed, but lately I'm not posting most goodies that I find via Google Reader, Digg, Reddit, and so on. I'm upvoting and such elsewhere, and I'm only posting some of them here.
20100502 203453 Z Torus www.benjoffe … ode/games/torus/ Activity, Cyber Life, Video Games Like tetris on a cylinder. Probably lots of HTML5 awesomeness will start popping up all over.
20100505 022026 Z Google acquires BumpTop: Will Android get a 3D facelift? deals.ventur … bumptop-android/ Cyber Life, Google, Operating System, TECH I had read that Google acquired BumpTop earlier, but this article has the TED Talk video where BumpTop CEO Anand Agarawala demos it. I'm itching for that Google tablet!
20100517 145304 Z After the Times www.joindias … r-the-times.html Cyber Life, Open Source, Relations That was fast. It looks like Diaspora is now fully funded and is going ahead. FYI: Diaspora is an upcoming alternative to Facebook: "the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network".
20100621 210313 Z Toshiba Libretto W100 laptops.tosh … ps/libretto/W100 www.informat … RSSfeed_IWK_News Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, TECH This is 25th anniversary Toshiba is getting closer to what I want! "Hybrid mini-notebook / e-reader has dual touchscreens, runs on Windows 7, and has built-in Bluetooth 5 and 802.11n wireless networking." 1.5 lb (0.68 Kg) clamshell design with built in web cam that works in portrait or landscape. USB port and card reader.
20100630 164224 Z Ctrl+; working for Google Spreadsheets in Chrome Browser, Cyber Life, Google I just noticed that the Chrome got the keyboard shortcut to enter the date (Ctrl+;) to work for Google Spreadsheets in Chrome. Maybe they'll eventually get the date shortcut (Ctrl+:) to work too. The only other big request would be for vertical tree-style tabs (although I can weakly fake the latter with a vertical task bar in the OS).
20100724 132257 Z India's $35 PC is the Future of Computing www.pcworld. … g.html?tk=hp_pop Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Inspiring, News, TECH A $10-35 Internet capable tablet for the masses of India! Intense, a game changer.
20100818 172603 Z Google launching a Chrome OS tablet on Verizon, goes on sale November 26 … ovember-26-2010/ Cyber Life, Gadget, Google, TECH And my birthday is in October too!
20101002 130412 Z Tribute to Escher www.360citie … 50.54,81.25,90.0 Oscar Activity, Art, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech Well done. 3D Escher.
20101008 210743 Z The OS Doesn’t Matter… www.mondayno … nt=Google+Reader Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, TECH The PCs and smart devices are Unix/Linux except for Windows.
20101014 202019 Z Netflix on PS3: Disc-free Next Week … 0/14/netflixps3/ Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Movies, Sony, TECH, TV, Video Games Sweet. I love the Netflix and Sony PS3/Blue Ray/TV integration thingy so far and I'm looking forward to Google getting in the mix.
20101206 184946 Z Discover more than 3 million Google eBooks from your choice of booksellers and devices googleblog.b … lion-google.html Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, Reading, TECH No rumors, no maybes, no fanfare. Instead Google eBooks [] is announced and is here. An eBook store where the stuff is readable on lots of devices.
20101207 171047 Z Google Maps for Android Now Faster, Smoother, in 3D and Works Offline … with-the-compass Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, Mobile, TECH Bionic maps!
20110106 161216 Z JWT: 100 Things to Watch in 2011 www.slidesha … -in-2011-6306251 www.crossfit … ive2/007361.html Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, TECH Me? I'll be watching my kids.
20110111 191505 Z A Simpler Page www.alistapa … /a-simpler-page/ Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Design, Gadget, Hardware, TECH A tablet in bed, on your knee, and at breakfast. Yes, this stuff should be explored.
20110120 163803 Z Skynet meets the Swarm: how the Berkeley Overmind won the 2010 StarCraft AI competition arstechnica. … competition.ars/ Oscar Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, TECH, Video Games They're sharpening AI using StarCraft (not SC2). Finally people are putting their hundreds of hours of game time to good use. Macro, micro, and even new strategies.
20110529 151807 Z twitter: follow v list Cyber Life, TECH In twitter we should follow less and list more, but listing doesn't have the social weight that following does.
20110529 193909 Z Testing posting to Facebook and Twitter from my app Cyber Life, Inspiring, My Stuff, Quotations "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -Helen Keller
20110529 202935 Z Testing posting to Facebook and Twitter from my app 2 Cyber Life, My Stuff, Quotations "I seem to be a verb." - Buckminister Fuller
20110713 162038 Z html href tel Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, HTML, Standards, TECH I've noticed that more places are making links like this: <a href="tel:1-888-357-1516">1-888-357-1516</a> (1-888-357-1516). With Gmail on a browser, that brings up the Google web phone. On a mobile phone, clicking on such a link uses the phone. I have no use for it now but it's interesting.
20110718 221421 Z Picasa storage increased Cyber Life, Free Libre, Google, Images, Videos So Picasa now has "Photos up to 2048 x 2048 pixels and videos up to 15 minutes won't count towards your free storage." if you use Google Plus. That's practically free unlimited storage space!
20110726 133055 Z 2D Photography Rube Goldberg Chill, Cool, Cyber Life, Funny, Gear, Live Action, Photography, Photos, TECH, Videos Photographers have too much time and creativity!
20110817 144128 Z Same post in FB and G+, but more responses in FB Cyber Life, FaceBook, Google, TECH Same post in FB and G+, but more responses in FB, eh. Google needs to open up G+. Sure Google made mistakes, but I liked it when Google was bold and came out with beta products.
20110916 172441 Z Textbooks of tomorrow [infographic] holykaw.allt … rrow-infographic Books, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Education, Gadget, Hardware, Kids, Text Yes to digital textbooks! 53% cheaper, saves trees, easier to transport, etc., etc.
20111104 215225 Z Google +1 play Cyber Life, Google, TECH Don't mind me, but I'm playing with sticking the Google +1 button site wide. I also stuck in some microdata.
20120316 172100 Z Britannica Goes All-Out Digital www.britanni … al-encyclopedia/ Cyber Life, Funny, Sad, TECH Sad: Encyclopædia Britannica stops printing after 244 years. Funny: I found out through Wikipedia.
20130408 174534 Z Report: Google Fiber Coming to Austin as Cities Race to Boost Web Speeds Read more: business.tim … oost-web-speeds/ Cyber Life, Google, News, TECH More evidence that points toward Google Fiber as more than just an experiment. Cable ISPs need real competition!
20130415 182125 Z Why Your iPhone Addiction Is Snuffing Your Creativity www.fastcomp … -your-creativity Cyber Life, Mind, Psychology, Self Improvement I was thinking along these lines just this morning. External business can interfere with internal and meaningful creativity. Wu Wei.
20130731 201647 Z Your app makes me fat seriouspony. … app-makes-me-fat Cyber Life, Food, Mind, Programming, Psychology, TECH TLDNR: We have limited cognitive power. Use it up and you will suck. So make things as simple as possible.
20130929 152518 Z Work It - Ylvis [FULL HD] [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO] Biology, Chill, Cyber Life, Funny, Gadget, Live Action, NSFW, Saucy, Science, Videos Music vid that has stem, sex, & lol!
2008-07-17t16:02:38 Z | TAGS: Cool, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, Office, TECH
Time for templates!
Time for templates! []
Google just announced that they now have templates for Google Documents [] and they already have hundreds of templates! Since it's by Google the templates are searchable and rated. It's also a creativity showcase for what you can do with Google documents.
2008-07-22t15:48:26 Z | TAGS: Blogging, Comics, Cyber Life, Funny, Images, Text
Baby's First Internet
Baby's First Internet [] [VIA:]

Yes, we must be aware of the noise and negativity that tends to be generated (by ourselves and others). Here's the text of the comics:

Do not stop to think or edit:
You must be the first who said it.

You heard a brand-new band? What luck!
You’ll be the first to say they suck.

In order to increase renown,
add “bacon” to most any noun.

It’s not your job to right a wrong,
just mark it FAIL and move along.

Rather than felicitations,
send your friend an application.

To be an expert’s no great tax:
Write common sense and call it “hacks.”

Your friends won’t like it, on the real,
but you must Flickr every meal.

In disagreements, all your readers
must be branded Nazi leaders.

It doesn’t matter what you say,
just publish it twelve times per day.
2008-07-24t02:07:40 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Google, Wikipedia
Knol [] [VIA:]

Google just launched Knol, a Wikipedia alternative that is closer to, Suidoo, or HubPages. The Knol site defines a knol as "an authoritative article about a specific topic". Basically an author can write a knol alone or in collaboration with specific authors or any other registered author. Knol authors can have their name verified via phone or credit card. Knol authors also get a share of Google AdSense revenue on their knols.

The value of Knol to the average user is not so much the searchability but that the articles are rated (in theory the best article on a topic will rise to the top), the authors are verified to a small degree, and the authors have tighter control over their content. What Knol lacks that Wikipedia has is the hyperlinking between articles. Also because of the limited authoring per knol, knols will probably tend to create echo rooms where everyone who likes one view of a topic will favor one knol, while those who favor another view will favor another knol; By contrast since Wikipedia have unlimited authorship, they authors fight back and forth until they come to a more neutral and balanced presentation of the topic.

2008-07-28t15:13:32 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Google
Ex-Google engineers debut 'Cuil' way to search
Ex-Google engineers debut 'Cuil' way to search [] just came out today. It's a search engine (pronounced "cool") made by former Google employees that claims to be better: A larger index (186 billion Web pages crawled but 120 included); Uses fewer servers; Better user privacy []; Larger entries for search results; More pictures in search results; Greater use of horizontal space; etc.

Looks good so far. A bit laggy but it is their first day. Oddly enough, it couldn't find anything for "JavaScript null".

The article quoted US search engine marketshare (via comScore as of 2007-05): Google 62%, Yahoo 21%, and Microsoft 8.5%, totaling 91.5%. This article (comScore Media Metrix Search Engine Ratings []), shows these ratings for 2007-07: Google 43.7%, Yahoo (including AltaVista, AllTheWeb, and Overture) 28.8%, MSN 12.8%, AOL 5.9%, and Ask 5.4%, totaling 96.6%.

2008-08-07t12:31:31 Z | TAGS: Business, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, News, Standards, TECH
'.wow': ICANN to allow almost any domain suffix
'.wow': ICANN to allow almost any domain suffix []

A fairly big change.

At its meeting in Paris, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a not-for-profit organization that oversees the naming scheme for web sites, voted to accept a proposal that will allow companies to purchase new top-level domain names ending in almost whatever suffix they choose. So, for example, instead of being restricted to sites ending in .com or .org., eBay could have a site that ends in .ebay, or New York City could end its website address with .nyc.

To deter name cybersquatters, the new TLDs will be more expensive, possibly 50-100+ KUSD. It also explains why .xxx wasn't approved earlier.

2008-08-09t03:08:05 Z | TAGS: Conditioning, Cyber Life, Google, Health, Maps
Google Maps for walking
I stumbled upon this new feature of Google Maps entirely fortuitously. I was wondering what the walking/running distance was between home and work, so I looked up the directions in Google Maps, lo and behold!, there in addition for directions by car and public transportation, there was one for walking directions! Apparently Google was sneaking this feature out to the public around a month ago ( I poked around and apparently there are various sites like Google Map Pedometer [] that use Google Maps as a pedometer for walking/running routes.
2008-08-20t17:20:31 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Family, Google, Kids, My Stuff, Security, Shopping, TECH, Wikipedia
Cyber Rules
Cyber Rules []

I just made a page called Cyber Rules. It will probably change over time so this post will contain the original version.

Simple rules and guidelines for safety, etiquette, and excellence online (the Web, cyberspace, online shopping, IM, chat rooms, email, messageboards, etc.).

Kids, Teens, and Parents Online

I'm a programmer but I'm also a parent.

  • For kids: Have a few simple rules that are easy to remember. Rules, not long-winded speeches.
  • For teens: The same rules apply, but once you're 18 you're responsible for yourself.
  • For parents:
    • Rules are not a replacement for relating with your offspring, checking on them, and educating them.
    • Minors are human beings and have an increasing need for privacy and trust as they get older.


  • Don't give out personal information like your real name, age, phone number, address, or your photo.
  • Don't buy anything online without a guardian.
  • Don't download stuff besides pictures and PDFs.
  • Don't click on a link in an email.
  • Beware of links that take you off site.


  • Try to behave online as you would in real life.
  • Don't type in ALL CAPS. IT CAN BE VERY TIRING.
  • In casual online communications, don't correct someone else's spelling, grammar, or punctuation.


  • Learn and practice touch typing until it is intuitive.
  • Use a mouse or equivalent until it is intuitive.
  • Use Wikipedia [], the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
  • Use Google [].
  • If you have to choose between real life or cyber life, choose real life.

Safety Online

  • Assume that anything you say (type, do, post, access, etc.) online (the Web, cyberspace, online shopping, IM, chat rooms, email, messageboards, etc.) is permanenently recorded and may turn up for the whole world to see soon or anytime in the future.
  • Online shopping:
    • Use a separate email for online shopping.
    • Use a separate credit card for online shopping.
    • Ensure the site is who they say they are. A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) padlock in the browser helps.
    • Ensure that your info is encrypted during transmission. A SSL prefix for the address (https://) helps.
  • Don't download stuff besides pictures and PDFs. Executables (.exe) in particular are high risk.
  • Don't click on a link in an email. Especially not from a supposed bank or porn site.
  • Beware of links that take you off site. The text may say one thing but the link may differ.

Etiqette Online

  • Try to behave online as you would in real life.
  • Don't type in ALL CAPS. IT CAN BE VERY TIRING.
  • In casual online communications, don't correct someone else's spelling, grammar, or punctuation.
  • If you are new to a message board, then read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
  • If you are going to radically change the subject, then don't hijack, but rather start a new subject.
  • Use a meaningful title on your email/post/comment. "IMPORTANT!!!!" or "Please read" aren't useful -- they just look like spam.
  • Keep communications between as few people as possible. For example, don't send to the group when you can send to one person.
  • Cyber shorthand can be convenient but mind your audience. Only the most common ones (like FYI for "for your information") will be known by broader audiences.

Excellence Online

  • Learn and practice touch typing until it is intuitive.
  • Use a mouse or equivalent until it is intuitive.
  • Use Wikipedia [], the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Share your knowledge with the world!
  • Use Google []. Share calendars and documents with your family that you can access from any browser.
  • If you have to choose between real life or cyber life, choose real life.
  • Twitter is for ninnies.
2008-08-26t16:02:36 Z | TAGS: Blogging, Cyber Life, Writing
What Makes for a Good Blog?
What Makes for a Good Blog? []

My rule of thumb on writing is sincerity and purpose of content. Merlin Mann of 43 folders has a short list (gasp!) on what makes a good blog. I'm going to list the headers here but see his post for the details.

2008-09-03t20:32:09 Z | TAGS: Browser, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, Open Source, TECH
Google Chrome
Google Chrome []

A brand new browser by Google called Chrome [] came out yesterday. I've tried it out at work on Windows XP and at home on Windows Vista Ultimate.

On the front end, the best thing about it is that it's fast. Not just a bit faster but 2 to 20 times faster. The interface is very clean and minimalist. There are a lot of little front end niceties like all textarea controls on forms are now resizable. The "Omnibox" combines the URL address bar (ALT+D) and search bar (CTRL+E) into one as is done Opera. The root of each URL is highlighted in the Omnibox (IE8 does this too). The Omnibox provides unobtrusive suggestions (for stuff you've visited, likely searches, popular sites, etc.) as you type instead of nasty auto-completing. Chrome also gives the user more real estate by hiding the status bar (which shows as you type) or hiding the bookmarks bar (CTRL+B).

Chrome is built upon the open source WebKit, hence it has ties to Konqueror and Safari. However they also have developers from Firefox too. FYI: The major browser rendering engines are Gecko (EG Firefox), Trident (EG Internet Explorer), and Presto (EG Opera), and WebKit. The speed gain has a large contribution from the JavaScript virtual machine by V8. Chrome increases security and stability by sandboxing just about everything. Multiprocessing within a browser is a great idea for which Google will get a lot of credit for (evne though it was done by Opera since 1994 and will be in the Internet Explorer 8). I like how having the tabs on top provide a visual reminder that each tab is a separate process. I like how you can access Chrome's Task Manager (via a menu or SHIFT+ESC), much like you can access Window's Task Manager.

Chrome is missing add ons or extensions, which users of Firefox become dependent upon. Chrome will almost certainly have add ons as time goes on. This is a good time to review the Firefox extensions I use.

The things I don't like about Chrome:

Here are some of the better links to Chrom right now:

BOTTOM LINE: I love it! I want a few things that only Firefox has right now, but I think they're coming to Chrome.

2008-10-23t15:11:53 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Philosophy, TECH, Text, Wikipedia
Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth
Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth []
So how do the Wikipedians decide what's true and what's not? On what is their epistemology based?

Although most of us are not philosophy majors (I only roomed with one), these are important questions because one of the top results on many Web searches involves an article at Wikipedia.

Unlike the laws of mathematics or science, wikitruth isn't based on principles such as consistency or observa­bility. It's not even based on common sense or firsthand experience. Wikipedia has evolved a radically different set of epistemological standards--standards that aren't especially surprising given that the site is rooted in a Web-based community, but that should concern those of us who are interested in traditional notions of truth and accuracy. On Wikipedia, objective truth isn't all that important, actually. What makes a fact or statement fit for inclusion is that it appeared in some other publication--ideally, one that is in English and is available free online. "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth," states Wikipedia's official policy on the subject.

Verifiability is one of Wikipedia's three core content policies; it was codified back in August 2003. The two others are "no original research" (December 2003) and "neutral point of view," which the Wikipedia project inherited from Nupedia, an earlier volunteer-written Web-based free encyclopedia that existed from March 2000 to September 2003 (Wikipedia's own NPOV policy was codified in December 2001). These policies have made Wikipedia a kind of academic agora where people on both sides of politically charged subjects can rationally discuss their positions, find common ground, and unemotionally document their differences. Wikipedia is successful because these policies have worked.

2008-10-27t16:06:29 Z | TAGS: Audio, Cyber Life, Journalism, News, Politics, Radio, USA, Videos
Obama on the Warren Court

I just got this email from a Republican friend of mine (who shall remain anonymous):

Oh my god... you have to hear this... he wants to re-write the constitution for redistribution of wealth... ie socialistic reparations for slavery... listen to this.. its no joke.. its him in a radio interview...

Here was my reply:

Oh my god... you have to hear this... Obama was on a Chicago Public Radio show called Odyssey for an episode called "The Court and Civil Rights" (hear the full 53:22 minute show at, having an intelligent and complex discussion with several law professors, but now the desperate McCain campaign is being intellectually dishonest by snatching a few snippets from the show and distorting it in a youtube video:

This lame "news" by Fox [] and the Drudge Report will, of course, fool a few who will hear what they want to hear (and were going to vote for McCain anyway). However this FUD attempt will only once again reveal the truth that Obama is smart and that McCain is pretty sad, thus convincing even more folks to vote for Obama.

The fact-checked counter-punch hits harder than a FUD attack. Fact checking is faster and better this election cycle because people are better at Wikipedia and Google, and because YouTube is clickable TV and was not around in the 2004 election. Maybe the GOP will catch on by 2012.

The prospect that intellectual curiosity and honesty can win is heartening!

See also Obama on the Warren Court [].

2008-11-07t20:31:27 Z | TAGS: Atheism, Cyber Life, Faith
Anti-religion agenda among social media users
Anti-religion agenda among social media users [] [VIA:]

This comment in the Digg thread expressed my opinion:

I don't think Digg is anti-religion its just pro-logic. Diggers don't hate on religion, we just hate when people use religion to interfere in the liberty of others. Example: gay marriage; a religious person see a religious issue, a Digger sees a question of freedom for a social minority. Keep your religion to yourself and Diggers will keep religious barbs at bay, unless there is a good LUL to be had.

It's not a matter of being anti-religious as a-religious. In a similar fashion the media is not anti-Conservative, but pro-"liberal": As in "broad-minded", as in wanting to see issues from multiple perspectives, as in a neutral point of view.

Another perspective is most religions are anti-religious to other religions. EG: Christians don't believe in Zeus or Thor, i.e. to a Christian, his or her beliefs are super natural yet real, while other beliefs are superstitions. Atheists, agnostics and the like generally don't believe in the super natural.

What is funny or interesting is blind to religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, or culture. The issue of taste is another story.

2009-01-23t15:57:33 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Hardware, Images, Nanotechnology, TECH
Clear Carbon-Nanotube Films
Clear Carbon-Nanotube Films []
The technology is exciting enough, but for me the kicker is that this isn't something that is coming out in a few years, this is something coming out later this year. Unidym [] will be selling nanotube sheets. The main planned use is to replace indium tin oxide (ITO) in transparent electrodes. This should help make touchscreens even more prevalent. I'm looking forward to tactile interactivity, which will help computer artists greatly, but will also have great impact on all computer users.
Nanotube coated plastic film by Unidym
2009-02-02t17:46:35 Z | TAGS: Crude, Cyber Life, Funny, Language, Politics, Pr0n, profanity, Saucy, Sex, Text, USA
Saddlebacking [] [VIA:]

I've read Dan Savage's sex-advice column Savage Love before, and while it is well done, it frequently pushed well past my personal comfort level. I am not a very profane person but I do appreciate those who are versed in the poetic art, and Savage has even pushed it into the realm of politics with santorum [W].

In case he takes the site down at some point, I'm going to archive its content here:

Saddlebacking: sad•dle•back•ing ˈsa-dəl-ˈba-kiŋ vb [fr. Saddleback Church] (2009): the phenomenon of Christian teens engaging in unprotected anal sex in order to preserve their virginities

After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill saddlebacked all night because she’s saving herself for marriage. Unfortunately her parents found out because they got santorum all over the sheets.

Savage is also capable of non-political profanity as he did with pegging [W].

2009-02-10t16:48:11 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Engineering, Gadget, Google, Hardware, TECH, Text
Kindle 2.0 by Amazon
Kindle 2.0 by Amazon [] [VIA:]

Sweet! I think this version of electronic books will burst the dam, and we will finally see a shift away from paper books. This is different from the fading of paper newspapers because that was due to the Web. The Kindle 2.0 will succeed because of the confluence of wireless 3G technology, cloud data technology, Web integration in a light and natural way, paper-like rendition, the right physical size and weight, longer battery life (4 days to 2 weeks), Apple-like design, and, most importantly, commitment by a big player with big bucks, and a core strong interest in seeing this thing through.

At Amazon, we've always been obsessed with having every book ever printed, and we know that even the best reading device would be useless without a massive selection of books. Today, the Kindle Store has more than 230,000 books available, plus top newspapers, magazines, and blogs. This is just the beginning. Our vision is to have every book ever printed, in any language, all available in under 60 seconds on Kindle. We won't stop until we get there.

Kindle 2.0 by Amazon: Easy to readKindle 2.0 by Amazon: Many books in oneKindle 2.0 by Amazon: Thin as a pencil

Google has been working on scanning in millions of public domain books, and they are working on getting those and other books available for mobile devices ("How Google Is Making Books Mobile" []), but the cell phone form factor is too small.

Amazon is the right company for e-books. Kindle accounts for 10% of what Amazon sells --I had no idea that Kindle was that big! I also like how they understand the reading experience of the "disappearing book":

The most elegant feature of a physical book is that it disappears while you're reading. Immersed in the author's world and ideas, you don't notice a book's glue, the stitching, or ink. Our top design objective was to make Kindle disappear--just like a physical book--so you can get lost in your reading, not the technology.
2009-02-12t16:19:03 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Gadget, TECH, Text
Amazon Announces Kindle 2, With Slew of New Features
Amazon Announces Kindle 2, With Slew of New Features []

I just posted the following comment at the Slashdot thread:

I don't want a Swiss Army knife eReader: I want a dedicated eReader of the right size, which (very important) disappears when I read --just like a book disappears. I wouldn't read a paper book if it were the size of a phone.

When I'm reading and I'm involved, the most I want to do is a quick look up in a dictionary or encyclopedia (both of which Kindle provides). I don't want to do much else: Not check my email, not get a phone call, not watch a video, not play games, not SMS, not a thing.

The one time cost of $359 is nothing. Just like a phone, the HW cost is nothing compared to the recurring service costs. I feel fine paying authors for good writing. The DRM issue will work itself out over time. Plus there are free eBooks available too.

I love the idea of saving my precious shelf space for books that need to be on paper.

We're still in the early stages of eBooks. Other features will come later, but in the mean time Kindle is the best dedicated eReader, with the most current books.

Personally I love the idea of not having recurring costs for the 3G service, but only for books.

2009-03-25t17:37:36 Z | TAGS: Communications, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, TECH
Snapshot of cyber communications today

People speak and listen, read and write, interact with the world both natural and constructed. We've been doing this for thousands of years. A few hundred years ago there was a boom in communications with the development of printing. Within the past century there have been several booms with radio, telephones, TV, mobile phones, and the Internet. At our fingertips we have the ability to tap into large masses of people and large bodies information. The current generation will grow up with that as the default.

Since the technology, services, and usage evolves, I want to take a little snapshot of how cyber communications are today.

Previous cyber communications was email/chat (mostly one-to-one or one-to-few), brochure-like Web sites (mostly few-to-many), and message boards (mostly few-to-many). Then blogs became popular (mainly one-to-many). Lately the trend has been social sites (mostly few-to-few. EGs: Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Yahoo Groups, dodgeball) and collaborative sites (mostly many-to-many. EG: Wikipedia, Google Docs). The key to the later stuff was fostering democracy (as in everyone can get a voice), minimizing noise while maximizing music (votes on posts and comments like in Digg and Reddit; selecting the few like in Facebook), and ease of use (searchable, restrict by time/tag/few). Message boards and RSS readers are nice and searchable, but they don't do enough noise/music work.

A certain amount of system intelligence is appreciated (EGs: Amazon recommnedations. Google AdSense, Google Search, Google Maps). Long Tail sources (EGs: Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, eBay, Craig's List) are appreciated but there will all ways be stuff in the Long Tail that isn't covered by a Long Tail sources and thus specialized sources won't go away. Twitter is one-to-many or many-to-one: It has the very latest stuff but you need to follow good sources or search. Most things should be free/gratis but people are willing to pay for tangibles (EGs: Kindle, music). Systems that allow self-organization are more successful (EGs: Wikipedia, Facebook). Tags/labels have their uses and are often an improvement over folder but can be more annoying than productive.

2009-04-01t18:23:49 Z | TAGS: Culture, Cyber Life, News, TECH, Videos
Did You Know
Did You Know [] [VIA:]
A good video for folks that don't know or at least sense signs of Skynet or the Technological singularity [W], or the growth of China and India. The original "Shift Happens" video from Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod was made in 2006. Here is the 2007 update: Did You Know 2.0 [].
2009-04-02t16:16:29 Z | TAGS: Audio, Communications, Cyber Life, Google, TECH
One Number to Rule Them All
One Number to Rule Them All []

The best explanation of Google Voice that I've seen so far.

Users will soon be able to register, sign up for a phone number in a local area code, and add multiple landline and cell-phone numbers to an account. When someone calls a Google Voice phone number, all the registered phones ring at the same time.
It's the voice equivalent of an e-mail address. Once you register a number, the idea is that you never have to worry about which phone you are using, even if you switch offices, homes, or cell phones.
Google Voice is also largely about unification. No matter which phone you use, there is one portal for all voice-mail messages. You can play them on the Web, save them as MP3 files, and even post a voice-mail message on a website using an HTML embed feature. Conference calls are also easy: just answer an incoming call to add it to the current one.
When a caller leaves a voice mail, Google Voice automatically records and transcribes the message, then sends the transcription to you via e-mail.
Google Voice lets you send and receive text messages--again, by routing them between existing carriers. You can view a list of every SMS message you have ever sent, which is a highly useful feature. It's easy to review a history of placed, missed, and recorded calls. You can also import contacts from various address books. And you can easily disable one or more phones using a feature called Do Not Disturb.
2009-04-13t15:46:12 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Google, Programming, TECH
Gmail Sidesteps the App Store
Gmail Sidesteps the App Store []

The article is about mobile apps and the blurring distinction apps on mobile devices and web apps on mobile devices. I can see my company making mobile web apps in the near future.

This paragraph summarizes the technologies involved:

These features include a graphics tool called Canvas, "persistent storage," and an "application cache," explains Shyam Sheth, product manager on Google's mobile team. Canvas is something of an alternative to the popular Adobe Flash software that's commonly used to create graphics and animation on the Web. Persistent storage provides a way for data, originally on a remote server (such as Google's e-mail servers), to be stored locally, on the device. The HTML 5 application cache keeps important information about an application on the device that allows it to open quickly, as if it were running directly on the hardware instead of remotely. The iPhone version of Gmail uses only HTML 5, whereas Android uses a combination of HTML 5 and Gears (a Google software add-on that enables its Web apps to run offline).

This paragraph explains a major reason of why to do it. Cross platform programming is annoying!

Sheth says that there are a number of advantages for developers who build mobile applications via the Web. While there are only three major operating systems for desktops that developers need to learn, there are tens of mobile-device platforms with various different requirements. Applications can be built on the Web and need to be modified only slightly for different mobile devices. "Given the number of platforms we have in the mobile space," says Sheth, "we really need a unifying platform . . . That's why Google is so heavily investing in the Web becoming the common platform."
2009-04-30t15:52:10 Z | TAGS: Computers, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Google, Hardware, Open Source, Software, TECH
A New Breed of Netbook?
A New Breed of Netbook? []

It's a netbook running on a cell phone chip thus it's cheap, energy efficient, and it runs on Google's free (libre and gratis) Android operating system.

Currently, many netbooks use Intel's Atom processor, which is built using the x86 architecture found in most of the company's desktop, laptop, and server chips. Most netbooks get about an hour of power per battery cell. On an ARM-based notebook, Solis says, it could be possible to get eight hours from a three-cell battery. Of course, while long battery life is appealing, there is a definite trade-off. "If you're looking for a powerful speedy laptop, then these netbooks aren't for you," Solis says. "But if you're looking for something that can last you all day without recharging, and that's at an even lower cost than most netbooks, then these might work."
2009-05-06t17:15:50 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Images, Reading, TECH, Text, Wikipedia
Kindle DX: Amazon's 9.7" Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation)
Kindle DX: Amazon's 9.7" Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation) []

After days of teasing us, the Kindle DX is finally here! My wife loves her Kindle 2, so now if I get the Kindle DX, it will be which is whose.

Here are basic stats to compare the Kindle 2.0 against the Kindle DX:

Weight10.2 oz18.9 oz
Display6" 800x600 167 ppi9.7" 1200x824 150 ppi
Storage1.4/2.0 GB ~ 1500 Books3.3/4.0 GB ~ 3500 Books
Content Formats Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; PDF, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion. Kindle (AZW), PDF, TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.
Auto-Rotating ScreenNoYes
Battery4 days reading. 2 wks standby.
PortsUSB for Data and Recharge. 3.5 mm for Audio.
ConnectivityEVDO modem with fallback to 1xRTT. Amazon Whispernet for 3G high-speed data with no monthly charge.
ReferencesThe New Oxford American Dictionary with over 250,000 entries built in. Wikipedia over the wireless.

The Amazon Kindle 2.0 and Kindle DX

It would have been sweet to go through high school and college without lugging all those heavy books around. The smaller screen is good for reading straight text, but anything with pictures, even Wikipedia, needs a larger screen and this one is 2.5x larger. As far as whether Kindle DX can help the ailing newspaper and magazine industry, maybe. The real thing issue is if they can produce high quality content with such consistency that people would want to pay for it.

2009-05-22t18:22:45 Z | TAGS: Browser, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, News, TECH
A Speedier Google Chrome for all users
A Speedier Google Chrome for all users []

Google doesn't like versions (Gmail is still beta) so they're not making a big deal of upgrading the browser from Chrome 1 to Chrome 2. The upgrades seem trivial: Improved Tab Page? Please, I hardly use that. Full Screen Mode and Form Autofill? Umm, features that most browsers already have? The upgrades in speed and stability are less sexy but more important. I noticed right away that Chrome can finally play Youtube.

However Chrome still needs just three things:

People like me are eager to switch because as much as we love Firefox, it's still a memory hog.

PS: Google: The keyboard shortcuts to enter date (CTRL+;) and time (CTRL+:) in Google Spreadsheets are still broken for Chrome.

2009-05-27t15:51:52 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Relations, TECH, Twitter
What is Twitter?
What is Twitter? []

The best explanation of Twitter I've seen. The Wikipedia entry on Twitter [W] is a little dry.

Twitter is a series of sidewalk conversations
Twitter is the democratization of the sound-bite

Since I'm an introvert with SSD/UHL, being put on equal playing field as far as hearing and speaking goes is quite appealing. Facebook does a similar thing but Facebook is for folks you know.

2009-06-19t17:43:40 Z | TAGS: Activity, Animation, Blizzard, Computers, Cyber Life, Video Games, Videos
Here's 17 Minutes Of Starcraft II Gameplay
Here's 17 Minutes Of Starcraft II Gameplay []

These "Battle Reports" are videos that show game play from the upcoming computer game "StarCraft II" by Blizzard. Battle Report I (Protoss v Terran) and Battle Report II (Zerg v Terran) have been out, but this third and latest Battle Report is Terran v Protoss, so that completes the combinations (PT, ZT, and ZP).

We're left hungry for the actual game release, which is still vaguely described as coming out in late 2009.

2009-06-29t15:08:47 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Literature, Reading, Text, Twitter
University of Chicago freshmen to translate great literary works as 'Twitterature'
University of Chicago freshmen to translate great literary works as 'Twitterature' [,0,4431673.story]

Pretty funny and yet an interesting exercise by these University of Chicago students.

In a move likely to be greeted by book-lovers with a mixture of horror and why-didn't-I-think-of-that jealousy, college roommates Alex Aciman and Emmett Rensin, both 19, are rewriting classics by Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Dante and other greats in 20 or fewer 140-character tweets. "Imagine if Achilles had a Twitter account and an iPhone, and he was telling his story in real time," Aciman said. "That's what this book is going to be like."
2009-07-08t21:45:04 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Economy, Google, Money, TECH
Free is not a business model
Free is not a business model []

A renewal of the old saw: "There's no such thing as a free lunch". The article lists three ways that seemingly free things make money.

Advertising. As we've seen from Google Apps, non-intrusive advertising does seem to be accepted even for business use when it's perceived as funding free use of the application. SaaS vendors should be cautious, however, as we have no confirmed evidence even that Google (let alone anyone else offering ad-funded apps) makes enough from advertising to cover its costs.
Freemium. Distributing a free version in order to reach a wider market, among which some customers will decide to pay for premium services, is well established. It's worked for some open source vendors and for SaaS vendors with mass-market appeal as 37signals and As I've discussed previously, the trick is to target the right free users to yield a sufficiently lucrative conversion rate.
Syndication. I’m not sure about the name — it may end up being called something else — it’s the least developed of the three, but I think it holds the greatest potential. What I mean by syndication is delivering third-party services within an application and taking a commission on the sale.

The article doesn't cover other sites that are free because they are running on other people's money. For example: Twitter has no ads, freemium, or syndication, because right now they're living off of venture capitalist money. Also there's gold in the data they collect. The same applies to Quicken which provides free online personal finance software. The same would apply to whoever comes out with a popular Web-based personal health record [W].

Other organizations that provide free stuff via other people's money include not-for-profit organizations (like Wikipedia) that run on donations and public works (think roads, police, NASA, school lunches, etc.) that run on tax dollars or are subsidized.

2009-07-22t15:55:16 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Gadget, Google, Hardware, Images, Photos, Reading, Software, TECH, Videos
Head in the clouds

I've always been a "head in the clouds" sort of fellow. I'm forgetful and my mind wanders off and follows threads that catch my eye. So it's no wonder that when it comes to technology, I'm ready for the cloud.

Google already has a lot of my personal data in Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Documents, Google Notebooks.

Surprisingly Google is not generous with storage space at Picasa, because then I might dump all my photos there. Perhaps they're still working on that GDrive or they're worried about the massive amounts of porn pictures people would upload. Perhaps Flickr is the way to go. I don't make many videos, but we need something similar for that.

Intuit or Quicken handles my personal finances. I already pay most of my bills automatically online.

I'd like to Amazon (or Barnes and Noble) to sell and store digital media like ebooks, videos, and music. There are some books that are so beautiful or big or both that I'd prefer a print copy, but for most books, an ebook would do. I don't want physical media disks at my house getting scratched and broken. I don't mind them using some consumer-mindful form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) to ensure that I'm not stealing. I'd like to supplement the DRM digital media with DRM-free media from other sources like Google Books and the Gutenberg Project, PDFs, MP3s, etc. Perhaps I'd store it at GDrive. In any case, I should be able to stream digital media (if I'm online) or download them (at least temporarily) for access either on or offline.

I'd like to have my Personal Health Record (PHR) at some place like Google Health or Microsoft Health Vault. I'd like to be able to manage my family's PHRs too. I'd like to be able to import/export my PHR and import/export data from any health provider's Electronic Health Records (EHRs).

Journals or blogs already exist. I'm not so much into the social aspect of blogs but others are. For social two-way "journaling", I think short and fast via Facebook works fine, or a group mailing list. Twitter works for even lighter talks with the masses. RSS readers are OK, but they don't rank like Digg or Reddit.

Apps that are on or offline, smart phone, netbook, or desktop are in the flux and sort of annoying. Phones need bigger and better lenses: We don't need SLR lens but something bigger than a pinhole.

Yada, yada, yada. All this computer cloud stuff still doesn't compare to following the clouds that float by in my own head.

2009-07-28t16:42:14 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Apple, Audio, Books, Computers, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Family, Gadget, Google, Hardware, Inspiring, Kids, Music, My Stuff, Reading, Software, Standards, TECH, Text, Videos
Digital Media and e-Books

In my post Head in the clouds, I stated the following:

I'd like to Amazon (or Barnes and Noble) to sell and store digital media like ebooks, videos, and music. There are some books that are so beautiful or big or both that I'd prefer a print copy, but for most books, an ebook would do. I don't want physical media disks at my house getting scratched and broken. I don't mind them using some consumer-mindful form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) to ensure that I'm not stealing. I'd like to supplement the DRM digital media with DRM-free media from other sources like Google Books and the Gutenberg Project, PDFs, MP3s, etc. Perhaps I'd store it at GDrive. In any case, I should be able to stream digital media (if I'm online) or download them (at least temporarily) for access either on or offline.

The whole topic of digital media is a big topic. These days I'm focused on digital books but they're all related.

Before I continue, let me just quickly jot down the sub-topics:
  • Media types.
  • Physical size.
  • Device features.
  • Content and Money: Creator, seller, and buyer.
  • Social media.

Media types

Media types is a seemingly easy sub-topic. The media types are essentially text, pictures, audio, video, and apps. Simple enough. That's the media that the user receives (and the device outputs). The user however also sends "media" (and the device inputs). This includes text, voice, movements, and selections. There are other nuances such as the streaming aspect (EG: radio), the asynchronous aspect (EG: email), and combinations (EG: comics). A lot of sight, sound, motion, and time sensing, but not much in the way taste, touch, or smell. Things like the Wii do some motion and momentum input/output too.

Physical size

This is actually seemingly simple too.

Device features

Device features will vary greatly between makers and models initially, but as the technology matures, the differences between makers and models of the same class will become more subtle.

Content and Money: Creator, seller, and buyer.

This is the real heart of the issue. The users/buyers are most concerned about the content, but these days the content is tied to the money.

Users have three kinds of content:

There have been three stages of content:

How do the creators and sellers control the copying of the media? And how can they ensure that they get their fair share of the buyer's money? In the digital media industry, the first medium to face this problem head on has been the music industry. Pirating (or illegal copying) of music still occurs. For a while it seemed that the answer was digital rights managment (DRM), but this seemed to hamper on the buyers right to legally copy media for which they had paid for. So far it seems that the answer is not DRM, but to trust that people will honor copyright laws and pay the seller (and hence the creator) their money. A comparison of online music stores [W] shows that the most successful don't use DRM. The available formats (such as mp3, aac, m4a, aiff, wav, ogg) are trivial given all the available converters.

Copyrighted digital text is in the news lately because e-book readers started becoming good enough and popular enough that major books are being sold in digital format. The different e-book readers are using DRM and different files.

Here's a quick review of different e-book formats. See also Comparison of e-book formats [W]. Some of them can implement DRM.

  • .txt. Simple text. Preferably UTF-8, but Unicode, windows-1252, iso-latin-1, or even ASCII will do.
  • .htm. Simple HTML. Variants include .chm, .lit, and plucker.
  • .pdf. Portable Document Format. Practically universal. Many things can be exported or printed to PDF.
  • .rtf. Rich Text Format.
  • XML based:
    • .opf. Open eBook
    • .epub. Supercedes .opf
    • .mobi, .prc. Mobipocket. Based on .opf. Available to the iRex/Philips iLiad e-book reader.
    • .azw. Amazon Kindle e-book. Based on .mobi.
    • .arg. Arghos Diffusion.
    • Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY)
    • .fb2. FictionBook.
    • Text Encoding Initiative.
  • .tr2, .tr3. TomeRaider.
  • .ps. PostScript.
  • .djvu. DjVu. Especially for images.
  • .pdb. eReader (formerly Palm Digital Media/Peanut Press). For Also used by the Barnes & Noble Plastic Logic e-reader.
  • .lrf, .lrx. Broadband eBooks. For the Sony Reader.

Here are the major e-book readers (see more at List of e-book readers [W] and their primary formats:

Just to make it explicit, one of the issues is that with DRM and no standard format, if you buy stuff from one store, then you have to use their reader. If you want to buy stuff from two stores, then you need two readers, and so on. In contrast, you can buy a CD from any store and play it on any CD player.

The digital music industry went through this DRM issue, i.e. it was a real world experiment done with real creators, sellers, and buyers. The result is that overwhelming majority of buyers are honest folk who will respect copyright laws and will pay the sellers and the creators their money. DRM tried to control illegal copying, but actually it was a stumbling block for buying and fair buyer use of media that they legally paid for. I guess that the print media has a years of physical media experience that it has to over come in this digital media world. Copyright laws still apply. Just because it is easier to copy, doesn't make it legal, and the numbers show that the greater sales without DRM are worth the losses due to piracy. The print media probably also has a psychological issue of going without DRM because digital songs are $0.99 while digital books are $9.99. In any case, print media will experiment with using digital print, and, like digital music, may drop DRM after they run through the same experiment but with text instead of audio, and with different prices and different uses.

Social media

Let me gripe a bit about some of the hoops I, as a buyer, have to go through:

My wife bought a Kindle 2 and then the price dropped. Learning from her experience, I want to get a Kindle DX --as soon as the price drops. We each have our own accounts at Amazon. A DRM protected Kindle book must be associated with an Amazon account and can be accessed on up to 6 Kindle-compatible devices, where each device is registered to the same Amazon account. A Kindle-compatible account can only be registered with one Amazon account at a time. This gives us several options:

  1. Buy Kindle books via both of our separate Amazon accounts. If I wanted to share a Kindle book with her (or any one else), then I'd have to lend someone my Kindle DX, or have an extra Kindle registered to my account that I could lend. Neither option sounds very good. She could also just buy the same book on her own account but that's not sharing something I own --it's buying it again. Separate accounts does have the advantage of privacy in that we could each purchase Kindle books that we don't want the other to know about.
  2. Buy Kindle books via just her Amazon account. My Kindle DX would be registered to her account. We would be able to share books, but we would have the same Kindle book list, plus I would also be able to see her non-Kindle book purchases and info at Amazon.If we got a 3rd Kindle for the family in general, then we could put particular books on that Kindle, but they could also connect to Amazon with the Kindle and see all our other books.
  3. Create a new family Amazon account and use that for buying Kindle books. Our Kindles would then be registered to the family Amazon account. This scenario is exactly the same as the previous scenario except that we could continue to use our separate Amazon accounts for non-Kindle purchases and thus have privacy for that stuff from each other.

FYI: The scenario is roughly the same for Barnes & Noble, where the e-books are tied to an account. There is the added difference that Barnes & Noble uses .pdb, whose DRM scheme is also tied to a credit card.

In actuality, my wife, my kids, and I are pretty open and we don't care who sees whose books or Amazon purchases so we're going with option #2. With non-DRM e-books the scenario becomes much easier. We can share copies of e-books that we bought within our family. We know that it would be illegal to copy it and give it to others. Perhaps we should be allowed to lend copies to friends that expire in a week. That should whet their appetites so they might buy the book for themselves. On the other hand wouldn't all those broke college students find some way to get free copies of the books they need? People have to realize that if the sellers and creators don't make money, then how can they continue to give us good content?

In one sense digital print has been around for a while: The Web has lots of text! Social digital print has also been around for a while: Email! Blogs! Groups! Facebook! The "social" aspect of digital media as in songs and books however, is only just starting. It's not just a matter of finding out what's hot as in Pandora, Spotify, etc., but of discussing, note taking, excerpting. Of the e-book readers, only the iRex/Philips iLiad has serious note taking features. Each e-book should have at least one site that's a jumping point for discussions centered around the book.


Anyhow this post is getting a little long. What I do with books is find them, buy them, read them, bookmark my place, take notes, look things up, share them with folks, and reference the books. I'd like to be able to do the same thing with e-books, but with the advantage of portability, some connectivity, and digital notes. I'm tempted by the Apple tablet because it has color, video, and can take notes, but it would also need a big book store, free connectivity, and better battery life. Amazon and Barnes & Noble should continue to compete against each other for a cheaper e-book reader that can take better notes and can read e-books from more sources. The big thing is that more and more books should be digitized. The World Wide Web is amazing, Google is amazing, Wikipedia is amazing. The ability to access all the books, old or new, from anywhere would be amazing too!

2009-07-28t17:36:24 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Programming, Relations
Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule
Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule [] [VIA:]

The article is right on.

My spin on it is related to multi-tasking. We can do complex things (that involve multi-tasking) if we can simplify them so that we are effectively single-tasking. EG: Driving is composed of multiple little tasks that we have to time slice between very quickly. For a new driver these are actually multiple tasks, but for an experienced driver these tasks have been simplified into a single task: Driving.

To translate this into Paul Grahams model: Managers are doing one task (managing and meeting), and makers are also doing one task (making). The thing is that meetings interrupt the maker's single task but are simply part of the manager's single task.

Having meetings at the beginning (or end) of a day (or week) is a simple solution.

2009-08-05t15:30:46 Z | TAGS: Books, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Hardware, Reading, Standards, TECH, Text
Sony Takes On Kindle With Two New E-Readers
Sony Takes On Kindle With Two New E-Readers []

Sony is releasing two new Readers today. Their old models were the PRS-500, PRS-505, and the PRS-700. The new models are the PRS 300 ($199 "Pocket" with 5" screen) and the PRS 600 ($299 "Touch" with 5" touch screen), both can access Google Books but don't have free Internet. In contrast the Amazon Kindle 2 ($299, 6" screen) and Kindle DX ($489, 9.7" screen) have free wireless but no touch screen. Another big contrast is that the Sony will be sold just about everywhere (Target, Borders, Wal-Mart, etc.), while the Kindle will only be sold at Amazon.

The upmanship in features and price is to be expected. The "standard" price for e-books is now $9.99 at Sony, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. For me the real battle is in the books: Do they sell the ones I want at a decent price? Can they read books from different sources?

Sort of funny to see Amazon trying to grip the e-book market tightly just to have the market slip between its fingers. Sony may have a reader but their book selection is limited --readers want to buy from an Amazon or a Barnes & Noble. Why set up barriers to people buying e-books? Why make us hesitate? Sell the readers everywhere. Let the readers read just about everything. Get rid of DRM.

2009-09-28t16:29:36 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, HTML, Images, Programming, Standards, TECH, Videos
Introduction to HTML 5
Introduction to HTML 5 []

A video by a Google developer about HTML 5.

First he briefly discusses how it took a while for people to gel a few older technologies into AJAX, and how HTML 5 will probably be implemented faster than that. He also mentions that the web (not Web) environment is different now and needs HTML 5, especially with mobile devices and faster Javascript.

The rest of the video looks at 5 aspects of HTML 5 and shows simple example code implementing those aspects. The 5 aspects he covers are:

  1. SVG and Canvas. Lower level control of graphics.
  2. video. Not Flash, Silverlight, or VML, but native video support.
  3. geolocation. Especially with mobile devices.
  4. app cache and database. App cache is like a super browser cache. DB is an off-line DB that uses SQL statements.
  5. web worker. Similar to AJAX.
2009-10-20t17:23:51 Z | TAGS: Animation, Cyber Life, Flash, Images, JavaScript, Open Source, Photos, Programming, Standards, SVG, TECH, Videos

It's annoying and vexing that although Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) [W] has been around for 10 years now, it's not implemented in browsers in a standard fashion, especially Internet Explorer. See:

Until properly implemented, we have to use cheats like embed, object, and iframe in non-IE browsers. IE can show SVG by using stuff like svgweb [] which converts the SVG into Flash. I love Inkscape for SVG images, and there should be more tools for SVG videos, charts, etc.

2010-01-27t20:38:38 Z | TAGS: Apple, Audio, Books, Cyber Life, Gadget, Hardware, Software, TECH, Videos
Apple iPad
Apple iPad []
Beautiful, powerful, and well priced. I noticed was that its browser had problems with Flash but they're probably working that out. There's no camera or video camera, but that's minor to my concerns about multitasking and openness. Minimal ports as expected but no USB? I may wait for USB 3. I haven't seen how it works as a plain old computer, as in say directory management. With a $499-$829 price and a 10 hour battery life (with 1 month standby), this should beat most of the eBook readers. While eInk is good for hi-light situations, I find that I often read in lo-light situations. I assume that Amazon and the other eBook sellers will compete with the new iBook Store, and probably make apps for reading their eBooks on the iPhone --one eBook reader to read all the eBook formats. A data plan at $15-$30 per month is reasonable. Now I just want to be able to use it as a phone too so I can ditch my phone (maybe use a Bluetooth wireless headset). It's 9.56" x 7.47" x 0.5", with a 9.7" screen of 1024 x 768 @ 132 ppi, and 1.5#; i.e. it's 242.8 mm x 189.7 mm x 13.4 mm, with a 246 mm screen and 0.68 Kg. I don't think people appreciate intuitive multi-touch enough. No comment on iWorks, other than I don't want another file format. Available in 60-90 days. I assume that they chose to have "Star Trek" as a sample video on purpose.
iPad with Star Trek on
2010-02-01t19:22:05 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Education, Language, Self Improvement, World
The Web Way to Learn a Language
The Web Way to Learn a Language [] [VIA:]

The sites they mention:

The /. thread mentions learning via foreign videos (esp. comedies), sites that that interest you, and DVDs with subtitles.

2010-02-09t16:10:29 Z | TAGS: Browser, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Firefox, Google, TECH
Chrome versus Firefox 2010-02

I periodically compare Firefox (FF) and Chrome (C). Here's how I compare them now:

The improved Google bookmarks extension was probably the single most important difference for me. But since that's fixed, this may be the month that I switch to Chrome. May the browser wars continue!

2010-02-10t23:38:23 Z | TAGS: Communications, Cyber Life, Email
Top Ten Mistakes Managers Make With Email
Top Ten Mistakes Managers Make With Email ['s_Most_Popular]

The post will probably disappear after a while so I'll file the 10 email mistakes here:

  1. Using vague subject lines.
  2. Burying the news.
  3. Hiding Behind the "BCC" field.
  4. Failing to clean up the mess of earlier replies/forwards.
  5. Ignoring grammar and mechanics.
  6. Avoiding necessarily long emails.
  7. Mashing everything together into bulky, imposing, inaccessible paragraphs.
  8. Neglecting the human beings at the other end.
  9. Thinking email works best.
  10. Forgetting that email lasts forever.
2010-02-16t16:18:15 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Relations
Clive Thompson in Praise of Online Obscurity
Clive Thompson in Praise of Online Obscurity []

Thompson is using the word obscurity to catch your eye, but the topic is totally related to maximizing the signal-to-noise ratio.

Technically speaking, online social-networking tools ought to be great at fostering these sorts of clusters. Blogs and Twitter and Facebook are, as Internet guru John Battelle puts it, "conversational media." But when the conversation gets big enough, it shuts down. Not only do audiences feel estranged, the participants also start self-censoring. People who suddenly find themselves with really huge audiences often start writing more cautiously, like politicians.

Even I feel it when I write to myself in a public manner. The eyes are always there.

2010-03-16t18:44:32 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Philosophy, TECH
Now A No-Evil Zone
Now A No-Evil Zone []

Tim Bray (formerly of Sun) on competing with Apple:

The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger.

I hate it.

I hate it even though the iPhone hardware and software are great, because freedom’s not just another word for anything, nor is it an optional ingredient.

The big thing about the Web isn’t the technology, it’s that it’s the first-ever platform without a vendor (credit for first pointing this out goes to Dave Winer). From that follows almost everything that matters, and it matters a lot now, to a huge number of people. It’s the only kind of platform I want to help build.

Apple apparently thinks you can have the benefits of the Internet while at the same time controlling what programs can be run and what parts of the stack can be accessed and what developers can say to each other.

I think they’re wrong and see this job as a chance to help prove it.

The tragedy is that Apple builds some great open platforms; I’ve been a happy buyer of their computing systems for some years now and, despite my current irritation, will probably go on using them.

2010-05-04t15:49:37 Z | TAGS: Apple, Audio, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Images, Operating System, Software, TECH, Videos
The real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash
The real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash []

Well yes. The article states some stuff that's obvious to some of us, but I support erring on the side of stating the obvious. There are many times where I assumed certain things were obvious and then later I end up wishing that I had said something sooner.

Obvious #1. Yes Mac has always been about a captive audience. They have always wanted to control the hardware, the operating system, the apps, the design, the look-and-feel. Apple equals proprietary. I personally prefer open.

Obvious #2. Hardware, software, and Internet connectivity is getting cheaper, faster, and cooler. Monetizing and staying on the curve is business. Ubiquitous HW with 4G+ and cloud storage and apps is the way to go. Beautiful, powerful, intuitive interfacing is the way to go. Ubiquitous media capture (txt, pic, aud, vid) and geolocation is the way to go.

Obvious #3. For most users the following apps will suffice on an iPad: Media Players (pics, audio, video, books), Browser, Office-like suite. There will of course be hundreds of apps that users want, but the emphasis should be on what users need. What should come soon: Skype/phone-like communications, FTP. Specialized tools that may never come but should: Power editors (text, pics, video, etc.), Remote Desktop access, Development IDEs, Database and Sys Admin tools.

Personally I'm itching to buy a tablet but the iPad is too weak to replace a smart phone and my laptop.

2010-09-14t16:01:10 Z | TAGS: Browser, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Firefox, Google, TECH
How to Enable Vertical Tabs in Google Chrome
How to Enable Vertical Tabs in Google Chrome []

You can add vertical tabs to the Chrome browser in Windows with these steps:

  1. Right-click your shortcut to Chrome.
  2. Select "Properties".
  3. Add --enable-vertical-tabs to the end of the "Target" field.
  4. Open Chrome

It's not quite as good as the TreeStyle tabs Add-on in Firefox but it's getting there.

Chrome is so close to matching Firefox. I have a list of feature differences between the various browsers but between Chrome and Firefox, here are my top differences:

Here are a few things that I used to have an issue between the browsers:

2010-09-30t21:07:49 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, TECH
Digg V4: The Broken Covenant (aka Selling Out to "The Man")
Digg V4: The Broken Covenant (aka Selling Out to "The Man") []

I haven't seriously surfed the Web for around 2 months now. There has always been conflict between Digg and Reddit (See and But while I was out Digg has gone down the toilet (See

Competition is good so it's sad to see Digg falter. (BTW: Alas poor Google Reader and Buzz is no substitute for finding real content. Power to the users!

2010-11-24t18:55:14 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, My Stuff, TECH
Multi-touch and Mobility

I just solved a thorny little problem at work so I'm going to reward myself with a quick little post. I haven't had much of a cyber life lately because my laptop at home broke. (It's part of a class action lawsuit against Dell/NVIDIA because of a bad GPU.) The system I want is game ready (StarCraft II!). So I'm looking at a desktop plus a multi-touch monitor. Too bad the All-In-Ones have lame GPUs.

For mobility, I want to get another machine ca. 2011-05 when my Verizon contract comes up for renewal. I don't want to game when I'm out, but I'd like a real keyboard, a paper-sized screen (Most PDFs were meant to be read at that size), and I want it to be low in mass. The iPad, Galaxy, and other tablets so far are too small and too trivial. I'd like something like the upcoming Dell Inspiron Duo but with a larger screen and lower mass. It needs a SSD, not a regular HD! And why isn't USB 3 on all the new stuff yet?

To replace my semi-smart phone, I'd like a smarter phone that's also a WiFi hot spot so I can use it for my "tablet" too. Why would I want to pay for 3G/4G that's just for my tablet when I can share it?

2011-01-07t04:18:14 Z | TAGS: Computers, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Hardware, My Stuff, Software, TECH
I love my new Alienware M15X laptop

My laptop is almost a month old now. I got a new one because the graphics card on my old laptop died trying to play StarCraft II. I'm going to document the various installs and stuff I've done so that I look at the entry years from now and laugh.

I received my brand new Alienware M15X laptop from Dell. Beautifully packaged. It felt like an event. It even came with a hat! The basic specs:

I only have two complaints about the hardware:

Next I did some mandatory stuff:

Through out all this I gradually did a bunch of Windows tweaks. Here's some of what I did.

Besides Windows 7, I was pleasantly surprised that there was very little extra pre-installed software:

Web browser stuff. Chrome is my main browser these days. FYI: At work I work with Chrome 8, and test with FF 3.6, IE 8, Safari, and Opera.

Installed StarCraft II. Oh yes! Many more frames per second!

Here's some work stuff:

Here's some random stuff:

My new computer is awesome! After all this, I still have more than half of my hard drive free. I have to do stuff like Inkscape and GIMP though. I'll probably get a multi-touch screen monitor, a keyboard, and a USB hub. My laptop is a mobile workstation, but for more mobility I intend to get a tablet later.

2011-04-29t12:32:00 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Faith, MARTIAL, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Ramblings, Relations, Self Improvement, Sex, TECH, Thoughts, Violence
Dreams and Controversy

Just a recently: I woke up from a dream, then I let my mind wander, and then I realized that I was not likely to go back to sleep. Usually I lay there and try to go back to sleep if it's early enough, but today I've decided to try writing.

First I'm going to write about the kinds of dreams that wake me up. Why first? Because I want to write about it while I'm fresh from sleep. I can't say for sure because I haven't been logging it and therefore have no data collected, but I think I'm waking up more easily these days.

It seems that all I need is a dream that changes my heart rate a bit and that wakes me up. Here are typical dreams that wake me up:

Enough about dreams. Next I wanted to jot down a few notes about general topics of controversy (sex, violence, religion, and politics) and parsing them with simple tools (preferences, consent, and tolerance).

OK, that's enough for now. It's several hours since I woke up. On with my day.

2011-05-10t17:59:40 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Gadget, Google, Operating System, TECH
Multitasking the Android Way
Multitasking the Android Way []
One of the first things that the Verizon person did on my new phone was install "Advanced Task Killer". I let it happen but a task killer is not necessary because Android handles it automatically. You can do it manually if you feel like it: Settings, Applications, Manage Applications, Running, click an app, then Force stop.
2011-05-11t17:40:27 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Apple, Cyber Life, Google, Microsoft, Music, TECH
About Music Beta by Google
About Music Beta by Google []

The music cloud wars are upon us.

Get your music from anywhere (Apple, Amazon, etc), sync them and store them at Google's cloud. Like Amazon Cloud Player, you don't have to worry about space. Apple's music cloud should be coming out soon. Microsoft?

It shouldn't just be music though. It should be contacts, books, videos, photos, files, whatever. Key issues include syncing multiple sources, monetizing, and selecting subsets for when your offline with little space.

2011-06-26t16:09:43 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Family, Health, TECH
Google to End Health Records Service After It Fails to Attract Users
Google to End Health Records Service After It Fails to Attract Users [] [VIA: Terry]

I put my family health data in spreadsheets: Without clear success stories in Personal Health Records (PHRs), I couldn't justify doing data entry in a particular PHR, especially since we don't know which, if any, are here to stay.

In contrast I know that I use Google Contacts on the Web and on my phone, so I know that it is beneficial to enter contacts in Google --but those entries are less frequent and less laborious than health records.

On the other hand if I knew my doctor was actually going to look at health info I entered, then I might have some incentive to enter it in their system.

2011-12-28t17:10:29 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Apple, Cyber Life, Google, Hardware, Microsoft, My Stuff, Software, TECH
Review of my software usage

I periodically do a review of my software usage -- especially if I've gotten a new computer! However this year I'll emphasize software on my phone and tablet.

Hardware and Operating System:

Games: Lots available for phone, tablet, comp, console, physical, etc. These are more for my kids.

Comics: Just read in print or online with a big screen!

Reading: Going with e-books if available. Hesitating on digital NGM because we love the print.

News: Perhaps we all check the news too often!

Audio: I don't do lots of music, but so far I like Amazon's handling of music better than Google and Apple. Yay radio!

Media: I watch YouTube and Netflix, but I don't do much TV, otherwise cable and Hulu might be interesting.

Phone: I use the fewest phone minutes in my family. Waiting for phone wallets to mature.

SMS/IM: Yes, my family texts/chats often!

Email: I prefer to do email at a full computer. Urgent communications should be done by phone or text.

Social: I prefer to do social sites on a full computer. I do Facebook, but barely do Twitter and the rest.

Office and Files: I prefer to do office stuff on a full computer but I love having centralized simple text files that my wife and I can both access. I'd really like to log my workouts in my Google Docs spreadsheets but the interface is a clunky.

Maps: Mobile maps is important when you're travelling.

Utilities: A calculator with basic science functions should be built-in!

Special Apps:


Non-mobile computer software brief version:

2013-08-13t22:02:11 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Google, Ramblings, TECH, Thoughts
Gmail Categories

Gmail had Labels and Filters. Then it added Smartlabels (Bulk, Notification, and Forum) in Labs (and is still in Labs). Then it added Categories as Tabs and Labels (Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, Forums) not through labs (possibly because it's the "graduate" version of Smartlabels).

I've been using Gmail's tabbed Categories for a few weeks now and I have been fairly satisfied. It has convinced me to get rid of a few labels and filters that I had before. For example: I used to have a Label and Filter I called "ADMIN", but it effectively functioned like "Notification" in Smartlabels, which in effectively functioned like the "Updates" Category.

However, there's always something. Here are three minor issues I have Categories so far:

1. Occasionally a new message will appear in the west for a Category Label, but will not appear in the Category Inbox Tab. Odd and a little annoying. Possibly just an asynchronous issue.

2. My guess that Gmail starts with what it thinks should go in each Category. Gmail probably starts by pre-identifying known social sources (like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus), promotional sources (like Amazon, Microsoft Store, and GrubHub), and update sources (like banks, Mint, and credit cards). Then Gmail probably learns which sources should go in which Category after you drag them into another Category several times. HOWEVER, I have been dragging emails from one Category Inbox Tab to another, but Gmail seems to be slow on learning my preferences.

3. When you have an email open in one Category Inbox Tab and switch to another, Gmail keeps that email open. Some people may like that, but I think it's a bit confusing to step away from Gmail for (gasp!) a few minutes, and then come back to find some email open that is not part of the currently selected Category Inbox Tab.

Over all, Categories automatically gives lots of people functionality that was only available to "power users" that tweaked their Gmail account.

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