July 26, 2014

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via Kotke:

I’ll be here, blogging away until 2073. I figure 100 is a good age at which to retire. If I have a point to make, I’ll have made it by then. Man, I wonder what crazy YouTube videos there will be to post in 30 years? Probably Wes Anderson filming trials riding in a wingsuit on Mars or something. I can’t wait.

I feel the same way. I’ve had this blog since 2009 and the beer blog since 2012. My first blog launched in 1999 is long gone (saved on my RAID Array in HTML format) and my 2nd and 3rd blogs,also archived as XML / WordPress backups, I’ve been blogging for a very long time.

This blog only gets 7,000 visitors a month with around 25,000 page views. My beer blog gets a little more than that but not a huge number, nothing wort monetizing.

Anyway, I’ve stopped using social media. I participate in two online forums and still upload photos to Flickr but that’s it. The social network shuffle happens so often now, it’s been great to go back to basics which is to sit here and author a blog. I’m not a great writer, my life isn’t interesting but the ability to share here is a valuable thing to me. Most importantly, I own the server, the blog CMS, analytics software and the entire experience.

——-

Two weeks ago, I received an email from someone I’ve known since 2003. We met a few times, she enjoyed my thoughts on the value of college and it was moving enough for her to write a letter. That’s a big deal to me. My long-form high school education writing has a small group of readers who check in every few weeks to see what’s new and this person has read my blog since the very beginning. That is huge to me.

This month’s Facebook, Twitter & Orkut come and go but blogging is for life.

July 25, 2014

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via:

I realize it’s going to be impossible to write sentences like the ones above without coming across as a raging prick, so let me try to soften the blow to my American readers with an analogy:

Raw, uncensored perspective that anyone who has traveled a lot can relate to.

July 24, 2014

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Please no.

I only use one irreplaceable Google service. I can live without YouTube and there’s not a single other product I use from them…seriously. When they killed Latitude, I was pretty hurt because i used Latitude for life-tracking so I could see KMLs for where I had physically been the last 5 years…every moment of the day geo-tagged. I really liked that service. The same goes for the most recent news that FourSquare is turning into a recommendation engine for things to do and all check-ins must be done on Swarm now. Swarm is a step back from FourSquare’s application and it makes my activities far more public. I don’t want to use Swarm…I want to use FourSquare. I tried Swarm and I hate it. 

For the past 6 months, Gizmodo has touted that the end is near for Google Voice and each time, they seem giddy about the whole concept. Calling people from Voice.google.com is too hard I guess so they prefer the technology exist within hangouts instead.

Why?

Everyone I know, even my parents don’t know my cell phone number. The reason is because I literally get a new number every year. My land-line and cell phone number change quite often because I simply don’t care about what number I currently have. Yes, I have a land-line, a cordless telephone in my house. when you spend 2 hours a day on conference calls, it’s quite nice to have a real phone. The clarity and latency of a land-line is great. Cell phones still suck at voice latency and call quality especially where I live…and that’s assuming you get reception at all which I haven’t at my last 3 homes here.

So Google Voice is great! When you call my 415 number, it rings my Macintosh, my mobile phone, my land-line and my desk phone at the office…simultaneously.

If I don’t like you, I can block you from ever calling me again with one click or simply mark your number as spam. If Blocked, you’ll get a disconnected sound, if spam, you can leave a message but my phones won’t ring. I can text (SMS) from my web browser! This is so cool. I hate typing on mobile devices. I HATE it. Typing with my thumbs is the most painful process in my life right now. It takes hours to write a sentence and I usually just give up and go over to my iMac. So texting is such a big deal with kids my age that I can text from my computer. AWESOME!

Finally, I don’t have to dial numbers. I click a number from an email and my land-line rings and I pick up and it connects to the number i want to dial. 

Google Voice is great because:

  • Phone Number portability
  • Browser based SMS
  • Block / Spam features
  • Special Ring-tones
  • Call Screening (If you’re not in my contacts / address book, you have to state your name and I can screen who it is before pressing 1 to talk to you)
  • Listen in on voicemails…I can listen while you leave a voice mail and press a key to actually talk to you or not..up to me.
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Mobile applications for iOS and Android

It’s the greatest thing ever! Google Voice is something I’d pay $50 a year for.

Can you guys please stop calling the death of Google Voice and also stop telling Google that merging it with hangouts is a good idea? It’s not a good idea. Please don’t let this happen. 

Just the fact that my friends and family will have to call me on 3 different telephone lines OR they call my cell phone number, I have no service, 4 hours later I get a voicemail or missed call notification, I have to then dial their number on my land-line. It’s terrible. Or they call my land-line and I’m not home. Or I have to actually listen to voicemails instead of having them transcribed automatically and dear God, I have to type SMS messages on my phone because 80% of the people I know don’t have iMessage?

This sounds like a living Hell. 

Google, don’t change Voice. Please don’t. I’m begging you.

July 24, 2014

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I’ve linked to the year feature that The Verge did with Paul Miller a few times. Unfortunately, my Instapaper queue forgot a few of these posts and I finally found them last month.

Below are 3 more features I thought fun to link:

how my creativity got killed

I have a running joke with a friend about how audiophiles, past a certain dollar figure, lose all semblance of musical taste. I think it’s because it’s about consumption; you need to find the perfect “content” to show off your sound system. I guess that’s the word I hate the most: “content.” It suggests an empty terabyte on your DVR to fill, 40 hours of evening free time to consume, a distribution pipeline to monetize. At some point, do I consume content, or does it consume me? I want inspiration, not a 4K babysitter.

love, loss, and dating without Facebook

I don’t know if you know this, but I have a terrible memory. Like, monumentally bad. It’s not just for facts and figures, either. I don’t remember faces very well. Sometimes when I would meet up with her, I’d be waiting on a corner and keep thinking I’d seen her, and it would take a second to realize it wasn’t her. And then when I finally saw her, my memory would putter to life and go “oh yeah, THAT’S what she looks like.” I don’t want to sound all sappy or anything, but she was always better looking than I’d remembered.

For our quasi-dates I relied on word-of-mouth recommendations for restaurants and things to do. I grabbed a brochure from a community organization in her neighborhood. Sometimes we’d just walk and look around for something to strike our fancy. I dedicated a couple of pages in my Moleskine to listing useful facts about her, or the name of an artist she liked. And yes, I sent her some snail mail.

boiling it down to the essentials

Without the internet, my world has shrunk. It’s all very simple, and if maybe I still don’t understand it, at least I can see it all at once. My folder called “notes” has 1,097 items in it. 470 of those text files were created or modified after I left the internet. That’s literally all I’ve created since I left the internet. 

Great insights. I can relate to these in many ways. The articles are great and I appreciate the world Paul did while offline for a year. He has certainly changed my thinking and, at least I feel less alone in the isolation that is self-inflicted out here in the woods.

I’d prefer to be more isolated. The only thing holding me back is my job.No immediate changes planned but I do dream of building that bomb shelter one day underground, V for Vendetta style. We’ll see what the future holds.

July 23, 2014

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I’m planning out some home networking changes and posted to Reddit to get some feedback. The readers here are pretty tech-savvy but I think everything is covered. I’m working out a diagram today but the shopping list I think is set in stone. 

The only research I want to do is around picking the right firewall for our needs and I’ve heard good things about SonicWall. 

If you have some thoughts or ideas, head over to Reddit and let me know:

http://www.reddit.com/r/HomeNetworking/comments/2bhzsu/home_network_from_scratch_am_i_missing_anything/

July 23, 2014

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Screen Shot 2014 07 22 at 10 37 16 PM

While I’ve been linking to some bookmarked posts the past few days and writing a bit more, it looks like this blog surpassed 1,000 Blog Posts. WOW! It took 5 years but it’s really amazing that I hit such a cool milestone. Thanks for reading!

July 22, 2014

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via Seattle Weekly:

Starr says he doesn’t entirely care what people on the Internet think of him, though he disagrees with most assessments. Entitled poster boy for the perceived self-absorption of an increasingly maligned techie caste—that’s never been him, Starr says: “If I was that bad, or if I had done half the things people accuse me of, I’d be in jail.”

Talk to those close to Starr, and they’ll say he mellowed after the incident. “Ever since I met him, there have been people on the Internet who don’t like Nick for some reason,” says Brian Street, Starr’s partner of two years. “So, yeah, it was a relief almost to not have to deal with that as much.”

I’ve known Nick since 2006..maybe slightly earlier. Actually, here’s the first time we physically met in person back in St. Augustine Florida in 2007. I consider Nick to be a friend. His online persona, much like mine, gets him into a lot of trouble. We’re both outspoken know-it-alls on the Internet and while we may not embody that attitude in person, people don’t take kindly to it.

When it comes to Google Glass, I actually respect what Nick is doing. It is the future unlikes Bluetooth Ear Pieces, Glass has a great purpose as the first mainstream wearable technology. It has a long way to go but breaking the stigma around it is step one and Nick is leading the fight.

July 22, 2014

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via Tonx:

I’m never completely satisfied when it comes to coffee, but coffee always offers up uncharted avenues for experimentation, improvement, or glimpses of untapped potential. I’m honestly not sure I’ll ever be able to walk away from it. Coffee is a collective unfinished masterpiece.

It’s hard not to quote the entire post so please read it if you have time.

Coffee is one of those hobbies that I’ve never had a problem with spending time on. My coffee, most days is pretty darn good. It’s at a level that I’m very happy with but there’s always this opportunity to be better. There’s no reason why I feel so driven to make a perfect cup especially when the variables in my life change so much but I can tell you how many instances I’ve had a perfect cup of coffee. There are few. 

Yesterday I made a double shot of espresso and it was remarkable. I have very few pulls that are great like that…maybe less than 9 in my entire life. The pursuit of a perfect shot every time has me on my feet when the alarm goes off every day.

July 21, 2014

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via Lauren’s Blog:

I have to try a little harder to fall more in love with this city the more I get to know it. But, luckily, there’s so much to see and do and eat and drink and explore that I can never get bored.

I continue to live vicariously through Lauren and her journey in the greatest city in the world. My love-affair with SF will never end and while I’m here in the mountains of New Hampshire, on a lake enjoying the summer-time, I’d prefer to be sitting in a coffee shop people watching….some days.

The only reason I tell friends they shouldn’t move to San Francisco is that the risk to not make it is extremely high. She has made it and I’m so proud. World travelers are fit a similar mold. We rarely feel comfortable sitting still and while SF was my home base, I actually really loved it there. I can travel more now that my rent is so cheap but coming home to SF will never grow old.

I’m looking forward to the next trip to the city in August. 

July 18, 2014

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I was doing some investigation on some alternative tweet scheduling services to what I’m using now for a client. I found Buffer which has a mobile app (gross) but does have a new Mac Application launched today which is really nice.

How much does Buffer cost? It’s not stated. 

First, I’m tired of online services who make it seem like creating an account with your email address is dumb and a waste of time. I don’t want to login with Facebook or Twitter. Stop pushing that down my throat with hugely bright buttons.

Second, how much does buffer cost? No, I don’t want to get a free trial. Cost is all I care about right now…can I get a cost? What do I get? The Awesome Plan

Yes, that is what they call their introductory plan. Prices are nowhere to be found. I have to give them my email address and join in order to see the prices. Unfortunately, Buffer isn’t alone. Try getting pricing for a lot of social dashboards. It’s not published anywhere. Adobe, Radian6, Lithium, Salesforce. Pricing is not listed. I don’t want to give you my email or have a sales representative call me. 

I’m fully aware that these tactics make the application more sticky and get users invested but when it takes a full day just to get prices of all of these tools without ever looking at the features they provide, that’s really frustrating.