Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: tech

Daily Reading List — January 26th

An Exercise to Get Your Team Thinking Differently About the Future – Looks like a good investment of a couple of hours. We may not be able to predict the future, but we can skill up to more effectively handle what it throws at us.

Why Telecommuting Can Be Dangerous For Your Company Culture – It's with great sadness that I have to agree with this. I was telecommuting for 6.5 years, and as that time came to an end I was beginning to realize I wasn't getting (or giving) all I could by being remote exclusively.

But the productivity and life satisfaction you can gain from working at home at least a few days a week is no joke.

Want to Have Successful Kids? Let Them Fail. – Agile parenting–fail fast. That means making mistakes (such as not listening to your wise Old Man) early, while the stakes are relatively low.

What’s Your Big Data Resolution for 2015?

Ditch The Five Year Plan – It is a mantra at our house–"If you'd told me five years ago, this is where I'd in the situation I'm in today, I'd have told you that you were insane." Life doesn't care about your plans.

There should be a 6th piece of advice here though–don't take career advice from a blog post.

How to create a data lake for fun and profit – Everything I work on seems to lead back to this stuff. Thankfully.

For Goodness’ Sake, Get Your Enterprise Mobile Act Together in 2015 – Should we take comfort in the fact that this situation exists in lots of large enterprises? I don't think so…seems like an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage is just being missed by a lot of people. It's turning into a missed opportunity to stay average.

What Type of Legacy Do You Want to Leave? – I don't make resolutions, but if you do, you'll find some good potential resolutions rightcheer.

Daily Reading List — June 19th

3 Trends That Are Changing The Way We Work Today – Yes. Yes. And yes.

"People don’t share because they like a project or brand … they share to help people who they want to see succeed."

To it's logical end…if you're only sharing with yourself, you only want to see your self succeed. Q.E.D.

Five Libertarian Lessons in HBO’s Game of Thrones – I would say there's a sixth lesson as well…the rule of law binds everyone. At least everyone with honor.

After Ned lost his head, there probably wasn't a more honorable guy in all of Westeros than Stannis Baratheon. Not the most charismatic to be sure, but he at least respects the rule of law. I mean, the guy didn't even really want to be king…he was just doing it because it was his duty.

Stannis acts on principle. And it doesn't really matter to him how many people have to die for the principle to be followed.

I'd better stop. That last sentence is a pretty good argument for political pragmatism.

The DOs and DO NOTs of running your first marathon – DO chase down people in your office who are trying desperately to get away from you talking about your training. Sprinting after these people counts as intervals.

Google Fit: Another Try At Health Data? – Until I can get an on-the-wrist HRM that doesn't spend more time completely dead in the water *cough Garmin cough* than it spends monitoring my HR, I'm going to sit it out.

Then again, I guess my only real option is to continue struggling with a HRM that is usually completely dead.

Cartagena, Colombia added to 2014 World Cup schedule – This would be a really cool place to race! #jealous

Everything Is Broken–All Software Is Bad – Hello World! At least the Pinboard->Twitter->WordPress plugin that will autopost this onto my blog works.

Well…most of the time.

School cancels reading program rather than promote “hacker culture” – Related…I'm currently reading "Natural Born Learners", which is about homeschooling/unschooling and very hacky itself in a lot of ways. Every kid is different, and every family is different. But I'm more and more convinced that your best bet at getting an education (whatever that means) is to hack it together yourself.

Focus – "Success comes from doing the hard part. When the hard part is all you've got, you're more likely to do it.

And this is precisely why it's difficult to focus. Because focusing means acknowledging that you just signed up for the hard part."

Word.

Daily Reading List — October 2nd

Chromecast, Two Months Later: Where Are All The Apps? – For reals. Chromecast is a pretty incredible device, and I love it. But I was expecting the SDK to be out and usable by a bunch of other apps by now.

In Response to “CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret” – HT @LadyMumps9. Bottom line–there are risks involved when you get your arse up off the couch and do something. If you were all out of excuses, you lucked into another one.

How to Deal with Prerace Anxiety – HT @cyberdyne. I'm a positive taperer.I embrace all phantom injuries and relish the laziness.

What’s In A College Degree? Maybe Not As Much As You Think – The best section of this is "Get Skills, Not Certificates". It always makes me laugh when I go to an official training, and right before I walk out the door they give me a Certificate of Completion.

That usually means that I showed up on time every day and didn't spend too much time excusing myself from the class to deal with work issues on the phone. While in the class, I quickly went through the examples in the "labs" where we weren't ask to solve any problems, but simply follow directions–"type this, then click that."

The Coursera classes I've taken for free, in contrast, are quite challenging. More importantly, I've learned A LOT.

Live from YamJam’12

Lots of good stuff from the morning keynote and customer panel. I think I’m most excited about the announcements of the changes in OpenGraph and pages for the objects created there. Being able to follow and comment on objects created in apps you don’t even have access to is huge.

Funny thing is that I accidentally stumbled into a lot of these features at the end of last weekend when I was doing some tinkering.

Embeddable “Like” and “Follow” buttons are going to be great as well!

Running, Drinking and Nerding Out Link Dump

Long Distance Half-Steppers

“Self-knowledge is a bitch.”

I have been all of these people at one point or another, and I’ve definitely run with all of them. There are more I could add to the list too!

Desmos Graphing Calculator – I am in nerd heaven. I can’t wait to play with this gadget. I can’t wait until my kids are learning higher math and we can do this together!!!

Get Drunk Not Fat – My knees wish my brain had been supplied this information at an earlier date.

‘Til debt do us part :

Leverage is leverage, and leverage always brings with it increased risk.

True, but what scares me most is the amount of this “leverage” that represents items of depreciating value or Super Value Meals. And that’s just on the consumer debt.

HTC EVO 3D Review – Hope to get mine before it’s obsolete.

iDoneThis – Very cool, very simple service. Every day it sends you an email, and you respond with that you did. Makes TPS reports a snap.

The 5 Switches of Manliness: Provide – Haven’t even read this one yet, but if it’s half as good as the others, it’s a must read.

India’s $35 Android Tablet Finally Ready Ship – Would be hard not to buy at least one of these. HT @_Neville

High-Pressure Tactics Culture At Groupon – More dumping on Groupon. The more details I read about this company, the more I am wary of it.

Forget Student Loans, And Maybe Even College – Can’t say it enough times–student loans are horrible. The whole industry is basically pay day lending that you can’t bankrupt.

Short Groupon – “Groupon is essentially holding a portfolio of loans backed by the receivables of small businesses. If a business goes under, consumers will come back to Groupon for their money back. Unless Groupon is actually doing credit assessments on businesses that it chooses to feature, this is a big risk for Groupon.”

Perfect Iced Coffee – A couple of weeks ago, I decided to give up coffee for 30 days. This post is the first time I’ve regretted that decision.

Yahoo! Killing Del.icio.us

Flabbergasted.

Del.icio.us ranks 255th in traffic on the web right now according to Alexa, and they are just going to ax it? Not even shopping it around to potential buyers? I don’t have the numbers, but I’d guess Del.icio.us is the leader in the social  bookmarking market.

Sure, Yahoo! hasn’t done as much with it as it should have. They’ve pretty much done nothing with it. So why not at least continue that and just give it away.

Killing this service is a real shame.

Logging Workouts For Posterity

I first started running in 2003. Not that I didn’t run before that, but that’s when I became “a runner” (arguably). That’s when I started running with running performance as the end goal instead of running with rugby as the end goal. The first thing I did was seek out some people who were already runners and drain their brains of whatever info I could. One of the best pieces of advice I got was to keep a training log. Back then, lots of people who logged their training did so in a hand-written training diary, but I was lucky that I was beginning at a time when CoolRunning was already available. This meant I could have all of my training logged online without having to go back and re-enter old information.

CoolRunning was great–nice analysis tools, kept up with miles on shoes, etc. But then they sold out to Active, and I didn’t like the interface as much. So I started trying other sites like MapMyRun and Livestrong. It’s great to have the ability to map training courses, but they are all lacking something. There are either too many ads, not enough analysis tools, whatever. As a result, I have training data spread out across multiple logging sites, and what I really want is one place to keep all of my data.

Now I’m the one who has to re-enter old information when I find a logging tool I like.

I recently started using DailyMile, and I like it a lot. Sure, there are a couple of issues with it too. The analysis tools and interface are great. It’s also social–sort of like the “Facebook for training”. But you can’t go back and do analysis on lifetime data (yet). It’s also difficult to import old data. They have an API, and some guys have started a Java client library, but there’s still a lot of going back to the sites I used before and collecting the data.

What I’ve been doing is entering my new workouts as I do them, then going back and entering the data from the same date on previous years. If I have time, I’ll go back and enter some other old workouts as well. This seems like a hassle and something that would be best to do automatically.

But there’s an upside to doing it manually too. As I’m going back, I’m actually reading my old training logs and doing mental analysis on them. It’s helping with my current training. For instance, it’s encouraging to see how far I’ve come in the swim compared to the first swims I logged back in 2005. And holy crap…I was on a training tear in the summer of 2004. And while I feel like I’m so much slower right now than I was when I was marathon training in 2003, it’s nice to see that my times and splits are comparable to what they were then.  I’ve also noticed that I was much more negative about my training back in 2003 (maybe pressing too hard?). I expected every outing to be a PR and to feel great all the time. That’s funny to me now, knowing how “normal” it is to go out and have crappy training days every once in a while.

What I’m getting at is that it’s great to keep a training log, but it also may be worth your time to go back and review it periodically so you can see your growth and improvement. That isn’t always going to show up in the calculated pace from the workouts. A big part of it will show up in the notes you kept. Even if you have hand-written training logs, it may be a good idea to spend a few minutes each day going back and reviewing your logs from the previous years on that exact date, just to help keep things in perspective.

Keeping a training log is a good tip. I’d say reading your training log is a good tip too.

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Stuff You Should See– May 24th through June 29th

Understanding Your Motivation – I stay in all 6 states at all times.

FamilyShield is a No-Setup Adult Content Blocker for Your Router

Best Place to Set Up Shop Online?

Greener Than You — Entrepreneurial Foraging – This is nothing new. Broke college students have been foraging in bars for half drunk bottles and in the student ghettos for morning-after "yard beers" for decades.

Banksimple – Long overdue, and supposed to be launching in 2010. You can sign up for an invite right now. Loooooong overdue.

The Breaking Point for Children in Sports – The middle ground between letting kids live a sedentary lifestyle and pushing them to the point of injury and psychological distress is pretty wide. I can see where parents at both extremes would point to the opposite extreme for justification, but it's only a justification.

Soluto – This looks like a promising solution to help you diagnose and end PC problems. I'm signed up for the beta, hope to get my account soon, and will let you know!

Mark Twain autobiography to be published in November – Can't get enough. This is one I'll be looking forward to.

I’m The Mayor Of Snoozville

But I may have some competition soon, because Foursquare is on the fast road to becoming the most boring, why-do-I-need-this app around. Ditto for every other location based check in app.

However, I have some ideas that would make these apps way better. I only do solution formulation, not implementation…

1) Allow custom groups

Example: The guys on my rugby team could start a group that allows people to check in to training sessions and matches at the different venues we use. You could even give bonus points for making both weekly training sessions, the match, and the after match social. Tie start times in as well. This would encourage people to not only show up to get their coveted attendance badge, but also to show up on time (big issue with rugby players).

2) Allow people to throw their support behind a mayoral candidate

Example: Let’s say I go to the gym four days a week, but I can’t oust the mayor of the local YMCA because he goes 11 times, five of those being just to shower before work in the morning so he doesn’t have to use his own hot water. It would be cool if I could rally The Missus and a workout partner to throw 1/2 of their check in points towards my campaign. This would encourage people who go to the same venues often to socialize with other people who attend a lot. It would also encourage competing factions, branded t-shirts, and eventually a #4sq civil war.

3) Custom badges

It’s 2010, and there still isn’t a “Mayor of Your Mom” badge. Where are our priorities? Put the community to work building new badges and throw them out on a badge marketplace. Let the usage of the users (they could give negative karma to a badge they don’t like/want) decide which badge getting missions are worthy of surviving.

Finally Got the HTC Hero 2.1 Update! Here’s a How To

Ok, so it wasn’t the “official” official release, apparently just the leaked official release. But the update went smoothly, and the phone is insanely faster and better than it was before. I found this video guide that shows how to install by downloading the executable to your PC and running it with your phone attached to USB–no need to root your phone to run this update if that’s something that worries you.

The update takes a few minutes to run, and mine was a cinch. Here’s a link to the executable update file that’s referenced in the video.

Stuff You Should See– January 5th through January 7th

If Big Stupid Tommy ran the Knoxville News-Sentinel – Big Stupid Tommy is a genius.

You Drive What? – Proud to be among the first to provide them with some link love. This looks very promising.

What Google’s Nexus One means to your organization – I’ve had my Android phone for about two and a half months now. I’d say the model I have isn’t quite on par with the iPhone standards by hardware standards, but the Android platform is. The phones are only going to get better, and they’re available on multiple carriers. Even development is more hassle free. Look out Apple.

Memphis Has Lost A Shining Star – Some sad news coming out of Memphis.

Home sales fall 16% in November – The real estate market may not be finished falling, but I don’t see interest rate opportunities getting any better in the near term. That’s what skeers me the most.

How to say stupid things about social media – Without a doubt, this is the best article on social media I’ve read in a while.

C-SPAN Challenges Congress to Open Health Care Talks to TV Coverage – I know they have the numbers to pass anything they want. But those representing states and districts that oppose this legislation have the OBLIGATION to be as contrary and obstructive in these negotiations as their constituents want them to be. It’s still a representative republic, right?

So…

The Missus says I start a lot of sentences with that word, and apparently it’s a thing nerds do while we’re figuring out what we’re going to say next or doing some quick subconscious fact checking.

Makes sense, because I don’t do it when I type.

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