Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Forgot your Password? Of course.

With tightening security restrictions, annoying captcha 'type the scrambled word', answering three random questions -- logins/passwords have become more annoying than ever.

I propose that a website should not ask you for a login/password, lets just cut to the chase and mail me a clickable login link. Instead of wasting my time, testing my memory or bank of password variations, just ask me my email address and email me a clickable login token or temporary password each time. If your website doesn't fall into the daily, or possibly weekly use category, I'm especially talking to you.

Alternatively, one account/password that would work on several websites could work -- but that would make too much sense and take far too much cooperation.

Whats going to be your account/password management strategy for 2010?
I'm sick of the login/password game.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Gloucester, MA public boat launches on a Google Map

View Gloucester MA - Public Boat Landings in a larger map

Trying to figure out my options for launching a small dinghy to get to Southeast Harbor, decided to create a Google Map transcription of a PDF that was on the Gloucester Harbormasters webpage.

Most of these are only accessible at high tide, with limited parking, and the exact locations have not been verified but I did my best using satellite images and my local knowledge. If you find a location is not marked correctly, please let me know.


Thursday, October 15, 2009


This is a garden orb spider I found in my backyard. I've started to enjoy taking camera shots of webs especially at night, when the flash illuminates the web and the dark background provide the contrast.

Summer 09

I had a fantastic New England summer -- From spending time on Quonochontaug pond on the Patti Ann, to the beaches of RI and Gloucester, exploring the coast of Acadia, or just tending to my vegatable and flower garden.

The pond was a peaceful sheltered salt pond, connected to the ocean by a breachway, which provided many days of kayaking, sailing and fishing. A breathtaking place to catch a sunset --

I enjoyed body surfing and snorkeling around the tidal rivers of Good Harbor beach and many weekends looking across to block island from the rhode island coast.

We camped and hiked in Acadia Maine, after a long hike swimming in Echo Lake was very refreshing. Enjoyed kicking back on the camp hammock, starting up a roaring campfire, and walking down to Bass Harbor Lighthouse during a misty sunset.

The vegatable garden turned out well this year, it was my first year using heirloom seeds from tomatoes which I ate the year before. I once again tried to optimize my space, and this year had much more room for flowers since the shrubs had been removed.

Monday, June 15, 2009

time to try an iphone, yet?

Two years ago I wrote about the I-phone, noting that Apple is a smartly run business and while they could have included more features in the original I-phones that were already standard in other smart phones but they opted to hold off – and milk more money off of the market before releasing ‘new’ features. 2009 and the I-phone finally includes copy and paste and a2dp bluetooth wireless music – two features that I really take advantage of and am glad to see have made their way into I-phone’s OS v 3.0.

So what other features of my k790a have I grown to love and would find it hard to live without?
#1) Sync with Google Calendar / native calendar application
#2) Yahoo Mail / Contact sync
#3) Google Maps
#4) RSS feed reader
#5) Java Applications / Opera browser / Shozu Flickr uploader

I believe I should be able to do most of these things with the I-phone, although if I will be able to do it on T-mobile’s network paying only 5.99$ per month remains a question to be answered. I also believe the I-phones camera to be sub-par to my two year old Sony Cybershot camera phone, but perhaps the fact that pictures are geo-tagged with gps data may be fun to play with. I do wirelessly tether my laptop, and enjoy speeds fast enough for web-browsing and email, and I think that should be posssible with a jailbroken device. I like that the I-phone accepts a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, although still wish it would have a now near-standard mini-usb jack for data connectivity and charging.

I would like to wirelessly stream music from my collection at home, a feat which was barely successful through the k790a with MFRadio and SlimServer. I would like to run on T-mobiles network, and any GSM network while overseas travelling. I find it hard to believe that MMS picture messages were not supported in earlier I-phone OS versions. It also seems strange that Bluetooth or WiFi file-transfers are not supported out of box, but require hacks to perform. Lastly non-removable batteries, and non-expandable memory card slots are also features which I would like to have seen – but back to my first point, that limitation is just a business decision of planned obsolescence and forcing you the lucky Apple customer to get the latest and greatest device within a few years time.

So, is it time to at least give it a try? For 99$ or maybe even less used -- it's a compelling question.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

GNU Altered Genetics 162

I've been snowboarding a good 20-30 days per season now for the past 5+ years... I love my K2 Nemesis but after having it waxed and tuned soo many times, there really isn't too much life left in her. We've been through a lot together, seen a lot of mtns together -- and it is sad to move on... At least she retires with honor.

I telemark ski'd a fair amount this year, partly because it was challenging and fun to be on a steep learning curve again.. Also because the edge on my old snowboard could not hold too well in classic new england icy conditions. So for my next board I really wanted something that could potentially bite into the hardpack a bit more... After doing some research, I discovered that LibTech and GNU make boards with a technology called MagneTraction(MTX), at this point its all hype and marketing in my mind and I'll need to prove or disprove that hype next season.... The board has a wavering edge which can be compared with a serated knife -- it can cut into icy conditions better than a traditionally edged board or butter knife would.

I decided on a 162 GNU Altered Genetics snowboard.... Although several others were strong in the running, a 164.5 LibTech T-rice, a 162 LibTech TRS, a 164 K2 Zeppelin, a 164W Burton Custom X, and several others from K2, GNU, Ride and Burton... I followed my philosphy of buying winter gear in the off-season, but seeing the flip-side to that -- boards that you want may not be there... Luckily the prices were about 40-50% off, and there still is a lot of great gear out there if you look hard enough.

The GNU Altered Genetics supposedly is made with a blend of Bamboo, Aspen and Balsa, which translates to light and strong to me. It also employs some 'Vectran liquid crystal polymer' in the foundation to increase strength.. The top sheet is made from beans, an earth friendly bio-polymer with a very strong strength to weight ratio. The bottom is shaped like other LibTech/GNU Banana Traction (BTX) boards, in a way traditional to a boats bottom -- it will hopefully float a bit better in the deeper snow, while it may not be as stable as a traditional reverse-cambered board. The 162 size is a bit smaller than the 165 I currently ride, so I hope that will gain me some more manueverability in moguls and tight situations. The board is also a bit lighter, which I hope will ease my mid-air transitional rotations and give me the confidence to get past 180's and into 360 territory comfortably. This board is full of tech, and took a fair amount of research to take it all in -- and I definately enjoy that the GNU name is often used within hi-tech as well :) after all, GNU's Not Unix, it's a snowboard!!

I'll let you know how it rocks in a few months!! Another GNU board I considered was the Riders Choice.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

MBTA wi-fi up and running on Rockport line

Last year, I wrote about the MBTA's pilot to offer wi-fi service on their trains... Today I got to try it out for the first time! The connection speed was similar to DSL speeds and performed pretty well until my laptop battery died about half-way through the trip. If the service proves popular among commuters, and I think it will -- there is a chance that service could be degraded to the point where I would be better off using my tethered cell-phone over bluetooth, but I welcome this change and applaud the MBTA for offering this service and adding another reason to the list of why it is smart to commute to work on the train. This summer if I'm lucky I'll be able to take an earlier train home, and get a bit more work done in time to enjoy a few hours of daylight on the beach :)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

where are you?

Probably the most common asked/txt'd question... Now that GPS devices and cellphones are commonly carried around, answering this question gets a lot easier...
Newer high-end cellphones, including Apple's iphones have GPS capabilities built in..

Well now, instead of sending back lat/long coordinates, you can see your friends on a google map....
Google's Latitude servce

There are several Facebook applications (Locations) and third party implementations of Yahoo's Fireeagle that already do this (Navizon), but now that Google has stepped into the ring you can be sure that adoption of these kind of services will significantly grow. The real value of a product/service like this is in the network effect, if your friends and family are using a particular solution -- it increases the likelyhood that you may use it as well.

So friends, family -- with your Google Maps capabable phone, give it a try and let me know where in the world you are!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009 - my 30th year here

2008 is history, and the sands of time continue to fall --
The new year brings with it the question, should I do things the way I have been doing them? or try a new approach, changing the things in my life that I want to make better? As each day continues to get shorter, while still being exactly 1440 minutes -- what is going to have to give in order to do something else additionally or differently?

Turning 30 this year, and still finding myself a big kid with adult responsibilities, I don't really see any reason to stop enjoying life to the fullest. I'm still thinking about my resolutions, I have truly enjoyed my life up to this point and hope the next 30 are just as great if not better --

Happy New Year!! Look forward to hearing from you or seeing you soon --