- smart key - you don't have to insert a key into the door or the car to start it, just being nearby is good enough
- backup camera - when you put the car in reverse, you can see what is behind you via a camera on the back of the car
- great driver controls on the steering wheel for radio, climate control, etc
- good storage for a small car
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
iPhone post-activation bliss
i had a terrible experience getting the iphone to activate. it turns out it was a defective unit and i got in touch with a manager at the at&t store that sold me the iphone the day before, and he agreed to waive the 10% restocking fee and replace my unit. that was after 5 hours of pain and 3 trips to at&t. worst case i would have had to send the phone to apple for a warranty repair, even after never successfully being able to activate it! so one word of advice, if you are considering buying an iphone, you're probably better off doing it at an apple store, which was the conventional wisdom i knew before. i just never expected it to be an issue still in october, so i ignored what i had heard. the brand new replacement unit i received worked perfectly out of the box.
now that i've been an iphone user for 5 days, i'm really smitten with it. it's been great to have on several occasions to kill time where i was forced to wait. i know have lots of music and several podcasts always with me and a good browser experience and push yahoo mail. i'm also encouraged by the announcement to open the platform to developers.
i still have had a couple of minor pain points. i don't like being limited to 200 text messages with the default rate plans. how silly. unlimited data, but limited text messages? i'm just going to start encouraging everyone to send me email instead. i've had one or 2 instances where the phone has become unresponsive to my screen taps momentarily, but it's too early to say what that was all about. overall, i'm extremely happy now that i'm up and running.
Monday, October 15, 2007
iPhone activation hell
so i bit the bullet and got an iphone today. what i expected to be an absolutely painless and easy activation experience has been absolutely terrible. itunes does not recognize that i need to activate my iphone and i've been on the phone with at&t and apple for 3+ hours tonight. the current assertion is that the sim card may be at fault and that i need to get a new one from at&t. i'll have to wait to try that until tomorrow. i must say that once you finally get a person on the phone, both at&t and apple did try to troubleshoot and were friendly. however, given that i started this journey at 8:00 pm CST, i'm disappointed that i spent so much of the time on hold. it's also very apparent that there are two distinct companies involved in my experience, each one referring me to the other at various times in the night. i finally got to the back-line specialist from apple who assured me that this is extremely rare and something she hasn't seen since the launch. somehow that doesn't make me feel much better. i'm frustrated, aggravated, and angry that i've wasted an entire evening on the activation and it is unlikely that i'll see any compensation for my poor experience. if it were june i'd understand, but part of the reason i waited for october was to avoid something like this. let's hope this gets better.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
record companies optional?
i bought radiohead's new album this week and got it delivered as a 40-something megabyte zip file full of DRM-free mp3's. and now madonna, nine inch nails, oasis, jamiroquai and others are following the trend. this has to have the industry in a state of panic. if they aren't then, they should be. i'm sure that they still feel like they have a stranglehold on a lot of typical distribution control (radio+mtv), but imagine if social networks start flipping that on it's head. there's been rumors of a big new set of features for music on facebook. just imagine if/when radio becomes less relevant towards artist discovery, and it's based on recommendations from social networks. that time is almost here and it's going to get very interesting.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
getting things done, etc
i have my own non-formal productivity system that works for me for the most part. i feel like i could be more efficient, but it's not something that i get depressed about or am that hard on myself about. i think it's part of my personality not to be overly structured. but in case i ever feel like it, my friends patrick and kelly would be my go-to-guys. here are a couple of links that patrick uses.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
vanity fair looks back on the coverage of gore in 2000
looking forward to 2008, it's interesting to check out how the candidates really stack up to your positions on politics. obama is my guy and i swear i didn't stack the outcome! check out selectsmart.com to see where you stand yourself.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
JXplorer - Free LDAP Utility
here are some screenshots that show the configuration screen and the resulting object browser that has both an html view and a table view. very handy.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
my simpsons character
the movie / burger king has done a pretty good job of making a viral web tool here. this in combination with their efforts to actually brand certain real brick and mortar stores as kwik-e-marts is taking the marketing to an entirely new level. with the simpsons, people can excuse such shameless marketing because they're funny and they get some slack, but i can imagine some brands trying to do this wouldn't get the same amount of leeway. in fact, if not done correctly, this type of marketing could potentially do more harm than good if there would be a big negative reaction because of a backlash. as far as the movie goes, i haven't seen it. i'll probably wait for video on this one.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
search utility - locate32
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
who killed the electric car
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
think: another electric car
i just read this cnn money article about a new electric car concept. it's actually not all that new, since ford experimented with it for several years. however, the concept has been retooled to take advantage of new developments in both energy technology and consumer web concepts. they're getting some advice from the google founders, so that can't hurt. i really like the idea of a smart car, prius, or electric car as a commuter car. it makes perfect sense for a family to have 1 of these vehicles for commuting to a local job and to have a more typical larger vehicle for hauling the whole family as well as all the stuff we buy. the key thing to get adoption in the u.s. will be safety and speed. if americans can't drive 75 mph on the interstate and feel safe, then they probably won't adopt this. but it would still serve a very large niche of urban commuters that don't have much interstate travel.
Monday, July 30, 2007
another mind-boggling 60 minutes segment
awhile back i posted a clip from 60 minutes on the state of our fiscal irresponsibility in the u.s. i believe that some sort of spending limits need to be enacted and enforced on our lawmakers that are running up the bill for future generations. the prescription drug bill was mentioned as the worst example of this out-of-control spending. just watch the segment and see if you do not feel the same way. i can't believe the senators that blocked the bill to renegotiate prices can face their constituents. there should be riots in the streets. every time i pay a medicare tax, too much money is going straight to the pharmaceutical industry just because medicare does not negotiate the prices. it's absolutely disgusting.
Friday, July 20, 2007
about once a quarter a group of my buddies get together for a nice steak, and last night was the night at ruth's chris steak house downtown chicago. what a great night it was. great food and lots of laughs as we talked about a wide range of subjects including bathroom habits. sometimes it feels really good to be a primitive guy.
Monday, July 16, 2007
sicko and health care
emily and i went to sicko last week. it was a very thought-provoking film that i recommend to anyone. even if you don't like michael moore, you should put that aside and check out the ideas and stories discussed with an open mind. the thing that struck me as one of the most powerful points is that our system is fundamentally motivated by different objectives than canada, the united kingdom, and france. their motivation is "maximize health" and that's how those systems are judged. our system mandate is "maximize profit". so given those 2 very different motivations, it's no wonder that we have issues. i'm not anti-business, but unless we are able to change our system such that companies profit by maximizing health, then we will never reach our potential and our system will lag behind the others that are chartered that way.
another compelling side story to this is a piece done by 60 minutes on the nature of our deficit and how it relates to our health care costs. i highly encourage you to check out this story. every citizen should be obligated to understand the concepts here as it may be more important to grasp this than any other issue. it's probably more important than terrorism, crime, taxes, or any other typical issue we are presented with in politics.
Monday, July 2, 2007
utility crush - JDiskReport
my buddy bill witchger put me on to this handy disk space utility called JDiskReport. i'm a big fan. after running out of space this morning, i was quickly able to find the offending files clobbering up my drive and able to get rid of them. it's very easy to navigate to find your largest files. so intuitive you'll never need to ask anyone how to use it.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Callie and Iggy
our australian shepard is quite intimidated by this brave bird. check out this youtube video by our dog-sitter.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Kelly and Amanda's Wedding
well kelly and amanda tied the knot at gross pointe / detroit this weekend and we were there to witness it. it was my first time to the detroit area and it was a fantastic weekend in terms of atmosphere, weather, celebration, etc. the photos are up on picasa, so check them out.
- random thoughts:
- the detroit airport is pretty crappy, reminds me of midway before the renovation 5+ years ago
- the downtown area of detroit by the renaissance center / gm buildings is really nice
- casinos right in the middle of downtown and underage drinking so accessible in nearby windsor probably gives that city a strange dynamic to the under-21 crowd
- it's really fun to see your good friends very happy
Sunday, June 3, 2007
new hosting company - dailyrazor
i was very impressed with the simple setup. i'll be able to run tomcat5 with mysql, which was my minimum requirement. it'll run about $10+ a month.
in the past i'd always used dyndns and hosted things on my home machine, but i've always had availability issues. my uptime is probably around 5% given that my wife always puts that computer to sleep! actually, it's probably a good thing in that my old dell machine is loud and runs hot. using a shared hosting environment feels like the right thing to do.
Windows Live Writer Test
i watched the democratic debate tonight on cnn. i thought barack and edwards did pretty well. clinton did alright also, but i feel like some of her answers (not all) were more rehearsed than the others (because they are). biden sure got animated a few times! cnn keeps patting themselves on the back for the format, but i thought it was awkward when they went to the crowd. it took them awhile to get their feet under them. also, cnn sure had a rough a/v night. the mics were always not balanced right or the wrong mic would catch stuff happening off screen.
lebron james's performance against detroit in games 5 and 6 were incredible, simply put. can't believe he's still in his lower 20's and so dominant.
the cubs are really in a trough with the fight and lou getting ejected and suspended. nowhere to go but up and they still aren't in that bad of shape in the standings. i just can't imagine it getting much worse than this.
emily and i are going to vegas next weekend, so it should be fun to get in a little poker while the series is going on.