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Office

Multi-tasking, today is busy

What happens when you get more screen real estate by adding a 24″ second monitor? You fill it up.¬† This has got to be a record.

  • 9 IM windows active (5 people from Yahoo, 4 from outside)
  • 9 Firefox tabs (one playing sound off of a video)
  • 6 Outlook windows (1 calendar appointment, 4 half-written emails, 1 reminder)
  • 1 File Download window (pulling down a mix tape mp3)
  • iTunes (idle)
  • Powerpoint
  • Excel
Categories
Office

Getting back to what’s real

After a breathless day at the office with multiple IM windows open, twitter updates pinging away in my snitter window and heavy discussions on internal email lists, I retreated to a dinner party with my suburban neighbors to unwind from the week’s events. My mind was bubbling over with thoughts from the day’s news and the significance for the valley’s latest star, Facebook and mid-conversation over a tumbler of Maker’s with my neighbor who builds HVAC systems for companies like Cisco, Google, and Yahoo my neighbor interrupts and asks, “What is Facebook?”

Solipsists’ bubble popped I realize what a small corner of the world I exist. In the grand scheme of things, none of this really matters. With that in mind, allow me to share two items of mind-boggling impact that really send the mind reeling. These come to you via Todd Sampson, co-founder of MyBlogLog who sits next to me at the office and, in true renaissance form, has his fingers in all sorts of interesting developments.

Fab @ Home – full plans for a kit that will allow you to “print” a 3-d object out of any material. Check out the video. Because blueprints for the objects are just files with instructions for the printer, it’s now possible to download plans for things like spare parts for your washing machine or even a wedding cake. Imagine being able to email someone a chocolate bar!

Wired Science video on Body Builders which describes a process where researchers have been able to “grow” body parts for transplants.¬† Watch them grow a blood vessel which, after a few weeks, begins to pump blood on its own. Cell substraits are “printed” using recycled HP inkjet cartridges.

In light of this news, advancements in social networking seem so, trivial.

Ballpark promotions gone horribly wrong

As we slide into the World Series we remember Five Ballpark Promotion schemes that went wrong. Includes gems such as the Cleveland Indians 10-cent beer night

Management forgot one small detail: drunk people get restless. More than 25,000 fans showed up for the event, most of them already tipsy at the gate. Among the more tame incidents was a woman who flashed the crowd from the on-deck circle, a father-son team mooning the players (good bonding experience, I guess) and fans jumping on the field to meet shake hands with the outfielders. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, the Indians tied the game, but never got a chance to win. Fans started throwing batteries, golf balls, cups and rocks onto the field and one even took the glove of the Rangers right fielder. As the player rushed into the stands to get his glove back, fans starting swarming the field to stop him and threw chairs to block his way.

Full list at Mental Floss.

Long Journey West to the Farallons

Sleeping

Photo by Todd Sampson

Our first trip on Todd’s sailboat out beyond the Golden Gate was very relaxing. There was pretty much no wind so we ended up motoring almost the entire 90 miles out and back to the Farallon Islands. Not that I mind – I was a bit nervous having never ventured out in open water. Seas are quite a bit rougher than the Long Island Sound that I’m used to and the fog in the morning was a bit creepy. The emergence of a warship slipping out of the fog like a silent warrior was a wake up call for everyone. On board along with Todd was my brother-in-law Dav and co-worker at MyBlogLog, Chris Goffinet.

It was the perfect dry run in preparation for another trip sometime when we have some wind. We did get a chance to see some wildlife. Seals, dolphins, pelicans, whales, and even a sunfish. We also learned a very valuable lesson that, for some odd reason (maybe practical joke?), is not written up in any of the books we read about the Farallon Islands. Never, ever, anchor off the Farallons in calm seas unless you want to be covered in flies for the entire return trip.

It was so nice to spend time on the water and even spending the night on the boat the evening before our 5am departure was a reminder of trips I used to take with my father. It was great to get away, just 24 hours on the water but I feel like we went on a long camping trip. We went somewhere and saw things you don’t normally see and have stories to tell about it.

Thanks Todd, I look forward to more trips and explorations and hopefully a tad more of a breeze next time!

There’s more where that came from

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Head on over to Demotivational Posters for a full gallery of these as well as a link to a site where you can make your own.

Anybody want a Pownce invite?

I have some Pownce invites left over. If anybody wants them, drop me a comment. First come, first served.

Things to do while your friends are playing with their new iPhones

simpsonavatar.pngWhile the rest of Silicon Valley is going to be blogging about their new iPhone, I figured I might as well point you to a few things you could be doing instead. You know, productive things:

1. Make your own Simpson’s Avatar (right). Be sure to turn the sound on because the sound effects are an important part of the experience.

2. Reserve your tickets to Ratatouille because that’s going to be the first thing everyone’s going to do to impress their friends with their new iPhone.

3. If you charged anything to Visa or Mastercard while overseas anytime between 1996 and 2006, you may have some money coming to you. Total up your overseas charges and you may get 3% of it back. I’ve got almost enough for my own iPhone.

4. Download your own iPhone ringtone and fake out your friends.

Tango, the world’s fastest (and thinnest) urban car

So I was at Maker Faire this past weekend which I cannot recommend highly enough. There were so many cool things to see and a really wish I hadn’t lost my camera at the Web 2.0 Expo otherwise I would have been posting tons of pictures of all the wild and crazy things I saw today. If you’ve never been, go next year and if you have kids, bring them along for sure. I went when the gates opened at 10 in the morning thinking we’d pop by for a couple of hours and poke around but ended up having to drag them out at 3pm while they were both in the middle of creating their own board game. My 5 year old daughter left decked out in a tin foil cap with Mickey Mouse ears, a crumpled sheet of mylar strapped to her back as makeshift fairy wings, along with a wand of rolled up magazine paper and lace and tinsel fixings – it was a day well spent!

I could write about the fantastic Neverwas Here Victorian landship, the 200 lbs. battling robots, the standup acoustic bass made from the fuel tank of a Triumph motorcycle, or the dude who was teaching my son the art of hydroponic farming but it is hard without photos to capture the image.

I saw the Wrightspeed electric car but what caught my eye was the Tango. Made by an outfit in Spokane, Washington, this electric car is so thin and short that it can park between cars making it the ultimate urban car. Seating two (one behind the other) it can get from 0-60 in 4 seconds and, because of the weight of batteries in the floor, can turn corners as smartly as a sports car.

Check out the image below taken from the Commuter Cars website – no, that’s not a distortion!

tango.jpg

Hairball

cat.pngSome memes you just can’t seem to escape. They follow you around and track you down, mocking you from the corner of your desktop, infiltrating your search results and clogging up your feed reader.

First Anil’s seminal post on Cat Grammar which popped up not only in my feedreader but then again on Techmeme and in various online conversations through the day. Next we have a quick history of blogging from Valleywag in which we find cats as the basic motivation driving each new publishing platform. Finally today, while looking for something totally unrelated to. . . cats, I see that the most popular slideshow on SlideShare is about. . . cats.

Justin.tv knock off caps to be released by V-Tech

justintv.jpg

It was only a matter of time. The latest internet sensation, Justin.tv has been picked up will become commercially available this Spring. Guangzhou-based electronics firm V-Tech picked up to the trend and is planning on making “Justin Caps” available for sale for $29.99.To keep costs down, the camera has been replaced with a high-resolution CCD cam and a condenser microphone. Connectivity in the United States is going to be via an arrangement with Virgin Mobile who will provide caps with a pre-paid plan for 1000 minutes with a code that will allow cap owners to login to the Virgin Mobile website and purchase additional minutes as needed or upgrade to the Infinity plan subsidized by video advertising inserted into the live feed every ten minutes.

Obvious Corp. is also in talks with V-Tech and Virgin Mobile and will connect their popular Twitter service to each Justin cap in a multi-media version of Twitter code-named “Snow” in homage to the 1992 science fiction book by Neal Stephenson. As a member of Snow, members will be able to clap their hands to activate a clapper-based shutter that will capture 10 seconds of video and sound and broadcast it to all their Snow network friends simultaneously. When asked why the beloved technology advertised on late-night television was used as the interface, the Twitter staff replied, “if someone’s clapping, it’s got to be worth broadcasting out to your friends.”

Justin Kan, the Justin of Justin.TV could not be reached for comment. He was too busy running from a crowd of applauding teenagers.