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Archive for June, 2009

This is a nice story, even though I doubt the story since I have yet to meet a philosophy professor who gives life-advice like this…

A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks about 2″ in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous — yes.

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour their entire contents into the jar — effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your spouse, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your husband or wife out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.”

“Take care of the rocks first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.”

via The Rock « WhiteCoat’s Call Room.

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It is worth noting that I never used Boingo because I get good reception on my 3G network so I don’t feel I need to pay for Wifi service.  iPhone user feel otherwise.  Boingo should give AT&T a cut of their profits…

Boingo has also tracked what type of devices associate with Boingo operated airport Wi-Fi hotspots. In 2007, the first year the iPhone was available, the iPhone only accounted for 1% of all mobile devices. Windows CE Windows Mobile, was the leader in 2007, with 66% of mobile device connections. In 2008, the iPhone accounted for 51.7% of all mobile devices, with the iPod touch coming in second with 42.4%. For the first five months of 2009, the iPhone has taken an astounding 89.2% of all mobile devices accessing Boingo’s airport hotspots. The iPod touch has dipped to 4.7%. I talked to Jeremy Pepper from Boingo PR and he said that they think the drop in the price of the iPhone is the reason iPod touch access figures have dipped, with the iPhone taking its place.

Although these figures are only from one Wi-Fi access source, the number of users that access Wi-Fi at the airport provides what I consider a good sample for data collection. In two years, not only has the mobile access space increased 261x, the iPhone OS accounts for nearly 94% of all mobile connections.

Linked from TUAW

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Ok, this is a really worrisome thing if it becomes a trend.  In this economy when people are struggling to find jobs, it is really unfair that they are asked to turn over this level of privacy…  Isn’t it also against Facebook/MySpace Service agreements to give out your password like this?   I don’t know.  Like most people, I never looked…

“Please list any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.” the form reads. But Bozeman isn’t simply interested in finding out where to look for potentially embarrassing personal details; the city wants full disclosure, since the form demands username and password information for each. City employees will apparently be able to dig through any information applicants have put online, regardless of whether it’s accessible to the public.

This is especially ironic given that Bozeman’s website has an extensive privacy policy that indicates a significant familiarity with some of the major issues that have cropped up regarding the retention and security of information entrusted to websites.

This actually goes well beyond a startling invasion of privacy in a state that has a reputation for a strong independent streak; it provides a serious risk of running afoul of employment law. Employers are typically prohibited from digging into an applicant’s ethnic or religious background. An Internet search already runs the risk of picking up photos or text that can reveal these sorts of details; opening a person’s social networking accounts would seem to make the discovery of these details almost inevitable.

via City to job applicants: Facebook, MySpace log-ins please – Ars Technica.

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Well written, well referenced post over at PalmAddicts, one of my favorite megablogs for a long time. I think there is a lot of truth in that statement that Apple sees Palm as a serious threat.

Isn’t weird how much free marketing Palm is getting off the iPhone?  Every newspaper article and gadget blog is comparing the iPhone 3GS to the Palm Pre, as if they are worth comparing.  As if this tiny company that was on the brink of bankrupcy has a device that is worth comparing on equal footing with the biggest hit the technological universe has known for… maybe the last decade.  Oh my! the iPhone is 11% faster.  Oh! the iPhone boots 20 seconds faster (who boots their phone?).  Palm really has something good going on right now…

Nope, the answer is much simpler than that. It is because Palm is the very reason itself, it’s because from all of the big companies out there Apple sees Palm as one of them who could actually become a serious threat in the future. Especially when Jon Rubinstein is now appointed as the new CEO, replacing Ed Colligan the longest running leader of Palm.

via PalmAddicts: When Palm and Apple play a poker game.

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Many scientists view homeopathic remedies as modern snake oil – ineffective but mostly harmless because the drugs in them are present in such tiny amounts.

But an Associated Press analysis of the Food and Drug Administration’s side effect reports found that more than 800 homeopathic ingredients were potentially implicated in health problems last year. Complaints ranged from vomiting to attempted suicide.

via News from The Associated Press.

I never understood how people keep insisting that “it is natural, so it has no side effects.”  That just didn’t make any scientific sense.  Many synthetic drugs are derivatives of natural substances that are modified to reduce or minimize side effects that would normally occur if taken “naturally.”

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Animations can be used in a variety of contexts within a presentation, but one of the most common is to simply control the rate at which information appears to students. So, for example, on a slide dedicated to discussing four aspects of a given topic, the relevant text and images can be made to appear gradually, so that each aspect is discussed thoroughly before the next even appears. The alternative, dumping all the information to the screen at once, and then working through it verbally, would seem to have the potential to distract and overwhelm the audience. So, this seems to be a situation where animation should clearly help.

via Study: PowerPoint animations are comprehension killers – Ars Technica.

What is interesting about this is that the study wasn’t looking at complicated animations, but mostly at having certain lines show up on the screen.  They used the same slides (I would have though people who use animation put too many things on a slide, but this blows my theory).  Maybe it helps to be able to see the entire context for longer, so you get more of chance to process what’s on the screen.

This kind of thing is hard to study, but it certainly makes one pause about current Powerpoint habits.

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Basically, you setup an SSH tunnel to the Pre, which supports running as a SOCKS proxy. You then configure your browser to point to this proxy and BAM, you’re tethering away.

via Palm Pre – How to Guide to Enable Tethering!.

There it is, the step by step guide.  No Fear.

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