October 2006 Archives

Treo 650 - 1st 30 days

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I mentioned earlier that I recently retired the Treo600, in favor for the unlocked GSM Treo 650.
Yes, I abandoned the North American ubiquitous CDMA cell. I never again want to be forced to use my smart phone as an expensive door stop when traveling overseas.

While I really liked the 600, the absence of native bluetooth was really annoying. The workarounds (plug adapters) were ineffective at best. The 600 VGA camera was also pretty poor. The new 650 addresses these defficiences quite nicely, I can also make short movie clips w/sound. One aspect that I've not yet solved is Bluetooth A2DP profile setup. It appears that the 650 only supports Bluetooth 1.1.

My desire is to use my Bluetake wireless headsets, but they will only work natively with Bluetooth 1.2 or a software patched Bluetooth 1.1 system. I'll simply do a bit more research and find a cheap or free solution ;)

Another aspect that I've not tried is the streaming audio from my favorite internet radio stations (ie Big-Up Radio, WKUT We Funk Radio, etc). I never had much success of using the Sprint 3G network to stream the audio on the fly without annoying buffering every 30s. I certainly don't blame the Treo 600 for these shortcomings. Hopefully the Cingular network will be much improved.

So to recap (and I'm sure that I will add more later):

  • Native Bluetooth
  • Improved VGA camera
  • Better QWERTY keyboard
  • Ability to create short movie clips
  • GPRS/GSM Network

Why did I ever wait so long??

links for 2006-10-30

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links for 2006-10-23

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Tale of the China Fist - Revisited

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Enjoyed a very intense seminar, which certainly vastly improved from our previous program. What I have observed in recent seminars is a greater emphasis on developing our Gups (junior practioners, non-black belts), and rightly so, as these junior members represent the vitality of our organization. Nonetheless, the seminars are an opportunity for _everyone_ to learn, teach and polish their techniques. So, if you're a Dan member and you spend a great deal of time sitting on the hard concrete floor, that isn't much fun.

links for 2006-10-22

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links for 2006-10-20

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In search of Flickr Pro

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Anybody flickr users out there? I've outgrown my gratis flickr repository. Is there a kind soul who wishes to sponsor me for a Pro account? I've got more pics to share but the gratis account is capped at 200 photos.

BTW: I'm in Ky for another day(the Louisville one). Got a couple pics to share from my recent trips.

Synopsis of Lidle tragedy

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Perhaps the most comprehensive assessment of what may have gone wrong, and caused the accident on the Upper East Side. What astounds me is that non-commercial air traffic is still permissible in densely populated metropolitan areas.

Cirrus SR20 Crash in Manhattan

Tales of the China Fist

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61st_Logo_150x158_TSD.jpg

I've not talked much about my training. This is probably due to the fact that I'm down to working out once a week. No, I'm not proud of it, but I simply cannot manage to get more hours under my belt.
Yeah, I know it is an excuse. Anyway, we have another seminar coming up next week. I will certainly attend.

There have been some important develepments that should not be overlooked. It seems that our school president was presented with a cease and desist letter. More specifically, our school will never again be able to use the Moo Duk Kwan logo. The insignia has been something of a brand for at least forty years. However, the son of the late Grandmaster Hwang Kee, has forbid anyone from using the fist and wreath. Politics in its highest form for sure.

Though, I have the greatest respect for the late GMST Hwang Kee, and the traditional Soo Bahk Do organization, their decision to sue was quite puzzling indeed. Our school has demonstrated virtue and pursuit of excellence for a number of years. It would appear that the trademark squabble could have been avoided if the leadership within both camps were permitted to dicuss the matter without the aid of lawyers. Perhaps I am overly optimistic.

Onto brighter news. We may have some teenagers testing for 1st Dan next weekend. Though, I've never been very keen on allowing kids to test for blackbelt, it is a pleasure to watch their progress. I believe that both will need step it up a notch in order to truly be prepared. Not certain that they are both sufficiently fatigued ;)

links for 2006-10-15

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links for 2006-10-14

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Bloglines, Last.fm

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Anybody notice the AJAX add-ons within Bloglines.. Pretty slick, gives you real-time updates to your various news feed categories.. Last.fm, much album art.. Nuff said.
New podcast forthcoming...

links for 2006-10-12

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Virtual color barrier

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Very interesting take on the state of affairs as it pertains to access in the upswell which is web2.0. Actually, I had been thinking about responding to the article for quite awhile, but I've simply been to preoccupied with other matters.

To answer the God Viperteq.. I think we already have some very talented African-American developers and some even have VC loot and angel backing.

The problem is we don't do anything collectively, so it is very difficult to make any true progress. I'm more inclined to believe that if we pooled our resources and tapped the genius among us, we would recognize that it really is not necessary to seek inclusion in the White Boy Club. Methinks the next great idea is within your grasp, my grasp, our grasp. Rather than talking about it, let's manifest it with our own creative zeal.

Indeed, it may not be as simple as having an idea, but I am confident that there is genius among us.

If you don't know who, why not you, why not me, why not we?
Let's talk about it.

7 And A Crescent » Blog Archive » The Web 2.0 White Boy Club

links for 2006-10-09

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links for 2006-10-08

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Lackluster Effort

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And there was only one NY team standing in the MLB post season. After learning of the injury to Pedro Martinez, I would have expected the Mets to get bounced and _not_ my beloved Bombers.

Well another early exit, and what makes matters worse, I'm stuck in the middle of snickering whisker laden, downtrodden Detroit headz. Hell, were it not for their Pistons, the locals wouldn't have much to discuss. The local economy is another story.. I suppose it could be worse. My hat is tipped to the Tiggers.

Most people will point to the large Yankee payroll and all star 'murderous row' lineup, but the truth is the Yanks have been rebuilding quietly since 2001. Unfortunately, it is very difficult (and ill advised aka Pavano) to buy good pitching. So you have to gradually cultivate the farm system. Help is on the way, Phil Hughes is an excellent prospect; however, we will absolutely need more than two quality pitchers.

There really is no quick fix for an aging pitching staff. The offense will eventually click in the post season. I have no idea when this will occur, but I'm sure it will happen this decade. In fairness to the squad, it is close to impossible to have plate discipline when you're already down by four runs in the 3rd inning.

Changes are sure to come. I don't expect to see Sheffield back next season. Perhaps Randy Johnson or Mussina will also be sent packing in favor of some of the younger talented pitchers from the farm system.

Bonus Coverage:
Yesnetwork Steve Goldman:Epitaph, Game Over, Series Over, Season Over

Postgame:Bernie Williams || Derek Jeter || Jorge Posada || Joe Torre || A-Rod || Sport's Desk

Update: Sources indicate that Joe Torre will staybe fired on and manage through 2007 and replaced by Lou Pinella

Making the switch

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Making the switch from Sprint to Cingular.. Well, I thought it would be a painless process.
Damn was I wrong. My new Treo650 smartphone is GSM/GPRS goodness, so I decided to use Cingular, as they are largest GSM carrier in the US. The only problem was that I was under contract with Sprint until 4th Qtr 07. Breaking your contract with Sprint means shelling out $150.

Not an option. So I opted to create a new Cingular # and maintain the Sprint account until its expiration. Unfortunately, the Cingular mishandled two critical aspects of the transaction:

1) Improper SIM Card
2) Transferred old Sprint number, thus nullifying Sprint account

I wouldn't have been too miffed with #2, had the SIM card been allocated correctly. For those who are unfamiliar, GSM phones will not work as designed (ie no outgoing/incoming calls, phonebook, bluetooth database, etc) without an active SIM. Basically, makes the device useless.

My expectation is that I'll have all of this corrected in a couple hours.. So if you need to get at me, drop an email or IM.

Update: Cingular has agreed to credit my account with the difference of the Sprint contract cancellation penalty. I'm still going to go after Sprint to resolve the matter.

links for 2006-10-05

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Last days of free text (Revisited)

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Well after contacting Sprint it seems that I misunderstood their text package. I suppose it wouldn't be the first time that I've gone after a vendor for mistreatment.

As it turns out the new handling of SMS text msgs only applies to customers who do not have an existing text package. How I got a text messaging package escapes me b/c I never asked for one ;)

I imagine that Sprint looks at the age of your account and also the account behavior, then makes a judgment call to determines how to bill the account. Seems weird to me, but I'm not complaining since text msgs will forever be free for me, provided I stay with Sprint/Nextel. Actually, I would be happy to stay with Sprint as I've been a pseudo-loyal customer since 2001. Nonetheless, they decided to abandon the GSM/GPRS spectrum and solely use CDMA (like many of the North American carriers), so my existing phone is a very sophisticated paper weight in Europe and other areas overseas..

Speaking of smart phones, I will soon retire my trusty Treo600. I'll be upgrading to an unlocked Treo650 (w/all the GSM/GPRS and native Bluetooth goodness).. More later.

Natural heuristics

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I'm always fascinated by the goodness that manifests from mimicing nature. We've been able to model the extreme strength of spider silk; in fact assembly line manufacturing could be linked to the workers in an ant colony or the drones in a bee hive.

Now some smart people have modeled the adhesive properties of the Gecko (not the Progressive one). Nature is absolutely amazing. I wonder if we'll ever be able to model the color changing behavior of the chameleon?
What would we do without engineers :)

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Geckos inspire 'super-adhesive'

Interesting article regarding the idea that Metcalfe's Law doesn't directly correlate Web2.0 and social networks phenomenon. For those that are not familiar, Bob Metcalfe, author of Metcalfe's Law, and inventer of Ethernet. What I find interesing is that typically people will always attempt to find fault with algorithms well after the mathematician or engineer has long passed.

I haven't seen many theories openly challenged while the author is still among the living. At its premise Metcalfe's Law is the idea that the utility of a network increases as the square of its users. In simple terms, the more people use a particular network, the greater the value of the particular network.

How is this relevent? Good question.. To take the point a step further, Metcalfe's Law was primarily associated with telephone networks. During the glory days of the switching networks, calling exchanges and operator assisted bridging networks, people recognized that as call volumes increased, the value of that switched network increased. Subsequently, Bell could begin charging more for services running out on that copper wire(ie Long distance, call waiting, *69, etc).

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