Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Working With Nature to Stop Climate Change

“Researchers at the University of Wales are looking at how introducing different grasses into cattle diets can help reduce methane emissions. Cattle and dairy cows on factory farms are typically fed a high-protein diet of corn and soybeans, which…leads to a variety of digestive problems. Scientists believe that more-digestible feed will reduce these problems and thus help curb related methane emissions. Not surprisingly, some of the grasses found commonly in pastures and meadows in the UK—including white clover, rye, and a flower called bird’s foot trefoil—are all highly digestible.” – Danielle Nierenberg

Monday, 9 July 2007

I’ve got a total of 10 Pownce invites – if you want one, shoot me an mp3 for one following themes listed at the First Crack podcast.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Gesture Deja Vu

Gesture Deja Vu…..I haven’t read Steve Gilmor for a while now, so I kept having to check the post date on his Gesturesphere post. I swear I read the first 3 paragraphs more than 2 years ago. Perhaps, like Don Sobol, Gillmor re-uses a handful of intros with each gesture.

Goal: 5k, Actual: 5k, Time: 30:52

Good run for the first K and a half, held a nice 7 mn/mi pace. It was a fight to keep going after that and while I reached 7 again at the 3k mark, I finished with an average 9.75 mn/mi.

The interval runs to this point have been a barometer to see where I fall in the Couch-to-5K running plan. Based on today’s run – I’m firmly in early week 5.

Playlist wise, I’m surprised to find the The Gentle Readers, The Be Good Tanyas, and the Dixie Chicks being more helpful to my running than my normal getting-stuff-done playlists.

Finally got the route figured out as well. My previous out-n-back was half a k short, Jen confirmed the distance in the Cruiser and turns out halfway puts me on the backside of a loop. Nice. Tonight though, I made a wrong turn just after 3k and ended up lost in a cemetery – chased by directionless Joss Whedon fans.

10 July 2007 Update:
Just confirmed the running loop with Google Maps. Exactly 5k. Nice.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Goal: 5k, Actual: 5k, Time: 30:32

Pretty hard run. Thankfully, the dust was gone. Unfortunately, it was replaced by 96F heat.

iTunes isn’t remembering my Nikeplus.com account info – so none of the workout data is being sent to the Nike site. Definitely not the seamless integration advertised. Maybe I’ll look into this after I cool down.

Update: Not sure what I just did – aside from plugging in the Nano one more time – but the sync now seems to be working.

I dug a hole in my old Nike Presto’s with a utility knife to hide the Nike+iPod bug, a fun hack. Now, if only the outside temp would drop below triple digits so I can try it out.

09 July 2007 Update: After destroying my knees and ankles last night, I’ve retired the Prestos and enlisted a pair of black Nike Shox Turbo OH+.

How the iPhone Unexpectedly Impressed Me

I stopped by the Roseville Apple Store this afternoon to diagnose 2 recurring problems with my year old MacBook Pro; 6 month old battery barely holds a charge, and bottom quarter of the LCD screen is all multi-colored stripes – completely unusable. It’s just a few weeks outside of it’s one-year warranty, again proving to always buy AppleCare for portables.

Finally got a chance to check out the iPhone – as the signs in the store remind you – it’s the best iPod. An iPod with 2 networks attached to it (WiFi & AT&T). Definitely not a phone with an iPod attached (my hope). As you’ve probably read before, it feels good to hold and to look at. I found the flatness of the touchscreen a little unsettling – no tactile-ness to confirm appropriate pressure.

I was also disappointed in how Apple implemented the YouTube integration – no way to browse YouTube’s tag structure – just the Most Viewed and Featured – making it feel too much like a rented walled garden.

Clicking around some more, I checked out the Notes application John Gruber eloquently called ‘a train wreck’ and started typing.

“Just type any word, don’t worry about the keyboard”, requested the Apple sales guy.

I start typing my name.

g. a. w. x. x. k. (or something just as off).

“Garrick?”, asks the spell-check.

I’ve never had a spell check guess my name from a misspelling. Even when correct, most think I’m garlic.

Well done.

08 July Update: Just found why I might end up getting an iPhone: iPhone for Web Developers


“…this thing is not Mac stable, it is maybe Windows mobile stable… ” – Brian Lam, Gizmodo

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Chatter – Friendly Tumble Blogging

“Garrick knocks Pownce … what will he think of Chatter?” – Bruno Bornsztein

  1. Finally, a web app that knows how to handle a new account – Bruno sends me an invite via email.
  2. I click the link. Chatter asks me my name – then emails me a password. That’s it. Beautiful.
    If you’re building or have built an account-based web app, take note. You don’t need anything more to let me in 1. In fact, every additional form field makes it more likely I leave promptly.
  3. Email give me the pass and a link, sending me to the profile page.
    2 suggestions here; I want a URL for my photo – not an upload, and I have no idea what to put in ‘About Me’. Other than that – 4 more fields. Excellent.
    Note: I still have no idea what Chatter is, and it already makes me happy.
  4. Now I’m in. Chatter is tumblr with friends 2 and, it’s using the same bucketed-approach as Pownce. The system should either know, or not care what things are. I shouldn’t need to tell it.
  5. While there still aren’t feeds or an publicaly-linked API 3, there is a Firefox plug-in and a bookmarklet – making adding things to almost as easy as could be.
  6. Bruno & Ben 4, provide a way to give you money and I say you beat Pownce on this round.

1. **cough** OpenID **cough**
2. I’m not a fan of tumble blogs and don’t have an account at tumblr for 2 reasons; Like the iPhone and television – they’re for receiving – not for creating – and I’m cool with writing extremely short posts on this blog (everything’s searchable and append-able then). That’s me, and how I blog.
3. Only email alerts, argh! I do not want my friends getting near my spam filter!
4. Ben’s tumble blog is fantastic – economics, politics, fun. Yeah, I know, the triumvirate.

Goal: 5k, Actual: 4.5k, Time: 25:02,

A pretty good run. I’m still doing intervals to build up endurance (run a song, walk a song, repeat until you’re home.). I could feel a good rhythm underneath a thicker-than-I’d-like surface layer of dust. That underlying feeling kept me going.

I’m using the Nike+iPod kit to track my distance and time. Like Audiobooks and Podcasts before it, the Nike+iPod tab in iTunes proves how limiting iTunes must be for Apple. While the iPod shows me my last (as of this writing) 12 workouts, iTunes only shows me the roll up and none of the detail. Presumably, I need to follow the link to Nikeplus.com for that info, but, considering the volume of information iTunes is managing for me now it seems silly that I can’t see this workout info the same way as my music or movie libraries.

Pownce.com – In Need of a Special Purpose

Pownce.com feels like the bastard child of Basecamp and MySpace. Four kinds of things (messages, links, files, events) all going into the same bucket. No tagging or grouping or other categorization – aside from the information type, all sent out to everyone as email notifications not including the message. Just a link back to the site. Awful.

Admittedly, I didn’t get Twitter when it was first released either. Even today, I’m pretty sure I don’t use Twitter the way it was intended. Nor do I think anyone does – who can afford the SMS charges ;).

To grok Twitter, I needed to see how it folded into what I’m already doing. Twitter clicked for me as a republishing tool. A way to know who is actually interested in reading what I write 1. This required Twitter to open up an API early. Pownce doesn’t want to work with me, it wants to completely replace what I’m doing currently. I’m too busy to play that game.

Without an API 2, finding its special purpose is going to be more of a challenge for Pownce. I’m less than optimistic, unlike Nik – I don’t assume the developers had a vision for the site. In fact, the only thing I think they have going for them is that they’re taking money – from both ‘Pro’ accounts and advertising. Huge applause. That might just buy them enough time to find their special purpose.

1. As soon as WordPress has something like this, buh bye Twitter.
2. While Pownce conceivably has enough of an API to run their highly undesirable AIR desktop app – they’re not sharing anymore than that. Right now, I’m not interested in installing AIR.

P.S. By contrast, I got Curbly and Nearbie immediately. They’ve both declared a purpose. They’re not just YASN.


“I’m still not sure if Pownce is supposed to be a Twittery microblogging site, a high-concept message board, or an IM client, but whatever it is, it’s meant for quick hits and rapid responses….Living in the application plane means that it doesn’t draw my attention when something important happens, and it just distracts me the rest of the time.” – Josh Lee

Aaron‘s got an interesting point on ubiquity. He’s right, having the only telephone among your friends isn’t that useful. I will change my mind – when Pownce is a service, not a site. Just like I change my mind about Twitter after Dave Winer released twitter.com/nytimes (for the record – a little after SXSW).


“Yet another shiny object on the social network technology heap.” – Bex Huff