Found a cool service for handling schoolwork. It sends notifications and you can add assignments by SMS; all it needs is syncing to other calendars.
Monthly Archives: September 2008
I am turning my Blogger site into a lifestreaming hub, and running all of my regular articles out of here. First, I must migrate all of my old postings to WordPress. I am doing it as one big article archiving my first scribblings. Here they are…..Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Wow I feel like I am like 5 years late to the prom. It is awkward and I am not sure if I want to be here, but its not like I have anything better to do.
So a little about myself for anyone who happens across this blog……This is my first time so I am probably going to start off by talking way too much. I am a dental student here in San Francisco, and I haven’t coded a day in my life, but I have figured out that if I am to be a useful member of society I need to get myself some free CS learning from MIT. I decided to start blogging since I go to school almost 12 hours out of the day (yes I am serious), and I pour through techy stuff when I am not in school. This has caused me to fail at conversation. I recently was taken out to a free meal by an attractive waitress and all I had to offer in return was ramblings about how I signed up for a beta with Skydeck and wanted to try leverage my call log data to optimize my work schedule (she still talks to me and I am confused). This blog exists so that the innocent may be free of me.Thursday, June 5, 2008
I am declaring Denny’s Law
Anyone on Brightkite who eats at a restaurant is required to submit a picture of their order.Sunday, June 8, 2008
I ordered one and I am ashamed…
I am buying cheap toys to distract myself from the pain of studying for my finals. The item with the pretty blue light disinfects things, so that once again forks can be safe to touch my food. On a separate note, I also am now the proud owner of 8 freaking ShamWow!’s for 19.95. Its not like I had a choice, those things are made in Germany and soaked up all the Coke out of the carpet square. Also the spokesperson’s haircut is fabulous.Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I probably was a little young for this show, but Twin Peaks is too good for words. If anyone is reading this, please proceed directly over to Giles Bowkett’s blog and experience the splendor.Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Stuff I Find Useful
Friendfeed…Ff is a sinkhole, so I just use this to aggregate content (blogs, photostreams, etc.); If I want to communicate I don’t do it here.
Twhirl…Ff’s interface is crappy, especially when someone tweets multiple things inside an hour; Twhirl makes it easy to sort out what is going on.
Jott & Evernote…Sextra goodSaturday, June 14, 2008
Thank You Incredible Hulk
I am so super smart
For those of you who are easily impressed, I just edited the length and width in the .html b/c the Hulk video wasn’t fitting the screen properly. I am going to have a scotch and a smoke to celebrate.Monday, June 16, 2008
Its about time
This still needs a lot of work, but growing fuel sounds very nice on my wallet.Friday, June 20, 2008
My love affair with tequila finally justified
One more addition to the long list of acceptable uses for tequila…story over on Gizmodo. On a related topic, yes at some point I will be posting some worthwhile content of my own. This blog will be less of a waste of time to read right around the time I take my GRE’s for Ortho school, and finish editing the advanced anesthesia videos.
I am working on a pretty lengthy post/rant on ethics and healthcare and whatnot, and for all the curious people out there I will be posting those anesthesia videos online.Friday, June 20, 2008
Hulu I am a fan
What I want to know is if Citi thinks youtube can pull $500 million in 2009, then what are the estimates supposed to be for Hulu in the coming year? I doubt Mark Cuban is the only one that thinks Hulu will surpass youtube in revenues, but next year may be a bit too soon. They have collected some serious shows as of late, and the interface is really enjoyable; if they had any complete seasons of 24 I would be getting very little done. However, going above $500 million in 2009 seems like a bit of a stretch, considering the estimate for this year was around $25 million. Then again the same can be said about youtube jumping up from the ~$90 million in revenues it is expected by some to generate this year, although everyone has a different opinion on what the numbers actually are going to be for youtube. Regardless, there need to be some serious changes (probably already in the works) before either of them to hit those kinds of figures. I am just waiting for embedded links in online videos to product sites/showcases. I give it about 5 years before the soda the lead actor is sipping on is affected by the viewer’s browsing history.
Update: Glad someone had enough time to crunch the numbers.Friday, June 20, 2008
Obama owes everything to David Palmer
Are they freaking serious
Nationalization of oil, further government oversight of media…just some of the stupid ideas our elected officials have to offer us.
I sincerely hope this doesn’t need to be explained to anyone; I don’t have a lot of experience working with the mentally handicapped.
Sigh…I wish my vote for Bob Barr would actually count for something.Saturday, June 21, 2008
I wonder if my Health Insurance covers this?
Awesome, now I can start blaming problems on my disease just like everyone else.
P.S. This is not what I have in mind, when I talk about personal responsibility.Saturday, June 21, 2008
I really enjoyed this piece on web interface design. Maybe when I have finally figured out enough about coding, I can do something about some of the retarded looking content plug-ins I have added.Sunday, June 22, 2008
If anything is guilty of administrative debris it would be my browser. Lately, I have been annoyed at the amount of button clutter that has been introduced to the process of adding bookmarks in the new Firefox release. I had a feeling adding sites to my toolbar was going to be a huge annoyance, but that was before I noticed that Firefox is beginning to presort my bookmarks for me. Today I went to bookmark Yapta, a new air fare tracking site, and it was already set to be added into my plane tickets folder. A pleasant surprise. This still doesn’t make up for the excess of buttons, but as long as don’t have to interact with them I won’t mind as much.
Update: I take back everything I said. Apparently, the presorting was a freak accident or it only applies to websites with obvious designations. On a related note, I now completely hate the bookmarks’ format.Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Starz Entertainment Inc is getting screwed
I have been spending a lot of time in front of the TV during my break. Don’t worry, I have my little GRE vocab cards with me so it isn’t a total waste. At some point though, one realizes they have watched just about everything, and they begin to channel surf aimlessly looking for entertainment. On Dish Network, and I imagine with most TV providers, the premium movie channels are grouped together across about roughly 50 stations. After exhaustive surfing of the more standard television stations, I head for the premium channels. For simplicity, I usually will start at the lowest station and channel up (channel surfing downward is weird and perverse) until I find something interesting.
My point, is that if I make it past HBO and Cinemax I usually find something to watch before I get through the Showtime channels, and I am completely unaware about anything cool playing on Starz or Encore. I would think quantifying the impact of channel placement would be something worthwhile for someone to investigate (people do it for the placement of items on restaurant menus). Perhaps this has already been measured, but I wonder if a premium is paid by companies to secure lower channel listings to try and capture a higher percentage of the viewing audience. I imagine this grazing behavior applies to good number of people watching TV. Furthermore, the effects of channel placement are probably more noticeable with commercial-free channels, since commercials afford viewers the opportunity to explore other programs without negatively impacting the show they are currently viewing.
This discovery, if I could call it that, also raises the important question of whether our television viewing freedoms are being further abridged by the eeeeevil corporations who control us with clever choice architecture. Curse you establishment!!! I joke, but seriously I hope that as we bring television online we do so while empowering both viewers and broadcasters with freedom……Rock, Flag, and Eagle.
If I have supplied any budding economists with inspiration for a thesis paper, you’re welcome.Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I heard about this last week
I want to be clear that this litigation surrounding 23andme is complete garbage. Having to get a doctor’s note before getting a genetic test, is ridiculous. Healthcare is not a monopoly, and it can’t and shouldn’t be “owned” by anyone or any group of people, and that includes doctors. The concept of monopolizing the practice of healthcare is inherently exclusionary, and I find it hard to imagine how that is in the best interest of the public. I use the word monopoly because it fits; there are enough middlemen in healthcare to begin with and we don’t need to add to the list. People who talk about this sort of legislation in terms of protecting the profession and protecting the public are sadly misinformed about the ethics of healthcare and the definition of a profession…but more on all of this at a later date.Friday, June 27, 2008
Suck on that hippies
As you may well have noticed, I have added a tasteful Bob Barr banner. Enjoy.Friday, June 27, 2008
Wall-E has stolen the key to my heart
There is nothing like sweet robot love to make me forgive the 10 minutes of blatant environmentalist preaching they sneaked into the film (I already saw inconvenient truth now leave me alone). All the same, Wall-E is funny and great and I will probably see it again.Friday, June 27, 2008
So about the whole ICANN deal that went down
I am not particularly savvy yet with programming and web design, but I am making progress in between sleeping and 12+ hour days at school. Recently, ICANN (people responsible for many rules pertaining to the internet) decided to relax regulations regarding the top-level domain names. Essentially, with proper documentation, a business plan/trademark/etc., people and organizations can now apply to create and own domains like “.sports” or “.whatever”.
I look into my crystal ball
I will have more useful posts in a day or two. I had the fear of God put in me when I only got a 1400 on a practice GRE I took a few days ago, so I had to switch off the TV and internet (for the most part) since they weren’t helping me. Although, a score in the 1400s on the GRE isn’t really going to hurt me, I did extremely well on my NBDE pt1 examination, a much more serious and lengthy exam, and my lack of motivation for the GRE might show if I didn’t produce a comparable score.
Update: O well, sort of close…I guess it was 50/50 either way. I guess they are going to be a little disappointed that they killed off the wrong villain.
Happy Independence Day
I was doing some research online and I came a across a very interesting article. Its nice to see the people pushing for women’s equality stepping back from the notion that it is blasphemy to recognize differences between men and women. I find the argument compelling, but a little too simplistic for me to completely buy it. Maybe taking such a narrow/naive focus is a good idea; I just hope they don’t try to share our model for women’s liberation.
Wow that was scary
I want to see contact histories in Gmail so if something dumb like this happens again I can just go back to an older revision.
Best idea I have seen in a while
Page 2 paragraph 3 is exactly why Michael Bay should have written The Dark Knight. Bruce you can totally do better that this.
Word to the wise
Can you say Business Model
Twitter is phenomenal at capturing word of mouth in a very tangible way, and obviously this is hugely valuable to companies. What is especially of value, is monitoring Tweets/word of mouth in real time. That sort of data can be utilized to drive word of mouth advertising campaigns and act as an important bridge between the views of consumers and companies. Even if Twitter’s downtime impacts their user-base in the long term, they will still have a profit engine in the form of Summize’s service.
I’ll use an example from another industry of how Twitter going under does not equal ultimate FAIL. Bizjet runs what amounts to be a jet taxi service in the southeastern portion of the USofA, and they pay a lot of “mathpeople” to crunch numbers and develop algorithms to optimize the placement of their aircraft so that they don’t go bankrupt. Bizjet has yet to explode as a hugely profitable enterprise. Regardless, they own design rights to a lightweight engine, which they could still make them very rich.
My thoughts are that Summize can propel Twitter forward by adding legitimacy/profit, or it is at least a safety net for the founders & investors if they head for the deadpool.
When I am not wasting time in other ways
I posted a comment in a discussion stream associated with a Hacker News posting and I want to share it here as well since I think the subject matter promotes thought and discussion.
Here is my commentary:
I would like to refer everyone to this study for a minute –> http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/323/7327/1450?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=prayer&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=11Yes that is a serious experiment.
As I understand it, when the original article was published there was a huge uproar in the academic community about the findings and intentions of the study. Those concerns were addressed in a reply from the author:
“The purpose of the article was to ask the following question: Would you believe in a study that looks methodologically correct but tests something that is completely out of people’s frame (or model) of the physical world—for example, retroactive intervention or badly distilled water for asthma?
There are three ways to deal with this question:
(1) To answer in the affirmative. But this leads to such paradoxes (some described by those who responded to this article1) that it is incompatible with scientific work or even daily life.
(2) To look for methodological or statistical faults. Here an obvious one was that the duration of fever and the duration of hospital stay are related. But what if the next study sports perfect methodology and statistics?
(3) To deny from the beginning that empirical methods can be applied to questions that are completely outside the scientific model of the physical world. Or in a more formal way, if the pre-trial probability is infinitesimally low, the results of the trial will not really change it, and the trial should not be performed. This, to my mind, turns the article into a non-study, although the details provided in the publication (randomization done only once, statement of a wish, analysis, etc) are correct.
The article has nothing to do with religion. I believe that prayer is a real comfort and help to a believer. I do not believe it should be tested in controlled trials.”
“Evidence based” has recently become a popular ideology/buzzword in the medical community. Although it is always comforting to have a tangible set of numbers to reference, “evidence-based” findings are often adopted without legitimate consideration of experience-based/anecdotal data.
It is the current culture to accept anything with the label of science as indisputable truth. As a rule, I don’t think it is ever a good idea to blindly follow. Even the most well designed studies are worth debating. The more you question, the more you discover.
I am buying a new iPhone but I don’t have to like it
Today is an official cleaning day
The smart people in charge of GTA4 have a great solution, only it needs to be adapted to actual radio too. Everyone knows the tremendous feeling you get when a truly amazing song that is either brand new or you haven’t heard in ages comes on the radio. You have to roll down the windows and crank up the volume as loud as possible. Correct me if I am wrong, but that seems like a perfect time to make a sale.
I doubt it would take too much engineering to store songs that you buy and access while driving around. This would really only work with if a car was satellite radio capable, and even if the song was heard on standard radio you could download it using the satellite link. They really need to turn radio, whether it is on the internet or in the car, into an on-demand format. If the RIAA wants to continue making sales of songs and albums, on-demand is the answer.
People totally need to get me on their corporate team and give me a bloated salary.
HA….According to the ad I just heard on the radio in the care, someone over at Alpine already has my job. If you have one of their new stereos you can download songs to your iPod if you connect it to the stereo in the car. Better still would be an iPhone app that utilizes bluetooth to just order the song on the radio from the iTunes store.
Update2: Shazam an iPhone App tells you what a song is if you hold the phone to the radio. Solid.
OMG this fills me with glee
People need to seriously relax, meteorologists know that the planet is adapting, and since they got some fancy new equipment a while back, they have been measuring global cooling. Whether or not the planet’s adaptations (changes in current, etc.) are killing little fishys is another issue. I didn’t like those stinking fish anyway
The phone is going to be fantastic (after I take a nap), but I really could have done without the whole fanboy experience. I was in the first group of 20 people to go in so I got the full effect. The party parade did some annoying countdown, and were hi-fiving awkwardly everyone on their way into the store. They also had some camera crew that was capturing every precious moment.
All I wanted was to get my Jesus piece and get out, but now I have to shower to wash the whore off me. Save me Openmoko.
Wow that took long enough
Anyway, I was playing on the computers while I was waiting, and I sent myself a screen capture of the activity monitor because I was interested in the neat buttons in the middle of the screen. It looks like the app is “Desktop Buttons” (duh). When I go back to the Apple store to cash in all the free shit they gave me for my troubles, I will try and see if I can access the app itself and email it to myself. I am not sure if I could but think it would be nice to try and futz with what they did to make neat buttons of my own on my desktop.
I am still learning Lisp, so I could be completely clueless, but whatever. Also I really don’t care if anyone thinks I am a moron for starting with Lisp, I like it and I think it is great for learning.
Well this is just dumb
Crowd-sourcing your parking tickets
It has been a while since I last got a parking ticket, but from what I remember the parking enforcement officers rolling around in their retarded Easter eggs are always in such a hurry to slap the ticket on your window (even if you’re 5 feet from your car) they never put your VIN number on the ticket. With exception to the license plate number, its likely that a lot of other boxes on the fine are also blank, and people might mistake a random ticket for their own.
I wonder if people are too lazy to verify their tickets online, and would end up sending in a check for someone else. It probably doesn’t happen, but I can still dream can’t I.
On a related note, I witnessed a very impatient Asian lady ram a parking cop multiple times because his scooter buggy was blocking her in….hilarious. She really didn’t think things through, because that little stunt definitely didn’t help her get to where she was headed.
Facebook dragged me back in
I used to despise Facebook, but now that I am seeing actual use for their platform I am starting to warm to them. Hopefully, the redesign is a signal that they want to do some serious content aggregation for a change.
Interesting Show on TV
Anywho, this kid loves to watch awesomely bad shows like 48 hours mystery, and he flips on this channel where some people in white coats were running tests on couples. It was cheesy relationship stuff, but I found one test they subjected the participants to particularly interesting. They showed each person various pictures of their partner, including some that were altered to make them look either less or more attractive (how they determined that I don’t know, we turned on the show halfway through).
People who had strong feelings for their partner tended to choose idealized pictures of their significant other’s face. I can definitely relate to being that delusional, and have wasted plenty of time and money in the process.
And here comes the planning board…..
The various outcomes of a given group of visitors could be highlighted and broken down by percentage within an image of your actual webpage. The category of visitor being visualized would be indicated off to the side, and you could adjust the grouping criteria being employed. You could then follow each outcome similar to a “choose your own adventure” book. There is also the possibility that you could “play” site visits (or what would represent a typical site visit) and watch how they would occur in real time.
I feel that this form of visualization captures the data in the best way possible, and would optimize interpretation…..I make doodles of this crap while I drink coffee and if anyone is interested I could give them to you.
Maybe its just me
Where is the outrage? Isn’t anyone a little bit pissed that all of Apple’s productivity programs are compatible with jack shit? If I want my Pages document to be saved in a format compatible with Office I have to “export” it as such. LAME. there isn’t even a preset keyboard shortcut for that, and I have to take 30 seconds to set it up….sigh. I don’t even feel like spending the effort for that garbage.
The same goes for all of the other iWork software. The programs are great, but this proprietary nonsense is getting out of hand. I doubt I am the first to notice this. Yes, I am currently a whore for Apple, but I refuse to bury my head in the sand like the rest of the fanboys (someone at the Apple store almost cried when I said the App Store and not the new phone was the only reason for people to switch). Sure, right now it seems peachy to crank out silly overpriced gadgets every month and have them sell out because they can integrate with all your walled off software, but open standards are going to win this one.
A while back, I casually mentioned to some of my classmates that some girl I knew was in this absolutely absurd video ad for some bar. They thought it was hilarious, and since the video was already online I figured I’d stick a link to it in my blog just for kicks. Besides I couldn’t come up with any good ideas to write about that day, so why not write about something pointless. I guess this girl and her friends took issue with the tag “video ho” (it rhymes. whatever), and they left some anonymous and ignorant comment on the post.
So now I hear that recently an attempt was made to admit that post in an unemployment hearing. The judge or whatever didn’t find it relevant (I really don’t see why it would be), but I find it hilarious the lengths that some people will go to.
Now I can shave my Finals beard, and semi-relax. I still have to edit the freaking Advanced Anesthesia video I made, and do other stuff, but at least I don’t have to look at a book unless I want to. I also have to do something about my room which you can probably tell is dark and dirty.
I can’t possibly imagine how the police are going to enforce anti-texting laws, and how are they are supposed to know the difference between me texting and me checking driving directions on my phone.
These dumb 20 and 50 dollar fines are irrelevant. The biggest motivator for safer driving is going to be when the insurance company revising their rates to reflect someone’s risky driving behaviors. A recurring fee has a greater impact than just the one time fee.
The police would do far better by just capturing on video certain at risk behaviors, and distributing the information to insurance companies. Why not even set up a designated site documenting risky driving on camera (some citizen journalism just not while also driving), and then let the insurance companies apply the appropriate punishment. After all, aren’t they the ones calculating the risks and impacts of certain driving behaviors. Better disclosure about driving behaviors, is a much better answer than silly reactionary laws.
Personally, I use Bit.ly because of the neato bookmarklet (it is also has a short name), but other shorteners offer different features like previewing, email cloaking, etc. You can check out over 90 different services here.
I have been curious to see how companies and news channels have been utilizing Twitter. I headed over to JetBlue’s page, and noticed that apparently their logo is “HJ!”. I like JetBlue and I can totally understand why those letters are followed by an exclamation point, but they should probably get that fixed.
Update: HJ=Happy Jetting. I also want to point out that JetBlue’s utilization of Twitter to link up with customers is probably one of the best I have seen after a few days of browsing around. So go check out their page if you are looking into something similar for your consumer base.