Archive for February, 2005

Google Maps Firefox Extension

February 27th, 2005, 11:01pm by Mike

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I thought it would be fun to try to write a Firefox extension for Google Maps, and it was. If you’re interested, there’s more information below.

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XC Skiing

February 26th, 2005, 9:55am by Mike

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As you can see below, Jake is in New England visiting his family. We got together with his dad on Thursday for a little cross-country skiing in Gloucester. It was my first time to go, but Jake and his dad are seasoned professionals. My biggest problem was that it’s really hard to turn on XC skis — straight ahead is fine, but turning, especially when going downhill, is a little different than on alpine skis.
Turns out that it’s good exercise, made better by our lack of a good map (and Jake’s lack of his on-order GPS watch). At one point, we lost sight of the blue dots on the trees marking the trails (when the trails are covered in snow, there isn’t any other good way to tell the “right” way from the “wrong” way) — took us about 20 minutes, but we finally figured out what happened and got back on our way.
And as you might predict, there were other adventures in the day — like me forgetting my cell phone at work, and Jake not knowing if I had caught the train up there. While waiting, I had some really nice conversations with some really nice homeless people at the Beverly train station — I also had to use this thing called a “pay phone.” That’s quaint New England for you. I’ll let Jake tell you what he was up to while I was hanging out there — it nearly (but not quite) warrants its own post. Also, you can see the rest of the pictures on Jake’s .Mac site.

Practical Engineering

February 23rd, 2005, 6:11pm by Jake

I’ve taken some time during my week off to do some applied engineering work. I picked up the rest of the construction team at South Station after the boys first train trip, and they were really excited about it. Here’s a picture of the team outside of the Children’s Museum in Boston.

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Mfop is back online!

February 22nd, 2005, 2:10pm by Kelvin


Just testing whether mfop is working again for posting cameraphone pictures. This is a scene from a StarBucks.

Pictures from the Hill

February 22nd, 2005, 12:06am by Kelvin

I tried to post this live, but mfop seems to be down. hopefully it’s not down for good.
Anyway, here was my text:
Just trying out night mode on my camera as I do a little sightseeing on Capitol Hill! This is the Supreme Court and the Capitol Building.
I also just walked by the Library of Congress and wondered if our theses are actually in there. They are supposed to maintain a hard copy, right?
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TiVo Badly Misrepresented

February 21st, 2005, 8:52pm by Jake

TiVo may not be perfect (which is why we like to hack it), but it’s damn good, and still compares well with the latest Windows-based Media Center PCs. So I think it’s a shame when an article like this is published with so many outright falsehoods about TiVo. Do these reporters even do research, or do they make stuff up? I couldn’t even bring myself to read the whole thing. The first lowlight, “TiVo requires a $99 software upgrade before it will stream photos or music.” The fee was disconinutued months ago. Another one is this lie, “DirecTV used to offer TiVo DVRs.” Well, DirecTV is going to stop offering TiVoes eventually, but they just rolled out a new model a few months ago. I still wish DirecTV would make HMO available for the S2 DirecTV TiVoes, as it seems like it will be getting a lot more fun soon with the Home Media Engine; sounds like some cool apps are coming out, like a way to browse Flickr on the TiVo. Everyone else seems to be ready to call TiVo “beleagured,” but you can count me in the still-a-fan category. Heck, if TiVo ever comes out with a digital broadcast dual-tuner box, I might cancel DirecTV, watch the free stuff and download PPV from TiVo.

Napster: Where’s the Love?

February 16th, 2005, 1:20am by Jake

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During the Super Bowl, Napster launched their Napster-to-Go service with a much derided commercial. The premise is pretty straightforward, for $15/month you can listen to Napster’s whole catalog on your computer or a compatible portable device. Considering Kelvin was paying $10/month for Rhapshody, it seems like a pretty good deal.

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Don’t Link to Orbitz!

February 14th, 2005, 3:36pm by Jake

I sent this in to Boing Boing, we’ll see what happens. If they don’t post it, I’m sure the 10+ readers of The Board will do their best to overwhelm Orbitz’s customer service.
An astute Slashdot reader noticed that Orbitz.com changed their terms of use to prohibit deep-linking and require that you ask permission before posting any link to the Orbitz.com homepage, as seen here. This seems like a pretty stupid policy, but I think the best way to fight back is by explicitly following their instructions to contact their customer service via email and ask for permission to link to them. Maybe they’ll rethink their policy if they get a few hundred thousand emails requesting permission to link to their site.

Ski blog

February 14th, 2005, 12:33am by Derrick

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I seem to have been catching some flak for not blogging important events in my life (like the purchase of a new X-box last weekend) so I attempted to drop in a post about our last-minute Utah ski trip this weekend. Unfortunately, I was thwarted in my attempts to post through WebPro on my Palm while I was out in Salt Lake City due to a strange gliche in which I found myself in a circular loop trying to log in to post an entry. I could log in ok, but when I clicked on ‘new entry’ it kicked me back out into the log-in page. Any ideas what’s going on?
In any case, back to our ski-trip, read-on if interested…

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Google Maps

February 8th, 2005, 11:01am by Mike

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In its never-ending quest for world domination, Google has announced a beta of Google Maps, which is basically a competitor of Mapquest and Yahoo Maps. I haven’t had much time to play with it, but it seems like there are features that are nice (like the ability to enter queries like “pizza near 02139”), but I’m not yet sold on it — it doesn’t seem to have that Google quality of “Man, that’s the RIGHT way to do maps.” Seems about like every other map site.
Also, lots of the features seem to be JavaScript-based — not the best for handheld devices. At least the maps are nice looking, though…


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