Archive for October, 2007

Could Britney Spears Move to Manhattan Beach?

October 31st, 2007, 11:16am by Jake

That was the rumor floating around earlier this week, although the latest intelligence indicates she’s more likely to opt for a house in Hermosa Beach for less than $9 million. What crazy times! Although Manhattan Beach has many notable residents, there’s not quite anyone in the area who can match Britney for sheer celebrity.

Smartphone Round Robin

October 30th, 2007, 7:07pm by Kelvin

This seems like a cool experiment to keep track of: Smartphone Experts, who runs TreoCentral and a number of sites dedicated to competing smartphone platforms (WM, Blackberry, and iPhone), is forcing their editors to swap devices to see how the other quarter lives. The preliminary reports are already trickling in.

Free push email comes to the Treo

October 28th, 2007, 2:03pm by Jake

Here’s an interview with a developer from SEVEN discussing the new, free email application available for Treo users from Sprint, and from SEVEN for folks in their open Beta program. It seems to work well as a push email client, delivering my messages in a minute or less typically. I’ve lodged some of my complaints on Treo Central, but I think the positives out-weigh the negatives. A short review is that the core functionality is exceptional, while there is a lot of polish work still required.

Darth Kitty

October 26th, 2007, 3:57pm by Jake


Using the Force

Awesome.

Game 1 – It’s On!

October 24th, 2007, 7:11pm by Mike


I had a meeting all day in Kenmore Square, a block from Fenway Park, so at the end of the meeting (well, near the end of the meeting, I actually bailed out a few minutes early), I took a walk through Kenmore Square to check out the scene outside of Fenway. It was still about 4 hours before game time, but the place was gearing up. The bars were filing up, the Sausage King was already grilling (as was the Sausage Guy), and the souvenir stores were full of Sox fans. I took some other pictures, too — like this one of a guy unloading an ice sculpture for one of the skyboxes (I’m guessing). Also took one of the 2007 ALCS banner — hopefully that one will be up there for about a week, until the Sox win the Series and it’s replaced by the World Champion banner — just like in 2004. (Speaking of which — you can see the corresponding photo set, from just before Game 2 in 2004, here).

Leopard On The Way

October 23rd, 2007, 3:15pm by Mike

Not sure what you guys think about Leopard, the long-awaited (and long-overdue) update to Mac OS X (I guess by “you guys,” I mean Jake, mainly). If you haven’t already, check out the guided tour video and see the new features. I follwed the advice of The Apple Blog and downloaded the “large” version, synced to my AppleTV, then reclined on the couch and watched.
There are plenty of run-downs of the features of the new OS, most of which boil down to eye candy (or is it “iCandy”? Get it? Like iPod?!? Cut me a little slack.). But there are a couple of features that look pretty nice. Personally, I think Quick Look looks like the feature I’d use most, particularly being able to flip through PowerPoint presentations without having to open them. It’s also nice that the Finder is getting an update — finally, you can use Boolean search in Spotlight, and the sidebar looks like it might actually be useful. iChat looks great, with the ability to share the screen, share documents, and have multi-user video chats.
The downside to all this — you’ll probably need a workhorse of a computer to make much of this work smoothly. With the published system requirements, my 5 year-old Powerbook is actually the minimum configuration that will run Leopard. However, for some apps (especially iChat), not even my 2 year-old (work) Powerbook will be able to do more than the lowest level of 1-on-1 video chatting, and won’t be able to do any of the app sharing I mentioned above.

Shady Comcast Network Practices

October 23rd, 2007, 7:21am by Mike


I’m no Comcast fan. We greatly reduced our cable service recently because I hated sending them so much money. However, other than price, I’ve never really had much bad to say about their internet service. It may not be as fast a FIOS, but unlike Verizon’s fiber service, they allow me to have a server running on port 80, and generally the connection is decently fast.
A couple days ago, Jake pointed me to this article on Ars Technica, saying that Comcast has started using a rather nefarious method to try to prevent high bandwidth-using traffic (like BitTorrent and other apps) from operating correctly on their network. The AP (as in Associated Press) has also published on this topic in the Washington Post, and has performed tests showing interference when downloading the non-copyrighted King James Bible. The AP’s work has been corroborated independently by the EFF. From my limited understanding of this sort of thing, it sounds like Comcast is injecting reset packets into communications based on the protocol being used, and these reset packets cause each end of the communication to think that the other end doesn’t want to communicate anymore, so the connection is dropped, ending file transfer.
What apps are affected? Sounds like BitTorrent is probably the major target, as well as straight P2P apps like Gnutella. But there have been reports that Lotus Notes is affected as well. Lotus Notes?!?
If this is all true, it’s pretty underhanded, but it doesn’t sound like it’s clear (at least to me) that what they’re doing is illegal, though it seems to be something that Comcast should disclose if they’re really doing it. I haven’t noticed any differences in my network performance. Yet.

Boston you’re my home!

October 22nd, 2007, 12:05am by Jake


Boston!

We’re going to the World Series!

“40”

October 19th, 2007, 2:24pm by Jake


"40"

Best with accompanying music.
As part of my increasingly pointless marathong training, I’ve been working out on the local sand dune lately. This dune is actually not on the beach; instead, it is a remnant of the slightly inland sand dune that used to dominate much of Manhattan Beach until it was carted off to Waikiki beach in Hawaii. What’s left now is this 100′ high monster jest south of Rosecrans and just east of Highland. People work out there nearly contsantly, sometimes there are hundreds on the weekend. I’ve been working out on the dune regularly for about 5 years, but usually “only” went up 12 times and rarely as many as 16.For Catalina Marathon training this year, I decided it was the best place to get in the proper amount of climbing, about 4000′ feet up & down. The most I ever did was 36 as I had to cancel my last workout there.

Well, today I did the 40 reps. I climbed up and down for about 2 hours and 13 minutes, totalling over 4000 feet in elevation gain & loss. It’s a hard workout, but after that I feel that I’m more than ready for the fairly flat Santa Clarita Marathon (or half marathon if it’s gonna be 80 again!) in 2 weeks.

Sansa Connect Review

October 15th, 2007, 6:58pm by Kelvin

I feel obligated to provide a review of the Sansa Connect, after Sandisk generously donated 200 of them as swag for the recent Engadget Readers Meetup in SF. The feature list: 4 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card, with a nice big screen for view ing photos, and supports PlaysForSure, which means it mounts in a variety of PFS jukebox packages, like Windows Media Player, Yahoo Music Jukebox, Napster, etc (anything except Zune and iTunes). The distinguishing features are WiFi and tight Yahoo Music integration, which enables wireless streaming of Launchast internet radio stations and OTA downloads of YahooToGo subscription tracks. There are some aspects of Flickr and Yahoo Messenger integrated as well, but nothing especially compelling (you might have noticed my music listening habits being reported on Y!M lately).

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