cycles of improvements

A good friend of mine shared something with me that was really cool.  Surely, you’ve heard to TED Talks. In case you didn’t here’s a brief description:

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

And that’s taken right from their website.

I honestly don’t watch enough of them.  Some of videos I seen are “knock-yer-socks-off” type of good.  Most everything I’ve seen so far has been really inspiration.

So, my friend shared with me, TED Curator Chris Anderson on Crowd Accelerated Innovation, which was featured in Wired. I’ll embed the accompanying video here. I think both the article and the video have profound impact. Anderson’s video focuses on videos, but I feel the same sentiment can be applied towards Twitter and Facebook, and other social media outlets.

What I find interesting, is the concept of people who have passion and are self-taught, can raise the bar on those classically trained.

Innovation is hard work; it based on 100’s of hours of research, practice… abscense of desire… it’s not going to happen…

– Chris Anderson

Continue reading

Hello my dear friend! I’m a pure student…

This cracks me up.  I have been getting a ton of spam comments from the .ru TLD, and it always begins with either:

Hello my dear friend! I’m a pure student…

Or

Interesting CMS. What software do you use?

Or some variant of the above.  C’mon, guys, if you are going to try and trick me, you got to do better than that. At this point, I am almost insulted at this feeble attempt.  But that’s not really what I wanted to write about.

Tonight I’m sort of reflective. So much as happened since I last posted. Certainly some of it is good, some of it is exciting, and some of it has certainly been a challenge.  I spent the last 30 minutes trying to find a Youtube vid that represents my mood, but unfortunately, I think the risk of misunderstanding is too high, so therefore, I refrain.

I usually post about technology or funny things, but so much has been queuing up, it’s hard for me to decide where to begin.

  • I am still madly in love with my T-Mobile G1, the Google/Android based phone.  I saw that Google had an Éclair delivered to their office: Each release of the Android OS has been named after pastries: Cupcake, Donut… Éclair is rumored to be Android 2.0…
  • I actually had my first Corny Keg experience with my homebrew in anticipation of our neighborhood Oktoberfest.  Pics and vids to follow, (it’s this weekend).
  • I’ve been rehabbing a rental house in my spare (but limited) time.
  • I’ve been learning Python, (but had to use Perl in a recent pinch).
  • More and more people are asking me for help with Trixbox and Cisco SIP phones.
  • I’ve been to HP HQ in Houston, TX for an executive briefing; I was blown away and met some really cool people.
  • I am meeting with Cisco regarding their UCS offering.
  • I’ve been meeting with Microsoft (and attend the ‘Technical Decision Makers Launch’ of Window 7, Server 2008, and Exchange 2008.
  • I am planning on attending the VMWare Users group event in Atlanta on November 5th, 2009.  Maybe I’ll see ya, there?
  • I’ve been enjoying Google Wave! (Sorry, I haven’t been able to send out invites, yet… so don’t ask!)
  • I have a new WinCE based GPS that I am hacking, (oh yeah, I forgot about this, but it’s a big ‘un!).

So I’ve been busy, but it’s been good. Any of the above items could be a separate blog post.

I’ve been really impressed with Google Wave.  It ain’t perfect yet, but I see the potential of it.  I might even go as far to say that it could be Email 2.0 but I probably need to elaborate on that.  Along the same note, I wonder if Twitter is the new USENET.  <- If you don’t get that, don’t worry about it. But if you want my highly entertaining, hand waving monologue on this, let’s meet for a beer!

Samsung BD-P1590 is a big stinkeroni

apologies

Look, I feel really bad about this.  I usually don’t complain about product on my blog, but this has really gotten me worked up. I’ll also provide a quick review.

the good

Our old, progressive scan DVD player gave up the ghost a couple of months ago.  I have been lobbying for a Sony PS3 but haven’t been able to get “executive approval” for the purchase, so when Costco had a deal on the Samsung BD-P1590, we got the green light to pick it up.  At first glance, it has some nice features:

  • Pandora support
  • Youtube
  • Blockbuster
  • Netflix
Don't buy it.

Don't buy it.

My Dad has the Samsung 2550 and it was pretty cool.  We liked the Pandora and Netflix integration so at this price, it looked pretty good.

the bad

We bought the unit, brought it home, and I began hooking it up.  First off, it doesn’t have COAX out.  It’s either standard RCA jacks or TOSlink out.  I had to rewire the Xbox.

But once I got it hooked up, the first thing it wanted to do was upgrade the firmware.  A guy we talked to at Costco said he upgraded the day before and he said it was good.  Once it rebooted, I popped in my Pink Floyd concert DVD and it looked great, (I don’t have any Blu-ray, yet).

pink_floyd_pulse

Then we signed up for Pandora and Netflix.  Pandora sounded great!  It was tickling my subwoofer and sounded really good.  Then we ate dinner and I heard the unit beep and it powered off.  I guess it shuts down if it is idle.

Then, when you hit the power button, the display says “LOAD” and that’s it. I can open and close the tray but nothing else.  I tried the various ways I’ve found to “reset” the unit, and none of them worked.

I found an “offical” forum over at CNET:

Samsung 2009 Blu-ray Player Firmware Update Available Now

by blu-ray chic Samsung staff – 9/3/09 10:06 AM

All, 
Firmware has been posted today for 09 models. (other models to follow, please be patient).
I’m in the process of updating my players and will share the results when I’m through. However, please feel free to use this thread to report any issues with your upgrades, findings, thoughts, etc…
When you post your info, please be sure to let us know how you upgraded (USB, CD, Network) and any pertinent details. 

IMPORTANT: Please note the launch of our new website. The download center is currently not showing f/w details such as what’s been corrected or worse, what file type is which. 
If you have a network connection, this is the easiest way to update. Simply turn the power on and wait a moment before you receive a notification for the new firmware. 
If you choose to use CD or USB updates, the first one listed is the USB update. The second which ends in ISO is the disc update. These updates need to be installed only once, not twice like the first update. However, if you’ve never updated your player, you may need to install the update twice. Again, please share your findings with us all. Thanks for your participation! 

What should these upgrades address?

A/V sync issues
Title compatibility 
NTP should be defaulted to on after reset or power failure
Error msg “your Netflix Keys have been hacked”
And finally – to provide Blockbuster and YouTube support.. (crossing fingers that I haven’t spoken too soon)

As soon as I get the final details I’ll let ya’ll know.

Best of luck to you all! ;)

And according to the thread, I am not the only one with a bricked unit.  Again, I am one not to bitch, but this was OUT OF THE box and we got to enjoy for less than 15 minutes.  Seriously, I will spend more time in the car taking it back then the amount of time we got to use it.

the rub

And here’s the rub.  If I was to exchange it at Costco, ANY replacement Samsung BD-P1590 I get is probably subject to the same fate.  I did nothing special or weird to my unit.

If you were me, what would you do?

more real estate spam

I’ve posted before about my frustration with Real Estate spam, (I have since marked my license ‘inactive’ since I can’t  dedicate time and money to it), I have been fighting a personal battle with “Listing Eflyer” or some combination of the above.  Essentially, I am blocking on my mail server, several versions of this:

/listingseflyer/ REJECT  Spam not tolerated [100]
/listingeflyers/ REJECT  Spam Not tolerated [101]
/listingsmove/ REJECT  Spam Not tolerated [102]
/listingeflyer/ REJECT  Spam Not tolerated [103]
/listing eflyer/ REJECT  Spam Not tolerated [104]
/^Subject .*listing eflyer/ REJECT  Spam Not tolerated [105]

These guys totally sucks.  They prey on R.E. agents trying to drum up business, but in reality, these agents are paying for the privilege for ending up in someone’s spam folder.

I hate this person.

Notice the amount of Spam this guy generates.

crap

He sucks, and my heart goes out to the hungry agents out there that he’s preying on.  If you are a Real Estate professional, check out my other posts on responsible email marketing.  Don’t let this chump take your money so you end up in someone’s spam folder.

twitter: signal to noise

laying it out

I feel like I am sort of going out on a limb here since I really don’t want to cheese anyone off.  First, I am very thankful for all my Twitter followers.    Secondly, for the most part, they provide me with some great stuff.

But…

I have noticed a substantial increase of  self proclaimed “Internet Marketeers” who are all following +20k people and have +20k followers.  There’s a couple of problems with this.  First, I haven’t heard of them. Second, there is ALWAYS some vague reference to “financial freedom” that makes me think that they’re either recent graduates of a Internet marketing seminar or they are some other bandwagon jumper.  Third, their icon or avatar is just a little creepy.
Don’t get me wrong, I think they are probably really nice people, who really believe they are helping people, but for the most part, they seem to really only re-tweet what others are saying.

And therein in lies the delimma.

One of the things I really enjoy about Twitter is the original thought.  If I look through my stream, I see more re-tweets than I do see original tweets.  I guess there isn’t really anything wrong with it, but that’s just something I’d rather not see.  I don’t want to hear about “Twitter marketing secrets” but I would rather hear about something funny your four-year-old did. 

me <=> you

I want to relate to you.  I want to get to know you for who you are.  I want to make you smile.

And that’s it.  Well, okay.  I would like you to help me find a new job the next time I need one.  😉

behind a mountain

Man, have I been busy.   I’ve been doing so many things; some of which are blog-worthy… others not so much, but either way, I’ve been neglecting my blogging habits.

Surprises

I’ve actually been surprised by how many people have noticed I have not been updating my blog.  I didn’t realize how many people I know actually read what I’m up to.  I’ve had people ask about things I’ve posted on Twitter about and they want to know the outcome.  It’s flattering, for sure, and it is very encouraging.
Resolutions

So with the New Year, I need to be more mindful of what’s around me and more importantly, who’s around me.  In this economy, the best thing I can do for someone is to help.  I’ve set my self up as a “LION” and have helped introduce others to my network so I can help people and if I never need to reach out, I will have a support network that could also help me.

I also need to call a friend who works in a “white house” who will be out of a job in January just so I can say I’ve called this “white house.” wink wink

So, one of my New Year’s resolutions, (and I am sure I am not alone) will be more forthcoming with new blog posts.

Technology and Media

If you’ve known me for any amount of time, you know I am always looking for ways to bring the Internet out of the computer room and into my living space.  I’ve been working on many personal projects to do this and have enjoyed helping others experience better living through technology.  Yes, I know it sounds cliche, but I don’t know of a better way to put it.

Paging Dr. Roy… Dr. Rob Roy…

So, in turing over this new leaf, I’m off to upgrade my WordPress installation.  Following that… please expect more posts, more often.  Hopefully you’ll find something you like and which will help me think of new things to do.

lord of the dance

Surely you’ve heard of the Stone Roses.  They had that hit song in the 90’s, “Fool’s Gold.”  Yeah, it was a great song and was over 10 minutes.  Ian Brown was the singer you heard.  He’s great.  He’s been busy since the Stone Roses.  He’s got this song that I can’t get the lines out of my head…

Is it the questions or the answers that’ll lead you to the Lord of the dance?
I admire your style
Love your smile
Cross the street
Is it your destiny or circumstance that leads you to the Lord of the dance?

I’ve been thinking about who, or what is The Lord of the Dance.   And more importantly what is it that exactly leads me there.

Life is funny

Life is funny, because nothing can be as it appears and what happens tomorrow can be something you just don’t expect to happen.  I’ve had great pain in my life and sometime it would have been easy for me just to give up and take the easy way.  Other times, the situation was just something I had to deal with.  It wasn’t something that was going away or change quickly.  I had to learn to take it one day at a time.  You know, I’ve always heard people say that, but now I know what they meant and how to do it.  It saved my life.

But there have also been great and wonderful surprises.  I have meant so many wonderful, cool, interesting people on the social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn and one Web2.0 services like Twitter.   I’ve mentioned before how I felt it was best to keep a low profile on the Internet and poo-poo’ed any idea of pulling back the Kimono, so to speak.  But I made the mental leap, and I am so thankful for my online network of friends. Many of these people I have met in person, but many I have not.  I am looking forward to making new friends and contacts and being open with all of them.

Questions and Answers

I used to play a lot of “What if…?” games with myself.  Like the Buddhist teachings, this only added to my misery.

The Four Noble Truths present a formulation of the Buddha´s understanding of the nature of dukkha, or “suffering[13] , the fundamental cause of all suffering, the escape from suffering, and what effort a person can go to so that they themselves can “attain happiness.”[14]. Roughly put, and on a very basic level of understanding, they state that, firstly, life as we know it ultimately is or leads to “suffering” in one way or the other. That, secondly, the cause of this “suffering” is attachment to, or craving for worldly pleasures of all kinds and clinging to this very existence, our “self” and the things or people we – due to our delusions – deem the cause of our respective happiness or unhappiness. That, thirdly, the “suffering” ends when the craving ends, one is freed from all desires by eliminating the delusions, reaches “Enlightenment”; and that, fourthly, the way to reach that liberated state is by following the path the Buddha has laid out.

I hope I didn’t loose you with that quote.  My point is that instead of sitting around and lamenting why things are they way they are, I could be doing something for myself.  My “enlightenment” happens to be when I play with technology and when I can do something for someone else, be it my work, a friend, a relative, a family member, or a stranger (don’t get me wrong, I got prejudices around strangers, too).  With my new found respect for taking things “one day at a time” if I can do just something every day to better myself or learn something I’ve always wanted to learn, I am making progress.

Destiny or Circumstance

Remember that climber that got trapped and had to hack off his arm to survive? That was a remarkable story.  You can read it, but I heard that guy interviewed.  He didn’t give up, give the terrible circumstances he was in, he made his own destiny; he didn’t give up.  He kept a level head, thought things through, and made some tough choices.  During this time, Outside magazine published an article on people who were “lucky.”  More or less, it said people tend to make their own luck and was back with some studies.  For example, they put a $5 bill on the ground and people just walked by it, no one saw it.  Then, a guy who said he was lucky, walked by and saw the money on the ground.  They suggested that “lucky” people are actually paying more attention to their surroundings than those who were “unlucky,” whether they realize it or not.  I’d like to think that’s how I am, or that’s how I’d like to be.

So, who is the Lord of the Dance?

I think we are our own, “Lord of the Dance.” That is to say, there is a little Lord of the Dance inside of us.  Certainly, there are things we do, choices we make who help define who we are and where we are going.  And sometimes is it really hard… super hard to see the end of the tunnel or to have faith that there is an end to the tunnel, but there is.   And while I still don’t know if it’s the questions and answers or destiny or circumstance that will get me there, (honestly I think it’s both), I’ll know the real Lord of the Dance better;

I am my own Lord of the Dance.

olympics

I really intended to post my review about my new TomTom tonight, but I’ve been overwhelmed by the olympic’s opening ceremony.  I’ll have to do it another night.

I really enjoyed reading all the Tweets tonight about the open ceremony.  Everyone is so impressed and it was cool reading them in real time, (more or less).  We’re lucky to be watching it in HD and on a 47″ tv.  I am however frustrated by the amount of commercials.  I did see, that someone already posted a torrent of the entire ceremony in HD.  I might need to grab that.

I like how they are calling the U.S. basketball team, “The Redeam Team.”  Chumps.  I read that in Europe, basketball has become huge.  Instead of European basketball players being focused on hot-dogging and endorsements, they are focues on the fundementals, technique, and skill.  We’ll see who wins.  I’m no expert, but I predict the U.S. will get spanked by the Europeans in basketball.

biking to work

Okay, I couldn’t really come up with a fancy or catchy title for this post. But this is great.  It’s actually a dream come true.  It turns out it is really easy for me to bike into my office.  This is an added bonus and I’m so happy about this.

Where we live, we live very near the Silver Comet Trail.  In fact, from my garage to the local access point to the trail is 2.5 miles.  Now, the Silver Comet Trail is cool in its own right, but what’s really cool is that the city of Smyrna, GA has build the “Cumberland Connector.”  Sadly, or suprisingly, there is hardly any info available online about the Cumberland Connector and where it goes.

So, door to door from home to office is going to be just around 10 +/- miles.  That’s totally doable.  So far, I’ve been parking at a grocery store / shopping center which makes my commute about 6.5 miles and I have the option of finishing my morning ride on part of a trail that goes into the Chattahoochie National Forest.  It’s really great.

I have a good friend who has a bike shop right near the trail head of the Silver Comet Trail.

I bought a new set of cycling bibs, (which I highly recommend) and a new bike computer.  So right now, my ride is around 6 miles (as I said) and it takes about 30 minutes to ride in.  And I typically burn 480 – 640 calories, (remember, I’m a big fan of hear rate moniters, HRM’s).

As I mentioned, it’s been hard to find any good resources online, but I did find a nice PDF that explains the new and proposed trails in the area.  I’ll include it here in case it helps you.

trails-in-cobb-cumberland-galleria-area-2007

savvy shopper part II when trying to find a job

Back in February, I posted about “being a savvy shopper” when it comes to finding a job. I posted a list of domain names that are sending out boiler plate emails with enticing job offers. I have to admit I got a kick out of that list and I began to keep a running list of domains with the intention of updating the list over time. Then in the beginning of March, I updated the list to 17 entries.

I am happy to report… what, no not happy, perhaps amused that the list has grown even larger. And I began to keep track of the subjects of these emails. What made me think about this was I saw a Tweet from someone yesterday:

Seriously. How many times do I have to tell you? DO NOT MAKE ME LOG INTO YOUR STUPID SITE TO STOP RECEIVING YOUR STUPID EMAILS!

I can relate to their frustration. If I didn’t ask for your emails, *I* shouldn’t have to do the extra work to unsub myself from them. You deserve to be “Marked As Spam” in my opinion. Banished to the Spam Folder, never to be seen again. As always, I am worried that if you “click here to remove yourself” of “login to change your email preferences” really does nothing more than to confirm that your email address is valid and someone is reading it.

I could go on and on but would rather out the people trying to scam your email address with bogus job offers.

The domains:

acareerwithjobsourcegroup.com
career800openings.com
careersatjobsourcenow.com
careerupgradeservice.com
careerswithusajobsite.com
connectionjobsource.com
employmentswift.com
fast-openingcareers.com
fast-tracked-careers.com
findjobfastnow.com
findyourcareerusacareers.com
findyoursolutionsathiringchannel.com
findajobatusajobsite.com
firstjobservice.com
head-start-jobs.com
ideacareer-service.com
ideaemployment.com
jobfast-now.com
job-fast-now.com
jobsatusasite.com
jobsicareersource.com
jobsourcesitenow.com
jobconnection-source.com
nationalhiring-solutions.com
opendoor-careers.com
quick-jobnow.com
searchathiringonline.com
searchfastjobs.com
strategic-job-source.com
thebesthiringsolutions.com
us-careersite.us.com

The enticing subjects:

A new Engineer opportunity with Triad Manufacturing
A new IT & Sciences Staff Evaluator opportunity is available
A new Network Administration Lead opportunity is available
A prominent company is currently hiring a Software Architect
A Telephony/Infrastructure Consultant job with IBM is available
Bausch & Lomb is looking to hire a Senior Programmer
Interested in being a Computer Science Staff Liaison?
Interested in a Senior Programmer job with Bausch & Lomb?
There is a Lead Software Developer position you might qualify for!
Wachovia is looking to hire a Technical Implementer
Work as a Manager of Events
Work as an IT & Sciences HR Coordinator

I only wish I collected the Subjects from the get go. If you happen to find this post because you are googling the domains, I hope this helps you and you don’t give away your contact information.