Monday, September 22, 2008

Cell phone desperation

Well, I have reached a crash point now in my tech reality-- my cell phone has well and truly died. It is an old treo 700p which I much much loved and ( apparently) used to death. It has, of course decided to die while I am traveling and at a conference. But that is beside the point. I need to figure out a replacement and Fast. Prefer something I can call and order tonight and get it delivered to the house ASAP. My current carrier is Sprint, but I am not locked into them. My contract is expired, so I have the option of switching carriers if there is a better deal out there.
Here is what we need:

Phone on a network with a fast data connection.
Decent sized screen display for google map usage, web browsing, etc
ability to add an application to ssh
good calendar system and able to synchronize with google calendars through some add on
I type on this a lot, so a good keypad for input ( not a number pad mapping and NOT an onscreen simulated keypad, real keys please)
ability to expand storage via SD or mini SD card

carrier need to have a plan where I can put two or more ( by christmas it may be 6) phones on a single plan to share minutes. The first two phones need unlimited text and unlimited data.

suggestions? recommendations? please respond here as my phone is dead and twitter is unreliable. I am hoping to order something tonight.

Strange, mind numbing cell phone withdraw symptoms already setting in..... waiting for the twitching to start...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Massage Bar Soap

My hotel has small, palm of your hand massage bar soaps for the shower. For those of you not familiar with the object under consideration, massage bar soap is regular soap molded with small "massage" nubbles on one side. While small bumps on your soap does not really qualify as a real massage, it does have a soothing effect on small muscle knots and tension tightness lurking beneath your skin. Therein lies the biggest problem. It feels just good enough that you will easily find yourself running the soap back and forth across tight, tense curves and dips much more than you would have with an ordinary bar of soap, leading to a much faster consumption of soap than you may have planned for in your toiletry budget.
There is also the issue of exfoliation. The natural exfoliation that occurs by simple rubbing the terry roughness of a washcloth across your naked skin is one of the best things that can happen to you. Roughing away the surface dead skin cells leads to brighter, lighter more glowing skin (don't rub too hard-- red skin is NOT glowing). Mechanical action is also one of the major contributors to the removal of bacteria and other "ick" from your environment. Rubbing a bar of soap directly on your body gets every more foamy and slick, but does NOT provide that fresh scrubbed glow.
In my opinion, this is a product that combines two great products and comes out with something that is not quite as good as the originals on every point. Stick with your favorite soap, a great washcloth and maybe a waterproof massager, if the in shower massage is important to you. I think when I get home, I will resort back to the ministrating fingers of my man and leave the massage toys alone.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Truth in advertising

I am sitting here in a Hotel in Orlando typing this.
Yep, some of you have traveled before-I can hear the empathetic breathe draws and see the shaking heads as you remember trips when your hotel connectivity sucked. Even better, I am plugged into the wire on the desk, I am not even using their wireless access.
There is no doubt that the task of designing and scaling shared hotel access is challenging- but there should be some truth in advertising. In this day and age, how can anyone call this "High Speed Internet Access" and get away with it? I left Comcast for better performance than this.
Just as food must follow certain guidelines in order to call itself "low fat",internet connectivity should have a certain throughput at peak usage in able to be able to be labeled "high speed". I am beginning to think there needs to be a "geek's guide to hotels" published and maintained.
What do you define as "high speed" when it comes to connectivity?? What scale would you rate hotels on given the chance?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

News from the LHC

In case you have only been following the news of the imminent collapse of the world, and not actually looking at the data that is flowing, you are missing one of the most interesting scientific experiments that will be conducted in our lifetime. Although the LHC is a single large installation, it has several major experiments and detector sets, each watching, recording and probing in different ways. You should check out some of these sites:

  • Images from first data collected by CMS. Watch the official CMS site, it is rumored that they are thinking of doing some live web casts of data collection in the future...

  • The official ALICE site is also posting images of the first beam passes.

  • The LHCb, which is trying to figure out why there is so little antimatter in the universe, has a website and has links there to some of their first images.

  • The ATLAS team made a flash movie of their first detections, and is sharing news and information on their main site.

  • Although the TOTEM group is not yet sharing data, watch their website for future updates and information.

  • With a set of computers that spans the globe, and public access so prominent, it should be no surprise that hackers have already cracked their way in to the LHC. While I understand the draw of the challenge presented by the LHC computer network, I hope that the hackers of the world show some restraint and do not cause a complete lock down of systems that would end this type of open data sharing.

    Thursday, September 4, 2008

    The perfect September Sandwich

    School may be back in session, but the recent soaring temperatures have been reminding us that the calendar says it is still summer. If you want a reminder of your carefree summer days, try this perfect September Sandwich for lunch or dinner.

    Start with a light flavored but full bodied bread. You will most likely want something with a thin or a soft crust. You could try anything from a lightly toasted English muffin ( for a small snack) to a slice of Tuscan loaf, a slice of fresh sourdough or even a sweet Italian.

    Thinly slice a fresh red tomato and layer on the bread. Cover the tomato with fresh basil leaves, then layer that with thinly sliced fresh yellow tomato. Top off the sandwich with fresh mozzarella medallions, then very very very lightly drizzly with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. I like lots of freshly ground pepper and a light dusting of sea salt, but handle this as your tastes desire.

    Be sure to grab a hand towel, this one can get messy to eat, but the taste is divine.

    While you are enjoying your meal, have a quick visit with my new friend and remember.. Spore is coming. If you will be downloading and playing this game on Sunday, leave me a comment.