231 Erwin Road

My experiences as a Northern transplant down in Chapel Hill, NC, 2005. And now my experiences back up in NYC.

Monday, October 24, 2005

I'm watching you

So if you've been to my apartment, you know that photo above is my building. One odd thing about this picture though, I DIDN'T TAKE IT! A9 did, as a drive by shooting as part of this whole map the real world thing companies are doing.

I think it's awesome, check out photos down my block. Read more at Wired.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Rent movies from your computer

My printer has the measles

I'm at the EFF office where earlier in the week a few researchers at the EFF have broken the code of tiny dots printed by color laser printers on every document. These dots provide folks like the secret service the serial number of the printer along with the date and time the document was printed. The secret service may argue that this was to find counterfeiters printing money, but this has crazy ramifications. These dots exists on almost ALL color laser printers on the market, even some around the price range less than $400.

The EFF has decoded the pattern used by Cannon and Xerox and has showed that they are easily readable with a blue flash light and a magnifying glass. The dots are actually yellow and the blue provides high contrast. You can also view them with plain ol' white light under a microscope.

Ramifications? I don't know, maybe you are printing some anonymous pamphlets speaking out against some gov't, and now you're not so anonymous anymore. Or maybe your significant other is trying to keep tabs on you, and these secret codes that were supposed to be unbreakable (except by the gov't) can now be tracked by anybody.

Read more here on the Press Release or Technical Details.

Categories: tin foil hat
Tags: eff privacy

NYC City Subway map - Google Maps mashup

Live off of Google Maps? Live in NYC?

Check out this mashup. It could use some work, but great start.

Thanks Martin.


I'm in the beautiful bay area at the moment (between Palo Alto and San Fran.) sitting in the kitchen of my friend's apartment. The roofers working on the roof next door are listening to Howard Stern so I'm getting to hear free great radio, (I feel at home.) It's also the first english radio station I've heard out the window since I've been here.

You know how in the northeast we have icecream trucks that drive around the block ringing their bell calling on all the kids to come grab some icecream? Well, here in Redwood City they have a guy riding around on a bike blowing his bike horn every few seconds. He sells pork rinds in home-packed plastic bags. I'll have to grab some.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Amazon's famous customer base

Seem's like our prez has been using Amazon.com lately. Check out his product reviews.

Categories: Funny
Tags: Amazon, Reviews

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Funny NYC posting

I was walking into the Port Authority Subway and I found this sign below:


It's really funny because this sign was written on a wall where they are doing construction. I'm guessing that a thief stole somebody's tool bag or lunch box and this is the warning some construction worker put up to 'rumble' with the thief.

The attack of the 3lb Hamburger

I went to Denny's Beer Barrel Pub off of Route 80 in PA a few weeks back. This is not Denny's the diner, this is a burger joint that serves GIANT BURGERS (largest is 15 lbs!!!).

Kristine and I grabbed a 3lb burger to split between the two of us. This is me going in for the attack:

The knife needed to cut it:

A profile of the burger as we cut into it:

We obviouslly couldn't finish 3lbs of burger in one sitting. So we took it home. I made it my personal mission to finish that burger by week's end (a la Homer Simpson and his sub) "Two more feet, and I can fit it in the fridge."

Here is a fotocollage of me finishing 3lbs of burger over a week:





And if you're interested, this is the toliet at Denny's Beer Barrel, I'm sure it sees a lot of action:

For more photos, check out the flickr set.

Tags: Denny'sBeerBarrelPub 3lbBurger

New Teaching Methods

A few months back I was thinking about how some people (maybe myself included) pick a major in college because that's 'what they are good at.'

For instance, I was an engineering major because I was good at math and physics, and not so good at english and social studies.

So? What does that matter? At least I like math (some what) and I love physics problems. But I've met a number of people along the way that were in these programs because that's 'what they were good at' or their parents encouraged them too due to where they were excelling in high school.

I think that's completely wrong. You should do what you enjoy, what may take some time to grow into, it should be nurtured. Just because your good in math doesn't mean you'll make a good engineer, and just because you're bad in math doesn't mean you'll make a bad engineer. In the latter example, maybe you're math skills aren't so hot, but you problem solving abilities are very creative and can lead to new innovation.

Suggestion: Maybe schools (high school and/or college) could teach methods. Think about the ability to take classes in the following methods:
  • Problem Solving (engineer) (using your analytics)
  • Studying (doctors & such) (using your memory)
  • Writing/Arts (writers, photographers, artists, actors, ...) (using your creative nature)
  • ... and some others, I welcome feed back.
So rather then everybody taking the same math class, there are different spins on the class depending on your 'method' of thinking/learning. A math class for a problem solver will be very different then a math class for an artist.

I was thinking about it this way because fundamentally, I'm a problem solver, not a math person. Math comes naturally to me for my ability to solve problems and think analytically, not the other way around.

Any thoughts?

tags: education learning teaching schooling
Categories: ideas

Friday, October 07, 2005

How not to send email

One of my HR managers sends out reminder notes for EVERYTHING, even reocurring weekly reminders. We have something due at the end of the month, so she sends out an email EVERY DAY with a count down of how many days we have left. (And she doesn't give a nice little 'Opt-Out' notice.)

I just put a filter on my Inbox to move all emails from her email address out of my Inbox. Now if she emails me something legitimate, I won't get it. However, it's incredibly inefficient for me to have to filter through her messages every morning.

Oh well, nmp (not my problem.)

Categories: rant

The right way to do a presentation.

If you're a geek, you know the Web 2.0 (I drool at the thought of being there) conference is going on right now in San Fran. A friend sent me a most excellent link on a different presentation style.

It is an Identity2.0 presentation. The content is interesting, but the way the presenter walks though the slides is great, I hope to see more presentations like this:

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mappr! Where It's At.

Search your flickr photos by geography (if you tagged them with a city name.)

Mappr! Where It's At.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Die You Comment Spamming Bastards

So I had to turn on "Word Verification" today, or as the geeks like to say: "CAPTCHA."

I really didn't want to turn it on, I think it's such a hassle to have to go though the process of typing the word you see on the screen. It's just annoying. But I'm now getting 10+ comment spams a day.

I wish I could have my 'social network' filter out my friends so they don't need to go through word verificaiton, only people I didn't know.

Here's an old post I had on why I think email Spam will go away.

Lovely, Wonderful, spam.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

who needs more then 4 min?