Saturday, January 31, 2009

Offline Gmail

Official Gmail Blog: "Web-based email is great because you can check it from any computer, but there's one little catch: it's inherently limited by your internet connection. From public WiFi to smartphones equipped with 3G, from mobile broadband cards to fledgling in-flight wireless on airplanes, Internet access is becoming more and more ubiquitous -- but there are still times when you can't access your webmail because of an unreliable or unavailable connection.

Today we're starting to roll out an experimental feature in Gmail Labs that should help fill in those gaps: offline Gmail. So even if you're offline, you can open your web browser, go to, and get to your mail just like you're used to."


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

GrandCentral Dreams

I've been using GrandCentral for a while now, hoping that Google would make it awesome. 

Now that there's word that Google will release GrandCentral 2.0 a friend comments that they should implement SMS messages to work with your GrandCentral number.

I heartily agree. 

If I know Google (and this will prove if I do or not) they will do this and more. I've been dreaming of this for many moons: 

Gmail Contacts will be integrated with Gmail, Gmail Chat and Grand Central. Gmail already has SMS capability and I dream that it will all come together to truly become the last phone number I'll ever need. 

Gmail Si! Microsoft No!

Here's a great example of why I'm down on Microsoft, ripped from today's headlines:

Gmail improves features for no charge and in a timely fashion. And Microsoft:

Interestingly, buried in today's news was the announcement that, Hotmail is finally adding POP3 support - eleven years after Microsoft acquired the service! We've previously covered how it's possible to jailbreak Hotmail data and transfer messages out of the ageing app.

If anything illustrates why data portability is important in web-based services (and for web workers), it's this reality; Microsoft passed an eleven year sentence of imprisonment on its users' personal data and is now paying the price with a 5% decline in its user numbers.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Not Peanuts

My Way News - Kellogg's recalls more peanut butter products
The recall includes Austin and Keebler branded Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, as well as some snack-size packs of Famous Amos Peanut Butter Cookies and Keebler Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies.

Friday, January 16, 2009

How big is love? - Tom Hanks Says Mormon Supporters of Proposition 8 'Un-American' - Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News | Arts And Entertainment
Tom Hanks, Executive Producer for HBO’s controversial polygamist series “Big Love,” made his feelings toward the Mormon Church’s involvement in California's Prop 8 (which prohibits gay marriage) very clear at the show’s premiere party on Wednesday night.

“The truth is this takes place in Utah, the truth is these people are some bizarre offshoot of the Mormon Church, and the truth is a lot of Mormons gave a lot of money to the church to make Prop-8 happen,” he told Tarts. “There are a lot of people who feel that is un-American, and I am one of them. I do not like to see any discrimination codified on any piece of paper, any of the 50 states in America, but here's what happens now. A little bit of light can be shed, and people can see who's responsible, and that can motivate the next go around of our self correcting Constitution, and hopefully we can move forward instead of backwards. So let's have faith in not only the American, but Californian, constitutional process.”

Hmm. Is Tom Hanks saying we shouldn't have laws against polygamy? No "discrimination codified on any piece of paper" would allow quite a bit of "Big Love". It seems to me that laws against polygamy, prostitution and statutory rape are "discrimination codified" on quite a few pieces of paper. I'm going to choose to believe that's not what Tom Hanks meant.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Guerrilla marketers use mobile billboards for surprise ad attacks
Though Catalfumo works primarily in New York City, one recent evening he was in Philadelphia doing "guerrilla marketing" for the Franklin Institute, a science museum and memorial to US founding father Benjamin Franklin.

Standing on a corner near some local bars, Catalfumo and an assistant projected images of a blackbird and a bicycle in a tree onto the wall of a nearby building.

"Curious?" the ad asked from the side of the building, enticing viewers to the institute's website.

"It's a new way to approach people," Catalfumo told AFP. "It's better than doing a million dollar ad clip at the Superbowl where if it isn't ridiculous, you won't remember it. This is an interaction that will last."

As the night went on, the duo was approached by passersby eager for information about the website and the projected images.

"Some people hung out for a half hour to talk with other people coming up to see it," Catalfumo said. "The reaction from people on the street seems like instant gratification and they'll tell more people than if they just got a flier on the way to the train station."

Sam Ewen, chief executive of another innovative marketing company, Interface, said a reason most people are so receptive is because it's so different from traditional billboards.

Global Warming Update



Chicago has most consecutive days of snowfall since records began in 1884...

Flint, Michigan breaks 95-year-old record...

Blowing snow, frigid temps pound nation...


Frigid air, perhaps coldest of winter...


Live Chill Map...

Twitter Spreads News Of U.S. Airways Crash In An Instant

Mobile Blog - InformationWeek: "Today was yet another indicator that Twitter is the way we're going to consume breaking news in the future. I learned about the U.S. Airways Hudson River plane crash before it was on, and

First there was an earthquake over the summer. Then the downed jet fighter in San Diego. Today, Twitter was the source I first saw reporting the U.S. Airways flight that crash-landed into the Hudson River between New York City and New Jersey.

Twitter represents the power of people to communicate events in an instant. Silicon Alley Insider's Dan Frommer was the first I saw to report news of the crash. I quickly checked all the major news sites and saw no coverage. Since I live in the NYC metro area, I ran into my living room and turned on the TV. News channel WNBC 4 in NYC was just interrupting local programming to report news of the crash.

Within minutes there were hundreds of Tweets about the crash, complete with pictures from eyewitnesses and even one person who was on a NYC ferry headed to the crash site to pick up passengers.

That's amazing power, all thanks to the mobile phone and a social networking tool called Twitter. News spreads like wildfire when you can tell 100, 500, 1000 people at once with a single Tweet."

Update: Heinous Facebook Identity Theft

Today I'm in Daytona, FL at Summer Project Directors Conference with my friend and colleague Geoff Freeman. He discovered that someone hacked into his Facebook account, changed his password and then claimed to all of his Facebook friends that he is stuck in London with no wallet or money and needs money sent to him.

Geoff is sitting right next to me right now as this identity thief started chatting with me on me on Facebook.

He claims that I should send money to help him through Western Union to:

Geoff Freeman
32 Kentish Town Road, Kentish Town,
London, NW5 2AE United Kingdom

Can someone, somewhere bring this person to justice?

Oh, and make sure your Facebook password is strong.


"Geoff" just went offline. The real Geoff and I are pretty sure this person is an accomplice.

Another Update:

Here's how my chat with "Geoff" ended...

Apparently he was the done...


u there?

all i need now to get on a plane back home is 850

can u loan me that?


how about I send you an even $1000



do u know any western union agent around u?

or do u have any idea about western union?


yes actually my brother is a western union agent

I'll call him right now. He's actually a district manager so he'll have lots of authority to take care of you


so how are u going to do it now


I'm going to call him right now

He can contact someone there in London I'm sure




he will make sure the money gets to you

when should I tell him that you will be there to pick it up?


just tell him to send the money and i will pick it up here with my passport

are u calling your brother now?




so how is it going?

how soon will i get it?


he said he needs your passport number

if you don't have a wallet or any other id









Final Update:

Last night, after more than 48 hours Facebook finally responded to Geoff and reset his password. He had no response for two days while his account and identity was being used to nefariously solicit money. It is troubling that Facebook is so slow to respond. It makes me question whether Facebook is a good idea.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Best Buy, happier?

Best Buy has a new slogan: you, happier. Wouldn’t it be great if the stuff at Best Buy made you happy. That would make life much easier.

I guess they didn’t see this study about TV and happiness. They sell a lot of TVs

Working Smarter, but not Happier

Hmm, IBM (according to their new ad campaign) is working for a smarter planet, in order to make happy people.

Are the smartest people that you know also the happiest?

That Madoff guy is pretty smart. So were the Enron guys. I don’t’ think there issues were lack of smarts.

The happiest people that I know are grateful, no matter how smart.

The most miserable people I know are angry about not getting what they think they deserve. In fact that’s what causes much of my own misery.

It would be cool if IBM could help me to be grateful. That’s actually why I keep going back to the Bible. It reminds me why I can be grateful.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Why I hate the BCS

Rick Reilly: "By the way, we're calling our title the "national" championship because it actually includes the whole nation­—all 119 Division I schools—unlike the BCS, which includes 66. Yeah, the BCS somehow eliminated the middleman—the NCAA. The conferences these schools play in take their dump trucks full of cash straight from the TV networks and fairness can go suck a lemon...

...Sure, BCS blowhards will hand you schlock about how the college football season is like a playoff, how it's an elimination tournament every week. Really? Well, how come Florida and Oklahoma weren't eliminated with their losses? Utah ran the table, beat everybody set in front of them, including Ala-damn-bama in no less than the Sugar Bowl, and gets the bagel.

Oh, by the way? It was Utah's eighth straight bowl win, the nation's longest streak. Among the losers during that run? Let's see USC, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, and now the legendary Houndstooth Hats.

"What else do we have to prove?" asks Utah's magical quarterback, Brian Johnson. Good question. He and the Utes essentially whipped Alabama at home. Handed Nick Saban a garlic necklace to wear the entire offseason. Stepped on his team's neck 21-0 in the first three possessions and never looked back. Let's see. Who was it that was losing to Alabama until nearly six minutes into the fourth quarter? Oh, yeah. Florida."

Saturday, January 03, 2009

A way with words

In honor of J.R.R. Tolkien's Birthday, I give you one of my favorite passages from The Lord of the Rings:

And behold! it was a winged creature: if bird, then greater than all other birds, and it was naked, and neither quill nor feather did it bear, and its vast pinions were as webs of hide between horned fingers; and it stank.

A creature of an older world maybe it was, whose kind, lingering in forgotten mountains cold beneath the Moon, outstayed their day, and in hideous eyrie bred this last untimely brood, apt to evil. And the Dark Lord took it, and nursed it with fell meats, until it grew beyond the measure of all other things that fly; and he gave it to his servant to be his steed.

Interesting Stuff