Monthly Archives: January 2012

Dear FBI, follow @Fahrni

Discovery News: “The US Federal Bureau of Investigation recently released details of a plan to continuously monitor the global activity of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. A document released on January 19 explains that the FBI is seeking companies interested in building an online monitoring system for the bureau.”

Since I have a public account on Twitter it’s really not a big deal, heck, they can follow my every post on this weblog via my RSS feed.

I’d imagine the really bad people would use private networks to do their jobs, right? But, having said that, there are idiots out there that can’t resist bragging about their badness.

Hunter To Hunted

New York Times: “Which is why Barnes & Noble, once viewed as the brutal capitalist of the book trade, now seems so crucial to that industry’s future.”

I was bummed when Borders declared bankruptcy. Kim and I loved to visit the Visalia Borders, and we actually bought books!

Kim has been using a Kindle for a few years now and I just don’t read much.


New York Times: “Not everyone feels the same way. Over the last year, RIM’s share price has plunged 75 percent. The company once commanded more than half of the American smartphone market. Today it has 10 percent.”

This article is worth reading just to see what can happen to market leaders when the get too comfortable.

Discarded Bicycles

Get your tools!Life Hacker: “If you want to try bicycling on the cheap and support keeping waste out of landfills, consider restoring a discarded bicycle as your next project. While the time and money investment will vary depending on the condition of the bike, you still should save a decent chunk of money and will have learned essential repair skills.”

When my brothers and I were growing up we spent most of our waking hours on bicycles. We raced BMX on the weekends, and loved tearing our bikes down to grease the bearings and give them a good cleaning. Good times.

A few months back I noticed a discarded 10-speed frame; complete with cranks, gooseneck, and forks! I instantly thought to myself “Hey, I’m gonna take that home and fix it up!” I expressed that thought to my wife, she thought I was crazy and asked when I’d have time to work on it? True, very true. I wouldn’t have the time to spend on it, and since we’ve moved to San Luis Obispo we’re limited on space. It was a great thought, and I’d really love to do it, but it the timing just wasn’t right.

Bikes are something I feel really confident working on. One day I may take a chance on an old discarded bicycle and fix it up.

It could happen.

Nokia Has A Hit

Co.DESIGN: “After attending CES earlier in the month, I felt something major had happened: The iPhone had finally met its rivals in the form of Nokia’s Lumia 800 and 900, equipped with Windows 7’s Metro UI.”

Nokia could be the kick Windows Phone(I hate that name, they should’ve called it Metro) has been looking for. Only time will tell, but I think they’re great looking devices. Maybe I’ll be able to put my hands on one soon?

On Failure

Jerry Fahrni: “One thing is for certain, if you’re waiting for the right moment, the moment will never come. Decisions don’t need to be right or wrong, they simply need to be made. Heaven forbid you make a bad call on something. I seriously doubt anyone has gone through life mistake free. If you never make a mistake you’re not trying hard enough in my opinion. Heck, I’d go as far as to say that some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned have been from my failures. Sure, the failures sting a little, but that’s what helps one learn from the process.”

I’ve always been a fairly cautious person, but I’m trying to change that. I need to take some business risks because I’m not getting any younger and I feel the need to do my own thing. I think Jay, Jerry as you know him, is absolutely correct. We need to fail on occasion to make progress and grow. In my case, I’ll regret never trying.

I don’t know who to attribute this quote to, but I keep it around for inspiration.

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. – Michael Jordan

If anyone knows who said it, please let me know so I can give proper attribution.

UPDATE 01.22.2012: The quote was by basketball legend Michael Jordan.

P.S. – Does Michael Jordan have an “official” official website? A Google search turns up a bunch of official websites.

Facebook hates the open web

AHHHHHH!Yep, that’s right, Facebook hates the open web. A few weeks back I deleted my Facebook account and I haven’t missed it. On occasion I do visit Facebook because so many people and companies use it you can’t ignore it. Recently I wanted to do something with an RSS feed through ifttt and using the pages URL didn’t resolve to its’ RSS feed. Now, the same URL worked in my feed reader, but ifttt didn’t like it. I thought I’d found a bug so I contacted ifttt and they informed me the URL I was providing wasn’t the path to the RSS feed. Here’s a bit from the support email.

The URL you shared is not a Feed URL at all. Instead, look to the left column of that page and you will see a button for: “GET UPDATES VIA RSS”

Notice the bold text. I thought maybe I was blind, I couldn’t find a link that mentioned anything about RSS. Why? It’s not actually on the page, unless you have a Facebook account and are logged in. I was able to confirm this with my wife. She was able to see the link, along with a few others that don’t show up.

Here’s what I saw when I visited the page.

Facebook is a walled garden. In the end, it’s bad for an open web.

UPDATE: A big thanks to Prasenjeet Dutta for pointing me to this piece by Anil Dash called FACEBOOK IS GASLIGHTING THE WEB. WE CAN FIX IT.

Movie line of the week

Hollywood!Good morning movie liners.

Here’s the line, good luck!

There’s a box of Twinkies in that grocery store. Not just any box of Twinkies, the last box of Twinkies that anyone will enjoy in the whole universe. Believe it or not, Twinkies have an expiration date. Some day very soon, Life’s little Twinkie gauge is gonna go… empty.

Ok, quick, what movie! Send your guesses here.

Free, at what price?

David Barnard: “Ultimately, the users become the product, not the app. Selling users to advertisers and pushing in-app upgrades/consumables is a completely different game than carefully crafting apps to maximize user value/entertainment. It’d be a shame if the mobile software industry devolved into some horrific hybrid of Zynga and Facebook.”