Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Pogue: Hail to every BlackBerry, cellphone, Bluetooth headset, Palm organizer, e-book reader, music player, cordless mouse and G.P.S. receiver that recharges through a mini-U.S.B. jack! No more big black power transformers — recharge from your laptop. It's the dawn of the universal, fully interchangeable power cord.This is a great development, long overdue.
POWER STICK Speaking of those hideous black wall warts [chargers]: you don't need them if you have a PowerStick ($65, powerstick.com). It's a tiny universal gadget charger, the size of a stick of Wrigley's, that draws its power from your laptop's U.S.B. jack.
It comes with nine short cables for the opposite end, made to fit the power jacks of common cellphone brands (LG, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia), the iPod or iPhone and anything that gets its power from a mini- or micro-U.S.B. jack (see above).
First, you travel very, very light. (I haven't packed my cellphone adapter in a year.)
Second, the PowerStick does more than charge your gadget; it also stores a second charge, so that you'll be able to do another recharge in the field, without the laptop. (A cool "fuel gauge" lets you know how full it is.) Finally, a processor shuts off the power when the charging is complete, which saves electricity and, according to the company, prolongs your gadget's life.
Noted that this may be the kind of feature that sounds good on paper, but adds more complexity to the platform than the feature is worth, if it causes flaky or unreliable behavior (like Windows Power Management has been known to).
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
This is the second time very recently something like this has happened. On her originally scheduled departure date, her destination, Albany, was due for a severe ice storm. We were 95% sure the flight would be canceled. But as of 3 hours before the flight, the NWA site still showed it as scheduled. Beth wound up calling NWA, and then they told her "oh yeah, that flight has been canceled".
Maybe this is just bad luck, but I am not impressed.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Whereas in fields where employers are free to pay for performance, someone who switches professions mid-career, if they along the learning curve fairly quickly, may quickly find themselves making a wage comparable to someone who has been in the field much longer.
Friday, December 12, 2008
This time I took a little time to search. I think I found the closest thing, which is the Moderate Comments option in settings.
What I am thinking of is a kind of view that would make it very quick to see only my posts that have comments, and to read those comments. I think the ideal would include:
- A running list of posts, with the comments below.
- The post itself would be presented in outline form (first couple of lines, then the rest collapsed, uncollapsible via a quick "Ajax-architecture" plus button.
- Something similar for the posts, though the unit for them might be 6-10 lines.
- A way to "Mark As Read".
Saturday, December 06, 2008
3/18/2010 Postscript: I have found this feature on a phone in the wild. Ironically, it is on the cheapest phone in our household--a $20 pay-as-you-go phone that my son got when he broke his real phone.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Black Friday is named for the day when, historically, retailers moved into
the black, or became profitable for the year.
Although, I suppose, from the standpoint of a descriptive dictionary, this usage is steadily gaining ground versus the original usage (from Wikipedia):
The earliest uses of "Black Friday" come from or reference Philadelphia and refer to
the heavy traffic on that day, an implicit comparison to the extremely stressful
and chaotic experience of Black Tuesday (the 1929 stock-market crash). The earliest known reference to "Black Friday" (in this sense), found by Bonnie Taylor-Blake of the American Dialect Society, refers to Black Friday 1965 and makes the Philadelphia origin explicit:
JANUARY 1966 -- "Black Friday" is the name which the Philadelphia
Police Department has given to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. It is not
a term of endearment to them. "Black Friday" officially opens the Christmas
shopping season in center city, and it usually brings massive traffic jams and
over-crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores are mobbed from opening to
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
The American Medical Association frequently publishes articles calling attention to the health implications of people not getting enough sleep. But their industry is the absolutely, positively worst violator. What medical residents go through is insane.
It was the middle of the night, and Laura Silverthorn, a nurse at a hospital in Washington, knew her patient was in danger.How much of a contributor is sleep deprivation?
The boy had a shunt in his brain to drain fluid, but he vomiting and had an extreme headache, two signs that the shunt was blocked and fluid was building up. When she paged the on-call resident, who was asleep in the hospital, he told her not to worry.
After a second page, Ms. Silverthorn said, “he became arrogant and said, ‘You don’t know what to look for — you’re not a doctor.’ ”He ignored her third page, and after another harrowing hour she called the attending physician at home. The child was rushed into surgery.