Monday, February 28, 2005

It's All About Triplets

Waking up to NPR is always interesting. This morning, Music of the Human Heart May Hold Clues to Healing:
Experimental healer Milford Graves says a healthy heart -- like a good jazz drummer -- emphasizes the triplets (1-2-3, 1-2-3), not the eighth notes (1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4).
I guess that explains why Morning Edition was playing DJ Dangermouse earlier!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Feet are Coming

Sixteen Feet: A cappella traditionThe current members of my college a cappella group, Sixteen Feet, will be visiting our house on their Spring Break tour next week. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited.

Nine (9) guys, singing all night before their week in Tahoe.

"Nine, but wouldn't that make it 18 feet?" you say. Well, yes. It is a topic of some debate among the alumni and the new group.

You be the judge:

Old tunes
New tunes

Hey, do you know anywhere cool in San Francisco that they could sing this Saturday night?

A Cappalma

I'm learning to play the piano, and name all the chords in my head. I just tried the free program CMajor on my Treo 650. I can look up chords quickly, see their position on the keys, and even play them note by note.

Now, my Treo is pitch.

[via PalmAddict]

Saturday, February 26, 2005


Several of my friends have asked about my RSS feed.

Here it is.

I use Feedburner, which absolutely rules. It splices my blogger feed, my flickr feed, and my links.

Give it a try, then check out the stats on your feed!


Sent this in via Vagablog,
As I am walking the the dog.
Still working out the kinks,
Will advise.


PalmAddict logoI was wondering if this would happen!

I got blogged on one of my favorite news sources: PalmAddict.
Thanks, Chris Sutcliffe, wherever you are.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Magnetic Treo

The Magnetic TreoUm, I just found out how "attractive" my phone really is: it's flippin' magnetic.

In the process of taking this picture, I fished the paperclip out of my keyboard with the speaker-area of my Treo 650 GSM (Unlocked).

They're not kidding about the radiation.

Most speakers are electromagnetic. This one is particularly powerful, and blasts my mp3s well enough from afar while I cook, or hold a small party.

Don't act like you don't want it! Oh, I know that you do.

[Update] Here's my full review:

I've been waiting for the Treo 650 GSM ever since I heard the rumors about it last year. In most respects, it has lived up to the hype. I switched from a Nokia 6600. The Nokia is good, but the input mechanisms kindof lack, the screen is small, and it's a bit sluggish. I've been using the Treo for a week with my old SIM card. I've never owned a Palm before, so it's all new to me. That said, the little thing is fast. It's faster when you leave the Bluetooth off when not in use.

Good things about the Treo Experience:
  1. Adopted the t-mobile SIM card like a champ! Even shows Cingular's network when searching.
  2. I can send files to the SD card and play my mp3s out of the box.
  3. eGrips are good, eGrips work.
  4. Feels good in my pocket - has the form factor of my wallet.
  5. Reads SD cards quickly, handles eject gracefully.
  6. PalmOne gave me the 128MB card, and it reads very fast - I can skip around a song in RealPlayer by dragging around with my finger - very cool.
  7. Button on USB cable for syncing is clutch. And it's reassignable to any app.
  8. Easy and fast to backup, reset, and restore.
  9. Sound on/off button very well-placed.
  10. Stylus is nice and solid to the touch.
  11. Screen is very sensitive, even with protector on.
  12. Seems to keep power well (mostly on standby, I don't get that many calls).
  13. The speakerphone rocks!
  14. My Jabra BT200 bluetooth earpiece works with it.
  15. TealPaint, other great software out there for it.

My list of Treo gripes:

  1. Doesn't receive signal when in pocket, loses signal easily (very lame).
  2. It rates high radiation, and buzzes a little during calls.
  3. USB cable does not charge it (weaksauce).
  4. System sound sometimes comes on after using sound, even when set to off (Realplayer, other apps).
  5. Bluetooth is flaky, and "impatient" (kicks my Jabra BT200 off while dialing), and is a little staticky when it does work (sketchy).
  6. No built-in text reader (no biggie).
  7. Bluetooth makes it work up slower (no biggie, I just keep it off - Bluetooth syncing asks me to turn it on).
  8. All the software costs mucho dollars.

Conclusion: The Treo is definitely a better organizer than a phone, but the phone does work. It's very attractive when lit. I will be carrying it with me everywhere except the slopes. That's where the Nokia comes in handy.

My advice: Don't just sit there. Have some Treo.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Justin's Down, but Not Out

Seriously, people - it's only been a few weeks. is not over.


I've seen worse.

Some Ad Sense

Since I'll be redirecting some valuable traffic from another site soon, I've decided to try my hand at some AdSense by Google.

For those of you reading this via my RSS feed, you will be spared the incongruity. For you, loyal reader, who are visiting my site, feel free to comment below about your feelings on this matter.

I hope that the ads turn out to be relevant. The whole idea here is to provide more relevant links, and a few click-throughs on the side. If it becomes too obnoxious, I'll take it down. The change took me about 15 minutes to get right, so no big loss there.


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

EPIC 2014: Googlezon

In the year 2014, The New York Times has gone offline.
The Fourth Estate's fortunes have waned.
What happened to the news?
What is EPIC?

And what is Googlezon?

EPIC 2014
length: 8 min.
medium: Flash

Monday, February 14, 2005

HP-ness is TRULY Apple-ness now

HP marketing exec heading to Apple | CNET

And you thought I made all that up. Tisk.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Importance of HP-ness

Today, HP board of directors has dismissed Carly Fiorina as the company's chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), related to her failure to deliver on the promise of the HP-Compaq merger. OK, I was there during that promise. In fact, mine was the first question during the shareholders' meeting when we voted on the merger. My question was this, "Understanding that you are optimistic that the merger will succeed, what are your plans in the event that it does not?"

Her answer at the time was evasive, "We have a plan only to proceed. If it does not work, we will have wasted a lot of time."

Well, it really didn't work, and HP wasted a lot of time (and money), and now her plan seems to be to walk away, very rich. Almost everyone in the room (mostly HP retirees, employee stockholders, and Hewletts) knew this at the time. I knew it because I was a part of the Merger Support team. That was over three years ago, so I feel comfortable telling you this story about one of the hints that I picked up on back in 2001.

My role on the team was to provide technical expertise for remote collaboration between the Texas (Compaq) and California (HP) teams. I moderated NetMeeting and Placeware sessions (in the days before Breeze), hooked up projectors and mics, diagnosed networks, configured laptops, and generally Made Things Work. In short, I was the guy that everyone ignored until there was a problem. Occasionally, I was asked to moderate teleconferences and even present our findings to the group.

On one such occasion, we were working with the folks. Managers in charge of branding, strategic partnerships, and digital assets were in attendance. The head honcho gave a presentation, showing photos of Sony products, The Apple Store, and a few other brands. "When you look at a Sony product, you can see that it's from Sony. It has a certain color scheme, the lines are reminiscent of a basic design, it has 'Sony-ness'. And, look at Apple - just look at this store: everthing has an 'Apple-ness' about it. Unmistakably Apple." In retrospect, this comment is extremely interesting.

She went on like this, with examples of how the products of HP's competitors exhibit a recognizeable brand, while HP products do not. Compaq's products were a little better at this, but not by much. She asked us to break up and think about what HP's brand means to us, and how to create a new, more recognizeable singularity for future products and the online store.

Being the distance collaboration expert, my group was entirely on the phone. I took notes as people threw out ideas and words. I decided to speak up, "You know, we have this brand, 'Invent', but what does 'Invent' look and feel like?" No one had an answer. In fact, the Invent culture at HP is a bit of a farce. Most people at HP actually don't do any inventing during their day; they are encouraged to look to HP Labs for that. So, the brainstorming continued. another tack, "There is 'Sony-ness' and 'Apple-ness', but --"

"What is 'HP-ness?'" someone chimed in.
No one laughed. In fact, they took the question seriously! I was aghast. They were trying hard to define 'HP-ness'. Our time was wrapping up, and I was required to present our notes.

Back in the main group, I had to represent everyone on the phone. I talked about the 'Invent' culture, I mentioned HP Labs, I said the word 'Apple-ness' again. Then, someone on the phone piped up: "What happened to our... 'HP-ness'?" One or two people in the room tittered. It was clear that the others were thinking hard about their 'HP-ness'. Someone spoke up, "What about the classic HP 'blue'? Is HP-ness blue?" I could barely stand it. I had to IM my buddy, a former HP Labs contractor, "Phil, someone in this meeting just said, 'HP-ness'."

Well, that was it. Every few minutes, he was writing me about 'HP-ness' in every conceivable form. I could barely contain myself; O, the Irony!

Needless to say, I soon left HP for purpler pastures. The memory of that meeting was regurgitated when HP announced its licensing of the Apple iPod. There, I thought, is your HP-ness! HP-ness is actually Apple-ness, but blue.

So folks, if you're thinking of buying HP, remember the Split, and the Merger, and do not forget about the Importance of HP-ness. Which is really Apple-ness. Which -- what isn't?

So long, Carly. Don't shrug me off next time. Keep more than one plan handy.

For now, use the boost in HP stock to console yourself with an iPod Shuffle. Just don't eat it.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Fun with Google Maps

Here's a fun game:

1. Using Firefox, go to
2. Search for "601 Townsend Street, San Francisco" (our new building).
3. Click on the map.
4. Use the down, left, and right keys on your keyboard to navigate the map.
5. Try to keep 101 and 280 in the view for as much as possible, using a combination of keys.
6. Laugh at yourself.

Google: Get your geek on!