My policy at home is if I find money in the wash, it’s mine. But the kids aren’t the only ones who don’t empty the pockets of their dirty clothes.
A while back I washed and dried a USB stick, and to my surprise, it worked just fine afterward. This week, I conducted another accidental experiment and ran an SD card through the laundry.
This one had me worried, because there were some important pictures on the card — and when I realized it was missing I knew exactly what had happened and raced for the basement.
It was in my shirt pocket, a very stupid place for an SD card, so it would have served me right to lose it or ruin it — but thank God it still worked. Somebody up there likes me.
I worry about digital media constantly and I’m trying to figure out the foolproof solution to keeping it safe. Sure, these little cards are precarious, but so are the hard drives where we keep things permanently. Do we trust cloud storage? Should we have a copy online and keep a hard copy? Who knows.
Nothing is is forever. Do what you can to protect things, to keep them from being washed away, but try not to let it make you crazy.
Technology that you once read about in science fiction is now disposable.
Look at this RFID device I saw on the sidewalk. It wasn’t long ago that this would blow people’s minds: a small device that could fit nearly anywhere and track almost anything.
To quote Oscar Madison, “Now it’s garbage.”
And that RFID is a just a small thing. You probably have old computers, cell phones, game systems and things kicking aroung in your house – all miraculous stuff that’s now obsolete. Our trash is now better than any technology of twenty years ago.
When something as interesting as that RFID thingy is stuck to the sidewalk like an old piece of chewing gum, then we must really be going places.
Yes, ski areas are one of those places where you wish everyone would act more like you, for then the world would be a better place.
The majority of the folks you find on the ski slopes are pleasant, normal people — but for some reason the sport seems to attract a fair number of d-bags. Fortunately, it’s easier to spot them these days because they are all talking loudly on their cell phones in the lift line or, god help me, on the ski lift.
One of my pet peeves has always been people who fail to remove the old lift tickets from their jacket, wearing them like badges of honor of their exploits. That may soon be a thing of the past as places like Jiminy Peak replace the ubiquitous paper tickets with RFID cards that you keep in your pocket. Now you move up to a gate that reads your card and allows you access to the lift.
You might think that some people would resist this, and maybe punch a hole in their RFID card so they can dangle it from their jacket; according to the FAQ, this is a bad idea:
Holes must never be punched in the Axess Jiminy Cards. The card has an antenna inside that surrounds the RFID tag. Any damage to the surrounding antenna will render the card inactive and the card must be replaced. A replacement fee may be required.
Not to worry; these cards and electronic readers are very safe for people with pacemakers — but just in case:
Guests with pacemakers must not wear their lift access media cards near the heart when passing through the gate and a distance of 8 to 12 inches should be observed in the case of queues and while passing through the gate. If vertigo or sickness is experienced, get out of the direct vicinity of the gate or device.
Oh, if only we could figure out a way to make these cards jam cell phone signals. Then we’d be making some progress.
The dogs are enjoying the new iPad Mini we have in the house because the touch screen makes it’s easy for them to navigate. They never got the knack of using a mouse; that’s more of a cat thing.
Being newshounds, they love searching for stories about dogs and reading them to me when I have my morning coffee. Type “dogs” into Google’s news search and you get hundreds of results, so they never run out of material.
“Listen to this one,” announced Scarlett. “The Coast Guard ended a search Monday for a teenager whose parents were killed after they plunged into the powerful surf in a nightmarish chain of events that started when their son tried to save the family dog from drowning.”
Maddy ran in from the other room. “Holy crap!”
“Wait, there’s more.” She continued. “Eureka residents Mary Elena Scott, 57, and Howard Gregory Kuljian, 54, both drowned Saturday. The boy, Gregory James Kuljian, is presumed dead. Ten-foot waves had pulled the dog into the ocean as it ran to retrieve a stick at Big Lagoon, about 300 miles north of San Francisco.”
Thanks for that cheery little tidbit. “Geez… what a terrible story. Isn’t there any good dog news this morning.”
She was waiting for this. “Wait! This story actually has a happy ending, right here in the last line: ‘The dog returned to shore.’”
In the IT world, data cleansing is “the process of detecting and correcting (or removing) corrupt or inaccurate records from a record set, table, or database.” Thanks, Wikipedia!
In my world it’s something much simpler: leaving a USB drive in your pants pocket and sending it through the washing machine. I was disappointed by the shoddy make of this SanDisk drive, but after it came out from a load of laundry and still worked? That’s quality.
I suppose that this is sort of like the modern equivalent of leaving a pen in your pocket and and having it run through the wash, but with some exceptions. Pens I’ve laundered never wrote again, and if they made it into the dryer — as one recently did in my house — they can really make a hell of a mess. I’m thinking that 45 minutes of high heat might have cooked the USB drive, too, but at least it wouldn’t leave ink blots all over your clothes.
This whole Bluetooth earpiece thing is sort of freaking me out. The problem? I’m having a trouble figuring out who’s nuts and who is not.
Wait, I’m sorry, sorry; “nuts” is a term that’s politically incorrect these days — in fact, I once knew a news anchor who would change my copy when I used that word. For example, I would never get away with writing, “People are going nuts for the new Trader Joe’s.” Similarly, “crazy” was also forbidden from promo scripts. And “wackadoodle” would have been completely off limits.
Anyway, part of the problem is that I work in downtown Albany, where it’s not at all unusual to encounter people who are actually talking to themselves. When you have that many folks talking to themselves because they can’t help it mixed in with another large group of people who think it’s cool to have a loud conversation over their Bluetooth earpiece, chaos ensues.
For example, the other day there was a guy at the corner of State and Pearl going on loudly about Price Chopper Advantage cards.
“Price Chopper! Advantage Card. Gas savings!”
I have no idea if I was listening to one half of a phone conversation or someone ranting about saving money on gas. I guess it could have been both.
I’m so old that I remember when THERE WAS NO EMAIL. Isn’t that crazy?
Yes, there was no email, so if you wanted to communicate in the workplace, you would actually have to talk to people on the phone or stop by their office. How barbaric!
Don’t get me wrong, I love email, but here’s the thing: technology has spawned a whole new technique in intra-office communication, one in which people use email not just to send a message, but send a message about what they think of you and your work.
How do they do that? Let’s say someone has a problem or gripe. Instead of just asking you a simple question, they send an email and copy your boss, your boss’s boss, your boss’s boss’s bosses and so on; this way, when they ask you a question, everybody and their brother gets to see what they are bitching about. Delightful.
It’s a great way to take a shot without having to look you in the eye while they do it. And just a few years ago it would have been unheard of. Think of it like dropping a bomb from a drone aircraft. You don’t have to see your enemy, just kill them.
But Rob, you ask, didn’t people send around memos like this in days of old? Yes, but the threshold of sending a memo was always much higher; now, being a jerk is just a click away.
Anyway, here’s something I want you to try: next time you need something from a co-worker, talk to them face-to-face instead of firing off a nastygram and copying everyone. It won’t be easy, but it just might make you a better person.
Like a lot of people, I’ve been gradually replacing the light bulbs in my home with CFL bulbs. When one of the old incandescent bulbs goes kaput, one of the new models takes its place.
I’m not going to go out and buy a Prius or anything — but this is a simple thing everyone can do that will reduce energy consumption.
When I first bought CFLs I recall being impressed that they are touted to last five years. “Wow! Five years? That’s amazing!” But being skeptical, I decided to test this product claim, and started writing down — on the base of each bulb — when it was installed.
The bulb in this picture was screwed in during March 2010, and I’m no mathematician, but that ain’t no five years. So what’s an outraged consumer to do? Take it to the internet.
It turns out that GE has an easy way to report problems with its lighting products; next we’ll see if they replace my so called “five year bulb” or issue a refund. Perhaps I can put the money toward a Trivection Oven…
I have the same phone number as Elvis.
It’s true, same number. I discovered this when the calls began, and they would usually go like this:
“Hi… may I speak with Elvis?”
“Is Elvis there?”
When these calls started coming in I thought I was being pranked and would get annoyed — but finally I asked somebody, “Hey — what number are you calling, anyway?” That’s when it became clear that Elvis and I shared a phone number, but with different area codes. This Elvis — not surprisingly — lives down South.
I should probably tell you that I love my cell phone number. It’s the sort of catchy and memorable combination that busineses crave. It’s really wasted on the likes of me.
So I called Elvis — it was apparently his work number and wanted to give him a heads up — but got his voice mail. I never heard back.
So, now when people call looking for Elvis, I politely tell them that they forgot the area code or dialed wrong. They always appreciate this. And I always close the call by saying, “Thank you very much.”
While I don’t measure my self-worth by having the latest gadgets, my phone is beginning to be an embarrassment.
Next to today’s smart phones, mine is decidedly dumb. It’s not as if I’m walking around with one of those brick-sized walkie talkie looking things, like Michael Douglas had in Wall Street, but it’s a Flintstones phone in a Jetsons universe.
Sure, it makes calls just fine, but as for anything else, forget about it. Even sending a simple text message takes forever. This surprises people who know me as fairly tech savvy, what with all that tweeting and blogging, and such.
It wasn’t so bad before, but now the old-style phones are clearly in the minority. This can be a problem, particularly in the business world. Imagine sitting around the table with some high powered people — perhaps they are potential clients — and you pull out something that looks like a Fisher-Price Friendly Flip. They may not say it, but they are thinking, “How are we going to trust a guy with THAT phone?”
We should remember that keeping a phone in your pocket is a relatively new thing, much less a small computer. The things that would have seemed miraculous 20 years ago are now outdated. I do have one advantage over that guy with the iPhone 4S: If my phone falls in the urinal, I won’t feel bad.