A few weeks ago, an editor at the NYT contacted me asking if I wanted to write gadget reviews for the thursday tech section. I was floored by the opportunity and jumped at the chance. After pitching a few ideas, I got one greenlighted and spent a couple days testing the product out. My first NYT piece is up, and I can't describe how crazy this is. I won't believe it actually happened until I get a paper copy of the NYT in my hands tomorrow.
Years ago, I never thought I was the type of person that could ever be mentioned in the Times, and even after a few of those, I never in a million years thought I would write for it. I'm looking forward to testing out more cool gadgets and writing them up for the Old Gray Lady.
I have to say I really like the plain, functional simplicity of the Google IM client on Windows. It's easy to manage multiple windows, you can easily see where a conversation left off, and there aren't any ads anywhere.
One thing struck me as odd though -- this is a IM client by Google, and yet, I don't see any way of searching through old conversations. There's a way to search for other users, but I'm surprised that a search engine pioneer didn't ship an app with text search built-in.
(Yeah, I know Google Desktop probably indexes Google IM conversations, but still there should be a direct search from within the app)
So I guess the cat got out of the bag a little early. I tried it out with iChat (hit command-3 to bring up jabber and configure) and got right in with the details at that link.
I just realized something. I use Google for searching with my personal history turned on, and I view it through my personal portal, and I get all my personal mail through Gmail, and everything I've said online for the past ten years is available within Google's index, and now all my daily chitter-chatter could be on a Google server as well.
They don't do evil, but still, it's something to think about.
This is a test post, testing some stuff.
Testing some more stuff.
Rafe posted a great idea for keeping track of wines you've bought, to note which ones you liked and didn't like.
Personally, I try more new wines when I'm out at a restaurant or a party and I think the idea is more useful when out and about. If I'm trying new wine while traveling, I could take a cameraphone shot of the label and give a quick mash of the keys to leave my rating or thoughts on it. If you tagged all your wine label shots with the same tag in flickr, you could see all reviews at a glance, and maybe it would help me remember that one wine I had at a wedding six months ago that I loved.
I'm a big fan of Ben Saunders, mostly because I get to vicariously live through him (and I do plan on donating to his next big adventure), but in this entry he says:
I've taken the photos down again for now - I'm slightly concerned about people nicking expedition photos that I've nearly lost digits trying to take...
It goes on, and I know Ben's not a pro photo guy so I don't mean to pick on him specifically, but I've seen the same message from a lot of other people that used flickr and happen to make their living taking photos. "I don't like people nicking my photos" and "Is there any way to prevent others from making blog posts about my photos, using my photos?" are the things you often hear from them in the flickr forums.
Photos are jpeg files on the internet. Everyone that looks at a photo online makes a copy of the file at flickr.com just to view it in their browser. Sometimes people like photos and save them and maybe even make them their desktop background. Sometimes those same people add you as a contact and become fans of your photography. These are all good things for people that like looking at photos and photographers.
I can't begin to describe how happy I am to see that the next This Old House project is a rennovation of a modern house. I'm a longtime fan of the show, and even though lately it's become a show with too many field trips and high-dollar makeovers and not enough actual tips and how-tos, I'm a sucker for their amazing work.
The problem is, they usually stick to traditional east coast style homes and my dream home has long been a sleek boxy modern one. This fall it looks like they'll take a crack at that, and this looks like it's going to be great: