Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Originally uploaded by --Mike--
This is one of the many photos I took last night at the Full Moon Fire Jam on Chicago's lake front. I look forward to returning with my family.

I think it looks like a swan, don't you?

Chicago's gun control, explained

The Gangs run parts of Chicago, it's almost a failed City...   but to keep confidence up, the City has used the gun control ordinance to set up a straw man. If violence goes up... the administration gets to site the lack of similar legislation elsewhere as an excuse... and if it goes down... obviously it was good administration.

Actual enforcement of prohibition didn't work here in the 1920s... it's not working now... but real solutions are off the table as long as the public is distracted by the gun rights hysteria.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Why people tweet instead of blogging

Doc Searls is on a well deserved vacation in France. He was unable to tweet because of the fail whale, but noted that he could still blog. This got me to thinking about why people put up with the stovepipe system that is twitter.

Marketing folks love twitter because they can use it as a way to broadcast without being accused of spamming. It's hard to criticize a tweet, because they are only 140 characters, and viewed as throw away. They also get picked up based on keywords, and thus avoid the reputation filtering that people get when choosing blogs.

This is yet another place where the application of Gresham's law is appropriate. When you search by keyword, you get spammed, because the good tweets get drowned out by the bad.

I think twitter is best used with a carefully selected list of people to follow. This reputation based system is further enhanced when the people you wish to follow can re-tweet something, and thus spread good ideas faster. The hashtag and saved searches, on the other hand... are only good for flash use, as they will eventually become spambait.

That's my take on it... now back to my sickbed. Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Why Doc Searls is on my Blogroll

I've been a fan of Doc Searls since I first heard of him via the Cluetrain. He is a marketing person who defected to our side... that of the public, who don't care to be shouted at. You'll find a deep vein of insight and wisdom, some of which is his, and the balance of which is from the conversations he starts. He doesn't post with the regularity we are all told to have, but I don't care... when he does post it's pretty good stuff.

You'll also get a nice dose of slice of life stuff, family history, current events affecting the area he lives in, and other things that are both entertaining and instructive. You can learn a lot about how to tell stories in this new medium from Doc.

Doc's quest is to invert the power relationships that dominated the previous century. He's tired of being a consumer, and wants us to all be free people, in control of our destiny. He sees the internet as a medium for positive social change. His pet project is VRM, which intends to provide the opposite of CRM.

I check Doc's blog every day.

Spring cleaning

It's spring cleaning time... I've trimmed up the tags used on this blog, and I'm planning to get everything in the archives into proper categories. This should make it easier to discover stuff one is interested in reading.

I also plan to put a blogroll back in place, with a small twist... I'll provide a post about each entry, why I link to them, and the value they provide. I'll add a link to that post as well in the blogroll.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Windows Live Writer – First post

I didn’t even know I had it installed on my laptop, but here it is… Windows Live Writer.

I’m seeing what it can do.

Here’s a photo I took yesterday.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Originally uploaded by --Mike--
Synthetic focus (aka the "Warot Method") continues to be fun. Here is a nice shot of the Lion with a Blackhawks helmet.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Flickr App on the iPad - don't bother

I tried the Yahoo Flickr App for the iPhone and iPad, and it sucks. There's no way to get it to take the whole screen on the iPad, for starters.

It doesn't recognize orientation, nor does it have any way to save photos locally.

It lasted about 2 minutes, now it's gone.

iPad - Connecting to my XP desktop

I got Remote Desktop Lite for free via the App store on the iPad. It was able to connect to my desktop (XP) across the internet just fine. It doesn't support servers, so it has limited use.

IPad post #2, How to use blogger on an iPad

If you go to the edit HTML option, you can directly type in text, which is how I made this post.

The onscreen keyboard is a drag, but as you can see it does work.

iPad experience so far... it REALLY sucks

So, you can see my first iPad based post below, and read all about my experience.... NOT.

The f*cking keyboard app doesn't work in the WYSIWYG portion of blogger... talk about stupid!

iPad post #1

iPad experience so far.... it sucks!

I got the iPad today, all set up, connected to our WiFi, and was happy... until I tried to resize a video playing inside a web page (in safari)... now safari only shows a black screen....

power off doesn't help

off to visit Aunt Google for help.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Hay as a way to capture floating oil.... some quick math

Today, an email linking to this youtube video suggests using hay to adsorb floating oil. I was curious to see if it might work out, supply wise... so here is the math.

US total hay production.... approx 150 million tons, according to the US EPA

Total amount of oil spill, per year

25000 barrels per day using the highest estimate
365 days
42 gallons/barrel
6 pounds / gallon of oil (my estimate)
1 ton / 2000 pounds

191,625 tons of oil and assorted goo per annum

Assuming a 1:1 relationship weight wise, it could work. It would take far less than 1% of the US hay output.


Monday, June 07, 2010

Idea - trade in program for lead solder

After learning that corporations actually listen to tweets and blog posts... here is a suggestion for Indium corporation, and any others that make lead-free solder.

Those of us who are electronics hobbyists will hang on to our stocks of lead-tin solder for a very long time, unless we are given a reason to switch. Perhaps someone who makes a lead-free solder might offer a trade-in program as an incentive? Either outright swap if the economics are right (I have no idea how much indium costs)... or some discount.

Samples would be ok as well, of course.