Category: Reviews

Fake USB Flash Drives (eBay)

By , June 19, 2016

There are Bad People out there, who sell USB flash drives designed to show fake capacity values.

Over the past year, I’ve purchased a few dozen USB flash drives, with capacities ranging from 8GB to 256GB.  Some were genuine; most were fakes. Read more »

Amazon’s Deceptive “Prime Day” Deals

By , August 25, 2015

&$*%*&@ Amazon.com ‪#‎Amazon‬ ‪#‎PrimeDay‬

(Aug 26 & Sept. 7 updates below)

Back on Prime Day, the only worthwhile deal I found was a promised $40 promotional credit if I paid $9.99 per month for a one-year subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan (Photoshop CC + Lightroom).

Today, I learned that they’ve decided to change the terms of the deal, so I won’t be able to use the credit. Read more »

CRM Terminology: Words That Don’t Mean What You Think

By , August 20, 2015

I’ve spent the past week exploring options for a Sales “Customer Relationship Management” (CRM) system for our company.

Welcome to a world where words don’t mean what you expect.  A “Lead” isn’t really a lead, an “Account” isn’t really an account, and so on.

And different CRM systems use slightly different definitions for certain words, and each introduces slightly different terms to refer to something that’s mostly-but-not-quite the same. Read more »

Cable Management for Adjustable Desks

By , August 16, 2015

A fewunder-shelf-basket-small-amazon days ago, my adjustable-height “Autonomous Desk (basic)” arrived (earlier blog post), and I like it.

But even before it arrived, I knew I would need to address some “cable management” issues.

The issue is that the desk’s movement (up and down) creates a range of motion that any cables must also allow for.  I was especially worried that at some point, I’d lower the desk and somehow a cable would get caught, so that when the desk was raised again, the cable would be pulled tight (taut) and might end up either unplugging or pulling something down from the desk (or up from the floor).

My first goal was to reduce the number of cables from the desk to the floor; ideally, there would be just one, a single 120V power cord, with ample slack.

Read more »

My Autonomous Desk (basic) Has Arrived! (Standing Desk, motorized)

By , August 12, 2015

Yes, folks, they really did deliver the adjustable-height “Autonomous Desk (basic)” that I backed via Kickstarter (photos + video, below).

desk-12

Read more »

Thinking, Fast and Slow

By , March 2, 2015

thinking_fast_and_slowWow. I just realized that I’ve been reading one book for more than a year, and I’m still not even half-done.

The book is Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow. Of course, I’ve read dozens of other books during this time.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s a really good, really interesting book — but it constantly forces me to think, and sends my brain into a tailspin of distraction. Read more »

Game-Changer and Liars & Outliers

By , June 1, 2014
 

I ordered about 20 books from Amazon last month; two are unexpectedly similar:  David McAdams’ Game-Changer: Game Theory and the Art of Transforming Strategic Situations (2014), and Bruce Schneier’s Liars & Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive (2012).

Both discuss “Game Theory” at some length, and both do it in a way that I found engaging and understandable.  Alas, Game-Changer ultimately disappointed me, as the author shared some very flawed example suggestions in the latter half of the book.  I haven’t yet finished Liars & Outliers, as I became distracted by some other business books.

The Filter Bubble

By , May 24, 2014

My low expectations for Eli Pariser’s The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You (2011) were met and exceeded.  Although the discussion was somewhat repetitive, it was generally entertaining and engaging.

The author clearly explains the danger posed by the combination of our desire for personalization, plus advertisers’ desire for precision targeting.

 “You live in an equilibrium between your own desires and what the market will bear.” (p.215)

That danger is the risk that we will lose “serendipity,” Read more »

Poetry, and Thanks

By , February 23, 2014

I wanted to attend an event today, where Stephen Dunn will speak and read poetry. It’s in Sacramento, nearly a two-hour drive each way, and I decided not to go.

But all weekend, I’ve been thinking about poetry and how I came to love poetry. And so I’ll write about it. Read more »

Brown unLike Me, by Emmanuel Ortiz

By , November 11, 2012

When I first saw this poetry “chapbook,” I felt a faint glimmer of recognition at the author’s name, which clicked into place when I found the poem, “A Moment of Silence,” at the end of the book.

“A Moment of Silence” is one of those poems that draws a sharp reaction from nearly everyone who reads it. Read more »

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