… into the current “Sad Batman” meme craze that’s sweeping the internet. Enjoy?
… into the current “Sad Batman” meme craze that’s sweeping the internet. Enjoy?
It has been an interesting 24 hour period when it comes to vehicles.
Starting on 4/25, I sold the 2005 Infiniti FX45, my treasured commuting and skiing companion during the end of my California tenure.
Then on 4/26, I sold the 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 coupe, my first true, new from the factory car and my weekend fun vehicle. It was my occasional valley carver and fun day toy.
Now I’m down to the current company vehicle, a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado LT truck. It possesses neither of the FX’s or C6′s charms, but is a useful hauler of people and stuff.
I enjoyed my time with both the FX45 and C6, but I hope that I have helped them find good, new homes. Both will be missed.
Doing a bit of time travel here, but it is worth noting that in 2013 I…
So, there’s all that happening in a single yearly post.
For some reason today, Labor Day, I decided that I had to have something from my childhood as a reward for the dusty work around the house that I performed. It seemed only fitting that this treat have some kind of Coca-Cola flavoring to it, since that is one of the most vivid and constant memories I had growing up. Problem is, I really dislike the way Coke tastes now in the USA, so hopping over to the local Safeway for a beverage certainly wouldn’t do.
First I thought it would be a good time to stock up on some Mexican Coke again. I live in California, I have a Costco membership, this should be no problem… except that it’s Labor Day, Costco is closed, and none of the Costco’s nearby carry the sugary drink any longer. Strike one.
Alright, how about that kiddie treat standby, the vulnerable Coke Slurpee? I asked Google Now where the nearest 7-11 store was and I headed out the door. Upon arriving, I searched around the store to find the magic machine of frozen drink deliciousness. Only once I got close to the machine did I discover the sad truth: the machine was broken, flashing, and leaking some kind of darkened ooze. The store clerk was of no use, simply repeating what the machine had already communicated and then returning to his headphones and music. Strike two.
I set off for yet another 7-11 location. I am now discovering in my search that it is far easier to find Starbucks locations than it is to find frozen wonder drinks. After driving around for another 8 or so minutes, I find the next frozen delivery den. Inside there is a working cola flavored Slurpee machine. I grab a cup, turn the switch and delight in the process of fulfilling my admittedly short term goal of Coke nirvana. After paying the clerk and walking out the door I take my first straw-full of Slurpee and…. I am disappointed.
All of this searching, driving and anticipating had raised my expectations to levels that were unsupportable. I was left with a mildly cola flavored, ice crystal drink and a series of questions about how I recall my childhood. Was the Slurpee always this tasteless and bland? Is my memory fading now such that I couldn’t recall the previous bouts of poor cola taste? Had the secret recipe changed somehow in the intervening years while I wasn’t watching?
I believe I’ve learned an important lesson here: lower expectations are better expectations. And that it’s probably better to buy Mexican Coke, some vanilla ice cream, and make my own concoctions at home. Figures.
I was told recently that I should be putting covering material across any gaps in the hinge areas of my aircraft control surfaces. That seemed very superficial to me, so I put off making these changes for several weeks. However, after flying the Extra 260 today with these modifications I am a believer… at least for this type of plane and flying.
It seems that by putting covering material over all gaps between the wing and ailerons at the hinge line, and eliminating all air gaps from this area, the control inputs and flight characteristics of the Extra are much crisper and happen more quickly than before. I performed the same modifications on the elevators and horizontal stabilizers as well, and again the control inputs seem to be much more noticeable than they were previously. Only the rudder and vertical stabilizer went untouched.
The covering job for this area certainly wasn’t of the highest quality, but the end result speaks for itself. Where the Extra 260 once was docile and slow on low control rates with a gap between the surfaces, now control inputs are fast, crisp and very predictable. I wouldn’t have said that a 1/8th or 1/16th gap between surfaces would mean that much to overall flight performance but I saw and felt today that on aerobatic aircraft, every gap does indeed matter.
It has been more than a year, but the 30cc Extra 260 flew again this past weekend. I was beginning to wonder if it was ever going to return, but a series of unfortunate events conspired to keep the airplane and I separated while it was repaired. Now, however, it seems to be close to full operational goodness, and I’m glad to have my hands on the controls again.
It was bound to happen at some point, but today is the day the T-28 met its demise while flying in my hands. Fittingly, it was a mid-air collision with another T-28 (and another former Bayside member) that ended its flying days so abruptly. Seems there are some things that EPP foam just can’t recover from, and of course I found this out the hard way.
Goodbye ParkZone T-28, I’ll miss you.
Dear people of the internet, please help yourself out by verifying that the email address you sprinkle to every web site, sweepstakes form, shopping cart, government entity and social network is actually an address that belongs to you. I’ll even tell you how to do this, just follow these simple, basic steps:
My day job is spent getting technology products and services made, shipped and into consumer hands as quickly and efficiently as possible. With such a job comes pressures to release things that aren’t quite ready or have known issues in order to secure time-to-market or competitive advantages. I sometimes have to put a companies best interests ahead of the consumer, even if I worry about the outcome. I state all of this up front so that people will have a clearer view into my thoughts on the process of software updates and the need to just ship something.
However, given everything I just said I am here to say that the latest Gingerbread release of Android (2.3.3 for those keeping score at home) on the Motorola Droid X is an unconditional and complete failure. Very few software updates in recent memory have done so much harm to a well respected product, to so many people in such a short period of time. Don’t just take my word for it, go look at the US forums for the Droid X and see just how many people are having issues. It isn’t just a few upset customers, it is thousands of them.
What makes this entire process all the more terrible is that Motorola had an early access program for select users to allow them to “soak test” the release before the general public got it. Instead, it seems that the early access folks had only 48 hours or so with the update before Motorola and Verizon pushed this mess out into the world. Worse still, many of these folks were reporting issues and asking to slow the roll out until at least some of the problems were fixed. That didn’t happen, and now the Motorola employees on the forum have gone silent or suggested that the customers are simply not understanding the new update.
I am now left with a previously fantastic phone that reboots at least once a day, a battery that runs down in 7 hours, no working phone service if I dare turn on WiFi, a confused GPS sensor and an uglier user interface than I thought was possible to have. Worse, because this new update is “better” than the previous Froyo release, there is no root access and thus no way to copy off the system log files or take screenshots to prove that all of this bad behavior is happening. Bravo Motorola, you’ve turned my once useful phone into an expensive, defective paperweight.
I have certainly learned my lesson from this exercise. The next time I buy a phone I will make sure that it is fully unlocked, fully modifiable by the user and completely supported by the manufacturer rather than hoping that support folks will step in and do “the right thing” to help customers out. Shame on me, indeed.
I try to not mention things related to past employers or clients but the scope of this issue is so vast that I feel something must be said.
The short story is that Sony had some kind of hack attack that exposed the full data set of all of their users. And by full data set I mean names, emails, home addresses, passwords, purchase histories and credit card numbers. And by all of their users I mean 77 Million people world wide. Let all of that sink in for a minute. What would you do if every bit of information needed to make a purchase or impersonate you was made available, along with almost all of the security data needed to answer a password question or reset security at any online site?
In my case I had to do something that I should have done long ago: change scores of passwords. I don’t often reuse passwords but I do sometimes create a single master password seed and then add bits to it at the beginning or end. Such was the password that I had on Sony’s PlayStation Network and Qriocity services before this break-in. As of today I’ve now had to slog through the password change procedure for dozens of sites that previously used a variation of what I gave to Sony. I’ve had to start thinking what secret questions and answers are used on the hundreds of sites, banks and other institutions that could now be known to hackers. I had to call my credit card companies and inform them that I am one of the unlucky 77 million suckers who just had their info stolen. And all the while I have to wonder where we are today on privacy and security.
You see, as much as I want to blame the big companies who have all my data and can possibly lose it all (or partner with someone who does) I also have to accept at least a little responsibility for caving in and giving up all of this data in the first place. Worse, since I am also a technology product consultant (product manager or strategy provider, if you will) I have helped to devise and have recommended asking and capturing of some of the very data that is now out in hackers hands. It gives me pause to think that somewhere there’s a nefarious, dark group of criminals using data that was formerly held by someone I worked for and that somehow I may have helped to gather or at least brought customers into that environment.
So although I am many years removed from being a Sony employee I am both angered by and sympathetic to the plight we now find ourselves in. Short of disconnecting from the internet, mobile network devices and credit card companies forever I must find a way to work within and around this system of interlocking and now inter-sharing worlds. I don’t have all the answers but I do know one thing: I will certainly be recommending far less personally identifiable data capture and I will be asking much tougher questions about data security from all my clients, prospective employers and future service providers.
For those folks (users or customers) on the outside of these big companies all I can say is be vigilant with your personal data and make very sure that whoever you give it to really needs all of it AND can protect you when (not if) the next data breach happens. If you can’t get satisfactory answers to how safe you and your data will be with a provider then it’s time to leave and find a provider that will give you that information.
UPDATE: I must have some kind of bad luck. Not even 12 hours passed before another break-in at another online site that compromised my personal data. This time the site was using another one of my “seed passwords” that caused me to spend 3 hours contacting sites and resetting accounts. The idea of disconnecting from the internet completely is starting to make some sense, in a bunker-mentality kind of way.