“Glass Half Empty” Worldview Easier in the Short Term No wonder it’s so easy to fall into cycles of negativity.
If you’re an avid Google Calendar user and a Firefox user, you need to stop what you’re doing and check out the GCal Popup Firefox add-on.
Quite simply, it adds an icon in the status bar at the bottom right of your Firefox window with a little calendar icon on it. When you click on it, the current page you are looking at will dim in a way that is reminiscent of Apple’s Dashboard effect, and your Google Calendar will show. You can use and manipulate it as you desire, and once you are done, simply click in one of the shaded areas of the underlying web page outside of the Google Calendar window that is showing, and Google Calendar will disappear. It’s a slick effect, and one that makes quickly checking or updating your calendar seem almost effortless.
Yesterday Google previewed a new product yesterday called Google Wave. It’s very hard to describe what this is all about, but if you understand that email as it currently exists was invented about 40 years ago (long before the internet itself came into existence) and has not functionally changed at all since then, it’s easy to imagine that if email were to be invented today, it would be much different.
Google Wave is Google’s re-interpretation of what email (and in fact all online communication) would be if it was to be invented today. It’s real, and it’s going to be spectacular.
Below is a post I wrote for Download Squad about a game my wife turned me on to, but as it turns out the game had already been covered previously under a different name.
When you write for a blog that has multiple authors, duplication is bound to happen. I’ve developed very good searching skills to ensure that there isn’t already an existing post for a site or product I’m about to write about, but there’s not much you can do when the game goes by a completely different name. Oh well, that’s how it goes.
And now my description of what this post is about is as long as the post itself.
Sometimes the more simple the game is, the more infuriatingly addicting it is. Circle the Cat definitely falls into that category. The goal in Circle the Cat is to completely surround the cat with green dots. Each turn you get to turn one of the yellow dots green, and the cat gets to move one space. If you surround the cat with green dots, you win. If the cat escapes, you lose. The game is certainly winnable, but you definitely need to make creative use of the pre-existing green dots on the board when the game first starts, and if you get unlucky and get only a few or a few poorly placed dots, good luck to you – you’re probably better starting over.
- Software + zealots + personalities
- A Beginner’s Guide to Quicksilver
- Gruber nails how I felt about Apple before making the switch a couple of years ago (and afterwards). He’s right; the presence or absence of zealots means nothing.
- I love Quicksilver, and this little primer is a great reminder that there is so much more power under the hood, but I need to go looking for it.
The day before yesterday I started to notice that my iPhone is able to download while connected only through 3G (not WiFi) much faster than it typically does. I figured it was a momentary blip, but that my 3G connection would go back to its respectable-but-not-particularly-amazing speeds.
But, it hasn’t.
In fact, last night I decided to turn off my WiFi antenna because I’m getting virtually the same speed over 3G. This has the twofold advantage of saving battery life, and reducing the lag time in those moments when I’m coming into or going out of WiFi range and the phone has to switch internet providers.
Obviously I’m going to monitor this and if my 3G speeds start to suffer again, I’ll start using WiFi again, but for the moment it seems to me that Rogers has done something to increase the bandwidth available to 3G subscriber devices. Either that, or I’m just in the middle of a particularly good run of wireless internet luck. (How geeky is that?)
A couple of years ago I read a book called Stumbling on Happiness by a guy named Dan Gilbert. I devoured it, reading long passages out loud to my wife. And yet I think, somehow, that I managed to miss the point of the book, or at least quickly forget it.
Fast-forward to a few days ago, and I become aware that Gilbert has given not one, but two TED Talks, and that both are available for free on their site. And they are both absolutely worth watching.
The concept that Gilbert presents that hits home strongest for me is that though our current society tends to look down on “synthesized happiness” (think of someone who by all accounts should be down-and-out, but yet claims to be perfectly happy), there is in fact no difference at all between synthesized happiness and “real happiness” (that is, happiness that is achieved when goals are met).
I’m probably not describing it very eloquently, so I recommend jumping in and just watching. Here’s the first video from September 26, 2006, called Why are we happy?
The second video is from December 16, 2008 and is titled Our mistaken expectations.
Interestingly, Gilbert stumbled into his current line of work after doing years of dead-end jobs and finally deciding he would like to become a novelist. Upon attempting to sign up for a creative writing class at his local community college and finding it full, he decided to enroll in a psychology course, figuring that it would help him with character development. Fast-forward to now, and he’s a celebrated Harvard prof and bestselling author. Not too shabby.
The New York Times has an article from Friday about the Zamboni corporation, primarily focused on the fact that the economic downturn doesn’t seem to be adversely affecting the company. Even if you’re not interested in the economic angle, the article is a fun read for anyone that has a soft spot in their heart for the big old brick-lick Zamboni. Here’s a quote:
When Zamboni engineers want to do some on-ice testing, a machine is driven several city blocks beneath a skyline of palm trees and fast-food signs, to the Iceland skating rink, where Zamboni became Zamboni in the first place 60 years ago.
The original machine sits in a far corner of the rink.
“The one from 60 years ago would still make a halfway decent sheet of ice,” Mr. Zamboni said. “Just not as good as the new ones.”
- Personal Heresy: What OS You Use Is No Longer Critical
- Having recently used Google Chrome for a week on XP while my Mac was being repaired, I have to agree with the sentiment of this article. If Windows 7 is as good as people are saying it is, OSes are going to become truly just a matter of taste and/or convenience.