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Best Home Theater Accessory Ever June 27, 2009

Posted by weare1 in gadgets, geek.
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Harmony 890 Kit

You must get this exact version of Harmony’s fantastic universal remote control, not the fancier ones, and not the cheaper ones although you’ll be tempted.  This ain’t cheap, but it has a feature called the RF extender, and what this little black box does receive the command from your remote via radio frequencies instead of infra-red (light) and then send that command to your components via infra-red which is what most components use.  RF is way better then infra-red because it has longer range and does not require a line of sight, so you don’t have to “aim” your remote.  Also, because the RF extender comes with IR emitters, you can put all of your components in a cabinet out of sight yet still have full remote control.  Fantastic.  Better still is the easy to use software (mac and PC) to set up the remote with all of your devices and even fine-tune it.  The remote itself has a rechargeable battery, so there’s no concerns about running out of juice.  The remote even plays a cute little slide show on its little LCD when it goes back in it’s cradle.  The remote itself has an small screen on it, is fully customizable and works by activities rather then devices, what this means is that it offers things like “watch TV” or “listen to CDs”, not “CD->play”, it’s a subtle but significant difference.  When in an activity the screen offers relevant choices.  It took a few tries to get everything working perfectly, but each tweek made it a little bit better.  I’m overjoyed with this device, it’s made my life better.

Logitech Harmony 890 Advanced Universal Remote Control

The Uninsured Subsidize The Insured May 24, 2009

Posted by weare1 in rant.
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In America we have two health care systems, one for the insured and one for the uninsured.  They are exactly the same in every way except one, price.  If an insured person goes to an emergency room and requires a bandage their insurance company is charged the insured rate, say $20.  Now if an uninsured person goes to the same emergency room and got the same bandage they would be billed about 20 times more then the other’s insurance company, $400 in this case.  Both people need the bandage, why should the uninsured person pay more in effect subsidizeing the insured person?  Is this fair?  Clearly not.  Yet, this is what is happening day in and day out in hospitals throughout this country.  We need change, and we need it yesterday.  If you’re not outraged then you’re not paying attention.

Netflix Hits It Out Of The Park With Xbox360 HD Streaming October 29, 2008

Posted by weare1 in Internet, software.
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Netflix HD on Xbox360

Netflix HD on Xbox360

Netflix has apparently hit a home run with it’s new (yet to be released-Nov. 19th) High-Definition movie streaming application for Xbox360’s.  HD streaming is clearly the future of media and Netflix is the first one to deliver this long awaited  feature.  I’ve been using the regular Netflix service for years now and have nothing but great things to say about it, but this is a game changer.  Kudus to Microsoft for realizing that this will drive Xbox360 sales perhaps at some cost to their own over-priced movie downloads.  Once this hits the Xbox360 will be on a lot of christmas lists, and not just kids either.  Netflix has priced this right (free!) with your existing traditonal Netflix movie account and your Xbox360 gold membership.  To be fair there is only a limited selection of HD movies (and TV shows) available, but expect this to increase as studios begin to realize revenues from streaming.  Netflix pays the studios a very small amount every time you stream their movies, and while Netflix is currently absorbing those costs to drive membership this cannot last.  Expect that there will be fees in the future, but for now this is the media delivery system that consumers want.

Yahoo craps on itself! July 14, 2008

Posted by weare1 in commentary, Internet, rant, software.
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This company is incompetent.  They literally owned the Internet, they had huge market share, and through complete lack of innovation, they gave it to Google.  Today Yahoo! took the one last good thing they had (My Yahoo) and FORCED users to switch to some new 2.0 version, which to put it mildly, sucks ass.  Why wouldn’t they give users a choice?  Can’t afford the disk space?  Really?  They had a product I was mostly happy with and ruined it.  Nice going dipshits.  Do these guys own google stock or what?  How is it it possible that one of the biggest companies in the valley hasn’t made any significant changes to their core site in years (other then ruin the few things that worked well?  They have hundreds of employees and millions of dollars of market cap, what do these people do all day?  I know it’s not customer service, you would know that too if you ever tried to get any out of them.  They hide their phone numbers, and don’t even have email support.  They make you fill in forms which are auto-handled (incorrectly) and ignored.  Yahoo had to go out and buy innovation (Flickr), and even then they didn’t always do a good job.  So by switching me to your lame my yahoo 2.0 you are dead to me now Yahoo.  I thought it was My Yahoo, apparently not.

A New Way Of Working November 11, 2007

Posted by weare1 in commentary, economics, politics, rant, society.
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What if there was a law requiring management salaries to be no more then double the average worker’s salary?  Ladies and gentlemen we would see across the board increases in wages, a more robust economy, and greater tax revenues.  Why won’t we ever see this sort of thing?  Because the people in power make ungodly amounts more then the workers they hire, and will do everything in their power to keep it that way.  Unless and until workers vote in large numbers and demand significant campaign finance reforms we will never see this here in our country, even though it would be in our national interest.  Something to think about.

Catalog Choice – Eliminate unwanted catalogs you receive in the mail October 30, 2007

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Do your little part and help save some trees, this is drop-dead easy, and I recommend you spend a few minutes helping our planet.

Catalog Choice – Eliminate unwanted catalogs you receive in the mail

Saturday Morning Cartoon Mash-up October 26, 2007

Posted by weare1 in art, comedy, society.
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scm2

Via Neatorama

On Liberty October 26, 2007

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We all declare for liberty, but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. — A. Lincoln

A Better Internet Experience October 25, 2007

Posted by weare1 in geek, Internet.
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After talking with some friends about the way they browse the internet, I thought I’d share my workflow with you all to help us surf better and faster.

1) get Firefox (any platform)

2) add extensions to Firefox

A) Adblock+, I haven’t seen a web advertisement in two years

B) NoScript, changes default javascript to off, you have to give specific permission to run javascript on websites. Only running javascript you trust has two benefits, first, it’s a huge security improvement, and second, your browsing will be a lot faster.

3) setup your bookmark toolbar to be hierarchical folders.

Firefox’s Bookmark toolbar lets you put often used bookmarks right in your browser bar. What I do is to create large catagories here, like SF, ( I always use abbreviations to preserve screen real estate) Mac, Gadgets, Photo, ect. then make folders for those categories in the bookmark toolbar, like this:bookmarktoolbar

Next always use RSS feeds instead of bookmarks, simply put the subscribed RSS feeds under your new categorized folders. For example put the RSS feed for SFGate under SF. After you’ve got a few RSS feeds under a category you can move your mouse down the column and read all the stories under SF quickly and easily like this:

rssfeeds

You can also further organize by using folders within folders, for example, I break down my blog column by people blogs, political blogs, and consumer blogs, use whatever works for you, but keep the titles short to maximize your screen real estate.

subcatagories

I also recommend you regularly use Firefox’s bookmark manager to reorder your feeds regularly, put the best ones at the top. By doing this over time, you can rip through the day’s most important stories quickly, and not miss anything important.

I hope this insight into my web workflow helps you, and I welcome your recommendations for improvement.