Saturday, February 22, 2014

Interested in high-tech gadgets?

I certainly am, and so is my business partner, Bill Catchings.  He tests a lot of them, but unlike most people who review gadgets, he doesn't just test them for the short amount of time their deadlines permit.  Instead, he lives with them, really puts them through their paces, and when he's confident he truly understands them, he writes about them.  He's been doing this for a while on his personal blog, but now he's doing it for us at Principled Technologies as the kick-off writer in our new Insights series.  (More folks will be adding different sorts of insights over time.)

In the first installment, he gives this thoughts on the Basis smart watch.  See what he has to say here.

What excites me most about this addition to PT's offerings are getting to read Bill's insights regularly and also providing an outlet for exploring the incursion of tech into all sorts of devices and areas of our lives.


Friday, February 21, 2014

I wanna write on a train

Who wouldn't want to do that, really?  I worked on Slanted Jack on several trains in Japan, for example, and each time I found the experience pleasant and, more importantly, quite productive. 

What prompted this thinking is this potentially wonderful new program from Amtrak, which Pam alerted me to.

Of course, I wouldn't want to do a 44-hour train residency, which is what the first person tried.  Oh, no.  I'd want to go cross-country or at least to the middle of the U.S.  A train ride to Kansas City for some barbecue and the end of a novel?  Hell, yeah. 

Amtrak, if you're listening, where do I apply?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

When you finish a novel late at night... long do you let yourself wait before you choose the next novel you're going to read?  (I'm talking here only about fiction; non-fiction is a separate reading category.) 

For me, the answer depends on two factors:

  1. How good the novel I just finished was
  2. Whether the novel on top of my mental to-read stack still feels appropriate
If the novel I just completed was marvelous, as last night's James Lee Burke (The Glass Rainbow) was, I will sometimes turn off the light and go to sleep not knowing what novel I will read next.  Should I do that, though, I will always determine my next novel the first thing in the morning.

If the novel I was planning to read still feels appropriate, I will get out of bed, take the just-finished book out of my book cover, and put in the new one.  If that novel no longer seems appropriate, then I will usually hunt for a new one right then and actually start it.

Obsessive, much?

Not I.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sarah Prime

23 years ago, just past the turn of midnight, Sarah entered the world and my life.  She was, always has been, and remains one of the most amazing, wonderful people I've ever had the privilege of knowing.

18 years ago, she and Scott would run laps around my office, singing along with these tunes (and others) and screaming and swerving to avoid my lunges, lunges that never quite seemed to reach them, and I smiled and sang along and felt my heart could explode at any second from the sheer mass of love in it. 

I am the luckiest father in the world to have this particular brown-eyed girl--now, woman--as my daughter.

Happy birthday, Sarah.

I love you.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Do I believe Apple is going to buy Tesla?

And leave me driving an iCar?

In a word, no.

In two words, no way.

Though I'm not at all sure it would be a bad idea for Apple to diversify in this way, I just can't see Tim Cook making that bold a move.  Plus, Tesla's stock price is so high right now that Apple would be paying a huge premium for the company relative to its income (as all Tesla shareholders are).

Having said all that, I wouldn't be surprised if Tesla and Apple were to partner on battery production and/or technology efforts. 

Just don't expect them to become one company.

Disclosure:  I own both Apple and Tesla stock, and I own some Apple products and a Tesla Model S P85+.  I have zero insider information about either company. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lovely song

Check out this cover of The National's song, "I need my girl."

I may be biased, because I know these folks, and the lead singer, Ben, is a friend and colleague, but they did a terrific job with this song.

For comparison purposes, here's The National's video for the original.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

A month from now

I'll be heading to TEDActive, the simulcast gathering of TED that I've attended for most of the last several years.  (I missed the one right after my mother died.)  The program for this year's event is now available; check it out

I go to this conference because in past years it has helped me think differently and in unusual directions; it's stretched my brain a bit.  I'm hoping this year's version does the same.

I'm honestly not thrilled about the venue change from Palm Springs (warm in the winter) to Whistler (ski resort), because I don't ski or have any particular interest in winter sports.  Still, I've never been to British Columbia and look forward to seeing at least a bit of it.

As always, I'll report back from the conference with comments on at least some of the talks.


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