Your kids will love you this summer

There is a program in place that can help you and I get kids excited about Making.  Buy your kids a subscription to Make Magazine, via our link, and this summer there will be great projects you’ll find they are inspired by.  If you use our link here to buy your 1-year subscription 50% of that will be available to McYork to spend on electronic bits and bytes. These will ALL be given to kids and people who show an interest in electronics or projects that will incorporate them.  Use it or lose it rules apply – the recipients of the parts will need to express what they plan to do with the various parts and show us the project working by summer’s end (we love youtube for that part).  If you and your kids build the fun projects in Make Magazine we’d also love to hear from you and or watch your youtube video of the fun you had.

Kabam Acquires Exploding Barrel Games, Build Outs Presence In Vancouver

Exploding Barrel Games1778

Kabam, a midcore mobile and social developer that ended last year with about $160 million in revenue, just bought Exploding Barrel Games and is expanding its presence out in the Vancouver area. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

via [TechCrunch](

Current electric highway

(puns are fun) This is a google map showing the current supercharging stations. From this alone, you should be able to get to any destination within 100 Miles of any of these locations and do so without any range anxiety. If your final destination has charging options then you can be comfortable within 200 miles of any of these locations. If you look into public charging stations you can probably cross the country in any direction. By 2015 the Tesla stations should enable cross-country trips with ease. I am going to get to know California then the country.

If you are listening Tesla – Phoenix next; I have travel plans and a place to stay all ready to execute.

View Larger Map

The Tesla Model S charge port, juice er up fella!

Charge It!A mini fact:  So far the average charge time for the car has been about 2 hours for a normal day to work and back.  If I drive more conservatively someday perhaps that time will come down (unlikely anytime soon).  In the photo, the surface that looks like a button is indeed one.  When you push this the little flap, that is part of the running lights, pops open.  Push the plug into the car and the green ring will light up.  Pulsing slowly or quickly depending upon the current battery level.  Press the button again to pull out the plug.  All of that will only work if you have the key fob with you.  I tried to remove the plug when the key fob was in the house and it would not unlock/come out.  Also, the car can detect the plug is in and will not let you drive off.  Good thing for those (not yet fully) caffeinated early morning departures.  I am not keen to look at the PG&E bill but will do so shortly to see how we are doing in that regard.

On a slightly different note today all driving about has been electric.  A gas-free day today.  I’ll maybe start tracking the car and bike usage (all cars and bikes).  When the cars are used to do anything that counts and if the bikes are used to do anything useful other than exercise that will count.  In a gas-free world, I’d take my electric bike to work while the rest of the day’s outings would be in the Tesla.  A fully electric day.  Half and half would be we use 1 gas and one electric.  Full gas would be we used no electric.  There will be the odd day we don’t go any place at all.  I should probably track this on a Google sheet.

Lastly will be doing the daily cash costs of gas vs electric from the simple fueling only perspective.  I am certain if I use all the gas items from the CC bills over the last year and the electric bills there should be some way to see how much money shifted to electric and if there are any savings at this level.  That’s data collection so someday soon again.

Tesla Model S is here.

The Tesla Model S is a thrill to drive.  I love speed and acceleration so it is a good fit.  To say it has all the features of an electric car sells it short.  It has all the features of any car you’d ever really want.  It just happens to be electric.  A few posts will be here over time about the car and when there are interesting developments but otherwise expect the hardware and geekery that’s considered normal.

Today I drive the car to work for the first time.  My impression of the car, dark in the garage, fully charged, was one of latent power.  For an odd reason, I perceive it as asleep and not off.  Odd that I perceived anything of this nature in fact.

First hours of ownership, why not drive the coast for a while.
First hours of ownership, why not drive the coast for a while.

Hi ho hi ho.

Knowledge is the reset button

This post is about how knowledge and research can change your life.  A while back I made a simple internal pact with myself.  If I hit 200 LB I’ll just stop eating.  Funny thing is, that worked for three or more years.  I should mention there was a prior limit set at 195 LB.  Before that, I was not really watching.  Weight gain was depressing and all, but not getting in the way as far as I could tell (my doctor had been saying otherwise, but it fell on deaf ears).  When I started to mull over setting the limit to 205 LB I had to put my mental foot down and say no.  At that point, it came to starve a few extra hours a week to force the 200 LB limit into remaining valid.  That was probably going to be the rest of my days – fighting the 200 LB limit.  In fact, I had already resigned to it.

Diets for me are transient.  I’ll start on one once in awhile.  Never with true intent.  Never with passion.  Never with any successes.  Sure a few pounds at the start – yippie!

The 200 LB limit sat at the back of my brain taking up undeserved space while injecting the fear of getting set higher and higher over time.  I did not want another diet, I did not want to exercise a ton, I wanted to make sustainable healthy changes that put my weight on a downward slope, however slight, just point it down.

Then I learned something.  In one hour.  I was lead down the simple path of well-presented information to the knowledge that reset the way I look at everything.  I’ve recently “let my weight drop” and put it on that downward slope.  What a crazy sentence. It seems to imply I have control over the angle of the slope.  I do.  Today, for instance, I woke up to a 175 LB me. Nice!

What worked for me was simply adding quality knowledge about the human body to my brain. What is a protein, a fat, a carb, a sugar, a ketone?  What of these do I eat or process?  Knowing more about these; what simple changes can I make to effect the changes I have long desired?

It is difficult to find something that’s posted in/on the Internet without agenda.  I’ll try not to lie.  I want you to go out and learn how to learn.  How to filter the noise.  How to know when you don’t know.  I am not teaching these things, they are milestones on your way to finding the reset buttons in your life.

All I can share is what got me excited about learning to learn and to carve through the noise to find the pure notes of relevant research.

I listen to a security-related podcast every week.  By Steve Gibson.  Called “Security Now”.  If you are in IT or a geek like me you’ll find it wonderful.  Regardless, what happened out of the blue one day was; Steve did a health-related podcast about vitamin D.  Why?  I didn’t care, I got to listen to a very capable explainer explain all about vitamin D.  He consistently applies significant time and energy to each topic he presents on the podcast, this health episode was no different.  He even presented data he had collected from his own blood tests and experiments in sunbathing to collect vitamin D.

Fast forward a bit in time and there was another unexpected health-related podcast – this time Steve had been experimenting on himself as it pertained to diet.  As like any security related podcast he taught you the basics and built upon them (over two podcasts this time).  By the end, I knew I had started my next chapter in life.  I have since played the podcasts a few more times, bought and read two of the books Steve recommended, initiated simple changes in my daily food types, and lost 25 LB since May this year (4 months).  I have also since learned (as yet another chapter of life unfolds) that without quality data and research you are courting a mundane and manipulated life.

Question everything.  Question this blog post.  Research and return.  Question more.



New proposed TLD .pinkbunny

A new top-level domain (TLD) is being proposed to  B’ecause’ I CAN as a safe alternative to existing domain namespace.  The “.pinkbunny” domain will be aimed at those organizations requiring a high level of trust and security of their websites, such as kids with pink bunnies, those who may have lost a pink bunny and other critical infrastructure sites that deal with pink bunnies.
The proposal is that organizations successfully registering a site within the “.pinkbunny” domain space would need to undergo a thorough background check and also adhere to a number of strict security requirements such as photographic proof of said pink bunny and regular visits to the vet for checkups to ensure no virus infections.  Any sites not adhering to the security policies would be disconnected.  B(ecause) I CAN is currently reviewing submissions for new TLDs and is expected to publish its results over the coming weeks.

ThinkUp App has your back(up).

I have always believed in my notion that we live on the crest of (various) information waves.  Anything that will save us from living within a single distracted minute is a good thing.  ThinkUp can backup the social network data that’s flowing backward off the waves and out of site as you surf towards the infinite shore.  ThinkUp analyzes all the data it collects.  ThinkUp gives you insights and information previously the domain of the social networks and not shared with you.

ThinkUp is (today) still a bit more geek-oriented than “click and go” user-friendly.  For someone that cares about their data (analysis) and has an Amazon AWS account – very simple to install, run, and setup as the documentation is some of the best and most directly useful that I have ever read.  AWS Get Started @ ThinkUp.

For me the best page to read was this one about the inspiration(s) for ThinkUP.  I had no idea that even 3/4 of those companies/services existed.  I found it a quick guide to the current ‘state of the web’ for the core ideas ThinkUp has formed around.  I am glad to say I stand with ThinkUp as “the one” of these many I may be able to contribute to in the future.

Rogers Pooched my 3G iPad and weekend – auto renew FAIL

Seems when Rogers did the magic auto renew stuff with Apple iTunes or however it is glued together, it all fell apart.  I give my experience of auto-renew an epic FAIL.  July 1st long weekend started Thursday and my iPad 3G stopped working the day before.  I am going on a 4 day weekend with 8 geeks that do not yet have iPads.  Who each influence 10 to 100+ geeks.  They all still don’t have iPads (and none will likely have Rogers 3G iPads).  Of all things I am posting this from a computer with a keyboard – how painfully near real-time / out of touch is that!  I could not bring myself to “show it off” when it had no network access.  It was camping in the woods – wifi was distant.  3G would have worked (iPhone had no issues).  Several *611 calls have enabled me to talk to many friendly people – none of which have resolved the fact that I have no 3G wireless access via my iPad yet.  I seem to have paid for 3G access.  Just have not seen any on my iPad yet.  It is July 5th today FYI, Rogers.

Rogers – where is the front page link to the solution I need?  This did not affect anyone else?

Rogers – where is the email with the link to the fix I need? I have made phone calls…

Rogers where is the phone call and or voicemail telling me what to click to fix this? you said someone would get back to me.

Apple where is my Bell or Telus SIM (Telus plan looks like it sucks, I’ll take Bell please). Consider sending one out to all iPad owners proactively and thus encourage a competitive mobile data market in Canada.

Rogers, please refund me all the missed days – still missing… and credit me a good chunk if I am going to stick around.

Bell, I am probably asking Rogers to get out of my iPad and I’d like to invite you in.  Call me.

UPDATE: July 8th – no 3G data yet.  Was given a ticket number for the affected users.  I assumed they’d put me on a list of iPads to fix when I called them on June 30th… but calling again on July 6th(?) got me on the list (again?).  They are keeping a list – are you on the list?

UPDATE: July 12th – no 3G data yet.  The main ticket number provided to me was PT00016046 if anyone has any ideas on how to move this along – that’d be nice.

UPDATE: July 17th – OK I woke up today and 3G is now working on my iPad.  How’d that magic happen?  Not sure.  A re-boot helped it sync time properly (was a few minutes off).  Now – I have 13 days remaining on my 30 days with zero ability to use data for those days gone by – there has to be something that will just magically fix that too?  Ready and waiting for the clock to be reset.  It is not my idea of fun to hang out on a support line.  Nor is it my idea of fun to be called and told to call support (and maybe later in the day to avoid the wait time).  As much as I use Rogers (three accounts) I am not wishing this experience on others.  Currently, the display on the “cellular data” link says it expires on 07/30/10.  I hope this date moves – I dread calling yet again, but perhaps I may, just to voice the concept that our agreement has not been met (me data, you money).

iPad now in my hands – loving it so far.

Working from the iPad today. Not bad. I can find a way to hold it that works well in most positions. Far better than a laptop in every couch position. For the types of tasks I imagine the iPad to do well with – it is great at home so far. Email and web – and the all important links in email to web – these tasks are very easy to manage on the iPad. Nice big screen the screen rotation lock is a great addition. Watching the last 12 hours of an eBay auction also easy to do. Migrating from an iPhone to this iPad is not going to be difficult.

Apple may have in fact sold a competing product to the iPhone. For those of us that find the size ok to have with us all the time why would an iPhone be required? A simple voice only phone will now probably suffice. I guess it all comes down to how do you want to balance your freedom. By freedom I mean, to which piper will you pay for voice and data plans. iPad is another choice. It’s 3G appears not to be locked to a provider offering even more choice. In fact fostering actual competition once the different vendors see the need to acquire these new customers with unlocked devices. Not free but a new unlocked freedom may bring a breath of fresh air to the Canadian wireless market if nothing else.

I’ll be looking for a pay as you go SIM on a USA plan when I next visit the states. To prove this device is 1) not locked and 2) I do indeed have this new freedom. In fact over the next few months I’ll try to have a month to month plan with Rogers, Telus and Bell and thus exercise my new freedom. At the very least I plan to watch how the plans settle in. Once they all become contracts for longer periods and start to look like current cell contracts, then I’ll give up my hope for freedom. Here’s to that never happening and a real competitive landscape forming instead.

I do like the iPad 3G in Canada. I have high hopes for it to make a difference in how people work and play. It will make a difference in mine, the month to month data plan already has.