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Adam Lasnik
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Attended Northwestern
Lives in Mountain View, CA
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Adam Lasnik

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Well, this was fun! A traveler posted a humorous tweet [1], and I decided to drop him a handwritten note + lucky dollar plane [2] on behalf of the #GoogleFlights  team.

A bit later, we got back something rather unexpected and delightful! (see below) :-) ---

[1] https://twitter.com/TylerKurbat/status/623337835228041217
[2] https://goo.gl/photos/JRkDLWg6iKCFp5iF8
 
We're pretty stoked that a traveler's #GoogleFlights  love led to some fun exchanges and, ultimately, these impressive & creative Doodles from +Kitchen Sink Studios :)

Visit http://goo.gl/jSyHYm to learn more about how this went down and see higher res versions of these neat fan Doodles.
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Abhilash, thank you! Lots of smiles all 'round... with my teammates, and apparently at Tyler's agency, too.  :)

Victoria, thanks!  Though I'd be lying if I didn't say I had to write that hella slowly to make it legible :p.  I figured that people still appreciate decent handwriting nowadays; typing it out just wouldn't have been the same, right?
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Adam Lasnik

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[U.S. only] Google Contributor:  Give $ love to your favorite sites, see fewer ads
Great content doesn't grow on trees.  Money doesn't either, but now you can share a bit of your cash each month to help support your favorite web sites AND see fewer ads on desktop and mobile.

I've been a Contributor for a while and give it a big thumbs up.  If you're in the U.S., feel free to give it a try yourself and see what you think :)

Disclaimer: I work for Google (on http://google.com/flights), and am not on the Contributor team.  I just like the service and the philosophy behind it :-)
Introducing Contributor by Google. An experiment in additional ways to fund the web.
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Ja  też lubię  ten serwis ,lubie  wybierać ,promować  i  wszystko  inne  serdecznie   pozdrawiam  Cię Adamie 
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Adam Lasnik

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Public transit in most of America makes me cry
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Population density, meh; that's a pitiful cop-out. Have you seen the connectivity in and between small villages in Switzerland?
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Adam Lasnik

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Dear Geeky Audiophile Buddies... advice requested!

With my home Win8 desktop, I have an M-Audio USB "Fast Track Pro" thing, connected to two M-Audio AV40 speakers.  A month or so ago, the speakers seemingly started crapping out at random times... crackling, or -- more often -- the audio just ceased and wouldn't come back on until I turned the speakers on and off.

So I bought and setup new M-Audio AV40 speakers because, hey, they sound incredible when they work.  

Alas, same problem though!  So something else is amiss, and I'm not sure how to start tracking it down.  I'll probably try to swap out the USB cable first, but then I guess I need to buy a new USB audio thingy?  And they're not cheap :\.

Thoughts?
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Ah, yep, already been checking out the IRQ listing; oddly it looks like lots of things are on the same IRQ :\.  Good to know about making changes via the BIOS; I had wrongly assumed that a fresh start w/ Win 10 would do the trick.  Although that might indeed resolve stuff, I suppose, it makes sense that I should check the settings in BIOS.  Thanks!

(BTW, just curious... do Macs have this same issue w/ IRQ conflicts?  My Macbook is certainly far from crash free, but I don't remember having to deal with this IRQ stuff on it <sigh>.  Then again, it has but 2 USB ports and certainly far fewer things connected to it...)
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Adam Lasnik

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Online services and onboarding help -- what did you think?

Sometimes when you first use a new online service (task manager, mail client, whatever), you get a "Welcome to [product name], let's get started!" mini-tour sort of thing.

What did you think of this onboarding help?  Have any services you use done this in a way that you really liked or disliked?

P.S. -- The Clippy icon is admittedly not relevant here; I'm not talking about contextual help, but rather onboarding help.  But I know that posts without images don't get seen as much... :p
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I just finished the Scrivener tutorial - amazing onboarding.
However, this is for people who want to write, i.e. lots of text included.
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Adam Lasnik

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What are the in-person Salons of today?
Where do people meet to have respectful, thoughtful discussions?

I just did something even worse than getting involved in a land war in Asia [1] -- I somewhat rudely sparked a debate on Twitter.

That was doubly stupid:  1) Rude.  2) A debate on Twitter, e.g., trying to discuss nuanced issues in 140 character chunks.  

So that got me to thinking:  where can people go (offline!) today to have thoughtful, respectful, fascinating discussions with other human beings?

- Town square?  Ha!  Like we have those in the U.S. anymore.  Elsewhere... hmm, I see some nice town squares, but usually they're populated with tourists, couples, friends, etc.  Not groups of quasi-strangers passionately and eruditely discussing politics, philosophy, literature, etc.

- Cafe?  Ah, look, another person glued to their laptop or tablet!

- Bar?  Hey, baby, wanna f...ilosophize?  Yeah, right.

Some of the most inspirational and thoughtful conversations I've had have been with strangers on a long train ride, from pre-teen girls stalking me at a hostel [2], and at work (though I stay away from politics there, understandably ;-).

*  *  *

What do you think?  Am I romanticizing a time (and places) that never actually existed?  Are there actually places today for the chats I crave? [3]  Heck, are there any civil and deep conversation spots left even online?  Ironically, salon.com -- a site I used to actually subscribe to as a paying member -- has a comments section every bit as divisive and immature as that of CNN, Fox News, and others :\.

[1] A lesson from the movie "The Princess Bride."  One of the best movies of all times.  And if you are insane enough to dispute that movie's amazingness, well, those are fighting words, and we have more than 140 characters to duel debate with here :p

[2] http://www.adamlasnik.net/post/a-heartwarming-story-about-bridging-the-culture-gap/

[3] Perhaps meetup.com?  Also, I know of various 'community' houses in the SF Bay Area, like http://www.rainbowmansion.com/, but those are hyper-local and often linked via already-established friendships.
[I wrote this years ago, but had posted it on a site I no longer maintain; I thought it might be nice to share it with you now.]As many of you may already know, I spent over a year total in Europe ...
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I don't know about the US but here in Europe philosophical salons has become  popular again. They are usually organized by philosophers and/or theologicians  who set a theme for the event and act as moderators
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Adam Lasnik

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$531 roundtrip to Hong Kong -- great price, amazing city!
[Still good as of 6pm PT Aug 20; sorry for the accidental strike through of the original post in preview]

If you're on the U.S. West Coast, book this now, and you can thank the brilliant soul* who found this fare later :D.  If you're not in that location, no worries, read on!

Try the region-for-a-destination option on #GoogleFlights , and you, too, can find some super deals, even for kinda last minute travel!

Sound off in comments if you find any other awesome deals yourself :)

*Okay, fine, that brilliant soul was me :p.  

#Travel   #AirfareDeals   #BudgetTravel  

P.S. -- As Inhyuk rightly notes, the photo is one I took of SEOUL, not HK; I had originally planned to highlight Seoul airfares, but found even less expensive options to HK... and forgot to change to an HK photo.  Oops ;)
 
Tip for finding great airfares for last-minute trips
U.S. West Coast > Asia from $531rt over Labor Day wknd (via region search on #GoogleFlights) https://goo.gl/5PzRRv

Some of us have been interested in visiting (or revisiting) Asia, and with the long weekend coming up, we decided to check Google Flights for possibilities.

You can try this, too!
1) Go to http://www.google.com/flights
2) Enter in airports you're willing to fly from.  For me (Adam), I'm happy to fly from the Bay Area airports or from LAX (near family), so I entered "SFO, SJC, OAK, LAX" for the origin airports.
3) Then try a region, like "Asia" or "Southeast Asia" or "Africa" (or wherever you'd like to visit) for the destination.
4) Check out the suggested locations that show up below.  Click any card to see a list of sample airfares and hotel prices, and pick a city that looks intriguing.
5) If you have flexibility in your travel dates, try clicking one of the dates to see a 60-day pricing chart to help you save money.
5) Go ahead and book! :)

--

What great deals have YOU found on Google Flights?

Why not try some searches yourself, and then share some finds with your fellow travelers in the comments below? :-)
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Guaranteed laughs... and some head-scratchers
This film - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6wms-ZuuoE - has garnered a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 99%.  107 thumbs-up reviews, 1 thumbs-down review [1], with critics hailing it as a hilarious film for adults, not just a kiddie-flick.

I can't wait to see it (and will hopefully catch it in theater with friends this coming weekend).

But there are a couple mysteries:
- Why did so few people go see it opening weekend?  In particular, it earned less than 1/6th the revenue of this stunningly bad stinker: [2]
- Why the need for two near-identical trailers? [3]  Are we Americans really that dimwitted or provincial? (you'll understand what I mean when you compare the trailers)

---
[1] http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/shaun_the_sheep_2015/
[2] http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/fantastic_four_2015/
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/
[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_4vs0nCCUI
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I didn't go see it yet because the trailer was pretty awful. It made the movie look like a bunch of obvious slapstick and bodily function jokes. That surprised me given Aardman's reputation for making good stuff, but I just couldn't get excited about it. Hearing this, I might have to go this weekend. 

I guess it's like the "Frozen" trailer that made me think it was a movie about a magic snowman and a reindeer.
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Social dance as a playful, awesome conversation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtQeMGgoA1c

Watch Paul dance with a zillion partners, and you'll notice something intriguingly... different.

Yeah, he dances a bit differently with each partner.  Yes, each of the folks coming into his jam circle has a different style.  But that's not what I'm talking about.

He's not showboating.  He's not shouting "me, me, me, look at my awesome moves!"  He's not trying to impress.  

Rather, he's listening and he's having a conversation with each and every partner.  That's fun.  That's respect.  And that's understated talent.

He's dancing with, not at.

Why am I emphasizing this distinction?  Because nowadays, when most people look up "lindy hop" on YouTube, what they end up finding is competition clips.  And yeah, they're fun; I like watching 'em sometimes, too.  But they're scripted, they're designed to impress.  

And while I respect competitions (and competed a ton as a pianist back in the day), I think the increasing emphasis on them nowadays in dance is leading us to forget some of the dance's core beauty:  that of a conversation, of a special and often unexpected connection.  

Or, as the late, great Frankie Manning once said, "they're three minute love affairs!"

Amen to that, and let's never forget it.

----

The clip above was recorded at the 2000 Swing Out New Hampshire camp (www.swingoutnh.com), a camp which is coming up on its 17th year and is renowned for its friendliness, talented teachers, and inspiring dancers (from beginner through super-advanced).

It features +Paul Overton, who was one of my first-ever lindy hop teachers.  And just to clarify, my thoughts on dancing and lindy hop and competitions are mine, not necessarily his :).  And my persistent lack of dancing talent should not be a reflection on his fine teaching :p.
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Such clean footwork, and the knees and waist look so effortless
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I lost yet another activity/fitness/sleep tracker, and I haven't found another one to love :(
tl;dr: Won't someone PLEASE make an Android Wear watch with a plethora of sensors, great exercise and sleep tracking, and integration w/ Google Fit & Apple Health?!  I'd seriously pay $300+ for that.

--- - My Withings Pulse ran away at the gym and hasn't come back.
- My Resmed S+ sleep tracker now refuses to pair with my phone.

(admittedly, I do still have my Withings scale, so I guess I'm not totally 'alone' re trackers)

Understandably, I've been looking for another tracker to buy.
Fitbit?
They refuse to integrate with Google Fit and charge $50/yr for you to download your own data.  Bummer :\  And apparently their devices offer only mediocre sleep tracking.

Withings?
Not great with sleep tracking (doesn't measure REM, and my sleep tracking experience w/ my Pulse was overall lackluster at best). Nice Android app, though, and integration w/ Google Fit :).

Jawbone?
Tried the UP3, was really bummed with it.  Among other things, it kept switching to sleep mode while I was typing away on my computer in the afternoon!

Basis?
They do offer data export (yay!) and lots of great sensors, but their watch lacks even a basic wakeup alarm :( (though apparently they're working on it). And at least last time I checked, they weren't doing any better than the other companies at making useful, actionable sense of health data: http://www.adamlasnik.net/post/fitness-wearables-advice/

Still, the new'ish Basis Peak seems closest to what I'd like -- apparently good heart rate monitoring, strong sleep tracking, data export, compatibility w/ Google Fit, etc.  But... in addition to the lack of a wakeup alarm, there's one other major ding:  it's a watch, and I already have a watch I like (LG G Android Wear watch).

Given this, I'm really, really hoping that some company will step up to the plate and create an Android Watch that's an awesome activity and sleep tracker.  

Yeah, I know that at least a couple Android Wear watches have heart rate tracking, but I'm not sure if any of them connect that data with Google Fit.  And none of them have body temperature or other additional sensors to help w/ sleep tracking (e.g., REM detection and so on).

Keeping my fingers crossed, wrist and wallet ready.......... :)
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+Adam Lasnik if you would just do everything I recommend without debating me, you'd save time and be happy!
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Hmm.  "Thomas Was Alone" (award-winning puzzle game) is on sale on Steam, & also avail. on Android. Which should I choose? 

http://store.steampowered.com/app/220780/

#Gaming  
Out now on iPad, PC, Mac, PS3 and PS Vita! ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
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Lo...
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 +Clover Food Labs defies conventional wisdom: They serve delicious, healthy, reasonably priced food... pay their staffers well... and tips are not accepted.

I'm still smiling about my first-ever visit to one of their restaurants tonight.  I was immediately greeted by a friendly, knowledgeable staffer who helped me decide what to order and gave me a brief background on the restaurant.  From there, she was able to take my order and (with her mobile phone and Square reader) charge my card in under 30 seconds :o.

At first I was puzzled.  Er, I didn't have a chance to specify a tip!  Uh oh.

But then I learned something insanely awesome:

They pay their staff well.

They don't have to depend on tips to make ends meet, and (clearly) they provide great service because, well, they're professionals and that's what professionals do, right?

And yes, the food was super-delicious (I ordered two of their most popular things, their chickpea-fritter (aka falafel) pita, and rosemary fries.  I was initially bummed that they were out of their homemade rhubarb cooler, and then... the staffer (wish I remembered her name) just gave me the huge remaining sample glass full of it for free!

*  *  *

So if Clover can provide such a great experience (note their 4.3 star rating on Google, 4.5 rating in Yelp!) AND even be expanding without relying on the discriminatory and nasty institution of tipping WHY CAN'T OTHER RESTAURANTS DO THIS?!?

What's wrong with tipping?  Pretty much everything.  It's all rotten, with ZERO benefits for employees or customers:
http://www.vox.com/2014/7/17/5888347/one-more-case-against-tipping

I hope more restaurant owners will be inspired by Clover! :)
Not only is tipping undemocratic — it may well be unconstitutional
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+Adam Lasnik​ did you ask how much their 'certainly' well paid house keeping are getting paid? Maybe I can apply this 'certainly' well paid job. I brat my house keeping job at my residency (named as: Bright Future). My Landlord filed a complaint of my residency in CuggiHut (180 Carl). The inspector came, exclaimed: 'Bathroom is extremely clean' when she first laid her eyes into my bathroom. I use squeegee to dry off my shower stall every single time I use it. I wipe my bathroom floor each time I finish using it. I even feel comfortable to spread my fabric on my bathroom floor to do the cut and take the cut to my sewing machine directly. My residency is served with five stars hotel maid service. I just wish the branded hotel will pay me well with my house keeping skills. 
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Work
Occupation
Program Manager, Google
Employment
  • Google
    Program Manager, 2010 - present
  • Google
    Search Evangelist, 2006 - 2010
  • Self-employed
    Consultant, 2001 - 2006
  • Niehaus Ryan Wong ("NRW")
    Interactive Strategies guy, 1999 - 2001
  • Ascena ("Fortissinformationssysteme")
    Entrepreneur, 1997 - 1999
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Mountain View, CA
Previously
Thousand Oaks, CA - Evanston, IL - Boston, MA - Mannheim, Germany - Bloomington, IN - San Francisco, CA
Story
Tagline
A reasonably social lindy-hopping geek in the SF Bay Area
Introduction
Bigger than a breadbox. Often smiling. Into the arts, traveling, food, and other good stuff.

BORING BUT USEFUL DISCLAIMER:
I work on Google Flights.  However... my posts on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and in Google forums (except those posted with an official "G" icon next to them) are my own personal blatherings -- mine mine mine! -- and don't necessarily reflect those of my employer, my mom, my invisible friend Harvey, etc.

---

Thanks for checking out my profile! :-)
Bragging rights
I have perfect pitch. I can put my feet behind my head, albeit just one at a time. I have visited 30 countries. I am one of the world's most talented cheek percussionists.
Education
  • Northwestern
    Political Science and Communications, 1989 - 1993
  • Indiana University
    MBA and JD, 1993 - 1997
  • Thousand Oaks High School
    Geek stuff, 1986 - 1989
  • Redwood Middle School
    Teen angst, 1984 - 1986
  • Aspen Elementary School
    Pre-teen angst, 1977 - 1984
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
May 12
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
  • Monument Valley
  • LIMBO
  • Leo's Fortune