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Mike Elgan
Lives in Petaluma, California
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Mike Elgan

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Making a test batch of pickles.
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all lactofermented. I made a large crock in the ceramics studio last year and I fill it every week. :)
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Mike Elgan

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My wife has a way with vinegar.

I can't wait until this is good to go.

+Amira Elgan
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What did you soak in the water? We (puertorriqueños) use pineapple rind.
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Mike Elgan

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So politicians are supposed to order Cheeze Whiz on their Philly Cheesesteaks to prove they're regular people.

Or is it a test of bravery? 

Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker is in the press today because he reportedly committed multiple faux pas in the obligatory theater of pretending to be a working class local that's required of presidential candidates:

One of these is that he ordered American cheese on his Philly cheesesteak instead of Cheeze Whiz:

American cheese is normally the required cheese for politicians to prove they're regular guys and gals, but Walker's handlers didn't properly brief him about Philadelphia. 

Gastronomically, there's little difference. 

Personally, I think people should eat whatever they want. But you don't get to call it a "cheesesteak" sandwich if it doesn't have cheese. 

(Pro tip: If you want to eat a cheesesteak with cheese, order provolone.) 

At the end of the day, you've got it hand it to the Orwellian junk food marketers. They've convinced the public that only fake food is real. (Also: ignorance is strength.)

In a perfect world, our political candidates would set a good example by eating real food, the media wouldn't enable regionalist food shaming and cheesesteak sandwiches would have cheese. 

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+Sterling Phry Sorry I was unclear. I mean that in the US in general, American cheese is the go-to bullshit cheese for demonstrating a phony sense of regularness. In Philly, on a cheesesteak, it's Cheeze Whiz. 
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Mike Elgan

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Why Google+ needs advertising.

My friend +Seth Fiegerman at Mashable wrote a good history of Google+. He calls Google+ a failure, but defines "failure" as the inability to "unseat" Facebook. And that's fair. (Every social company has failed to "unseat" them. Facebook's "monopoly on everybody" makes them unseatable.) 

Personally and selfishly, I don't care of Google+ crushes Facebook. I care that it exists, but to crush Facebook means that Google+ would have to become the mainstream brand, like McDonald's. Personally, I like quality. So I don't eat at McDonald's or spend more time than I have to at 

Seth concludes that Google has given up on making Google+ a Facebook killer and has settled for Google+ to be a "Pinterest look-alike." I see what he's getting at. Pinterest and Google+ are clearly the prettiest, most appealingly designed social networks.

But that perspective fails to understand the HUGE difference between Pinterest, which is mostly about shopping aspirations, and Google+, which is mostly about substantive conversations about everything. 

In other words, Pinterest and Google+ are the same because they're beautiful. But Pinterest and Google+ are also opposites because one is frivolous and the other is often deeply substantive.

Seth does not join the "Google+ is dead" fantasy, but instead predicts that Google will phase it out in a few years. 

Trouble is, there is actually no way to predict that. If Google+ is thriving and serving multiple purposes for Google (as it is now), then they won't phase it out. 

The test isn't whether Google is a runaway success story like YouTube or Search. Google has more than 100 products that contribute significantly to Google as a company without being competition-crushing services like YouTube and Search.

Personally, I think Google+ has the ability to grow and grow. Twitter is committing suicide right now by chasing Facebook. Their Facebook envy will cause them to kill what's good about Twitter in a program to remake the service to copy Facebook. When that process is complete, they'll be a second-rate Facebook, but also become a second-rate Twitter. (The full column on this idea is coming Monday.) 

Pinterest may do OK going forward. They've got a nice niche (women).

Most of the remaining social networks will fumble along as eyeballs gravitate to messaging apps and video sites like YouTube. 

Meanwhile, the Internet desperately needs a great site where smart people can have meaningful, troll-free conversations about their passions and interests. Google+ fills a sweet niche for smart people. Quality is far, FAR more valuable than quantity when it comes to users. 

(And Google needs a great site where they can announce and promote things, interact with fans, provide glue to their wearable products and all the rest.)

But Google+ also needs advertising. For Google+ to take its place as a significant contributor to Google as a business, it needs to pull its own weight. 

In fact, Google+ could be an amazing advertising vehicle for the same reason that airports are so coveted among advertisers. It's an educated subset of people who are generally hard to reach through advertising. 

Google+ also could be a valuable proving ground for contextual advertising, including mobile contextual advertising. 

This is an unpopular idea. People want something for nothing, which is what we all get right now on Google+. (If you're unfamiliar with my opinion on advertising, which is that it's the morally superior form of online monetization, please read this: ).

Anyway, give Seth's article a read and comment there if you like: 

And let's get some advertising up in here, Google! 
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Well, both Facebook and Google stink. Both use a "streaming" method. This makes it difficult to keep track of posts of interest or to find any thread one has posted one.

The discussion board style is so far superior to the style of facebook or google that a number has not been invented yet.

One great thing about google, however, is that google is not the fascist that Facebook is.
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Mike Elgan

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A 'Breaking Bad' themed cafe just opened in Turkey.

I already loved the Kadikoy district of Istanbul, Turkey. Now I HAVE to go back, just to check out Walter's Coffee Roastery.
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It costs extra to have your pizza thrown on the roof.
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Mike Elgan

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Worst invention ever: The 'Toothbrush Machine.'

Created by Simone Giertz, who also gives instructions on how to build one. And, yes, she's f*cking with us.
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A new record: This batch of sauerkraut was ready in one week!

Hot weather no doubt moved things along.

(It's pink because I combine red and white cabbage.)

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Purple. Looks great! Wish I liked it.
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Mike Elgan

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Wait, are the Google+ photos tools still working?

I just edited this picture with the old Google+ photo editing tools. I thought these were phased out. 
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I prefer the old photo tools much better and have been trying to get them back ever since I lost them on my G4.
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Mike Elgan

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Making yogurt.

Using milk from Matilda, the wonder cow!
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+Mike Elgan that looks like fun. I really love yogurt. You can't beat knowing what is in it. :)
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TechInsider reports on a beer-bottle house as if it were somehow new or rare. 

TechInsider is reporting that an architect in China "figured out" how to build a house using beer bottles. 

I personally saw dozens of these houses as a kid, and in fact thousands of them exist all over the world and have done for decades: 

Just because it's new to the articles writer doesn't mean it's new.
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i like the African with the pop bottle lights in his adobe. (that means house, not photoshop) :)
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Mike Elgan

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Everybody's loving on lions right now because of the trophy-hunting scandal. So here.

I took this video in Kenya's Maasai Mara two or three years ago. Just chillin'.
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It nice
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Mike Elgan

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Woman buys old negatives at a thrift store; now she's crowdsourcing who, what and where on the Internet.

How cool is this? She's already identified the location of the shoot: Dockweiler Beach in Los Angeles near LAX. 

Now she's trying to find out who the two models are and when (in the 50s or 60s) these were taken. 


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Fascinating story and very nice to see the tips come in. Beautiful pictures... There was a very nice tip on how to digitize negatives using a dslr. Can't wait to try it out. 
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Petaluma, California
New York, USA - Florence, Italy - Madrid, Spain - Marrakesh, Morocco - Sparta, Greece - Kusadasi, Turkey - Istanbul, Turkey - Nairobi, Kenya - Barcelona, Spain - Valencia, Spain
The world's only lovable technology journalist.
Who the $#@! is Mike Elgan? 

I write and talk and interview on the subjects technology and innovation. I anchor TWiT's daily Tech News Today netcast ( 

My opinion columns appear all over the place, most frequently Computerworld, PC World, InfoWorld, MacWorld, CIO Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, eWeek, Baseline and elsewhere. 

I don't do "access journalism." I am not in the industry, I'm not an investor or entrepreneur, but instead an independent, disinterested observer with strong opinions. (I have nothing against access journalism, it's just not what I do.)

My Thoughts on Google+:

After 10 years of blogging with conventional blogging sites and services, I abandoned that approach a year ago and started blogging on Google+. Why? Because Google+ is by far the best blogging platform. As Tim O'Reily said, it's like Tumblr 2.0, but more social. 

I also cancelled my account with a leading photo-sharing and management site, and now use Google+ for that exclusively. 

I've replaced more than half my email communication with Google+ communication.

I use Google+ to write first drafts of my stories, to crowdsource, to take polls, to get feedback and to drive traffic to the articles I write. It has dramatically improved my work as a writer. 

I even use Google+ for social networking!

Although I'm most active on Google+, you can also follow me here: 

And you can download my top 200 most popular posts as an eBook by clicking here.

I'm ranked #1 on the Google Plus Score list, which is based on user engagement.

I'm the #7 Most Recommended Person to Follow on Google+ (as voted by users). 

I'm one of Mashable's top nine Google+ Power Users.

I'm also a "Curator" on the Google Currents app!! (Please install the free app and "Add" me!)

I've also created and moderate these Google+ communities.

Here's how I do Google+: 

In the meantime, please CIRCLE ME! I'd love to interact with you here on Google+. 
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I'm a digital nomad. I live everywhere.
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Luma Fitness cost us $232 per class. Here's why. My wife and I signed up for a year at Luma fitness at the beginning of last year. Luma Fitness limits the number of students per class. You have to sign up. If the class is full, you can't take that class. And the classes are usually full. You can see this for yourself. For example, when I wrote this review on Saturday morning, you can see from my screenshot that every Sunday class that takes place at the gym is already full. (The only available classes are a trail running class -- we already trail run every day and don't need to pay a gym for that -- and a second class that's way above our fitness level.) We work during the day, and want to work out after work. Those classes are the most unavailable, especially the ones at our fitness level. We're very busy, and often had a hard time making time for the gym. But when we did find the time, we found that Luma Fitness classes were already full. Because of that, we were able to attend only 10 classes for the year. We paid them $2,148 and used their gym 10 times. The nightmare continued. Our membership ended at the end of January. You have to give 30 days notice in writing to terminate the membership, which we did on January 6. Yet they're charging us for the full month of February. We called and argued with them about it, but they were horrible and nasty and insisted that we pay the full month, rather than honor their own contract of 30 days notice. They KNOW we won't be using their gym for the month of February. They KNOW we paid them thousands of dollars without using their service much. But they are just taking our $179 for the month anyway. I guess the $2,148 we paid for 10 classes wasn't enough, so they took more. So now our grand total is $2,327 for 10 classes. Instead of going to Luma Fitness, just flush $20 bills down the toilet twice a week. You'll save money, and you'll get more exercise.
• • •
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
Shirley rules!
Public - 10 months ago
reviewed 10 months ago
Everything we tried at this restaurant was incredible. What a gem.
Public - 11 months ago
reviewed 11 months ago
Awesome location and great coffee completely ruined by freezing room temperature and mind-bogglingly slow Internet connect (it took me three minutes to load this page before I could write a review).
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
31 reviews
This is a really good restaurant. The food is very flavorful without being fatty and heavy. Great service.
Public - 11 months ago
reviewed 11 months ago
Awesome. Simply awesome.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
OK, I'm going to say something VERY controversial here. But it's my opinion that Pizzateca has the world's best pizza. As the author of the book _American Pie_ says, the world's best pizza is usually the one you grew up with. However, I have eaten at Bianco's Pizzeria in Phoenix, all the highest rated pizza places in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere, and this is the best I've had. Most of the best places in America nail the toppings but fail on crust. They tend to use yeast-based leavening, which can only get you so far. Pizzateca, on the other hand, is doing something magical with the crust that involves 3 days of fermentation, according to the owner. Specifically, Pizzateca's muchroom and garlic pizza is truly mind-blowing. Please, do NOT fail to eat at this tiny joint if you're anywhere near Madrid, Spain.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago