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Tom Childers
Mobile database of useless information
Mobile database of useless information

Tom's posts

Jonas and Armenda, love the recipes!  You've inspired me, and the chicken piccata (also one of my favorites) is on the stove.

I am also dumping some weight this year, but have engaged in the oddest approach I've ever attempted.  One of my daily buddhist practices is to do prostrations (part of the vajrayana preliminary practices) and it turns out that 140 of these is a nice 30-minute cardio workout.  It's working.

And I'll e sharing some recipes too.  Awesome idea.

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It's a ritual day.  I'm thoughtfully and lovingly holding the final day of my first year without Nancy.  The anniversary of her passing is 4:30am tomorrow morning.

I've written my thoughts and feelings on my blog,

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With all the hubbub about the new iPhone, I hate to feel like one of the herd and admit I’m getting one.  But I am, it’s already ordered, and this will be my third iPhone.  It’s a technology that has changed my life, and I am a big fan of Apple products, both the engineering and design.

Apple has had a huge impact on the technology industry, and on our lives in general.  It’s an admirable company any way you look at it, and I have to laugh at all the pundits that complain about the similarity to prior generations, the new dock connector, the lack of (unproven) near-field communications, all the silly ways that people try to criticize the most remarkably successful product line in our lives.  There is a very profound article that came out yesterday (, written by the venerable M.G. Siegler, that I highly recommend.  This is excellent depthful analysis and commentary.  M.G., my hat is off to you, you are awesomely brilliant to reach in and find this insight.

I have two personal comments to make about the new iPhone.  First, I observe that MANY of my friends (as well as myself) are coming off contract with their iPhone 3G’s and 4’s, and are intending to upgrade.  There is a ton of pent-up demand, and this thing is gonna sell like hotcakes.  I’m hanging onto my AAPL stock, which I fully expect to outperform the market for at least another six months.

But the deeper issue for me is about my carrier for more than a decade, AT&T.  I’m deeply annoyed with them, and taking advantage of this new product to switch to Verizon.  Many of my issues with AT&T are the same as others, frequent dropped calls and dead spots as I drive on major highways, no coverage at my house, very poor coverage up at our family cabin in Mill Creek, a crappy website that is slow and hard to use, long waits for tech support.  They are a big company, and it shows.  Like Lily Tomlin famously said nearly fifty years ago, “We don’t care, we don’t have to, we’re the phone company!”

The tipping point came earlier this year after my wife Nancy passed away.  AT&T refused to waive the early termination fee for her mobile phone contract, and let me drop her phone number from our family plan.  Their excuse was that “she was not the primary number on the family plan”.  

This is just bad customer relations.  I am happily dropping my mobile service with them, do not use them for internet or anything else, and will refuse to do business with them for the rest of my life.  And I’m spreading the word.  All my friends with Verizon are happy with their coverage, and AT&T does more for Verizon and Sprint marketing than they do for themselves.  

In two weeks, when I get my new phone, when I find the service is acceptable, when I find I can use it at home (where a new Verizon cell tower is being built soon) I’ll happily be ending my AT&T account.  And switching cell phone numbers from my old one to Nancy’s old number.  It’s a little way to memorialize her, and memorialize the reason why I’m dumping AT&T after twenty five years of service (starting with Cellular One in 1986).

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I've started blogging again, at Many of you will remember the housebuilding blog I wrote from 2005-2008, and all the entries are moved here. There is an article in February linking to, where I wrote about Nancy's illness.

But now I'm on a different journey, and writing about it is helping me track myself, my grief, my desire, my new life.

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Found another TED talk that should be required watching for anyone in the internet industry. I think he is right that the world is moving to a dashboard model (oops, I gave away the punchline!) Interact is already headed this way, we might as well embrace it fully.

My iPhone already feels like a dashboard.

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It's easy for us to see (or think we see) what's wrong with our system. We all have well-developed critical voices. But from a global perspective (especially after talking with various friends in Europe and Asia) I have to agree with Kostohryz in his assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the US political system, and our current position. We're not doing that badly, and may in fact be doing better than many other parts of the world.

This is well worth reading. I think this is one of the most balanced and informative overviews I've seen of the current US political situation.

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Siegler reaches through the conundrum of Apple success, and fingers a key issue. I'm an engineer, and I don't pay any attention to specs any more, why should anyone else?

Also, I dropped my Consumer Reports subscription after they dissed the iPhone. If they are clueless about cell phones, what else are they clueless on? Amusing how Sielger nails that detail as well.

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Another fascinating application of nanotechnology. I'm looking forward to applying this coating to my motorcycle riding suit!

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Apple's new iPhone is another leap forward, but it's taking most pundits a while to see it. Siri is brand new. All the folks that compare camera resolution and battery life are looking at 10% of the launch. And the drop in AAPL stock value today (when they exceeded their own expectations, as usual) is laughable

GigaOm has an article that captures part of it, and another from a Siri developer is at

Combining voice-recognition technology with a personal iCloud data store, Siri will soon be able to adapt to each user, learn what their needs and requests are, and evolve into a very powerful digital assistant. Google cannot do this in the same way on Android, because the integrated cloud storage isn't there.

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One of the most fascinating possibilities...being able to record and watch your dreams. Now a UC Berkeley team is making real progress in this direction. Watch the embedded YouTube video...

The implications for consciousness work and psychotherapy are, um, mind-blowing. What if a person in analysis could sleep with a cap on, connected to an iPhone, then go over their dreams the next day with a Jungian professional? What if we could see all of our dream material, not just the parts we conveniently remember?
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