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Super excited about this!
I'll be scanning and uploading all 100 of my childhood photos with this.

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Why should Twitter enable >140 character tweets?
You might be surprised at the many compelling reasons why...
Check out my chart & blog post and see if you're not convinced ;)

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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

Wow, blog spammers are still at it.  Jerks.

I started blogging in 2004 and have moved my blog contents across multiple domains and platforms.  In the last move -- to on Wordpress -- I was delighted that I'd seemingly fallen off the spammers' radar.

But as of this month, they've returned to my blog with a vengeance...

...posting hundreds of spam comments, of which about 5% have gotten through the  Akismet spam filter.  I know there are far, far greater tragedies and evil things in the world, but I can't help but be saddened by this Tragedy of the Commons reminder.

As the saying goes, "This is why we can't have nice things."  For every cool aspect of the internet, there are dispiriting large numbers of persistent and/or cunning bad people who seek to steal money or personal information, bully others, or create increasingly debilitating messes... all of which inevitably convinces many people to contribute less to our shared online commons, making us all the worse off for it, not to mention triggering horrendously awful run-on sentences like this one.

I dream of how things would have been different if it cost even a fraction of a cent to send an email or post a comment.  But of course, that's unrealistic due to a lack of viable micropayment systems or authentication systems.

And in my darker days, I fantasize about the potential awesomeness of remotely administering a painful shock to the nether regions of spammers each time they invade my blog or email inbox... or automatedly calling their mobile phone at 4am with a verbal daily digest of their blatherings ("Assuredly i have bookmarked this wonderful post with great informations!!").

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The Secret Too Hot for Pandodaily

I've been enjoying the mobile app Secret [1] for a few weeks now, and so I was rather surprised and disappointed to see the "ZOMG THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!1" type of tone taken in a recent editorial [2].  Bullying!  Suicides!  Lives are being RUINED!

You know what bothered me even more than the stunningly misguided and poorly researched editorial?  

The fact that the Pando folks hid my rather detailed yet mild-mannered comment.[3]

This has me wondering... what else are they censoring?

I get (and support) policies that put the kibosh on spam, threats, etc.  But firm yet respectful dissenting opinions?  Hmm.  Disappointing.

For the record, I've included my full original comment below.


Hmm, I respectfully and strongly disagree with nearly everything you've written here, Sarah.

1) You must have far meaner friends and FOF than I do.  The vast majority of secrets I've read are about frustrations with relationships, work, housing, civic unrest... and (sometimes darkly) humorous reflections on all the same.  I seem to recall particularly angry comments about one high-ranking tech individual (who, from the experience of close friends, deserved all the flack), and, indeed (but much more rarely) a rumor here and there about various companies.  I can't recall seeing nastiness towards individual, non-public people, nor clearly (not jokingly) false rumors about companies, etc.  I've seen exponentially more meanness, inaccurate assertions, and just plain assholeness in various web sites like Valleywag than I've ever seen on Secret.  The difference is that I can swipe "Report" on Secret, but I just have to remind myself not to look at various sites on the web.

2) You're saying Twitter is far better?  Let's see, the number of death and rape threats I've seen on Secret so far:  [Clinton zero meme]. 

3) You also suggested that Whisper was superior (or at least less-evil), but didn't say a word about why.

4) You repeatedly assert that Secret has a unique ability to do serious damage to peoples' lives, cause suicides, etc.  Really?  And you know this from... the one data point of someone saying something mean and/or untrue about Pandodaily?  You know what else has the medium to create havoc in peoples' lives?  Blogs.  Facebook.  Instagram.  YouTube.  And Yo.  Can't forget Yo.

Frankly, I've been surprised at how much I've enjoyed Secret.  I've seen interesting tidbits about salary ranges that I hadn't seen on Glassdoor.  Been amused by some pretty deft punsters.  Realized I'm not alone in some of my pet peeves.  And learned a thing or two about some neat non-touristy places in SF.

Of course, we're all entitled to our opinion.  But I find it somewhat offputting (and, frankly, unprofessional) for you to pretty much play the Evil and Immoral card on a service and its founders, particularly when the scariest of all scary examples you can share is someone (quite possibly jokingly) discussing a potential sale of your company.  This, Sarah, does not quite rise to the level of suicides, and for you to conflate the two seems odd, inappropriate, and self-absorbed.

DISCLAIMERS:  I have no money or other real skin in the game re Secret.  I briefly spent some of my Google 20% time on Wave, which Secret Co-founder +David Byttow also worked on, but I barely know him or anyone else associated with the Secret team.


[3] I can still see my comment when I go to the page, but when I view the page in an incognito window, my comment is mysteriously missing ;).

#secret   #expression   #censorship  

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Got a Wordpress site? Check out Lightning Base hosting.

I moved to +Lightning Base ( )* a week ago and am thrilled. Both site and WP admin panel speed increased by more than 2x, and support has been outstanding. They even moved my site for free!

I had hosted my site on +DreamHost before, and I wish I had left them earlier.

What I liked about Dreamhost:
- Great knowledgebase
- Friendly, readily available support people
- Good price for lots of storage, bandwidth, goodies

Why I switched away from Dreamhost:
- Terrible infrastructure.  My site was down >10 times in a bit over a month, often for hours at a time, ever since they moved it to a new server.  Worse yet, they repeatedly blamed the customer (me), suggesting that my small blog (which was getting ~50 visits a day) with only three widely-used plugins was responsible for crashing the server, etc.  

At the end of the day, if a web host can't, well, host properly, it's time to say goodbye, regardless of all the other pleasant dressing.

NOTE:  I'm using a referral link above for Lightning base because:
- I genuinely love their service.
- You'll pay the same thing as if you had gone to LB's site directly
- I think it's okay for me to get credit towards hosting with this disclaimer :)

Sonos vs. Vizio and the conundrum of Blu-ray & DTS audio

I have tended to be really frugal about gadget purchases, but decided I’d like to have a more “social” house, movie nights and all, and so bought myself a Samsung 55” TV, model 7050 (similar to model 7100).

Then I thought... hmm, I need decent sound to go with that!  It seems my friends love +Sonos  stuff, but I’m concerned about Sonos’ inability to decode DTS audio; given that all my blu-ray DVDs have DTS-encoded audio, this seems like a problem that seriously damages the value of the playbar, no?

So then I was looking at the new #Vizio 5.1 home theater packages, since I don’t want to drape speaker wire across my living room.  Yes, the Vizio combo is a tiny fraction of the cost of a #Sonos 5.1 system, but I’m even more conflicted because Vizio actually supports DTS!

So my question to you is:  if you were in my shoes -- wanting to fill a living room with streaming music 60% of the time and movies (via Bluray, Netflix, Amazon, and Google Play) the other 40% of the time -- would you be leaning towards the Sonos, the Vizio, or something else?  For the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume that the major drivers are quality & convenience, not cost... though don’t be recommendin’ $5K solutions :D.

Thanks in advance for your advice! :-)

P.S. -- I have read dozens of reviews and threads in various blogs and forums already, so yes, I've been doing my research!


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Got a Moto X, Moto Droid Maxx or Moto Droid Ultra?
Intrigued by the Trusted Bluetooth Device feature?

I've researched which devices work... and don't work:

For those of you unfamiliar with the feature:  it lets you protect your phone with a screen lock, yet have the phone conveniently remain unlocked whenever a supported device is already unlocked and in range; very handy!

More details are here on Motorola's site:,6720,8696

#MotoX   #Droid   #DroidUltra   #DroidMaxx   #bluetooth   #TrustedBluetooth   #Android  

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Revel in my electric geekitude and inept scripting skills!

I recently bought this wireless Qi charger:

Qi charging?  It's a standard that lets you charge supported electronics -- like the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 that I own -- by just placing them on the pad, without having to make a connection via their micro-USB port.  Even works through many cases!  Definitely a #firstworld   thing, but admittedly sometimes it's the little time-saving conveniences that are especially appreciated :)

Anyway, I decided to go the extra-geeky mile and add some automation from the insanely powerful program Tasker (

So last night, I set things so that when the phone went into wireless charging mode, it'd do this:
- Go into silent mode
- Say "Goodnight, Adam"
- Run the "Gentle Alarm" app ( - the most awesome Android alarm I've ever tried!)

And indeed, when I placed the phone on the charger, it dutifully did all of the above.

Then in the wee hours of the night, I was awoken by something which sounded like "Goodnight Adam."  Hmm, couldn't have been the phone, since I set it to only do that went it went into wireless charging mode, and it did that earlier!

Around 5am, I was awoken again by, "Goodnight Adam."  Yes, this time I knew it wasn't my imagination.

And then, despite my grogginess, I realized what had happened!

The charger charged my Nexus 4 to 100%, then turned off.  The phone -- still connecting to the internet and such -- used the battery and when a particular threshold was hit, charging commenced again... triggering all the steps I had programmed.  OOPS!

What does all of this mean?
- Perhaps I do not have a promising career as a programmer.
- But now I appreciate especially appreciate QA and Test engineers!
- I am sometimes too geeky for my own good.

And all of that aside, I like and recommend this charger (and the apps I listed above) :).

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I thought this was pretty neat!  Definitely heartening to see a diverse group of people happily and open-mindedly trying something that's new, different, and admittedly geeky. :-)

+Ivan Yudhi, thanks for sharing!

Disclaimer/reminder:  I work for Google, as I clearly note in my profile, and I have buddies on the Glass team... but I don't own Glass, and I haven't even been dogfooding Glass (darn prescription glasses!). 
Going on a cruise meant meeting a lot of people. That basically increases the probability of people noticing +Google Glass

I let many people tried on my Glass just last week alone. The amount of people featured here are probably just half of the actual people that tried it on. Some were kids so I rather not to take their photos (for obvious reasons), the others I just forgot or didn't have the time. My mom also tried it on and she almost didn't give it back :p

All were positive experience. Everybody was so excited about Glass and looking forward when it's ready for general public.

Some cool/funny response:
• You look like James Bond!
• Do you work for Google? (I probably should start saying yes)
• No, really, where did you get it from? (after I said that I bought it in US)
• What is that thing on your head?
10 Photos - View album
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