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Palm Geek Chick Flick?

little-black-book.pngHolly is currently out-of-town, so you’d think that I’d have spent the whole weekend eating pizza, renting violent movies and sitting around in my underwear — you know, reverting back to adolescence while my better half is away. Surprisingly, I wore pants and did a bunch of small chores around the house. However, I did order a pizza and I did watch a few movies.

One of the movies I stumbled onto over the weekend was “Little Black Book” Not a huge fan of the whole “chick flick” genre, you might be wondering why I watched it. Although Brittany Murphy may have been the star of the film, what hooked me was all the references to Palm. As my tag cloud can attest, I’ve been a bit of a fan over the years. I will admit that my passion for the platform has definitely waned over the last five years, going so far as to tell them goodbye, but I couldn’t stop watching.

To some extent I was really doing nothing more than reliving the late heydays of Palm. I remember all the promotion that Palm put out on the film and how they felt that the Palm Tungsten C was one of the characters in the movie. Although that may be taking things a bit too far, it was definitely the star of the show in my eyes.

palmOne Press Release

In “Little Black Book,” Stacy Holt (Brittany Murphy), an associate producer for daytime talk show hostess Kippie Kann (Kathy Bates), is frustrated when her boyfriend Derek (Ron Livingston) refuses to discuss his past relationships. With the encouragement of co-worker Barb (Holly Hunter), she delves into his palmOne handheld to learn about his ex-girlfriends. The digital footprints of past and present romances are kept on a Tungsten C handheld from palmOne. This little black book, used for work and play, is the technology star of the film.

The movie itself was mediocre at best. If they had used a Blackberry instead of a Palm, I wouldn’t have lasted more than 10 minutes before changing the channel. But they didn’t. They used a Palm and they used it through the film here-and-there. One of the more memorable scenes for me was where they were displaying a Palm application via a projector up on the wall. The image was obscured by the actors and they never actually made reference to it, so I can only assume that it was used in an earlier scene that was deleted, but you could clearly see a few soft buttons and an outline of the user interface. It literally made me catch my breath.

As silly as it may sound, what dawned on me was just how much I used to be IN LOVE with Palm OS. There she was — Palm OS — right at her peak, still vibrant and full of potential, in a major Hollywood movie and she looked fantastic. The Commodore 64 may have been my first crush on technology, but the Palm Pilot was my first true love and seeing the actors make references to it and for her display to appear on screen just brought it all back.

It was like seeing photos of your first girlfriend and remembering how great it was back then. Today you’ve both grown older and gone your separate ways, but to recall that time in your lives when everything just clicked and it is so delightfully delicious to recall. At a commercial break, I closed my eyes to hold onto that memory as long as I could. It was like savoring a single bite of a desert long forgotten. You hold onto it with all your senses as it slowly dissolves away and then you swallow and there’s nothing left.

To drive the analogy into the ground, Palm has since let herself go and left me for someone new a few years ago. She’s now but a glimmer of her former self and I stopped calling because it was just to painful to see her like that. Of course she has a younger sister, the Palm Pré, which everyone is excited about, but that’s not the one you fell in love with.

Besides, I think to myself, I’ve moved on and I’m in a happy and committed relationship with my iPhone. Our relationship is stable and secure and even after two years, we’re still acting like we’re dating. There’s so much stuff to see and do that there simply isn’t enough time in the day.

But every so often, I hear a beep, or see a certain squarish oblong button and I’m instantly taken back to the days when technology was a little bit simpler and the world was still eagerly waiting to be conquered.

Why I Read 43Folders

I’ve been a huge fan of Merlin Mann ever since I got into Getting Things Done and stumbled onto his web site 43Folders. Yesterday Merlin posted one of his missivies on productivity that is an instant classic and it reminds me why I continue to read his web site.

In his article Mud Rooms, Red Letters, and Real Priorities, he recounts a tale of being assaulted by a conversation one row back on a recent flight. The woman just won’t shut up about how her mud room is a real priority. Naturally, this leads Merlin to discuss the true nature of priorities.

First, ask yourself why any “high priority” item has remained unresolved in your life for more than 60 seconds. Why isn’t it done completely? Have you ever “re-assigned” “priority” to some task? Really? Because that sounds more like procrastination than management, let alone “effective” action and decisive execution.

I don’t want to spoil it, so I encourage you to the article at this link. There are some real gems in there that stop and make you think about your priorities.

Considering A 365 Photo Project

I’m considering doing a 365 Photo Project and I’m curious to hear what others think about it. Have you done one and did you like it? If you haven’t done one personally, do you like seeing them?

What Is It?
The link in the above paragraph goes into great detail, but in a nutshell, it’s where you take a photo a day and post it online. Quite a challenge to say the least.

So Why Do It?
There’s a couple of things that are making me consider it.

1. I’m working on building a new community and I’m trying to become more active in online publishing. Just trying to create new habits and keep my focus on “what can I publish?”

2. I don’t have many pictures of me. I don’t like having my picture taken and I usually get behind the camera just for that reason. However, with Facebook, Twitter and all the other places where you can have an online identity, a picture would come in handy. After taking 365 photos, I’m bound to have one that I like.

3. It would be a challenge. Publishing a photograph every day would be a challenge. I tend to like challenges and achievements and the higher degree of difficulty, the more I want to do it.

But What Do You Think?
I’d love to hear what you think — especially if you’ve done one in the past. Even if you haven’t, I’d still like to know if you’d be at all interested in me doing a 365 photo project.

Electric Cars – How To Convert A Country

Came across a video from the TED conference by Shai Agassi and just had to share. Agassi is the CEO of a company called BetterPlace which is a company looking to provide electric car networks for countries.

What I found so fascinating about the talk is how in 18 minutes he sums up the issues faced with our dependance on oil and illustrates a clear path of how to change that. I haven’t seen someone one take it from soup to nuts like that in such a short span of time.

Bathtub IV Video

I was going through my tweets after lunch and found a comment by Merlin Mann. He was replying to Graham Linehan, the creator of The IT Crowd so naturally I had to follow him (@Glinner if you’re interested).

As I scrolled through page-after-page of videos and links of utter hilarity, I came across this video that I just had to share. Bathtub IV is one in a series of videos from Keith Loutit’s “Little Sydney” project and it’s just brilliant.

Bathtub IV from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Note: this is not stop motion, and these are not models. I showed this to Dan and we talked about it and how Keith created this fantastic video. Seems that he’s shooting HD and combing tilt-shift and time-lapse. Incredible.

Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable

I came across an article by Clay Shirky called Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable by way of DaringFireball and I have to say, it is a must read.

There’s been a great deal of discussion on the subject of newspapers and other traditional print publications in the news feeds and podcasts that I listen to. It’s no wonder that it’s a hot topic what with PC World no longer publishing it’s magazine and the Kindle 2 getting great reviews and many major newspapers on the brink of collapse.

In all the rhetoric, I haven’t heard anyone approach it quite like Clay Shirky’s article. It’s a fresh look and quite insightful and balanced in the approach to the “problem”.

I’ll leave you with my favorite quote:

Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism.

Jim Cramer On The Daily Show

I didn’t see it on TV when it occurred, but apparently Jim Cramer made an appearance on “The Daily Show with John Stewart” and didn’t fare so well, to put it mildly. There’s a lot of buzz about this on the Internet and after watching the un-edited video, I can see why.

Jim Cramer really comes off like a schmuck and an apologist. Clearly John is on his game, is firing on all cylinders and controls the conversation expertly. It reminds me of his appearance Crossfire and well worth the watch. On Crossfire, John took CNN to task and in this interview he takes CNBC to the same task. To quote Stewart, the issue is about “… what CNBC advertisers itself as and what it actually is.”

The impression that I’m left with after watching the videos is that the credibility of CNBC and more specifically Cramer’s show “Mad Money” has been flushed. It was after Stewart’s appearance on “Crossfire” that the show was cancelled. I can’t help but think that we could be seeing a repeat.

Lastly, there’s one thing that Cramer says towards the end that really sticks out and will be my take away sound bite.

“I’m a guy doing an entertainment show about business.”

Bye Bye Miss American Pie

Palm has finally come clean and confirmed what has been widely suspected, that it will no longer develop any new traditional handheld PDAs. Word came straight from Palm CEO Ed Colligan during yesterdays conference call, but it bears mentioning again for posterity. The announcement was made practically off the cuff when asked by a financial analyst about the possibility of shutting down the handheld business.

[ via ]

I gave up on Palm OS a couple of years ago, but it still saddens me to see something that I was SO passionate about go out like this.

A Few Political Links

I’ve been buried in work since my last post and have a half-dozen, half-baked articles in the queue, but after going through my feeds this morning, a handful of links seemed to gel and I thought a quick post was in order.

Hack The Debate
The next debate on October 15th is going to feature a live Twitter stream. I have mixed feelings about this, but I’m curious to see what this will look like. On one hand I think it’ll devolve into fart jokes, but since it’s a managed event there’s the possibility of some actual interesting comments from the online peanut gallery.

Two Proposals to Make Elections Better
My buddy Craig had a post on his blog today about two options to change how we vote and how the town hall debates. Although I like the idea of knowledge based voting somewhat, it’s very elitist (which I am) and I think would scare away too many voters. “What! There’s a test?” I definitely like the idea of changing the debate structure so that the candidates could really drill down on the issues. Makes me think the “Hack the Debate” idea has more merit than I originally thought.

Obama ’08: The Official iPhone Application
I downloaded and installed this application over the air during breakfast this morning and I have to say that I’m VERY impressed. Regardless of which candidate you plan on voting for, this is a brilliant use of technology. The app is a concise distillation of Obama’s position on the issues and is very engaging to boot. I had to sit back and give my best Joey Lawrence “Woah” when reviewing the “Call Friends” feature

Call Friends: A great volunteering tool that lets you make a difference any time you want by talking to people you already know. Your contacts are prioritized by key battleground states, and you can make calls and organize results all in one place.

Suddenly I’m pulled from the sidelines and being asked to take action. I’m not going to lie, it scared the shit out of me. Absolutely brilliant.

John McCain: Economic Disaster
The Obama campaign released this on YouTube on Tuesday, but made no mention of it during the debate, which kinda pissed me off. If you’re going to lob a grenade like this, don’t ignore it. The video, although somewhat boring, does illustrate McCain’s involvement in the S&L scandal quite well, which many people were too young or simply don’t remember. Of course there’s a clear parallel drawn between today’s financial meltdown and the debacle of the past.

Of course take it with a grain of salt, because the video clearly has an agenda and this is not a pure documentary.

Make Believe Maverick
OK, I don’t get my news from Rolling Stone magazine and there’s no doubt that their perspective is pretty far to the left. That being said, there’s a great deal of detail and quotes from those that were there and it did make me rethink some of what I like about McCain. But again, take it with a grain, or two of salt.

CNN Fact Checker
This site is one of the best things to come out of the 2008 political pageant — and yes, don’t think for a minute that this isn’t a pageant. Anyway, both parties are slinging digs into each other as to why the other’s plan is crap and given how the debates are so structured and dare I say it, neutered, I like that there’s a news source that’s publishing their fact checking.

The only thing missing is a tally showing just how truthful each campaign is being. In my cursory review, I’m seeing a lot of “True” and “Partially True” on the Obama side and a lot of “False” and “Misleading” on the McCain side. Regardless of which side you’re rooting for, when you break down all the rhetoric and decisive personal belief issues, you have to focus on the facts.
Ok, just one more. In composing this article, I decided to see if I could find a “Truth Tally” to the CNN link above, I came across this site. I need to dig a little deeper because there is a TON of detail, but I love this site!

For example, take a look at The Second Debate and you’ll see what I mean. They go point-by-point checking each fact that was presented and then providing sources at the bottom of the page. Great stuff.

Well so much for a quick little article, but hopefully you’ll find some of these links interesting and feel free to comment about them!

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