July 31, 2003

Mooching Wireless

I admit to mooching a wireless connection here and there. Although, can it be called mooching if the one providing it is doing it as a service to the community? Or is Starbucks mooching a nickel and a dime from me when I want to sip and surf at the same time? I've had experiences in both extremes. On the one hand, I was doing some recruiting in Berkeley a while back and pulled out my laptop for kick...a signal! Only touble was, unless I had a Cal ID I was verboten from getting on the network.


On the other hand, during a recent hike in the Palo Alto foothills I came accross a strange logo posted on a wood-post fence. Well lookie here:

"PAFREE.NET is a way to get online, meet your neighbors, and build a communications system that isn't reliant on some company that is more interested in the bottom line than building the best communications system they can."


I love this spirit of community helping to provide a wireless mesh around cities. As it's spotty right now, you hear funny stories of people doing all sorts of things to get near that 802.11 signal.

What extermes have y'all gone to for a wireless signal?

Posted by Pedraum at 11:16 AM |

Honda redux

An update to a previous post. Our illustrious readers were right, the ad does appear to be real. Oh, and as if you didn't already know this, the song at the end of the ad is The Sugarhill Gang's Rapper's Delight.
Posted by Pedraum at 08:54 AM |

July 30, 2003

July 29, 2003

Gerbils from Cannons etc.

Who says the dotcom boom is over? Last I checked there were still irreverant ads and immature tactics being emplyed to woo customers. I'm so gonna cash out after the IPO. Mailinator
Posted by Pedraum at 01:52 PM |

July 28, 2003

Jamie Fox is Funny

Jamie Fox performed a song at the ESPY awards. Check it out. Special appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Kobe Bryant. (Props to Gil for the link)
Posted by Pedraum at 05:04 PM |

Optical Play

Check it.

Posted by Pedraum at 02:05 PM |

Flower Power

No guns. No throwing pies. Just the omnipotent power to make flowers grow by making rain.

Posted by Pedraum at 01:43 PM |

Two Different People?

Is it just me or do Toby Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal look like the same person? Lest you conclude that I am some Access Hollywood junkie, obsessed about the ebb and flow of tinsel town tawdriness...let me assure that I only became interested because a friend was at the premiere of Tomb Raider 2 from which many a story of actors and actresses came out. Without letting too much out of the bag, let's just say that Hollywood and Walmart have different cultures. Anyways, Toby Maguire was there at the premiere and I was like,

"Oh, you mean the guy from Bubble Boy?"
And he was all, "No, that's a different actor."
And then I was like, "Really?"

So you see, I had to find out the truth for myself.

Posted by Pedraum at 09:10 AM |

July 24, 2003

Another New Biz

I had the honor of managing the team that rolled out our DVD Rentals business and today another baby is born (though not yet marketed): Walmart Contacts Online. If you try it, please let me know about your experience. We're working out the kinks and will launch more formally in the near future.
Posted by Pedraum at 11:22 AM |

July 23, 2003

A Better Way To Create HTML Newsletters

I gotta remember to come back here the next time I need to create an HTML Newsletter.
Posted by Pedraum at 02:55 PM |


I read an article (it's a pay subscribtion site) in the Wall Street Journal today about the stigma associated with napping at work. Some highlights:

"Naps just get a bum rap despite the fact that we all grew up with nap time. Every father knows how naps can soften the patricidal edge of his toddler. Studies show adults also feel it makes them less cranky. But you apparently have to be a napper on the level of legendary bunkers Da Vinci, Churchill, Einstein and Edison to feel secure in doing it."

"Research shows napping improves visual skills, learning and alertness. In her study released last month, researcher Sara Mednick discovered that 60 to 90 minutes of rapid-eye-movement sleep allowed the same improvement in visual learning as six hours of shut-eye. "Nappers could actually make their workday more effective," says Ms. Mednick, who recently started work at the Salk Institute. But even she won't bed down until she proves she's not a slacker."

The other interesting tidbit: Da Vinci, Churchill, Einstein and Edison were regular afternoon nappers. I have a renewed respect for the nap I haven't known since my days in college. Time to visit The Napping Company.

Posted by Pedraum at 11:05 AM |

July 22, 2003

Carla Werner

Carla Werner was in the office today performing at lunch (call it a fringe benefit of representing some major percentage of her record label's sales). She sang a killer acoustic version of Zeppelin's Going to California as well some moody originals (think a female Jeff Buckley). Her album comes out next Tuesday and she's currently on tour with the Jayhawks. She sounds real good (I think it has to do with her using my guitar cord and stand).
Posted by Pedraum at 02:50 PM |

July 21, 2003

Public Service Announcement

I do this with my side mirrors and it works wonders. Hope it prevents at least one fender-bender.
Posted by Pedraum at 12:58 PM |

July 20, 2003

Green City

It's very cool that the City of Palo Alto is offering cash rebates for energy efficiency updates to homes. Though we're not in an Eichler (but, rather, a Mackay) we're still looking into taking advantage of this program. I'll let y'all know how it goes...
Posted by Pedraum at 10:24 AM |

July 17, 2003

Systems Interference

I fly on a company jet a lot and among the perks it affords is leaving my cell phone on and seeing how long I can maintain coverage. Am I worried about interfering with the plane's communication systems? Not really. I read an article a while back that said the FCC (the phone people) had convinced the FAA (the air people) to support their ban on airplane cell phone usage because it made the billing hard for the cell phone carriers when the plane was moving so fast between towers. Well, looks like the story is finally gonna be set straight.

"Flight attendants please prepare for landing and cross-check".

I have never heard the pilot say, "Flight attendants please prepare for landing" and not mention the cross-check bit. Can they just make it part of the landing preparation? These are the things I think about when sleep-deprived. Carry on.

Posted by Pedraum at 01:25 PM |

July 09, 2003

Inky Baby

I was this close to getting Luc tattooed (and by 'this close' I mean approximately the distance from the earth to that star that you can see tonight though you're merely seeing the echo of it's fire from some millions of miles away).

Posted by Pedraum at 10:34 PM |

Represent Yo!

These guys are really wishing the DNS system recognized capital letters:


Posted by Pedraum at 10:33 PM |

July 08, 2003

Nonprofits Need To Manage Too

I've had quite a bit of exposure to nonprofits in my day. Much of it has been first hand though the most interesting exposure has come through my wife, Ariane. Now that I think about it, I don't think she's worked anywhere but at nonprofits. Oh wait, she did work for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection but that can hardly be considered the traditional work world. I often heard stories of mismanagement at the places she worked--places where the goals were lofty but the execution was sloppy at best and, at their worst, downright destructive. When I would recount the trials of the current year-end review cycle I was in the midst of a look of longing would come over her face. A look that said "Why can't I work in a normal place, with normal, business-like operations". Thank goodness for College Track. I think I speak for Ariane when I say that it is the most well-managed nonprofit she's worked for thus far. Now, that's not to say there isn't still room for improvement. This article from the McKinsey quarterly gives some nonprofit-specific advice that I, for one, was impressed with. (You'll be asked to register...click the "Please sign in" link on the left of the page and then use the ariped/ ariped username/ password combo)

Posted by Pedraum at 09:30 AM |

July 05, 2003

Information Overload

The truth hurts. I have a funny feeling that friends reading this blog will read this article with a bit of self-recognition. Whaddya think, drop a comment?
Posted by Pedraum at 09:47 PM |