Author Archives: David Gaw

The Teadrop Tea Infuser

Teadrop, a tea infuser that combines a timer and a filter to make a consistently perfect cup of tea, is the brain child of Michael DiStefano.  It’s currently in the funding phase on; I heard about it via Twitter from noted tea fanatic Kevin Rose, and signed up as a backer.  Looks like a neat little gadget.

What I’ve Been Reading Widgets

Resolved: Less “Legal Spam” for David in 2011

I just finished my annual year-end inbox cleanup, and wow, was I irritated to discover how much “legal spam” there was.  You know the stuff I mean—commercial e-mail from organizations I’ve done business with, but that I really never wanted.  There were thousands and thousands of messages, literally: nearly 70 percent of the 7000+ messages I received that didn’t end up in Gmail’s Spam Folder before I even saw them. 

Resolved: next year I’m going to be a lot more aggressive about unsubscribing from most things and deleting everything else after a quick look-see.  If you’re sending me e-mail I didn’t explicitly opt in to, you’d better be sending me cash—a lot of cash—or your message is history.

Thought for the Day

On the prospect of eating crawfish:

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"What’s that? You want me to rip the head off a sea insect and suck it? Can we dip it in diarrhea sauce first?"Sat Dec 04 05:14:48 via web

links for 2010-11-27

David’s Election 2010 Semi-Live Blog

6:27 am (San Diego Time) – So!  Anything interesting happening in the news today?

The day arrives at last.  All of the policy disagreements, the invective, the endless campaign ads, the rallies… all of that exhausting arrogance and ignoring-the-will-of-the-American-people… it all comes down to today.  I’ve been deliberately quiet when it comes to electoral predictions this year—partly because ohmigod there’s already too much of it out there already, and partly because I don’t want to jinx anything.

But I am very much interested in how this will turn out, and who will be surprised at the end of the day.  I think it’s pretty clear that today marks an inflection point in American politics, however it goes. Time to choose.

6:34 am – a trickle of tweets streaming in as people I follow vote.  Hey, I voted a week ago.  Early voting FTW!

6:38 am – Robert Stacy McCain via Twitter: Final Warning: Polls Are Not Elections.  True statement.  It will be interesting to see how close the polls are to the actual result.

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Life with the iPad

I was e-mailing some friends last week, waxing enthusiastic about the wireless keyboard I had picked up for my iPad, and one of them commented about its impracticality. That struck me as an interesting impression, since if anything, I'm rather taken by the iPad's versatility. It led me to think a bit about my experience with the device so far, and how I use it.

So just how practical is the iPad, anyway? Of couse, as with any device, that depends on what you're trying to do with it. Until I got the keyboard, I'd have said the iPad is best understood as a Super Kindle, rather than, say, a quasi-netbook. And indeed, I pretty much stopped using my Kindle when I got the iPad, though I continue to read and buy Kindle books for the Kindle iPad app. The iPad is like a Kindle you can also use to read full-color magazines, surf the web (enjoyably), play games, look up flight details, write e-mails, navigate, and watch TV and movies. I use mine as I walk between terminals in the airport and as I'm standing in line to board. It's the first thing I reach for in the morning when I wake up, the way I might have reached for a newspaper, back in the distant past–the 90's, say. It's much better than a netbook for doing anything but intensive writing on a plane, especially in coach on those airlines that provide only minmal room between you and the person in front of you–which is unfortunately most of them, these days.

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OC Auto Show Impressions

And now, I will rattle on about cars for a while.  I stayed in San Diego this weekend to visit with friends, and having learned on the radio earlier in the week that the annual Orange County Auto show is underway, drove up to have a look around.  I’ve always loved car shows, even when I’m not in the market for a car; I look at it as an aspect of my basic love of gadgets, of which cars are simply one of the larger examples.

Of course, the one bad thing about car shows is you can usually judge the cars only on their physical appearance, not their performance or handling—obvious important factors in evaluating a car.  The Orange County show addresses that in part by hosting test drives outside the convention center, but they weren’t doing those yet on Friday night.  Still, it’s nice being able to see a lot of cars up close and compare their looks head to head.

Some impressions…

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Quick as a Flash: David’s New SSD

imageAfter careful consideration, including a review of this Tom’s Hardware article, and consultation with my friend Rip, who made a similar purchase last year, I finally sprang for a solid-state drive for my desktop PC.  I went with the 128 GB Crucial drive, and just spent the last 8 hours or so installing it.  (Breakdown of time required: installation of drive = 3 minutes; reinstallation of Windows and all of my software = 7.95 hours). 

But so worth it—this thing is fast!  With approximately the same software installed, my Windows 7 start time has dropped from a minimum of 3:11 or so before the upgrade to right around 1:30 now.  More importantly the computer feels faster, more noticeably than it did, for example, after my last processor upgrade.  I moved my data directories and my sizable Steam games directory onto a spinning drive (following Keith Survell’s instructions here), leaving ample room on the SSD for Windows and my other programs.  Every time I run an application, I find myself smiling as it pops open so much faster than expected.  Hey, when you spend as much time in front of a keyboard as I do, believe me, these things matter. 

Great upgrade.

Restaurant Police: So Much For Focusing on the Economy

When the Obama Administration said recently it would focus on the economy—which by the way it also said back in January, before focusing instead on health care—you probably though it meant it would focus on helping the economy, didn’t you?  Here’s Andrew Malcolm, writing in the LA Times:

First Lady Michelle Obama, who has been unable to convince the Smoker-in-Chief to give up that dreadful habit, now has some health suggestions for other American families and for restaurant menus across the country.

…Obama would like to see more healthy choices for Americans dining out, even if it means a restaurant deleting a best-selling menu item.

…The Democrat suggested that Americans are "programmed" by taste and advertising to eat many things that the government and health professionals know are not healthy for their bodies. So she wants to facilitate a nationwide re-programming of personal tastes by having restaurants start serving less of what customers ignorantly want and more of what they should have.

A nationwide reprogramming supported by public borrowing and paid for by the US taxpayer, I’ll wager!  Because as you know, adults are incapable of deciding what or where to eat, or what menu items will appeal to their customers.  And nothing helps the economy quite like restaurants deleting their best selling menu items.

Wait a minute, doesn’t this sound a lot like focusing on health care instead of the economy?  Again?  It’s like they can’t help themselves.  Maybe it’s the Obama administration that needs reprogramming. 

In the meanwhile, I daresay Americans have some suggestions in turn for First Lady Michelle Obama.