long way round

New RSS

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Ok, so that was super easy. It's already on Tumblr. This RSS will be discontinued, so if you're reading this via RSS, please go to iamdz.com and re-subscribe in your favorite RSS reader (I prefer Google Reader). 

Thanks!

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Written by shindz

January 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Switching Platforms to Tumblr

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Posterous has had a few rocky patches with their service going down recently, coupled with some email troubles. I've been a big fan of Posterous early on for its simplicity and ease of use, but in my opinion, they have been lagging for quite some time in building a better product in the past year.  Along the same lines, Tumblr has been continuing to innovate and have built a very diverse and large user base. The future of blogging is not in WordPress, but in services like Tumblr. I've been constantly surprised at the amount of interesting content I've found, from philosophy to art, via Tumblr, and it was extremely easy to do so. 

And now, it's time to move my domain over and join the masses in tumbling away. The community built in Tumblr is far more interesting, and features such as the "fan mail" and "ask" are a delight in this new age of "tumbling." Besides, over the holidays, some 13 year olds looked at our wedding pictures and exclaimed "wow, these are awesome tumblr pics!" You know a service is hot when young kids are using your service as nouns and verbs.

Stay tuned on getting the new updated RSS link. 

Written by shindz

January 19, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2011 In Review

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I've been doing some reflecting about the year 2011. 

The biggest story is work has taken me to many different places and away from home. I've flown 103,108 miles, spent 123 days on the road, 239 hours on the plane, and 90 nights at various hotels. I drank 61 cups of coffee from Starbucks according to my Starbucks rewards card, which I only started halfway into the year. I stayed in 11 different hotels. Consequently, that means I spent 34% of the year away from home, away from sunny southern california, and away from my wife.

The best book I read this year is "Let The Great World Spin" by Colum McCann. It was a swirl of emotions ranging from the hilarious to the tragic, all in the backdrop of the 1974 event of Philippe Petit's daring act of walking across the World Trade Center on a tight rope. The best long form reading I did on the web is the New Yorker's article on SEAL Team Six's mission to get Osama Bin Laden. The best new music I discovered is BOBBY. I also sank into the addictive new service called turntable.fm. The best $5 I spent is on Louis CK's performance at the Beacon Theater. Check out his update from the "experiment." It's so refreshing.

I finally acted out my fanboy impulse and joined Dave Eggers' army of volunteers through 826LA. I heard many heartbreaking stories of students while helping them craft their college essays. But like most good deeds, I felt like I didn't do enough.

But along with the good, there's also some bad. I didn't volunteer on MLK Day, which I promised to do after listening to the president declare it a national day of service. I had more instances of being inebriated beyond control than the previous year. I became more selfish with my time and money. I'm obsessed with mileage rewards and Starbucks points. I haven't spent much time in the church. I traded my loose fitting GAP jeans for trendy form fitting jeans. Ryan Gosling's words from Crazy Stupid Love, "be better than the GAP" haunt me. And most of all, I realized that all the decomposable waste I throw away won't really return to the earth because it's sealed tight in a non-compostable plastic trash bag. 

I'm not much for new year's resolutions, but clearly there's room for improvement next year. 

 

Written by shindz

December 23, 2011 at 6:03 am

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Making It Work All The Time

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A little side hobby of mine is keeping track of the state of mobile payments technology. The future is going mobile, and soon the mobile device will be the primary device in which we interact with our data, and manage our financial transactions. it's already fast becoming our primary device for our online activity, so it is only a matter of time.

Which brings me to the Starbucks App. The user experience of the app is as satisfying as drinking a hot cup of coffee on a chilly morning. It's simple, straight to the point, and works all the time. Let me say that again. It works all the time. I don't know how important this last piece of fact is. If an app works almost all the time, it's still not a great app. I hear so many people complain about the new Facebook app and for the most part, they're right. It works almost all the time, and for the few times when it doesn't can really be frustrating to the user and tarnish the pleasures of Facebook.

Square is a great piece of technology, opening up a new channel for small and medium businesses to interact with their customers. Yet, the swipe of the credit card on the small little plastic card reader requires a very delicate balance of speed and force in order for the card to be read properly. I was sitting in a cab an extra five minutes because the card wouldn't be read properly through the dongle.

The American Airlines app has a mobile boarding pass feature that allows you to get through the TSA checkpoint and boarding gate with your device. I've used it numerous times and the success rate is 50% at best. I know it's not a mobile payment technology, but worth mentioning because the concept is similar. Now, I've switched back to paper boarding passes.

A staggering 73% of retail companies are planning an investment in mobile channels this year, with half moving into mobile commerce. Apple is getting a head start with its new Apple Store app that allows a customer to scan the product and pay for it with their own device and without ever having to interact with a retail employee. I haven't used it yet but I'll be sure to the next time I'm there.

In these early stages of a growing technology, all of these companies are truly taking advantage of mobile to propel their business. But a crucial factor is in making it work, not most of the time, but all the time.

Written by shindz

December 2, 2011 at 1:31 am

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The Upside to Skinny Jeans

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Skinny jeans is quite popular these days, among men. Those benefiting from this trend, besides hipsters, are cellphone belt holster makers and keychain carabiner manufacturers. Putting an HTC Evo in your pocket would be no small task, and a keychain full of keys is nigh impossible. Next time you're out on the street, do an informal visual survey yourself. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Written by shindz

November 22, 2011 at 1:49 am

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Innovate or Die

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I've been using Posterous ever since its inception. I've always liked it over other publishing sites like WordPress or Tumblr, because of its ease of use. You email it to post@posterous.com, along with any links, and it does everything else for you, including embedding videos and photos. No need to mess with HTML tags or CSS. "It just works."

I was content with it for the longest time because it was so easy to use. But recently, I've been using Tumblr for a new blog I started, "Korean Footballers in Europe". And I've been enjoying it much more. 

In Tumblr, it's much easier to discover other people's tumblog, via the "explore tags" feature, and as a result I've been introduced to a whole slew of people who have very interesting tumblogs (here and here as an example). there is a real sense of community in Tumblr, where part of the fun is not just posting on your own blog, but also discovering others' work and sharing it. I'll admit, my blog is still somewhat of the old school variety where a good majority of my posts are long form, but some of my priorities in a blog tool are ease of use with minimal intervention (hence, I will not be returning to WordPress), and the ability to post via mobile. 

So, I may be moving my domain to Tumblr. Stay tuned.

Written by shindz

October 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm

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The End of Summer Is The Beginning of Post Summer

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Summer is already over. When it began, I had ambitiously set out to accomplish two goals, which were diametrically opposed to each other. And now, as I look back, I realize I've failed both in spectacular fashion. 

After four weeks of P90X, I called it quits. I rationalized with myself saying that I didn't really want hard abs or beautiful shoulder blades. Instead, I opted for something less rigorous, namely a mdoest 3 mile run two to three times a week, and a slight trimming of food portions, with a lot more greens mixed in. I've managed to lose 10 pounds, basically shedding all the winter storage. But I don't have abs to show for it. 

As for tasting the 100 great beers of the world, I pretty much gave up on that too. Drinking craft beer is not only heavy on the calories, but also heavy on the wallet. I've become a miser of sorts, ordering Miller Lite or Coors Light more often than a St. Bernardus. Trust me, it's the neo-hipster thing to do these days.

And so the summer is now gone. In southern California, the end of summer means the beginning of post-summer. That's right. There's really no change of season to fall, just a continuation of clear blue skies and 80 degree highs. The only way I can tell is college football is now on TV.

Written by shindz

September 21, 2011 at 1:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized