Category Archives: Ideas

Stuff that’d be lost otherwise.

Deathly Hallows Special Edition Story

Considering the incredible popularity of my previous post on the 6th Harry Potter book, I knew I had to post something about the 7th when I read an interesting story about its delivery at Kottke.org. Essentially, Amazon.com offered guaranteed release-date delivery:

If you qualified for guaranteed Release-Date Delivery, in the unlikely event that you don’t receive it on Saturday, July 21, we’ll refund the cost of the book. … All copies that qualified for Release-Date Delivery should be delivered by 7:00 p.m. in your time zone.

But when UPS didn’t make the deadline, they added an excuse to the tracking site:

NOTICE LEFT

They claimed that they attempted to make a delivery, but nobody was home. I wonder how many people bought the excuse and blamed themselves! Fortunately, Amazon.com did honor their refund promise. Presumably the people who received the book late get to keep the copy they got, so I wonder how much this is costing them. I guess it wasn’t too widespread, and mostly occurred in far away places scattered around the US.

Here’s the neat box they shipped in. Kind of makes me wish I’d gotten it.

harry-potter-box.jpg

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How the Palm Foleo is as great as the iPhone

I heard about the Palm Foleo on one of Lao Laporte’s podcasts, so I looked up Palm and checked it out. It’s very intriguing. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look.

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The Palm Foleo is basically a very small laptop. The appealing thing to me is that it runs Linux. I love small laptops. It’s a market I’ve always felt has been underappreciated and missed by most companies. When I first heard about the Toshiba Libretto nearly 10 years ago, I was hooked. I never actually got one, but I read lots about it and drooled over it for weeks. I hunted for a cheap one on eBay and visited pretty much every single website about the mini-laptop.

The point is that I like to travel and I like to take my computer with me. In that sense, Palm is absolutely right.

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Apple iPhone Unboxing and First Impressions

Since Steve Jobs first announced it, I’ve been excited about the iPhone. My old Nokia is fine, but it scrolls my address book extremely slowly, the camera’s quality is very low at 640×480, and it has only 2 MB of memory. Compare that with the low-end iPhone: fast address book scrolling, high-quality camera at 2 megapixels, and 4 GB memory. I’ve read tons of reviews, watched lots of videos, read the tech specs and did some minimal research on what launch day would be like.

So come Friday, June 29, I decided that if I’d had a good day, I’d walk over to the Apple Store, Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, and pick up an iPhone. At 6 PM, I searched online to see what the release was like. I couldn’t find any reports on the Santa Monica Apple Store, so at 7 PM, I decided to go out and walk down to the store.

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A look at Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, on the day of the iPhone launch.
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Cameras with face detection

Today I read three interesting articles in Popular Science. The first is about new cameras with face detection. The second, setting up your own cell phone tower for your home. And finally, making predictions profitable is the most accurate way to forecast the future. These are all interesting topics to me because they’re ideas I’ve had or seen before, but I didn’t know things have come so far.


Camera with face detection.


Cell phone tower for your own home.


Predicting the future by making it profitable.
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Finding housing in Santa Monica

For the past several weeks, I’ve been looking for housing in or near Santa Monica. I’m not picky. I’ll take pretty much anything. So that has given me a lot of options. And the fact that I was looking so early seems to have made things harder, because many of the places I looked at were taken before the date I wanted to move in. I want to move in tomorrow, May 29, 2007. It’s a short term deal. I’m just looking to get one room for three months, and I don’t care whether I have a roommate (I somewhat prefer one so that we can split the rent). Here’s where I’ll be going every day:

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