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Showing posts from April, 2012

John McGready connected to varolo

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John McGready connected to varolo

The REAL Truth About Why You Suck: You Don’t!

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Do you ever feel that you suck!?
Okay, so feeling like you suck is something you’re not supposed to talk about, right?
You’re supposed to stay positive. You’re supposed to be confident. You’re supposed to sweep your insecurities under the rug, and forget they’re there.
But it’s hard.
You’re working twice as hard as everyone else, and yet it seems like you get half as much done.You’re twice as smart, and yet it seems like your ideas get half the attention.
You’re twice as loyal to your company, and yet it seems like your boss doesn’t even know you exist half the time.
No one ever says you suck, no, but you’re starting to wonder if that’s what everyone thinks. And it really, really bothers you.
So what do you do?
I felt like this a few years ago and it wasn’t a great place to be.
There I was, a cocky young man with the world seemingly at my feet and an exciting career ahead of me. And when I was passed over for promotion and a pay rise yet again, it really upset me. To put it mildly.
Luckily, aro…

The story of money is not a straight line

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Everyone tells themself a different story about money, but there's no doubt at all that the story we tell ourselves changes our behavior.
Consider this curve of how people react in situations that cost money.
A musician is standing on a street corner playing real good for free. Most people walk on by (3). That same musician playing at a bar with a $5 cover gets a bit more attention. Put him into a concert hall at $40 and suddenly it's an event.
Pay someone minimum wage or a low intern stipend (4) and they treat the work like a job. Don't expect that worker to put in extra effort or conquer her fear--the message is that her effort was bought and paid for and wasn't worth very much to the boss... and so she reciprocates in kind. The same sort of thing can happen in a class that's easy to get into and that doesn't cost much--a Learning Annex sort of thing. Easy to start, cheap to try--not much effort as a result.
It's interesting to me to see what happens to peopl…

A Trick to Find and Start a Profitable Idea

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fun fact, the life design project was almost called “no shift key” because i didn’t like using capitals

whether you’re thinking of selling a product or service, or have an idea for a business, i have a trick for testing if it’s profitable that i’ve been using in my business.
the idea can be anything at first to open your mind to this, it could be selling baked goods, doing technical support, telling people how to rack up frequent flyer miles, it’s not important to start.
the biggest hurdle when in this space is usually a mental one…
you’re head messes with you when you have ideas…

might be scared and so you think “i could never make money from this”
might be practical and worry about graphics, and the website, and marketing, and how you’re going to charge people equaling overload
could be adding features by the minute to your great idea, increasing development time, and people involved
get lost on where to start
complain you’re already too busy but have big dreams
most businesses don’t fail for…

ShopBot

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The ShopBot is a low-cost CNC, or computer controlled router. Think of it as a large-scale milling machine. It is great for small-scale production runs of machine parts in wood or metal. A friend of mine used his ShopBot to cut the gears and mechanism (other than the chime) for a full-scale replica of a grandfather's Clock. ShopBots (and their kin) can also fabricate extremely detailed 3D contour maps (whole cities!), and other intricate 3D surfaces.

We have one at the design school I teach at. It can cut anything programmable like the hull plates for a full scale sailboat. On a big boat, each plate of the hull is different shape, but the ShopBot just follows its orders and spits them out ready to install. It is very accurate. Hey, you can even equip it with a pen or the like, which permits very intricate drawings. The cheapest Shopbot is the small Shop Bot Desktop for $5,000. They are getting cheaper every year, but if you only need one occasionally, you can buy time on one at sh…

Don't expect applause

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Accept applause, sure, please do.
But when you expect applause, when you do your work in order (and because of) applause, you have sold yourself short. That's because your work is depending on something out of your control. You have given away part of your art. If your work is filled with the hope and longing for applause, it's no longer your work--the dependence on approval has corrupted it, turned it into a process where you are striving for ever more approval.
Who decides if your work is good? When you are at your best, you do. If the work doesn't deliver on its purpose, if the pot you made leaks or the hammer you forged breaks, then you should learn to make a better one. But we don't blame the nail for breaking the hammer or the water for leaking from the pot. They are part of the system, just as the market embracing your product is part of marketing.
"Here, here it is, it's finished."
If it's finished, the applause, the thanks, the gratitude are some…

Don't expect applause

Image
Accept applause, sure, please do.
But when you expect applause, when you do your work in order (and because of) applause, you have sold yourself short. That's because your work is depending on something out of your control. You have given away part of your art. If your work is filled with the hope and longing for applause, it's no longer your work--the dependence on approval has corrupted it, turned it into a process where you are striving for ever more approval.
Who decides if your work is good? When you are at your best, you do. If the work doesn't deliver on its purpose, if the pot you made leaks or the hammer you forged breaks, then you should learn to make a better one. But we don't blame the nail for breaking the hammer or the water for leaking from the pot. They are part of the system, just as the market embracing your product is part of marketing.
"Here, here it is, it's finished."
If it's finished, the applause, the thanks, the gratitude are some…

1st day back at work post-accident/vacation

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1st day back at work post-accident/vacation

Air-O-Swiss Travel Ultrasonic Humidifier

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On a recent trip to Berlin in the dead of winter with a toddler with a cough, we found ourselves with a dilemma: buy a humidifier when we arrive and then either sell it after a month or abandon it, or purchase the Air Swiss Travel Humidifier, a little pricey at $50, but a very compact unit. I was against buying something so specific as a travel humidifier, but we were so glad we did.

It's a little bigger than a Macbook Pro power supply, and twice as thick. It has a clever water reservoir, any .5 liter or smaller water bottle snaps into a fitting, and will supply 6-10 hours of vapor, depending on the setting.

Berlin apartments are as dry as a brush fire, so we also ran it all day in the living room, and even in a large room, it made the air so much more pleasant. Then we ran the Air Swiss all night for the baby, and again it performed perfectly. That's day and night for 30-days non-stop; it's built solid.

The only drawback is that there is a rather bright blue light that illum…

If you believe people receiving gov't benefits should submit to random drug tests as a condition to continue recieving benefits (subsidies, tax credits, payments)....

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If you believe people receiving gov't benefits should submit to random drug tests
as a condition to continue recieving benefits (subsidies, tax credits, payments)
AND you believe that corporatons are people too...

would you THEN believe that a corporation's chief officers and Board of Directors
should submit to the same tests as a condition to continue receiving benefits
from the gov't ( subsidies, tax credits, payments) ?

If not, why not?

[wpramazon asin="B000RF0NIW"]

Debunking CISPA supporters' claims of harmlessness, inevitability

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A coalition of US civil liberties organizations have declared this to be Stop Cyber Spying Week, with the goal of scuttling CISPA, the Internet spying bill that promotes web-censorship, bulk surveillance, and warrantless wiretapping by government and Internet companies, while turning over spying governance to the unaccountable, secretive NSA.

CISPA's supporters, notably CISPA sponsor Rep Mike Rogers (R-MI), have pooh-poohed the Internet's concerns, and say that the bill is a lock, and nothing we say can change Congress's mind (apparently, they've forgotten the lesson of SOPA). Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation replies with specific, Internet-breaking, out-of-control surveillance scenarios CISPA would create:



One of the scariest parts of CISPA is that the bill goes above and beyond information sharing. Its definitions allow for countermeasures to be taken by private entities, and we think these provisions are ripe for abuse. Indeed, the bill defines "cybersecu…

Kuhn Rikon Pressure Cooker

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This is not your grandmother's pressure cooker. Modern day versions are safe, easy to lock tight and are far quieter than units of yore. I can't imagine my kitchen without one. The convenience plus time and energy savings associated with making things ranging from roasts to perfect risotto and even desserts is incredible. On top of that, everything inevitably turns out tastier and more nutritious than it would otherwise.

For the uninitiated, pressure cooking is a method of cooking in a sealed vessel that does not permit air or liquids to escape below a certain pressure. Pressure is created by boiling a liquid, such as water or broth, inside the closed pressure cooker causing the trapped steam to increase the internal pressure and temperature. This causes wet steam (or "saturated steam") to be forced through the food and results in faster cooking times compared to conventional cooking methods. Once pressure is reached, the heat source can be dialed down significantly t…

Hilti PX-10 Transpointer

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This tool is under-marketed, over-priced, and difficult to find, but once you've used it, you won't want to be without one. It solves a problem that nothing else on the market solves: making a drilled hole come out at the right place on the other side of a wall, and I mean a wall where getting to the other side requires a hike.

The PX-10 consists of two handheld units: a transmitter and a receiver. You put the transmitter on one side of the wall, then take the receiver to the other side. The receiver has four illuminated arrows that tell you which way to move it; when all four are lit, it's exactly lined up with the transmitter. There's even a hole in the center so you can make a pencil mark. It's also got a readout the tells you the wall thickness.

The manufacturer says the PX-10 works on walls from 5cm to 1.35m (>4 ft) thick, with a positioning accuracy of +/- 2mm per 200mm of wall thickness.

I bought mine in 2008 while working on a historic masonry building. To …

Extending the range of wireless weather stations with walkie talkies

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[Roel] wanted to put a wireless weather station in his greenhouse. Even though the weather station was supposed to transmit over fairly long distances, the geometry of his back yard and a few stone walls killed the radio signal even after putting a good antenna on the receiving side of his wireless weather station setup. Wanting to get his weather station working, [Roel] did the sensible thing and built a packet radio setup out of a pair of walkie talkies, greatly increasing the range of his weather station.
This build comes after [Roel] spent a great deal of time reverse engineering the wireless protocol of his Thierry Mugler weather station. With a little bit of code, [Roel] is able to get the current temperature and humidity reading into his Linux box. This system relies on the transmitter inside the weather station, so the system falls apart over any sufficiently large distance.
To increase the range of his weather station, [Roel] took his existing hardware and added a pair of inexp…