Monthly Archives: August 2007

Turning your blackberry into a google phone

Andy wants a google phone — A Sack of Seattle: Google phone.

You can get a long way there today:

* Google mail for your domain — navigate to m.google.com/a and install. This is the app for your own domain mail, there is a gmail equivalent at gmail.com/app
* Google calendar — just go to calendar.google.com, it has a great mobile interface. and a great sms interface too
* Google reader — www.google.com/reader/m
* Maps — navigate to www.google.com/gmm/. another great app.

By the way, once you’ve installed all these, your blackberry will probably run out of memory and start autodeleting mail from your blackberry inbox with no warning. if you go to settings…advanced…applications, you can uninstall a bunch of cruft like all the language support you don’t need, all the crappy bberry apps and carrier apps you never use, etc. Love that MSDOS-style memory management

More stuff I don't need but want

* No-staple stapler is better for the environment (and looks cool) — I hate freaking staples. This looks useful and cheap
* B&W Zeppelin iPod speaker system. I would probably never actually buy this but it looks wicked.
* Powerkayak. Take a nice ecofriendly sport like kayaking, and jam some gas-consuming horsepower onto it! Wonderful!
* Tancher wrist beacon. I think this is just a concept but looks cool and is lifesaving
* Credit Card multitool. This would be super useful. TSA approved?
* Another HD hard disk videocam. Decent reviews.
* Digium asterisk appliance. Now if it would just use my cell service as the outbound line…
* A bunch of awesome watches all with a black theme.
* Emergency food supply
* Edge Brownie Pan. OK I actually got one of these. It works great — the fins really help with heat distribution.

Recent Books

Mostly beach/airport reads:

* “Gridlinked”:amazon by Neal Asher. Galaxy wide suspense romp. Leaves enough unexplained to be interesting. Intriguing alien constructs. Overall a very nice first novel
* “Dead I well may be”:amazon by Adrian Mckinty. Wow wow wow. An awesome crime novel. An Irish hoodlum fights his way up the organization and through double crosses. Great great character, I am very motivated to read more.
* “The Architect”:amazon by Keith Ablow. Unusual premise and nicely developed villian and investigator. And doesn’t wrap up all happy and neatly.
* “Old Man’s War”:amazon by John Scalzi. Great story in the “Starship Troopers”:amazon, “The Forever War”:amazon tradition. Characters with depth.
* “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”:amazon by JK Rowling. A fine ending. Perhaps a little too neat. But some good drama. And closure on important items.

and some nonfiction

* “Fortune’s Formula”:amazon by William Poundstone. A wander thru the lives of various information theorists, gamblers, economists, and investors, examining the development of ideas about betting systems. Interesting to hear the backstory on Claude Shannon and others, but probably not the most thorough treatment.
* “An Imaginary Tale: The Story of ‘i'”:amazon by Paul Nahin. Not sure what book on number theory to take to the beach this summer? Well this is an entertaining epistle on the development of the math of imaginary numbers. A mix of history and number theory, at times way too much number theory, but I enjoyed some of the history of the math. What is so interesting is how the world view of scientists was so shaped by their ability to comprehend negative numbers and ‘i’, and how embracing these concepts allowed them to move dramatically ahead in some many areas. You have to wonder what comparable worldviews are limiting our education and thinking today. I suspect that our educational focus on classical algebraic deterministic approaches to science is an error, and someday we will want to completely reshape how we teach science, introducing quanta and uncertainty from the beginning.