Monthly Archives: February 2010

West Hollywood extended stay hotels

Just back from a stay in West Hollywood. Stayed at “Le Parc Suites”:http://www.leparcsuites.com/. I think this place had its best moments 10 years ago. Not terrible, the service levels were good, the street is nice, but the facility is aging and probably wasn’t great to start with.

From walking around, where we should have stayed (kitchen a requirement):
* “Palihouse”:http://www.palihouse.com/suites.asp?st=5. Looks very cool and good kitchens. Not as nice a street location as Le Parc but looks way awesomer.
* “Petit Ermitage”:http://www.petitermitage.com/home.php. Also full kitchens.

Close but lacking a real kitchen:
* “LeMontrose Suite Hotel”:http://www.lemontrose.com/accommodations/amenities.php. Kitchenette type facilities
* “Chamberlain”:http://www.chamberlainwesthollywood.com/accommodations/index.html. Kitchenette as well in some rooms

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-02-21

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Signs of strain at Google?

OK the missteps that Google has made with Buzz this week are well chronicled. They jammed a product out without really thinking it through.

That doesn’t hit me that much as a user. But today using the iphone map app I am getting continuous errors — here is the map of “drugstores near my current location”:http://twitpic.com/13st7z. Not unique to me, I’ve heard of this from many folks today.

And I’m looking at the ESPN boxscore page for “Purdue/OSU right now”:http://espn.go.com/ncb/boxscore?gameId=300480194 and first the google toolbar tells me it is in Portuguese, and now in Catalan, and asks if I want a translation.

One wonders if Google is spreading itself a little thin.

Recent books — Freedom, Give Me Liberty, Judas Unchained, Forgotten Man

* “Freedom(TM)”:amazon by Daniel Suarez. Not as mind-wreckingly good as his prior, “Daemon”:amazon but a very nice conclusion to the tale. 3.5 stars, Amazon says 4.5 stars but that I think is carryover from the first book.
* “Give Me Liberty”:amazon by Naomi Wolf. Nice nonfiction complement to the above. Does a nice job of illustrating how our rights have been eroded, and admonishing us to do something about. Amazon says 4.5 stars, well, it is a fine book, but I’d stop at 3.5
* “Judas Unchained”:amazon by Peter Hamilton. Vaguely remember the prior book but it has been a while and this book does not stand alone. Amazon says 4 stars, I am hard on books today, I’d say 3 stars
* “The Forgotten Man”:amazon by Amity Shlaes. History of the Depression, interesting although some of the details could have been left to an appendix. Roosevelt’s level of power was amazing. The story of the transformation of government into a very active role is told well and is clearly not an unalloyed good. The abject failure of monetary policy is well told and a good lesson for today. And my impression of Hoover from high school history as a total bumbler changed, he was incredibly competent prior to his stint as president. Amazon says 4 stars, I’ll say 3.5, and with tighter editing could have been a 4.

Douglas Preston and entitlement

“Preston is exhibiting that he knows deeply what it means to feel ‘entitlement'”:http://chamberfour.com/2010/02/11/on-the-word-entitlement/. My reaction when I read Preston’s quote was exactly the same as this writer. Fortunately his books are throw-away fluff, and not even good throw-away fluff, so I will miss nothing if I never buy one again.

Online math resources

Just discovered “Cramster”:http://www.cramster.com/. Awesome. If they have coverage for the text used in your class, this is super helpful.

Finding that Wolfram Alpha is also becoming more useful. Easier to run to it to figure out the integral of x^2 sinx sinhx than spinning up mathematica or maple or matlab.

Holiday cards next year

Almost all the holiday cards we got this year were produced/printed at various websites. The ones we liked the best came from http://www.tinyprints.com/. Placeholder here for next year…

Awesomely cool household items I want but can’t really justify

* “Magimix Vision Toaster”:http://www.coolhunting.com/archives/2010/01/magimix_vision.php. Our current toaster works just fine but this one just looks so awesome.
* “Wood Alarm Clock”:http://okthestore.com/gallery.php?id=73. I hate your typical alarm clock, this is pretty atypical.
* “Magisso Cake Server”:http://design-milk.com/magisso-cake-server/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+design-milk+%28Design+Milk%29&utm_content=Google+Reader. Don’t make that many cakes but this is a reason to start.
* “Shattered Glass Table”:http://blabitalia.com/en/products/b-glass/impact/ is awesome looking. Sign me up.
* “Suitcase Chairs”:http://design-milk.com/suitcase-chairs-by-katie-thompson/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=Google+Reader&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+design-milk+%28Design+Milk%29&utm_content=Google+Reader. Don’t love this color but love the idea.
* “Found lumber staircase”:http://www.coolhunting.com/archives/2010/01/gelitin_palais.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ch+%28Cool+Hunting%29&utm_content=Google+Reader. There is something about this I love.
* “Canisters”:http://www.coolhunting.com/archives/2010/01/airscape_airtig.php. Ok what I really want is the indestructible French press mentioned.
* “Glass pendant lamp”:http://www.scandinaviandesigncenter.com/Products/usd0/Trademark/New+products/10627/One+pendant&VariantId=02&Image=img2. Dust will make me regret this but it looks awesome
* “Canvas Clock”:http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/20100207/real-tim-canvas-clock-shows-current-time/. I think everyone else in the household might barf on this one.
* “Flask salt/pepper shakers”:http://www.modestudio.co.uk/products-mode-earl-salt-and-pepper.php?g=earl. No idea if functional, but nice looking.

Tech toys I want but don’t need

* Lifebook MH380. Japan only right now. For some reason this netbook just looks cool to me.
* “Netgear 200mb powerline ethernet”:http://www.netgear.com/Products/PowerlineNetworking/PowerlineEthernetAdapters/xavb2501.aspx — I might actually need this, one spot in the house where I would really like a wired solution and running cat5 is inconvenient.
* “Moxi DVRs”:http://moxi.com/us/home.html intrigue me, especially the moxi mate for additional rooms. Wonder if I should flip away from Tivo…
* “Ambient WIFI harvester”:http://www.ohgizmo.com/2010/01/09/ces2010-rca-airnergy-charger-harvests-electricity-from-wifi/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Ohgizmo+%28OhGizmo%21%29&utm_content=Google+Reader. Wonder why just wifi. Curious what the power spectrum of EM energy around us looks like.
* “80 Port USB charging hub”:http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2010/02/04/80-port-usb-charger-board/. I wish it could charge my iphone 80x as fast.
* These “Micro 4/3rds cameras”:http://www.coolhunting.com/archives/2010/02/olympus_pen_epl.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ch+%28Cool+Hunting%29&utm_content=Google+Reader are just screaming my name. I know I will be disappointed in shutter lag time. But man I am pulled.

USC Lacrosse season kickoff

“USC Lacrosse”:http://www.usclacrosse.com/ kicks off the season this weekend, Sunday 11am home against UNLV (“complete schedule”:http://www.usclacrosse.com/schedule). “Roster up here as well”:http://www.usclacrosse.com/roster. Next weekend in Seattle, yay, to take on some Northwest opponents. Fight On!

Amazon vs Macmillan vs You

OK so Amazon’s “move against Macmillan”:http://whatever.scalzi.com/2010/02/01/all-the-many-ways-amazon-so-very-failed-the-weekend/ was seriously ham-handed and Amazon is “still caught up in their own undershorts”:http://whatever.scalzi.com/2010/02/01/seriously-now-theyre-just-being-dicks/. Some Amazonians deserve some serious reprimands, this is just not the way these things are handled. Now Amazon has created even more problems for itself.

That said — we are talking about 4-5 days of inconvenience Amazon has caused readers and authors. Stupid but fixable.

As “Charles points out”:http://www.platformonomics.com/PricelessIndeed.aspx, Macmillan is trying to put the screws to all of us big time and for the long run. They are grabbing for more dollars out of out pockets at a time when book costs are heading down. Now, if Macmillan was passing all this on to authors, I might be OK with it, but I suspect it is being absorbed by a bunch of corporate suits.

Who is our real friend here? Shame on Amazon for being so clumsy, but greater shame on Macmillan.