Sunday, August 31, 2008

Airlines cut fuel costs by eliminating life vests

Not to be cynical, but: realistically, aren't the vests used to locate the wreckage after a crash? I think the chances of being in a physical state to actually use a vest are pretty low.crash

Link -- CNN article

Photo by rk.bala

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Took the iPhone plunge

Finally got the iPhone 3G. As you may remember, I had the first gen and took it back for a multitude of reasons. Here are my impressions and things I'm doing with it:
  • I don't use Visual Voicemail. I'm continuing to use CallWave, which I like because it sends me a text message with a quick gist of the voicemail and forwards the recording as WAV file to my e-mail.
  • The Google iPhone application rocks (and, like most Google products, it is free). I don't event use the built-in contact manager as I can search all of my contacts and recent calls through the Google interface.
  • I'm using NuevaSync to spoof an Exchange server and push my Google Calendar to my phone over the air; I'll likely enable the over-the-air contact push as well, using Plaxo as my sync point. A few things to note: it's not 2-way, so you need to decide if that's important to you. I use Jott or access Gcal over the web to add appointments -- the free Jott app for the iPhone is pretty click for this provided you set up the relationship between Jott and Gcal. Note that once you set up an over-the-air sync relationship, your phone deletes all of the data in the affected relationship (i.e., calendar data) and disables the ability to manually sync through iTunes.
  • 3G and wifi stay off unless I absolutely need them for something -- it's a battery life thing.
  • I leave the location-based services on because right now it's interesting to see how different applications interact with that data -- I'll probably shift that to an as-needed thing as well.
  • Creating ringtones is not that hard. I take a MP3 file into Audactiy, chop it, increase the basis volume, export the chopped version as a MP3, import the MP3 into GarageBand, export the file to disk (exports as a M4A), change the extension to M4R, drag it into iTunes, and sync the iPhone. Sounds a lot harder than it actually is.
  • The GrandCentral GranDialer application is pretty cool (and free) -- let's you make outbound calls through your Grand Central number, which makes that number show up on the receiving caller's caller ID.
  • I've got links on the home screen to Gmail, Gcal, and my work e-mail through Google Apps. Unfortunately the actual GrandCentral site requires Flash -- hopefully GrandCentral will build a mobile site similar to the one they built for BlackBerrys.
  • I have the AIM app, but it's actually more effective to simply use AOL's AIM forwarding that uses the text messaging interface.
A few things to note on the purchase:
  • AT&T stores are starting to get their direct fulfillment orders in, but do not seem to have any actually in-stock for direct purchase yet.
  • Apple Stores (at least the one at Park Meadows in Colorado) are flush with phones -- I just walked in and bought mine.
  • Apple Stores have an ok, but not great, selection of cases.
  • Very important for existing AT&T customers: you have to be the authorized person on your account, FAN (discount) on your account has to be removed in order for Apple Store personnel to activate -- AT&T customer support can remove this prior to the purchase and add it back when the purchase is complete, you should research your upgrade eligibility on the AT&T site before you go to know what you are spending and speed the process along.
I'm sure I'll have more as time goes on.