July 4, 2014
There is nothing more frustrating for a motorcyclist than being stuck in stationary or slow moving traffic, especially when there is ample room either against the shoulder or between lanes to safely filter to the front of the queue.
Sadly in the US lane filtering (or splitting) is only legal in California, and even the splitting rules for the Californians largely recommend something closer to filtering.
Every motorcyclist probably has a different view of what’s safe – no matter what the outcome it’s always your fault – I personally err on the side of caution and would be happy to see it only allowed if traffic is moving at less than 25 mph and the motorcycle was allowed to go no more than 20 mph above the speed of the queue. Riders need to consider many factors – not just the size of their bike and the size of the gap!
Statistics from Europe on motorcycle accidents have shown a 2.8% chance of harm coming to a stationary motorcycle in traffic but it drops to a 0.4% chance when riders can filter forward. So not only does it help create more space on the road for motorists it actually keeps the rider safer. Read the rest of this entry »
July 1, 2014
As anyone who has jumped through the migration hoops to get a US Green Card there are many parts of the process that don’t actually hold up to inspection by the Socratic method. Or for that matter any other measure of common sense.
The one that baffles me today (while I wait for the totally opaque PERM process to complete) is vaccination. Read the rest of this entry »
June 25, 2014
As smartphones get smarter, and cars more connected it seems to me that there is a huge untapped market. Not everyone will replace their car along with their phone (or vice versa) so an opportunity exists to create a flexible, standards based solution both for new vehicles and aftermarket retro fit scenarios.
Luckily many of the standards needed to deliver this already exist. Bluetooth, NFC, wireless charging, ODB-II can all combine to present a seamless experience – if only the software was available to tie it all together… Read the rest of this entry »
June 23, 2014
Google has Google Voice (soon to be part of Hangouts, expanding their footprint for the ailing – or morphing - Google+ by forcing users to switch), Facebook has their Messenger client, there’s Viber and Line in the Voice space and WhatsApp and SnapChat delivering text and image messaging. The iPhone has Visual Voicemail and iMessage. Where is Microsoft fit in all of this? Read the rest of this entry »
June 10, 2014
In this age of smartphones with big delicate pieces of glass and a non-swappable battery that dies in the middle of the afternoon I often need to carry a second phone. For active folks with a 5″ phablet with glass front and rear they might want a beater phone to take when they run or hit the trails.
The simple solution used to be just swap your SIM. But in these days of regular, Micro, Nano who knows what else sized SIM that’s not always practical, even with the variety of trays available to help convert. Read the rest of this entry »
June 4, 2014
The first rule of riding a motorcycle is simple – don’t fall off. The second is it’s always your fault. Some people put them the other way around but I like to think that if you’ve managed to follow #1 then #2 should take care of itself.
There was gravel; they turned into me; he wasn’t looking; the light was green. They don’t cut much ice when the rubber meets the road. I’m in my 40s now, and that means I’ve had a bike license for over half my life and that hasn’t changed in all those years.
What has changed is how crowded the roads are and that leads to more moving pieces to keep track of. The road surfaces seem to be worse (maybe I am getting old), everyone is in much more of a hurry and drivers (and riders) are more easily distracted by an ever broader range of technology to fiddle with at 60 miles per hour. Read the rest of this entry »
February 3, 2014
For a year and a half I’ve been helping solve problems, write samples and clarifying questions to make them easier to answer. It’s not my day job and it doesn’t even pay peanuts. It pays me in something even less tangible … internet points! Read the rest of this entry »
January 14, 2014
For all it’s pretentious narcissism Facebook provides a level of utility. It also needs to build a business to pay for those servers, engineers and lavish parties. But there comes a point when building an empire that is minting billionaires on the back of a business model that’s predicated on crossing the line into creepy just becomes wrong.
If I use the web experience it gets what I explicitly chose to tell it – what I add to my profile, and post to my wall or message my friends. And I’m comfortable with that. It’s a trade-off – I give them some information, they serve me some ads and I get some value.
On my phone though it’s a different story: Read the rest of this entry »
December 27, 2013
Like many people I use a laptop that I carry from home to work and back again. That coupled with browser preferences syncing to my other machines means all my bookmarks and extensions travel everywhere with me.
At work (or on our VPN) there are certain intranet sites I can access that are not public, so I’d prefer not to see them if i can’t click on them. There are also some browser extensions that I don’t want to run at work because they are not on our IT departments approved list. This means that either I have to stop syncing settings, or use a different browser for work… or come up with a smarter solution. Read the rest of this entry »
December 24, 2013
As a nerd who gets all excited about the whole idea of Quantified Self with my FitBit and 23andMe and HealthVault profiles I was somewhat thrilled to discover I needed an MRI – after all using powerful electromagnets to peer into places I’d never want to see normally (expect perhaps from the inside of a miniaturized spaceship) is pretty cool.
As I was curious about how they worked I read some articles, and checked some videos to find out about the process, and to see people messing about with one so at least I’d know what to expect (no, they don’t attach you to a stain gauge and lower you in on an office chair!) Read the rest of this entry »