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Monday, March 30, 2009

Because My Dad Read It To Me Nightly (And Reads My Blog Daily)

Can't. Wait.

Planet 51 (out in the fall) looks fun too:

Glad There's Someone In The World With True RC Airplane Skillz

Not in my family, of course. We're more along the lines of durability testers (and thus far none of the dozens we've tested have passed...).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Kindle-Card Hack

super slide
Originally uploaded by bjorkish

So, someone you know and love knows and loves a Kindle? Here's how to give them a cool surprise:

  1. Make sure you're on their list of "approved 'From' email addresses," and that you have their Kindle's email address.
  2. Create a fun slideshow for them with occasion-appropriate images and wit.
  3. Save the slides as a PDF.
  4. Email to the recipient's Kindle.

Your gift will magically appear in a place they probably don't expect, and hopefully bring a smile. (One that justifies the $.10 it'll cost 'em.)

[Update:] Tip: portrait-orienting the PDF seems to work best.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ideally, They're One And The Same

Girl Kissing Fish under Water
Originally uploaded by I'm won

Parent (picking up child from a nighttime, kids-only event): Hi, d'ya have fun?

Child: Mom, I met the girl I'm going to marry.

Parent: (pause)

Child: Either that, or have a play date.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In case you were wondering what the former Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee is up to these days:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

When Everything's a Ray Gun

ComicCon 020
Originally uploaded by willdleeesq

Parent: Go ahead and take off my belt now, it's time to get dressed. It's too big for you anyway.

Child: It's not a belt. It's a Waistonator.

Joss Whedon On Kindles In The Courtroom

Throw the Kindle at you
Ouch, sharp corners!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Unevenly Distributed

David Pogue (@pogue)'s CBS Sunday Morning segment on better place is like a William Gibson novel, revealing the future in the here and now. David's full interview with better place founder Shai Agassi is here; Tim O'Reilly's Web 2.0 Summit conversation with Shai Agassi is here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More QuickTime Than QuickStep (But Still In!)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Captain Non-Obvious

the "florida-keys-jump"!
Originally uploaded by renaldo_tr

Free association, kid-style:

Parent: Point to the pictures that rhyme with sock.

Child: Clock, lock, rock...

Parent: Can we rhyme any words with the other pictures? What rhymes with cheese?

Child: Florida Keys...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pass The Green Beer And Empathy

This Week in Law with Denise Howell
Originally uploaded by insidetwit

Recording TWiL St. Paddy's Day with Jason Calacanis, Colette Vogele, Ernie Svenson, and Evan Brown. Discussion points here. What else is on your mind? Tag it "for:thisweekinlaw" in

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Wish I Knew How Not To Force-Quit You

Thanks Andrew Nusca for the pointer to what will sadly, but no doubt, be Woz's short-lived tenure on D with the S:

Thursday, March 05, 2009

A Fully Kindleized Law Firm (And Bed)

Kindle, you had me at Fassabook.

Sure, that's what it pronounces about three times a sentence whenever I turn its text-to-speech functionality loose on TechCrunch. But the fact it can read TechCrunch (and other terrific information sources I might not otherwise get to) to me while I dash about in the car is life-changing. There is no Daily TechCrunch or Daily LA Times or Daily Threat Level or Daily Deep Links or Daily SF Chronicle podcast — or rather there wasn't. There is now, it's called a Kindle, and it's a powerful tool for those of us who can't or prefer not to spend all day in front of GReader.

Text-to-speech just scratches the surface of my infatuation with this device. I'm a lawyer, often an appellate one. I read and annotate a lot of documents. Kindle is designed for reading and annotating. It's easy on the eyes in a way a monitor is not, plus tiny, sleek, and capable of toting around 1.5 GB of data. It makes processing legal documents a joy — well, as much as that task can be. Bob Coffield tweeted that the Plastic reader might work well for lawyers too, given it's 8½ x 11 screen, but Kindle does just fine and its size and other features are compelling. Kindle is in alpha/early stages with its document delivery and management features, but you can see where this is headed. I love the notion of colleagues and counsel sending or serving me with review documents on such a reader-friendly device. I suspect courts and judges will like it too.

More stuff to like:

Newspaperifying the Web (and Webbifying newspapers just enough)

I like Salon and Slate, but (until now) hardly ever read them. They're large and multi-topical — like a traditional newspaper or magazine. I might check out a link when pointed there, but that's it. For me, it's just not comfortable to browse through such a collection of information online, where ads, eyestrain, cumbersome navigation, and the rest of the Web all pull my attention away from the substance. The same goes for the online experience of a newspaper. Call a link to my attention and I'll read it, but I've never started my day by hitting or some cross-section of its dizzying array of feeds. We get the newsprint version at home, but I never do more than scan the front page and business section. Though there are undoubtedly other things I'd like to read in that mass of paper, it's too much work to get to the wheat through the chaff.

Enter the Kindle. For sites like Salon, Slate, and even long-form blogs like The Huffington Post, it makes them more unified and coherent, more readable, and more readily navigable. For newspapers, it does away with the actual paper without sacrificing readability, and, suddenly, makes them navigable too. I may be unusual in this (e.g., Leo Laporte told us on this week's TWiT he doesn't care for the Kindle newspaper experience), but I really, really like reading newspapers on the Kindle. No more paper to rifle through and recycle. No ads. The ability to quickly scan all the sections and go right to the interesting bits. As David Sarno writes, "If you’ve been following the saga of Amazon’s Kindle . . . you might feel optimistic about the future of slow-read media." For the first time in a long time I'm optimistic. For the first time in a LONG time, I'm a newspaper reader — first thing in the morning, over coffee later on, it just works. [Update:] And see Steve Gillmor, Feeder's Digest: "The App Store may be our first glimpse of the Phoenix formerly known as the newspaper business."

Capturing, Sharing

Kindle's highlighting, annotating, clipping, and bookmarking functions work easily and well. Great for making notes and comments on a document. Great for keeping a blog, tweet, or otherwise-follow-up-on-this list as you read through material. GReader-esque on-board sharing functions would be nice, and I'm guessing are in the pipeline.

Work-Life Balance

While the Plastic reader might be a better size and fit for standard document review, it's not going to have the Kindle store. If I'm going to carry something around with me, it had better have more than one function. It had better be able to serve up both Mashable and Toot and Puddle (in color on the iPhone, no less), as the situation warrants. As Apple says, "If you're like most attorneys, you've probably noticed that your work life and personal life frequently overlap." Kindle serves both worlds well.

It also looks attractive by candlelight.

(Thanks to Jason Perlow for putting a smile on the ZDNet bloggers' faces with this.)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

When Motherhood Makes You Feel Like A Boob

Originally uploaded by guiguis

I'd been a mom about a week when I learned that having a super-sterile breast pump is not worth burning your house down.

I was downstairs, folding laundry around the baby asleep in the sling by Dr. Sears (enthusiastically endorsed by Dr. Searls), hoping CNN might catch me up on what had happened while I'd been in the hospital. Suddenly, "Arr, Arr, ARR!" The smoke alarms blasted tranquility to bits and I raced upstairs to find 4-foot flames where, an hour before, there'd been a pot starting to boil the bits of my breast pump squeaky clean. Far be it for any bacteria to invade my little youngster...who may someday overcome the smoke inhalation he endured as I doused the fire, carried the molten mess outside, and explained the debacle to the arriving fire fighters.

It wasn't long after that recapturing spilled breast milk with a (brand new! but still – ew) sponge seemed like a a better alternative than letting the hard-won elixir be paper-toweled into the trash.

First Baby Picture
Originally uploaded by me

I wish I could say, 5+ years into this, that mommy-brain gets better as children get older. I mean, as their wits sharpen, shouldn't ours?? But if the mis-rsvp'd birthday invitations, neglected birthday wishes — with the birthday-person waiting expectantly on the phone for me to clue in, no less — and increasingly intricate and artistic pattern of rim and bumper bashes are any indication (thank goodness for EFF stickers), no amount of ginko biloba will serve to reverse the degenerative effects. Time to just relax and enjoy the slide.

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