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Tomas Gallucci

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iCall 2.0 [Sep. 23rd, 2013|08:13 am]
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iPhone5S Launch
View from where I started in line


Obtaining iCall 2.0Collapse )
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Our National Anthem Turns 200 [Feb. 27th, 2013|09:08 am]
FSKThumb


I've just been enlightened about the production of both a feature film and a documentary being produced about Francis Scott Key and our national anthem. I don't have any details on when either of these will be available for general release, but I would encourage you to follow the project on Twitter and Facebook. The production website can be found at http://www.fskusa.org.
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Something a little light-hearted for the weekend [Feb. 16th, 2013|09:31 am]


[a] government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


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I've Been Blogging While You've Been Sleeping [Feb. 13th, 2013|10:30 am]
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Greetings! I come to you with great tidings of good joy: I've been writing stealthily.

In fact, I have started three additional blogs. But today, I'm going to tell you about four.

Off the top, there's the political blog that I've been utilizing for quite some time: http://professortom.tumblr.com. I've syndicated it as pro_ts_tumblr for those of you who want to read it off your FL.

The first of the three new blogs I want to tell you about is a tech blog. It's mostly reblogs of MG Sigler's Paris Lemon, with some Daring Fireball thorn in. Occasionally, I'll find something outside of those sources to pass on. And, wouldn't you know it, there's a lot of Apple related news. The blog address is http://tech.professortom.net and it's available on your FL as pro_ts_tech.

I had an idea two years ago or so for a joke of a blog called The Love Spam Blog. The inspiration came from getting a ton of spam emails at work that were supposed to sound like someone I had met at a bar was emailing me wanting to hook up. I thought it would be hilarious if I were to pawn these emails off as serious emails and provide color commentary. Think of it as a riff off of the abandoned Headset Hotties. This blog is being piped into your FL via lovespamblog.

Finally, the blog that is the nearest and dearest to my heart is http://books.professortom.net. This is a place where I will log what I am reading or the courses I am consuming, when I purchase something, when I start consuming and when I finish. This blog was inspired by Jessamyn West's end of year summary.

This blog is personal for me because I think that the closest you can get to understanding who I am–more than spending time with me–is to look at what influences me and what I surround myself with. As such, I think that my book blog is me at my rawest and most vulnerable. You can add it to your FL via pro_ts_reads.

Too Many Notes
A quick note on the Syndication feeds: yes, you can leave comments here on Live Journal on the Syndication pages. However, I get no notification about comments on the feeds unless you reply directly to a comment I leave on a feed. In other words, if you really want me to see the comment that you labored to write, please do me a favor and Tweet (@ProfessorTom) or email me a link to your comment.

Note number two: these are all on Tumblr. If you know someone that can make kick-ass Tumblr themes, please send them my way: I am willing to pay for their services.

Lastly, this is still my personal journal. I am setting up verticals to give people an opportunity to follow only the subject matters that interest them. Furthermore, Tumblr makes short updates way easier and the kind of content I want to generate (essentially link blogs) make much more sense on Tumblr. However, as this is my personal blog, it is possible that some long-form content will get duplicated between this blog and one or more of the verticals; please be aware of this if you decide to follow me everywhere.

It should be clear by now that this blog has turned into a place where I put personal thoughts F-locked for a hand full of people that I trust. It should also be clear that I seldom engage in long-form writing that isn't personal in nature; as such, the number of public posts have gone down.

I do expect that having verticals and updating them more frequently than I update this blog should have an effect on this blog i.e. that there should be more long-form content on this blog as time goes by. Yes, I have abandoned my Xanga; no, I have no plans to abandon LJ. LJ is my blogging home. I like its services, I like its interface and I like what little bit of community I've built around me.

As usual, I would be very grateful for any feedback in the comment section below.
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On Windows 7 [Jan. 23rd, 2013|12:33 pm]
I haven't been forced to use Windows 7 until today. I'm finding that, scratching at the surface, it's not that bad, though I haven't really done anything with it other than install software and download updates. I'm not yet willing to say that it's amazing, but I've started to like the way some of it works, even if it is plagued with its legacy.




I'm really liking the search built into the Windows menu. With a keystroke, I can search my entire computer. Spotlight finally comes to Windows.
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A Christmas message from Mr James May - BBC Top Gear [Dec. 26th, 2012|06:38 pm]
A Christmas message from Mr James May - BBC Top Gear

No Top Gear Christmas Special until February? I wonder if it will be Christmas themed or just a special. Meanwhile, I'm having Top Gear withdrawals. :'(
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Has 2012 been the year of bidirectional data? [Dec. 26th, 2012|06:03 pm]
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]
[music |Celtic Portraits - John Mock]

I just had an interesting thought: the most innovative trend recently in computing hasn't been the move to mobile, but rather, the seamless transition between devices. For instance, a year ago, there wasn't a common Notes app that synced data between your Mac and your phone and tablet. But now, you can create content on the desktop and have it appear where you expect it with a similar if not congruent interface on a different form-factor device.

On the one hand, this should not be some great revelation; on the other hand, I think that there is a lot of value in this idea. It enables a person to be more efficient because it drives the time-cost down. For example, I can make a to-do list on a machine with a full-sized keyboard say on either my desktop or laptop and view it on my phone without having to manually sync data between the two.

Yes, many applications have done this for a while now using Dropbox to take care of the syncing while still fewer applications providing their own syncing services (i.e. Evernote, Wunderlist). Add to this fact that you can hook up a full-sized Bluetooth keyboard to either the iPhone or the iPad, and you now have a very mobile device with perhaps the biggest advantage that a laptop or desktop offers over a more-mobile solution.

This isn't to say that you can't go mobile only if you don't have some "desktop" app that is critical to your core competency; many people have–heck, an entire novel was written on an iPhone without a physical keyboard. (That's a little too ambitious for me at this point. But it just goes to show that it can be done in a pinch.)

And it isn't to say that this bi-directional flow of not just raw data, but presentation and manipulation of that data can't work outside of Apple's ecosystem. I can't give any empirical examples, but I know that there are Android apps out there that either sync with Dropbox or provide their own syncing services. Evernote comes to mind as well as Google Docs (though I wonder, are there Google Doc apps for Android? If so, how well do they work?)

Retrospectively, 2010 was the year of going mobile. 2012 was the year of bidirectional presentation and manipulation of data in that data's respective apps. Will 2013 be the year of understanding what it means to always have your data with you and building some hither-to unthought of innovation that further still drives down time-costs?

This is an interesting time to be alive.
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Getting in the Holiday Spirit [Dec. 16th, 2012|07:32 pm]
[mood |mischievousmischievous]


Shamelessly stolen from becofoz


I'm not so much being humbug as much as I am astonished to find myself staring at the calendar of December 2012. Where did the time go? It feels like the middle of April, not the end of December.

Also, This is funny. I had to share.
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Dependence on Technology [Dec. 16th, 2012|07:18 pm]
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]
[music |Downton Abbey Suite]

I was standing in line behind an older lady at the cash register at Target. She had signed up for one of their Target Red Cards. Having singed up recently, her card hadn't come in the mail yet. Instead, she had the receipt that was printed for her in lieu of a swipe-able card.

When it came time for her to put her PIN number in, it wouldn't accept it. This was tried two or three times.

She instead opted to pay with her Discover card. Despite the fact that the card had an expiration date of May 2013, when she did swipe her Discover card, the transaction was denied on the basis that the card was expired.

The cashier was an older lady too.

Both women were clearly frustrated with this failure of technology to "just work".

The cashier got (what I assume was) a manager to come to her register. He tried to swipe the Discover card to no avail. He finally proclaimed "I saw this happen earlier. The card wouldn't go and wouldn't go through. Then it finally did."

The customer wound up leaving what she had attempted to purchase in her cart.

When the cashier was processing my purchases, she looked at me and said "That's ridiculous."

I wondered two things:


  1. Why didn't the manager just give the cart to the lady and log it as shrinkage or something? Her total was $24 and change if memory serves correctly. In my opinion, this would have been the best possible outcome because she wanted to pay, but the technology both she and the store wanted to employ to finalize the transaction wouldn't work. It wasn't like not charging her for this buggy of goods was going to put the store out of business.

    And I'm not arguing from a bleeding heart here. Giving her the goods makes damned good business sense. It says, "We care more about you than we do about making money off of you, and we're willing to spend some money on you personally to keep a good business relationship with you."

    If that is still seen as anti-capitalistic, then what about this: the negative publicity that the store will likely receive from this women over her not being able to walk out with the goods she wanted–and attempted–to legally purchase has a higher probability of costing the store more money in the long run then the cost of the goods in her cart, not just the profit off of said goods in said cart.


  2. What was causing this failure of technology?

    I chalk the PIN number up to user error. Either the issuing cashier didn't properly issue the temp card or the customer entered the wrong PIN at the time she signed up for the card, despite her claim of "It's the PIN number I always use." (Let's not even divulge into the security aspects of that statement.)



See, I'm a technology guy. While I don't understand a lot or even most of technology, (I once met a man that claimed to have multiple advanced degrees. He said, "The more I know, the more I know what I don't know." I concur.) I sure don't understand the point of failure here.

Perhaps Discover encodes their cards differently from everyone else and it's harder to get read the correct expiration date off of the card. But then, wouldn't this be a problem with all Discover cards at this Target, if not corporation wide?

Maybe the register needed to be rebooted; maybe the memory or "logic board" (to appropriate an Apple phrase) was bad in the register. A random hardware failure? Maybe. But the manager took the Discover card to the next register over and it still wouldn't go through.

I understand that we're all human and have limitations. I further understand that humans build technology and as such, technology is flawed. But despite these facts, as a race, a lot of work has went into making our technology more reliable.

What went wrong I'll never know. But for this to have happened to two people who grew up without computers and whiz–bang! technology, I'm saddened that this experience befell them which will likely reinstate their belief that computers are evil and cannot be trusted.

It also has made me stop and reflect on how much we rely on such whiz-bang! technologies every minute of every day and the impressive success rate and uptime of said technologies. And it gives me pause to think what would happen if all of that came crashing down at once.
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Recurring Dream [Dec. 15th, 2012|06:42 pm]
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Note: This post was typed up a while ago. I don't know why it didn't run on my blog when I wrote it. I must have been in a hurry.

Many humble apologies,
schpydurx

=====

I've had a similar dream twice now.

It's as though I'm working in Apple's Tech Support call center, but it's in house. There are many windows and much light comes into the building. Instead of cubicles or desks, there are long tables, much like the tables that are in the Apple store, only longer.

It's like I've just started there and am only working part-time, and by part-time I mean like two hours a week or something. (Reminiscent of my tutoring job this semester.) My manager is trying to get their paperwork in order and needs some kind of information from me, but can't articulate what exactly he needs, so I can't give it to him.

Eventually, I wander off from my assigned position and start exploring the room. I get lost, but there are more and more tables with computers and stuff, but no one sitting at them.

I wonder what this all means.
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