Field Notes & Observations

fieldnotes_smallA jumble of things I’m watching and reading that won’t fit into 140.

Things I’m watching

Hashable – from the @hashable twitter bio “post meaningful connections with people and see who else in your community is connecting.”


I first saw this service back in the fall but it’s gaining traction in my network of friends. Hashable encourages you to share you interactions and helps you discover valuable relationships. If you use Twitter for networking I think this is definitely a one to watch. It’s lean and easy to update via a tweet.

Wikileaks – Regardless of your opinion you should be playing close attention to this story and its ramifications for government, technology, & journalism. Here are links to the best analysis and opinions I’ve read:

My 2 cents. Personally I wouldn’t have posted the documents and I think their disclosure will result in more negative outcomes than positive ones. That said I completely support Wikileaks right to post them. Government censorship is a very slippery slope and you don’t get rights back.

New & Nifty

Yes Gawker got hacked and there are new Facebook profiles but I assume you’ve heard about these already.

Intriguing Stats

Forrester Research says that 86% of Foursquare/Gowalla users are younger than 43 years old, more than 70% have a college degree and the average income is $105,000 /via @levshapiro

Pew Research says 8% of American adults who use the internet are Twitter users.

Things I’m still waiting on…

Unified Facebook messaging – I’m beginning to think it’s a myth. Still waiting for this to be enabled on my account.

Twitter analytics – @Mashable said that it would debut by the end of 2010. I hope we get something more than celebrity Twitter trees in the next 17 days.

Google Me – Google’s clandestine social network continues to be delayed. I assume they are too busy creating the Google Latitude iPhone app. Yawn inducing.

What did I miss?

New and Notable

Comodo BackUp – Comodo, the company that makes one of my favorite antivirus programs and PC firewall, has released a new FREE backup utility called Comodo BackUp. I haven’t tested this program personally but their site states that it supports backups to network folders, DVD, CD-RW, and FTP. It looks promising and Comodo has a great track record. Definitely an app to check out if you are looking for a backup solution.

The Wilhelm Scream – This is an interesting story of a distinctive scream sound effect that has been used in many movies since 1951. You have to be a bit of a movie buff to appreciate this trivia but I found it interesting and wanted to share. Check out the history and hear the scream at Hollywood Lost and Found.

Custom Mouse Cursors – If you like desktop customization you might have discovered that there aren’t many decent custom cursor sets on the internet. There is a plethora of dinosaurs and spongebob cursors but if you are looking for something a bit more developed you’ll have to dig a bit further. Instantfundas has a great post that lists 21 cursor sets for Windows. You’ll find some really good options. I settled on the Entis set. – For the infosec crowd this site is a gold mine of information. “DataLossDB is a research project aimed at documenting known and reported data loss incidents world-wide”. Email newsletters or RSS feeds will provide an interesting look at how data is compromised.

Introducing the Coolest Screensaver Ever – PolarClock

Seldom do screensavers warrant a blog post but this one is different. PolarClock is simply the most elegant screensaver I’ve ever encountered. I was introduced to PolarClock by a Wired Magazine article and it now runs on all of my computers.

At its core PolarClock is a functional clock but what really sets this screensaver apart is its superb design. It displays the month, date, day, hour, min, and second in animated, color-changing, concentric circles.


PolarClock is available for PC, Mac, and the iPhone. If you are looking for a clever and polished screensaver look no further than PolarClock.


15 Stunning Cutting-Edge Gadgets and Technologies

15 Stunning Cutting-Edge Gadgets and Technologies by Smashing Magazine

A quick showcase of some enveloping pushing tech. This is too cool not to share.

Diesel’s Spring/Summer 08 catwalk show was nothing short of stunning. While regular human models paced up and down the runway, a host of polyp-like CGI characters appeared in mid-air to interact with them within an underwater landscape. These animated holograms were entirely viewable from both sides of the stage. A perfect blend of cutting edge digital art and performance.

See the others at 15 Stunning Cutting-Edge Gadgets and Technologies.


Japanese IQ Test

Feeling rather smart today? Why not try a Japanese IQ test. The test is a variation of the classic “River Crossing” puzzles but it is one of the most difficult I’ve attempted.

The rules are:
1. Only 2 persons on the raft at a time
2. The father can not stay with any of the daughters, without their mother’s presence
3. The mother can not stay with any of the sons, without their father’s presence
4. The thief (striped shirt) can not stay with any family member, if the Policeman is not there
5. Only the Father, the Mother and the Policeman know how to operate the raft

To begin follow the link (flash req’d) and click the large round blue button in the bottom right corner.

If you get stumped then you can post a comment or contact me for the solution.

Good luck.