We're back after a couple of days of night work, in Fraser, CO., and then in Frisco, CO. We had a great dinner in Fraser at The Shed which is now serving a Mediterranean fare. The food was wonderful. If you're heading into Winter Park, The Shed is on the left hand side, across the street from the Super 8.
Then it was off on Tuesday morning to Frisco, CO. We stopped and had lunch at Back Country Brewery where my daughter works. Good food and good beer and a good visit. For dinner that evening we stumbled across a wonderful place called Samplings Wine Bar. Unfortunately we didn't have enough to fully enjoy this wonderful place. It's most certainly on our list for a return trip.
I've got the current (version .84) of Adium and it consistently won't let me add a new Jabber Account for GTalk. The program keeps crashing. Yes, I've sent them a crash report. We'll have to see what transpires.
Short notes for the few people who have asked me about this, since I did get it working.
If you have OS X 10.3 (Panther) still running, you'll have to get a chat client that supports Jabber to get up and going on Google Talk. Here's abbreviated instructions, which should be enough to get you going, or at least headed in the right direction. Note that you don't need this if you're running Tiger because iChat supports Jabber and thus Google Talk right out of the box.
Download the Adium multiprotocol chat client and install it. You'll find that it's an easy install. Then configure it according to the Google Talk instructions for Adium talking to their servers, which you will find on the Google web site. Follow the screen shots and you should be set; note carefully that you'll be running on a different port than the default Adium configuration.
Coffee A Health Drink?: "Yocto Yotta wrote to mention an article from The Independent which would seem to indicate that coffee has numerous health benefits, and could be construed to be a 'health drink'. From the article: ''A study has found that coffee contributes more antioxidants - which have been linked with fighting heart disease and cancer - to the diet than cranberries, apples or tomatoes...[antioxidants in coffee] have been linked to a number of health benefits, including protection against heart disease and cancer. Studies have associated coffee drinking with a reduced risk of liver and colon cancer, type two diabetes, and Parkinson's disease.''"
According to a front page story by Kirk Johnson in the NY Times, the Denver airport is giving up on its dream of automatically sorting and mangling, um, managing luggage.
Why the front page? Apparently because the story illuminates some important themes. Even before Johnson gets to the appealing Rube Goldberg elements of the system, he points to a more difficult and more significant problem: Complex, centrally managed systems don't work so well:
Back then, the big-brained mainframe doing it all from command central was the model of high tech. Today the very idea of it sounds like a cold-war-era relic, engineers say. Decentralization and mobile computing technology have taken over just about everything, allowing airlines, warehouse operators and shippers like FedEx to learn with just a few clicks the whereabouts of an item in motion, a feature that was supposed to be a chief strength of the baggage system.
Workers with hand-held scanners, checking baggage bar codes at every juncture of transit, will give managers far better information and control than could have been imagined when the automated system was designed, officials at United said.
The article also emphasizes the economics: The airline industry is no longer interested in 'frills' like returning your luggage to you quickly.
Then there's the hubris angle:
Professor de Neufville said the builders had imagined that their creation would work well even at the busiest boundaries of its capacity. That left no room for the errors and inefficiencies that are inevitable in a complex enterprise.
Apparently, the programmed baggage carts couldn't handle sharp corners.
That aside, the Denver system was a total success.
On first glance and off the top if my head, doesn't this defeat the purpose of Billboards? Of course if they're wanting to entice me with some sort of discount offer, it might be worthwhile. I imagine I can look around and see just who's in the vicinity and whether or not I'm interested in their current billboard, does it speak to me or enroll me in wanting to know more about their product or service.
News Sites: Voluntary Registration Might Be Better Business: "On yesterday's edition of the radio/podcast show Future Tense, E-Media Tidbits editor Steve Outing offered his ideas on voluntary registration for news sites – in the form of registration requests placed on the top of every article. This would still be an annoyance to online readers, but a much less significant one than forced registration. Also, publishers could sweeten the pot by offering benefits in exchange for voluntary registration.
Outing (and others) have been saying this for a long time. I'm wondering why their simple message hasn't sunk in yet. Why – oh why – do so many news organizations continue to cling to the forced-registration and paid-archives model? Who exactly is it within news organizations that has the final say on this particular decision?..."
Don't bother with the link, as it's one of the plethora of Colorado newspapers that requires a "free" registration. Will someone or some newspaper tell me why, I need to "register" with their paper so I can read their news? I'm pretty certain that I'm not the only one who finds other news sources that don't require me to register. Unless the newspaper's content is so exclusive that I can't get it anywhere else, what's the point? Businesses and others who've paid for ad's in these virtual newspapers, don't you know your not getting enough eyeballs looking at your costly ads?
Town Talk: "Team Matus would like to welcome Cashel-Rayne to skiers paradise Lance-Ryan Matus"
A couple of weeks ago, I did some demo's at a 7-Eleven (tdf) "Managers University" (?) here in Denver at the Denver Merchandise Mart (tdf). It's very apparent by the variety of food vendors present, that 7-Eleven is doing it's best to upgrade their image with the variety of foods available. There were offerings of upscale sandwiches, and even fresh fruit and yogurt. Much of the new food offerings are suppose to be available by years end.
7-Eleven plans to enter the health market with
Formula 7, a line of 'functional' foods and beverages. Functional foods are foods with health benefits
beyond basic nutrition. Formula 7 will include bottled and canned
beverages, as well as two nutritional bars, designed
to enhance energy, fitness or endurance. The products will be fortified with vitamins, minerals, herbs, antioxidants, amino acids
and other natural ingredients. The Formula 7 energy drink will come in Blood Orange and Raspberry Mint flavors and the fitness drink will come in Apple Rose and Natural Peach flavors. They've definitely chosen some intriguing flavors to try and pull off.
Google-Mapping Gas Prices: "Here's a nice idea for tapping the power of the Google Maps API: The website of the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, New York, has created a 'Gas Watch'
map feature, showing prices at various gas stations in its region. Zoom
in on the map and you can see exactly where a station with a
competitive price is located.
Gas Watch also allows readers to submit an updated price for a listed
station, or submit information about a station not yet on the map, so
there's a 'citizen journalism' component to the feature. Nice.