Wednesday, April 28, 2010

BB 6!

I'm neither a supporter of the iPhone, nor the BB (I'm an Android, Symbian guy)... but for you BB users... fear not, RIM, unlike Palm, isn't leaving users in the past...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It IS easy being green...

Sometimes being eco-friendly is easy. I found these great disposable party plates/cups in the grocery. I'm not a fan of paper/plastic ware but sometimes when there's an unexpected party they are very convenient.

These solve the problem I have with disposable plates, and spur of the moment parties.

They're made of cornstarch. And are waterproof & microwaveable.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

to blog or not to blog...

Ever post a funny pic of a friend without them knowing it? Or complain about or boss or colleague on our blog or networking site? Better think twice about things you post.

I've been a netizen for almost 20 years... BBSes were the "in" thing, and 2.4kbps was the norm (now, mobile phones give you 1000x that speed). Growing up "online" teaches you certain rules and protocols on how to behave.

In recent years, blogging has become more accessible to the general public. Now, you don't even need to know HTML to blog. As long as you can spell (sometimes not even...hehehe)... you can blog.

But, as Peter Parker's uncle said, "with great power comes great responsibility". Blogs, and any written work online is considered print media, and public. Thus, is governed by the same laws as newspapers, magazines, billboards, and the like.

Bloggers have to understand that what they blog about, no matter how unpopular or unread your blog is, counts as a broadcast medium.

Suddenly, your entry about your boss is legal grounds for termination... or the cause of friends suing each other over an incriminating photo posted without the other person's consent.

Observe proper conduct, and decent behavior online.

Here's a story in yesterday's Inquirer: Be careful when posting photos on Facebook

Monday, April 12, 2010

...let me check my CalDAV...

Ever needed to coordinate schedules with friends or colleagues? Find yourself sending multiple emails or SMS to everyone involved in a project just to see if they're available on a particular date? Why not use a unified calendar?

Online collaborations are not new. Big corporations and IT firms have been using them for more than a decade. But these usually make use of a corporate server that handles all the appointment traffic and scheduling. Usually in the form of an Exchange server.

In recent years, open source and cloud computing have evolved to the point where this technology is now available to most of the computing public for a very reasonable, or no cost at all.

Enter CalDAV. This is part of an internet standard that hopes to unite all calendar applications regardless of OS, device, or user.

I've recently configured my devices (1 desktop, 1 laptop, and my iPod Touch) to sync calendars automatically whenever they're connected to the net.

The first step is to have a working online CalDav calendar. Gmail's calendar is CalDAV enabled, as is Yahoo Mail so these are 2 very good free starting points.

Once you have your Gmail or Yahoo calendar set up, follow their respective instructions on how to configure your particular device.

Microsoft doesn't seem to have any built in support for CalDAV just yet (nothing final anyway..I won't bother with ongoing projects that have too many bugs or are difficult to implement for average users), since it is a competing standard vs their Exchange Server. But you can use CalDAV in Windows via Mozilla's Thunderbird with the Lightning Add-on.

The reason I recommend CalDAV over Outlook Sync, or any other proprietary protocol is because it's free... and it works with pretty much any system. Both Apple's iPhone and Google's Android mobile phone systems can work with CalDAV so that allows a much easier migration and integration method without being locked into one manufacturer or software system.

The beauty of CalDAV over Gmail or Yahoo Mail is that it allows live syncing of all your calendars. A good example would be if you sent an email to all of your friends to meet up for lunch... everyone accepts the invite... this automatically places an appointment entry in their calendars with the date, time, locations and attendees... if anyone changes their mind, and cancels, this updates everyone else's calendars as well... so everytime you check your system ... whether from your phone, laptop, or PDA... the info is always up to date.

Past Tech Gospels

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