Productivity Buster

Google Plus vs. Facebook

C.C. Chapman was good enough to hook me up yesterday with a Google+ invite (link goes to a post of his initial impressions). You’ll notice it looks very familiar:

So far I like it better than Facebook, it has a much better UI for putting contacts into groups. By default when you add a new contact you can add them to Friends, Family or Acquaintances. They call these “Circles” and you can add custom circles. There’s a contact management screen where you can drag and drop people into Circles that is very cool.

I noticed that it’s very easy to set up integration with Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn and even facebook. But have yet to test what these integrations actually do.

There’s integrated video chat, and it looks like you can do shared viewing of YouTube videos through integration there.

It appears that they are throttling the addition of accounts. Last night there was a button to send invites, this morning it is not appearing. I’ll mention it on twitter when it comes back, if you are not already following me I’m @johnjwall

Looks like they are shooting at Facebook in a big way.

Daily Life

Father’s Day

If there was a championship belt for comedy the current holder would be Justin Halpern. His book, Sh*t My Dad Says is the funniest book I have ever read. I’ve probably bought 10 copies of it by now, anytime I start talking about it, if somebody hasn’t read it I just kick over to Amazon and order another.

Most everyone has heard the back story, but in case you haven’t, Justin started blogging shit his dad says on Twitter and in short order ratcheted up over a million followers, then the book deal, and even a show with William Shatner (which I should probably set up on the DVR).

So, Happy Father’s Dad to all the Dads out there. As my gift to you, here’s a great Father’s Day story.

Brain Buster

Farewell Little Plastic Discs

I remember when it began, around 1987. I had saved enough money mowing lawns, and managed to talk my parents into driving me to the Lechmere (Best Buy before there was a Best Buy) an hour away in Albany, New York. For $400 I got the second model Discman that Sony made and two CDs – Wang Chung’s Mosiac and Van Halen 5150. I didn’t have enough to complete the 1987 holy trinity by adding Bobby Brown, Don’t be Cruel. Maybe not Sophie’s Choice, but a tough decision. After years of listening to worn out cassette tapes I was blown away. Through college I bought while I still had summer cash to burn, and sold in the spring to get the cash to make it to the next summer.

Fast forward to the same renaissance in video, I replaced my 40 or so favorite films with DVDs, loving that the wouldn’t get eaten by dirty play heads, and the soundtracks were pristine.

Now, 25 years later I’m at a tag sale one of the neighbors is having. They have a box of CDs that people are looking through and a six year old girl asks “Daddy, what are those?”. One of the men thumbing through the box says “Honey, these are CDs, this is how we used to buy music.”

And it struck me there that the transition was over. I’ve been walking around with my music on an Apple device of some kind for years, the last of the CDs in a box in the basement, but it wasn’t until the past two years that I started thinking “If I was going to take the time to watch The Matrix again, there’s no way I’d watch the DVD when I can get it on the Apple TV in HD.” Slowly the bookcase of DVDs is shrinking as they get replaced with their virtual twins. I’ve waited my whole life to be able to watch a movie while traveling on my iPad. My son is born into a world where Toy Story is the first movie he sees, and he can take it with him wherever he wants and watch it at any time.

Although it’s shaken up the media world, I’m enjoying this new thing.