Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Twitter has no immediate plans to incorporate iWantSandy

Rael does a great job of communicating what is disappointing news for the investors, developers, and user community.

While the company and services will be shutting down, Stikkit and Sandy's DNA will live on; the intellectual property behind both has been acquired by Twitter, Inc []. While Twitter has no immediate plans to incorporate Sandy or Stikkit's feature sets into its core product, those who know our apps well may notice familiar-feeling bits and bobs appearing in your Twitter experience. 

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The day my virtual assistant died - RIP

I'm verklempt.... or at least I should be, but I feel like I've got to get this post written. I have just learned that my trusted virtual assistant of more than a year has decided to change direction.

The Twitter Blog announced today that Rael Dornfest has joined Twitter and that the assets of Values of N, most visible would be Stikkit and IWantSandy will be shuttered.
Today we're thrilled to announce that Twitter has acquired the assets of Values of n, which include an intelligent sticky-note application as well as a personal productivity application that works over email, SMS, and the Web. Rael has already started adding energy and momentum to the team as a full time Twitter engineer.
Values of n will be shutting down existing products. However, the technology behind the scenes will live on and potentially re-emerge as part of Twitter's systems.... - Twitter Blog
I'm guessing this is good news for Rael.  It sounds like a steady paycheck. It's certainly bad for the users of Stikkit or IWantSandy.   On December 8th, their investment in those systems is gone.

It's easy to see why Twitter might want to have the assistant capability of IWantSandy.  What Twitter has probably figured out already is that there current service is not one that you're going to have much luck getting people to pay for.  Getting Twitter to do something useful rather than amusing is a potential step towards a subscription model.  I think it's also easy to see why Rael thought this was a good exit for ValuesOfN. Sandy was a lot more useful when coupled with alliances like Jott or Twitter .  As a standalone product, IWantSandy would also have a hard time in creating a subscription model and there was not much in the way of an advertising play for it either.

Best of luck to Rael. It's sad to see Sandy go.

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Only a few days left in Pants Awareness Month

Can you give those who have found themselves tragically pantsless? Together we can give them a leg up.

Every autumn, millions of American men tragically go pantless while their fellow citizens turn a blind eye. 
This is the terrible affliction known as Pantlessteria -- more commonly referred to as Sansapant Syndrome, Trousernot, or Nay Slacks disease.
Fortunately, there is a cure -- and it's just clicks away at

I like adverts that make me smile.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Forbes says Greenville SC an Affordable Place To Weather Downturn

Although job recruiters may have less to do these days, it might have gotten just a little bit easier for them if they are recruiting into Greenville, SC. Forbes Magazine listed Greenville as one of the five best counties in the US in which to weather an economic downturn.  They cited affordability as the number one factor.

Greenville County, SC Stats:

Within Commuting distance to Greenville:

Population: 428,243
Affordability: 150.23
Median property tax: $984
Job growth: .9%
Per capita income (in 2006 inflation-adjusted dollars): $23,926

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

This Dog Hunts for Cheap Flights out of GSP

Like to or need to travel by air but can be flexible on dates? You can now be alerted to air fare bargains out of the GSP (Greenville / Spartanburg) airport or your favorite airport by .  The service looks for air fares with below market pricing and then adds them to their site daily.  The bargain flights are also listed on the GSP Airport website, and can also be emailed as alerts.

Checking through the list this morning, I found Round Trip tickets to Hawaii for $526 and to Pittsburgh for $193.  Most, but not all trips require some minimum stay in the destination city and other restrictions may apply to the ticket. Both seemed to be significant deals over normal ticket prices and it left me hoping that the Air Fare Watch Dog will take a big bite out of my next air fare.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

National Day of Listening - November 28

Join in on Friday, November 28

The National Day of Listening asks you to set aside an hour on Friday, November 28, to ask loved ones about their lives. The simple act of listening tells them how much they matter, and preserving that conversation on tape, CD, or with a pen and paper tells them they and their stories won't be forgotten. 

The National Day of Listening is an initiative created by the StoryCorps project, and supported by NPR and its members stations, to encourage, instruct, and inspire everyday people to start a new holiday tradition: sit down with a loved one on Friday, November 28, 2008, and record a meaningful conversation to preserve for years to come.

Who will you listen to? Who will you preserve?

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Sagacity is the word of the day


Wisdom and good judgment often seem in shorter supply than the words to describe them, such as this one, ultimately from a Latin root meaning "seek." It would be a pretty good guess to think it was related to sage ("wise person"), but in fact the latter, though also going back to Latin, is separately derived via French.

Click here to look up the word of the day in the Visual Thesaurus!

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Star Trek on May 9

I think Wow! covers it. I learned by following links, that Young Spock actor, Zachary Quinto is a fellow Pittsburgher. In the trailer below, he looks perfect as Spock. I'm ready.


National Report Ranks South Carolina Last in Protecting Kids from Tobacco

Ten years after the November 1998 state tobacco settlement, South Carolina ranks worst in the nation in funding programs to protect kids from tobacco, according to a national report released today by a coalition of public health organizations.

South Carolina this year is scheduled to spend $1 million on tobacco prevention programs, which is 1.6 percent of the $62.2 million recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All of this funding is from a federal grant. South Carolina is the only state that is spending no state funds on tobacco prevention this year.

Other key findings for South Carolina include:
  • The tobacco companies spend more than $280 million a year on marketing in South Carolina. This is more than 280 times what the state spends on tobacco prevention.
  • South Carolina this year will collect $114 million from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend less than 1 percent of it on tobacco prevention.
The annual report on states' funding of tobacco prevention programs, titled "A Decade of Broken Promises," was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

South Carolina continues to lag behind other states in its efforts to protect kids from the dangers of tobacco. In addition to years of inadequate tobacco prevention funding, the state has the lowest cigarette tax in the nation at 7 cents per pack, compared to the national average of $1.19 per pack. The state has not increased its cigarette tax in two decades despite widespread support for an increase among South Carolinians. In contrast, 44 states and the District of Columbia have increased cigarette taxes since Jan. 1, 2002, many more than once.

"South Carolina is the most disappointing state in the nation when it comes to funding programs to protect kids from tobacco," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "On this 10th anniversary of the tobacco settlement, we call on South Carolina leaders to raise the state's lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax and use some of the revenue to increase funding for tobacco prevention. Tobacco prevention is a smart investment that reduces smoking, saves lives and saves money by reducing tobacco-related health care costs."

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Create your own blog in two minutes

You can create your own blog in Blogger in two minutes. When someone has never blogged before, but is now certain they have something to say, share, or show, then I suggest they go to Blogger to get started. It's so easy to create and post to the blog, that you'll soon discover that the technology isn't the hurdle. Attached is a helpful video to show you how to create a blog in two minutes.

A curious case of cell phone borborygmus

I have accidentally set my cell phone into some mode where it will call out the word "borborygmus" rather than ring with one of my fancy ring tones.  It sounds exactly like this when I get a call:

Download now or listen on posterous
borbor01.wav.wav (11 KB)

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Twilight Turtle - Sweet Dreams for Kids and Adults

We talked about the Twilight Turtle on today's Your Day. Everyone, young and old, loves this adorable plush turtle that projects a starry night onto the ceiling of a darkened room.

Show Notes: Eric Rodgers talks with Phil Yanov, executive director of the GSA Technology Council and blogger at ThinkHammer , about the Twilight Turtle that projects a starry sky onto the ceiling of a child's room. 


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Posterus will be posting here (but that is still me.)

I'm using Posterous to allow me to email in some of my posts. Since this blog is largely a lifestream collection anyway, I thought I'd let posterous keep copies of my posts here. Let's see what happens. Let me know if I get something caught in a perpetual loop. (That is my biggest fear.)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Hatching Egg Dinosaur

Hatching Egg-1159
Originally uploaded by Yanov.
We got this hatching egg toy for Halloween and after putting it in water, it started cracking the egg in 12 hours and then hatching in 24. Kathryn thought it was very cool. It's a dinosaur.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

All Done

All Done
Originally uploaded by Yanov.
Something I found on the morning's photo walk.