Archive for January, 2007

Yesterday was a wreck…literally!

January 29, 2007

Went out for a last minute stint at the kart track. My kart decided to cranky so at the end of the day, my buddy Carlos and I went out together on 2 of his karts. I took out his ICC and he took his moto shifter. The ICC was way more twitchy than normal. The shift linkage was really stiff and power was as chaotic as when I was 14 and trying to keep the parents from finding my first Playboy. Uggh. Coming into turn 2, I missed a shift and went wide in the sweeper. Carlos was right on my tail and tried to take the position on the inside. He got in too hot, got MASSIVE understeer and WHAMO! drove into my back wheel, up my right arm, over my shoulder and kartwheeled into the hay/tires. What a mess. He ended up with a broken collarbone and elbow and a sep’d shoulder. Totally sucked! I think the whole day ended up with 7 laps in total. Carlos’s OK, but will be out of action for a couple months. Complete bummer. I’ve seen tumbles like that a bunch on the web, but that was the first time I got to see the underside of a kart at 50MPH. I’d prefer not to do that again.

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WipBox…WOW! 4 days LIVE -> 375 users, ~6000 PVs

January 22, 2007

What a great way to start things off!!! Had awesome feedback from people right out of the gates, was written up by Mashable and Emily Chang’s eHub, received excellent suggestions and had WAY more than expected signups.

Launching Wed, the last 4 days brought 5,987 page views, 1,968 visits and 375 registered users. Thanks to everyone for trying WipBox out!!! I’m planning some cool new additions, but definitely, let me know how I can make it better.

WipBox Traffic 01.21.2007

Only Human…without a doubt

January 18, 2007

Came across this through several degress of clicking…their angle is enabling people who have messed up, big or small, to share their stories and any advice to others. I’ll be sharing several doosies and will link ’em out as they’re posted.

OnlyHuman

Only Human

Holy crap is Skype for Mac cool…

January 17, 2007

I’m hanging in a Barnes and Noble for a little bit today workin on a new idea and T called on Skype. GREAT integration, although maybe it’s on my PC too and I never noticed it. But, it paused iTunes and took over the audio for the duration of the call and then resumed when we hung up. How F-ing cool is that!?!?!?? It’s the little things I guess 😉

1,000+ Downloads of my Python POS NLP Tagger

January 17, 2007

Well with less than 4 days to go until the 1yr anniversary of the release of my Simple Python Part-of-Speech (POS) NLP Tagger, it’s exceeded 1,000 downloads. That also marks the day I learned Python as I was getting my tires changed at Costco and had 6 hours to kill. Printed out the tutorials and took them with me. Got home, figured…let’s port Mark’s C# tagger to Python. That’d be a great way to figure things out. And voila! 1,000 downloads later, it seems to have been the right idea.

Here’s the link for those who wanna play with it.

If anyone needs anything special added to it, let me know. I’m loving LAMP+Python in general and dig excuses to make things better.

Oh yeah, I guess that also means my tires are a year old now too…drat!

Better info for my eBay and Craigslist listings…

January 16, 2007

I decided at the beginning of December to play around with mashing something up. The result is WipBox (pronounced whip-box).

I was selling a couple things on eBay and got REALLY annoyed with how long it took me to get everything together, take the pics, find the right categories, find the right price and THEN research good product information for people to bid on my listings. If I simply put up the item with a decent pic and a half-assed description, I’d normally get the lower-end of my expectation range. But if I took 25-30 minutes extra and cut and pasted some detailed specs and reviews on it, I was at the high end of what I was hoping to get for it, and even in some cases I got WAY more than I expected.

That got me thinking. Well, Amazon has this great resource API that I could call to get better descriptions which I could then skin and include in my listings…and eBay has category and price info available from their API, and if I use that with a basic checklist, I could sell things more quickly and more profitably. Then I tried using it on a handful of listings and was stoked about the results. I was able to list thing 4-5x faster on either site. My auctions on eBay bumped up to an 86% success rate from the low 70s% and the closing price was about 10-20% higher that I’d expect. And my response rates on Craigslist more than doubled. A case in point was when I helped T sell her car. We couldn’t believe how many people called simply because they’d never seen such a nice listing on Craigslist. One guy even said he wouldn’t have considered it (being above 100k miles) if the listing didn’t look so good and have all of the info he needed in one spot. Kinda cool.

Well after 4 weeks of casual on-again off-again coding and stuff, I’d like to introduce the world to my little mashup, WipBox (http://www.wipbox.com). It’s in its second iteration, but I’d definitely appreciate any feedback you or your friends may have.

It was developed all on MAMP (Mac/Apache/MySQL/PHP) and deployed on WAMP (Windows-flavored). I’m using SOAP calls to the Amazon and eBay APIs; Mootools for the AJAX (which there is a ton of — but not in the hokey ways most people are using it right now) and user experience stuff; Maani charts for charting and TinyMCE for WYSIWYG editing the listings before you export.

Take a look, play with it (IT’S F.R.E.E…FREE), and let me know what you think.


Nike + is such a PLUS!

January 4, 2007

Today was the best run yet. Nearly broke 5mi in 45mins. The NikePlus gizmo for my iPod Nano is a Godsend. If you really want to get serious about training though, use it with a Polar Heart Monitor (I use the S625X). You don’t need the REALLY SUPERSIZED POLAR shoe pod, cuz the Nike+ attachment takes care of that. It’s better to watch your heartrate if you’re really gonna be banging out the distance.

For race training I do cardio for 45mins at 155-160 avg bpm (although i was at 146 today) and be in my VO2 max for the last 15 mins @ 172-177 bpm.

Having the NikePlus tracker with my iPod Nano is SUCH the way to train. Since I have super-flat feet, I can’t run in the Nike shoes made for the Nike+ dohickey. I’ve made a realy nice and basic velcro holder for it to go on top of my shoe. If anyone wants instructions on how to rig it, let me know (post a comment) and I can post the recipe. Mine’s a little nicer and more portable when compared to the others I’ve seen detailed.

Nike Plus run log

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2007

Here’s to the kickoff of “‘Putting the FU in Fun’ 2007.”

What better way to get it going than with my good friend Ron Burgandy and the crack Channel 4 News Team…because it’s all about a bowl of Chicken Soup and a Reuben and making dirty Reuben love…