PHCR:Round 5:Clue 4

Written Clue - Don't be silly, look at the picture.

Send in your guess


PHCR:Round 5:Clue 3

Written Clue - Is it modern?

Send in your guess


Communication Identity

Phone numbers are stupid! The fact that they exist is a burden we must live with, but the numbers themselves have no business being displayed to humans. The folks that designed the Internet knew this. You don't type in to your web browser, you type google.com. You don't even have to type the http: part, and you usually don't have to type the www part. The software figures that out. Yet we still get "I'm sorry, you must dial a 1 before dialing that number", and we still have to remember a random string of numbers to talk to our friends? Why? Why? Why?

We need a communication identity. What's a communication identity? Well, it's you, and all of the forms of communication that you can participate in, at that moment in time. Maybe you are at work and you have email, IM, and a phone. Fantastic. Maybe you are at a movie, and IM is appropriate. Maybe you are in the middle of Utah and email can stack up for you while you are gone. The point is, when I want to communicate with "Bob", I should just communicate with Bob in whatever medium is appropriate.

The techinical details below the identity can be hidden. Phone numbers can change. Email addys can change. Your family and friends don't even need to know this is happening. The identity should just auto update over the Internet when you make a change. How many "old cell" numbers have you called? This is 2005, there's no need for that anymore.

A few of you have heard me get all breathless talking about this before. I was reminded of it again this week when I installed Google Talk. Wow. First off, I love Google Talk. The interface is clean, simple, and has little touches that make it better than others I have used. Google Talk does something cool. Each person pretty much has a communication identity. When I double click the contacts name, I am presented a chat window and two buttons at the top. Those buttons are Email and Phone. I get to choose my communication medium. I'm in love. Now, phone is attached to a service built in to Google Talk, but it seems like this could be expanded to attach to a cell phone or perhaps a Vonage soft phone in your computer for traditional "phone" calls.

How cool would it be to have a traditional phone that plugs in to your computer over USB and then works with the Call button in Google Talk. Doesn't seem too hard. It's just a speaker and a mic piped in to USB. Things like the iMic already are that thing. Slap the guts in to an old handset and you have yourself a Google Phone. Hmm, maybe I'll try building that.

The thing is, these communication identities are never going to get off the ground until our phones get smarter. We need to be able to toss our contact info around easier. IR failed terribly at that. Bluetooth has a better chance at succeeding, but I've seen enough bad software to know that isn't an easy road to travel either.

My final comment is on single sign on. Passport failed, and the Liberty project is all but unknown, but the Google beast has a chance at succeeding here. With Google Talk, I can now login to both Gmail and Google Talk with one login, my Gmail address. Now, why they can't tie this in to my Blogger identity, and my AdSense identity, I have no idea, but at least we have something to start with. Another key ingredient to Communication Identity is single sign on. Now, I'm not saying all of your communication forms have to be with the same company, but your communication client will need to be able to sign you in to all of your communication forms with one login or the whole thing is doomed.

PHCR:Round 5:Clue 2

Written Clue - It's just an expression

Send in your guess


A Gathering of Bluetooth Headphones

I don't have much to say here, I just wanted to put together a summary post of some Bluetooth headphones that have been released. The last ones, from Plantronics are the most interesting to me. I don't like behind the head designs and I don't mind big headphones so they fit my style requirements. They can't be any bigger than the Sonys I wear everyday. They also seem to have some good tech behind them. If I decide to pick up the Platronics ones, I'll be sure to post a review.

Bluetake iPhono

Creative CB2530
Review at hardwarezone


Plantronics Headphones - Review at Yahoo! News

Edit: At Jason's request, some prices.
iPhono: ~$170 - A2DP, Headset, Hands Free, Class 2, Multiple Pairings
Creative: ~$200 - A2DP, Bluetooth 1.2, Class 2
Logitech: $150 - Class 3
Plantronics: $150 without dongle, $200 with - A2DP

PHCR:Round 5:Clue 1

This is round 5 and the last round of the game. Scoring update to follow in the comments. Today's photo is in black and white. Who needs color?

Send in your guess


PHCR:Round 4:Clue 4

Written Clue: Are you down with the 3rd clue?

Send in your guees


Quit Whining - Ride Your Bike

I don't normally read msn.com, but it is the default homepage on a computer at work and one of the stories caught my eye today.

In the story about the costliest city to drive in is a great chart listing out the prices of gas around the world. Let's touch on a few highlights.

All of these prices are for one gallon

United States - $2.30
Brazil - $3.64
Ireland - $4.71
Germany - $5.21
United Kingdom - $5.60
Netherlands - $6.21
Venezuela - $0.12

Take a moment to let that sink in. Ok, now, have you complained about the price of gas in the last few weeks? LIAR! Yes, you have. This is another case of us not realizing how great we have it. I've been saying this a lot lately, but I want the price of gas to rise. Maybe then people will wake up and demand better fuel efficiency in their cars. Maybe then they'll ride their bike to work, or walk to the frickin mailbox, or demand better mass transit.

Sure, you'll point the finger at me and my gas sucking metal monster, but I was plenty aware of the fuel costs and I knew that I wouldn't drive that vehicle a tenth of what some people do (DJ!). I also put my money where my mouth is. I try to ride in to work 1-2 times a week, although I wish I could drag my butt out of bed for 4-5 times. I'll also ride to see friends if they live close.

I guess if you take anything away from this, let it be this. Rising gas prices should not rule your life. Adapt and conserve.... and ride your bike. If you don't have a bike, buy one with the money you'll save on gas.

PHCR:Round 4:Clue 3

Written Clue: Protection from above

Send in your guess


PHCR:Round 4:Clue 2

Written Clue: Take a walk

Send in your guess


Paddle the Cedar River

On Friday, Julie and I took a kayak trip from Indian Creek to Palisades Kepler State Park. The trip was through the Indian Creek Nature Center, but was run by Seatasea Watersports, a relatively new scuba, paddle, and swim shop in Cedar Rapids.

The trip was great. We met at the Indian Creek Nature Center, received some basic instruction, carried our boats down to Indian Creek, and navigated the short distance in to the Cedar River. The float to Palisades took a little over two hours. Along the way, you could do whatever you wanted, as long as you stayed somewhat near to the group. I paddled a little faster than the group, so I took the opportunity to really try out the boat I got. I paddled across the river, upstream, fast, slow, and even backwards for a while. I had a lot of fun.

It was a perfect night. Temperature was in the low 80s. The water was warm. We saw hawks, eagles, deer, turtles, fish, and many birds. It was very peaceful. Other than our 13 kayaks, we didn't see any other boats the whole way.

I highly recommend taking this trip. They are doing more of these in September and you can do a few other trips with Seatasea or even rent the boats and make your own trip. We are definitely going to do another trip, either with Seatasea, or just renting from Seatasea, so if you are interested, let me know and we'll get a trip going.

One last note. Seatasea is having demo days to try out their kayaks on the next two Wednesdays, August 23rd, and 30th.

A light light

This is such a simple idea, I love it. SolLight is selling a solar powered, LED water bottle cap. They call it the LightCap. The idea is that your water bottle is out in the sun most of the day charging and then at night, the LEDs will shine through the bottom of the cap, through the water and sides of the bottle and provide some illumination to your tent or table. Now, certainly this isn't meant to be a primary light source for car camping, but I'd like to buy one of these for hiking, backpacking, and what I call, airplane camping (pack light because you don't have much room).

When I'm camping, there are always two items that are within reach at night, and those are my headlamp and a bottle of water. The headlamp will still be needed for getting up and walking around in the dark, but I think a LightCap will take over the duty of lighting the tent while I'm in it.

My only complaints about this are that it appears you must buy a bottle along with the cap. That means it probably doesn't fit a normal Nalgene bottle and I really don't need another bottle. I've got plenty. Maybe someone (*cough* Black Diamond *cough*) will come along and make a similar product that just fits on a standard bottle.

The price is reasonable ($25), time to order one up.


PHCR:Round 4:Clue 1

Sorry for the delay in today's picture. I'll count this as day 0. Correct guesses sent in on Sunday will still get full points.

Send in your guess


PHCR:Round 3:Clue 4

Written Clue - It is Downtown

Send in your guess


PHCR:Round 3:Clue 3

Written Clue - Train Harder

Send in your guess


PHCR:Round 3:Clue 2

Written Clue - Off the beaten path

Send in your guess


PHCR:Round 3:Clue 1

Round 3 begins. Look for a scoring update in the comments of this post.

Send in your guess

PHCR:Round 2:Clue 4

Round 3 starts tomorrow. The scoring is much tighter now. Photo bonuses are making a difference.

Written Clue - You are an idiot if you can't get it based on the picture.

Send in your guess


PHCR:Round 2:Clue 3

Written Clue - The sky is the limit

Send in your guess


PHCR:Round 2:Clue 2

Written Clue - Right this way

Send in your guess


PHCR:Round 2:Clue 1

Round 2 is starting. Samantha and Jason are tied for first with 15 points each after round 1.

Send in your guess

PHCR:Round 1:Clue 4

Today is the last day of Round 1. A new round starts tomorrow. I'll post standings for Round 1 as well.

Written Clue - It takes a village.

Send in your guess


PHCR:Round 1:Clue 3

Day 3 has arrived.

Written Clue - Check it out.

Send in your guess


PHCR:Round 1:Clue 2

We're off to a good start. There is some good discussion going on and I think a few of you are on to something.

Written Clue - The time is now.

Send in your guess

Update: Two people have successfully identified the location. A full round summary will be provided at the end of the round.


PHCR:Round 1:Clue 1

And so it begins.
First, some more rules.
- You can work in teams if you want, and please bring in a friend or two if you like.
- Unlike Jeopardy, I'm not going to stick to your first answer. Just like bar room trivia games, if you change your mind, that's fine, but you'll sacrifice your earlier point possibility.
- Earning the bonus points for the picture can come seperate from your guess, but it must be received within the round, and it must have you in the picture. I don't care how you get in there. Ask a stranger, stretch your arm, whatever.
- Guesses should be sent to ryan@sadida.com

Round 1 - ding ding


Photo Hunt CR

I'm going to try something a little bigger than normal here. I'm again asking for some crowd participation. I have an idea for a "name that location" type of game. Here's how this is going to work.

* On Monday I'll post a photo of a location in the Cedar Rapids area. These will be interesting locations. Perhaps places you drive by everyday but never took a moment to soak in. Maybe they'll be unexplored territory for you. Maybe they'll be obvious locations, but the pictures will be purposely obtuse.
* Your job is to identify the location and email me with your guess.
* You earn points for your guess. The points start at 10 and decrease to 1 over time. Points are only awarded for correct guesses and they must be specific. Day 1 guess = 10 points. Day 2 = 5. Day 3 = 3. Day 4 = 1.
* I'll post more pictures and clues on the location as the week goes on.
* 5 bonus points can be obtained by taking a picture of yourself at the mystery location. These can be earned on any day during the round.
* A new round starts every 5th day. For this first game, we'll do 5 rounds.
* The winner gets a secret prize, oohhhhhhhhh.

Please leave a comment if you are even remotely interested in this.

Silly, Silly, Pictures

I took these pictures on my trip to Alaska. I realize they are only mildly amusing, but I'm only mildly amusing, so these seem appropriate.

The Internet? I hear they have that on computers these days
It made me laugh to see "Internet" written in that old west style lettering.

You ever take it off any sweet jumps?
You usually don't see this kind of bike on the roof of a car. Wouldn't they have fit in the glove compartment?

Morning Fire

Here is a photo I took while riding my bike this morning. It was a very peaceful ride and I managed to make it to work seconds before the skies opened up and poured rain.