Email to Dreamhost Support: Funky Email/Subdomain Problem

Just sent this email to Dreamhost support… wonder if they’ll help me with my crazy email problem (not their fault).
(Dreamhost is where I’m hosting this blog, and some other sites)

Amazing Vegetable Stew

So I’ve been home sick for the past couple days, and had a craving for nutritious food. Beyond taking vitamins and Echinacea, I figure eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables is likely the fastest and best way to get healthy.

I wanted to make something that I could grow in the garden. Here’s what I put together:
  • 3 red potatoes, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 bunch of celery, chopped
  • 1 can cooked/seasoned tomatoes
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • some olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Put onions and olive oil in a pot on the stove. Let brown. Finish chopping the rest of the veggies. Add everything else, and maybe a few cups of water. Let everything simmer for at least an hour.
Serve in a cup or bowl. The fun part was just being able to leave this on the stove and keep eating whenever I want to. And it tastes magical.
Oh, later, I added some roasted pepper and tomato soup from Trader Joe’s, that made it even more tasty.
Now, this is my first time making something from scratch in a long time, so consider the above recipe a rough draft. I look forward to making this after growing my own vegetables in the near future.
Also, I plan to try different combinations of vegetables and herbs and spices. Please let me know if you have any suggestions!


The Best Portable Rechargeable Battery Gadget

I’ve been messing around with AA rechargeable batteries for a while now, and I just discovered what might be the ultimate related gadget: a USB power pack that can charge both ways. This is a multifunction device that has the form factor, and same primary function as those iPod/Cellphone emergency chargers, except these can also recharge the four rechargeable AAAs you put inside. These are already available, and cost about $30. Seems like the perfect mobile accessory to me.. (Charge all my portable devices, plus, if I have a device that needs AAs, I can take these out).
I just ordered this one from Amazon:, and I’ll update this post with a review after I get a chance to test it out. I’m looking forward to being able to charge my cellphones on the go, plus my iPod, plus my video camera, plus my everything else!


The Most Powerful Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

The Most Powerful Keyboard Shortcuts On Your Mac

Many keyboard shortcuts are frivolous and easy to forget because you can usually do the same thing with your mouse. There are some however, that you should be careful not to press, unless you know what they’ll do…

ctrl+shift+eject: turn of displays (make all screens go dark)
ctrl+option+eject: ?
cmd+option+eject: quick sleep (*not* safe sleep… great for stowing your laptop quickly when you have to move suddenly)
cmd+ctrl+eject: normal restart
cmd+ctrl+power: force restart

Oh, and a couple bonus keyboard shortcuts:
Option + one of the Brightness buttons: Takes you to the Displays pane in System Preferences.
Option + one of the Volume buttons: Takes you to the Sound preference pane.


Buying Photos from Organized Runs

So I just got another email from, one of these companies that comes to sporting events, takes pictures of you, and then charges and arm and a leg for a small printed version of it. They’re trying to sell me This upsets me, because I don’t even want it printed… I’d be perfectly happy if they let me download a JPEG for like $10 or less. However, they don’t, so it inspired me to write down an idea…

Okay first, this is, who took photos at this year’s Bay to Breakers in San Francisco, which I ran together with @ryderramona. And it turns out they do allow you to purchase the files… they _even_ have the option to purchase all the photos they detected of me for $60. Honestly, this isn’t nearly as ridiculous as I thought, still hear me out:

So there are alll these spectators that line the course, many of whom are taking photos of the runners passing by. Multiple people took photos of me, but I’ll probably never see those, although they’re probably just as good and more interesting than the “official” Sport-Photo ones. The solution? A web application of course…

Let’s call it “OpenSportPhoto” 😉 …
This site will allow anyone to upload photos from an event. The site will use some pattern recognition software to detect the numbers (bibs) people are wearing, and index them. Participants can later look up their photos by their bib number, or even subscribe beforehand. The site can be promoted by runners during the event, handing out a little flyer or info card to bystanders taking photos, asking them to upload.

The business model is quite simple.. Allow photographers to set a price for their photos, or give them for free and take donations. The site takes a small cut (like 10%). Hey look, we just open sourced a business! (All I ask is that you let me know if you build this!)

Update: So I bought a CD + instant downloads for $55. I was going to post the photos here, but the site says I can’t do that without explicit permission. LAME

Ideas Productivity Web

User-configurable Keyboard Shortcuts

Concept: A System that allows web surfers to configure their own Keyboard Shortcuts for web applications.

Probably a firefox extension or chrome plugin, but also a web directory where visitors can install greasemonkey scripts that will add keyboard shortcut functionality to various apps. The full add-on will be promoted to be able to notify you of configuration change possibilities and specific website productivity tips, all based on the current URL in view. Users will be able to change/add/remove keyboard shortcuts for every URL.

– compatibility
– change monitoring
– conflict resolution

About Ideas

Position Yourself For The Future

My latest interest: trying to predict the future, and position myself so as to be able to influence outcomes moving forward.

For example, when a new web application is launched, my public reviews can bring new users to the site, provide strong feedback to the developers, and even change the public understanding, and thus, the concept of the site itself.

We can all have great impact on how events and changes come about. You just have to stick your head in and poke around. Then use Twitter or your blog, or Facebook or your social network of choice to spread your ideas and gather support for your cause.

To end on an entirely different note, wouldn’t it be cool if our education system, and in particular, high school history classes, taught not only ancient history and recent history but moved forward on that continuum and surveyed the popular predictions for the future?


A Small Plan

A Small Plan For an America in Recession. (What I would do if I didn’t have a good job right now)

Out of a job? Can’t pay rent? Credit stacking up? You’re not alone. More Americans are looking for a job right now than in the past XX years. If you feel like just getting away from it all, I have a solution that might just work for you… Re-farming America.

Good land is cheap. You can get 5 acres on a hillside, with running water or a well for less than $40K if you’re willing to drive just 5 hours away. You can get a much smaller place for even a lot less (blah for blah right now on Craigslist).

You can be self-sufficient. You can grow all of your own food. There are many available resources to help you. And it can be really fun. You can build a treehouse… even live in one. You could even dwell in the side of a hill (If, you know, you’re really into JRR Tolkein Novels).

But Rex, you say, what about internet access? “I’m not addicted, but uh, I get uncomfortable when my iPhone dies”. Well, you have a few options there… Satellite Internet is widely available, pretty affordable, but pretty slow I believe. Mobile Broadband (Cellular) could be an option if you have decent 3G coverage on the property, but that’s also not very fast yet. If you’re lucky, you can get really high speed internet through a LASER. This is currently available near where I live, but I have yet to try it, as it is more expensive, and traffic is metered. (And I get 16Mbit Burst from Comcast, which I’ve been pretty happy with).

Obviously, you can’t grow everything you need, so you’ll have some expenses… So you’ll need to find a way to make some money. If you manage to get a decent internet connection, there are various ways to make money with the help of the internet. If you’re reading this, you might be interested in blogging professionally. If you go that route, it won’t be easy unless you’re really passionate about something and you’ve got a good plan for marketing your work. There are various businesses that will pay you to work online. You can make music on your computer and sell it on iTunes. Get a following on Twitter and leverage your expertise and connections. Study up on the stock market and buy and sell shares. Do work for the Mechanical Turk.

You can also use the internet to provide a local service… like you could do tech support for neighbors to help them get online, maybe even to teach them how to use things like YouTube. On the other hand, you can use your location to provide online services, like provide a natural getaway weekend experience for urbanites (maybe do countryside tours, or hikes). Or make arts and handicrafts with local inspirations and sell them online. The possibilities are endless, because you don’t need to make that much money when you own your own property and grow most of your own food.

If none of those businesses sound appealing, you can default to tradition and be a real farmer… growing and selling food. If you’re going to the effort of growing you’re own food already, it’s only an partial increase in effort to produce fruits and vegetables in significantly higher quantities. You’d just need to stay relatively close to communities with farmer’s markets, preferably multiple for the sake of competition and mitigate risk. And you’d probably want a truck.

Please let me know if this inspires you to do something. I want to see your pictures, and hear your stories. You should write a blog about it.


Can we make web applications more personal?

Most of the stereotypically “Web 2.0” sites… Digg,, Flickr, YouTube, etc, are largely focused on the general preferences of the masses… or at least, that’s how the “Popular” content seems to be sorted. I argue that this is a mistake. Instead, these web applications should focus more on trends within our own social group.

I’ll focus on just one example… YouTube. YouTube has some serious challenges. One of the most apparent is comments. For every video that hits the front page, you can expect hundreds of immature and often offensive messages. My solution would be to split up the comments into categories / tabs… “Friends”, “Top”, “All”, … where the default “Friends” tab would show any comments that any of your Gmail/gTalk friends left on that video. Also, you could leave comments publicly, or only for your friends to see.

If we start building websites like this, the web will be a much more personal experience, and welcoming to newcomers. Thanks for listening.


Flixster Could Be Better

Ugh. Flixster is so annoying… all the advertisements and silly activities, it is reminiscent for pre-dot-com-bust era websites – in a bad way. And it kinda looks like MySpace. Normally, I’d like to think I wouldn’t rant here about a website I dislike like this, but in this case it’s not so simple. You see, Flixster could be so much better, and I need it to be. Case in point:

I want to keep track of my film watching habits. I want to log the movies I see, for personal reference and for sharing… this could include public or private notes about the films.

I want to keep a list of movies that I want to see. This can be public, and I could see which friends want to see the same movie and then we could watch together.

I want to keep a list of the movies I own… so that my friends can see what they can borrow from me. The site should also let me track who I’m lending my discs to.

I want to know what my friends think about movies… so aggregating their notes onto the movie’s page.

Sadly, Flixster probably won’t be able to become awesome like this unless someone were to buy it… whoever’s in charge seems to be pretty clueless about what they’re doing. So, someone, please steal the ideas listed above and give them some competition.

Oh and here’s my Flixster profile, lol.